Flying an unfamiliar aircraft type

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Salty, Dec 4, 2017.

?

What do you think?

Poll closed Dec 11, 2017.
  1. You're an idiot for even considering flying it without someone with experience when available

    22.2%
  2. People do this all the time; do the homework and go fly

    77.8%
  1. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Let's say I have the opportunity to fly a PA-28-140 and I've never flown any model Cherokee before.

    I have roughly 215 total hours, 130 in the last year, 110 in a complex (Mooney), experience in roughly 7 different aircraft total.
    I tend to learn very quickly, have always gotten through any transition training I've done with limited hassle, also, I do my homework on vSpeeds and quirks of the model and such.

    So basically I'm looking for opinions on whether it's just foolhardy and pointless not to at least fly with someone with experience once or use this as an opportunity to stretch my wings so to speak and learn something new on my own. After all, people learn how to fly single-seaters by themselves all the time.
     
  2. Dana

    Dana Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The insurance company may have something to say about it... otherwise, go for it.
     
  3. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've never understood there being a challenge switching between most light aircraft. A 172 flies like a Cherokee flies like a 182, 152, Arrow, Mooney, 172RG, Bonanza, 206, etc. They all fly the same.

    I'm sure there are some differences with some aircraft (especially in the homebuilt world), but something like a Cherokee is pretty straight forward.
     
  4. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    What the rush or expense? Worth it? Is it possible that you don't know what you don't know?

    If I'm on the ground and taking bets, I'd bet for you, not against, mainly cuz you are familiar with low wings (landing, ground effect, cockpit visibility, etc).

    I dunno.
     
  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I always went for it. So go for it!
     
  6. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I agree it's not about time or expense. It's about expanding horizons. Is there any value in learning it yourself or is it just pointless risk?
     
  7. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    Well, you could will your LSA over to me so at least it won't be ALL bad news if you screw the pooch... :)
     
  8. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    With your experience, with a PA28/140, read up, take er easy, have fun.
     
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  9. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    Another time for Ravioli's true stories.

    I started driving cars when I was 15.

    When I was 45 Hertz gave me some ****ing excuse for a car called a Prius. Mind you, I drive rented cars nearly weekly.

    I couldn't figure out how to start the damn thing and get going. I called a friend who owns one and he talked me through, while laughing his ass off. He still messes with me about it.

    And, no, @mscard88, I had not been drinking that morning.

    SO... that's a simple thing called a car. Jumping into a plane you've never flown? Seems a bit reckless to me.
     
  10. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Sorry, I don't own the skycatcher, but you can have it if I die. Lol
     
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  11. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Things are going to happen a lot slower in the 140.
     
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  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I did too! But I got busted. Staying at grandmother's house, no one but she and I, so I slipped out and took her '55 Ford for a joyride. What a blast, drove all over the place. Get back and see an uncle's car in the drive way. Oh oh. Yep someone saw her car, called her, and she called my uncle, who called the cops. Do you know ****ed off an Italian uncle can get? Dad eventually came home, said a few words, and I was thinking, hmm, not too bad. Well, next day was Saturday and I had a HS football game. But ole dad, he says come with me, you're not playing football today. And that was my punishment, which at that point of my life was worse than a whipping. Then of course Monday, trying to explain to the coach why I was a no show, which sucked too.
     
  13. tspear

    tspear Line Up and Wait

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    Will you survive without transition training? Likely.
    It is a risk reward decision. Personally there are enough people around who likely know the plane that an hour or two of transition training will likely reduce risk.

    Tim

    Sent from my LG-TP260 using Tapatalk
     
  14. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    As an instructor, I've switched into a lot of different airplanes. Even given insurance checkouts in types I'd never touched before. But I always made sure to spend some quality time with the POH, and made sure I knew what Vbg was.

    Having said that, if you're moving into a heavier aircraft or one with different systems than what you're used to, I'd personally recommend that you fly it the first time with someone who knows the airplane well, preferably a CFI.
     
