Cessna 310


I’m looking at a cessna 310. I have looked at the numbers. but am wondering if there are any major complaints or praises anyone has for it. also any other suggestions for a six seater.


What year 310? The different models vary considerably. I’ve only flown the older ones, specifically a 1959 C model. You can pick up an older 310 for a pretty decent price, and in my opinion they are fantastic airplanes.


As far as year i am looking at probably something 75 and on but still don’t have anything particular in mind.


The biggest gripe I hear about 310’s is lousy fuel burn. Also, there seem to be a good amount of training necessary for airframe specific quirks.

If you don’t have a lot of twin time, you might find it easier to get insured on a Seneca.


looking at the numbers i have found, it looks like you can put five people into a newer 310 i odnt know about comfort, but weight wise. how does that work out in a seneca


Weight wise, the Seneca is good with 5, it will limit your fuel, but your fuel will last longer than comfortable for 5 people. Many later ones have a console replacing one of the rear facing seats.

5 adult men will likely not be comfortable. The rear seats are close, and feet do not go under the seats. Club seating is most popular.

Not knowing your situation, I will tell you that unless you have 4 passengers that are related or work for you, you might not ever get them all on the same flight. Most of us buy more plane than we need, and end up using its abilities once a year at best (which is cool if you don’t mind spending the dough).

I would recommend a mid 80’s model with a 430 or 530 already in the panel. You can likely fly it as it is, and sell it more easily when you are ready. If it needs paint, go ahead and spend the bucks for a copy of the modern schemes. You will get your money back.

The really late model ones with all the bells and whistles have become very popular step up models and first twins for guys working their way up to kerosene burners.


I was tire-kicking 310’s before my 340 fell into my lap.

I like the looks of the T310Rs, but if memory serves me right, the T310Qs fly faster and have more useful load than the R’s because they’re 300 lbs. lighter.

You don’t have the long nose like the Rs have, but other than that, they’re practically identical.

I flew a Bonanza for 20 years and was sold on Beechcraft, but twin Cessnas are hard to beat for performance for the money.


I would encourage you to go with the 310. As was stated before, many changes with each model, just depends on what you like. Flying with tip-tanks will feel different than you’re used to for a while, but you’ll get used to it and grow to love it. Very fast and stable airplane…great for IFR. Plan on 23-26 gph in cruise for the IO-470’s (combined). These are the most beautiful twins in my opinion. Plan on $200-300/hr to operate and around $100,000 to purchase. The ‘R-models’ have a longer nose which contains a baggage compartment for added loading options and a wider CG range, but that nose is sooo long!


Go with either a Q or an R model. Both are easy to fly and are excellent platforms to gain experience on before transitioning to something larger. The later model 310’s (R being the last model of the 310 before it was discontinued) fly and handle like a much larger airplane while still being a pleasure for an owner/operator to efficiently handle.

If you can comfortably handle a 310, the transition to a 400 series Cessna, including a Conquest I or II (425 or 441) will be a virtual nonevent.

On that note, if money were no object, a perfect “six seater” in my book would be the Conquest I. I know, I know, it has more seats than that, but an airplane is not an honest six seater unless you can put 6 passengers and their bags on board plus enough fuel for a 1,000 mile trip and still be underweight. The Conquest I can. Very few other light twins give you that level of flexibility.

A good rule of thumb with most light aircraft is that if you want to know the true passenger capacity the aircraft is capable of, count up the number of seats you see and subtract two. The result is what you can reliably load onto the aircraft and still have enough fuel to fly with adequate IFR reserves.

If you are looking for a true six passenger capacity, you need to be shopping in the eight seat aircraft market. If you are happy with four passengers, then the 310’s and Seneca’s will do just fine.


well i understand the whole subtract two system, but ninety nine percent of the time the plane will be usedx for a one or two people. and maybe once or twice a year we will be putting six people in it. as far as i understand the 310 with six people in it still has enough range to go about two hours, or about as far as six people will comfortable ride in one leg. so i think this fits the mission but i am not completly sure


If ninety-nine percent of the time you will be taking 1 or 2, then don’t go for eight seats. In fact, you may want to look at buying a plane that meets your usual mission and using charter or commercial when you have more people.

The cost of owning and operating a 310 vs. a Mooney or Bo will likely pay for the charter if you do many hours at all. If you really want to fit 5 then you can still look at a the Big Bo’s or 6 seat Piper singles or Twins.

I didn’t ask why you really wanted a twin, but if you are concerned about cost the extra engine is just extra dollars. OTOH, if you really are flying above inhospitable terrain, I would understand.


The whole idea of 6 pax and a two hour trip is normally only doable when the weather is good. When the weather comes down, that will be a hard mission to meet reliably.

It’s been a while since I’ve flown Part 91, but from memory, you need enough fuel to fly from departure to the destination, then on to a suitable alternate and then another 45 minutes of IFR reserve fuel. In reality, that gives you not nearly as much realistic range as you may think.

If your average mission is only two or three pax, a 310 or Seneca are both perfect choices. If you are looking to regularly carry six pax and actually go some place, you may be disappointed in either of those birds.


I currently own both, the Seneca II and 310R. Both are great and very different planes. I got used to the Seneca due to the fact it’s very easy to fly but the 310R feels like a real plane. I have both planes on the market becasue I don’r need both. Whichever one seels first will keep the other. In reality I would rather keep the Seneca but time will show.

here are the links to the planes.



i have been looking at possibly a six seat single but i believe a twin will be the best for getting in and out of the mountains like angel fire nm. and through utah and the like. but a mooney/ charter option would be a possibilty.

what do you mean by “the 310 feels like a real airplane”?


That’s something I really enjoy about my 340.

Living in Utah and flying in/out of the mountains, it’s handy to have an airplane that climbs as fast, and goes as high as it does.

Around here, the rocks are tall, the weather higher and MEA’s can be upwards of 16,000.

That second engine can be comforting.


A real conundrum comes up with twins, and I have yet to make up my mind. The cost of operation on a twin makes it more expensive to fly, and I would likely do less training and practice flights because of that. However, emergency training in a twin is crucial for safe operation, so if you are going to be flying and practicing less (say, less than 60 to 75 hours a year with not much dual training), a single is safer.

As for “real airplane” I think that is a fairly personal term to each of us, but I have heard people use it more for planes that feel a bit heavy and stable. IOW, a “real airplane” is more like a King Air than a skyhawk.

As much of a Mooney fan as I am, I think you might look into a turbo bonanza with 5 seats. Check the range for your mission, as the legs get shorter as you trade fuel for meat and potatoes. The Piper 6 seaters are more comfortable for the front, but I think the Bo beats it for 5 adults (so long as I am not one of them, the Bo is too skinny for me).

It will cost much more up front, but less to operate. Do a serious audit on the age of some of the more expensive parts on it (any good shop with Bo experience can help you here, also join the owners group).


i will have to take a look at the bo. i was wondering if anyone knew what it costs to charter a c414. just round numbers. so i can continue to work scenarios.


If you can find a similar aircraft, be prepared to pay about $750 per hour. Piston charters are harder to find these days, and you definitely want to examine them closely. They seem to be pretty binary - top notch, or no thanks, I like living.


There is a magazine you can find at many FBO’s called ‘Charter Hub’. It has a variety of aircraft with hourly rates available for charter.