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Interested - single or twin engine?


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Hello folks, from a senior in Atlanta, GA.😊
 

I’m an old guy, retired but love fine machinery and power sport, e.g. Porsches, M/Cs, et al.  Question:  I’m thinking about pilot license.  I know I’ll go to twin engine plane ASAP,  Would it make sense to learn in a twin from the get-go, e.g.  like starting in an 18’ boat, then going to 30’+… .  Or, do safety concerns require single engine experience and graduated steps?🤷‍♂️

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Vertical,  In your ab initio training stage,  you don't want a complex (and expensive to operate) plane. Something like a decathlon  (or a Jabiru 230 ) would be fine .Chucking twins around is the real

This is the comment that you should pay attention too, IMHO, it's by far the most accurate statement in this thread.   Annecdote; my other hobby is sailing off the beach dinghys, and i've pr

I’m feeling like I just got a huge spoon of cod liver oil-of-humility!   I guess I’ve been paper flying from the armchair - much easier than shoe leather.  I’m really glad I stumbled in here, hal

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Vertical,  In your ab initio training stage,  you don't want a complex (and expensive to operate) plane. Something like a decathlon  (or a Jabiru 230 ) would be fine .Chucking twins around is the realm of the  experienced and  "game". It would also be easier to bend one doing go arounds from a bounced landing etc and the landing gear is not as strong as fixed gear is. I would strongly advise against it.  There's much more knobs you have to manipulate. and a much more critical plane to fly

  Allow for starting older same as you would on a motorcycle if you started at say 60, you'd be unlikely to ever win a 1/2 Mile oval track race.

  I'm older than you I'll warrant. For your sake I hope it's true but I know you, (or anyone else) will have to have a solid base of flying skills before you get into a twin. Recency is also much more important in a twin as plenty of doctors and pharmacists have found out.

  One thing at a time .Get a good experienced and patient instructor who will make sure your skills base is sound and bring up the matter of a twin endorsement with him. My first multi engined plane had 4 engines. That rarely happens also. Keep in touch . Nev

   

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I echo what Nev has said above. If you did try to learn to fly from day one in a twin I doubt you would succeed. Most pilots find times when they are severely frustrated at the progress of learning and by doing it in a twin it will be several times as hard.

Singles are safer than twins in most cases and especially in the hands of the inexperienced. That is born out by the number of fatalities in twin training, even where the student pilot was an experienced pilot in a different aircraft. Flying one tin will not always prepare you for a different one, due to the many systems that the pilot has to understand. By that I mean the gear extension methods and the fuel switching requirements.

One of the things that training stresses is what to do in an engine failure. relatively easy in single engine, all you really need to do is get it gliding, but in a twin it is very complex.

Give it a try, get a flight with an instructor in a twin and see how you go, then let us know.

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I also echo what Nev and Yenn had said.

 

if you are worried about an engine failure, (and that being the reason for a twin) get a sport aircraft with a BRS (airframe parachute).

 

Do you want to fly your entire extended family over rough and inhospitable terrain in bad weather at night ? AND you fly the twin WEEKLY on a variety of missions  in all weather IE  NOT friendly air flying ? then , you MIGHT be able to justify a twin . not otherwise, I think.

 

 

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I think Vertical made his wanting a twin clear. He equates a twin with a Porsche, or an M/C whatever that is.

Looks like a lover of fine machinery and in flying that can include all sorts of planes. Think Mooney or Stearman as varying examples.

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Nothing Porsche like about a twin. slow, lumbering.... IMO. generalization though. Most of my twin flying in are Cessna 310s

 

How about a RV-4 , Vertical ?  I like be looking for an RV4 down the track.

 

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It's comforting to look at a motor each side purring away smoothly but in reality you have double the chance of an engine failure and many twins JUST manage to stay in the  air on one IF you do everything correctly.  If you get below Vmc(a) your plane is going to turn towards the dead engine and it's going to roll the same way as well. If the gear is not up and flaps retracted and the dead engine feathered. you cannot climb. The good engine will be operating at a high power setting with a fairly low forward speed and is more likely to fail than in "normal" operating conditions. Turbo prop or fan jet s are much more reliable but you are talking in the millions of dollars there. Nev

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Many thanks, guys for the sincere answers.  Your comments are well taken.
 

Firstly, I’m remiss in not knowing this group is in Australia.😖. OTO, I was a big fan on Angelo Dundee, some years ago, surely a parody,

nevertheless a spunkee Australian,-) ‘Love Australia, from films but never visited.  Maybe… .

 

My inquiry is very preliminary, based on being bored in retirement.  I’m youngish 75+, not unlike a Eric Clapton or Clint Eastwood mix-profile, but

ordinary, not famous.  Over the years I’ve gotten into motor sports, motorcycles, cars, boats, RVs, etc. only to advance quickly to desiring the top

end model, e.g. under $500k in a plane. 
 

I was simply looking to the experienced pros opinions in flying to advise me re my original concept:  Would I be better off buying ‘up’ to start and

avoiding the stages of trading and expense?  The twin engine idea was to negotiate flying instructions into a major deal, etc vs going through several

smaller stages and trading up.

 

I can now see that was a bad idea and I’m adjusting my thinking before taking a leap.  I’ve flown in a number of singles in the past, gliders, King Air,

and small jets, often in the right seat and taking control briefly.  I know I’ll love flying.  Horsepower is fun - seems there is never enough.  
 

