What Plane should I learn in?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by frefoo, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. frefoo

    frefoo

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Northen VA
    Sorry all,

    I am sure this question has been asked already (if not many times), however since the search function is disabled I figured I would ask again.

    I have a total of 1 hour logged and walked away thinking that the instructor was more concerned about his flight time then me learning.

    That being said I walked away and am now looking for a different company/instructor to train with.

    My first flight was in a C-152.

    I have found another place that offers other aircraft besides C-152, C-172 and "traumahawks".

    If you had to do it over again, what plane (4 passengers) would you like to learn in?

    I spent 4 years working on F-15 avonics so I understand the cockpit of a plane, I can read the HSI/AI/RPM etc. if that makes a difference in your decision.

    Thanks for your input

    Dave
     
  2. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

    Messages:
    9,979
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Location:
    In the hallway - it's on cuz!
    Train in the least expensive one. The standard trainers are pretty much all the same. High wing, low wing, it doesn't matter at this point. Why train in a four-seater? There is no reason to spend the extra money when it's just you and the CFI. If a two-seater is available, and you are training in a four-place plane, you are wasting money.

    Trust me on that, I learned the hard way. Started in Tomahawk, finished in a Warrior, went back to the Tomahawk and 150 for a fair amount of flying after passing the checkride. Lower hourly rate = more hours flying.
     

  3. frefoo

    frefoo

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Northen VA
    Thanks Ateamer,

    I was under the impression that after training with a 2 seater I would still need be certified with a four seater at a later date (or get used to one at least).

    I want to qualify and pass my X-country in a four seater thats why I wanted to train in such a plane.

    If I can train/pass in a two seater and safely fly a four seater (and pass) then that works for me.
     
  4. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

    Messages:
    9,979
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Location:
    In the hallway - it's on cuz!
    Your private pilot certificate will cover you for single-engine land-based airplanes. The FBO you rent from can require a checkout in any new plane you wish to fly. To fly complex (controllable-pitch prop, flaps, and retractable gear), high performance (over 200 horsepower) or tailwheel planes will require an endorsement in your logbook from a CFI that you have received training in those, but is not part of certification.

    Stepping up to, say a Cherokee from a Tomahawk, is not that big of a jump. It won't take more than a couple hours to get checked out, especially if you buy a copy of the Information Manual first and thoroughly study and know the systems, procedures and v-speeds.

    For now, focus on learning to fly. Don't worry about moving up in equipment yet. And for cryin' out loud, don't send your flying money to Sporty's - all you need for equipment at this stage is a headset, sectional chart and maybe a cheap kneeboard with a notepad.
     
  5. frefoo

    frefoo

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Northen VA
    ateamer,

    Thanks once again.

    Do you have any ideas about finding a proper instructor?
     
  6. NoJoy

    NoJoy

    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    Check out nafinet.org
    This is the website to NAFI-National Association of Flight Instructors. There you will find CFIs and Master CFIs in each state.
    Alot of people wonder about what a "Master" CFI is. I used to be one. These Instructors have taught at least a year, and have done numerious documented projects to help their flight school and in turn students in general, including other instructor's students. There is really not much difference between a Master and non-Master CFI other than the fact that Master CFIs are a member of NAFI and have to continually teach and do different projects like create and teach a GPS ground school to stay current. The Master program helps promote the importance of teaching and stengthens the CFI group as a whole.
    The Master designation is only good for two years-then the CFI has to update their qualifications to NAFI. I fly for an airline now, so I am out of instructing for a little while.
    This website will give you a list of CFIs in each state and their qualifications.
    If you find a CFI who is a Gold Seal CFI-that means that they passed 8 out of 10 students within 24 months.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    Messages:
    1,862
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Location:
    Pretty Fly for a White Guy
    I think the best strategy for finding a CFI that you like is to first ask around, then develop a short list of 2 or 3. Be up front with them that you're interviewing instructors, schedule a lesson or two with each and then decide which one clicks best with you. The time spent interviewing will go to your rating so its really not a waste.

