What should I solo in?

thatpilotkid

Well-Known Member
Hi! I'm 14. I'm a student pilot, with 20 total hours (I've been flying since I was 13). I've flown c150s, 172s, and a da40xls. As of now, I'm doing my training in a Cirrus SR20 with the g1000. Heres my problem. The flight school I'm at now is your average flight school with instructors coming and going to get their hours for the regionals. The only reason I still fly with them is that I love the Cirrus. It's comfortable and has the chute just in case. The airplane itself is very powerful and complex, and my flight school is trying to get me to take a Cirrus VFR transition course in it. My flight school is charging $800 for it. The Cirrus website says it's designed for licensed pilots only, so I feel like my school is trying to scam me out of $800. They have also said that under no circumstances is anyone allowed to take ppl training in the Cirrus. Except for me. Now, either I'm some sort of a god of a student pilot, or they're trying to scam me on my ppl by paying twice as much for instruction, and the airplane. (I'm the only one that really flies the airplane too, I've seen the logbooks.) So, this school is pretty shady, yet its the most popular one in my area.

So, recently, a new school opened. It's at our actual main FBO and the airplanes share a hangar with most of the private jets based at my airport. It's a small school. They have 2 DA40s and one DA42 (They just got it.) Its ran by a guy who is a corporate pilot, and is an airshow manager for almost 200+ airshows across the USA. (He's got a lot more qualifications under his belt too.) There's a few instructors there, ones an ERAU grad, who came up here to instruct and fly corporate. Another is a former 737 test pilot and is a captain at AA with 19000 hours. I got to do an intro flight with them, and in just that one intro flight, I learned more in that hour in the air than I had with 20 hours at the Cirrus school. Yeah, I got more, and better quality instruction on an intro flight than I had as an active student at a different school. The quality of instruction is amazing. So why don't I start flying over there right now? Well, The DA40 is not the worlds most comfortable airplane. It doesn't have adjustable seats, and with the glass canopy, in the summer, it gets hot. It also has a pretty small fuselage, and I'm afraid its gonna get blown around as the 150 did at the other school in the slightest amount of wind/turbulence. I do really like how it flies, and the center stick is really nice. It performs excellent in a stall. (in a power-off stall, we dropped at -2000fpm). So, I'm stuck. I want to, eventually, go to the airlines as my career. So, airline pilots, who have gone through this, what should I do? Stick with mediocre instruction, but fly in an airplane I absolutely adore or go with a school that has amazing instruction, but an airplane I'm not sold on?
 

ShortField

No one of consequence
What the heck is a VFR transition course? Don’t do that.

When I was getting my ratings my philosophy was that single piston all logged the same, and in that light I strove to find the cheapest airplanes possible that would get me the end result I was after. Don’t get me wrong, nice airplanes are nice, but they don’t get you to the airlines any faster. It also sounds like the other flight school will give you more bang for your buck as far as instructors maybe?
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
Thread drift ...

So, a billion years ago I soloed with roughly 8 hours off runway 16 at BEV (and a few more in a Link trainer). What the hell has changed from what used to be the “norm?” PPL was generally 40-50 hours, sadly never achieved personally.

Are we dumber? Is it harder, more complex? Were the standards/expectations simply wrong?
 

Maximilian_Jenius

Super User
Second paragraph says it all. I fly a DA40. Love it! Honestly though its a toss-up between the 40 and the 172. You already have your answer about the shady school with the Cirrus. Always trust your gut. Not only in flight training, but also in life.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Assuming all other things equal in terms of the safety and availability of the airplanes, opt for the better instruction. There is plenty of time for transitions to as many different airplanes as you want after you earn your certificate.

The DA40 may not have the panache (marketing) of the Cirrus but it is a fine airplane (I have flown both and am currently giving DA40 transition training for a club.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
Thread drift ...

So, a billion years ago I soloed with roughly 8 hours off runway 16 at BEV (and a few more in a Link trainer). What the hell has changed from what used to be the “norm?” PPL was generally 40-50 hours, sadly never achieved personally.

Are we dumber? Is it harder, more complex? Were the standards/expectations simply wrong?
Lots of things are more complicated than they used to be, avionics, airspace, rules etc.

Solo still often happens with relatively low time though.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

Autothrust Blue

Commander Air Group, BSG-75
I personally really enjoyed my DiamondStar time, for a bunch of reasons that include how snappy it is on the controls, to the canopy (yeah, it might get hot but that visibility is amazing) and so on. I wouldn't light money on fire doing all of that in a Cirrus—maybe, if you want to do some really high end, nice cross country cruising, come back after you're certificated and go poke around in it. They're fine airplanes, don't get me wrong.

Incidentally, 920' (today, I learned) is the demonstrated altitude loss from CAPS deployment in a 1-turn spin, which roughly equals pattern altitude. So don't take it as an amazing security blanket—you need to be within its deployment envelope and not be so startled by the high attitude rates that you pop the chute and survive in the pattern. In non-spin conditions, the low altitude record is 444' for a safe deployment and landing, apparently.

(The point is that spins happen in the pattern, of course.)
 
D

Deleted member 27505

Guest
As for the solo... that should always be done the old fashioned way... in the privacy of one's bedroom.

