Learning to fly in a Tomahawk. And then an Eclipse.

Rosstafari

Daaaang.
Aug 17, 2008
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So, since I'm looking at a few additional months wait on getting into OKC, I figured now may be a good time for me to pursue a private pilot's license. I've wanted to for a while now anyway, and since it'd be beneficial to my future performance as a controller, might as well get it started. Besides, it'll give me something to do in the meantime.

There are two schools at the airport nearby me. The first one uses primarily 172's, the other, a few different Pipers. The cheapest rates are on a couple of Tomahawks they have. Now, I don't have a whole lot of money, and flying on the Tommies would result in a savings of several hundred dollars in the long run -- a significant amount for me at the moment, since my wife is also finishing up college at the moment and can't contribute to our income.

Do y'all have any advice on whether it'd be an all right plane to learn on? My understanding is that a Tomahawk isn't quite as forgiving of a plane as a 172 (or even the Warriors that the school has), but as the instructor said, "if you can learn to fly this plane, you can fly most anything." Besides, I'm thinking that having a good instructor and taking the proper amount of training time are more important than plane type.

Any suggestions on the decision, or any other advice on getting started on taking lessons, are welcome.
 

irishcarbomb

Epic Member
Dec 3, 2008
1,801
6
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Houston, TX
save the money and do it in the traumahawk...the only thing thats really different is that the horizontal stab/elevator is not in the propeller air flow so elevator authority at lower airspeeds is diminished...nothing to worry about and nothing that will hold you back in your training. HAVE FUN and enjoy it...too bad you're not in houston i'm moving there soon and could be your instrucor.

also if you have any questions about anything feel free to pm me or post any questions (maybe we can get the pilot section going on here)
 

SnowAviation

Senior Member
Jan 29, 2009
292
3
18
Southern California TRACON
Use the Tomahawk, you will be better for it in the long run. The C172 is
a great plane to learn in but as you've heard it's a bit easier and more
forgiving to fly and harder is better when learning. After flying the PA38,
the C172 will be like flying a luxury plane.
 

Rosstafari

Daaaang.
Aug 17, 2008
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So I signed up for flight school yesterday. Man, I can't say how excited I am to start.

Anybody got any advice for me? You know, about anything flight school related? Suggestions on what to buy? Where to buy it? What to ask about? Or to focus on?
 

irishcarbomb

Epic Member
Dec 3, 2008
1,801
6
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Houston, TX
congrats! what school did you end up going with?

just have fun...and remember RIGHT RUDDER when you pitch up for take off...maybe even a little when you go full power. the nose is gonna want to turn left (due to the prop and stuff)

you're instructor will tell you the specifics, but find a pilot shop and to get started you will need:

logbook
headset - wide range of prices and options, buy the best one you can afford...look for the lightest one, it makes a huge difference. try them on too until you find one you like.
checklist for the airplane (might find one to print off the internet)

the rest you can get later as you need it
 

1984warrior

Rookie
Jan 24, 2009
43
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Minnesota
I love piper, much more than cessna
Good choice!
Also, don't buy anything until you need it, some stuff expires quickly and a lot of things can be found online for free
 
A

Adam

Guest
That right rudder is crucial in a tail dragger as well...as soon as you get that tail off the ground it starts going left pretty quick.
 

mjohn47

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
194
0
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Holbrook, NY
Right rudder is your friend. Learn it, Live it, Love it.

Like some of our ATC instructors have said here in OKC - SUBMIT. Submit to using the rudder lol
 

Rosstafari

Daaaang.
Aug 17, 2008
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Ended up going with Pilot's Choice at KGTU. Has a good reputation around here, and you don't have to spend $1K+ more for a lounge with newer couches.

Had my first two flight lessons canceled due to wind. Thanks, Texas.
 

Rosstafari

Daaaang.
Aug 17, 2008
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I.

HATE.

SPINS.






On a related note, I now get the Traumahawk thing. F me. I about crapped my pants.
 

SnowAviation

Senior Member
Jan 29, 2009
292
3
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Southern California TRACON
Dude, you spun a Tomahawk?

