Which aircraft is better for Pilot Training is a very genuine question for aspirant pilots. In a mind of doubts, future pilots find it difficult to make a decision about joining their flying school. Sometime they do not have much knowledge about training aircrafts. Flying school generally overlook this question and project their training aircraft is the best, no matter how old and outdated the model is.
Lets have a discussion on choosing your training aircraft..............
Most of the student pilots fo their single engine flying on Cessna 150. This was widely used globally for training purpose.
- High wing and Low wing: High wing and low wing effects in aircraft stability and ground clearance. Tho all the training aircrafts are highly stable. You will get to know about this in your pilot training. Cessna has a high wing. On the other hand Diamond DA 40 and TB 20 has low wing. The biggest frustration of a low winger is the fact, the amount of ground you see in flight is very little. When doing pattern work, it can be sometimes difficult to see the distance from the runway when in downwind leg, because the wing blocks most of the runway visuals.
- Pre-flight inspection: Piper aircraft requires more physical involvement in pre flight compared to Cessnas. Low wings mean, to check the condition of the main gear you have to crawl yourself below the wing (very uncomfortable). In the Cessna, the gear is right there. You need not get too physical. Draining fuel for contaminants is also far easier in the Cessna because the drainers are right below the wing and a high wing means, you just have to stand and drain the tanks. In a Piper you again will have crawl below the aircraft to get the job done. However, checking fuel tanks is easier in the Piper than in the Cessna because in the Cessna you will have to climb on the wing to visually check the fuel level in the tanks.
- Cockpit ergonomics: Compared to Cessna aircraft, Piper aircraft have really bad cockpit configurations (my personal view). In the Cessna the RPM indicator is easy to look at while keeping an eye on the outside environment. In the Piper, the RPM and MAP gauges are in the place where Cessna keeps their light switches. Sometimes, these gauges get blocked by the control column. One other thing is the flap lever. Almost all Cessna’s have electrically controlled flaps. In most early Pipers (used in training) the flaps are controlled mechanically. You have a lever which looks like a car hand brake and you have to pull it to extend the flaps. The retraction requires a technique where you push a button on the lever and release the button to let the flaps go to the next stage (takes little practice specially if you are used to electric stuff). If the correct technique is not applied the flaps will go fully up in one go. This can be dangerous.
COCKPIT LAYOUT :
This is the cockpit of a Cessna 172
This is the cockpit of a TB 20
This is the cockpit of a Diamond DA40
Every aircraft has different engine power and specifications. You will learn about that in your technical specific subject. But if you look at the cockpit, which one looks more attractive to you?
There is an advantage to fly in glass cockpit. It becomes easier in transition into big jets in later stages. ( My personal view) . If you want to know more about glass cockpit, comment below. You can ask for guidance before joining your flying school [email protected]
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