Saratoga II - History

Saratoga II  - History

Saratoga II

(Cor.: t. 734; Ibp. 143'; b. 36'6"; dph. 12'6"; cpl. 212;
a. 8 long 24-pdrs., 6 42-pdr. car., 12 32-pdr. car.)

The second Saratoga was laid down on 7 March 1814 and launched on 11 April 1814.

Christened on the day that Napoleon abdicated, Saratoga began her service on Lake Champlain as England was turning her attention and resources from the European continent to North America. British strategy envisaged a series of amphibious raids along the American coast as a diversion to cover a lethal thrust south from Canada down the strategic and already historic Lake Champlain-Hudson River corridor.

However, the completion of Saratoga put the United States ahead in the naval construction race on Lake Champlain, and Sir George Prevost, the Governor General of Canada and top British military commander in America, felt that supremacy afloat was a prerequisite to a successful invasion of the United States through the state of New York. He, therefore, delayed the start of his campaign until new naval construction had tipped the balance back in his favor.

Meanwhile, Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough, commander of American naval forces on the lake, took advantage of the edge which Saratoga had given him and sailed to the mouth of the Richelieu River which he blockaded during most of the following summer. Up that stream at Isle aux Noix, the little British fleet, protected by shore batteries and by the river's narrow and tricky channel, waited while English shipwrights worked feverishly to complete Confiance, a 36-gun frigate and the largest warship ever to sail on Lake Champlain. This man-of-war was launched on 25 August and hastily fitted out for battle.

During the construction race, crack British troops— veterans hardened in Wellington's bloody Penisular Campaign-had been rushed from Spain to the St. Lawrence for the impending offensive. Before the end of August, the British Army had begun to march south along the western shore of Lake Champlain. Badly outnumbered, American ground forces withdrew before the English advance, crossed the Saranac River, and took prepared positions on the bluffs which overlook Plattsburg Bay.

Meanwhile, Macdonough, commanding Officer of Saratoga as well as of the other American forces on the lake, had sailed back south; proceeded around Cumberland Head, N.Y., and entered Plattsburg Bay. There he deployed his ships across the mouth of the harbor in a strong defensive position where the British fleet could attack them only at a disadvantage, slowly and laboriously approaching the line of American broadsides against the wind and unable to bring most of their guns to bear.

As he awaited the arrival of the enemy, Macdonough dropped kedge anchors and arranged spring lines

which afforded his ships maximum maneuverability. Then he had the crews practice turning their ships so that alternately starboard and port guns would face south.

On the morning of 11 September, when Commodore George Downie led the British squadron around Cumberland Head, Macdonough was ready. As British brig Li?met, approached firing range, she opened the action with a salvo toward Saratoga. All but one of the projectiles fell short; and that solid shot was all but spent as it landed on the American corvette, bounced across her deck, and smashed a wooden poultry cage freeing a gamecock. The indignant rooster took to his wings and landed in the rigging. Facing the British warships, the cock defiantly called out challenge to battle.

Macdonough, himself, aimed a long 24-pounder at the bow of Confiance, pulled the lanyard firing Saratoga's first round, and gave the signal, "close action." The shot cut the British flagship's anchor cable, ripped up her deck, and smashed her helm. Then, all the American ships opened fire.

Confiance's first broadside struck Saratoga from point blank range, and the American flagship reeled from the blow. Half of her men were felled by the shock; but most of the sailors picked themselves up carried their dead and wounded comrades below, an] returned to the fray. Since Confiance's green gunners failed to reset the elevation of their barrels, each of her subsequent volleys tended to be higher than its predecessor and, while shredding Saratoga's rigging did little structural damage to the ship

After almost two hours' fighting, Saratoga's last serviceable starboard gun, a carronade, broke loose from its carriage and hurtled down the main hatch. Macdonough then dropped a stern anchor; cut his bow cable; and, with the help of tars hauling on lines to kedge anchors, swung the ship around bringing her fresh, port, broadside guns to bear on the enemy.

The badly battered British flagship, with Downie and her first lieutenant dead, also attempted to wind ship but was unable to do so. Helpless to do further harm to her adversary, Confiance struck her colors.

Then, by pulling on her starboard kedge line, Saratoga's sailors turned the corvette's guns toward Linnet and opened fire. The British brig, although severely damaged and unable to move, gallantly kept up the fight for about an hour before surrendering. At that time, Finch and Chub, the other two relatively large warships in the British squadron, were already in American hands, so the surviving English gunboats fled toward Canada.

Macdonough's victory in Plattsburg Bay left the United States unchallenged on Lake Champlain and forced Prevost to retreat to Canada. This weakened the British position in negotiations at Ghent and enabled American commissioners to secure a favorable rather than a humiliating peace. It also helped to restore American morale after the recent burning of Washington.

After the war, Saratoga was laid up until sold at Whitehall, N.Y., in 1825.

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Piper Saratoga

The cabin of these airplanes started more than 20 years ago with the Cherokee Six. Originally powered by a 260-horsepower Lycoming, it evolved quickly to a 300-hp engine. And while the original airplane was brave, courageous, and true, it lacked sizzle. I owned one for several years, flying it well over 1,000 hours, and while the airplane’s capabilities were very much appreciated, I don’t recall ever looking back at it as I walked away, to savor the airplane’s lines. Though comfortable and a capable load carrier, it wasn’t pretty. The tapered wings, landing gear treatment and tasteful paint jobs on the new Saratogas have changed all that. The Saratogas have a long and graceful look that eluded the older airplane. This is especially true of the SP, which rests more nearly level on the ground.

And for those who feel that they can buy a used Six and have as good an airplane as a Saratoga, this is a misconception. The newer airplanes offer a great deal not found on the old ones, and at price that in relative terms is a bargain. The fixed gear Saratoga flown for this report was about $170,000 at the time and included: area navigation gear, a full autopilot, air conditioning, electric flaps, a fancy club-seating interior, and other amenities.

The hallmark of the Saratoga is its cavernous interior. What are the advantages to having an airplane with such a big cabin? It is like having a station wagon. You drive it by yourself much of the time, but it is big enough to carry that 4x8-foot sheet of plywood you need every four years. And when there are three or four riding along, it is spacious. More room than you need is the American way. I love it. A Saratoga has a lot of room for everyone and everything. True, a cruising speed price is paid for the wide body, but 10 knots won’t change your life as much as having all that room in your airplane.

The Saratogas, with all the options, are a little heavier than the old Sixes, but there is still weight allowance for people and baggage, and the fuel supply can be measured to fit the mission when a lot of people go along.

The seats in the Saratogas can be removed quickly to make room for cargo, and the low level of the large rear door openings makes it easy to load. It is true that high-wing airplanes have always found more favor with bush operators, but a Saratoga with big tires, or skies, would seem quite adaptable to bush flying. It was put on floats once, but that project was never a raging success.

The Saratogas have a distinct handling edge over the old Six. The tapered wing does wonders for the airplane. The airfield performance is good, especially at light weight the Saratoga is as friendly at a small airport as it is on an ILS to acres of pavement.

The biggest dilemma would be in choosing between the retractable Saratoga SP and the one with fixed gear. When the two first came out, the SP was 30 grand more, which makes its eight- to 10-knot speed advantage the most expensive option on the airplane. But is it faster, more efficient, and better looking. The practical buyer would crunch the numbers and go for the fixed. The rest of us would probably take the sleek SP.

Toga Party
Richard L. Collins, AOPA Pilot, November 1988

Performance Summary

The airplane is an all metal, seven-place, low wing, single engine airplane equipped with tricycle landing gear.
This airplane is certified in the normal category. In the normal category all aerobatic maneuvers including spins are prohibited. The airplane is approved for day and night VFR/IFR operations when equipped in accordance with F.A.R. 91 or F.A.R 135.

The aircraft is powered by a Lycoming IO-540-K1G5 and is rated at 300 horsepower. It is a six cylinder, normally aspirated, direct drive, air cooled, horizontally opposed, fuel injected engine.

The standard fuel capacity of the airplane is 107 gallons. The inboard tank is attached to the wing structure with screws and nut plates. The outboard tank consists of a bladder fuel cell that is interconnected with the inboard tank. A fuel flush cap is located in the outboard tank only. An electric fuel pump is provided for use in case of failure of the engine driven fuel pump. The electric pump operates from a single switch and independent circuit breaker. Fuel quantity gauges for each of the tanks are located on the left side of the instrument panel.

The 14-volt electrical system includes a 12-volt battery for starting and to back up alternator output. Electrical power is supplied by a 60 ampere alternator.


Saratoga II - History

(Cor.: t. 734 Ibp. 143' b. 36'6" dph. 12'6" cpl. 212
a. 8 long 24-pdrs., 6 42-pdr. car., 12 32-pdr. car.)

The second Saratoga was laid down on 7 March 1814 and launched on 11 April 1814.

Christened on the day that Napoleon abdicated, Saratoga began her service on Lake Champlain as England was turning her attention and resources from the European continent to North America. British strategy envisaged a series of amphibious raids along the American coast as a diversion to cover a lethal thrust south from Canada down the strategic and already historic Lake Champlain-Hudson River corridor.

However, the completion of Saratoga put the United States ahead in the naval construction race on Lake Champlain, and Sir George Prevost, the Governor General of Canada and top British military commander in America, felt that supremacy afloat was a prerequisite to a successful invasion of the United States through the state of New York. He, therefore, delayed the start of his campaign until new naval construction had tipped the balance back in his favor.

Meanwhile, Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough, commander of American naval forces on the lake, took advantage of the edge which Saratoga had given him and sailed to the mouth of the Richelieu River which he blockaded during most of the following summer. Up that stream at Isle aux Noix, the little British fleet, protected by shore batteries and by the river's narrow and tricky channel, waited while English shipwrights worked feverishly to complete Confiance, a 36-gun frigate and the largest warship ever to sail on Lake Champlain. This man-of-war was launched on 25 August and hastily fitted out for battle.

During the construction race, crack British troops— veterans hardened in Wellington's bloody Penisular Campaign-had been rushed from Spain to the St. Lawrence for the impending offensive. Before the end of August, the British Army had begun to march south along the western shore of Lake Champlain. Badly outnumbered, American ground forces withdrew before the English advance, crossed the Saranac River, and took prepared positions on the bluffs which overlook Plattsburg Bay.

Meanwhile, Macdonough, commanding Officer of Saratoga as well as of the other American forces on the lake, had sailed back south proceeded around Cumberland Head, N.Y., and entered Plattsburg Bay. There he deployed his ships across the mouth of the harbor in a strong defensive position where the British fleet could attack them only at a disadvantage, slowly and laboriously approaching the line of American broadsides against the wind and unable to bring most of their guns to bear.

As he awaited the arrival of the enemy, Macdonough dropped kedge anchors and arranged spring lines

which afforded his ships maximum maneuverability. Then he had the crews practice turning their ships so that alternately starboard and port guns would face south.

On the morning of 11 September, when Commodore George Downie led the British squadron around Cumberland Head, Macdonough was ready. As British brig Li?met, approached firing range, she opened the action with a salvo toward Saratoga. All but one of the projectiles fell short and that solid shot was all but spent as it landed on the American corvette, bounced across her deck, and smashed a wooden poultry cage freeing a gamecock. The indignant rooster took to his wings and landed in the rigging. Facing the British warships, the cock defiantly called out challenge to battle.

Macdonough, himself, aimed a long 24-pounder at the bow of Confiance, pulled the lanyard firing Saratoga's first round, and gave the signal, "close action." The shot cut the British flagship's anchor cable, ripped up her deck, and smashed her helm. Then, all the American ships opened fire.

Confiance's first broadside struck Saratoga from point blank range, and the American flagship reeled from the blow. Half of her men were felled by the shock but most of the sailors picked themselves up carried their dead and wounded comrades below, an] returned to the fray. Since Confiance's green gunners failed to reset the elevation of their barrels, each of her subsequent volleys tended to be higher than its predecessor and, while shredding Saratoga's rigging did little structural damage to the ship

After almost two hours' fighting, Saratoga's last serviceable starboard gun, a carronade, broke loose from its carriage and hurtled down the main hatch. Macdonough then dropped a stern anchor cut his bow cable and, with the help of tars hauling on lines to kedge anchors, swung the ship around bringing her fresh, port, broadside guns to bear on the enemy.

The badly battered British flagship, with Downie and her first lieutenant dead, also attempted to wind ship but was unable to do so. Helpless to do further harm to her adversary, Confiance struck her colors.

Then, by pulling on her starboard kedge line, Saratoga's sailors turned the corvette's guns toward Linnet and opened fire. The British brig, although severely damaged and unable to move, gallantly kept up the fight for about an hour before surrendering. At that time, Finch and Chub, the other two relatively large warships in the British squadron, were already in American hands, so the surviving English gunboats fled toward Canada.

