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Cherokee or Tecnam?

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Cherokee or Tecnam?

Old 1st Feb 2014, 15:41
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Cherokee or Tecnam?

I have some previous flying training on the Firefly (40 hours) I have been out of flying for a while for various reasons, and have now relocated to a new area and I am looking at finishing my training and gaining a PPL. I have looked into several local flying schools which operate different aircraft and I was wondering if someone could offer some advice as to which aircraft they think would be best to go with?

I could go with the Tecnam P2002JF, which looks nice, this is 175ph + 5 per circuit, or at a different airfield the Piper Cherokee, which is 155ph with no additional fees, but there is a membership fee of 150pa.

I like the look of the Tecnam, it seems similar to the Firefly with a stick and nice visibility. Do you think it would be better to pay the extra initially and go with the Cherokee, or go with the Tecnam which would be cheaper initially but potentially more expensive in the long run, but more similar to what I am, used to?
captain echo is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 19:26
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
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The Cherrytree will bore you to death and frustrate you with its indifference to your control inputs (it will sort of do your bidding, in its own time, as long as you don't expect too much of it in the way of responsiveness or control harmony).

Never flown a Tecnam, but if it has a stick instead of a steering wheel, that bodes well....
Shaggy Sheep Driver is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 20:30
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: antarctica
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yeah but tecnams are Italian and that means theyre probably . get a taylorcraft auster
gooddaysir is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 20:54
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Join Date: May 2007
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but tecnams are Italian and that means theyre probably
Yes, just like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Fly-by-Wife is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 21:04
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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I've got quite a few hours flying both types (and many hours maintaining both types).

Go fly the Tecnam and enjoy the flying!
smarthawke is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 21:08
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Perth, WA
Posts: 326
GDS, that seems an odd comment given your previous comments in the hour building thread and your minimal aeronautical experience. I can see a few Partenavia and Vulcanair pilots choking on their Weeties as I type.

Captain, both the PA28 and P2002 are great aircraft but no aircraft is all things to all people. If you are in the training environment, the P2002 requires sharper handling and better rewards good technique. And yes, the visibility and having a proper stick add to the fun. If you do a search you should be able to turn up a thread where I posted the reasons for choosing a P2002JF as the Sunday afternoon chariot.

SSD is correct about the PA28 series but I can't bring myself to be too hard on the old girl. I've spent many happy hours in them and if want a trip away with the family, or undertake your IMC training in a pretty stable machine, or do lots of other things, the PA28 and C172 are deservedly popular.

But the P2002 is more fun
tecman is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 21:13
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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[QUOTE=Fly-by-Wife]Yes, just like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.[QUOTE=Fly-by-Wife]

I guarantee they'll either fall to bits or catch fire whenever you apply the brakes

can someone tell me how to quote properly because it wont do it when I click the button
gooddaysir is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2014, 22:47
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: EU
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Have you by any chance got the prices of the two mixed up? They sound very similar to two places I know but the wrong way round. For what it's worth, if it turns out to be the case, the place that uses the Tecnam aircraft has (IMO) much better instructors and you will get more value for your hour in the aircraft.
OhNoCB is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2014, 04:40
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
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I'd go for the PA28 if you want an easy to fly reliable tourer, and the Technam if you want an interesting and fun to fly modern aeroplane. I can't however work out why the more modern aeroplane, with the more fuel efficient engine, is so much more expensive.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2014, 06:16
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Surrey, England
Posts: 728
Sierra v dismal spamcan

Hi captain echo,

Of the two aircraft, having flown both and also the Firefly (T67B), I should say that at your stage of training, and especially after previously training on the Firefly, the Technam Sierra would be much the better choice. (After the Firefly handling the Pa28 would be like stirring treacle).

The Pa28 was designed round about the early sixties and at a time when the US small aircraft industry was trying to make aeroplanes as much like cars as possible. They wanted families, that already owned a family car, to buy a family aeroplane! Hence, they designed the Pa28 to be as safe and as fool proof as possible in the hands of some ham-fisted 'daddy' figure with little training and limited flying aptitude. This resulted in an aeroplane with safe but soggy handling.

So if you want to fly a machine that looks like a post war Ford V8 Pilot (and handles like one) then the Pa28 is the way to go. (This is not to detract from its usefulness at IMC level, when you want rock-solid stability, or for taking the family for a ride on Sunday afternoon; but you aren't doing IMC or taking the family for a spin).

To 'learn your trade' I feel you need an aircraft with crisp generic handling, (such as for example the Chipmunk had) and that isn't the Pa28.

The Sierra is modern and typically Italian. Like a modern Alfa-Romeo or Fiat it handles crisply and generically and is generally a delight to fly.

As to which of the deals you have been offered is best, that depends on how many hours you expect to fly in a year.

Good luck!

BroomstickPilot is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2014, 14:09
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
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I have flown the lot and I suppose my viewpoint is coloured by a desire to purchase rather than to rent.

A PA28 is old, primitive and very much a 'Spamcan' The favourite of flying clubs as they are cheap to buy and maintain.

A Tecnam is modern, cheap to run, expensive to buy and is light. That is the rub... one cannot fly IMC or carry much. That may not be a problem for you.

However, if you were to hire a car, would you hire a Fiesta or a Healy 3000? I suppose it is all down to what you want to do with it. Same for aeroplanes. I'm very much biased towards Bulldogs and opted to buy one instead of all those ultralights/microlights.
sharpend is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2014, 21:55
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Join Date: May 2000
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I normally fly taildraggers but needed to re-val by experience so thought I'd try the Tecnam with an instructor. My experience was similar to the prediction about "Italian"!

