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Best training airplane?

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Best training airplane?

Old 23rd May 2015, 12:57
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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I am fortunate to instruct at a club that has a varied fleet.

DA20A1, DA20C1, PA28, C172, DA40, T67M and L21B (SuperCub).

They are all great in their way, but I think the best trainers are the DA20A1 Katanas. Their meagre 80 HP means that the students need to get the climb speed exactly right, and the ball exactly in the middle in order to get any reasonable climb rate. The bubble canopy gives a fantastic all round view, the stall is benign (although the nose does not drop), they spin and recover nicely and they are not too easy to land. They have a CS prop, which prepares students for more advanced aircraft. Economical too, at 15LPH.

I love flying the Cub, and doing Tailwheel conversions in it, but I would not recommend it for ab initio training. The tandem seating makes it harder, and with a big student it is impossible for the instructor to see the instruments. Also not entirely happy with the student being the only person with access to the mixture and radio controls.

The T67 is also a great training aircraft, but a bit too easy to land. Great for aerobatics though!
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Old 23rd May 2015, 14:07
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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dear dr jekyl

I have had the pleasure to fly both the tomahawk and the beech skipper. They may look alike but boy the skipper is a dog. Perhaps it is so robust there power to weight ratio is not as good as the tomahawk.

The owner of our club had 2 tomahawks (by my request) and they were fine, one day he brought the skipper on line and looked at me and said : why aren't you flying it?

We both took off in it, proper weight and balance. Stall warning blaring all the time, even in level cruise flight, safe airspeed NO STALL at all. Poor climb even at sea level.

The visibility from the tomahawk is a HUGE selling point for me, I taught in an exceptionally busy area (11 airports within 30 miles) airliners, military high performance, GA, gliderport everything except balloons.

good luck all


oh, I did like the VARGA KACHINA but have not seen it mentioned.
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Old 23rd May 2015, 19:50
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Another vote for the DA20, damn nice little aircraft.
There really is no excuse nowadays for training on old techology, especially the scruffy examples typical of so many flight schools.

The new pilots joining us in the 21st century deserve better than 40 year old aircraft with steam guages, we should be training them for the future.
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Old 23rd May 2015, 21:03
  #84 (permalink)  
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The new pilots joining us in the 21st century deserve better than 40 year old aircraft with steam guages, we should be training them for the future.
I agree 100% because as time passes aircraft designers give us better equipment.

HOWEVER:

All airplanes are still controlled by the same control surfaces and the pilot still has to understand how to use these surfaces to produce the required control of the airplane....

SOOOoo...

If all new pilots were started on a Cub off a farmers grass strip until solo would not that make them ready to learn to control the modern easy to fly machines??
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Old 23rd May 2015, 21:34
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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If all new pilots were started on a Cub off a farmers grass strip until solo would not that make them ready to learn to control the modern easy to fly machines??
Yup!

(Or a Chipmunk, if they can find one!)
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Old 23rd May 2015, 22:55
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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I truly wish I could have gotten my first rides in a cub. I did fly a supercub and enjoyed it. sadly, someone crashed our cub.

the most important gauge is the airspeed indicator in my view...just sad that it is not the biggest and first in the modern electric world
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Old 24th May 2015, 00:25
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chuck Ellsworth View Post

If all new pilots were started on a Cub off a farmers grass strip until solo would not that make them ready to learn to control the modern easy to fly machines??
Flying a Cub of a grass strip is pretty awesome on a sunny summers day, not so nice on a cloudy, cold, windy December day, though

If you want to learn on a small taildragger than I think the Cessna 120/140 is a much more practical trainer than a Cub.

You pretty much would have to buy one of your own to do that now, but it is entirely possible. I had 2 PPL students that did exactly that. One had a polished aluminum one with silver doped wings that was absolutely gorgeous. The other was owned by a young man that was not rich, so it represented almost his entire net worth. It was ugly looking but still flew beautifully.

For ab initio look for a C 120/140 that has a good intercom, the gear extensions, and brakes on the right side.
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Old 24th May 2015, 00:36
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I like the c120/140. Having flown both gear configurations I like it without the extenders. It is a good airplane. One of the guys in the association does training in his 140. No brakes on the right and that is where he starts his students.
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Old 24th May 2015, 00:44
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by IFMU View Post
I like the c120/140. Having flown both gear configurations I like it without the extenders. It is a good airplane. One of the guys in the association does training in his 140. No brakes on the right and that is where he starts his students.
With the instructors I know it seems they are about 50/50 on the gear extensions. The airplane is definitely easier to wheel land with the stock gear and also looks better.

I like the extenders because it makes it less likely for the student to do a nose over, especially early in the training. I feel the aircraft is also more directionally stable when 3 pointing it. However there is definitely no right or wrong answer on this issue as a lot of the preference for one style of landing gear over the other is subjective.
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Old 24th May 2015, 01:59
  #90 (permalink)  
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When I started this thread I expressed my own personal preference for the best ab-initio training airplane.

There are many different airplanes used in training people for the PPL and for sure I have not flown anywhere near all of them.

Just to expand on why I chose the Fleet Canuck it was because I found it to have the best handling characteristics of the tail wheel airplanes I learned and taught on in the early fifties until the early sixties.

The school where I learned and worked as an instructor at had four Cessna 140's and four Fleet Canucks as their main training fleet.

