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. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    OK, it's "macho".

    I'm sure we all appreciate a guy flying something for the first time having their heads buried in the panel pushing buttons- instead of looking outside for the rest of us.
     
  2. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Yeah, ask John Denver how kicking the tires and lighting the fires worked out for him.
     
  3. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now that I have a Mooney I've no desire to fly in a Cherokee whatsoever. If I really want to fly that slowly I can pull the power way way back.
     
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  4. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I don't know your background but as you possibly move up to more complex planes there's more to learn, mainly systems. Some fuel systems can get pretty complex for instance, especially in twins. Even a Maule's fuel systems is more complex than a C172's. You sound very confident, which is fine, but don't be too cocky and think you can just jump into anything and fly it without a checkout. Maybe you can, or maybe it'll bite you some day. Fly safe!
     
  5. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    But ... but ... Yeager didn't need all that in the movie The Right Stuff ! He just got in when nobody was looking and took off!!

    :eek::rolleyes:
     
  6. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The way they did things back then totally different than today's test pilots. I admire those from the Yeager/Hoover generation, they really advanced aviation and much of it was seat of the pants style. Read Bob Hoover's book, good read. A lot more controlled and calculated now. Hopefully @nauga will be along, think he's a test pilot or test engineer.
     
  7. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    I know you're being facetious, but you should read Chapter 1 of "The Right Stuff" to find out the life expectancy of a test pilot in the late 40's.
     
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  8. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    And remember, the OP is talking specifically about a Cherokee 140. Not an experimental with a very poor fuel tank control placement (like John Denver's) or some exotic high performance plane. (T-6 anybody?)

    This was not a general question, it was very specific.
     
  9. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    I’ve done some self checkouts over the years, primarily when I was dealing with an obscure aircraft type and there wasn’t anybody around with any time in the type to teach me.

    One thing that I had going for me on every self checkout I’ve done so far was that I was very familiar with the specific airplane and its systems prior to flying it since I had been working on the airplane prior to flying it. I’ve also always limited myself to doing self checkouts in airplane types that are similar to other types that I’ve already flown and am familiar with.

    Back to the OP’s question. With only 200 hours of experience and experience in only 7 different aircraft total (how many were the same type?), how prepared do you think you’re actually going to be to do a self checkout? What do you plan to do to familiarize yourself with the plane while flying? I’m kind of getting the feeling that you’re a bit closed minded and believe you’re not going to learn anything from going up with someone for an hour in it to try and teach you.

    Can you do it? Sure, plenty of people have and have been successful. But how much more familiar and confident in the airplane might you be if you got an hour of time with a good instructor?
     
  10. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I've logged hours in C152 ( 2 unique aircraft), C162, C172 (5 unique aircraft), C182, PA18, M20C, and Beech S35. Up to now I've always spent multiple hours (more in the complex planes, less in the simpler ones) with an instructor or pilot very experienced with the model before soloing.

    I can't imagine how you came to that conclusion. I wouldn't have asked the question in the first place if I didn't understand there is value in riding with someone with experience in the model first. I'm certain I would learn things riding with someone else first, but I will also learn things by doing it myself in a model that isn't really that different than what I've already flown, hence the reason for asking the question. As I mentioned above, I've always spent plenty of time getting training in a new plane. Until now, I wouldn't have even considered doing this, but I feel like a cherokee 140 will be easier to fly than my Mooney, there's nothing particularly tricky about it that I haven't already dealt with in other planes, and with proper caution and preparation, I shouldn't really have any issues doing it.

    My question is hiding the more subtle question I'm really asking, which is "Is there any value in the experience I will gain by learning it myself?". I think there is some value there, I'm not sure it's enough to override the risk, which is why I'm looking for comments.

    I've had a lot of dual in my Mooney. But the hours flying by myself have been equally valuable in really understanding how to fly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  11. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Well anyone with decent experience can probably fly a Cherokee and probably not even bend one. But even pros are required to undertake "differences" training on very similar (albeit more complex) aircraft because the seemingly innocuous alterations can bite. Someone who has only flown high wing Cessna is going to be surprised in a gusty crosswind when they try it for the first time in a PA28.

    Training is cheap. Take someone familiar with the handling and quirks for a couple hour workout. I don't get the reluctance.
     