    As far at the trainig aircraft. The only real advantages to the larger plane are that you save the transition time and are more proficient in the plane you'll actually be flying (you'll have to decided for yourself based on the rates if that's worth if money wise). I've also heard that its becomming more common to have a student riding back seat just for the exposure and reinforcment (passive learning). If you could arrange with another student to coordinate your lesson times so he'd backseat through yours and you'd back seat through his it would probably be worth the extra rental costs. Basically you get to hear the CFI say everything twice and you get to learn from the other guys mistakes.

    Interestingly there's also a new field of study in leaning that has identified a portion of the brain that's devoted to learning motor/spatial skills through observation alone. They have documented that you can effectively "know" and develope a "pracriced" motor skill pureley through observation. They hypothesize that this ability to transfer skill so readily within a social group is one of the things that has helped evolve humans into such a successful species.
     
  8. frefoo

    frefoo

    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Northen VA
    Thanks for your comments about training. I will pay attention to them.

    As far as learning thru observation I buy that.

    Last weekend (after my bro gave his son the keys to his truck) I watched my 19 month year old nephew head out to my brothers truck, attempt to unlock it (he needed to be lifted), climb in (no help needed) and attempt to "drive".

    He knew exactly what key was needed to unlock truck, where the ignitation is etc.

    Granted his motor skills are not fully delvoped and needed help along the way it was amazing to see him attempt to accomplish what he did.
     
  9. GlocknAK

    GlocknAK

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2000
    Here's something to think about Freefoo. I'm not saying that you will save money by flying the C-172, but the price difference between the 152 and 172 may not be as big as it first looks.

    Look at it based on the manueavers that you are able to perform in the block of time that you pay for. I don't know how big of a person you are or how big your instructor is/will be, but in the 152 you will probably be close to or over max gross with 2 people and full fuel. In the 172 on the other hand you will not be anywhere close to max gross with 2 people and full fuel. The performance difference between the two airplanes is fairly large if you put the same amount of weight in them. That's not to knock the 152, that's just true of any airplane at it's maximum weight. It is going to lose a considerable amount of performance as it gets heavy.

    So if you look at the amount of time to fly a pattern and perform six touch-and-goes, perform several stall series, or just about any manuever other than straight and level flight, I think that you will find that having a plane with a larger performance margin will allow you to get a lot more done in the hour or two block that you schedule.

    The performance degredation will be even more pronounced as it gets hotter this summer.

    Just something to ponder. Good luck and tailwinds no matter which one that you go with.
     
  10. 40Cal

    40Cal Modurbator

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    This is one of those questions that can't be answered with fact, just opinions. That said...here's mine:

    I did all of my private license training in a 152. I feel that it was a good way to go as the price difference was pretty significant where I flew. I took my checkride in a 152 and the next day I got checked out in a 172 and did the majority of my flying after that in the 172. I did my instrument training in the 172 because it's a more stable platform for that kind of work.

    Just my opinion, it's worth what you paid for it.
     
  11. Skyhook

    Skyhook

    Messages:
    13,068
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    Here is another issue which will make us consider the 'real' from the 'ideal'. When asked which aircraft should someone take primary training in, I always say "tail-dragger". Nothing, but nothing, IMHO, will teach someone the delicate intricacies of how an airplane flies like a tail-dragger. Primary training should be just that.. learning the basics. Once that's accomplished, then students should move on up to the zippy world of glass cockpits, etc.

    Naturally, the unavailability of flight schools/instructors/tail-draggers will necessitate most newbies go to nose-dragger primary, but, anyone wanting to really learn the business of handling an airplane would do well to begin with the J-3s, Citabrias, Champs, Huskies, --- you get the picture. :)
     
  12. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    Messages:
    1,862
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Location:
    Pretty Fly for a White Guy
    Good luck finging a school that has a tail-dragger. There used to be one near here (club is gone now) that had a rental cub, but even they didnt allow its use for primary training.
     
