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My first flight. What aircraft?

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My first flight. What aircraft?

Old 19th Jan 2015, 16:11
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Question My first flight. What aircraft?

Hello all, this is my first post.

I am travelling to the West Coast in 2 months and figured since I'll be there, why not take an introductory flight given that I aspire to be a pilot?

There are two offers, between which I can not decide:

Option 1:
- Cessna 172 around Santa Monica
- My sister gets to ride with me and watch (+ instructor of course)

Option 2:
- CZAW SportCruiser to the Hollywood Sign (!) and back
- GoPro filming

I am leaning toward Option 2 for the filming and the sign, but then again, will an LSA give me the real feeling of flying or will it just be a toy?

Both are $160
rimoabdallah is offline  
Old 20th Jan 2015, 19:43
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Join Date: May 2008
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Are both flights the same length for the same price?

172 with its high wing gives a better view of the ground.

I personally prefer low wing aircraft and would probably choose the sports cruiser.

Both fly nicely though, and will be just as fun.
RTN11 is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 01:06
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Welcome rimoabdallah,

I suggest the 172, but then I'm partial to Cessnas. Yes, it might be nice to take your sister, but if you do, do your best to not be distracted. Use the opportunity to get the most out of the experience in "real time". I'd forget the GoPro if it would be any distraction whatever, and just enjoy what your flying.

Do your homework first, and have questions prepared for the instructor. Take time before the flight to understand the aircraft - it's not costing you money, while it's stopped on the ground. Be patient about flying so you're ready, and not using your time in the air to ask and answer questions which you could have learned on the ground before hand, or after. Deliberately plan to do some sight seeing, but don't forget to learn about the plane and flying too.

Enjoy our passion.....
9 lives is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 01:37
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A third option, although a bit more expensive, would be to get your instructor to fly you south from Santa Monica, along the "Mini Route" over the top of LAX and then return.

I would also go with the 172 - a better view.
India Four Two is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 02:43
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there are more options

I would find a nice PA28 piper cherokee warrior or archer. They are nicer, more comfortable and do have excellent visibility...especially UP

if you want to look down, you shouldn't be flying.

and I would not fly in a light sport aircraft

take it from someone who has piloted for 39 years. small plane ...try piper!
glendalegoon is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 08:14
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LSA's are sneered at by many, but usually by those who have never flown them. I fly both LSA's and various Cessna/Piper offerings, and there are pros and cons for both. Both options you have quoted can readily handle a 30 minute scenic flight.

The Sports Cruiser will get airborne and climb faster than the 172, and will feel light and nimble in the air. The 172 may be slower and may feel a bit "boring" to fly in comparison, but can of course lift more (i.e. your sister) and will give a less bumpy ride in turbulence.

Whichever option you choose, I'm sure you will have a great time.
Mariner9 is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 08:27
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Any aircraft will do compared to staying on the ground

And I agree with the remark about forgetting the video. Enjoy the flight itself.
Pirke is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 08:52
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Join Date: Dec 1999
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if you want to look down, you shouldn't be flying.
Don't agree with this or that a Piper is better, the experience of seeing the ground from the air is part of flying and should be part of the experience, C172 is just as comfortable. Which aircraft depends very much on the individual, for someone who wants fairly sedate then Cessna or Piper is preferable, if you want a more "interesting" ride and aircraft handling is more important than comfort then go for the Sportscruiser - or even something aerobatic if you want a really interesting intro to flying, though if you do this be very careful to get an instructor that knows when to stop! As far as Video goes, I suspect this will be mounted and left to run so should not be distracting.
Take that from someone who has been piloting light aircraft for 40 years and instructing for 37

Last edited by foxmoth; 21st Jan 2015 at 09:14.
foxmoth is offline  
Old 21st Jan 2015, 11:11
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take your sister its more fun.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:07
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My advice would be to decide what type of flying you want to do (touring, local pottering) and choose an type suited to that. There's no point in flying a machine with a 120-140 knot cruise if all you want to do is potter around the local scenery. Likewise something with a cruise speed of 60-70 knots is hardly ideal for touring unless you don't care how long it takes to get there.
mothmagic is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2015, 22:54
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And he contemplates filming the flight, AND bringing his sister! No, no, no!
Rimoabdalla, if you are seriously wanting to learn to fly, go on your own with an instructor in a Cessna 152, or a Warrior. These are types found everywhere to carry on with your training. You need to be without distractions to find out if flying is for you or not. One thing at a time, keep it simple.

Mothmagic, one of the things any newbie has to learn is that IF YOU HAVE TIME TO SPARE GO BY AIR. 140 knots of cruising speed will do you no good at all when you encounter bad weather and still try to get home.

If you have loads of money, and want a sight seeing flight with your sister, I recommend a Bell helicopter....or any helicopter.
mary meagher is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2015, 19:24
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You may need US approval before a Flight School will allow you inside an aircraft if you are not a US Citizen.
Maoraigh1 is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2015, 14:40
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You don't need any sort of "US approval" to go on a discovery flight.
dera is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2015, 14:56
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You don't need any sort of "US approval" to go on a discovery flight.
Depends, if it is an official introductory flight as a prospective pilot student you do need approval (and no PAX allowed anyways), if it is declared as scenic tour, you don't need approval and PAX allowed (if PIC is CPL+).
ChickenHouse is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2015, 15:16
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rimoabdallah, unlike some of the other people on this thread I have flown both types! I fly an aircraft with a MTOW of 490kg around Europe 2 up on a regular basis and I have owned a 172. The SportsCruiser is however my least favorite aircraft in the class. It has a very low wing loading (much more important than the actual weight) and its handling, especially in turbulence, is very poor. Go 172, but do not consider the lighter end toys, I can do far more with my MCR than I could in my 180hp 4 seater.

Rod1
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Old 9th Feb 2015, 17:29
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Oops sorry I forgot to mention that. There are enough accident cases out there to warn us not to let impatience drive us to flying in marginal conditions.
mothmagic is offline  

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