  12. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    :lol::lol: Yeah the seat belts were a pain to install on the wing....... He sat on the wing until I started the engine, then he jumped off. Piper Pawnee.

    My Engrish not so goodly...
     
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  13. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yea - C150 pilot flying a 70 year old BE35 with an electric prop. That's "hold my beer" talk.

    With 200 hours in a 1948 BE35, I still got a couple of hours from the previous owner before soloing the 1949 BE35. Layout was a little different. Not much, but enough that the time was well spent.

    I'm not saying a CFI is always needed, but getting a basic checkout when moving from one aircraft model to another is worth it. Sometimes just moving from an aircraft with a basic panel to something with a new "glass panel" is worth the time, frustration and potential distractions.
     
  14. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Of course there's some value in learning it yourself. Even if it is just to help your confidence around any type of aircraft. That being said, while I stand by my statement that most of these aircraft we're talking about fly pretty much the same, I also firmly believe there's no such thing as being too careful. I'm probably more likely than most to take an instructor along for just about any reason I can think of. There's always something new to learn.

    But keep in mind this doesn't necessarily have to be an all or nothing type of thing. You can take an instructor or and ask them to ride along for your first flight or 2. Request that they not to give feedback or advice, unless you're about to do something unsafe. Then after the flight sit down and have a discussion about what you noticed about how the plane differed from other ones you've flown. Then ask them to give you feedback on your performance. This would allow you to learn a new plane "by yourself" while still having the added safety of someone who is familiar with the type who can prevent you from doing something stupid.

    I never said someone should jump right from a C150 to a BE35. However, once you've flown a few different types (of the class of aircraft we're talking here), the differences become minor at best. Personally, I think there's as much of a difference between a PA28-140 and a PA28-161 as there is between a PA28-140 and a C-172. And I've flown PA28-161s that were as different from each other as a PA28-161 is from a C-172.

    Personally, I think the differences in avionics frequently provides more of a challenge than the differences in aircraft types.

    Your mileage may vary, this is just by belief from what I've seen in the aircraft I've flown. As I also mentioned, not all aircraft are the same in this regard. I've flown a couple experimentals that were not something I'd want to jump into without some transition training.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  15. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Seems there are folks who are allergic to dual instruction. There is never a downside in getting checked out with a competent instructor in a plane new to them. Make it a flight review and reset the clock.
     
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  16. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    You got that right, I was VERY PLEASANTLY surprised the first time I flew my PA28 in a gusty crosswind after getting rid of my C150. The PA28 makes crosswinds a non-event. The C150 kept me busy in a 10 knot crosswind, while the PA28, I have a hard time even noticing the crosswind is there, if its below 15 knots.
     
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  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Exactly. Being a test pilot in that time period was not a long career. A lot of test pilots didn't live through the experience. Others quit after a good scare. Hoover and Yeager survived, that is why they are "heros".

    Evel Kneivel was scared before his jumps. That fear is what drove him. I am sometimes the same way. Sometimes I need that fear to push me forward. I don't expect others to be the same and I don't ask them to.

    For example flying a single engine in Alaska through barely marginal VFR knowing there might or might not be unforecasted ice ahead. Scares me but I will take the trip anyway. I go prepared. I know where the good weather is, I know my capabilities, I know what the planes capabilities are, and I always have a way out.

    Single engine, 4 seater with fixed gear, fixed pitch prop, I'll probably brief the POH, maybe ask someone that has flown the same plane about air speeds and power settings, then off I'll go. I don't expect others to do the same as me.
     
  18. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    After learning in 140's and Warriors, I was rudely surprised on in initial introduction to an old 180. Wasn't expecting how much right rudder was required on the takeoff roll.
     
  19. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    Fly long enough and you'll eventually have to do a self-check out. While a Pitts S2A/B is good practice, it isn't the same as flying an S1S. There's no check out of it. Also, no two fly exactly the same.

    The first single seater I ever flew was a Mooney Mite. I'd flown an M20B once a couple of years before from the right seat and kinda sorta knew how the Johnson bar manual landing gear worked. It ended up being a non-event as have been all my self-checkouts over the years.
     
  20. skier

    skier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Color me jealous. I'd spend a pretty penny for the chance to fly one of those. They've always been near the top of my list of planes I'd like to fly.
     