Macdonough's victory in Plattsburg Bay left the United States unchallenged on Lake Champlain and forced Prevost to retreat to Canada. This weakened the British position in negotiations at Ghent and enabled American commissioners to secure a favorable rather than a humiliating peace. It also helped to restore American morale after the recent burning of Washington.


Piper Saratoga II TC

Since 1965, Piper's basic PA-32 airframe has served as one of the most popular heavy-haulers in general aviation's piston-single fleet. With a good blend of useful load, cabin comfort, speed, and the access afforded by those huge aft double-doors, these airplanes have hit the spot with more than 6,700 customers. The latest incarnation of this airplane &mdash The New Piper Aircraft Inc.'s Saratoga II TC &mdash keeps this tradition alive.

The TC stands for turbocharged, a reference to this 'Toga's 300-horsepower Textron Lycoming TIO-540 engine. Its turbocharger uses an automatic wastegate controller. In practical terms, this means that the II TC's turbocharger operates almost transparently. For takeoff, simply apply full throttle the wastegate automatically limits manifold pressure to the 38-inch, maximum allowable limit. In the climb, the automatic wastegate holds the manifold pressure to the 38-inch limit. In cruise, once power is set the manifold pressure remains at the selected value. There are none of the airspeed- and rpm-induced manifold pressure excursions so common to older manual or fixed wastegate systems. This automatic control of the turbocharger wastegate (a valve that routes varying amounts of exhaust air through the turbocharger's turbine wheel, which in turn increases manifold pressure) makes the II TC easy on turbo-neophytes.

That said, it's still important to emphasize the traditional turbocharger cautions. Automatic wastegate control is great, but to avoid the big turbo no-no &mdash overboosting manifold pressure (and therefore cylinder pressure) limits &mdash smooth throttle application is strongly advised. Slamming the throttle to the firewall during takeoff could cause a surge past manifold pressure redline, and the result could be damaged internal engine components.

The New Piper offers a nonturbocharged Saratoga &mdash the Saratoga II HP &mdash but it's not as big a seller as the turbo model. In 2001, for example, New Piper reported deliveries of 22 HPs. In contrast, 68 TCs went out the door. This in spite of the turbo's $472,200 standard-equipped price.

Topping Off a 'Toga

Popular options for the Saratoga II TC

Air conditioning $10,685
Built-in oxygen system $7,965
Altitude alerter $3,990
Copilot electric pitch trim $1,795
Copilot instruments $7,865
Goodrich Skywatch and WX-500 Stormscope $35,035

The turbo Saratoga's traditional competition &mdash Raytheon's Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza &mdash offers 200-knot cruise speeds and slightly less useful load than the Saratoga. But at an average-equipped price of some $665,000 it's way out of the running for many new-airplane shoppers. Raytheon delivered 26 new B36TCs in 2001. This year Raytheon plans to deliver five B36TCs, and the company says that the model's future is uncertain.

The whole idea behind turbocharging is to improve performance at higher altitudes. The Saratoga TC turns in a consistent 175 kt at 11,500 feet &mdash a popular cruising neighborhood because oxygen isn't required by regulations. That represents a high-speed cruise condition, with manifold pressure set at 33 inches, propeller rpm set at 2,400 rpm, and a fuel burn of some 20 gph. New Piper says that the TC can do 185 kt at 15,000 feet.

While the Saratoga TC may lag a few knots behind the B36TC, speed isn't everything. Many pilots have found the Saratoga line to be among the most stable, forgiving, and docile big singles on the market. Its stall characteristics are benign, the airplane has great lateral stability, and it rides turbulence in an admirable fashion. This all adds up to a wonderfully stable platform for instrument flying. It's as close to a hands-off, ride-on-the-rails airplane as you can find. And for a 300-hp airplane it's remarkably quiet, too.

Step into the cockpit and there's a definite big-airplane feel &mdash something you'd expect from a 3,600-pound six-seater. In flight the controls are a tad heavy &mdash again, something you'd expect &mdash but that same heaviness is what makes the airplane stay put during instrument approaches. The cockpit is roomy, and the panel has a very upscale look to it, what with the standard Garmin/S-Tec avionics package. This includes a Garmin GNS 530/430 setup, the S-Tec System 55 dual-axis autopilot, a slaved horizontal situation indicator (HSI), and a flight director. Leather seats are also standard, with the pilot's seat having inflatable lumbar support.

What New Piper calls a digital display-monitoring panel (DDMP) sits atop a dual vertical stack of engine instruments. The DDMP lets you select any number of engine parameters by means of a rotary switch. Fuel status, electrical system, power setting (expressed in percentage of maximum horsepower), and engine vital statistics all can be displayed on the DDMP. The percent-power mode is especially handy in setting power. For example, simply adjust manifold pressure, rpm, and mixture until you see 75-percent power on the DDMP, and you're there.

The turbine inlet temperature (TIT) gauge is an important one. It measures temperature at the input side of the turbocharger, and it's redlined at 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit. Stray above it and you risk damage to both turbo and engine. Unlike the automatic wastegate's control over manifold pressure overboosts, the turbocharger has no fail-safe mechanisms to protect it against overtemps. That's the pilot's job.

Back in the 1970s, when thousands of Saratogas were sold, a popular magazine ad showed a baby grand piano being loaded into a Cherokee Six (the Saratoga's predecessor, and the first in the PA-32 line). It was an unusual sight, and yes, you could squeeze a baby grand through those aft doors, and yes, it would fit in the cabin. That same roomy cabin marks today's Saratogas, but now the interior is plusher than the red-velvet look of the disco days. You might still be able to stuff a piano in a new Saratoga, but with all that leather trim you'd think twice &mdash and you'd certainly have to remove the seats.

With a little practice, flying the Saratoga is a breeze. You may have to crane your head a bit to see over that huge snout (which has a forward baggage compartment) during ground operations, but that's something you get accustomed to. Rotate at 80 kt, climb out at 95, and make sure you have 80 to 90 kt on final approach. Cross the fence, close the throttle, let the airspeed bleed off to 70 kt over the numbers, hold the nose off, and you'll arrive in style.

New Piper provides three days of simulator-based pilot training with the purchase of each new Saratoga. Those new to complex aircraft often opt to fly with a flight instructor or seasoned high-timer for the first year of ownership &mdash to gain valuable experience and make a safe, orderly transition to solo operations. That's a particularly good idea when stepping up to an airplane like the TC. Which brings us to what must be the only sore point in the Saratoga's history.

Plug "Piper Saratoga" into an Internet search engine and there it is: John F. Kennedy Jr.'s fatal crash of July 16, 1999. In their ignorance &mdash and eagerness to fix blame &mdash some news commentators were quick to pounce on a few key words. The Saratoga is a complex, high-performance airplane, they kept emphasizing, and in a way that betrayed their unfamiliarity with aviation terminology. Certainly this intricate speed demon must have been a big factor in the accident's cause.

The fact is that Saratogas &mdash even Saratoga II TCs &mdash are, relative to some other comparable makes, extremely well-mannered. Yes, they do fall within the definition of a complex, high-performance airplane. As such, they demand that their pilots be well-trained and proficient you could say that of all airplanes. Kennedy didn't have an instrument rating (something that all pilots of larger, capable singles like the Saratoga should have) flew into a dark, hazy night devoid of visual references over Long Island Sound and entered unusual attitudes. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that Kennedy lost control of his airplane because of spatial disorientation. That wasn't the airplane's fault.

In the aftermath of the Kennedy accident, insurance companies began to raise their requirements for Saratoga coverage. Generally speaking, they want to see 250 hours total time, an instrument rating, and 75 hours in type before insuring a Saratoga pilot for solo flight.

"I see two basic types of Saratoga TC customers," says Gary Saunders, president of Columbia Aircraft Center, a Groton, Connecticut, New Piper dealership. "One is the high-time pilot. Maybe he's been flying turboprops like the [Piper] Cheyenne but now he doesn't want or need that kind of complexity anymore he remembers his old, faithful friend, the Saratoga, the one he used to fly a while back. And he wants to go back to that it's kind of like that for the new Archers, too.

"The other customer, believe it or not, is the new pilot. They want to skip right past the smaller planes and go right to the airplane they want to ultimately fly. They get their instrument ratings, then hire a pilot to fly with them for six months or a year while they learn the ropes."

The Saratoga II TC is an important airplane in The New Piper's product mix. A step-up program lets Warrior and Archer owners trade up to a Saratoga at a preagreed price, and Saratoga owners can do the same if they decide to move up to a Mirage or Meridian. The Saratoga bridges the gap between New Piper's piston and pressurized models and, as always, serves as an uncomplaining, stylish hauler for both the owner-flown and charter markets.

SPEC SHEET

For more information, contact The New Piper Aircraft Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960 telephone 772/567-4361 fax 772/770-2237 or visit the Web site ( www.newpiper.com).

All specifications are based on manufacturer's calculations. All performance figures are based on standard day, standard atmosphere, sea level, gross weight conditions unless otherwise noted.


New photo book traces history of Hakone Gardens in Saratoga

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For decades, Hakone Estate and Gardens has been one of Santa Clara County’s treasures, a traditional Japanese garden nestled away in the hills of Saratoga. Countless people visit every year to see the cherry blossoms in bloom or to just bask in the quiet beauty. It’s one of those places where people say they can’t believe it exists just miles away from jammed freeways and bustling downtowns. But it’s a safe bet that most people don’t know much about its fascinating history.

That’s changing as its story is being told through hundreds of photographs, along with text, in “Hakone Estates and Gardens,” a new volume in the Images of America series published last week. It’s written by two women who know Hakone better than just about anyone: Ann Waltonsmith, chairwoman of the Hakone Foundation and a former Saratoga mayor, and Connie Young Yu, a historian and Hakone Foundation trustee whose family was a part owner of the property in the 1960s.

It begins with Isabel Longdon Stine, whose impressions of the Japan pavilion at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition inspired her to turn 15 acres in Saratoga into Hakone. The history continues with Maj. Charles Lee Tilden, who purchased the property from Stine during the Great Depression, when she could no longer afford it, and the six couples — including Connie Young Yu’s family — who purchased it together in 1961 and held it until the city of Saratoga bought the property in 1966. Along the way, the book celebrates other people important to Hakone’s survival, like James Sasaki, who was Hakone’s lead gardener for 30 years, except for the 3½ years he was interned during World War II.

“Throughout a century, the garden survived a national depression, racist policies, and threats of land redevelopment,” Waltonsmith and Yu write in the introduction, noting that the Japanese garden was saved for posterity for 50 years by three sets of owners who were all non-Japanese. “These were extraordinary individuals who pushed back against the prejudice, xenophobia and nativism of their respective times. They possessed a moral compass and gave Hakone its soul.”

BAY AREA SUPPORTS INDIA’S COVID FIGHT: A virtual conversation between International cricket stars Rahul Dravid and Mike Atherton was a huge hit for a good cause last weekend. The chat — moderated by Anshu Jain, president of U.S. financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald — drew more than 350 viewers and raised $20,000 in one hour during “Live Aid India,” a 24-hour marathon fundraiser hosted by Bay Area virtual events platform FeelitLIVE.

The event included appearances by Opera San Jose, the San Jose State University Choraliers, Bollywood dance troupe NachleSF, singer-songwriters Sonam Kalra and Druv Kent, Indian industrialist Nadir Godrej and even more cricket players, coaches and commentators.

Funds raised will go to the Navjyoti India Foundation, a charity founded by Dr. Kiran Bedi which has been working to provide COVID relief and intervention programs in underserved communities in India. Donations will pay for PPE, vaccine awareness and registration drives, nutrition kits and food. You can watch replays (and still donate) at feelit.live/LiveAidIndia.

ARIA READY FOR A RADIO SHOW?: Opera San Jose General Director Khori Dastoor invited me backstage a few weeks ago to check out the production of the company’s May 22 fundraiser, “Sing for Your Supper,” at its Heiman Digital Media Studio in North San Jose. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun, with bass-baritone Nathan Stark and soprano Maya Kherani — along with other Opera San Jose resident artists — putting on a 1930s radio show, performing hit songs of the time by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin. (I was persuaded to slip into costume for a cameo as an announcer for a commercial break I will not wait for the Tony nomination.)


Governor Cuomo Announces Grand Reopening of Historic Roosevelt II Bathhouse at Saratoga Spa State Park

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand reopening of the historic Roosevelt II Bathhouse at Saratoga Spa State Park. First opened in 1935 by former New York governor and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the iconic Georgian Revival-style bathhouse has been closed since falling into disuse in the 1980s. The bathhouse's reopening is part of a $2.3 million transformational project that is restoring and improving upon the grandeur of the Roosevelt Baths.

