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Three wheels and planks.


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I went and flew a Warrior as part of continuing to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot. Does that make sense?

 

Yes, a Piper Warrior. The first thing about geting into the plane was noticing that the panel is HUGE. I could baerly see over the dash! Taxiing is a pain because you really have to push the pedals to steer. The run-up was similar to the helo, so that's easier.

 

Flying from an uncontrolled airport has advantages, but now I have to talk to ground and the tower. The radios and transponder are slaved into the GPS, so now I need to learn that thing too. Then comes swapping frequencies and such, and who am I talking to now? Cascade? Tower? Seattle? Capt Scarlet?

 

The takeoff run was not like I remembered. I started going to the right because of too much pedal. I eased off, and it turned out that Jake was pushing on the left pedal. When I eased off, we went to the left, and so then I pushed on the right even more. Meanwhile, the airspeed indicated 60, so I eased the yoke back, and back, and back, and back...the nose finally came back, and we were airborne. I then notice I'm pulling the yoke back and it's pulling forward-time to set the trim. I'm turning the trim back, but the pressure ain't backing off. Keep turning. It finally trims out, and I notice I can't see out the front-there's a panel in the way.

 

We did a few manuvers, and went back to the airport to do some options. We entered on the 45, got into downwind, slowed to 80 kts, 10* flaps, and trimed the plane. We then turned base, slowed, and added more flap. Final was 75 kts, 40*flaps and trimmed. The landing was a real pain because we came down in what looks like a steep approach in a helicopter. The closer to the ground we got, the more stressed I became. The flare seemed real low, but it was about right. The thing is we floated for a while, kept pulling the nose up, lost sight of the runway because the panel was in the way, and finally touched down.

 

We then applied full power and took off for a couple more circuits and headed back to the ramp.

 

I have to tell you, it was a pain in the butt. It seemed like I was constantly trimming the thing, I couldn't see out in front during the climb, the pattern was happening too fast-the landing checklist, and my stress level was extreem.

 

After I got home, I had a headache the size of Montana, and I fell asleep on the couch for about three hours. I woke up feeling like crap.

 

BOY I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT FLIGHT

 

My next helo flight is the 21st

 

Later

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I flew in a 182 a while back to see what actual IMC was like. I was surprised by how bad the visibility is from the cockpit. You can't see much in front of you and the high wing prevents seeing much above you, it drove me nuts. You might as well fly IFR because you can't see stuff anyway. No wonder the Cessna pilots can never see us and Diamonds are becoming so popular for fixed wing flight training.

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Witch,

 

Try your approach at 65 kts with flaps-40, use power to shallow out your approach angle a bit, and you'll probably find the landing more comfortable and won't float as far. If you still start out with flaps-10, 80 kts., and trimmed, you won't have to trim much by the time you go flaps-40 at 65 kts. I doubt your instructor will be very comfortable at that slow speed, but I assure you it is safe as long as you don't have a gusty conditions more than 5-kt gust factor. I'll leave you with that since this is a helicopter forum. Good luck!

 

~Jeff

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yea it makes sense i've been building time in a 150 at least i don't have to trim it out every few seconds like a 172 or pa-28 series. sucks though... even though I know its going to save me xxx amount of money and also provide airmanship experience my heart just isn't in it! i wish i could afford to fly helos only. anywho.... 1.2 VSO should be plenty comfortable for your instructor on short final and are you calculating your actual stall speed with your actual gross weight with the square roots method?

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I just took a new helicopter pilot out for a ride in my Zlin 242. She had never experienced airplane style turbulence. The items that most affected her were: reduced forward visibility, 5 point harness, tricky cockpit ingress, heavy stick forces, and the need for trim.

 

She flew the entire flight except takeoff, landing and some acrobatics. Helicopter pilots are very cautious on the controls. We practiced a low G pushover, and then added an aileron roll onto the float. She was chatty and having fun so we finished with a loop. That was funny, the 3.5G pulup and pullout were more than expected.

 

There is considerable overlap between flying airplanes and helicopters. I would fly my airplane to my helicopter lesson and fly back. There is so much less flight control tasks in an airplane. Helicoper flying made me think twice before entering an acrobatic maneuver. I can blame it for making a rolling 360 turn lumpy.

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I was feeling like a putz last week. I had the foggles on for a half hour and then went into the high angle 60deg turns and unusual attitude recovery. I started getting a bit queezy in the stomache, some soft sweats but I held it together. I didnt think after all these years of flying the foggles would get me, but they did.

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If you've got big feet, don't wear big boots in the Warrior. I love that plane to death, but getting your foot stuck between a rudder pedal and the back of the panel on short final is no fun at all. DAMHIK.

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I have been considering putting in some fixed wing time. My initial first choice was the warrior (mostly cost issue). Is it worth the extra bucks to fly the C172? Or is the warrior going to do the trick? Looking to get the FW PPL. And possibly use some FW time to help get the commercial/instrument ratings. I know the whole FW time to get a rotor rating is a completely different topic that has been thoroughly discussed. And possibly comparable to a R22 vs S300cbi trainer discussion. So, we don't really need to get into those.

