Piper Air Commander?

This article calls the airplane that hit the building in Milano a “Piper Air Commander”. When I saw the plane on the news this morning, it looked like a Rockwell Aero Commander.

Did Piper ever make a “Commander” aircraft? (I don’t remember any – they tend to like Indian names.) Or is this just another case of a reporter calling any aircraft smaller than a 737 a “Piper” (as in “A small airplane is called a Piper.”)?

It’s a case of reporters thinking that “Piper” is the generic term for any private plane that isn’t a Cessna 172. It was a Rockwell Aero Commander.

Piper had rights to the design (aero-commander nnn), but called their version an ‘AeroStar’.

Rockwell now has regained rights



The Aerostar and the Aero Commander are two different designs. For example, the Rockwell is a high-wing and the Piper is a mid-wing.

In any case, it’s good to know that the reporter’s the one who mis-identified the aircraft and not me. :wink:


I noticed that right away too. Just the kind of sloppy reporting I’ve come to expect from the major news services.

It was a Rockwell Aero Commander. When I first heard that an elderly pilot in an Aero Commander hit a building, my first thought was, “Oh, jeez, I hope it’s not Bob Hoover…”

But the first reports were even worse. One said that it was a Cessna 172 or 182. The minute I saw the hole and the fire damage I knew that was ridiculous.

I’m a bit confused, knowing little about small aircraft.

Can anyone post a link to a picture of the actual aircraft model that hit the Pirelli building?

IF the reports are correct, it was a Rockwell 112TC. See:


Geez, those wacky reporters! They’ve reported the aircraft as a Cessna 172 or 182, a Rockwell Aero Commander, a Piper Air Commander, and now a Rockwell 112TC! You’d think that one of them would take the initiative to contact the Italian version of the FAA and just ask!

Gingersnap: (Okay, this is weird, I just typed your name “Fingersnap”. I need coffee.) The aircraft they showed on the morning news that I caught a glimpse of was a Rockwell Aero Commander. (Not the 112TC mentioned above.)

Of course, the news people could have mis-reported it and pulled out a photo of the plane they thought it was. (Sam Stone: I haven’t been following the story. Have you heard the definitive answer as to the type of aircraft?)



(the 114TC looks like the 112TC - just has a larger engine)