"The Roosevelt II Bathhouse is a living piece of New York history that once provided a natural luxury experience to everyday New Yorkers, and by breathing new life into the facility visitors will once again find themselves enjoying the peace and beauty of Saratoga's natural springs," Governor Cuomo said. "New York's parks are a national treasure and we will continue our hard work across the state to not only maintain them, but make them better than ever and true must-see destinations."

Under the NY Parks 2020 initiative, the bathhouse's historic lobby has been restored, new restrooms installed, new heating, ventilation and plumbing systems added, toxic asbestos removed, and programming space added for a planned artistic and wellness center.

Future plans include use of a portion of the 18,000 square-foot facility by the not-for-profit group COESA, which will use 2,700 square feet to offer retreat experiences and classes in personal well-being, leadership, meditation, professional wellness training, and work-life balance. The facility will open once state regulations aimed at preventing spread of COVID-19 allow.

"This bathhouse will be returning to its original purpose - the enjoyment, well-being and relaxation of those who visit," State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. "I commend Governor Cuomo for bringing this historic facility back to life."

The new coffee shop will be operated by Saratoga County-based Wired Coffee, which currently operates cafes in Malta and the city of Albany.

COESA Executive Director Wendy Page said, "As an innovative wellness and leadership center, COESA is mindful about opening our doors when it is safe to do so. During the pandemic, we quickly mobilized to create a video series, Rising Together, collaborating with local, national and international practitioners to assist our community in this uncertain time. COESA will continue the momentum of our video series with focused online offerings and our collaboration with SPAC in outdoor classes as we work towards our official opening."

The COESA facility is across from the Roosevelt Baths and Spa, and is part of the Roosevelt Campus, which includes Parks administrative offices and the Spa Little Theater, as well as two mirror-image mineral water public bathing facilities, and the magnificent Hall of Springs.

After the baths were dedicated by President Roosevelt, who was a proponent of curative mineral baths, the facility offered baths until early 1943, when it was converted into a military hospital for disabled veterans. After construction of the Veterans Administration hospital in Albany, the facility was used by State Parks as office space, a restoration shop and storage until the building was closed in the late 1980s.

There is 12,000 feet remaining in the renovated bathhouse to be redeveloped in the future. In 2019, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center received $2 million in Regional Economic Development Council funding to offer substantial new opportunities for public use of the space.

This upcoming renovation follows Governor Cuomo's announcement of the $9.5 million visitor services improvement project at SPAC, which is slated to be completed in 2020. These projects follow the 2019 renovation of the amphitheater ramps, made possible by a $1.75 million allocation from New York State Parks.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, President and CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said, "The architecture and unique history of this building, coupled with its setting in the picturesque Saratoga Spa State Park, made it an ideal candidate for renovation and adaptive reuse - and, when fully reopened, once again a place for visitors to relax and explore."

Senator Daphne Jordan said, "Today's opening of the Roosevelt Bathhouse II is a terrific day for Saratoga and New York State. This project represents the successful realization of careful planning, community collaboration, and significant, sustained state financial investments that will ensure Saratoga Spa State Park remains a true treasure of our State Park System. This project's innovative partnership with COSEA will provide more opportunities for health, wellness, and relaxation programming, which is critically important. This facility is steeped in a venerable history and the many facility enhancements including restoration of the historic lobby, installation of new restrooms, and the addition of new heating, plumbing, and ventilation, will ensure that we preserve an incredible past for the enjoyment of future generations. I'm proud to be part of this historic unveiling and want to thank State Parks Commissioner Kulleseid and Governor Cuomo for their commitment to seeing this project through to fruition for the betterment of our Saratoga community."

Assemblymember Carrie Woerner said, "As a strong advocate of historic preservation, I am so thrilled to see the restoration of the Roosevelt Baths II. I want to thank the Governor for his assistance and welcome COESA to the Spa State Park. The health and wellness programming that they will provide to visitors and residents alike will be a wonderful addition to the park and the Roosevelt Campus."

Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly said, "The completion of the Roosevelt Baths II represents another link in the chain of progress happening in Saratoga Springs: continually building and rebuilding without ever losing sight of our past or heritage. I want to extend my sincere thanks to everybody involved with this project, a project that has further refined our already exceptional Spa State Park. I look forward to working with our new patterns, COESA, and our existing ones, and wish everybody involved with this project the best of luck in the future."

President & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center Elizabeth Sobol said, "SPAC treasures its location in the Spa State Park, surrounded by exquisite nature and historic architectural gems. Seeing Roosevelt II begin to come to life is truly one of the most exciting things I have experienced here since beginning my tenure at SPAC. We are so delighted to welcome our new Parks Partner, COESA, onto the campus and look forward to all the wonderful new health and wellness programming they will be bringing into the Park."


Piper Saratoga II TC: It’s All About Comfort

The runway we had just landed on wasn’t bad by Alaskan standards: A combination of dirt and grass, probably 1,800 feet long, but mostly unimproved and pretty rough for anything but bush planes—or so I thought.

It was the summer of 1993, and we had arrived a half hour earlier in Art Hindley’s Cessna 180 on oversized bush tires, plopping down and using less than a fourth of the abbreviated “runway.” Hindley was truly an artist at insinuating his Cessna into places it didn’t belong. Our reason for being there, somewhere north of Tazlina near the Glenn Highway, was mostly because we could. Nothing there to attract us except Alaska’s usual commodities: spectacular scenery, moose, bear, foxes and the ever-present snowshoe rabbits, busily hopping everywhere and creating more rabbits.

The silence was deafening. Just as we were reveling in the sheer joy of total isolation in this northern paradise, we heard an aircraft engine and watched in amazement as a Piper Saratoga circled our little strip, lowered its gear and set up an approach.

“This should be interesting,” said Hindley as we watched the aircraft turn short final, expecting the worst. Instead, we watched the big Piper squat expertly onto the first 100 feet of turf and use little more horizontal distance than we had used to stop. As the Piper taxied by, we noticed that the airplane seemed to be filled with huskies—though it did have a human pilot. I also noticed that it had no gear doors, the better to clear the potholes.

It was probably one of the most beat-up Turbo Saratogas I’d ever seen, obviously ridden hard and put away wet. The pilot, a bearded free spirit from Dawson Creek, shut down, let his three Siberians out the back door, walked over, shook hands and smiled at our amusement at his unconventional bush plane.

“Yeah,” he laughed, “it’s a pretty unlikely bush bird, with the low wing, nosewheel and retractable gear, and I certainly can’t go everywhere you guys can, but it more than makes up for that with its huge cabin, wide, flat floor and big cargo doors. Plus, I have a quick-change interior that lets me go from all cargo to all seats in a few minutes. On top of that, the turbocharger helps me get out of some of these places up high and lifts me over the mountains.”

Hindley and I watched as he unloaded some lumber and building materials from the back of his Saratoga, stacked them neatly near the makeshift runway, rounded up his dogs and headed off toward Fairbanks, planning to fly over the mountains rather than through the passes like us.

Indeed, turbocharging has come a long way in a relatively short time. In the ’70s and ’80s, I owned or operated a succession of airplanes with turbochargers under their bonnets, from Senecas and Navajos to Mooneys and Turbo Arrows, and much of the time, it seemed the technology simply wasn’t ready for prime time. I bought a new, turbocharged single in 1979 to help solve a tax problem, and it did just that. It also ate turbochargers so often, I wound up paying much of my tax savings back to the shop over the eight years that I owned the airplane.

Whether you’re flying one of the current nine-pack of turbo singles—Cessna 400, Stationair TC or Skylane TC Cirrus SR22 Turbo Mooney Acclaim Piper Mirage, Matrix, 6XT or Saratoga II TC—turbocharging offers all the talents of compressed power without the maintenance downside associated with its predecessors.

Take, for instance, the aforementioned Piper Saratoga II TC, a defender of the type for more than three decades. Of the group above, only the Stationair has embraced turbocharging longer. The current retractable Saratoga, descended from the Lance of 1976 through 1979, is an airplane that continues to sell, if not well, at least consistently. There are few San Andreas–level faults left in an airplane this old, and if true airframe/powerplant innovations are few, the 2007 model PA32R-301T soldiers on into its fourth decade of production with a minimum of warts.

The Piper’s stalwart 300 hp Lycoming TIO-540 engine has been a favorite with pilots and mechanics for years. Putting aside the traditional Lycoming/Continental debate, the Saratoga II TC’s TIO-540-AH1A has a justifiably durable reputation. It’s a version of a similar engine previously installed in pairs in the Piper Aerostar 700, Navajo Chieftain and Mojave (not to mention the Mirage and Matrix) and rated for 350 hp in those applications. Just as with Piper’s twins and premier single, TBO is 2,000 hours, though it’s perhaps more regularly attainable in the derated PA32R-301T.

The current Saratoga II TC’s blower preserves the engine’s full sea-level power to the high teens, which means you can pull an easy 75% at 20,000 feet. More importantly, it means you’ll still have sea-level power available for any reasonable high/hot departures.

If high speed at high altitude is the most glamorous attraction of turbocharging, the ability to operate safely in situations where normally aspirated airplanes would be grounded is the primary operational benefit. Need to leap out of Leadville or Telluride on a hot July afternoon? The Saratoga II TC will oblige.

Over the years, we’ve flown a variety of PA32s that put the wheels to bed, and there’s little question that the current model is the best of the bunch, though it’s little changed from the original. Piper got it right the first time out of the box, and while the current airplane is a significantly improved machine with optional Garmin G1000 avionics, Piper Inadvertent Icing Protection System and enough other options to make an Airbus captain green with envy, the basic fuselage/airfoil shape remains essentially the same as that of the first semitapered-wing Saratoga of 1980.

Passengers will enjoy the spacious and comfortable cabin, with leather seats and plenty of leg room.

The 2007 Saratoga II TC provided to us by Mike Gordon of High Performance Aircraft (www.socalpiper.com) on Gillespie Field in San Diego, Calif., was certainly the most comfortable and accessible of the lot, fitted with air-conditioning, the big, double, left aft doors and two large baggage compartments.

In fact, comfort and convenience have always been the Saratoga’s bywords. If turbocharging helps define the mission of a Saratoga II TC, comfort is its true raison d’etre. Prior to the recent introduction of the Piper Matrix (which was covered in the April 2008 issue read the article here), the Saratoga was generally regarded as the most comfortable, unpressurized, six-seat piston single in the sky, and it’s still an impressive place to visit for a few hours or a few days. It’s slightly wider than any non-Piper, and with the air-conditioning option, it offers perhaps the ultimate in creature comfort.

The Saratoga’s front pit measures more than four feet across, broad enough to accommodate even the largest pilots. Passengers relegated to the rear won’t feel second class in any sense, as dimensions remain friendly, and there’s enough cabin length in the rear to prevent foot or leg overlapping in opposing seats.

Baggage goes aboard in either of two compartments, one aft of the rear seats rated for 100 pounds and another, separate container between the forward cabin and engine firewall, worth another 100 pounds. In addition to helping balance any aft load, that forward space serves other purposes. It insulates the cockpit from some of the sound and vibration out front, plus its proximity to the engine compartment automatically keeps things warm up front.

Fuel capacity on the big Piper is 102 gallons, providing pilots with the flexibility to fly with lots of fuel or lots of people, but not both. Standard useful load runs around 1,140 pounds, so it’s apparent that full tanks would leave only about 400 paying pounds. If the required endurance is only an hour or so, you could leave 60 gallons in the truck and fly with nearly five folks (or perhaps four plus two).

In fact, short stage lengths are more the rule than the exception. Several years ago, the National Business Aircraft Association surveyed its members and discovered that the average business flight was only 352 nm. And remember, this is in a class that consists of mostly turboprops and jets. Many pilots simply fill the tanks out of knee-jerk habit, but it costs fuel to haul fuel. Accordingly, many pilots are learning to carry only what they need.

The Saratoga’s gear can be dropped at speeds of up to 132 knots.

As with any six-seater, the Saratoga II TC is a heavyweight on the controls, featuring smooth but slow ailerons and muted pitch response. That’s as it should be in a 3,600-pound single. The PA32 series was never designed for ultimate speed or maneuverability. The intention was to create a good heavy hauler with comfort in mind.

Oxygen is an option in the PA32R, but the nature of the airplane is such that few pilots will fly it in rarefied air. Still, cruise at 11,500 to 12,500 feet will yield a slight advantage from the turbo. You should expect about 175 to 178 knots at heights of up to 12,000 feet, 180 knots at 14,500 feet. In other words, if you’re willing to fly tall in the southern half of the country, you could expect to cover the country, coast to coast, in a single day.

