The Tomahawk has to be one of the most gutless, slow arse things that ever "flew" and I use the term loosely. It only gets off the ground thanks to the curvature of the earth and could easily be called a 'concrete sparrow' but It teaches u how to fly quite nicely cos as the captain says, it teaches u how to stall. Those things do the most fantastic wingdrop ive ever seen a plane do. Huge amounts of fun!! They're built like a brick Sh*thouse too so you'll struggle to break it. The 172s and 152s are all a bit too easy really.
it has to be a 152, great little aircraft, high wing, doesnt obscure ground features on nav. ex's!. the tomahawk is a nasty little thing to be avoided. i even did my commercial GFT & 1179 on the 152, easy flight test, and cheap too,the more basic the better.
Last edited by memories of px; 31st Jan 2010 at 21:12.
The 152 is the best option for reason of price/availability/ease to fly.
I've found it very easy to teach the basics in the 152 and the stall spin characteristics require attention without being dangerous. If you have access to a 152 aerobat then you can explore even further (with an instructor on board). A student could be talked through their very first flight without much instructor control input at all. Very defined attitudes and good predictable stability allow it to be trimmed well especially in the circuit. Downsides include limited cabin space and performance issues (which can be of benefit).
I would assume the 172 would be more expensive and is also a little harder to land with just two up front. This would apply equally to a PA28 which i would regard as the easiest aircraft ever to fly.
The tomahawk is a rare aircraft in Australia so only a handful of schools operate them, this could mean a conversion to another type if they sell their only one or you move schools.
They're built like a brick Sh*thouse too so you'll struggle to break it.
You sure about that? I've seen the wing spar/rib arrangement on the Tomahawk, and I can tell you for a fact that this was an aeroplane built to budget - and a low one at that. And don't get me started on the type's chequered past with respect to the tail assembly having an annoying habit of separating mid-flight when spinning them.
As a Grade-1 instructor I got checked out on one a few years back, for the purpose of doing some flying with a student in the midst of his instructor rating. I subsequently logged 0.7 of an hour with the student, before politely advising him that I'd had enough of a scare (not because of anything the student was doing), and would be quite happy to return to the field & reimburse him for his troubles. It has to be the most God-awful aeroplane I have ever flown in my life.
This is a bit like the Holden vs Ford argument, there are pros and cons for both.
Yes there are more C152s about, in fact they outnumber Tomahawks about 3 to 1 on the register. There is an approved spar mod available with will add enough life to the airframe to see it being taken out of service for other reasons rather than it's wing spar.
Underpowered? Both C152 and PA-38 have the O235 engine and have very similar MTOWs. Neither will perform well if loaded to max on a hot day.
As for the old chestnut of the wobbling tale. Well if you have a look at most aircraft in the runup bay or even larger T-Tail jets during reverse thrust and breaking - guess what, the tail wobbles a bit more than the rest of the fueselage.
I know some instructors who have thousands of hours in PA-38s and are more than happy to do more and none have ever spooked themselves.
I did my ab-anitio in a C152 up first solo and GFPT. Have logged quite a few hours since in a PA-38 and more than happy to fly either. PA-38 wins hands down though in terms of internal space as you don't have to fly bow legged to keep your knees away from the control yoke.
It won't make a significant difference what type you learn on. It will make a significant difference WHO teaches you. I suggest you worry more about that side. The intention is not too learn to stall an aircraft. The intention is to learn the symptoms of an impending stall and the recovery tecnique.
I disagree with that Renurpp. Being able to recognise the symptoms of a stall is essential but without proper training in how to enter and recover from stalls and spins it is pointless. Every pilot SHOULD be able to stall and spin an aircraft intentionally so that if it happens unintentionally they have the necessary skills to recover.
KINGPIN, the biggest challenge for you may be sorting out the BS written in here!
I learned in the C150 and have instructed in the C152 and the Tommyaxe. I don't think of the C172 as an ab initio trainer!
If it came to chosing between the 152 and the Tommyaxe, I would be more interested in the intructor than the aeroplane. That said, however, I think those who do their ab initio in the C150/152 generally have better technique than those who learn on low wing aircraft.
As for spin training, yes I have spun both and the Tommyaxe can be exciting, but the only reason to do spin training is for confidence building and as part of an aerobatics endorsement.
I wonder how many spin trained pilots have actually recovered from an inadvertent spin that occured in circumstances where they weren't at least anticipating the possibility? Very few, I suspect!
The focus of ab initio training should be on flying the aeroplane such that there is NO likelihood of it ever entering an inadvertent stall/spin!
Much of a muchness really. All have slightly different flight characteristics but in the main, there's not much difference. As a few of the posters have indicated, the main thing is WHO is doing you're instruction. Find a decent school/instructor and you may as well fly an ultralight! Not a bad idea really now that I think about it!
I taught people to fly on all three types and would say that the Tomahawk is the best one to learn in, as it teaches the best habits. It's also far more comfortable than the 152 (says me, being 1.97 metres tall) and as mentioned above will demonstrate a stall far better than the Cessna's will.
Did Private in Musketeer (low wing- not many about now), Commercial in Victa, Cherokee 140 and 172, and Instructed on Victa, 140 and 172, and stalled and spun them (within limits- spiral dive for Victa) all. Remember a time in the Musketeer with Tony Snell, when the windscreen was filled with the Show at the Showground, way below, when he let me go, and I tried to pick up a downgoing wing at the point of stall with aileron.. "You won't do that again" - as we recovered above 3,000 feet. "No Sir". never have. Taught my students all about stalls and recoveries, etc, because NOTHING make ME more nervous than flaring too high, and slowing, with the one responsible doing nothing about it.. Those types aren't used much now.. pity.. Fly what is now used and is affordable, but get to know it so it won't bite.
Last edited by frigatebird; 1st Feb 2010 at 02:00.