- The fin and rudder are too small and this means that you need half rudder before you open the throttle to catch the swing.

- If you're over 5ft 10ins then you can't see properly out of the thing - the canopy arch is massive and right in the places I wanted to look for conflicting aircraft.

- It handles like a LAA type aircraft - so not much good for easing the average Joe into flying to PPL standard.

- I think the EV97 Eurostar is a far superior aircraft (decent sized fin/rudder and you can see out of it!).

So yes, it looks great but in my opinion it is a pretty poor PPL aircraft.

Lima Juliet is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2014, 21:58
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
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PS The Tecnam ain't that cheap to run as well as it's very expensive to insure - about 4 times the cost of a cessna 152. So yes, it might be cheap on fuel but when you add up the expense of running a Rotax and the insurance, it isn't any cheaper to run overall than a O-235 engined cessna.
Lima Juliet is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2014, 22:45
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^^^^^ what he said, but he missed the fact you could buy several spam-cans for the same as one Technam.....you lose on two counts......a lot more capital to finance...and a massive initial depreciation.

All in all, old aeroplanes, like old cars, have done their depreciating, so costs are just maintenance and replacements which invariably work out a lot cheaper than buying new.
cockney steve is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2014, 01:53
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Ultimately the only thing that matters is the quality of your instructor. What type of aircraft you will be flying is IMO the least important consideration when conducting PPL training.
Big Pistons Forever is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2014, 09:37
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Question in my mind is what would you do after you get your PPL.

If you plan on extended trips with family, the PA28, especcially the 180 hp version, is the plane to go for and to fly. Equally, if you are looking to possibly buy one later.

The Tecnam is a great little airplane, a bit short on payload, otherwise a nice fun plane for 2 people. Friend of mine owns one and has done quite a few nice trips with it around Europe. As for quality... Tecnam is one of the very few successful airplane manufacturers at this time and this would not really happen if their quality was lacking. Instead I rate them as one of the innovative and pretty sharp players in the market today.

If you plan on renting, you will find PA28's everywhere whereas you may struggle to find Tecnams.

In the end however, I can't agree enough with the statement that the quality of the instructor and school are much more important than with what you finish your PPL with. In any event, the PPL is a license to learn on your own and probably you will find in the future that you will fly other airplanes than the ones you trained on. So find the best over all package and go for it.
AN2 Driver is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2014, 10:17
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
Posts: 742
I agree with Leon. Here are a few few from an experienced pilot:

1. Eurostar ... for the money and if all you want to do is potter around the local area ... great.

2. Breezer likewise, but not cheap to but

3. SportStar , like Eurostar but better, but more expensive.

4. Aquila, terrible in a crosswind; insufficient rudder authority. Once you lift the nose wheel get ready for the swing. Expensive.

5. Tecnam, don't like the canopy

6. Plastic microlites are worse than aluminium. Expensive to repair and insure?

7. Anything with a push/pull throttle (ie like carb heat) is not good.

8. Most don't have pitot head heaters. That can be a problem.

9. None can carry much.

10. Importantly, few are strong enough to withstand a heavy landing. The nose leg breaks.
sharpend is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2014, 11:32
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Perth, WA
Posts: 326
Captain, why don't you go for a run in the Tecnam and see what you think? A lot of GA pilots trained on the truck-like handling and weight of Cherokees etc never really warm to the VLA/LSA category. Frequently the whinging is simply the result of flying an unfamiliar, and considerably lighter aircraft, often with a higher power to weight ratio.

It's true that a 600 kg aircraft is never going to be built like a battleship and will need to be treated well. What is also interesting is that our local operators of LSAs often find that it's GA pilots doing the fleet damage! The record of people who have been trained from scratch in the Recreational Aviation category is better. So, if you arrive on the scene ham-fisted and full of hubris, expect problems. But from your first post, I don't have the feeling that that's your approach.

With a fairly wide experience in GA aircraft, including taildraggers, I willingly admit it took me a few hours to find the right touch for the LSA. But like the other Tecnam fans here, I think it's worth the effort. I'm 182 cm and don't have visibility issues, although it's true that the roll assembly is the P2002 is solid and visible. I take that as a plus, especially after watching the crush test video. If you're a taller person it's important to set the seats back far enough - the seat rails are inclined, and you gain head clearance as they slide.

Ultimately, enjoy whatever you fly. And when you get your PPL, fly as many types as possible as often as you can.

Last edited by tecman; 3rd Feb 2014 at 21:43. Reason: typo
tecman is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2014, 13:58
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Bristol
Age: 34
Posts: 39
I'm 33 hours into my PPL at the moment and so far have flown a PA28, C150, C152 Aerobat, C172 and Tecnam P2002JF.

The majority of my hours are in the Tecnam and I can honestly say that it's the most fun to fly of the types I've tried to far. I much prefer flying with a stick though! The Tecnam is very light and responsive, has good visibility, nice stall characteristics and really fantastic crosswind performance.
stu-baylis is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2014, 14:31
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 244
The only thing I didn't like about the Tecnam 2002JF was the coarse pitch propeller which resulted in a rather long take off run. Loved everything else about it. Those who claim that Tecnam's are poorly built have never seen one up close.

Want crisp handling > go for the Tecnam
Want stable A to B transport > go for the Piper
EDMJ is offline  

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