In conclusion, you guys answered my query.  I suppose the approach might be to locate a pilot/instructor with a reasonably hot 4-6 seat single,

used, perhaps with a safe 200+ knot cruise ability and 1500 ft/minute climb capability and work a deal around that?  I watch some great videos on

YouTube and the most expensive always jumps out, inappropriately, e.g. the TBM 940 - wow, but if there were a smaller version turbo!?

 

Thanks again and stay safe,

👍

Frank M, 

‘Atlanta, GA, USA

 

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If you are looking to learn at the higher end I would see if there are any schools doing primary instruction in the Cirrus SR20 or SR22 (I think there are). They sound like the most realistic path to do what you are describing.

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I think Vertical made his wanting a twin clear. He equates a twin with a Porsche, or an M/C whatever that is.

Looks like a lover of fine machinery and in flying that can include all sorts of planes. Think Mooney or Stearman as varying examples.

Somehow this didn't get posted yesterday.

I would add that learning to fly in a high performance plane does not necessarily make you a good pilot.

At one stage after I had my PPL I started flying a glider. The original Kookaburra. That plane taught me a lot in practice that I had only learnt in theory, because it was not tweaked to stop all the further effects of controls happening. I reckon learn in something that is not super efficient and safe and you will end up a safer pilot. Even better a taildragger, which will teach you how to preserve the nose wheel of a tricycle plane.

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Somebody suggested an RV4. A great plane to learn in and I assume that in USA you may be able to do that without actually owning one. As far as an  RV4 being anything like a Porsche, I would assume some may be and some may not as they are all homebuilt.

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Yenn, m/c = motorcycle(s).  I understand your point not to equate top model or more hp with proficiency.  I simply love the ability to hit the throttle and get

instantaneous response.  Try a Porsche Turbo.  It will pin you against the seat while providing the most accurate handling imaginable, quickly!  I still recall 

pulling the yoke on a king air turbo 40 years ago and the thing climbed like a banshee.  It put a grin on my face.  I was snakebit for ‘more is better.’  That

includes more safety.😉

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I wouldn't recommend Experimental category, you are likely to spend too much time learning about the builder's idiosyncrasies. Every instrument panel is different etc. The RV-4 would be one of the least practical because the rear seat probably doesn't have full dual controls and instruments.

 

Based on the original criteria I think either Cirrus or find a flight school that uses new C172 etc. Cirrus is probably closer to the original intent.

 

Learning in a twin is probably impractical because as well as the added complexity there is too much you can't do. Plus most twins used for training are probably old and wouldn't be considered fine machinery...

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You easily get used to that sort of thing. Most lightly loaded Jets will go through 6,000 feet  at a point near mid downwind if you are tracking that way. The faster you go the quicker you can get lost too. Keeping ahead of the plane may take some/ most pilots over 50 hour s of line flying to achieve.  Nev

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I can understand the attraction of having a high performance aircraft if you like fine and fast machinery, but I suggest your focus at this stage should be on learning to fly well. You can run into information overload even in a docile 100 kt aircraft when you're coming in for your first few landings. High performance also means much more complexity with constant speed props, retractable gear, sophisticated displays showing a lot of information that you have to take in quickly.  Getting a PPL is a significant achievement at any age, and being young at heart doesn't quite compensate for getting older, even if you are in good shape overall. There is a lot to learn when doing the course that is not just about handling the aircraft. You will also need further training and licence endorsements to operate the more complex aircraft. I got my PPL a couple of weeks before turning 60, so I was also a late starter. Age in itself is not a barrier.  My suggestion is to book the Cessna and an instructor and have fun driving the Porsche to the airport for a while. Time enough to trade up later by which time you'll also have a learned a lot more about the kind of aircraft you want to fly. If you find you like aerobatics for example, you might change your mind about the Cirrus.

 

Edited by rgmwa
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You could get a Pitts S2 to fly for the thrill and challenge. They are pretty much unbreakable and affordable.  No matter how fast you are going when you get at High altitude you think you are hardly moving so that's not fun unless you are paid for it..AND you are exposed to a gas that causes Cancer. Nev

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4get KingAir type machines at yr age, I've got more hours on them than I care to remember & they are reserved for experienced pilots!

Come back down to earth & learn at the bottom like the rest of us!

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5 hours ago, Flightrite said:

Come back down to earth & learn at the bottom like the rest of us!

I’m feeling like I just got a huge spoon of cod liver oil-of-humility!   I guess I’ve been paper flying from the armchair - much easier than shoe leather.  I’m really

glad I stumbled in here, halfway around the world.  It’s early on in the process; I’ll make some adjustments henceforth.  Thanks for shooting straight… . 👍

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On 26/09/2021 at 6:15 PM, Flightrite said:

edited...mod

 

edited...mod   . How people come up with goals is they see themselves doing something that they would like to, work backwards and work out where to start from. That's what everybody does. 

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11 hours ago, Vertical said:

I’m feeling like I just got a huge spoon of cod liver oil-of-humility!   I guess I’ve been paper flying from the armchair - much easier than shoe leather.  I’m really

glad I stumbled in here, halfway around the world.  It’s early on in the process; I’ll make some adjustments henceforth.  Thanks for shooting straight… . 👍

You might want to train in a Cessna 152 Aerobat. It has tricycle landing gear, so it is easy to land. It is inexpensive. It is aerobatic, so you will be able to get the thrills you desire. I don't think you are obliged to be humble, to be honest. It's not like you said that you could already do stuff already. 

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