Best aircraft to use for commercial and CFI training?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by rookie1255, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. rookie1255

    rookie1255 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    96
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rookie1255
    From the perspective of a flight school, what is the most economical aircraft for this type of operation?

    Wants:
    Good flying qualities for commercial/CFI training
    Complex aircraft (requirement for commercial/CFI)
    Fuel efficient
    Cheap to maintain and insure

    Compromises:
    Initial purchase price doesn't have to be rock bottom if operating costs are minimized
    Doesn't need to be IFR
    Doesn't need to be particularly powerful/fast

    So far research has led me to a Piper Arrow, but they glide like a brick for power off 180s and can be unforgiving for checkrides.
     
  2. Htaylor

    Htaylor Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Juneau, AK Summer, SoCal winter
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Htaylor
    If an Arrow is unforgiving for checkrides, why are they so popular with flight schools? I did my comm in an Arrow and CFI in a Mooney. Both are good, but I'd give the Arrow the edge in mx costs. If I were looking to get a complex trainer, I'd look no further than an Arrow. The other possible choice is a Cessna 172 RG. Not my choice, but some seem to like them.
     
  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    12,141
    Location:
    high desert NM
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    I did my CFI and some of the commercial training in a C-172RG.
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,432
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    Arrow is pretty standard.
     
  5. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Display name:
    The Taper-wing Arrow glides better. Even with respect to the straight wing one, I don't agree it's unforgiving for a checkride. The Arrow actually has an advantage for the power-off 180 in that you rarely have to worry about overshooting. I know someone that failed the power-off 180 in a 172RG; I don't know the details but with the Cessna it's a 50/50 game of trying not to undershoot or overshoot.
     
  6. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,026
    Location:
    Statesville NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Grum.Man
    Beechcraft Sierra is probably the best complex trainer I could think of. As a personal airplane there are better options, but for training it's hard to beat. Plenty of power, stupidly robust landing gear, Lot's of room for long hours of comfort in the cockpit, and plenty of panel space.
     
  7. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15,183
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    I wouldn't call an Arrow unforgiving for checkrides. You just need to keep your pattern tight and you'll be fine on the power off 180.

    Plus, the Arrow does have one advantage: if you do find yourself coming up slightly short, you can get an inch or so more of flaps with that manual Johnson bar which can make all the difference.
     
  8. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    15,183
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    Excellent point. Keep the pattern tight and slip as necessary to make your touchdown point and the Arrow will do fine.
     
  9. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,140
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CAucker
    Agreed on the Arrow. It consistently and reliably glides like ****. Turn towards the runway within 2 seconds of pulling the power or you won't make it. Because of that, in my opinion, it makes the power off 180 easier than a better gliding airplane like a 172 or Archer. Commercial land in an Arrow and then CFI initial in a Lance.
     
  10. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    13,411
    Location:
    California central coast
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MAKG
    With small Cessnas, a factor for a power-off 180 is when to put the gear down.

    It takes 12 seconds to cycle a 172RG or 177RG, and during the cycle, the drag is much higher than gear fully extended.

    I also can't imagine that a Cessna retract is cost effective compared to an Arrow. Holy **** those things are complex.

    The decision point will change dramatically if the FAA ever gets around to changing the "complex" requirement to a "TAA" requirement.
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    51,925
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    If you put it down immediately, then you're just flying an Arrow profile! ;)
     
  12. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Harold Rutila
    I wouldn't let this dissuade you. The power-off 180 is totally doable in the Arrow.
     
  13. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,092
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kayoh@190
    Arrow or 172RG. Waaaaay back in the day I used to teach commercial students in both, and when it comes down to it it's six of one and a half dozen of the other. I think the vast majority of students will train in what's cheapest. Yeah, a hershey bar Arrow doesn't glide all that well, but if it's ten bucks an hour cheaper than the alternatives, nobody is going to care.

    Not sure how the MX compares between the two, but there seems to be a much larger selection of Arrows out there to choose from.
     
  14. Soldier64

    Soldier64 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Fort Rucker, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill H.
    I bought an Arrow II for a personal plane before I had any certificates in category. I have done every checkride through CFII (minus AMEL) in my airplane, and have about 328 hours in make/model. I would have no second thoughts about using my plane to teach someone in. That said I have literally only flown one C-172 for about 3 hours so I have no useful experience in that type.
     
  15. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,305
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    I always found the arrow a very easy going airplane

    PA24 would be another option too
     
  16. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    750
    Location:
    NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CFII Scott - The IFR Coach
    Cannot beat an Arrow, plus the brick-like glide ration will help with the 180 degree accuracy landings. You won't float past your target like a 172RG might do!