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Best training airplane?

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Best training airplane?

Old 21st May 2015, 18:32
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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My other plane is a taildragger, and one of the least forgiving, in the opinion of most pilots who have flown them. And, I just bought a second, and returned it from England . I am delighted to think that a candidate would seek out a taildragger for PPL training. No tricycle plane builds piloting skills as well as even the nicest flying taildragger.

(And I have never owned a car with was not a manual transmission )

But, the training market (the clubs and schools who select the trainers) seem to prefer tricycles. Would that mean they have made their "best" selection for the role they have to fill?
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Old 21st May 2015, 18:49
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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But, the training market (the clubs and schools who select the trainers) seem to prefer tricycles. Would that mean they have made their "best" selection for the role they have to fill?
Probably the schools decide by economics. Some prat digs a prop in the ground and it costs an engine and prop. So, they "think" a nosewheel will stop that?
Then once you get a couple of instructors who have never flown a tailwheel and they breed like rabbits. I think it's called progress
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Old 21st May 2015, 18:54
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Probably the schools decide by economics. Some prat digs a prop in the ground and it costs an engine and prop. So, they "think" a nosewheel will stop that?
Then once you get a couple of instructors who have never flown a tailwheel and they breed like rabbits.
I could not agree more. "Land-O-Matic" should have been restricted to "big" planes, and pilots who already know how to fly! But, the flood gates opened, and here we are.

I learned in 150s in the '70's. When I asked for training in the sole Citabria at that club, the instruction was not competent, and I was left rather fearful of taildraggers for some time. It was a wise fellow with a Tiger Moth (which did not have a tailwheel) who taught me better.
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Old 21st May 2015, 19:07
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Bring back the Avro 504K it even has a skid under the nose to save the heavy handed.
I came from gliders in 2006/7
The first time I ever flew power was as a pax at the gliding club in a Jodel 1050. Pilot had only one eye and got a bit of grit in it on downwind, "here, you do it," he said. My first experience of a taildragger with a fan on the front. Closed the throttle at the end of downwind and landed power off. Prob more luck than judgement.

Last edited by Crash one; 21st May 2015 at 19:19.
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Old 21st May 2015, 20:44
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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the best training plane is one that is comfortable to student and instructor and allow large people an uncramped environment.

it should allow for both student and instructor equal access to all critical controls

it should allow excellent visibility to allow for visual clearing and vigilance in avoiding other planes/traffic


It should be robust and reliable and of pleasant, not unusual handling qualities. It should be of sufficient range and reserves to allow for long cross country requirements in obtaining both private and commercial licenses. It should also be a good instrument platform for obtaining INSTRUMENT RATING.

IT should have heated pitot and be capable of handling a lightning strike.

FOR practical purposes, I would think that the piper cherokee series is about right.


There is plenty of time to allow a student to go hunting for odd planes, tail draggers, biplanes, eaglerocks after the gentle introduction to the world of the air.
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Old 21st May 2015, 22:33
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Four pages and only a passing nod to the PA38 Tomahawk.

Great little aeroplane, designed by instructors purely for training.

The only training a/c that doesn't land itself so the stude learns the most difficult bit in learning to fly-the landing- at a very early stage.

Cusco
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Old 21st May 2015, 22:39
  #67 (permalink)  
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Agreed, the Tomahawk is a nice basic trainer in fact I added one to my flying school but the instructors did not like teaching with it.

It would be nice if we could stick to discussing basic flying trainers used in the PPL area of training and not wander into advanced training such as IFR and lightening strike conditions.

You know basic training like using a Cub off a farmers grass field up to solo then move them into a something else like a Cessna or more modern Piper for instance
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Old 22nd May 2015, 00:00
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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My 2c on this? I agree 100% regarding the instructor is more important than the aircraft. I would prefer to learn from someone who is as passionate about flying as I am and not some box ticking sausage factory graduate who sees me as a means to their ends.

As for the aircraft, one of the reasons I think a lot of flight schools have abandoned taildraggers is insurance. Our flying school has a 180 on the books but insurance stipulates I cannot fly it solo until I've had 10 hours dual in 180s and have more than 100 hours PIC. So much for it being an ab initio aircraft.

I am a fairly hefty bloke so fitting inside something like a Tiger Moth or a Chippie would be problematic. I think I could squeeze into a Super Cub but I don't know how comfortable I would be.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 02:55
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Dak

Four pages and no mention of the C-47 (DC3) either

Seems to me it addresses a number of noted shortcomings - it's not (overly) cramped, indeed they have space for a few mates to come along for the ride, you also get to fiddle about with wobbly props, multi engines and retract, and of course it's a taildragger.

Most of all they're a wonderful 'plane to fly and to learn and continue to learn from.

FP.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 05:17
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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I guess I'm easy to please because I've flown and enjoyed hugely a number of the classic trainers - both nosewheel and conventional gear - mentioned in this thread. I learned to fly in a C-A150 and later owned a C150F, in which I toured a fair bit of Australia. They are great little aircraft and I never at any stage feel short-changed when flying a 150 or 152.

While I enjoy flying just about anything, I don't think we need be too crestfallen about what's on contemporary offer these days. For example, for a number of reasons (not least curiosity) I bought a used P2002JF a few years ago. It's an all-metal EASA-certified VLA (600+ kg MTOW), has a 100 hp 912s, gets along at 100 kt on 16 lph of mogas, has about 5.5 hrs endurance, a proper bubble canopy and stick, crisp and conventional handling and good shoulder room.

