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-   -   Best training airplane? (https://www.pprune.org/private-flying/561678-best-training-airplane.html)

Chuck Ellsworth 19th May 2015 15:17

Best training airplane?
Here is a question for all you people out there in the flying community, especially flight instructors.

What is your choice for the best training airplane you have taught / learned on?

For me it is the Fleet Canuck a tube and fabric tail wheel airplane that was designed and built in Canada.

It has the best combination of control balance, response and all around flying characteristics of any airplane I have used for teaching basic flying skills at the PPL and CPL level on.

What is yours?.

IFMU 19th May 2015 15:57

I learned in a PA12. It is a great airplane for the private rating.

Jan Olieslagers 19th May 2015 15:58

Rans S6. Tolerates beginner's errors very much but does not let its pilot get lazy.

Shaggy Sheep Driver 19th May 2015 16:13

dHC 1 Chipmunk. Won't bite unless really provoked, but very difficult to fly well, and immensely rewarding to fly well! Will not mask a pilot's mistakes, but unlikely to kill him for them!

Flyingmac 19th May 2015 16:36


BroomstickPilot 19th May 2015 16:54

Best Training Aeroplane
Hi Chuck,

For my money, the best basic training aeroplane is another Canadian design namely the De Havilland Chipmunk.

The RAF used it as their basic trainer for donkey's years; that must say something.



Johnm 19th May 2015 17:51

PA 28, works like any other sensible aeroplane so suitably representative.

Big Pistons Forever 19th May 2015 18:09

I think the airplane you learn on is ultimately irrelevant. By far the greatest determinate of flight training success is the quality of your instructor.

A good instructor will teach you to be a good pilot on any airplane. I have personally taught the PPL on the 7 AC Champ, C 120, C 150, C 172, Pa 28 series PA 38 and the Nanchang CJ6A. I personally don't think there was any significant difference on how the student turned out that was related to the airplane.

PBY 19th May 2015 18:39

Luscombe is a great airplane. With proper training, it is not a problem.
But otherwise can bite. Pleasure to fly, though. Lost to Cessna as a trainer due to narrow undercarriage.

Them thar hills 19th May 2015 19:06

Suitable training aircraft
Without a doubt, the trusty Rollason Condor.

Tailwheel, very pleasant controls, and will spin convincingly.

All of the Condors I learned to fly in had the placard "All aircraft bite fools"
A truer word was never spoken.
This was in 1972/3 !!

Chuck Ellsworth 19th May 2015 19:50

This is an interesting discussion.

So far most of the airplanes tend to be tail wheel airplanes which makes sense as learning to fly on a tail wheel airplane "" DOES '' make for a better hands and feet pilot compared to learning on a nose wheel airplane.

I never got the chance to fly the Chipmunk but that is the one machine I would like to fly just because of what everyone says about it.

I am getting to the age now where I like to just sit and remember all the neat things my over sixty years in aviation has allowed me to experience.

My last day flying in the air show business was probably one of the most exciting for me because when they parked me in the parking place for the next two days of flying I fuc.in near died from excitement because right in front of me was a Grumman Tiger Cat painted dark blue....

....of all the airplanes on earth that is my very favorite one and I spent the next two days with the guy who was flying it.

And being parked right behind him I got to taxi out behind him and hold right beside the runway while he did his display.....it was awesome, simply awesome the power that machine has.

That was my last day in the airshow flying business and couldn't have been better.

Wow.....that was in October 2005 almost ten years ago...yup I'm getting old. :O:O:O

Mach Jump 19th May 2015 20:40

It depends on what you want to achieve.

If you want to produce the best pilots/eliminate the less able, then something demanding, with lots of adverse yaw will defeat the less able, and make the Instructor work harder with the ones who make it.

If you want to be able to teach almost anyone who walks in off the street to fly, You need something more benign, and forgiving of hamfistedness. (Is that even a word?) These aircraft can, however lead to sloppy instruction.

I agree with both BPF and Johnm. A good Instructor is far more important than an ideal aircraft, although some aircraft are so benign that some things are impossible to demonstrate in a meaningful way, and learning in something broadly representative of the types of aircraft you are likely to fly in the future is probably best.

All of the Condors I learned to fly in had the placard "All aircraft bite fools"
A truer word was never spoken.
This was in 1972/3 !!
TTH. I too flew Condors in Yorkshire in the 70s. Was G-AYFD one of them?


Ps. Chuck, Get to fly a Chipmunk soon. It has the sweetest, best balanced handling of anything I've ever flown. Now, if only it had another 50hp and a CSU.........;)

GGR155 19th May 2015 20:45

First entry in logbook is Rollason Condor, trial lesson. Then PA 28 followed by C172 but without a doubt my favourite the Beagle Pup.

Wolvesflyer 19th May 2015 20:48

Grob 115.......

ecosse 19th May 2015 20:52

Ikarus C42 :D

Shaggy Sheep Driver 19th May 2015 21:34

If you want to be able to teach almost anyone who walks in off the street to fly, You need something more benign, and forgiving of hamfistedness. (Is that even a word?) These aircraft can, however lead to sloppy instruction.
Worse, they can lead to disillusion. I did my PPL on the dreadfully-handling C150 and seriously considered jacking it in as the aeroplane was so unresponsive and rubbery to fly; like having sex wearing a leather condom.

Then I flew the Chipmunk. Oh! This was flight as it should be! And a few other aeroplanes with adverse yaw etc but really nice to fly kept me in the fold. That led to decades of aviation fun I'd have missed if I'd never flown anything nice in those early months.

Them thar hills 19th May 2015 21:51

Yes, I remember G-AYFD, G-AVZE and G-AWEI all at Sherburn in the early '70's (perhaps also G-AWSO and G-AVOH ?? - I'd have to dig out my first log book to check)
My first solo was on 'EI and it's still around despite all the "wear and tear" of being a club trainer and another life with Mike Peare's Condor Club.

They don't make trainers like that any more, more's the pity !


Mach Jump 19th May 2015 21:51

Sorry, I rambled on a bit in my last post, without answering the OPs question.

I think you would go a long way before you found a better all-rounder than the Slingsby T67c for basic training.


Ps. TTH, I think the T67 is the modern day Condor, and may be a distant relative through it's French ancestry.

PAPI-74 19th May 2015 22:03

I agree, the Firefly is a great machine, but it drinks fuel and is a bit noisy - great fun, just don't have the bad habit of picking up the wing with rudder in the stall.
The PA38 is a sweetie but can be unforgiving - the PA28 has blind spots when teaching nav.
The Bulldog is strange for students to fly left handed, but lovely to play with.

I think, for me anyway, a nice new C172 is the best. Great for trial lessons with Granny in the back, stable yet sporty and loves a field beat-up!
I had a share in a PA28-235 in '95 but was sold on the injected 172.

Genghis the Engineer 19th May 2015 22:11

To instruct - I think that the AA5 is a firm favourite with me for handling, ergonomics and teaching of systems management at about the right level.

When I was a newish student I think that the aeroplane I most enjoyed learning in was the CFM Shadow. As an engineer I think it has a great deal lacking about it - but as a student, it was a superb learning environment.


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