What's better for pilot training, A Cessna, or a Piper?

October 14, 2008

Or does it even really matter? I have a choice between two schools, and the Cessna center doesn't seem as well managed, but they're cheaper and I hear Cessna's are trainer friendly. The Piper club seems to be extremely well managed though….thoughts anyone?

I've flown both Pipers and Cessnas and it's just not going to make any difference. What you REALLY want is to get the best instructor you can find. If I were you I would casually ask students from both schools what they thought of the school and, more importantly, the competence of the instructors.

If you save a few bucks on the plane but end up having to fly an extra 20 hours to get your license because your instructor isn't very good you haven't really saved anything. The point is, in flying go with quality!

Oh yeah, I know I'm starting to sound like a borken record but get the Sporty's Private Pilot Video course. I can't recommend that highly enough. Also, buy Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. He does a good job explaining difficult concepts (much more user friendly than the Jeppesen textbooks – plus it's only $25)!

Good luck!

Comments

14 Responses to “What's better for pilot training, A Cessna, or a Piper?”

  1. JerBear 1992 on October 14th, 2008 11:52 am

    it doesnt matter really

    its not like college its more like a driving skool

    ur gonna get ur lisense no matter what skool u go to
    (as long as u pass)lol

    but ima big fan of Cessna they r really freindly and of course cheaper

    i dont know much about Piper but Iv heard good things

    so i hope Iv helped

    -Da Bear
    References :

  2. ALOPILOT on October 14th, 2008 12:35 pm

    I learned to fly on a Piper… the fact is, I would go with the cheaper option though… Flying is expensive and its not how you get your private… its just that you have it… I would train with the cessnas…

    As someone once told me, the "Cessna, Piper debate in aviation is no different than the Ford, Chevy debate in the automobile world…"
    References :
    Regional Airline Pilot

  3. arizona_boy3 on October 14th, 2008 1:17 pm

    A Cesnna because of it's weight and durability.
    References :

  4. sheepmate1 on October 14th, 2008 1:25 pm

    When I learned to fly, it was on a Cessna 150. It's a very nice plane to learn on. In fact, we loved it so much, we bought it and leased it for others to learn to fly in.
    References :

  5. XP Pilot on October 14th, 2008 1:55 pm

    I have to agree with Alopilot and some of the others. Its apples and oranges. Both Cessna 150/152's, 172's or Piper Cherokees or derivatives are both great trainers, forgiving, and easy to fly. Cherokees with their low wing design are a bit easier to handle in a crosswind, Cessnas offer better visibility below. Some folks find the Cessna easier to land when starting out because of this. Both are good airplanes.
    Try the Cessnas to save money but if you find difficulty with their management/instructors, go over to the Piper outfit. Remember, its your money and you are buying a product (your instruction). You are not obligated to stay with any outfit (unless you signed a contract-don't!, not for private anyway) . I went through 2 other instructors for my PPL Certificate before settling on one I actually liked and didn't try to kill me but that's another story.
    References :

  6. leesa on October 14th, 2008 2:43 pm

    Love the Cessna. Always will.
    References :

  7. Jim on October 14th, 2008 3:26 pm

    I've flown both Pipers and Cessnas and it's just not going to make any difference. What you REALLY want is to get the best instructor you can find. If I were you I would casually ask students from both schools what they thought of the school and, more importantly, the competence of the instructors.

    If you save a few bucks on the plane but end up having to fly an extra 20 hours to get your license because your instructor isn't very good you haven't really saved anything. The point is, in flying go with quality!

    Oh yeah, I know I'm starting to sound like a borken record but get the Sporty's Private Pilot Video course. I can't recommend that highly enough. Also, buy Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook. He does a good job explaining difficult concepts (much more user friendly than the Jeppesen textbooks – plus it's only $25)!

    Good luck!
    References :
    Regional Airline Pilot

  8. justbeingher on October 14th, 2008 3:32 pm

    It really does not matter, but I would tend to go with the better-maintained aircraft.
    References :

  9. Bill G on October 14th, 2008 3:48 pm

    I had my flight training in cessnas and owned a piper. There is no advantage in training in one over the the other. I would go by the quality of the school.

    The Cessnas have the advantage of having electric flaps which are more impressive for passengers than piper's manual flags. They also have a "BOTH" setting on the fuel selector. They have a better view downwards for sighseeing. The have 2 doors.

    Pipers are less prone to carb ice. They have a better view upwards.
    References :

  10. calnickel on October 14th, 2008 4:33 pm

    They are about the same.

    Cessna (150/152/172) advantages:
    -Good visibility below.
    -Two doors for easy entry.
    -Big windows that open and rear windows (skylights on some).
    -Fowler flaps for short landings.
    -Conventional airfoil that doesn't stall suddenly.
    -No boost pump to worry about.
    -No fuel management required (other than don't run out).
    -Nose wheel not solidly connected to the rudder.
    -Good control authority and stability.

    Piper (Cherokee/Warrior) advantages:
    -Good visibility above.
    -Manual flaps.
    -Wide gear track.
    -Slightly higher cruise speed.
    -Doesn't easily carb ice.
    -Easier to fuel.
    -Easier to inspect the whole engine (and get rid of birds nests).
    -Oleo gear provides more shock absorption.
    References :

  11. cherokeeflyer on October 14th, 2008 4:45 pm

    I trained in both, I assure you neither is "better".
    Cheaper is not always better, I would base my decision on
    my "interview" with prospective instructors. Hire the Instructor, not the plane!
    References :

  12. walt554 on October 14th, 2008 5:16 pm

    Flip a coin.
    Personally I'm a high wing conventional gear person myself, but then again I learned many years ago when there were no trike gears around.
    Consider cost, but if you don't like a particular school go with the one you are impressed with.
    One school I was very impressed with when I was young was a simple ole' instructor, he had a fleet of 7AC's. Produced very competent students. BTW he had a logbook signed by Wilber Wright
    References :
    Retired ATP (ASEMEL&S, rotorcraft-Helicopter, DC-3)

  13. flyingrizzly on October 14th, 2008 5:51 pm

    You get what you pay for. My school was cheaper, but the facility was not very well managed and I probably spent more money, time and aggravation doing it the cheaper way. As for which plane to fly, it doesn't really matter. I personally learned on a Cessna 172 because there were only a hand full of Pipers on the field surrounded by Cessna's. I was more comfortable knowing that after I was done, renting, ownership (whole or fractional) and just buddying up for flight time was going to be more available with a stronger Cessna foundation.
    References :

  14. pdkflyguy on October 14th, 2008 6:36 pm

    I got my Private Certificate in a Piper Warrior, then Instrument, Commercial and CFII in a Cessna 172. Having flown both extensively now, I can say that I like the Cessna 172 only slightly better than the Piper. The 172 doesn't fly better or do anything altogether differently, but having the high wing makes it a lot easier to do ground-reference maneuvers. To ME, that's the only real advantage. For a personal choice, I like the Pipers better, but for training, I'd recommend the Cessna.
    References :
    CFII, Pilot

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