Read on to find out about the best aeroplanes to fly in and the features to look for when choosing the right one for your needs.
If you have decided to pursue aviation, chances are the question at the forefront of your mind is which aeroplane you should jump into and take to the skies.
However, what you must understand is that training is an integral part of your aviation journey and that choosing the right aeroplane to train in is of vital importance.
While you may gravitate towards an aeroplane based on aesthetics alone, there’s a whole host of other features you must keep in mind when choosing an aircraft to learn to fly in.
There are many features of an aeroplane that can help you decide whether it belongs to the beginner-friendly variety or not.
Read on to find out about the best aeroplanes to fly in and the features to look for when choosing the right one for your needs:
FEATURES OF BEGINNER-FRIENDLY AEROPLANES
Beginner-friendly aeroplanes should be small enough to be easily manoeuvrable by a novice pilot, with larger planes often being much more difficult to pilot. Comfort and intuitive controls are also of the utmost importance.
When training is concerned, complicated aircraft may stress a new pilot out, since they become overwhelming. For this reason, it is best to start your aviation journey in a small aircraft, most often belonging to the light aircraft variety.
These are smaller planes with less mass, a single-engine, and a seating capacity of no more than two to three people at a time.
Their simplicity makes them the aircraft of choice for beginners as well as recreational flyers, and they are bound to fulfil all of a newbie pilot's training-related needs.
When choosing an aircraft to train in, it is best to keep these factors in mind, since they will lead to a smoother start to your aviation journey:
A stable body is key to a comfortable experience for a beginner pilot and is perhaps one of the most important features to keep in mind when picking out an aircraft.
The more stable an aircraft is, the easier it is to control. Otherwise, the level of skill required to make a smooth landing and take off the ground with ease may deter newbie pilots who are yet to master the art of aviation.
A shaky aircraft may also become the cause of anxiety and stress when flying. It is exceedingly important to have a clear head when flying, as you may be required to make quick decisions. For this reason, stress should be avoided.
Smaller aircraft are generally easier to control and don’t require too much space to take off or land. A larger aircraft may overwhelm a beginner, due either to the size or the more complicated controls.
A smaller aircraft is also easier to get a hold of since the licence requirements to fly smaller aeroplanes are not as stringent. For this reason, they are the choice aircraft for newbies.
For a beginner pilot to feel at ease, it is necessary for them to feel comfortable. A seat that is designed to cause backache or one with cushioning that is a bit too hard may make learning to fly a bit burdensome.
Aircraft that are ergonomically designed are ideal for all pilots, not just beginners, since it helps them perform to the best of their abilities.
If a pilot is constantly hindered by uncomfortable seating or an aeroplane that is too small for their height, they may end up making more mistakes, which is something pilots cannot afford to do.
If a pilot has a good view of what is in front of them, it can help them feel more at ease and confident in their ability to fly.
A partially-obscured windshield or one that doesn’t afford the kind of visibility needed for a pilot to fly comfortably may make for a difficult flight.
Intuitive and simple controls
The placement of the controls is more important than you think. An ideal aircraft for beginners will have controls that are easily within reach and do not require a pilot to go against their natural movements.
Ergonomic design plays a big part when it comes to controls as well, not just seating. The control panel should be suited to the needs of the pilot, with the necessary buttons and levers being quick and easy to reach.
This is related to many of the points already mentioned since if an aircraft is smaller in size and has simpler controls, chances are it has a single-engine.
Aeroplanes that do not require too much power to operate, such as light aircraft, have a single-engine.
Larger aeroplanes like commercial airliners and army jets have dual or more engines since they require more power due to their size and speed.
BEST AEROPLANES TO LEARN TO FLY IN
While what makes an aeroplane the ‘best’ is a rather subjective matter, with different pilots having different aircraft that they are inclined towards, there are certain types that combine the aforementioned features to make them better suited to the needs of pilots-in-training.
While the name may sound complicated, it simply refers to aircraft with an immovable wing, fuselage, and stabilisers.
A smaller type of fixed-wing aircraft with a single-engine and limited seating capacity is known as a light aircraft.
If you need a simple answer to what kind of aeroplane you will learn to fly in, this is it. The light aircraft is the perfect aeroplane for beginners due to its compact size owing to its single-engine.
The single-engine of the aeroplane means the controls are also relatively simple, making them well-suited to beginners who may otherwise feel intimidated at the sight of a complicated control panel. The fact that light aircraft are relatively easy to pilot means younger aviation enthusiasts can also fly in them.
The simplest licence to obtain is the Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL), which has a minimum age of only 17 and a requirement of 12 hours of total flight time.
Apart from the obvious benefits of using a light aircraft for training, these are also the aircraft opted for most often by hobbyists and recreational flyers. They are used for experience flights, sightseeing, as well as for surveillance purposes.
Sherburn’s fleet of light aircraft
Sherburn Aero Club is home to a fleet of well-maintained aircraft, which includes the Piper PA-28 Cadet, Piper PA-28 Warrior, Aero AT-3, and Robin 2160.
These aeroplanes are available for rent to members of the club and are given out on an hourly basis.
For those who wish to own an aircraft, Sherburn’s marketplace is home to a variety of light aircraft available for purchase. While the option to buy an aircraft privately exists, members can also buy shares.
