Recently, I purchased a 2001 Piper Meridian for use in my business. After going through the aircraft selection and purchase transaction, I can say with total confidence that using Malibu Aerospace was the best decision I made in the process. Malibu Aerospace are the P46/PA46 type specialists. They not only fix these planes, they fly them. A lot. And that’s a big difference when compared to your local mechanic or even the Piper service center staffed with non-pilot A&P/IAs.
Malibu Aerospace knows every blade, linkage, wire, rivet, nut, bolt and pixel on the P46 airframe. This is not an accident. It is because they do 80+ annual inspections a year on them, most with a test flight before and/or after! They know the air-frame “cold”, not only by model year and serial number, but by heart, instantly, from memory. Just ask a question and you get an immediate, unqualified, accurate response from the type experts. This deep pool of specialty knowledge comes only from years of experience working on these airplanes, and a professional passion for the highest quality work standards throughout. To the customer, this saves significant labor time because you do not pay your local mechanic to learn the intricacies of your specialized P46 airframe at your expense with hourly billing. Most importantly, it adds an immeasurable margin of safety because the Malibu Aerospace team draws on extensive field experience to communicate what has been problematic in the fleet from plane-to-plane, model-to-model, or year-to-year as it applies to your particular plane.
The Piper maintenance manual says one thing and most A&Ps can read it. The Malibu Aerospace team goes above and beyond. They follow the manual and know how to “fix it”, but they also know from experience what the fleet service history has been, what typically goes wrong on which planes, what the warning signs are, what the alternative costs are, what the best trade-offs are considering solutions they have seen and implemented in the past, and very importantly, what actions are most likely to avoid future related problems on any given issue. Going through the pre-purchase inspection with Malibu Aerospace revealed a handful of potential issues that another very well-respected Piper maintenance shop failed to identify for the previous owner on my plane.
Many of these were small issues that should have been corrected. But two were potentially serious problems that left me wondering why anyone would even bother with a non-type specialist shop. Since the inspection at Malibu Aerospace, the plane has performed flawlessly. Yes, it was inconvenient to ferry the plane to Minneapolis (KANE) for the pre-buy. But it paid a return-on-investment ten-times the ferry cost in the form of a quality job and the added safety margin I know I received from the work done by Malibu Aerospace. The team’s responsiveness and flexibility to ferry the plane for me were also the best I have experienced in 15 years of flying, and made the process relatively painless. After the excellent experience, I can say that I will not take my plane anywhere else for the annual inspection. I highly recommend this shop to current and would-be PA46/P46 owners.
Our Meridian was returned on March 2nd upon completion of its Annual and the installation of a Garmin GFC 600. We have now had an opportunity to fly several hours. Everything is working perfectly, our client experience was excellent. As you will recall we had a re-occurring problem with the pitot heat for the left wing. Despite continued efforts to diagnose the cause of the problem, it continued until the annual. Malibu identified the elusive culprit, and it is fixed. Perseverance prevailed. Malibu’s attention to detail and their determination to do a thorough job put them at the top of there competitors list. Again, thank you, it has been a real pleasure working with Brad Ludlow and everyone at Malibu.
Everyone’s responsiveness makes a big difference and that has come both while the plane is in house for repairs/annuals or during the year to owner questions. I also appreciated you going the distance along with the prop shop to get MT to participate in those repairs. I have also shown your software platform to a few other pilots and they were also very impressed with that capability.
I have been treated like a new friend by everyone at Malibu that I have interacted with, whether by Brad or Doug, but also Mark, Tom, Wilder & Rhett! Everyone has made such a great impression on me that remembering their names has been easy. I look forward to coming back and seeing everyone again in a couple of weeks! Please share this with everyone because customer service is lost in a lot of companies, and it is a pleasure to work with you all.
Today I flew back from SJC (San Jose Intl) to FNL (Fort Collins-Loveland) at FL250. My Malibu has the TSIO550 engine mod, it's Hgh-Speed Cruise is 32.5"Hg.