No one suggested such performance would be cheap, however. Fuel burn at max cruise is on the order of 19 gph, 17 gph pulled back to 65%. In this day, when avgas costs more than reasonably priced Chablis, you can expect to pay about $100 hourly for fuel, so a coast-to-coast hop will run about $1,000 for petrol. But remember that you could theoretically be transporting more than one person.

Payload can be pretty much whatever you wish. If you don’t need to transport a team of huskies, there are a myriad of other items that will fit. With the seats removed, you can load almost anything you want into the big cabin. Piper used to run ads showing three workmen loading a small piano into the back of a PA32. That’s not as much of a stretch as you might imagine.

Base price for a Saratoga II TC is $573,500. A fully blissed-out airplane—fitted with air-conditioning, the optional Garmin G1000 avionics suite (Avidyne’s Flight Max Entegra flat-panel display is standard equipment) and all the other options most pilots order—brings the total to considerably more than that. The fully equipped airplane we flew from High Performance Aircraft had a $621,576 sticker price.

That’s still about $127,000 less than the new Piper Matrix, a true cabin-class machine that carries more pounds and flies faster, but offers less loading flexibility. Like all airplanes, the Saratoga II TC is a compromise between speed and utility, efficiency and capability, comfort and economy, but many pilots feel the trade-offs work to Piper’s advantage.


Historical photos: Saratoga Springs through the years

4 of 291 Broadway, between Spring and Phila Streets on May 26, 1938. Standing to the right is Thomas F. MacGovern. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

5 of 291 August 7, 1956 Saratoga Races (people attending) A new season at Saratoga Opening day at the Saratoga Race Track yesterday found many Albany residents lunching at the clubhouse and tyring their luck at the parimutuels windows. Among those in the clubhouse were, left to right on the near side of the table: Mrs. George Horohoe, Miami, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Burke and William Fagan of Albany. On the far side, left to right, are: Mrs. Alfred Hurst, Mrs. William Fagan and Mr. Hurst. Mr. Fagan and Mr. Hurst are associated in the Capitol Buick Company. (The Knickerbocker News) Show More Show Less

7 of 291 This looks like the Jim Dandy Bar on the first floor of the clubhouse. Not sure what it was called on Aug. 28, 1940. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred G. Vanderbilt sitting in their box seat the track in 1946. Vanderbilt, a driving force behind racing in America for most of the 20th century, has a current Spa race -- the A.G. Vanderbilt -- named for him. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection)

10 of 291 The backstretch at Saratoga Race Course on July 26, 1920. Some things look the same as they do today. Other things, like that car, do not. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

11 of 291 Canfield Casino, actual date unknown. Depending on who you talk to, the Casino, which is now part museum, is haunted. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

13 of 291 Two unidentified men are all dressed up and ready for a day at the races on Aug. 9, 1941. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

14 of 291 An outdoor terrace at the racetrack on a sunny Aug. 28 of 1937. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

16 of 291 A look at the clubhouse from outside on Aug. 28, 1940. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

17 of 291 The Colonial Tavern on Briadway on Aug. 25, 1946. (Photo courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

19 of 291 The porch outside the steward's offices in 1935. It's still there today. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

20 of 291 A look down the clubhouse's box seats, which start at the finish line. It appears as though the track was putting in a new row of boxes in 1935. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

22 of 291 The clubhouse box seats are all set up and ready to go in 1935. All it needs now is some people. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

23 of 291 Looks like lunchtime at the Spa on Aug. 28, 1937. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

A box seat full of people in a clubhouse box at the Spa, date unknown. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection)

The crowded second floor dining area at the Spa in 1929. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection)

Don't think they would allow the cars to be parked outside the track today. They did, though, on Aug. 3, 1940. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection)

29 of 291 Horses and riders make their way to the track from the paddock, date unknown. The average fan could really get up and close and personal with the thoroughbreds back then. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

31 of 291 A shot of Broadway and the old Colonial Tavern on Aug. 25, 1946. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

32 of 291 This was during World War II, and, on April 2, 1943, check out what was playing at the Congress Theater. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

34 of 291 A shot of the Adelphi Hotel on Broadway, early 1970s. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

35 of 291 Hope Lauder enjoys a day at the races on Aug. 3, 1940. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

37 of 291 People head for the grandstand on Aug. 28, 1937. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

38 of 291 Some people are walking, some are sitting on the clubhouse lawn on Aug. 3, 1940. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

40 of 291 A look at Broadway from Spring Street in 1938. The marquee from the Congress Theater is visible. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

41 of 291 Railbirds watch the action during the 1919 meet at the Spa. Did all these guys go the same store to buy their hats? (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

43 of 291 Here's the paddock at the Spa, date unknown, but it wasn't last summer. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

44 of 291 Duke Elllington and his orchestra made a trip through the Spa in the winter of a date unknown. The tour bus got to park right in front of the Adelphi Hotel. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

46 of 291 A view of the Congress Theater and Tap Room on Broadway on July 9, 1946. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

47 of 291 Race fans get an up close and personal look at the ponies on July 29, 1975. Note the paddock fence is a lot higher these days. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

49 of 291 Buy Photo Horses are led up Circular Street (past the Batcheller Mansion) to the track on July 15, 1934. There were no horse vans back then . all the horses came up from New York via train and then walked up to the track. (The Knickerbocker Press) Show More Show Less

50 of 291 Jockey Angel Cordero Jr. signs an autograph for a fan as he walks to the paddock before a race on Aug. 4, 1985.Some things at the track never change. (Tom LaPoint/Times Union) Show More Show Less

52 of 291 Sara Roz from the Town of Saratoga, aged 10, shows how much she likes the Spa spring water at the Hathorn Spring on Spring Street on July 29, 1993. Her dad Steve, and 12-year-old sister Katie, think it's all pretty funny. (Paul D. Knickern Sr./Times Union) Show More Show Less

53 of 291 . And they're off at Saratoga! Opening day on Aug. 3, 1950. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Construction is underway for a parking lot on Broadway in the Spa City on Nov. 27, 1979. You know it as the lot between Lillian's and Cantina. (Bob Richey/Times Union)

56 of 291 As you can see by the dress, Aug. 22, 1964 was a cold day at the racetrack. Temperatures were in the low 60s and the conditions were described as rainy, foggy and cloudy. The summer place to be, indeed! (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

58 of 291 The annual Antique Show at the Canfield Casino, this version from Aug. 12, 1993. Pictured from the left are co-chairperson Remigia Foy, chairperson Minnie Bolster and Dr. B. Cullen Burris of Burris Antiques in Schenectady. (Steve Jacobs/Times Union) Show More Show Less

Looks like a pretty nice day at the track on Aug. 18, 1954. The people sitting in the box seat are not identified. Anyone know who they are? (Times Union Archives)

Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner, is led towards the track on Aug. 6, 1978. He is being watched at the right by owner Louis Wolfson, trainer Laz Barrera and owner Patrice Wolfson. (Times Union Archives)

62 of 291 Alydar, the rival of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed, is led off the horse van on July 29, 1978. Alydar would beat Affirmed in the Travers Stakes, but got the win via disqualification. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

64 of 291 The great Kelso, who was Horse of the Year five straight years (1960-64) is shown grazing at Saratoga on July 31, 1962. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

65 of 291 Here's a view of the cubhouse and grandstand at Saratoga in 1946. Obviously, they weren't racing on this day. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

67 of 291 The streets are a little busy on the Spa's main drag on Aug. 3, 1982, the day before the races started that summer. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

68 of 291 People always liked to watch the jockeys weigh in before the races. And, back in the day, they could do it all day. No date on this photo, but, the guy on the far left has a Racing Form with Riva Ridge in the headline. That would make it the early 1970s. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Yes, the infield used to be open for people -- and geese. It looks as though the New York Racing Association had a giveaway on this day. Check out the painter hats everyone is wearing. (Times Union Archives)

71 of 291 A race goes off on Aug. 1, 1939. No Saratoga on the starting gate. Would like to know what happened to that horse to the far left. It looks like he came running over from the Oklahoma Training Track. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Looking down and up Phila Street towards Broadway. This shot was taken on Feb. 26, 1981. (Times Union Archives)

Yes, they actually used to have a media race at the annual Open House at the Spa. Bad idea. Real thoroughbreds that could really run. It's amazing no one got killed. This photo was taken sometime in the 1980s. (Times Union Archives)

76 of 291 A couple of horses work out on the main track on July 31, 1959. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

77 of 291 A crowd of people get ready to leave the Saratoga infield and return to the clubhouse and grandstand. Fans had to wait between races to make the trek back and forth from the infield. This photo is not dated. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

79 of 291 A group of horses make their way towards the main track on the Saratoga backstretch on July 31, 1941. Some things just never change. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

80 of 291 A field of horses head to the post on Aug. 1, 1939. Notice how well dressed most of the people are. Also, notice how the track's apron was grass way back when. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

82 of 291 The crowd at the Bijou Night Club in the Spa City on an August night in the early 1990s. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

83 of 291 The crowd on Broadway on Aug. 18, 1981. Lunch at Yesterday's or sidewalk shopping seems to be a pretty good way to spend a sunny Spa afternoon. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

85 of 291 The 1970 induction class for the Saratoga National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. From left to right: Eddie Nelroy, trainer of Buckpasser, trainer Marion Van Berg, Ogden Phipps, owner/breeder of Buckpasser, Gerard S. Smith, Museum Vice-President who presented the awards, John A. Morris, who accepted for jockey Gil Patrick, jockey Frank Coltilletti and steeplechase jockey Frank Adams. (Courtesy of NYRA) Show More Show Less

86 of 291 Here was a common practice. People used to leave programs or racing forms on their chairs to make sure no one else sat in them. This picture was taken on Aug. 16, 1962. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

88 of 291 Here's a shot of Saratoga Race Course on July 24, 1937. There are a few things different now, like the section of stands up the track that are no longer there. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Fans wait out the rain on July 31, 1961. The photographer, Bernard Kolenberg of Wyantskill, was killed in a plane crash in Vietnam in 1965. He was among one of the first American journalists killed during the war. At the time, Kolenberg was on assignment with the Associated Press. The AP has an annual award in his honor every year. (Bernard Kolenberg/Times Union)

91 of 291 It was billed as the new grandstand gardens at the track back on July 23, 1985. (Paul Kniskern/Times Union) Show More Show Less

92 of 291 The exterior of The Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1933. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

94 of 291 An auction at the Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1952. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

95 of 291 Exterior of the Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1937. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

97 of 291 The Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1952. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

98 of 291 Postcard of hand-painted photograph of the Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY, 1870. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

100 of 291 The post office at the corner of Broadway and Church Street in September, 1971. (Times Union/Roberta Smith) (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

101 of 291 Nancy Sweet-Escott, left and Pierritte Dufort are ready to answer any questions patrons have on Aug. 17, 1971. (Bill Wilder/Times Union) Show More Show Less

103 of 291 Race fans flock towards the clubhouse and the grandstand. The escalator, still in use today, may have been in its early days in this undated photo. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Track season is over and life is getting back to normal on Broadway in September, 1971. (Times Union Archives)

A look down Broadway on Feb. 18, 1985. (Times Union Archives)

107 of 291 Laura Vega, right of Greenwich, gives Mrs. Robert Hubbell of Scotia some tips on Saratoga restaurants while working in the Spa's information booth near Congress Park on July 24, 1987.(Paul D. Kniskern Sr./Times Union) Show More Show Less

109 of 291 John Pastor of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, checks out a painting in on Aug. 6, 1951. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

110 of 291 This is Broadway in July of 1986. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

112 of 291 Paula LaRue, left, is shown with her winning entry of a contest in Saratoga Springs in 1976. Also pictured is George VanWagner, the chairman of the Saratoga Bicentennial Committee, and Spa City mayor Raymond Watkin. (Roberta Smith/Times Union) Show More Show Less

113 of 291 Horses are getting ready to go to the track from the barn area in a photo that is undated. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

115 of 291 A big group of horses are out for their morning exercise at Saratoga on July 31, 1931. Notice that the exercise riders are not wering helmets. These days, they have to wear them and also flak jackets. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Fans are milling out outside the clubhouse and the escalator is in full service on Aug. 26, 1964. (Times Union Archives)

118 of 291 This fallen tree doesn't seem to bother these hearty race fans on Aug. 1, 1983. There is no information given why the tree fell, but it looks like perhaps a lightning strike. Or maybe not. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

119 of 291 Looking north on Broadway on July 16, 1973. (Bob Richey/Times Union) Show More Show Less

121 of 291 Robert Bomkamp rolls some supplies -- cold drink cups -- into the clubhouse as preparations are made for the opening of another Spa season. This was taken some time in the 1980s. (Fred McKinney/Times Union) Show More Show Less

122 of 291 Here is the class of 1974 for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. From left to right: owner Penny Tweedy (accepting for 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat), jockey Conn McCreary, and trainer Charlie Whittingham. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