 

I guess Witch's description kinda gives me second thoughts about the Warrior. Either way it is cheaper than time in the R22. So purely on a financial basis, either will do.

Maybe I will just put an hour in on each, and decide for myself.

I think I answered my own question. But, if you have anything to add...

 

Thanks,

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My personal preference is the Warrior over the Skyhawk. I can't really explain why, exactly, other than that I feel more comfortable in the Warrior cockpit and just seem to have more fun flying it, despite the fact that the Skyhawk is easier to get into - doors on two sides are handy - and easier to keep cool during extended taxi/runup periods on the ground.

 

Now if you ask my 10 year old, she'll tell you she prefers the Skyhawk. But that's just because it's the first aircraft she actually got to control.

 

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thrilsekr,

 

I've always preferred the Piper line of aircraft to the Cessna line. I usually find the low wings to be more fun. The 172 is a great stable plane for getting from point A to point B, but I usually find that it gets boring because of how stable it is (I think the roll is a bit heavier and slower).

 

I started my fixed wing training in a PA28-140 (Piper Cherokee) and took my checkride in a PA28-161 (Piper Warrior). Since then I've flown mostly Cessnas as they are typically easier to find at flight schools. So if you want to learn in what is more common go with the Cessna. Both fly pretty much the same.

 

Both planes will work just as well to learn on. I think the majority of people probably learned in Cessnas.

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Witch, I enjoyed reading about your FW experience.

 

Last year I got all my FW add-on ratings (Comm, Inst, Multi) and now about 1/3 of my flying is in our turbine Cessna 206.

 

In the beginning, I didn't like flying the Cessna because I had poor control - especially trim, and I couldn't grease a landing to save my life (the turbine conversion gives the airframe some quirks that make flying it challenging in the beginning). Also, it's a Cessna so the interior plastics are warped and discolored in places, some of the seat seams are threadbare, the console is ill-fitting and cracked in places, some of the instrument lights don't work, and the carpet bunches up on the floor (like the toes of your socks bunching up inside your shoes - I HATE THAT!).

 

But the point of all this is, now that I have a few hundred hours in the Cessna, I actually look forward to flying it. I can keep it trimmed up instinctively now, and landings are smooth now that I know the trick (land with power, don't use full flaps, and focus out towards the horizon). I've also gotten much better at switching back-and-forth between RW and FW (sometimes on the same day). Talking to ground, calling clearance delivery, managing limits/EPs, etc. are now second nature as soon as I strap in (I suspect there's something about wearing a headset instead of a helmet that helps put my brain into airplane mode). When I've gone more than a couple of weeks without flying the plane, I make it a point to go out and do pattern work for an hour or so to get my skills back.

 

Plus, there's nothing like being able to open your lunchbox and eat during a flight. And having an autopilot that's slaved to the GPS and set up for enroute and approaches is just too cool.

 

Sure the helicopter is always going to be my first love and I do get to fly it most of the time, but I actually don't dread flying the Cessna like I used to.

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Yeah flying Fixed wing is a different animal, in a harmless little house kitten kind of way, haha. I still like the idea of being able to open a chart look it over figure stuff out, and eat food all while flying no hands and turning with my feet. :) Looking outside for traffic of course.

 

Here is what my experiences so far have been between Cessna and Piper products. I have a couple hundered hours in Single Cessna's and a little over a hundred in Single Pipers. Compairing the Cessna 172 to the Piper PA28-161 Warrior. The 172 definitly the harder of the two to get perfectly in trim however the piper will give you a lot more force to have to overcome when not in trim, The PA28 seems to fly a little more smooth with small trim changes needed. I'm sure the majority of that is the Stabalator vs elevator, Taxiing in the piper is a little eaiser as well since they have the bungee on the nosewheel. As far as certin quirks, I've never been in a Cessna that didn't try to kick one way or the other in a stall if not perfectly in trim, the piper is super lazy in it's stalls, and can usually be recovered with very little control inputs. The Piper has a tendency to float on landing so approaches made a little slower will always work better in the Warrior.

 

Moving on up the line, The 182RG vs. PA28-201 Arrow. I don't know that there is too much of a difference. I would much rather be in a 182 in the mountians or High DA situations as it seems they have a little more of a nack for that kind of operation. The landing gear on the arrow seems to really bog performance quite a bit, and I usually try to pull it up as soon as possible on take off, vs the 182 where you can still get the climb performance you want with it down. Cruise performance is almost exactly the same as far as speed, but the same trim effects apply to the high performance side of these aircraft also.

 

And finally, Twins. Compairing the Cessna 310, to the PA44-180 Seminole (I know the Seneca is probably a better compairison, but just deal) I would pick the 310 hands down!! The Piper is a real huge dog on one engine, Not to mention the about 40kt higher curise speed in the 310. The 310 also seems to have a lot more rudder control in the slower speed range leading to a slower Vmca which is always nice to have that buffer. It's truely hard to beat the 310, but I think the BE58 Baron might win overall the piper or Cessna's in that same performance range.