The Fleet Canuck did have one small drawback in that there were no brakes on the right hand side, but its handling was so good the lack of brakes for the instructor was never a problem.

In the ten or so years I observed these machines train students there was zero loss of control incidents that I know of in all the thousands of take offs and landings these machines did.

We also had some other tail wheel airplanes over the years such as the PA12 probably Pipers best little machine. We also had a Cessna 170 another nice trainer.....then of course Cessna made the " Land O Matic " 172 and we all know what happened to tail wheel training after that.

The one airplane that was a bit tricky was the Piper Pacer / Clipper without right hand brakes and it was a bit more tricky to teach on.

So basically in my personal opinion it is better to have brakes on both sides of side by side trainers, but the lack of brakes on the instructors side does not mean the airplane is not suitable as a trainer.

Of course the above is subjective supported by having thousands of take offs and landings with zero loss of control.

Oh and while I am here rambling on and on there were two airplanes over my career that I really paid attention to on the runway....the Pitts Special and the Grumman Turbo Goose those suckers keep you awake on the runway.
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Old 24th May 2015, 07:03
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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the most important gauge is the airspeed indicator in my view...just sad that it is not the biggest and first in the modern electric world
Don't get me started on that subject!

Chuck .... I still reckon the best aircraft to learn on is a glider

SS
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Old 24th May 2015, 15:14
  #92 (permalink)  
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the most important gauge is the airspeed indicator in my view...just sad that it is not the biggest and first in the modern electric world
Actually the airspeed indicator can cause some real sloppy flying that can be observed by watching poorly trained pilots chase it during climb, resulting in a roller coaster climb path.

The AOA indicator is far more useful and accurate.
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Old 24th May 2015, 16:51
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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The AOA indicator is far more useful and accurate.
The WHAT??? I've learned to make do with keeping the horizon a stable line in the windshield. Seems to work.

I still reckon the best aircraft to learn on is a glider
Seeing the gliders land at my homefield, I agree gliders seem to generally have very well-trained pilots (and extremely efficient air brakes, too...). Not always very careful of procedures, though, especially regarding ground security. But that may well be a local phenomenon.
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Old 24th May 2015, 18:31
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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The WHAT??? I've learned to make do with keeping the horizon a stable line in the windshield. Seems to work.
Um, right. How does that help me know how hard I can pull exiting from a loop without exceeding stall AOA? Or turn steeply using 'bank and yank' without departing?

At the risk of turning this into a mutual admiration society Chuck is right on the nail with this:

Actually the airspeed indicator can cause some real sloppy flying that can be observed by watching poorly trained pilots chase it during climb, resulting in a roller coaster climb path.

The AOA indicator is far more useful and accurate.
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Old 24th May 2015, 18:39
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What about the Alarus? Anyone got any experience with it?
Too bad they stopped making it, looks like a sound little airplane.
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Old 24th May 2015, 21:47
  #96 (permalink)  
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Further to the miss use, misunderstanding of the airspeed indicator as a flight instrument I would suggest the problem goes right back to the start of their training in lesson one, attitudes and movements, had they been correctly taught attitudes and movements and could demonstrate they understood that lesson they would not airspeed chase.

So how does that happen?

Anyone??
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Old 24th May 2015, 22:07
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Chuck,

I'll put my hand up. I like to think I'm a pretty good attitude flyer these days and I've had two flights where I had an ASI failure.

However, many years ago on my second or third lesson, when after having been carefully briefed on how to go from level-flight to a climb, I still ended up chasing the airspeed and my instructor had to take over!

So it can happen. I often think you could make a case for covering the ASI and VSI in early lessons.
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Old 24th May 2015, 22:48
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Covering the instruments is sometimes the only way to get some students to look out the window for landing. Basic flight instruction should be a basic understanding of how to fly comfortably with no instruments by simply looking out the window and using that as a primary reference with just a glance at the airspeed to see how well you are doing.

Basic airplanes should also be basic. I learned in an Aeronca Champ and soloed in 5 hrs. I instructed in J3 cubs and Cessnas initially and both did a great job but learning in the Cub teaches you basics that can't be learned in a tricycle gear airplane.

I saw sloppy landings when flying with very experienced pilots in the Airlines who obviously never got the basics of how airplanes like to land.

Do yourself a favor and learn in a taildragger.
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Old 24th May 2015, 23:33
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Since we no longer seen to be talking about "best training aircraft" and are now talking about flying instruction in general, I will add my 05 cents worth to that conversation as a current and active flight instructor.

When I teach attitudes and movements I don't even mention the flight instruments except for the ball. When the students ask about the panel full of instruments I tell them everything they need to know about what the airplane is doing can be discerned by looking out the windshield.

I always carry a pad of post it notes and will cover up any instruments the student is misusing.

My last PPL was done on a privately owned airplane. It had a fancy EFIS system which was great, because it had its own power switch. I only turned it on when we got to the navigation and instrument portion of the PPL, near the end of the course.

Last edited by Big Pistons Forever; 24th May 2015 at 23:43.
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Old 24th May 2015, 23:40
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bubbers44 View Post

Do yourself a favor and learn in a taildragger.
Absolutely if you have the opportunity, but I do firmly believe that you can taught how to properly fly in any of the common trainers like the Cessna 150 or Piper Pa 28 series.

To imply that learning in a nosewheel aircraft will automatically make you inferior to someone who trained in a tailwheel aircraft is IMO not correct and does a dis-service to the flight training industry.
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