As for your PPL, go hang out at the airport with the pros -maybe get a ramp job there- meet all the pilot/owners there and see how much flight time you can get in other peoples' airplanes while you wait out the couple years until you can take your check ride. Why spend money on airplanes if you don't have to??
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
Hi! I'm 14. I'm a student pilot, with 20 total hours (I've been flying since I was 13). I've flown c150s, 172s, and a da40xls. As of now, I'm doing my training in a Cirrus SR20 with the g1000. Heres my problem. The flight school I'm at now is your average flight school with instructors coming and going to get their hours for the regionals. The only reason I still fly with them is that I love the Cirrus. It's comfortable and has the chute just in case. The airplane itself is very powerful and complex, and my flight school is trying to get me to take a Cirrus VFR transition course in it. My flight school is charging $800 for it. The Cirrus website says it's designed for licensed pilots only, so I feel like my school is trying to scam me out of $800. They have also said that under no circumstances is anyone allowed to take ppl training in the Cirrus. Except for me. Now, either I'm some sort of a god of a student pilot, or they're trying to scam me on my ppl by paying twice as much for instruction, and the airplane. (I'm the only one that really flies the airplane too, I've seen the logbooks.) So, this school is pretty shady, yet its the most popular one in my area.

So, recently, a new school opened. It's at our actual main FBO and the airplanes share a hangar with most of the private jets based at my airport. It's a small school. They have 2 DA40s and one DA42 (They just got it.) Its ran by a guy who is a corporate pilot, and is an airshow manager for almost 200+ airshows across the USA. (He's got a lot more qualifications under his belt too.) There's a few instructors there, ones an ERAU grad, who came up here to instruct and fly corporate. Another is a former 737 test pilot and is a captain at AA with 19000 hours. I got to do an intro flight with them, and in just that one intro flight, I learned more in that hour in the air than I had with 20 hours at the Cirrus school. Yeah, I got more, and better quality instruction on an intro flight than I had as an active student at a different school. The quality of instruction is amazing. So why don't I start flying over there right now? Well, The DA40 is not the worlds most comfortable airplane. It doesn't have adjustable seats, and with the glass canopy, in the summer, it gets hot. It also has a pretty small fuselage, and I'm afraid its gonna get blown around as the 150 did at the other school in the slightest amount of wind/turbulence. I do really like how it flies, and the center stick is really nice. It performs excellent in a stall. (in a power-off stall, we dropped at -2000fpm). So, I'm stuck. I want to, eventually, go to the airlines as my career. So, airline pilots, who have gone through this, what should I do? Stick with mediocre instruction, but fly in an airplane I absolutely adore or go with a school that has amazing instruction, but an airplane I'm not sold on?
You're me when I was 13-14, but I didn't really have an internet to go ask. I just nerded out on lots of Flying magazine, and hung out at the airport with old men. You're not stuck. The answer is obvious. Go with the one with the better training. This is a 100% business decision. Your infatuation with someone else's plane should not be a factor when choosing the highest value, best quality training available. Cirruses are everywhere.
 

Rodger Wilco

Well-Known Member
Best bet is to spend the most amount of money flight training as possible that way you’re more motivated to get a job when you get your ratings. ... just kidding.

I had a flight school trick me into flying a more complex (more expensive) aircraft. They told me that it was required for my CPL. After about 20 hours of little progress I looked at the FARs and realized they were just milking me for the $ and complex wasn’t actually required.

It all logs the same, fly what is safe and affordable. Go back to that 150 if you can save the money for later
 
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MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Best bet is to spend the most amount of money flight training as possible that way you’re more motivated to get a job when you get your ratings. ... just kidding.

I had a flight school trick me into flying a more complex (more expensive) aircraft. They told me that it was required for my CPL. After about 20 hours of little progress I looked at the FARs and realized they were just milking me for the $ and complex wasn’t actually required.

It all logs the same, fly what is safe and affordable. Go back to that 150 if you can save the money for later
Are you really. really new? Or really, really old? I ask because at least since 1973 until this past year complex training was required for the commercial certificate (now it's complex or a perhaps more expensive TAA).

That, of course, doesn't mean you should be doing that for the private.
 

Rodger Wilco

Well-Known Member
Are you really. really new? Or really, really old? I ask because at least since 1973 until this past year complex training was required for the commercial certificate (now it's complex or a perhaps more expensive TAA).

That, of course, doesn't mean you should be doing that for the private.
Ive been told that am a really old soul of that counts...

Ah if I remember correctly there is some complex training required for the CPL and maybe a couple of maneuvers for the check ride required to be done in a complex aircraft. The situation I was in was the flight school wanted me to do the entire CPL training in a complex aircraft at some ridiculous rate. Also they had a habit of not completing my lessons even though everything went well or requiring more flights than necessary.... after about 20 hours of spending serious cash I started to wise up to the idea that they were milking me. That’s when I hit the FARs and realized that only one small portion of the check ride has to be done in s complex aircraft. They had me flying around in holds just burning cash.

So I went to another flight school that was happy to work with me and I did most of my training in a 172. As I recall I did the check ride in a 172RG but the DE said all he needed to see me do was put the gear up and down and put the prop forward for landing or something like that.
Flight schools are happy to sell you as much training as you'll buy. Some are more honest than others. Heck I bet if I went back today they’d recommend I get a little more complex SEL time for my 121 resume!
 

woodreau

Well-Known Member
Gliders, you should solo in gliders because you're old enough now to do so.
And get your private glider pilot certificate at 16, a year earlier than all the airplane single engine pilots.

At least that’s what all the kids at my home field did 20 years ago. They were certificated private pilots and flying gliders before they were able to get a drivers license to drive themselves.
 
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