 

Anyway, those are my experiences and opinions. I think I like planks, but I will forever LOVE helicopters.

 

 

 

Palmfish,

Is that 206 of yours a Soloy conversion? I have always wanted to fly a 206 Soloy and a 210 Silver Eagle. Maybe someday...

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I have always wanted to fly a 206 Soloy and a 210 Silver Eagle. Maybe someday...

 

I did a Google search and checked out the 210 Silver Eagle. That's a nice looking conversion - especially the factory looking cowling (the Soloy cowling looks kind of homemade by comparison).

 

Your excellent discussion of multi-engine planes reminds me of another couple of points. Like many pilots on this forum, I've never commanded an aircraft capable of speeds much higher than 150 kts indicated, and I've never been PIC above 14,000' MSL (I like to joke with the FW guys that I get nosebleeds above 1500' AGL).

 

I've spoken at length with my coworkers who fly our Super King Air 350, Lear 60, etc. and it sounds like a whole different ballgame operating a FMS at 300+ kts and 25,000'. I find it pretty intimidating thinking about doing a STAR and ILS at CAT E speeds. I have time to think and stay ahead of the aircraft at 90kts, but I don't know about 190 kts...

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Your excellent discussion of multi-engine planes reminds me of another couple of points. Like many pilots on this forum, I've never commanded an aircraft capable of speeds much higher than 150 kts indicated, and I've never been PIC above 14,000' MSL (I like to joke with the FW guys that I get nosebleeds above 1500' AGL).

 

I've spoken at length with my coworkers who fly our Super King Air 350, Lear 60, etc. and it sounds like a whole different ballgame operating a FMS at 300+ kts and 25,000'. I find it pretty intimidating thinking about doing a STAR and ILS at CAT E speeds. I have time to think and stay ahead of the aircraft at 90kts, but I don't know about 190 kts...

 

It does take a little finess and preperation but it's no different then at 90kts, you just have to think 5 steps ahead instead of 2 or so, and like anything else it will all come with practice. I've flown a King Air C90 and 200 and they arn't too bad really, flying them VFR is a pretty good chore though and I would almost always blow my descent planning and be super high and fast coming into the pattern. I definitely wouldn't want to try to do a CRJ-200 or something like that VFR, I had hard enough time with that guy in IFR. I'm stricly talking about IFR or VFR rules. Since VFR you pretty much have control over when to descend or when to make turns. IFR's much eaiser in big planes cause most of the planning is done for you, when to turn, where to descend, etc... Don't even get me started on FMS systems, one stupid little wrong button push and your whole flight is out of whack! There have been a couple times I've gone, "Wait, what is happening here, Oh, no not what I wanted, wait, what does that mean, that is what I want, oh crap, now I have to reload it."

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  • 2 weeks later...

How bout one wheel and planks and nothing but canopy.

 

I just flew my first commercial flight with passengers in a Blanik L23 sailplane on Saturday. After all my helicopter landings it's a little unnerving landing on one wheel at 50 knots but thermaling to 9000' with no engine is worth it. No engine, no noise, no headset, just canopy and views as good as any helicopter. No second chance, gotta get the landing right the first time! I have to laugh at myself because I was pretty nervous with my first customers. The first flight was 40 minutes long and perfect landing. The second flight was 55 minutes long but horrible landing. I had a 250 pounder up front and I'm barely 170. You can imagine the CG changes dramatically. I landed to fast and pulled the brake a bit to hard and actually scraped the skid plate under the nose. The boss didn't like my nose wheelie maneuver and neither did I. At least I have all summer to perfect the landings but I won't do that one again.

 

http://www.pembertonsoaring.com/soaring-videos.php

 

Just passed the Helicopter CFI writtens today. My CFI checkride got rescheduled to May 04. It sounds crazy but gliding is part of my helicopter path. I will fly about 300 hours this summer doing glider tours in the mountains just N of Whistler BC for a paycheque. Also leasing an H269C and will do time building and FAA flight instruction. If anyone wants to come fly in the mountains of BC or WA get in touch. I've got a couple hundred heli hours to fly off in the mountains at cost sharing.

 

Thanks to many on this site for the inspiration to go the CFI route.

Edited by Whistlerpilot
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How bout one wheel and planks and nothing but canopy.

Congrats on the glider job, if you get to Tucson in the summertime we can grab a Grob 103 and find one of our thermals that go to 17,999. Most of the time we stay above 10,000 for xcountry.

 

I have a brother that lives in Woodinville WA so I might get out to fly with you in your 269.

 

Jerry :D

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Hey Jerry, I would love to bust up to the bottom of class A with you it sounds amazing. Looks like I will be so busy in the Pacific NW this summer I won't get away anywhere until the fall. I did manage to soar to 15000' once here in mountain wave. The airport here (CYPS) is at 670' so it was quite a long way down.

 

Hope to see you when you visit your brother. Perhaps you can squeeze in a trip to Whistler for some soaring and/or helicopter mountain flying.

 

Eric

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