Is it perfect? Of course not. For a start, it's a VLA and if you're two very big guys you might find yourself limited to 3-ish hours cross-country. And it's not approved for spins. And I buy a lot of SPF50 sunscreen. Furthermore, nothing in the VLA/LSA catergory is going to have much margin for agricultural construction. However, I observe my favourite flying school now approaching 3000 hrs on a couple of P2002s, operated alongside a more traditional fleet, with few problems and many good words from instructors and students.

An enthusiastic teenager asked me a few weeks ago for a recommendation of instructors, flying schools, etc. I made the obvious point about quality of instruction being the biggest criterion but gave him my honest view that he had a range of good aircraft from which to choose, of which the P2002 (and in fact a high wing and tail-dragger stablemate) was but one.

So, keen young folks are still being captivated by little aircraft, and smart flying schools are adjusting their operations to embrace the VLA/LSA sector, often operated alongside the GA stream by the same instructors. In some ways, we might even be returning to our Cub etc roots, except that everyone wants to load up with avionics these days - but that's another story.

Last edited by tecman; 22nd May 2015 at 07:01.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 08:47
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Learning to fly on a tail dragger is a bit like learning to drive in a 1932 Alvis IMHO
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Old 22nd May 2015, 09:11
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Well given the standard of driving of many young people who have learnt on cars with power steering, synchromesh on all gears, parking sensors etc etc, I'd say that learning on a 1932 Alvis would probably be a very good idea if there were enough of them.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 14:54
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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The only training a/c that doesn't land itself....
Um, there are a few tail wheel trainers that fit that descriptio a bit more accurately than the PA38.

....so the stude learns the most difficult bit in learning to fly-the landing- at a very early stage.
Only a tail dragger demands correct landing technique - it won't let you get away with sloppyness. Correct technique can of course be taught in a trike, but the aeroplane won't insist on it being applied. As the countless 3-pointed 172s and even wheelbarrowed ones you see every day, and the monotonous monthly reporting by AAIB of nose leg collapses gives testament to.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 15:09
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps we should take the sting out of discussion. Personally, I think the following attributes are essential for a PPL training aircraft:

Balanced controls
The ability to clearly demonstrate the primary and secondary effects of all controls (including power/throttle).
An aircraft that rewards use of rudder
Relatively benign behaviour when executing a go-around (not totally benign, just something that allows the student to learn)
Predictable stall characteristics, demonstrating all the attributes that one could expect including buffet and wing drop.
Forgiving in the landing, notably aversion to PIOs and excessive bounces.

FUN! Something that doesn't intimidate the student.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 15:10
  #75 (permalink)  
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Only a tail dragger demands correct landing technique - it won't let you get away with sloppyness. Correct technique can of course be taught in a trike, but the aeroplane won't insist on it being applied. As the countless 3-pointed 172s and even wheelbarrowed ones you see every day, and the monotonous monthly reporting by AAIB of nose leg collapses gives testament to.
For those of you who look at tail wheel airplanes with disdain and below your level as a pilot the above post is something you should ponder because it is fact.

The number of airplanes that get wrecked by pilots breaking the nose wheel gear is astonishing and undeniable proof that flight training is woefully substandard in many cases.

If every new pilot were taught to solo on a tail wheel airplane then switched to a nose wheel airplane the broken nose wheel accidents would become rare.

Also some of the most beautiful looking and flying airplanes ever built are tail wheel airplanes...the Spitfire and the DC3 are examples.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 15:41
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Some of the most elegant cars were designed and built in the 1930s but this is 2015.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 15:56
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cows getting bigger View Post
Perhaps we should take the sting out of discussion. Personally, I think the following attributes are essential for a PPL training aircraft:

Balanced controls
The ability to clearly demonstrate the primary and secondary effects of all controls (including power/throttle).
An aircraft that rewards use of rudder
Relatively benign behaviour when executing a go-around (not totally benign, just something that allows the student to learn)
Predictable stall characteristics, demonstrating all the attributes that one could expect including buffet and wing drop.
Forgiving in the landing, notably aversion to PIOs and excessive bounces.

FUN! Something that doesn't intimidate the student.
I think that is a pretty good list and the C 150 pretty much ticks every box

I have flown the Chipmunk and it is one of the nicest handling aircraft I have ever flown however from a commercial perspective it is a disaster though. Realistically a school would have to charge twice the hourly rate of a C 150, or even more to make it pay.

My advice is find a good instructor, learn in one of the common trainers, get your PPL and then search out the cool airplanes.

However if you do one thing post PPL,do this. Take an introductory aerobatic course. Even if you think you won't like aerobatics do it anyway, it will massively increase your personal skills and confidence in controlling the aircraft and you might be very surprised how much fun you are having by the end of the course.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 22:22
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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The best training aircraft ever has to be the Piper Tomahawk, its certainly taught many flying instructors a lesson
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Old 23rd May 2015, 10:00
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Nave question here. But why did the Beechcraft Skipper sell poorly and how did it compare to the Tomahawk?
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Old 23rd May 2015, 12:03
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Guys, the discriminating factor is always money.
I learned on a Piper Tomahawk and I loved it. Then I changed school and flew the C-152. It was a dog. But it was all they had, so take it or leave.
I would looove to fly a Chipmunk, but a trainer has to be cheap. Otherwise no boys will walk through that door.

And for those of you that would love to get a flight instructor passionate about his/her job and not a time builder: are you willing to pay him more for his passion and his committment? Or just the same as the other guy?
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