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Where Have All The Two Seat GA Trainers Gone?

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Where Have All The Two Seat GA Trainers Gone?

Old 12th Sep 2015, 11:49
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The C152/PA38 burn about 22-24 Lts/hr, while the C172/PA28 burn 32-38 Lts/hr from memory. So that's a big difference when you are paying $2.20-$2.50 a Ltr.
Purchase price of the 2 seaters is less than $45k, while most 4 seaters are over $65k and if you go far a late model c172 (R and above) you are looking at 6 figures. If you are operating from a class D airport will also pay a few more dollars in fees for the 4 seaters.

The flying school I worked at had 6 2 seaters (C152s/PA38's) and 4 4 seaters (C172s/PA28s) and the most popular were the 2 seaters and you had to book early to get one, while you could always get one of the 4 seaters.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 12:44
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Hmm, maybe one of the great 2 seat trainers would be one of the RV series of aircraft, for instance RV6 or 7. Pity our dumb system does not allow them to be used as trainers, or anything else for that matter.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 13:16
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It is worth bearing in mind that a majority of GA training organisations seem to be losing sight hat it is less about the number of seats in the aircraft that matters, and more about the service provided. I believe that how a service provider makes a customer feel will be remembered long after the cost of the service is forgotten...

Let's see - a mix of two and four seat aircraft is good, as it provides options for customers. Two seat aircraft are likely to appeal to the price sensitive client - even thought the actual cost comparison between them and a four seater may not be massive, the perception that a four seater is more expensive is relevant to the relatively uninitiated buyer of the product. I would rather fly a clean, well presented two seater in good repair (ie everything on board works, including the clock, and no grotty and broken plastic trims...) than a weather-beaten daggy larger machine. Further, the staff need to actually genuinely care for their company and product, not just see the customer and the organisation as a revenue generator or vehicle to knock up some hours before disappearing to fly charters. These points seem like no-brainers, so why is it that so many operators fall into these traps?

I think that the path to success for GA training providers can still be followed / achieved and be (almost) like the "good old days", but it will involve careful consideration of many aspects and the appropriate mix of all these elements, with undoubtedly a dash of luck and disciplined business acumen.

Back to topic, I think the value of two seat GA aircraft has been forgotten of late and I imagine that there will be some level of resurgence for them, especially for those keen enough to manage the continuing airworthiness of the tried and true types like the 152.

BTW, the 162 is a crock and surely could not be considered representative of what a good two seat trainer should be!!
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 22:31
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There are some great tandem two seat trainers in production, like the American Champion Champ and Citabria or the Carbon Cub. Yes, they are tail draggers and yes they are fabric covered. I have successfully trained many pilots over the past 25 years using taildraggers as my primary trainers with no more difficulty than using a 152, the only difference being the pilots know what their feet are meant to do and can consistently land an aeroplane properly.
As far as fabric covering goes, it's no more costly to maintain than a spamcan, now with SIDS programs they may be more cost effective.
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Old 12th Sep 2015, 22:52
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From memory Tyabb have half a dozen 152's.... (Or at least plan to have that many online soon) Certainly not dead, they keep reviving them. The 162's didn't work out for them.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 10:32
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if you consider the litigation environment that exists in aviation in america, an environment that has bought a multi billion dollar industry to a total standstill.
then you compare that with the added risk that a solo student represents.
it is entirely understandable that two seat trainers have ceased to be made.

the sad thing is that if Cessna put the 152 back into production every training school in the world would reequip with new aircraft.
cessna sadly are not the people they once were, those engineers and designers are no longer with us. the people of today are so risk averse they would rather do nothing.
a sad situation really. you have lawyers and a flawed american legal system to thank for that.
cessna once made the world's best two seat trainer.
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Old 13th Sep 2015, 11:33
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While toiling as an electrician in the mid '60s I earned $42 for a forty hour week, and paid something in the order of $9 an hour for an aircraft. The current median electrician pay is quoted as $1360. If relativity has been maintained, that would make the current rate about $291/hour. Not much has changed it would seem.
Megan,
The biggest single thing in your example is unstated, the % income and other tax you now pay, compared to the '60's. The gap between gross and net income is greater by the years, the wonders of bracket creep.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 11:29
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Yes, Its a shame the LSA category is limited to 600KG rather than just saying Maximum TWO seats and 800kg (both the C152 and PA38 tomahawk were 757KG). As the population is growing a bit bigger and heavier, yet they are flying lighter (with much smaller cabin space), aircraft.


I know the Stall speeds are higher (around 43Kts), but with the length of the majority of airfields around, would it really make that much difference. They could open up the production lines again, build and sell more solid aircraft. They could even lengthen the wing a little to lower the wing loading and possibly lower the stall a little (unfortunately the cruise speed too), although I would consider this unnecessary IMHO.


Certainly not criticising LSA, in fact I'm in the process of converting from GA now.
I just really like the solid feel and larger (more comfortable) cabin space with these great little aircraft. I don't like to have to be a contortionist to get in and out of some LSA out there now. Also the doors and latches on these old aircraft felt solid and secure.


Certainly looks like they will go like the dinosaurs.


Still there are some very nice little LSA out there now. Would be even better if the MTOW was increased to 750 - 800KG.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 11:51
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what about this one?

Factory build and could be Vh registered. 257kg useful load which gives you 2 90kg blokes, 20kg of baggage and full fuel, which is enough for about 3.5 hours.

Fly RV-12

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Old 14th Sep 2015, 13:27
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RV12

Yes, I like the look of that. Never been in one though.


Just need the local LSA outfit to get a couple on line.
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 13:41
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A number of TAF Sling 2's are starting to appear in South East Qld. Look a lot stronger than the average RAAus aircraft
Global Aviation Products - Australia agents for Sling Aircraft, MGL Avionics and Airmaster Propellers
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 13:48
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Yes, there is a Sling locally. Might have to have a go one day.


Cheers
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Old 14th Sep 2015, 15:21
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Still there are some very nice little LSA out there now
Agree. Just a pity that LSA's are so damnably affected by the slightest turbulence and thus uncomfortable to use on cross-country flights.
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Old 15th Sep 2015, 13:21
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Yeah, some of them could possibly benefit from a bit of extra weight and possibly a bigger and / or sleeker wing. We could call it a Tomahawk.


A C152 handled wind / turbulence better than a Kitfox, a C172 slightly better than a C152, a C207 better than a C172, a C208 better than a C207, etc etc.


I guess we just have to pick the weather we fly some VFR aircraft, especially some 'Light aircraft' now days and just hope we don't get caught in such weather.

Last edited by Acrosport II; 15th Sep 2015 at 13:33.
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