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  15. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I agree in spirit, but a Cherokee has a significantly higher stall speed and the low wing fuel switch component that a Skyhawks doesn't, so I'd probably be more cautious about it if I hadn't been flying a mooney. Not sure it's so interchangeable for a student or brand new 172 pilot.
     
  16. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

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    And that's precisely what the POH is there for.
     
  17. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    I’ve checked myself out in a few types, after at least chatting with someone familiar with them. I was glad, though, to have an experienced Bo pilot with me the first time I flew my newly-purchased K35. And I had flown Bonanzas before, but it had been many years.

    That said, it’s hard to imagine a less-“unfamiliar” type than a Cherokee 140.
     
  18. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Absolutely untrue.
     
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  19. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Even single-seat planes usually have equivalent two-seaters that can be used to receive dual instruction to give you a good idea on what the flying characteristics of the single-seat will be like. If you have the opportunity to receive a little dual instruction in type, then that is the prudent thing to do. Being a test pilot is a speciality reserved for those trained in the art. Having said that, I don't think flying a Cherokee would present much of a challenge if you already have time in a high-performance plane like the Mooney. Going the other direction, however would be quite risky as an aircraft with 200 hp, retractable undercarriage and a constant-speed prop require a high-performance rating (for good reason.)
     
  20. tspear

    tspear Line Up and Wait

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    Actually, energy management with such a small margin of available power is just as critical.

    Tim
     
  21. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, not exactly. A 152 flies the same as a Bo? You’re sadly mistaken. Pitch, roll and yaw are about the only things the two have in common.
     
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  22. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    Systems and procedures are a little different, too. And just reading about them may not be enough.
     
  23. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    As I said...pitch, roll and yaw are the only characteristics the two have in common. Systems and procedures are much different.
     
  24. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    First time I flew a C-310 the boss told me how and when to change tanks from main to aux, and away I went. I did have the POH and read parts of it while flying.

    Then again, I had around 3000 hours in twins at the time.

    First time I flew a C-182 was in a very windy day. I read the POH, took a few notes, and away I went. I had a total time of approximately 300 hours total.

    The first time I flew a tail wheel plane, the owner sat on the wing, explained a few items and airspeeds to me as well as three point landings, and away I went. About 1200 hours at the time.

    Copy V speeds take someone and do a few take offs and landings. Nothing wrong with that, either.
     
  25. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

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    Heaven forbid anyone ever does a first flight of a new build. Oh, wait. Somebody did a first flight of virtually every airplane that's flown. Amazing!
     
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  26. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Everything Offends Me
    Flying is easy. There's nothing to being able to takeoff and land. The stuff in between can be learned while flying. If it wasn't for insurance requirements, I'd never get checked out when changing types.

    Provided you have the information you need, like v-speeds and familiarize yourself with the switches and gauges before takeoff, I fail to see where the risk lies. Just do it slow - fly the pattern for a few rounds, then slowly migrate into the practice area, and then do some quick stalls and recoveries. Once you have that down, its all just figuring out how the avionics work - and that is most easily accomplished by pushing buttons and flipping switches in cruise.

    Call it "macho" if you want, but saying anything else is putting too much stock in either the CFI certificate, or in the "specialness" of having a pilot certificate to begin with.
     
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  27. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    LOL. I was about the same place on Saturday. Rented a Nissan Maxima at KSAN. Stopped to buy gas before returning it. Could not figure out how to open the flush fuel filler door.

    No button or lever in the car. No button on the magic keyless key fob. No string to pull. No placard with recommended incantations. Nothing. Started to mutter not-so-quietly about Pearl Harbour and Midway. Had to resort to the still plastic sealed owners manual to discover once in "Park" with engine off there's a G-spot on the door that has to be stroked just so...