124 of 291 Members of high society used to come into the track on opening day in horse drawn carriages, like this parade on July 31, 1986. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Show More Show Less

125 of 291 We believe this is the jockey's house (known as the jockey Y) across the street from the track. This picture was taken on Aug. 16, 1931. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

127 of 291 The traffic builds on Aug. 21, 1978 in Saratoga Springs. Not sure what street this is. (Ray Summers/Times Union) Show More Show Less

Back in 1968, these are what hostesses from the New York Racing Association were decked out in. Anyone know who these ladies are? (Times Union Archives)

This is how they used to resurface the race track between races. This picture was taken on Aug. 2, 1934. There must have been a long time between each race, don't you think? (Times Union Archives)

131 of 291 This is an aerial shot of Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 13, 1977. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Here is a look at Saratoga Raceway, the harness track, from June 19, 1951. (Times Union Archives)

134 of 291 Bags full of money are brought out of the Adirondack Trust Bank's Church Street exit on Aug. 16, 1952. the money, which was being closely watched by armed guards, was on the way to Saratoga Race Course. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

136 of 291 Here is another aerial view of Saratoga Race Course, this one from July 2, 1965. The meet had not yet started that year. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

137 of 291 The hoses head for home in a claiming race for 3-year-olds on Aug. 4, 1938. The winner of the race, and the horse in front, was named Prowl, an 8-1 shot. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

139 of 291 Here's the way they resurfaced the track between races in 1964. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

140 of 291 The crowd at the races on Aug. 6, 1946. Most people are pretty gussied up. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

142 of 291 A look at the track from the infield on Aug. 17, 1946. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

143 of 291 Horses head to the track from the paddock for one of the first races of the 1953 meet. The 85th season opened on Aug. 4, 1953. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

145 of 291 A horse gets a new pair of shoes from a blacksmith on the backstretch of Saratoga Race Course in August of 1969. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

146 of 291 The staff of waiters at Newman's Lake House on Oct. 26, 1947. Looks like they're serving dessert. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

148 of 291 The front plazza of the Grand Union Hotel on Broadway in 1932. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

149 of 291 A look at the enormous United States Hotel from the corner of Broadway and Division Street on Aug. 21, 1939. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

151 of 291 Here is the United States Hotel from the front and north side in 1910. Notice the mode of transportation then was automobile as well as the horse drawn carriage. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

152 of 291 The Arrowhead Inn, one of several lake houses in the Spa City that were used for illegal gambling back in the day. This photo was taken on Aug. 27, 1940. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

154 of 291 Marylou Whitney, center, with Donald and Marla Trump. (Courtesy Marylou Whitney) Show More Show Less

155 of 291 Marylou Whitney, right, visits with Kay Leach and Mrs. Ogden Phipps at Saratoga Performing Arts Center's opening night on July 8, 1966. SPAC is honoring Whitney's support of the venue and local arts with an engraved star. (Photo provided) Show More Show Less

157 of 291 Marylou Whitney arrives to the Wizard of Oz. (Courtesy Marylou Whitney) Show More Show Less

Marylou Whitney and Tony Randall (Courtesy Marylou Whitney)

160 of 291 Unidentified singers at the Meadow Brook Lake House on Feb. 19, 1946. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

161 of 291 A look from the outside at the Piping Rock Lake House Club on Sept. 10, 1934. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

163 of 291 A look from outside Newman's Lake House on Oct. 3, 1938. . (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

164 of 291 George Crum, the cook at Moon's Lake House, is shown here in 1853. As the story goes, Crum was the inventor of the potato chip. On Aug. 24, 1853, a disgruntled customer complained that his french fries were too thick, and Crum, not happy about that, sliced the potatoes super thin, fried them to a crisp and put plenty of salt on them. He expected the customer to hate them. He loved them and the potato chip was born. Or so they say. (Courtesy of Saratoga Historical Museum, George S. Bolster Collection) Show More Show Less

166 of 291 Here is what a box of Saratoga chips, aka potato chips, looked like back in the 1850s. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

167 of 291 The Grand Union Hotel on Broadway in 1932. There were 1,000 rooms in the hotel. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

169 of 291 The front of the Grand Union Hotel. The photo is not dated, but judging by the cars, it looks like the early 1950s. The banners hanging over the street would indicate it was racing season. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

170 of 291 Riley's Lake House promoted a Claudette Colbert film ''She Married Her Boss'' in 1935. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

172 of 291 The tables are all set at Newman's Lake House on oct. 18, 1994. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

A delivery man for Saratoga Vichy Water makes the rounds in front of the Grand Union Hotel on Broadway on May 7, 1944. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection)

175 of 291 A look at the inside of Riley's Lake House on Sept. 18, 1934. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

176 of 291 The stage and dance floor at Riley's Lake House in 1934. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

178 of 291 A look at the interior of Piping Rock Lake House, one of the many places people would go for illegal gambling back in the 1930s and 40s. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

179 of 291 The Grand Union Hotel on Broadway around 1922. Notice there are automobiles and a horse drawn carriage out front. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

Traffic is heavy on Broadway in this undated photo, but, judging by the cars, it looks like it was the late 1940s. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection)

182 of 291 An exterior shot of the Mayfair Hotel/Club, latter called the Meadowbrook Club on May 27, 1936. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

184 of 291 Here are the members of the orchestra that played at the Piping Rock Lake House. The picture was taken on Aug. 8, 1934. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

185 of 291 The crowd files in at Newman's Lake House on Oct. 20, 1947. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

187 of 291 Some guys get all the girls. A shot of the dancers at the Meadowbrook Club on Aug. 13, 1938. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

188 of 291 Here is the dining area of the Meadowbrook Club on Nov. 1, 1938. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

190 of 291 Here is the bar at the Meadowbrook Club on Union Avenue on June 14, 1945. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

191 of 291 The staff at Riley's Lake House on Aug. 2, 1940. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

193 of 291 A look from the outside of Riley's Lake House on July 14, 1936. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

194 of 291 A look inside Gorman's on Saratoga Lake on June 12, 1944. It was also known as Furla's and Mother Kelly's. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

196 of 291 This is what the Arrowhead Lake House looked like in 1938. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

197 of 291 The Arrowhead Inn on Saratoga Lake was promoting Ben Bernie (himself) and his orchestra and other entertainment in this flyer, that was not dated. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

199 of 291 The Grand Union Hotel on Aug. 20, 1952. That is the year the hotel was torn down. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

200 of 291 Yup, the media race, was really a dumb idea. Not sure who the fowl on horseback is. Perhaps the sire of Mine That Bird? (Tom LaPoint/Times Union) Show More Show Less

202 of 291 A War Memorial structure is dedicated in the Spa's Congress Park in front of a hefty crowd on July 13, 1931. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

203 of 291 Saratoga Springs High School on Feb. 8, 1936. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

205 of 291 Looks like someone is holding an auction at the Grand Union Hotel. The date is Sept. 22, 1952. That's the year the big hotel closed its doors forever. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

206 of 291 Who wants this chair? The bidding starts at . The Grand Union Hotel sells some items on Sept. 22, 1952. That was the year the big hotel closed down. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

208 of 291 My, how times have changed. Back on Aug. 1, 1985, it only cost a buck to park on this lawn. Can't find that anywhere today, unless you're willing to park in Schuylerville. (Skip Dickstein/Times Union) Show More Show Less

209 of 291 The crowd jams onto the apron at the Spa to get a better look at the races on Aug. 2, 1986. (Jack Madigan/Times Union) Show More Show Less

211 of 291 A horse comes back after the fifth race on Aug. 8, 1986. There would not be a sixth as racing was called off because of a huge thunderstorm that hit the track. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

212 of 291 Upset beats the great Man o'War on Aug. 13, 1919 -- one of the greatest shockers of all-time in racing. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

214 of 291 Back in the early early 1970s, racing was held at Aqueduct Race Track in the summer before the move was made to Saratoga. Here, a group of jockeys are shown hamming it up on Aug. 1, 1972. From left to right, they are, J. Guadalupe, Marco Castaneda, A. Gonzalez, Garth Patterson, J. Avellano, F. Leon and Braulio Baeza. (Courtesy New York Racing Association) Show More Show Less

215 of 291 Saratoga Centennial Queen Patricia A. Vokes, left, and Gail Greinert, a member of her court, are excorted into the Spa clubhouse by Robert Pratt, who is in Centennial costume. The date was July 30, 1963 (Arnold LaFevre/Times Union) Show More Show Less

217 of 291 Here is the Saratoga Thoroughbred Racing Centennial Board of Directors at a meeting at the National Museum of Racing on Aug. 3, 1963. Seated, left to right, are James H. Minnick, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, Glens Falls Mrs. Elaine E. Mann, executive secretary of the Hall of Fame Arthur J. Kearney, chairman, Saratoga businessman Fred Eaton, president and editor of The Saratogian and Angelo J. Tarantino, Saratoga businessman. Standing, from left to right, are F. Skiddy vonStade, trustee, New York Racing Association John S. Wyld, director of regional offices, State of New York Department of Commerce the Honorable John L. Ostrander of Schuylerville Demetrios A. Sazani, executive director Howell E. Jackson, trustee, New York Racing Association and Newman Wait Jr., treasurer and executive vice president of the Adirondack Trust Company. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Patricia Vokes sits in front of her court as she is named Miss Saratoga Centennial as part of the Saratoga Thoroughbred Racing Centennial celebration. The date is July 28, 1963. Pictured behind Vokes, from left to right, are Rose Mary Martino, Barbara Fitzpatrick, Candy Nelson and Gail Greinert. (Times Union Archives)

220 of 291 A shopping center on Broadway, shown here in September, 1971. (Roberta Smith/Times Union) Show More Show Less

221 of 291 Former Saratoga Racing Association George H. Bull (in sunglasses) and friends help raise money to supply England with ambulances during World War II. From the George S. Bolster Photographic Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs. Show More Show Less

Stage and film actor Monty Woolley, bearded man, third from right, was a frequent present at Saratoga, where he grew up and owned a home. From the George S. Bolster Photographic Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs.

224 of 291 The photo includes music hall queen Lillian Russell and Diamond Jim Brady, the railroad car builder, but we are uncertain which they are. From the George S. Bolster Photographic Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs Show More Show Less

226 of 291 Then New York State Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Saratoga Race Course in 1931. Posed on the running board is George H. Bull, president of the then- Saratoga Racing Association. From the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs. Show More Show Less

227 of 291 Railroad car tycoon Diamond Jim Brady, seen in Saratoga in 1904, was a frequent visitor. From the George S. Bolster Photographic Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs. Show More Show Less

229 of 291 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GEORGE S. BOLSTER COLLECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS--EMPLOYEES OF THE ARROWHEAD INN, ARROWHEAD ROAD, SARATOGA LAKE. THE INN BURNED IN 1969. SEE CAPTION FOR CREDIT Show More Show Less

230 of 291 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GEORGE S. BOLSTER COLLECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS--AN INTERIOR VIEW OF THE MANHATTAN CLUB, ON SPRING STREET, CURRENT SITE OF O'DWYER'S BAR. SEE CAPTION FOR CREDIT Show More Show Less

232 of 291 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GEORGE S. BOLSTER COLLECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS--THE SARATOGA CLUB. SEE CAPTION FOR CREDIT Show More Show Less

233 of 291 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GEORGE S. BOLSTER COLLECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS--THE SARATOGA CLUB, WHICH ONCE EXISTED AT 517 NORTH BROADWAY. SEE CAPTION FOR CREDIT Show More Show Less

235 of 291 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GEORGE S. BOLSTER COLLECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARATOA SPRINGS--VICTOR HERBERT PLAYS VIOLIN AND LEADS A 1900 MORNING CONCERT AT THE GRAND UNION HOTEL IN SARATOGA SPRINGS, WHICH ALONG WITH THE U.S. HOTEL, ALSO ON BROADWAY, WAS THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD. FOR MILLENIUM PROJECT. HAND OUT Show More Show Less

236 of 291 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GEORGE S. BOLSTER COLLECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SARATOA SPRINGS--WORKERS REBUILD THE SARATOGA SPRINGS TRAIN STATION IN 1900, AFTER FIRE DESTROYED THE STRUCTURE. FOR MILLENIUM PROJECT. HAND OUT Show More Show Less

238 of 291 Times Union staff photo by Skip Dickstein -- Jockey Ron Turcott walks to the infield of the Saratoga Race Course in August of 1973 to just prior to the saddling of Secretariat in the Whitney Stakes. SKIP DICKSTEIN Show More Show Less

239 of 291 Times Union Staff Photo by Skip Dickstein -- #4 Onion with Jacinto Vasquez in the irons stands in the winner's circle of the Saratoga Race Course after defeating Secretariat in the Whitney Stakes in August of 1973. Standing to the far left of the image with the hat is his trainer H. Allen Jerkins who was named the 'Giant Killer' with this win. SKIP DICKSTIEN Show More Show Less

241 of 291 Times Union staff photo by Skip Dickstein -- #4 Onion outduels #3 Secretariat to the wire in the 1973 Whitney at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York August of 1973. SKIP DICKSTEIN Show More Show Less

242 of 291 Photo courtesy of George S. Bolster Collection/Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- D&H Train Station from Division St. in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1937. Show More Show Less

244 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, J.S. Wooley -- Horse drawn carriages travel south on Broadway with the Worden Hotel on the right and the United States Hotel on the left. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

245 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, H.B. Settle -- United States Hotel in this August 21, 1939 photo. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

**MANDATORY CREDIT** Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, H.B. Settle -- An August 1935 photo For a couple of years, people could take Rickshaw rides around town.

Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs Show More Show Less

Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photograher is Macgovern & Baker, Photographers -- Ed Farrington and his family on Circular St.. He was the owner of the Billiard Parlor and Bike Shop in Saratoga Springs.

Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs Show More Show Less

Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, Unknown -- Chef's from the Grand Union Hotel relax in front of J.F. Hasenfuss Cafe at the corner of Congress and Federal St. in Saratoga Springs in this circa 1900 photo.

251 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, J.S. Wolley -- Looking North up Broadway with the United States Hotel on the left in this 1907 photo. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

253 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, H.B. Settle -- Entertainers at the Meadowbrook Club which was out Union Ave, past the current Yaddo site in Saratoga Springs in this August 13, 1938 photo. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

254 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- An authentic D&H Steam Engine dressed for a Floral Fete on Franklin Square in this circa 1900 photo. Photographer Unknown. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

256 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, H. B. Settle -- The lobby of the Grand Union Hotel in this 1952 photo. The sign on the left announcing the sale of the contents of the hotel. The GU closed on the last day of racing in 1952 and was raized that September. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

257 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, H,B, Settle --Congress Park looking west to the Grand Union Hotel in this 1916 photo. The vases are called 'Night' and 'Day' and are still in the park today (1999). The statue off to the left is 'The Spirit of Life'. It is a female angel with wings, built by Daniel Chester French, who also built the Lincoln Memorial. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

259 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photographer, H.B. Settle -- Broadway and surronunding area in this 1925 photo. Shows the important hotels on Broadway, including the Grand Union, in the middle left with the United State just above. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

260 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photograher is Unknown -- Ed Farrington. 1 Phila St. He was the owner of the Billiard Parlor and Bike Shop in Saratoga Springs. He owned the shop that he is pictured in front of. No other information is available. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

262 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photograher is H.B. Settle -- 1912 pageant Tom O'Brien's daughter. No other information is available. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

263 of 291 Photo Courtesy of the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs -- Photograher is Magovern & Baker, Photographers (these were two men who had a photo studio in Saratoga Springs) -- Floral Fete from Circa 1900. No other information is available. UNKNOWN Show More Show Less

265 of 291 PHOTO TAKEN BY GEORGE S. BOLSTER OF EASTERN ELEVATION OF BROADWAY IN SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY. FOR LINDA TRISHITTA SARTU STORY. GEORGE S. BOLSTER Show More Show Less

King Kapurthala of India, seated next to his wife, in white, and Gov. Roswell Pettibone Flower, to the left, visited the Saratoga Race Course on July 31, 1893. From the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs.

From the George S. Bolster Collection of the Historical Society of Saratoga Springs Show More Show Less

268 of 291 A view of Maple Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1938. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

269 of 291 Water hazard on the fifth and sixth fairways at the Saratoga State Park golf course, Saratoga Springs, NY, circa 1935. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

271 of 291 The tennis courts at the Saratoga Country Club, Saratoga Springs, NY, circa 1931. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

272 of 291 Saratoga Spa State Park recreation center in Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1940. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

274 of 291 Courtesy Saratoga Springs History Museum -- Saratoga Race Course grandstand and clubhouse, circa 1919 Show More Show Less

275 of 291 Saratoga Race Course Grand Stand at Race Track circa 1895 (Courtesy Saratoga Springs History Museum) Show More Show Less

277 of 291 Saratoga Elks Clubhouse entrance, Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1934. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

278 of 291 The parlor of the Grand Union Hotel, Saratoga Springs, NY circa 1895. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

280 of 291 The high school at Saratoga Spring, NY circa 1936. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

Saratoga Race Course on July 31, 1854. Courtesy Saratoga Springs History Museum

Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 2, 1954. Courtesy Saratoga Springs History Museum

284 of 291 Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 3, 1954 Show More Show Less

286 of 291 Here's the start of the third race -- a steeplechase event -- on Aug. 21, 1947. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

287 of 291 This is Broadway in July of 1986 from outside the Adirondack Trust Bank. Across the street is Raymond's Boutique, which was owned by former Saratoga Springs mayor Raymond Watkin. (Times Union Archives) Show More Show Less

289 of 291 The Grand Union Hotel on Broadway in 1932. There were 1,000 rooms in the hotel, which was a horseshoe structure that ran from Congress to Washington Street. It was built in the 1800s and was said to be the largest hotel in the world. It was torn down in 1952. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

290 of 291 Actor Joe E. Brown, at the racetrack in 1940, makes a donation to England in war time. (Courtesy of Saratoga Springs Historical Museum, George S. Bolster collection) Show More Show Less

As we look forward to the start of the Saratoga meet, it's also a good time to look back. Take a look at Saratoga Springs history with almost 200 photos, many of which have never been published.


New Piper’s Saratoga II TC

Any list of general-aviation evergreens is bound to include certain airplanes: The Cessna 170 and 172 would be near the top of the list Piper’s venerable Super Cub would be a strong contender Beechcraft’s straight-tail Bonanza would definitely qualify and the Piper Cherokee Six also would likely make the list. The original Piper Lance was a retractable version of the Cherokee Six 300, and it was such a good idea back in 1976, the basic airplane has survived for almost 30 years. Blessed with the friendly, comfortable cabin of the Cherokee Six 300, the Seneca’s gear system and a strengthened, extended version of the semi-tapered wing employed on the Warrior, the Saratoga offered six usable seats (at reduced fuel loads), cruise speeds over 150 knots and the reliable power of one of the industry’s favorite engines, the 300 hp Lycoming IO-540. Granted such features, the basic PA32R design has evolved to become practically an evergreen in its own right.

The ultimate, modern iteration of the retractable Cherokee Six is the 2005 Saratoga II TC. As you might expect, the newest model is a considerably improved airplane from the original, but its ties to that first 1976 Lance remain obvious.

The Saratoga II TC need make no apologies for its links with the past. The current airplane has employed the same fuselage, powerplant and wing for nearly a quarter-century, mainly because the combination works so well. Fortunately, New Piper’s engineers don’t subscribe to the philosophy “If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is,” so the basic aerodynamic and power configuration of the current airplane remains similar to the original.

Despite the age of the original design, there’s nothing antiquated about the new Saratoga II TC. The panel is as modern as tomorrow. With only your credit line as your guide, it’s possible to fit the Saratoga with Avidyne’s multi-talented, flat-panel displays, air conditioning and enough other electronic goodies to make an Airbus 330 pilot envious.

New Piper’s turbocharged Saratoga endears itself to virtually everyone who flies it on a more basic level, however, not because of dramatic climb or blazing speed, but by reason of its truly benign handling, supreme cabin comfort and easy loading flexibility through the twin, aft-left cargo doors. At the airplane’s full 3,600-pound gross, handling characteristics are predictably heavy and bear-like, but they’re more reminiscent of a teddy bear than a grizzly.

Flying the new 2005 airplane with Piper chief pilot Bart Jones at this year’s Sun ‘n Fun Air Show in Lakeland, Fla., was like old-home week for me. I was reminded once again of the airplane’s spacious interior and easy access in the front and rear. I operated a 1975 Seneca II for three years and 500 hours back in the late ‘70s, and the Seneca’s fuselage is identical to the Saratoga’s. With 140 more total horsepower, the Seneca is notably more enthusiastic in climb, but other than that, the differences between the twin- and single-engine airplanes are relatively transparent.

This year, the big news at New Piper is the approval of a TKS ice-protection system for the Saratogas and 6X series of airplanes. In case anyone cares, TKS stands for Tecalimet, Kilfrost and Sheepridge Stokes, the three British companies that conceived the system. TKS, sometimes known as Weeping Wing, seeps a special, glycol-based fluid from tiny, laser-drilled holes in the titanium leading edge of wings and tail. Each hole is about the diameter of a human hair, invisible without a magnifying glass.

The extremely dense liquid (9.2 pounds per gallon) flows across wings and tail, and is slung outboard along the prop, making it almost impossible for ice to adhere to those surfaces. There are two operational settings—normal flow (or anti-ice) and max flow (or de-ice). With the Saratoga’s 4.4-gallon tank of TKS fluid topped off, the system will run at normal anti-ice for two hours, max de-ice for an hour. As you might imagine, the higher setting is designed to get rid of ice you have already accumulated, while the lower setting is intended to ward off anticipated icing (duh!). TKS works extremely well, far better than the old-style rubber boots, and if you fly around the northern United States and even some parts of the southern Midwest in the fall, winter and spring, you may need all the icing protection you can get.

A good friend, Reed Pryor of Boston, flew his Mooney 201 around the world with an aftermarket TKS system. Pryor flew hard IFR on a regular basis, both summer and winter, and his standard procedure when there was any possibility of icing about was to merely flip the switch to high flow just before punching into the clouds and to operate with relative impunity in even moderate to heavy icing conditions. Reed told me the system was so effective, the only way he could tell he had even been in icing conditions was the baseball-sized accumulation on the OAT probe at the top-center windshield.

Full icing certification can be expensive, especially for an aircraft manufacturer located in Florida, and Piper didn’t apply for known icing approval on its TKS system. In the ‘80s, Piper used a Cheyenne II as an ice-dispenser aircraft and would fly certification aircraft behind the dispenser, accumulating the required loads of ice and breaking it off to prove their de-ice systems for certification.

These days, the company would need to fly far north, find icing conditions and complete the required FAA flight tests on the road, far more expensive and slightly more dangerous, as well. Full known-icing approval also demands dual alternators and other mechanical accommodations.

For all those reasons, it wasn’t economically feasible for Piper to seek full approval. The very name, Piper Inadvertent Icing Protection (inevitably PIIP), suggests the system is only for accidental encounters with frozen IFR. That means you can’t depart into known icing, but you can use the system to get out of an emergency encounter. PIIP is priced at $27,500.

As with most big singles, the Saratoga II TC won’t carry full seats with full fuel and the options most pilots prefer. Piper lists the Saratoga TC’s standard useful load as 1,149 pounds. Subtract the inevitable 50 pounds of miscellaneous options and another 76 pounds for a fully serviced TKS system, and you’re left with 1,023 pounds of truly useful load. Full tanks would reduce that to 411 pounds in the cabin. You get the idea.

Fortunately, two factors help mitigate the situation. Most pilots rarely carry more than two or three folks at one time, and it’s not always necessary to fill the tanks. Sight gauges in the wing make partial fueling easy. If you were planning an IFR trip with a pilot as well as three passengers and wanted a hedge against icing, you could still carry nearly 60 gallons of avgas easily enough for two hours plus the appropriate reserves.

Two hours of flying could take you quite a ways over the horizon in a turbocharged Saratoga. At non-oxygen altitudes, the Saratoga TC can deliver cruise speeds better than 170 knots, and that number jumps over 180 knots at 15,000 feet. With two hours of endurance at high cruise, you could plan on nearly 350 nm, farther than most business or personal trips. If the payload allowed carrying full fuel and you needed longer range, the Piper Saratoga TC could reach out and touch a destination over 900 nm away. Max operating altitude is 20,000 feet. No matter what the stage length, the Saratoga TC’s turbo allows the pilot quite a bit more flexibility when the point of departure is high or hot. Critical altitude, the height above which power begins to fall off, is nearly 15,000 feet, so even Leadville, Colo., (at 9,927 feet of elevation) in the summer would pose no great problem for a careful pilot.

The Saratoga TC’s pilot and passengers luxuriate in a cabin that measures 49 inches across by 42 inches tall. Even rear-seat occupants enjoy plenty of elbow room. If baggage allows, rear riders can recline their seats back, put their feet up on the aft-facing center seat cushions and stretch out practically full length.

Piper used to advertise the Cherokee Six, Saratoga and Seneca fuselage with the aft four seats removed and a small piano in their place, and once you climb inside, you’ll understand why. It’s a large enclosure, over 10 feet long, but more importantly, the cargo doors allow you to place large loads aboard.