- Piper PA-28 Cadet: There are a total of three Piper Cadets in Sherburn’s fleet, with the aeroplane being a great aircraft for beginners.
Housing a 160 hp engine, it has been one of the top-ranked aeroplanes when it comes to beginner-friendliness, especially in terms of comfort and affordability.
- Piper PA-28 Warrior: Piper Warriors are very similar to Cadets, however, due to the fact that they are more advanced with their higher equipment fit, these aeroplanes are great for pilots looking for something more challenging.
Sherburn has a total of three Piper Warriors available for members to fly.
- Aero AT-3: This is a Very Light Aircraft (VLA), with one Aero AT-3 available at Sherburn. Its small size and affordability make it a great option for new pilots looking for something simple to fly.
- Robin 2160: In addition to being used for regular flight training, this aeroplane is a great option for pilots looking to practice aerobatics! The Robin 2160 has a bubble canopy, which allows for a breath-taking 360-degree view.
WHAT ARE MICROLIGHTS?
Microlights are smaller light aircraft that are very popular among new pilots as well as recreational flyers due to their affordability as well as ease of access.
These aeroplanes provide a very safe flying experience, with the traditional microlight carrying no more than two passengers at a time.
Their maximum take-off weight cannot exceed 450kg, or 472.5kg when equipped with a complete recovery parachute system. However, the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom recently changed the limit to up to 600 kgs.
Sherburn’s microlight training facility, Breeze Aviation, allows for a unique training experience for beginners and houses the EuroFox, which is a 560 kg microlight known for its safety.
The EuroFox is great for pilots on the lookout for a more affordable training option, with landing fees and as well as training fees being lower for microlights. There are fewer exams to sit through as well as lower licence fees involved.
However, if you are not a recreational pilot and wish to work your way up to operating more complicated aircraft, you may be better suited to training on light aircraft such as the Piper Warrior.
If you are a beginner who can’t wait to get into the pilot’s seat, your enthusiasm is completely understandable and, in fact, encouraged. However, there are some necessary steps you must take before climbing into the cockpit of an aeroplane.
There are two types of training when it comes to aviation. For the absolute beginner, a few hours of simulator training are necessary before getting to the real deal.
Once the beginner pilot has gained confidence and basic technical knowledge via the simulator, they can graduate to training in an actual aircraft with certified instructors.
Simulator training is an excellent way for new pilots to familiarise themselves with the ins and outs of flying an aeroplane, with the tool coming in handy for more experienced pilots as well, helping them refine their skills and familiarise themselves with new airfields before the journey.
Advantages of using a simulator include safety and accessibility, while the main drawback of using one to train is the artificiality, with simulators failing to mimic the kind of stress experienced by pilots during actual flights. This is why it isn’t recommended to train solely via simulator.
Once a pilot has mastered the simulator, the real fun begins! After the beginner has a fair grip on the technical knowledge required to fly an aeroplane, they are ready to climb into the pilot’s seat and take off.
A newbie pilot will train alongside certified professionals and, once the pilot has logged in a certain amount of hours, they can be allowed to fly alone as well.
ACCESSING AIRCRAFT AND TRAINING FACILITIES
A great way to access a variety of well-maintained aircraft and training facilities is to join an aviation club such as Sherburn Aero Club.
With an in-house flight school in addition to the flying club, Sherburn is a great place for both beginner pilots as well as those who have long flying careers behind them.
The flight school at Sherburn offers training to private pilots looking for an Aeroplane (A) rating, also offering training in night-time flying.
Apart from this, the club also helps aspiring pilots prepare for the theoretical exam required to obtain the Private Pilot Licence (PPL). Sherburn’s partner organisation, Advanced Flight Training, offers courses for those hoping to pursue aviation professionally as well. The four-week-long course prepares pilots for the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) applications.
ADVANTAGES OF JOINING A FLYING CLUB
- Community: One of the greatest joys of joining a flying club is that it allows you to mingle with other like-minded aviation enthusiasts.
The fact that there is a supportive community available to pilots means they are always being encouraged to do better. The challenging environment makes flying clubs a great place to refine your skills.
- Save Money: If you do not wish to invest a large sum into buying an aeroplane privately, many flying clubs give pilots the option to either buy one on a shared basis or rent out an aircraft on an hourly basis.
The hourly fee means pilots do not have to pay for flying on the months they do not take to the skies as often.
- Shared responsibility: Since most flying clubs are member-owned, it means the money you pay in membership fees is used for the maintenance and upkeep of the aircraft and airfield.
Some senior members may also nominate themselves for the role of officers who oversee any upkeep of the airfield and aircraft.
WHY CHOOSE SHERBURN AERO CLUB
Sherburn Aero Club, which has been operational since 1964, is the ideal place for most of your training and flying needs. It is one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.
With a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse, we cater to brand new flyers who have just started their journey to the skies, as well as seasoned flyers who have been operating aircraft for decades.
In addition to this, the club also offers simulators for various training needs and to help new pilots gain confidence before the real deal.
Breeze Aviation, our microlight training facility, is based at Sherburn in Elmet and has a unique training environment based at a licenced airfield.
It integrates seamlessly with large scale GA training and hire, helicopter training and charter, commercial and advanced flight training, and classic tiger moth experiences.
Call us on 01977 682 674, email us at email@example.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information on the aircraft fleet, training services, and airfield available at Sherburn.