    To the OP, study the PoH and the checklist, know the speeds, know the emergency procedures, make sure you know the fuel system. A Cherokee 140 isn't different enough or difficult enough from what you've flown to require an extensive checkout. But you might want to do a few stalls and some upper air work in it before you try the first approach.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  28. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    I’ve simply gotten in and flown far more than I’ve been checked out in.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  29. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    you'll have your hands full for a while....but you'll figure this sporty little aircraft out....:D
     
  30. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I knew that would ruffle a few feathers, but in my experience it's more similar than not:

    A Bonanza flies a lot like a Mooney.
    A Mooney flies a lot like an Arrow
    An Arrow flies a lot like a Cherokee
    A Cherokee flies a lot like a 172
    A 172 flies a lot like a 152, 182, 206

    So I'd argue that yes since a
    152 flies like a 172
    then a 152 flies a lot like a Cherokee
    then a 152 flies a lot like an Arrow
    then a 152 flies a lot like a Mooney.
    then a 152 flies a lot like a Bonanza.

    Just remember to check your gear.
     
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  31. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I would highly recommend at least a brief checkout in any new type.

    There may or may not be quirks and/or gotchas that might be important*.

    Sure, most likely one could figure out a new type on their own. I had to once. And with more experience in more types it becomes easier. But hard to think of a good reason not to get checked out, other than the single-seats already mentioned.


    *It could be something as simple as how to make sure the door is latched properly, or needing care in how to place your feet so as not to accidentally be applying brakes. Or in a Flight Design CT, quirks in the fuel system and how to work around them. That sort of thing.
     
  32. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    As an aside, poor poll options, IMHO. I could not get behind either choice.
     
  33. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    Years ago I had about the same times as yourself and my uncle lost his medical for a bit. He let me borrow his Cherokee-140 to keep it flying and after looking at the poh I just climbed in and went. Very easy plane to do that with. That said, if you had easy access to fly with someone experienced in type, that would never hurt anything.

    There are bigger/more complex planes that I would never suggest flying without a bit of transition training but the PA-28 ain't one of them.
     
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  34. tawood

    tawood Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you were a new pilot, with 60 hours in only one type, I'd say no...but I agree with others that once you've flown a few types and flown a few hundred hours, its all just minor, subtle differences between the major manufactures' 4 place-single-engine types.
     
  35. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Don't try it in a lancair.
     
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  36. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Must have been a Cub (slow) if the owner sat on the wing and y'all went flying, with him still on the wing. Awesome story Zeldman! :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  37. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I was hired to ferry cropdusters. Cessna AgTrucks and AgHuskys.

    With one seat, no way to check out in them. But I had a lot of tailwheel time in Cubs and Citabrias, so I was the go-to guy.

    I nearly bought it on the first takeoff. Gyroscopic precession, which was trivial in my previous tailwheel experience, nearly took me off the left side of the runway the first time I lifted the tail on takeoff. Managed to pull it into the air right before taking out some runway lights on 9R at Opa Locka.

    Lesson: lift the tail slowly in a big-engine taildragger,

    Anyway, this is the sort of thing that perusing the POH is unlikely to prepare one for.
     
  38. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

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    Okay, POH and a little common sense. The application of common sense should also apply to what kind or airplane a guy might choose to fly without transition training. For a guy with Beaver and Skywagon time a 206 or Cub isn't a big deal. You won't be very good in either but you'll be able to fly them. For a J-3 pilot to jump into a Beaver? Different story. Common sense.
     
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  39. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    For a Cherokee 140? I can't imagine you'd _need_ a checkout. If there was someone who flew that particular airplane handy? Sure. Most of my hours are in C-172s, by a very wide margin. But I can fly Cherokees just fine. Main things that get me? Remember to turn on the dang fuel pump and clear the outside of the turn before you lift the wing. Landing? A little different sight picture, but it didn't take long to get used to. And I wouldn't have bent the airplane even on the first one.

    Something exotic of high performance? You bet I'd get a checkout. But a PA28-140? Really?

    John
     
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  40. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    The successful ones were done by very experienced test pilots who have flown dozens of types over thousands of hours and have been thoroughly briefed by the engineers, and trained extensively in simulators.

    Joe EAB builder who hasn't flown in the 10 years he spent building his latest creation frequently comes to grief.