PPL with Piper Arrow

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Rgbeard, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    A friend of mine is beginning on the journey to his PPL.

    he doesn’t want to spend tons of money renting Cessna 172s, and he wants an airplane that can take himself and some luggage to visit his extended family 300 to 500 miles away.

    He would rather buy an airplane that can fit his mission train in it and enjoy it rather than go through the rental process or purchase a trainer only to sell it for a capable steed.

    He has an opportunity to purchase an arrow, and was asking me about using it as a trainer. He’s flown with me in the Lance many times and sees the Arrow essentially as a junior Lance, which is reasonably correct.

    it doesn’t seem like too much to ME for someone to learn from scratch in an arrow, but I also realize that I am not seeing it from the same perspective is that of a new student.

    I know the first year of insurance is really going to suck, but let’s say we get over that part. How difficult is it to add the blue knob and the folding wheels onto the demands of a new student pilot?
     
  2. Randomskylane

    Randomskylane Pre-Flight

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    One could probably leave the wheels down and prop alone until ppl achieved, right? Or at least until just before faa examiner time
     
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  3. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Why not? As long as one can afford the insurance and other costs. Might as well train in what you are going to fly, and the sooner you learn the plane the better. An advantage would not having to upgrade for future IFR training.
     
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  4. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    These questions always humor me. Pilots have been trained in some rather unforgiving tailwheel aircraft since the dawn of aviation (ie., a Stearman). They’ve also been trained in airplanes like T-34’s, so what makes an Arrow any different? It may take fractionally longer than a run-of-the-mill C172 or something, but can it be done? Of course.

    My thought is, what you don’t know won’t hurt you. If you haven’t experienced the easier aircraft out there to learn in, than you won’t know any better. :)
     
  5. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I started in a taildragger. My friend bought my Arrow and finished his PPL in it. If he is going to love flying, he should buy the Arrow and use it to get his license. And I would say don’t leave the wheels down or the prop alone. Fly it properly from day 1 so you don’t have to learn new things for the check ride.
     
  6. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Just bear in mind that "buying a plane to train in will save money" is a myth. Owning is about convenience and personal safety (assuming you can afford necessary maintenance). When you own you bear not only the operational, storage, insurance and maintenance costs, but also the capitalization (purchase) cost. Having acknowledged all that, I still choose to own over rent.
     
  7. asicer

    asicer Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like some bad habits could get ingrained that way.
     
  8. Kenny Lee

    Kenny Lee Pre-Flight

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    I had 40 hours in a Cherokee 140 before buying an A36. Finished my PPL training in the Bo. Insurance was high, but still is. Figured the higher insurance was cheaper than trading up in planes 2-3 times. I have a tendancy to buy high and sell cheap.

    i am at 500-550 hours now and training for the IFR ticket. Up and down, missed approaches, full throttle, idling back….fuel burn for the IFR training is pathetic. TheBo is reasonable on fuel once at altitude and leaned out.
     
  9. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    An Arrow is just a Cherokee with retractable gear and constant speed prop. Yes, a couple more (one rather important) things to remember every time, but not a big deal. And I'd vote with iamtheari and asicer, start out doing the whole routine properly. It might seem like a good idea to ignore the gear for beginning lessons, but ultimately, not the best idea.
     
  10. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    If the Arrow is not a burning deal, might try first 20 hours in a rental trainer until landings are down. Will add maybe 10 hours overall for transition time, but won't beat the crap out of the gear with beginner landings.
     
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  11. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Learning to land in an Arrow seems kind of mean to the Arrow. I'd buy it, but suggest renting a Cherokee for the first bunch of landings. They fly almost exactly the same, and the Cherokee gear is rugged.

    If he does fly the Arrow, I wouldn't suggest leaving the gear down. I think it's a bad habit to learn, and outside the pattern it'll be easy to go too fast for that.
     
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  12. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I underlined the part that I don't agree with. Arrow gear can be extended at cruise speed. (Vle is 150 mph indicated, cruise is about 150 mph true.) There is much debate about whether this says more about the plane's gear or its cruise speed. :)
     
  13. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    You can usually extend during cruise, but it's easy to exceed 130 kts in even a gradual descent. (POH for the one I fly is 129 kts indicated, or 148 mph.) Combine that with the retraction speed of 107 kts, and it's a PITA to fly around gear down, and it requires care, IMO.

