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PPL and 'complex' aircraft

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PPL and 'complex' aircraft

Old 25th Aug 2019, 14:00
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PPL and 'complex' aircraft

Only just started the PPL, so about 4 hrs in, sticking with the PA28 Warrior which is the aircraft of choice at the club.

But I notice there seems to be a PA28 Arrow, which has a retractable landing gear (and I'm guessing variable pitch propeller)

My maths tells me it could be as 'cheap' as about £35 per hour more expensive in the Arrow than the Warrior and i'm just wondering whether it would be sensible (cost and use wise) to fly or take the test in the Arrow. And if so how many hours would I need?

I have to admit I have no idea how licensing works, but assume you must be rated in some way if you fly at least some of the PPL and/or pass the test in an aircraft of certain complexity?
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 14:47
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I'd check with the club. Not many (if any) would want a pupil flying a retractable/variable single. There may also be insurance issues as well.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 15:15
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I used to know someone who did his PPL in his own Cessna Cardinal. The first thing he discovered was that, at certain stages of every flight, a lot happens and needs to be done quite quickly. The faster the aircraft and the more things have to be done, e.g. undercarriage and propeller, the more scope there is for getting into trouble. This chap certainly entertained us with the stories of his misdemeanours which, fortunately for him, were in an age where zone busting was treated more sympathetically. I am sure that, as you continue your training into the solo stages, you will join the rest of us in sometimes wishing there was pause button like on FS while your brain catches up with the aeroplane.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 15:20
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VP is an addition to an aircraft that requires additional training and is an additional mental load in flight. Stick to FP for a start, time to get familiar with VP is after your PPL I suggest.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 21:08
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If a training organization who operates an Arrow will make it available for your training, use that airplane as early in your training, and as often as they will allow, and you can afford. Particularly if you aspire to move up to more advanced airplanes anyway. Yes, you'll have to learn to manage the propeller and landing gear, but don't let this put you off, it's not a big deal. To be honest, managing modern avionics is much more complex than constant speed prop and retractable landing gear. The airplane will be a little more "busy" to fly during takeoff and landing, so just know this, and allow yourself a little more time for that. Yes, there's a little more to learn on type, so plan to spend a little extra on instructor time while you learn these additional disciplines.

If you are able to train in an Arrow, or similar single engine complex airplane, the experience you build, and the time you log will be more valuable toward being insured on advanced types in the future for you. And, it's likely that the training organization will assign you a more experienced instructor - this will benefit you. (Their newest instructor is not training on their advanced airplane!).

Shortly after my PPL training in 150/172, I asked to rent the club's Cardinal RG (Cessna's equivalent to the Arrow). As I was very low time, They insisted n a five hour check out. No problem, I flew two of those hours, the instructor said he was happy with my skills, and I felt confident in the plane, so he and I flew a three hour cross country, partly night and hood time toward my night rating. Then I rented that airplane mostly, including taking for a week long 1000 mile trip solo. With about 70 hours in that airplane (and another renter crashing it), I was well set to be insured on other advanced types, and a more broad choice of types opened up for me. I do know a fellow who bought and earned his PPL in a Piper Aztec. It took him a while, but he did it, was fine to fly that type, and transitioned to other type well - he next bought a Navajo.
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 08:54
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PPL on multi used to be possible in the UK, before JAA/EASA, but isn't anymore..............
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 09:44
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Watching this thread over several days (and being very familiar with all the aeroplane types mentioned - I used to have a share in a Warrior after doing my SEP PPL in a C152, and later did my EASA CPL in an Arrow) I took a while to form an opinion about this.

On the whole, I think that the PA28 is a good touring aeroplane, but a poor training aeroplane. The reason I don't like it as a trainer is that it is too undemanding of the pilot.

What will switching from a Warrior to an Arrow do? It'll push up pilot workload as they manage the gear and variable pitch prop - but certainly not to an unacceptable degree. It'll not solve the fundamental problem that the aeroplane's handling is exceptionally docile - although the steeper gear down glide will be more representative of some other types and the extra management of gear and prop in the circuit will push up the pilot's ability to handle complexity a little. It'll certainly prepare the pilot better to fly Arrows or similar if long touring flights is their eventual ambition. On net, it'll probably be slightly the better training aeroplane.

So, with the proviso that in my opinion there are significantly better basic trainers than either (e.g. the C150 and PA38 Tomahawk) I think it sounds a perfectly sensible plan. Instructors like the more complex aeroplane as well, and the availability will probably be better than the cheaper Warriors - both of which are likely to improve the learning experience,

Basically, go for it.

