Piper Aircraft Inc. has received fleetwide approval from the Federal Aviation Administration permitting owners and operators of Piper Meridian single-engine turboprop business aircraft to operate from unpaved runways.

The announcement was made today at the 2011 Malibu/Mirage Owners & Pilots Association (MMOPA) Fly-In Convention held here in Hot Springs. Previously the Meridian had been limited to operations from paved runways.

“We are pleased to offer this added performance capability immediately to the nearly 500 operators of Piper Meridian turboprops,” said Piper Executive Vice President Randy Groom. “And we are especially pleased to make the announcement today at the MMOPA Fly-In and Convention, where Piper enthusiasts from around the world gather every year to advance the interests and safety of owners and pilots who fly Piper M-Class airplanes.”

Continuing Piper Commitment

“The ability to land and depart from unpaved runways adds increased operating flexibility to an already outstanding aircraft through a change to the POH and without requiring any kind of airframe modifications,” Groom said. “This demonstrates our continuing commitment to providing Piper owners with the finest and most capable business aircraft available today and tomorrow.”

This significant upgrade to the Meridian’s outstanding performance package was accomplished through extensive operational flight testing by Piper’s engineering team. With its expanded performance and the ability to operate from unpaved surfaces, the Piper Meridian can now take off and land on grass and dirt landing strips, opening up thousands of additional runways to Meridian flight operations. Changes to the Piper Meridian Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) reflect new unpaved takeoff and landing distances.

Baseline (paved) Takeoff Distance

Ground roll: 1,650 ft. (503 m)
Total over 50-ft. obstacle: 2,438 ft. (743 m)

Unpaved (dry grass) Takeoff Distance

Ground roll: 1,980 ft. (604 m)
Total over 50-ft. obstacle: 2,926 ft. (892 m)

About the Piper Meridian

Baseline (paved) Landing Distance

Ground roll: 1,020 ft. (311 m)
Total over 50-ft. obstacle: 2,110 ft. (643 m)

Unpaved (dry grass) Landing Distance

Ground roll: 1,224 ft. (373 m)
Total over 50-ft. obstacle: 2,532 ft. (891 m)

The Piper Meridian is a single-engine turboprop aircraft designed to meet the requirements of business and personal transportation. Powered by a reliable, proven Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42 turbine engine, it features seating for six and has a range of 1,000 nautical miles (1,885 km) with a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots (482 km/h) and a useful load of 1,701 lbs. (771 kg).

The standard equipped list price of the Piper Meridian equipped with the Garmin G1000 avionics suite is $2,071,500. The Meridian offers all-weather capability, including flight into known icing. An RVSM service ceiling of 28,000 feet allows the Meridian’s passengers to cruise in pressurized, air-conditioned comfort above most weather systems in a cabin comparable with aircraft costing more than a million dollars more.

About M-Class Aircraft

M-Class aircraft offer Piper performance and safety built upon a proven airframe that has been an industry standard for years. Three refined derivatives comprise the full line: the turboprop Meridian, the pressurized piston-powered Mirage and the unpressurized Matrix. Each product fits it own niche and price point, and each aircraft provides a seamless step-up to the next level. Created to maximize the private travel experience, the M- Class line balances performance, efficiency and simplicity.

About Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft Inc. is headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla. A global force in aviation, Piper offers efficient single- engine and twin-engine trainer, personal and business aircraft. Piper Aircraft designs, manufactures, sells and supports the strongest and broadest single-engine product line in the industry, from high-performance pistons to turboprops to the world’s most fuel-efficient seven-person business jet, the PiperJet Altaire. With economical acquisition and operating costs, Piper airplanes deliver the best value available today and into the future. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.


Piper Aircraft
For further information, contact: Jackie Carlon
Phone: (772) 299-2900
Fax: (772) 978-6585
Mail to: Jackie.Carlon@piper.com piper.com