I said it was a good plane to learn in, it is not a good plane to spin.

*Slaps Forehead*

But if you do spin and or do full stalls remember this: DO NOT LOOK OUT THE
BACK WINDOW AT THE TAIL SCARILY WOBBLING AND SHAKING FROM LEFT
TO RIGHT!


Having said that you will be a better man for the experience, but do not take the Tomahawk
Spin recovery lightly.

Small blurb from the AOPA ASF:
?Instructors interviewed told us that pilots who learn to fly in the Tomahawk
have fewer problems transitioning to larger and higher performance single-engine
airplanes,? noted Landsberg.




Dude spun a Tomahawk...heh.
 

Rosstafari

Daaaang.
Aug 17, 2008
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oops! power on stall gone bad?
Nah. The CFI thought it'd be fun to show me on purpose, and they teach you how to deal with it as part of the course. I guess they figure they may as well.

Dude, you spun a Tomahawk?

I said it was a good plane to learn in, it is not a good plane to spin.
Tell that to my CFI. We landed and he goes, "Oh, by the way, if anyone asks, we just did 'spin awareness'". Probably shouldn't mention it to others.

But if you do spin and or do full stalls remember this: DO NOT LOOK OUT THE
BACK WINDOW AT THE TAIL SCARILY WOBBLING AND SHAKING FROM LEFT
TO RIGHT!
Don't worry. Seeing only ground through the front as we corkscrew around was bad enough for me.

Small blurb from the AOPA ASF:
?Instructors interviewed told us that pilots who learn to fly in the Tomahawk have fewer problems transitioning to larger and higher performance single-engine airplanes,? noted Landsberg.
I think that makes me feel better about it. Of course, since about any plane could be considered larger and higher performance than a Tomahawk, not sure how much weight it holds.

Unsurprisingly, I can't seem to pull a spin with Tomahawks in either FSX or X-Plane for practice. Hmm.
 

scope dope

the worst cpc you know
Feb 20, 2009
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"spin awareness" is all that's required, and btw wasn't the tomahawk to blame for the shift in requirement from "spin training" to "spin awareness"?
 

ATCtower

Epic Member
Oct 26, 2008
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DO NOT LOOK OUT THE
BACK WINDOW AT THE TAIL SCARILY WOBBLING AND SHAKING FROM LEFT
TO RIGHT!

Dude spun a Tomahawk...heh.
This is the ONLY time I ever got somewhat airsick... It was the whole wet paint theory, my instructor told me not to look out the back window and guess what I did... :)

It took everything I had to keep my lunch down and last night's dinner in... What a cool view though!
 

SnowAviation

Senior Member
Jan 29, 2009
292
3
18
Southern California TRACON
Ok I didn't want to tell this story but I will.

My first CFI spin training in a Tomahawk was interesting as my instructor says; "You fly, I will talk you through it." Sounded safe enough.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Instructor: Start a shallow dive and get us to Va.

Me: Check.

Instructor: Ok now give me a 2g pull and take the nose up to 45 degrees

Me: Check *this is gonna be fun*

Instructor: Just before you think the stall horn is gonna go off give me full power, full up elevator, and full left rudder.

Me: *nervously* Check?

Instructor: Now!

Me: Ok.

Instructor: Wooo hoooooo!!!!! Idle power!

Me: Wow.

Instructor: Now recover, full right rudder idle power, slight forward elevator.

Me: I'm on it.

Instructor: Yeah! (he's still a bit high on the adrenalin), now lets do it again and when I tell you, you look out the back window.

Me: Uh ok, why?

Instructor: You'll see.

We repeat the previous events and then I look.

Me: Holy Sh*t!!

Instructor: Cool Huh?

Me: No. Let's not do that again, K?

Here is what happened during that unique spin entry, the plane went from
the 45 degrees nose up to a tight "snap" kind of spin roll to the left ending
up after the first rotation nose level, rotation two put us at 45 degrees
nose down and the third rotation had us in a traditional nose down spin,
spinning very tightly and descending rapidly.