Why does it seem like so many more flight schools use Cessna single engine trainers than the Piper single engine trainers? I have about half of my single engine time in Cessnas (172's) and half in Pipers (Cherokee, Arrow), but if given the choice between the two, I'd pick to fly a Piper. Other people that I have talked to that have flown them both seem to prefer the Pipers too. I know that Flight Safety uses Pipers, which makes sense because the school is based at VRB, but it seems like other flight schools (at least in my area) use Cessnas mostly. Any reason for this? Do they have similar safety records? Is Cessna just better at sales/marketing? I'm just curious.
Last edited by ufgatorpilot; 06-28-2009 at 09:25 AM.
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DISCLAIMER: This is strictly personal opinion, based on nothing but my own experience.
I just think that Cessnas are easier to fly. Its really pretty difficult to kill yourself in a 152 (although having that attitudes about the only thing that will kill you).
I agree with preferring Pipers. To me, Cessnas just feel different. I can't pinpoint exactly what feels different. It seems to me that a low wing plane is pretty much a low wing plane. Doing a steep turn in a piper is like doing a steep turn in an ERJ. However, the high wing to me just "feels" different. I don't particularly like them.
I like Pipers slightly better, probably because I have much more time flying in them then Cessna's. Cessna's also seem kinda cheap to me, while on the ground, they move and twist much more in the wind or even if you just push a little on the wing. Plus the landing gear on Pipers seem much more beefy. I used to instruct in a nice 2001ish 172 which I thought was great...had a lot of power, quiet inside, and with lots of room. The 150 I think is a death trap, being stuck in a sardine can and the power is completely inadequate-wouldn't be bad if your flying alone with half tanks, but with two and full tanks at max gross, takeoff and climb performance is scary.
I've done about 100 hours in each, and I prefer the Cessnas. Extra door, more room inside, no bar going down the middle of the windshield, feels more like I'm a part of the airplane instead of just strapping myself into one. I've found that I can consistently grease landings in a Cessna, but not in a Piper (likely because of the low wing or just that I did my PPL in a Cessna . . . I have no idea). Also, the stall warning horn in the Cessna is just a reed and not electronically powered, so it produces a higher-pitch sound as you progress towards a stall; in a Piper, it's just the same whine no matter how stalled the wing is. The high wing is great for cover when it's raining and sightseeing/ground ref maneuvers, and it's easier to sump. The Pipers do have those manual flaps, though, which are pretty cool (especially when you pull them all the way back to 55 degrees )
I remember thinking that the Cessnas were just a little more forgiving in the trainer roll and a tad easier to land; but I much prefer the Piper products to fly. I was never a fan of the high wing and the I liked the throttle quadrant of the Pipers I flew over the push/pull controls of the Cessnas.
Just curious which a/c have 55 degree flaps?? I've flown all different versions of the PA28(max 40degree) and PA38 (max 34degree)
It's not an official number, but most of the Piper models have some extra flaps you can get by pulling the flap handle past the last detent and holding it. Kinda helpful for a power-off 180 that's about to not work out