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Best training airplane?

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Best training airplane?

Old 19th May 2015, 23:31
  #21 (permalink)  
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Just another personal observation regarding ab-initio flight training.

A lot of people claim it is more intimidating for a student to teach them on a tail wheel airplane than on a nose wheel airplane.

However from my experience in learning and teaching there is no real difference time wise between students learning on tail wheel airplanes versus nose wheel...they just have better airplane handling skills when they finish than those who learned on nose wheels.

When I learned we only had tail wheel trainers, the nose wheel machines did not appear on the scene until the late fifties.

Also we used two stage amber when teaching instrument flight.....no one ever heard of wearing a hood.

Wearing a hood to simulate IMC is like someone else said here a few posts ago it is like wearing a leather condom to have sex.
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Old 20th May 2015, 09:57
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Cessna 152

I will take a guess that more than 50 % of the worlds current pilots have flown the C152 at some time during training.

When it comes to basic flying training and economics it's hard to beat the C152.

Chuck

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Old 20th May 2015, 10:47
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The problem with older designs like the 150/152 is the internal space. Humans are getting bigger with every generation. I am wide across the shoulders and found it difficult to fly with an instructor of average dimensions.
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Old 20th May 2015, 12:48
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Old 20th May 2015, 15:11
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When it comes to basic flying training and economics it's hard to beat the C152.
Which is why most flying schools use them. It's possible to turn those of mediocre skill and aptitude into qualified PPLs in a short time using them! If I ran a flying school I'd most likely do the same, or the competition would put me out of business with cheaper PPL courses and higher pass rates!

However, in my book that does NOT make them a good basic trainer. Probably the reverse!
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Old 20th May 2015, 16:23
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After this aircraft, a Piper Warrior / Cessna 172 were like flying buses!
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Old 20th May 2015, 16:38
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a Piper Warrior / Cessna 172 were like flying buses!
It's possible to turn those of mediocre skill and aptitude into qualified PPLs in a short time using them
I agree.

[It's possible to turn those of mediocre skill and aptitude into qualified PPLs in a short time using them!] .....

However, in my book that does NOT make them a good basic trainer. Probably the reverse!
Not so fast...

If a candidate learns to fly in a demanding, yet forgiving aircraft does this not provide an environment for better learning? Better learning results in a better pilot, so the objective was met? The tool did the job?

My other airplane is not at all nice in the air, and worse on the runway. It is a constant effort to keep it straight and level, and co-ordinated. A total attention demander to prevent groundlooping. I could think it is not a "good" aircraft because of this, but if you can fly it well, you can probably fly most planes well, because they are more stable, and much more nicely harmonized.

For myself, I find that when I master the less pleasant plane, the more pleasant planes come naturally. Does that not make the less pleasant plane a better trainer?
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Old 20th May 2015, 16:57
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The best aeroplane to learn in? - A glider of course!

I converted to power by way of Tigermoth and Supercub, with some of the nav in a C150. I'd say the DH82 was a terrible trainer as I couldn't really hear the instructor. So a lot of the learning was in the briefing and de-briefing. That said, I enjoyed it and solo'd pretty quick - so it wasn't too bad. I'm another who loved the odd flight I had in a Chipmunk, but I've never flown one in the 26 years since I passed my PPL, so hardly and informed opinion.

Having come from flying gliders and the taildraggers, I can't imagine how learning on a nosewheel aeroplane could have been any easier? You learn to fly what you learn to fly in. At that point you have no preconceived ideas that one type is any more difficult than another? As someone else said ... Your instructor is the most influential ingredient in the learning process.

SS
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Old 20th May 2015, 19:02
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If a candidate learns to fly in a demanding, yet forgiving aircraft does this not provide an environment for better learning? Better learning results in a better pilot, so the objective was met? The tool did the job?
But the C150 / 152 is not a demanding aeroplane. For a start, it doesn't demand you co-ordinate rudder and ailerons and doesn't reward you with crisp roll/turn performance if you do (it doesn't care if you do or don't!), it doesn't display classic stall characteristics (masking them with lots of washout and limited elevator authority) and it certainly doesn't demand you land it properly! (Land-o-Matic undercarriage was Cessna's claim!).