G
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 12:57
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Sometimes the more experienced pilots among us forget just how complicated it seems to a new pilot to fly an aircraft. It's like when someone starts to learn to drive a car, there is so much to do (it seems) as you toddle along the road at 5 mph!
Despite what our learned friend above says, given the choice, start with a basic training aircraft in order to learn to fly, then when you are proficient (e.g. after your PPL) learn complex types.
I can't see many instructors sending up a student for their first solo in an aircraft with retractible undercarriage and a variable pitch prop.
That's only my humble opinion and I bow to the tremendous experience of others.
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 14:25
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You can take it both ways - I think that an aeroplane like, say, a Chipmunk or Cub that puts a lot of handling demands on the pilot but not much in the way of systems management has a lot going for it. That's why I said above that I consider the C150 and PA38 to be much better trainers than Warrior.

On the other hand, the military have put ab-initio students straight into jets in some countries for years, and those of us who started on the Bulldog weren't getting into a simple low powered aeroplane either. That's not noted for its failure to produce good pilots.

But I do think that a very undemanding aeroplane like the Warrior, combined with relate simplicity of systems may well be the worst of both worlds. At least by adding in a few systems (and in an ideal world something like a GNS430 as well) you're helping the student build capacity as a pilot early.

G
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 15:27
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The irony of Ghengis’ post above is that the PA38 ceased production in 1982 and the C150 in 1977. Just saying
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 15:58
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I had a think about this, and decided against it - only because there is only 1 Arrow and at a busy club it can sometimes be tricky booking an aircraft and/or instructor when there are loads of aircraft. Limiting flying to just one aircraft going forward I don't think is a very clever step at this stage.

That said, I think i'm ahead of the curve and i don't think i'd struggle with landing gear, the VP maybe...

And i never considered the insurance aspect, is that why club requires copy of passport - for solo insurance purposes?
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 17:09
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Originally Posted by 150 Driver View Post
The irony of Ghengis’ post above is that the PA38 ceased production in 1982 and the C150 in 1977. Just saying
And the PA28 has been around since the 1960s.

That the PA28 is popular for the flying school business model, which it clearly is, is not the same as saying it's a good training aeroplane.

G
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 03:08
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Originally Posted by funfly View Post
I can't see many instructors sending up a student for their first solo in an aircraft with retractible undercarriage and a variable pitch prop.
.
I did 2 PPL’s from zero on a Nanchang CJ6A

Retractable gear, vp prop, 285 hp supercharged radial engine with the requirement to actively manage CHT and Oil Temp by adjusting the cowl gills and oil cooler door
No nosewheel steering with touchy grabby brakes.

Bottom line: the first 5 hrs were me flying and the student only working at managing the engine systems and checklists. After
that it was a regular PPL with perhaps a bit more focus on system knowledge and checklist discipline.

i signed off one of the students T28 Trojan type rating at 200 hr TT

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Old 28th Aug 2019, 12:18
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Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
PPL on multi used to be possible in the UK, before JAA/EASA, but isn't anymore..............
And here I am doing my MEP rating on a PPL in an EASA country. It would be weird if it isn't possible in the UK.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 13:46
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You misunderstood my statement Archer 4. I was commenting on a previous post about doing ab initio PPL training on a multi, which definitely isn't possible, not adding a multi to a PPL.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 14:18
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Originally Posted by MrAverage View Post
You misunderstood my statement Archer 4. I was commenting on a previous post about doing ab initio PPL training on a multi, which definitely isn't possible, not adding a multi to a PPL.
My bad.....
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 17:50
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Originally Posted by newfoundglory View Post
That said, I think i'm ahead of the curve and i don't think i'd struggle with landing gear, the VP maybe...
��Pride before a fall. A colleague of mine at one of the previous companies I worked for had been the chief pilot at the Empire Test Pilot School. Now he really was "ahead of the curve"

Search in YouTube for FedEx late gear, it is interesting how even very experienced pilots can forget the gear.
(I tried to post a link but it does not seem to want to work unfortunately)

Last edited by Council Van; 28th Aug 2019 at 18:10.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 18:00
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Pride before a fall. A colleague of mine at one of the previous companies I worked for had been the chief pilot at the Empire Test Pilot School. Now he really was "ahead of the curve
I once commented when working and flying as a Flight Test Observer at Boscombe Down, that a particular Test Pilot was about 5 seconds ahead of the aeroplane, whilst I in the back seat was about 5 seconds behind it. One of the ETPS instructors who had trained him said "You are only 10 seconds behind HIM - you must be good! "

I do agree in general terms, the pilots happy they're on top of the flying task and ahead of the aeroplane, are generally not fully appreciating the situation.

G
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 18:15
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A fare few from Boscombe ended up down the road at FR Aviation. I think there were three ex test pilots on the Do228 at the same time as I was flying it. They were in a different league to a mortal like myself.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 11:51
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Don't waste your time an money learning on the Arrow, its not a good traing aircraft. Learn to fly on the simplesrt PA28 you can, a 140 if possible, and when you can fly that convert to the Arrow.
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