The long fuselage could easily allow loading the airplane outside the aft limit, and Piper provides a forward baggage compartment to help offset the problem. Mounted directly in front of the main cabin and behind the engine, the front baggage container can handle as much as 100 pounds of miscellaneous stuff, and it’s far enough forward to balance the CG. It’s also naturally heated by that big, 540-cubic inch Lycoming only a few inches farther forward on the opposite side of the firewall.

Like the old Cessna 210 Centurion and Beechcraft’s A36 Bonanza, the Saratoga TC may shine brightest when it’s time to return to Earth. The airplane manifests good stability in instrument conditions, making the type a popular choice for businessmen and pilots who need to fly pretty much whenever and wherever. Driving down an ILS in hard, turbulent IFR in a Saratoga is about as simple as it gets.

With plenty of pre-stall buffet, a 61-knot limit dirty stall speed and reasonable handling at low speeds, it can use 80-knot approach speeds in VFR conditions and fit into 1,500- to 2,000-foot strips without anxiety. Crosswind manners are excellent, judging flare height is easy, and ground handling characteristics are exemplary.

Equipped with the Avidyne avionics, air conditioning and Piper’s TKS system, the Saratoga II TC offers good performance, plenty of room and ultimate capability. If you’re interested in an unpressurized, turbocharged six-seater, the Saratoga TC is tough to beat.


Piper Saratoga:

Piper’s timeless PA-24 Comanche series has solid handling, respectable cruising speed and is well supported. But don’t underestimate the maintenance on these old birds.

Shop the six-seat, retractable piston-single market and you’ll find three basic choices: Beech’s Model 36 Bonanza, Cessna’s Model 210 Centurion and Piper’s PA-32R series, which is the Lance and Saratoga. At first blush, the Bonanza arguably handles better than the other two while perhaps squeezing out a knot or two over the Centurion. The 210, on the other hand, generally has better short-field performance than the Bonanza and offers an improved hand-flown IFR platform.

Piper’s Lance/Saratoga series, however, can carry more than the other two, albeit more slowly, and usually is thought of as the most stable of the three when flying IFR. That’s a plus for newly branded instrument pilots upgrading from trainers.

The PA-32R line (these are all retracs, and what we’ll focus on in this review) is tough to sift through because Piper kept it in long production, beginning somewhere around 1976 and ending in real numbers around 2008, where the current Aircraft Bluebook tags the PA-32R-301T as a $405,000 airplane. When equipped with a low-time Lycoming TIO-540, air conditioning, icing protection and oxygen, it might easily sell for over $500,000 in the current market. The current Aircraft Bluebook says an early Lance retails for around $85,000, but sales pros tell us that won’t buy you much. More realistic is $120,000 for a cherry one.

The Bonanza, 210 and Saratoga are growth versions of earlier, smaller airframes. All three are available in turbocharged models, either from the factory or in the aftermarket. In some cases, you have fixed-gear versions or derivatives as alternatives.

If trying to describe their differences by referring to the automotive world, the A36 Bonanza might be thought of as a BMW station wagon the 210 as a Ford Explorer and the PA-32R as a Chevy Suburban. All three make fine platforms when there are two or three people and a few bags. But when there are a lot of bags and people, the Suburban is one that gets the job done with ease. So it is with Piper’s Lance/Saratoga. You just might have to stop for fuel a bit more often.

History

In the early 1970s Piper suffered a major setback when a flood destroyed much of its Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, plant. Among the casualties was the tooling for the popular, but labor-intensive, Comanche, which had an option for small third-row seats.

The company decided to abandon the Comanche in favor of a new retractable derived from the fixed-gear PA-32 Cherokee Six. The company was already having success with the Seneca, a light twin derived from the same airframe, so it made sense to build on a familiar design. Not much needed to be done to the Cherokee Six: The PA-32 was already available with the 300-HP Lycoming IO-540, so essentially the only change was to fit a retractable landing gear. That meant a new engine mount and changes to the wing. Piper also modified the wing spar in the process, allowing a 200-pound boost in gross weight, to 3600. The new airplane was dubbed the PA-32R Lance and introduced to the public in 1976.

The powerplant was the 300-HP Lycoming IO-540 K1G5D with a 2000-hour TBO in the normally aspirated airplanes and the TIO-540-S1AD with a TBO of 1800 hours in the later turbocharged models. (The first 140 Lances built had K1A5D engines, the only difference being in fuel pump design.) The D means that the engine has the infamous Bendix dual magneto system. The fuel system originally held 94 gallons in four tanks, later upped to 102 gallons.

The PA-32R borrows heavily from its siblings. The main landing gear is much like the Seneca—logical, since the basic airframe is the same—and the nosegear resembles the Seneca and also the Arrow. The PA-32R also came with Piper’s automatic extension system for the landing gear. The fuel system is similar to the Seneca’s.

The Lance remained essentially unchanged for two years. In the late 1970s, though, someone at Piper decided that T-tails were a good idea. We believe it unlikely that the responsible parties were aerospace engineers or experienced pilots, based on the aerodynamic qualities of the Piper T-tail singles in general. The Lance wasn’t the only T-tailed Piper. This also was when the PA-38 Tomahawk was rolled out and the T-tailed Arrow IV debuted.

Piper combined the T-tail’s introduction to the PA-32 airframe with a turbocharged variant. These two aircraft, the Lance II (PA-32RT-300) and Turbo Lance II (-300T), were not very well received. Though Piper ballyhooed the supposed advantages of the T-tail (smaller size and weight, reduced pitch changes with trim and flap application), the truth was that when the stabilator was moved up out of the propwash, the airplane’s handling suffered. In particular, takeoff runs increased significantly since it took a good deal of speed for the stabilator to become effective, and when it did, the result was a pronounced pitch-up. Some complained of lack of rudder authority. The T-tailed Lances were also sensitive to trim settings. The T-tail was also a pain to preflight, especially in winter, when a ladder is required to remove snow from the stabilator.

When pilots found out about these traits, sales plummeted. In 1980, two years after the T-tail’s introduction, Piper saw the light and reverted to the original tail design.

At the same time, the company applied the same wing upgrade that had already appeared in the PA-28 series. The constant-chord “Hershey Bar” wing was replaced with a semi-tapered planform. Piper also “simplified” the designation of the entire PA-32 series, renaming them Saratoga SP. The fixed-gear versions were simply called Saratogas. As before, there were turbo versions available, designated by a T at the end of the model number. The fixed-gear option was dropped in 1993, only to reappear briefly as the Piper 6X from 2004-2007. The retractable version saw various iterations under the Saratoga name until 2008.

Used values of the T-tail models have historically been lower than those of the conventional-tailed airplanes, which makes the T-tail a relative bargain in a six-place airplane. Owners of T-tails seem to like them. It should be noted that although T-tail owners without exception stand behind their airplanes and claim the poor reputation is undeserved, the airplane nevertheless has documented performance differences from the otherwise identical straight-tail version (more on this later).

Turbo differences

The turbocharged engines have AiResearch turbos with wastegates mechanically linked to the throttle controls. The pilot has to adjust the throttle to maintain manifold pressure during climb, and it is possible to overboost the engine if too much throttle is applied. (The MP gauge is inconveniently located in front of the pilot’s right knee, but there is an overboost warning light on the panel’s eyebrow.)

The Turbo Lance II has an unusual updraft engine-cooling system that takes air in through a low-mounted “fish-mouth” oval scoop, forces it up over the cylinders, then back down and out through cowl flaps. Owners say the system is ineffective and requires the use of extra fuel and step-climbs to avoid engine meltdown. The Turbo Saratoga SP has a more effective cooling system replacing cowl flaps with louvers mounted on top and on the bottom of the cowling. A popular mod is to add an intercooler.

Club Interior

Most find the interior of the PA-32R quite comfortable. The cabin is over 10 feet long and 3.5 feet high. Shoulder room for the front and center seats is 4 feet and 3.5 feet for the back row. Most 32Rs have club seating and there’s a big side door for the passengers, who need not clamber over a wing to enter the airplane. It’s remarkably quiet, due in no small part to the presence of a nose baggage compartment located between the cabin and engine. The rear seats are easily removed for cargo, and some owners just leave the rear ones at home most of the time. Because of the wide cabin, there’s plenty of room on the panel for any gadget one might want. Other than that, it’s pure Piper single.

The fuel selector is a bit different from the familiar PA-28 sidewall-mounted pointer, being sensibly located on the center pedestal. One thing we don’t like is the sump-draining procedure. Not a simple matter of sticking a fuel tester in a quick drain, the procedure requires the pilot to first put a bucket under a nozzle in the belly, then get back in and hold down a lever located under the right center-row seat while simultaneously switching tanks.

This gymnastic routine continues for a minimum of 18 seconds due to the length of the fuel lines, after which the pilot gets to go back outside, look in the bucket and try to figure out which tank the water came from.

Later PA-32s have some good crashworthiness features, including seats with S-shaped frames designed to progressively crush on impact, plus a thickly padded glareshield.

Load carrying

Typical of single-engine airplanes, the Lances and Saratoga SPs force the pilot to choose between filling the cabin and filling the tanks. Still, an airplane this size is quite practical when it comes to hauling, because carrying four with baggage and full fuel is possible. The turbo models are a bit more limited. With six FAA-standard people aboard, a PA-32R can carry enough fuel to fly 2.5 to 3.5 hours. The CG range is quite wide, but with only two people aboard, care must be taken to avoid exceeding the forward limit. There are two baggage compartments, both with a 100-pound capacity: the nose bay and a large one aft of the rear. One way to improve the T-tail’s squirrelly handling reputation is to put 50 pounds in the aft baggage compartment to bring the CG aft into the center of the range.

Performance anxiety

While 150 knots isn’t all that bad, when compared to other big retractables the PA-32Rs are rather slow. Almost any A36 Bonanza or Cessna 210 will walk away from the 32R, being about 10 knots faster.

At 75 percent power, a Lance cruises at 158 knots while burning 18 GPH. The Saratoga SP isn’t faster, but improvements in induction air cooling allow their engines to be leaned to peak EGT, saving a couple of gallons an hour. The turbocharged airplanes can cruise at 177 knots while burning nearly 20 GPH up high, but at lower altitudes they’re only a couple of knots faster on the same fuel.

Because of its T-tail, the Lance II has a significantly longer ground roll than the conventional-tail models. The book indicates a 1650-foot ground roll under standard conditions, and notes the roll will be one-quarter longer if the airplane is loaded toward its forward CG limit. Ground rolls for the Lance and SP are posted as 1380 and 1200 feet, respectively. Initial rate of climb is just over 1000 FPM.

Maintenance

Owners of big-engine Comanche 400 models with speed mods say 200-knot cruise speeds are a way of life.

Several Turbo Lance II owners complained about their hot-running engines. (One said his mill once toasted the forward baggage compartment sufficiently to melt plastic diaper bags that had been stowed there.) However, as noted below, there are modifications designed to eliminate the heat problem.

Among recurring ADs are: 77-12-06, which requires the shanks of Hartzell propellers to be inspected and cold-rolled every 2000 hours or five years (90-2-23 also calls for a one-time inspection and possible replacement of the hub, and 94-17-13 requires recurrent inspection of hub grease fittings) 78-23-01, which requires the fuel drain lever doors in naturally aspirated Lances to be checked every 100 hours until they’re replaced 93-5-22, which addresses the fuel injector lines on the TIO-540-S1AD engine and 95-26-13, which requires recurrent inspection of oil cooler hoses.

A rash of engine fires in turbo-charged Lances and Saratogas prompted an Airworthiness Directive requiring portions of their exhaust systems to be periodically inspected and eventually replaced. The AD targets the fittings on a 90-degree elbow between exhaust ports and turbocharger in the Lycoming TIO-540-S1AD engine powering the big Piper singles.

In 1988, the NTSB issued a warning about the fittings when it concluded its investigation of a Turbo Lance that crashed during an attempted emergency landing in Lincoln, Nebraska. The safety board found the elbow fitting in the Lance had separated, allowing hot exhaust gases to flow into the engine compartment and start a fire. The board noted the gasket and flange on the fitting had been misaligned during maintenance on the exhaust system about a month before the accident occurred.

The FAA responded with an AD (89-12-4) requiring periodic inspections of the exhaust elbows and fittings, and replacement with modified components developed by Lycoming. The FAA estimated that compliance would cost $858 per engine.

However, later evidence of a string of exhaust system-related accidents and incidents involving both the Turbo Lance II and the Turbo Saratoga SP prompted the NTSB to call for a more stringent AD. Four such crashes occurred in 1990 alone. The safety board, noting that some of the crashed aircraft had received new parts called for by the AD, declared the AD was not an effective solution and called for a revision mandating repetitive inspections whether or not new parts are installed. The revised AD, AD 91-21-01, requires new exhaust parts that would beat the cracking problem.