Most rewarding things in life are also demanding. The C150 / 152 is neither.
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Old 20th May 2015, 19:46
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But the C150 / 152 is not a demanding aeroplane
SSD, I agree with your observation. Though I stand by the theme of what I wrote, your point is quite valid.
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Old 20th May 2015, 20:32
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Originally Posted by Step Turn View Post
.

For myself, I find that when I master the less pleasant plane, the more pleasant planes come naturally. Does that not make the less pleasant plane a better trainer?
If you take that premise to the logical conclusion than everyone should do their PPL on a 2 seat Pitts. Of course if that were to happen I bet only about 5 % would finish, but yes they would have pretty awesome hands and feet. Unfortunately GA as we know it wouldn't last very long under that model.

I think one has to be careful to not slide into the hero pilot hubris of "I must be a better pilot than you because I learned on a ( insert airplane type here)".

Precise aircraft control is a choice. You can fly a C 172 very accurately or let it fly you. Yes it is true that the margin for error is higher in the C 172 than some other types but that doesn't mean you should not make the effort to fly it well.

This point directly relates to my early comment about the importance of good instruction. A good instructor in a C172 will instill the desire and ability to fly the airplane properly and that skill will transfer to any other aircraft they fly

Finally there often seems to be an under current of "real" pilots fly taildraggers when ever this topic comes up. The hands and feet skills are important but so is the knowledge and judgement and pilot decision making skills which are airplane independent.

I know a guy can grease the more demanding taildraggers on in a gusting cross wind every time, however he is pretty much universally considered as a accident in waiting, time and place to be determined, due to his massive ego and constant gratuitous risk taking.

Last edited by Big Pistons Forever; 20th May 2015 at 23:34.
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Old 20th May 2015, 21:06
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The best aeroplane for flight training is the one that gets the most new pilots in the air and through to a completed pilot certificate.

GA needs more people to take up flying!
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Old 20th May 2015, 21:22
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The best aeroplane for flight training is the one that gets the most new pilots in the air and through to a completed pilot certificate.

GA needs more people to take up flying!


This point directly relates to my early comment about the importance of good instruction
I entirely agree that good instruction is the key to a good pilot, but the question was about airplane type, not instructor type...
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Old 20th May 2015, 21:58
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Sia Marchetti SF260 flew one twice and loved it

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Old 20th May 2015, 22:13
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Best training airplane ? For purely selfish reasons it would be the C 172. It seems to be one of the few GA trainers that has a comfortable seating position and enough shoulder room for me, plus you can open the window on the ground during hot days and stand under the wing when it is raining to "supervise" the students walk around.
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Old 20th May 2015, 22:27
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BPF

Well the Grumman Tiger should suit you loved the aeroplane and you could roll the canopy back on hot days even in flight for a bit of fresh air extravaganza

Pace
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Old 20th May 2015, 22:31
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I had a Grumman Cheetah in my school and just loved it, beautiful flying machine.
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Old 20th May 2015, 22:49
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Step Turn, when I was in the training business I also had Cessna 150's because they were good cheap and reliable.

I got to thinking about it and converted a Cessna Aerobat to a Texas Tail Dragger which made it a far better trainer in my opinion, not only could I teach basic flying on it I could teach basic aerobatics legally with it.

I sold it to a good friend who still has it parked beside his Husky Amphib in his hangar in Pitt Meadows....he loves the thing and fly's it regularly.
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Old 20th May 2015, 23:07
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Originally Posted by Pace View Post
BPF

Well the Grumman Tiger should suit you loved the aeroplane and you could roll the canopy back on hot days even in flight for a bit of fresh air extravaganza

Pace
You don't have to convince me as one of the airplanes I own is a Grumman AA1B. It is a great flying airplane roomy, excellent visibility and with delightfully light and effective controls but I can see why it did not succeed as a flying school aircraft. It is just not built tough enough to survive ab initio students.
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Old 20th May 2015, 23:31
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one thing that i have noticed in this thread is that most of the aircraft mentioned are older aircraft, most of them are from the '70s no one has mentioned any new aircraft, nothing from diamond or pipistral..

Learning to fly in something that is older than you or even your parents will not get new people in to the field as much as we would like.

A good sable platform to learn is more important at the start than a aircraft with "interesting" handling characteristics, you donít learn to drive a car in a 1970's Stag so why should you learn to fly in a 1970's aircraft.

fats
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