In the past, I was never able to run at 32.5" manifold pressure above about FL220: the cylinder head temps were right on the red line on my analog gauge, so I had to reduce power to approx 30"Hg in order to keep the temps down. Well, today, I climbed directly from sea level to FL250 and set the plane up for high-speed cruise at 32.5" Manifold Pressure. I leaned to 50 degrees rich of peak at 22gph fuel flow. This is as fast as my Malibu can fly... that's why I bought it!
Just as you advertised: my cylinder head temp was almost exactly 40 degrees cooler: top of green! Wow! At these settings, N637BE was flying at 238ktas! Outside air temp was -20C (somewhat warm), so at -40C, I'm sure I'll see 245ktas! Malibus aren't supposed to fly that fast! It's absolutely amazing what a few extra horses can do in the thin air of FL250! These numbers were verified by the Garmin 530, the airspeed calibration ring, and my independent calculations.
You have got yourself, one happy customer!!!
I've flown six hours the past two days and the plane is doing great. I love how responsive it is to the yoke movements now. I think the greatest improvement is in the engine CHT temps and rate of climb. In the past, I could never get better than a 500 FPM climb past 10,000'. It seemed like it didn't want to go and if I forced it the CHTs came up. That's not a problem now
The final invoice was several thousand lower than I expected. Gotta love that!
Anyway, thanks for taking care of my airplane. I have confidence that it will perform as designed now and I'll see you guys next May.
The plane flew like a charm. I did the 65% 70% and 75% power for an hour each as you suggested. Had to use higher fuel setting than usual to keep CHT's below 380 but it was hot out down south. The CHT's were slightly higher than usual as you mentioned. I couldn't believe the engine on run up and takeoff roll - the power was amazing!
Thanks to you and your team at Malibu Aerospace. Absolutely first rate customer service.
I really appreciate your taking care of the last minute transponder issue, that actually saved the day for me, and your team made things happen so smoothly!
Brett did a fabulous job of keeping us informed throughout the annual and top overhaul - answering my questions, helping us use Malibu Advantage and making us feel like we were your only customer -
which I know isn't true but it is great to have each customer feel. We also appreciated your frankness about what really needed to be done and your clear focus on getting things done in a professional and efficient manner.
I hope to see you at Oshkosh, the MMOPA convention or some FBO.
it look like readable English.
LED Lights! The way your LED taxi lights came very handy on my first trip after installation: I was flying into KPDK late in the afternoon, with the sun low on the horizon, directly on my tail. There was oncoming traffic at my 12 o'clock climbing out of KPDK and ATC called him to advise of me.
About 3 seconds later he said "yeah, I got his lights". I had the taxi lights on pulse just for that exact reason, and I don't think he would have seen them if they had not carried the brightness of your LED lights. Thanks guys !!'
Malibu Aerospace took a PA46 rookie and made him feel like he had owned the aircraft for years. Between Malibu Aerospace who managed the acquisition of the aircraft, Doug Hiltz and his team performing the pre-buy inspection and annual, and Brad Ludlow for orchestrating a great customer experience, I felt like I had the best team in the business working with me. I thank the team at Malibu Aerospace for making my first experience in aircraft ownership a positive one.
I would like to thank you for your wonderful service and co-operation during our pre-buy and delivery process of my airplane. I couldn’t have asked for better support from your staff, everyone was so helpful. I needed my database updated at the last minute to fly IFR, it was done before 8am the next day when I arrived to pick up my plane. My flight instructor forgot to bring his headset, but you all were kind enough to loan us one. Again, thanks for your help.
The cooling mod worked wonders for my 08 Matrix. Unless you know what you're looking for, you won't even notice that the mod was done from a cosmetic standpoint. CHTs dropped by 30-40deg across the board. I think Piper should buy the STC and incorporate it on the line. It's that valuable!
I love my M-5 conversion. I've owned my plane for 6 years. When I got it, I had my 520 rebuilt. As it came time to rebuild it again, I checked out all options. This option made sense on all levels.
With 20 plus years of Hindsight, this is what the Malibu wanted to be in the beginning. A little more engine with more cooling and the best prop on the market. The team at Malibu Aerospace has taken the best of all options. The M-5 Conversion is the whole package.
After the conversion, we stopped at Malibu Aerospace to have them review the installation. I've had a difficult year with my old engine, but having them spend a day under the cowling gave me the confidence I needed in my plane.
These guys know Malibu.