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  21. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    Same here. I ended up flying one for about 40 hours back in the 80s when I was younger and smaller...and it was still a tight fit. It was a delight to fly with light controls just not terribly fast, but 125+ mph on 65hp ain't bad. :D
     
  22. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Way cool..!!! I have seen a couple and would love to fly one.!!
     
  23. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    The Mite does a nice smooth aileron roll too...:D
     
  24. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    This is a question that does not have a single correct answer for all pilots. Depends on the pilots experience, currency and what they are contemplating flying.

    The only good advice I can give is for pilots to be honest in their assessment of themselves prior to a self checkout and to be deliberate in preparation for the new type if they choose to fly without another pilot helping in the transition.
     
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  25. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

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    Every night I close my eyes and dream of the first flight of my current EXP project. First flights are probably the most exciting thing the average pilot will ever do. Senses are heightened, the brain is working double time.... I can't wait.
     
  26. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    I didn't build my RV-4 so didn't test fly it. I did the first test flight of my J-3 after a full ground up restoration after not flying for 43 years. Other than elevator cable needing adjustment to better allow for full aft stick, it was, thankfully, a non-event.
     
  27. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Sphincter fully puckered...
     
  28. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    Run through the POH and go fly.

    This idea of needing instruction to move between common SEL types is a scam.
     
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  29. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    So far only once. I flew an Aeronca Champ once having never flown one before. Although I had about 4.5 in a Chief and a decent amount of time in a J5 at the time.

    There are people that try to make basic flying seem way harder than it is because it makes them feel more important. Reality is in a simple trainer most people could solo in 10 hours or at least they used to and I would wager to say if taking off and landing was the only thing you had to do a reasonably capable person could be taught to do it in an afternoon.

    Having said that for what an instructor costs an hour or so couldn't hurt if they are familiar with the plane.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  30. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Denver was done in by a non-standard placement of the fuel selector. It's speculated he had to reach back for it, and pushed full rudder in order to twist his body trying to reach it.
     
  31. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    That's what conventional gear is like. No one warned you? ;)
     
  32. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    I didn't know there was a standard location for a fuel selector.

    http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/John-Denver-N555JD.htm

    Although according to the report he did have some flight training in the accident airplane, he apparently never had to do anything re fuel before the accident. This is what I was talking about re small details getting the better of you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  33. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

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    I sat at work one morning, in total awe as the guy in the cubicle across from me read his owners manual for..... wait for it.........

    A black&Decker electric Drill... OMG, I pi$$ed my pants!!!
     
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  34. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Sorry, it was a Cherokee 180.
     
  35. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Investigating agency: NTSB
    Narrative:
    The pilot had recently purchased the experimental, amateur-built Long-EZ airplane, which had a fuel system that differed from the designer's plans. The original builder had modified the fuel system by relocating the fuel selector handle from a position between the front pilot's legs to a position behind & above his (or her) left shoulder. There were no markings for the operating positions of the fuel selector handle, which were up (for off), down (for the right tank), and to the right (for the left tank). This deviation from the original design plans did not require FAA approval, nor did it require a placard to indicate such change from the original design.

    Emphasis mine. But you are right. The devil is in the details. He was probably so jazzed with his new toy that he paid little attention to that detail.
     
  36. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Sorry. I assumed it was a Cessna 180. My bad.
     
  37. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Previous owner flew it at least 800 hours.
     
  38. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Well I should expect him to know where the damned selector was, and how to use it, since he modified it that way. Why he didn't impress that on Denver is beyond me. I'm looking into buying an EAB in the near future. Guess I'll pass on ones without a POH. :eek:
     
  39. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Everything Offends Me
    It’s not about me, it’s about anyone, but so far I’ve done the following planes with minimal need for training (0 if it weren’t required):

    C172
    C182
    C177
    PA28-151
    PA28-180
    P28R-200
    PA24-250
    DA20
    M20C
    BE36

    Pilots have this weird knack for trying to make flying this special skill that only certain people can do, and make it seem to difficult to do.

    But it’s not. Any moron can fly a plane. I’d wager that most people could take off and land a Cessna with 0 Total hours solo if they had to.

    Remember how much time was spent on primary training covering such advanced topics as “to roll the plane to the left, move the yoke to the left” and so on. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
     
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  40. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    famous last words
     
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