  13. Skyhook

    Skyhook

    Messages:
    13,068
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    We're fortunate in that we have two close-by fields each with instructors with TD acft. One is a Decathalon, the other is a 7GCBC Citabria with floats, skis, and wheels (not all at once;f ).

    But I know this situation is far from common. Unfortunate.
     
  14. NoJoy

    NoJoy

    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    I agree that a tail dragger would make an excellant trainer. It would really teach students how to use the rudder pedals!
    Unfortunately insurance companies are the ones that dictate the type of planes used for instruction; and tail draggers are at the top of their forbidden list for solo students-along with complex planes.
     
  15. Skyhook

    Skyhook

    Messages:
    13,068
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    "Unfortunately insurance companies are the ones that dictate the type of planes used for instruction..." -NoJoy

    A sign of the times in which we live.

    Perhaps it makes economic sense, but...

    Remember when TDs were referred to as 'conventional gear'? That needs readdressing.
     
  16. Number 6

    Number 6 We Take a Peek

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Location:
    Bellaire, TX
    i have about 1500 hours in the tomahawk from the late '70's. my vote would be to avoid that aircraft if at all possible even though it's far more comfortable to sit in than the 152. i would also rule out the 152 if you or your instructor are broad through the shoulders. you will find most cfi's have to sit sideways in a 152.

    kaye
    captain 737
    (also rated in the 757/767 and, of all things, the CASA 212)
     
  17. CDM

    CDM

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX



    I learned to fly in Traumahawks two years ago and I'm just curious as to why you would avoid them for primary training?
     
  18. c6601a

    c6601a

    Messages:
    1,981
    Likes Received:
    88
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2001
    Location:
    The Most Beautiful Part Of The USA
    I have never flown in one, so I can not answer any flight characteristics questions. But a few years ago (mid or late 90's) there was a lot of noise in the aviation press about the safety of the plane during stalls and spins. There was a string of fatal spin accidents involving fairly experienced instructors on traning flights. There was some evidence suggesting that some of these spins were unintentional.

    It was alledged that the internal structure of the wing in production aircrafts was significantly different than that of the prototype that was used for certification testing. There were calls to revoke the entire fleet's airworthiness certificate. I am not sure what the final resolution was, but I believe the FAA was considering removing the "intentional spins approved" certification as the most drastic measure they were willing to entertain.
     
  19. CDM

    CDM

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    May 16, 2003
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    My understanding is that the stall strips that were required to be installed on the wings were sufficient to resolve the problem. I personally think they're fun little planes to fly if you're not going far and aren't in a big hurry. What's really a shame is that most of them (that I've seen at least) have suffered from some serious neglect with regards to the interior and paint.

    I took one from SAT to MSY (yes, I'm insane) earlier this year and ran into two or three people who had used the same plane to earn various ratings in from all over Texas. It's kind of fun to learn a little about a plane's history!
     
  20. Number 6

    Number 6 We Take a Peek

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2001
    Location:
    Bellaire, TX
    it's basically as stated above; the stall/spin characteristics and the certification questions. i was almost the victim of the spin problems as i demonstrated spins to a commercial student: power to idle, full back pressure, full rudder at the stall break... it spins nice. recovery was full forward on the control wheel, full opposite rudder, fly out of the resulting dive. only problem was when i recovered as i had done many times, the airplane pitched up, rolled over and went into a spin in the opposite direction. i kept doing the recovery maneuver over and over with the same results. when we finally recovered, we were about 1200' agl. we entered the initial spin at 8000'. i never spun one again. this particular airplane had just the single set of stall strips instead of the inboard and outboard set.

    as to the certification issue, i don't know since this was revealed only in the past few years, i believe. but based upon my spin story, i've had to wonder.

    i do like the comfort of the airplane for training. the cockpit was designed to be a little bit wider at shoulder level, far nicer than the 150/152.

    one other thing that always made me nervous... when i did stalls with students, i used to look back at the tail at the break... the gyrations the tail went through... wow.