    I came close to doing it during my complex training. CFI pulled the breaker and I did a manual extension, and we decided to fly the 10 or so miles back to the airport with the gear down. During the descent it's easy to get it higher than 129, especially as I'm use to bringing it down at the top of the green arc.
     
  14. tawood

    tawood En-Route

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    This^^^

    As a new Arrow owner, but long time Cherokee owner, I find it amazing just how much my Arrow feels like my Cherokee once the gear come down, and I find Cherokees super easy to fly in the pattern, land, etc. When I was a student pilot, it was the pattern work that kept you busy, so since the Arrow is basically a Cherokee in the pattern...easy peazy!
     
  15. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Too much interference drag with the gear down and failing to retract the gear on a go around has really poor performance.
     
  16. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Don’t get a flight school arrow, and do research the wing bolts issue. Talking about an AD last I heard. Back seat is unusable behind me (I’m 6’2”). Nice easy flier but not that fast. Our flight school’s has twice cracked the crankcase housing in the past 5ish years.
     
  17. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Doable, yes, advised, no. Certainly doable, the student will not learn some basic stuff, like stick and rudder skill you would learn in a tail drager, or even a C-150. But likely the best complex to learn in. Likely will take enough more time to learn and more stress on the plane, than just renting an appropriate airplane to learn in. Remember in WW2 they did that. It was very intense training, as in no time off for other pursuits. You lived what you were learning, day in day out, all day, every day. AND,, now this is the big part, Training was more hazardous than combat!
     
  18. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    I taught a student to fly in a Comanche 180. Didn't cause him any noticeable difficulties. The insurer did require at least 25 hours before solo (I think), so we just moved on to post-solo stuff when he was ready.
     
  19. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    It takes a certain personality to do a PPL in heavier/more complex planes than rental-line faff.

    Money is the wrong reason IMO. If he WANTS an arrow, great, but he may not know enough to shape his mission around the correct plane yet -- so he's replacing rental rates with ownership "sharp edges" and learning to manage a plane on top of learning how to fly a plane. They're NOT the same skill, and they WILL interfere with each other.

    When we had a Debonair on the flying club line, we did two primaries in it, after a LOT of grilling on intentions. It can be done. Financially it was a wash for them -- lower rental rate, sure, but they were 80+ hour PPLs and likely would've been in the 40s/50s with the typical rental line 172.

    But if he's sure he's a future Arrow pilot, not in any hurry, has surplus cash available to fulfill this idea, and can manage the twin joys of flight training and plane ownership, well, why not? It's still just an airplane.
     
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  20. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    This isn't wrong, but I consider the Arrow to be a good fit for the mission of refining your mission. It is easy enough to learn how to fly and insure as a low-time pilot, fast enough to really travel places, affordable enough to operate so it doesn't sit unused, and common enough to easily resell when you are ready to move on.

    I have 750 hours total time (which I just realized now), of which just over 390 hours were in the Arrow I owned. Those 390 hours included my instrument rating and commercial license but also 315 hours of cross-country, non-dual time. I really used that plane and learned a lot about my mission along the way.

    Rental options are scarce where I live, though. If rentals are abundant, it could be easier to refine your mission without owning a plane. But it's almost impossible to understand your mission if you don't actually fly it for a while. And if you can't really rent to do that, you can do worse than an Arrow.
     
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  21. pfarber

    pfarber Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Doesn't want to spend tons of money renting but will spend MANY MORE TONS OF MONEY on ownership.

    Unless hes in for 100+ hrs /yr, every year, the smart money is a club/rental/fractional.

    Whats your monthly hanger cost on a rental? An annual? Oil change? Etc. And now for a plane you own?? See how all that money disappears??

    If hes trying to keep up with the Jones's thats one thing. But for inital training? The case is rately made for ownership.
     
  22. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    This smells bad. "Opportunity to buy an Arrow". What does that even mean? We all have an opportunity to buy an Arrow, we all have an opportunity to buy anything short of an F22. Were I looking for a complex the Arrow would be at the bottom of my list. I think a Bo would be at the top. 300 to 500 miles trips are the province of a Bo and an instrument rating.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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