If you are thinking about learning how to fly but you are wondering what type of aircraft you will learn how to fly with, then a recent post for AOPA’s Lets Go Flying blog by Chris Findley, a flight instructor and the founder of myFlightCoach.com, is well worth reading. Chris began his post by noting that while the selection at your airport may vary, it will likely be one of a couple of aircraft types.
However, Chris noted that the most common training type of aircraft is the Cessna series of trainers, especially the 172 (a 4-seat aircraft that flies at about 120 miles per hour) and the 152 (a 2-seat version). These single engine and high-wing aircraft date back to the 1940s and are considered to be among the most popular entry-level type of aircraft ever built. In fact, most pilots will learn how to fly in one or both of them.
Besides Cessna aircraft, Chris noted that another popular training aircraft is the Diamond DA-20 (a 4-seat aircraft) and the DA-40 (a 2-seat aircraft). These aircraft were developed in the 1990s and according to Chris, they are fun to fly due to their solid performance and predictable flying characteristics. Moreover, the DA-20C1 was selected as the Air Force’s Introductory Flight Trainer and it earned Flying Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award in 2007.
Finally, Chris noted that various 4-seat aircraft (whose designs date back to the 1960s) made by Piper, including the Warrior, Cherokee and Archer, are other popular aircraft for training due to their docile handling but they can also be somewhat underpowered depending upon the model.
Chris also noted that some students become concerned when they find out that they are learning how to fly on an older aircraft – perhaps one that is more than 30 years old. However, he then pointed out that aircraft tend to last much longer than automobiles due to careful inspections and plenty of maintenance.
Chris ended his post by noting that any one of the aircraft he mentioned is a great starting point to learn how to fly in.