Landing gear problems are prominent in Service Difficulty Reports, accounting for about a quarter of the total. Chief among them were broken nosegear actuators and cracked or broken nosegear trunnions. Other frequently cited problems included cracked engine mounts, exhaust system leaks and separations, broken magnetos and loose stabilator attachments.

Mods, Refurbishment

As small piston singles go, a Comanche has a reasonably spacious cabin. It’s 45 inches wide and 47 inches high.

Several companies have developed means to alleviate the heat problems plaguing the Turbo Lance II if this is the model you’re interested in, check to see if one of these kits has been installed in a candidate airplane. TurboPlus still offers intercoolers for the turbocharged Lance and Saratoga (www.turboplus.com).

Aerodynamic cleanup kits (e.g., gap seals and fairings) are available from a number of companies, including Knots 2U (www.knots2u.com) and Laminar Flow Systems (www.laminarflowsystems.com). LoPresti (www.loprestiaviation.com) offers gap seals, too, along with a redesigned cowling, which the company says improves engine cooling and reduces drag. It certainly has good looks.

Precise Flight (www.preciseflight.com) offers speedbrakes, a standby vacuum system and a pulse-light anti-collision system. Upgraded propeller systems are available from both Hartzell (www.hartzellprop.com) and McCauley (www.mccauley.txtav.com) for most PA-32R models.

While not exactly a mod, Aircraft Sales Inc. in Smithville, Ohio, offers the Pristine Airplane refurbishment program for a variety of aircraft, but specializes in Saratoga, Lance and Cherokee Six models. The company is extremely selective when sourcing the airplane to be refurbished, which includes new paint, interior, avionics and an extensive teardown process. Most aircraft include a field-overhauled engine as part of the refurbishment process.

When we visited the company a couple of years ago at its facility on the Wayne County Airport, we saw a hangar packed with a variety of Saratogas and Cherokee Six models in various stages of refurbishment. Indeed ASI tears the airframe down deeper than even the most thorough annual inspection. Customers we spoke with admit paying a hefty premium for a Pristine Airplane refurbished model, but ended up with an aircraft that was like new. The company is currently listing a refurbished 1976 Lance for $199,900.

“The demand for Piper PA-32 models in general (including fixed-gear airplanes) is at the highest I’ve seen in my career,” ASI principal Matt Kozub told us during our research. According to Kozub, one reason for the demand is the PA-32’s utility. “Cabin size and useful load are two things that fit with the modern trend of today’s society,” he said.

Kozub reinforced a point that maintenance shops and owners seem to agree on: Piper products remain some of the least expensive to maintain. Parts are readily available and almost any mechanic can work on them. Contact www.pristineairplanes.com, 330-495-6569.

As for type organizations, several thousand owners of PA-28 and -32 series airplanes belong to the Cherokee Pilots Association (866-697-4737 or www.piperowner.org), which according to the website united with the Piper Owner Society. The group has an active forum and publishes the monthly Pipers Magazine, which focuses on maintenance, avionics and operational information.

PA-32R Accidents: Engine Failures

From the first time we flew the Piper Lance, we liked its docile handling as well as its manners on takeoff and landing, although we weren’t crazy about its lack of speed. The taper-wing Saratoga fixed that nagging problem nicely.

Our review of the 100 most recent accidents involving those airplanes confirmed our affection for the overall design of the machines as the accidents reflected an extraordinarily low rate of runway loss of control (RLOC) events, three, and fuel-related engine stoppages, four. For a system that requires the pilot to select among two tanks, only four fuel-related accidents place it at a rate nearly as good as what we see in the simplest fuel system: one that gives the pilot only the choice of off and on.

While PA-32R pilots had little trouble keeping the airplanes on the runway after landing, seven of them did manage to hit the runway so hard on touchdown that they damaged the airplane. We note that even though the Lance and Saratoga SP/HP are tolerant of some sloppiness in speed control on final, they will develop an impressive sink rate if power and speed are not coordinated.

We raised our eyebrows at finding eight inflight breakup events. While six-place singles will accelerate rapidly in a diving spiral and generally have the highest inflight breakup rates in general aviation, eight seemed high to us. All but two were in IMC, mostly in or near thunderstorms (one pilot had reported a vacuum pump failure). A few involved pilots who were ostensibly trying to remain VFR. Of the non-weather breakups, one came when a pilot descending at high speed hit the wake turbulence of a Boeing 737 and the other when a pilot apparently decided to perform aerobatics.

The largest number of PA-32R prangs came after a partial or total loss of engine power, often for reasons that could not be determined after the fact. Nevertheless, at least half of the engine stoppages were traced directly to maintenance that should have been performed and wasn’t or was done wrong. A fuel line that had been repaired rather than replaced—as called for in maintenance instructions—failed a second time, leading to an engine fire. A worn exhaust clamp on a turbocharged bird was the culprit in another engine fire.

The human-generated problems on the maintenance side of the flight equation were, sadly, matched by human-generated problems on the pilot side. Attempts to take off over gross and downwind on grass runways led to aircraft hitting obstructions about where the POH performance charts predicted they would—especially if pilots left the gear down. Five pilots attempted to remain VFR at night in questionable weather or in mountainous terrain on moonless nights and flew into terrain.

Five others shot instrument approaches to below minimums and hit the ground either while still in the clouds or attempting to circle to land beneath them.

Finally, we had little sympathy for the pilots who ignored a zero oil pressure indication because the engine was running smoothly. When it started making clanking noises, they turned for the nearest airport. The engine seized well before they got there.

Owner Comments

We are three partners owning N886JH, a 1982 retractable Saratoga. I am a CFII and had flown the aircraft as an instructor at Hortman Aviation as long ago as 2001, and had flown her to Florida, Ohio and Maine on personal flights. In 2015 several of my former students and I began looking for a Lance or Saratoga to purchase. After several other choices, N886JH—which had been on leaseback to Hortman—arrived at Air-Mods in Robbinsville, New Jersey, where I had been instructing. After a prebuy and discussion with Dave Mathieson at Air-Mods and a thorough review of the logs, we decided to make an offer.

The aircraft was in need of a new interior and the panel was in poor condition, but the engine was below mid-time, the prop was new and the airplane was straight and had flown regularly since new. The paint was mostly original and presentable, but would need to be redone soon. We got a good deal on the plane and started in the fall of 2015 on a plan of significant restoration.

Air-Mods completely removed the interior and panel, and a new interior was installed (including new insulation), plus a new instrument panel was constructed. Mostly all new avionics—including new circuit breakers and master switch—were installed. We had the yokes leather wrapped and subsequently installed a door steward on the front cabin door.

We upgraded the avionics to a Garmin GTN750 and a GNS430W, and since our timing was before the introduction of Garmin’s GTX345, we have a GTX330ES transponder and a GDL88 for ADS-B compliance. We upgraded to a Bendix-King HSI, kept the Century 41 autopilot, moved the DG to the right side of the panel and installed an L3 EFIS as a backup. An EDM700 engine monitor, a digital tachometer and rebuilding of the original turn coordinator and AI completed the panel work. We moved all switches to the center of the panel, replacing the original ones with lighted switches. We installed LED exterior and panel lighting.

After the work, we ended up with a useful load of 1334 pounds. On the exterior we installed wingroot fairings, new wingtips and stabilator tips. The wingroot fairings do not appear to increase the cruise speed, but do make better mid-speeds possible at lower manifold pressure settings and seem to reduce wind noise some.

This Saratoga cruises between 155 to 160 knots, consistently burns 15 GPH in cruise and burns a quart of oil roughly every seven hours. Following the POH starting procedures, the engine starts in less than one turn of the prop when cold and in about eight seconds when warm. We keep her in a hangar and use the Reiff engine preheater and Switchbox to preheat before winter flights. We are using Shell multigrade in the winter and 100 in the summer.

With one CFII with many retractable hours in type and two relatively low-time pilots as owners, we pay about $2400 annually for insurance with the hull set at market value. We have no deferred maintenance and the last annual was under $4000 and we anticipate that the forthcoming annual will be about half that. We have a paint job scheduled for March of 2018.

Although the Saratoga with full fuel and two aboard without baggage is close to the forward limit of the CG envelope, we have no problem making smooth landings if a stable approach and gradual reduction of power to idle just before touchdown is followed. Fly the approach at 90 knots, reduce to 80 knots over the fence and 75 knots over the end of the runway and you will be rewarded with a good landing. The Saratoga handles crosswinds very well, is a stable instrument platform and the Century 41 autopilot does wondrous approaches as long as you intercept the final approach course a minimum of two miles outside the FAF. Of course, you still must manually reduce power and drop the gear, but the Century 41 is reliable and accurate. We use either heading mode or Nav mode and when aligned on the final course, hit APR and it intercepts and captures the glideslope and flies a perfect ILS or LPV.

In summary, the Saratoga isn’t quite as fast as a Bonanza, but with a wider and more comfortable cabin and a wider weight and balance envelope (and with good fuel endurance) we think she is the ideal traveling machine for our missions.

Paul Weintraub
Bristol, Pennsylvania

After owning my first airplane, a 1980 Piper Dakota, for six years and 600 hours, I decided to step up to the retractable six-seat 1985 Piper Saratoga SP that I’ve owned now for two years. I bought the SP to transport my family of four on cross-county trips mainly throughout the Midwest, typically covering 200 to 400 nautical miles.

The transition from the Dakota to the Saratoga was an easy one. The forward baggage area extends the nose of the Saratoga and provides a different view than a PA-28, but the noticeable drop of engine noise in the cabin was welcomed by the family members who camp out in the back and typically now do not use or need their headsets. We all love the extra room the Saratoga provides. The extra width a PA-32 provides is as enjoyable for me when I fly with other pilots or instructors as the length of the club seating is for the passengers. The back seats remove in seconds to provide a lot of space for cargo. The 102 gallons of usable fuel and nearly 1300 pounds of useful load provide a lot of options.

Cruise speed is less impressive 75 percent power yields about 152 knots and consumes about 16 GPH. I typically fly at 65 percent power when I’m alone and consume around 13.8 GPH. At 55 percent power practicing approaches, it burns about 11.8 GPH.

Insurance for its $190,000 hull value and as an 850-hour pilot with 160 hours as PIC in this Saratoga costs me $3200 per year through AOPA insurance. The plane was refurbished inside and out by AirMart Inc. prior to my purchase, so besides a persistent coolant gas leak in the air conditioning system, maintenance items have been limited. Still, there always seems to be a number of small items that add to a typical $4000 annual.

I have been happy with my purchase and choice of the Saratoga for my Midwest travel. It provides an honest and stable IFR platform that transports both pilot and passengers in comfort.

Mike Hawbaker
via email

I’ve owned a Saratoga SP for about 18 months now and absolutely love it. Mine is a fully refurbished 1984 model (the Pristine Airplane mod done by Aircraft Sales Inc. in Ohio) and so far it seems the company did an excellent job on it.

Later Saratogas had more standard equipment, including turbocharger, built-in oxygen, air conditioning and a de-icing system, but this reduced their useful load by 300 pounds or so. My normally aspirated model has a huge useful load—1407 pounds—which is enough to carry six adults and fuel for three hours, plus reserves.

The cabin is very roomy and comfortable. My wife and I have four kids and there’s plenty of room for everyone. A big rear cabin door lets you load just about anything in.

Most Saratogas have the club seating option, which is great for business and adults, but I’ve found that my kids all want to face forward. I had the club seating reversed to the forward-facing seating configuration and have been very happy with this. The back seats are easy to remove for cargo.

The Saratoga is fast enough for most travel, cruising at around 150 to 160 knots on 14 to 18 GPH. Climb performance at sea level with one person on board is 1500 to 1600 FPM. Turbo models go faster at higher altitudes, but have roughly 100 pounds less useful load and a more expensive engine overhaul.

My airplane is equipped with newer avionics including an Aspen PFD1000 EFIS, Garmin GNS530, JPI EDM730 engine monitor, GTX345 ADS-B transponder (with Bluetooth traffic and weather data on my iPad), a panel-mounted Garmin aera796 GPS and a Bendix-King KAP150 autopilot with GPSS steering from the Aspen PFD.

The Saratoga is not much more complex mechanically than a PA-28R Arrow—just bigger with lots more power. I’ve only been through one annual inspection so far, and that cost around $6000.

I’ve found that it flies similar to an Arrow or even an Archer, but it has a lot more inertia. It’s not heavy on the controls, but you’re controlling a larger mass with more inertia that’s going faster. It’s harder to fly a really tight traffic pattern like you can in slower aircraft, but it’s very stable with no surprising flight characteristics.

Last, the Saratoga looks sharp on the ramp. I often get compliments on it.


Watch the video: 1998 Piper Saratoga II HP