midlifeflyer

Student pilot training tips?

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I have a potential student who bought a C for his primary training. I'm pretty comfortable with transitions but have never trained a pilot ab  initio in a Mooney or other retract. Some of the considerations are obvious, but I'd like to have the benefit of the experience of those who have done it from both the instructor and the student perspective. Any special tips, pitfalls, techniques?

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My wife did her training in my M20E way back when. Most instructors refused to train her in it. Although she had probably flown about 200 hours with me in it, the major concern was whether she could properly use the brakes since they were only on the pilots side. We finally found an instructor who was willing to do it (I offered to pull them around the airport manually without turning the engine on to get used to the brakes, he ended up turning that offer down). 

The benefits:

- having to drop the gear when landing is second nature, she will never know what it feels like not to have to bring the gear down.

- avionics in the plane she would eventually fly...exactly the same. 

- before she got her license, she could fly the play if I somehow became incapacitated. 

- she was signed off in about 45 hours to take the checkride (knew the plane extremely well and never had to fight for a rental) 

Just a few thoughts. It definitely takes some more dedication by the instructor, but I truly believe it helped her be much more safe and capable in our aircraft and she responded well. The instructor really took the time to ensure she understood how the plane operated and tailored the training to it. 

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learning to land in a trainer that they don't own is probably a good idea.   The mooney landing gear is not a supple as some of the trainers out there.   Then just step them up to the fast plane so there CX will go much faster.

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As an instructor I’ve done it. I think it’s a good route to go if you know that is the plane you want to fly. Of course everything took a little bit longer, solo, etc but not too bad. 

Dont forgrt to tell them when you get out of the plane it will float more  That change in weight does alter the landing feel  

Make sure they have a good checklist they can use  I don’t mean one of these million items checklist A good checklist that just focuses on what’s important because it’s too easy to get lost in a needlessly long one  

-Robert 

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I thought one of the requirements for the aircraft as a primary trainer (for an un-licensed student pilot) was a complete set of dual controls- including brakes.  This may have changed recently, but that was what I remember from 20 years ago.

Edit:  91.109 does require a fully functional set of dual controls for an unlicensed student pilot.  When I was actively instructing, my FSDO interpreted that to include brakes, but did make the allowance for the hand brake on old Piper Cherokees.

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8 minutes ago, Andy95W said:

I thought one of the requirements for the aircraft as a primary trainer (for an un-licensed student pilot) was a complete set of dual controls- including brakes.  This may have changed recently, but that was what I remember from 20 years ago.

Here's an AOPA article that references the FAA interpretations.  Short story--dual brakes not required

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7 minutes ago, Andy95W said:

I thought one of the requirements for the aircraft as a primary trainer (for an un-licensed student pilot) was a complete set of dual controls- including brakes.  This may have changed recently, but that was what I remember from 20 years ago.

I don't think they (FAA) concider brakes as a control, so it's up to the CFI and the examiner whether or not they will trust you with only brakes on one side, similar to the throw over yokes in some of the Beechcraft 

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6 minutes ago, jaylw314 said:

Here's an AOPA article that references the FAA interpretations.  Short story--dual brakes not required

Thanks, Jay.  I didn't know that clarification had been made.  And thanks for posting the AOPA reference!

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2 minutes ago, RLCarter said:

I don't think they (FAA) concider brakes as a control, so it's up to the CFI and the examiner whether or not they will trust you with only brakes on one side, similar to the throw over yokes in some of the Beechcraft 

The single throw-over yoke is specifically mentioned in 91.109- it is allowed for instrument training and Flight Reviews, but not for primary students.

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Here in Alaska its very common for pilots to learn and checkride in such planes like Taylorcrafts, and pipers that have only ever had one set of brakes. And these where primary trainers back starting in the 30s on.

Teaching in these types of planes, as well as the mooney, I tell the student that brakes are only for holding the plane for run up and turning (needed in these old TW planes). Teaching proper airspeed control on final and landing on your intended point, from the get-go, and you really don't need brakes. 

Start the student off that way, and they will never know any other way. 

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20 minutes ago, tangogawd said:

Here in Alaska its very common for pilots to learn and checkride in such planes like Taylorcrafts, and pipers that have only ever had one set of brakes. And these where primary trainers back starting in the 30s on.

 

I've done a lot of exciting things but I don't think I'd do a tailwheel primary without brakes of my own. Sometimes when things get sideways a tap of the brake straightens everything out.  I've done transition training in tailwheels without brakes with pilots who were already tailwheel proficient.

-Robert

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Thanks for the comments. 

I knew about the brake issue, and that dual toe brakes are not required. That's pretty common in older Cherokees too. But it does lead to a question. In the Cherokees, the substitute for the CFI is the hand brake (and, in some older Comanches, the hand brake is the only brake). I'll have a chance to check for myself when I test fly the airplane before any lessons, but how good is the parking brake hand control as a substitute. I'm not talking about "slamming" on the brakes, but gently bringing the airplane to a stop.

@Yetti, thanks for the comment about learning to land. I hesitate switching around airplanes, but I do have access to a Cherokee if it becomes necessary.

@RobertGary1, you are right about the checklist - good and not too overdone. Do you or anyone else have a good C checklist I can crib from? 

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@midlifeflyer,

 

  I would also check with the insurance company on the dual brake issue, or at least make sure they understand the configuration prior to starting the training.  I've never heard of an issue for training in the Mooney for Instrument or commercial, but there seems to be another bar that gets set a bit higher when it comes to primary training.

 

Ron

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For holding the airplane still the parking brake will work, though I doubt it would stop a moving airplane with anything resembling alacrity.

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57 minutes ago, steingar said:

For holding the airplane still the parking brake will work, though I doubt it would stop a moving airplane with anything resembling alacrity.

IIRC, setting the parking brake requires some brake pressure first, and then it maintains that pressure, so that still wouldn't work. 

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26 minutes ago, jaylw314 said:

IIRC, setting the parking brake requires some brake pressure first, and then it maintains that pressure, so that still wouldn't work. 

Thanks. I came across that while reviewing the manual.

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1 hour ago, Marcopolo said:

@midlifeflyer,

 

  I would also check with the insurance company on the dual brake issue, or at least make sure they understand the configuration prior to starting the training.  I've never heard of an issue for training in the Mooney for Instrument or commercial, but there seems to be another bar that gets set a bit higher when it comes to primary training.

 

Ron

Good point, Ron. Another reason I'm glad I also have a Cherokee available for training.

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