What's hard to fly, what's easy?

boscenter

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I'm doing some research for a paper, and am curious what you all think are most difficult and easy transport acft to learn about and fly. I'm talking about the whole experience. Systems, flight characteristics, cup-holder ergonomics, :D etc.

I guess as an example, I've heard that many of the RJ's are considered difficult b/c most new RJ pilots have little/no turbine time. I have also heard that MD-11's are a bitch b/c of strange slow-flight properties. One guy I know complains about MD-80's b/c de-icing fluid loves to leak into the cockpit.

But anyways, if you could list the transport acft you've flown in order of difficulty or most taxing/pleasant experience (w/ any brief commentary you have to offer), it'd help me get an idea how this paper is going to lay out.

Thanks! :p
 

skydiverdriver

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I used to fly frieght in the Fokker 27, and it has to be the most difficult plane I have ever flown. It's hard to slow down, has strange systems, and it's nearly impossible to make a smooth landing. It was a tough bird, good in icing and did everything well, but you had to work very hard in a gusty crosswind.

I now fly the CRJ, and it's the easiest plane Iv'e ever flown. I don't think experience has much to do with it, as the military trains people in a very short time to fly C-5's. However, I think most pilots, once they get the hang of it, feel that the CRJ is pretty simple. Many of the systems are automated, it only has two levers to worry about, nice to have speed brakes and gear you can extend at 250 kts. Even starting the engines is easy, as I don't think you can get a hot start. The Fokker could cook an engine in a few seconds if you werent' careful.

Hope this helps, and good luck to you.
 

bigD

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Uh oh - I have a feeling we're going to hear from some Jetstream 32 drivers pretty soon! :D
 

cmrflyer

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Kites are really easy to fly, as long as there is a good wind. Bricks are terrible at flying, even if there is a good wind.
 
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00Dog

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The Cessna 207 is pretty hard to fly when it is 100 degrees and you have six fat tourists behind you.
 

boscenter

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cmrflyer said:
Kites are really easy to fly, as long as there is a good wind. Brick are terrible at flying, even if there is a good wind.
lol, this is too funny... :D
 

habubuaza

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I can basically attest to the Citation which is very easy to fly and the B727 which is very easy to fly and very, very capable. I do have a friend who I haven't spoke to in a while but he was a Captain on Learjet, Citations, B707,727,737,747,757,767,L1011 and A310's. And he said the 707 handled like a truck, the 727 was like a sport's car, 737 was a fun little airplane to fly but nowhere near the 727. 757 and 767 were very nice airplanes but he was a little more partial to airbus's. The 747 according to him was basically a good airplane but nothing really stood out about it, it just carried alot of people very far. He really liked the A310, and would always talk about the performance (specifically climb) on the airplane but don't even think about approaching Mmo. Well I hope it helps a little and if I see him in the near future I'll be sure to ask about specifics.
 

habubuaza

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I almost forgot he HATED flying the 20 series lears.
 

~~~^~~~

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Hmm, the most difficult part 25 aircraft to get typed in was the E120. The systems were jerry rigged to pass certification and the flight qualities of the Brazillia - well - the NTSB recommended that the FAA remove the type certification until further testing could be done. In order to operate the aircraft safely the airlines have adopted all sorts of procedures specific to the airplane - for example different configurations are requierd for missed approaches depending on the level of ice accretion. Now imagine, during a busy missed in the simulator, with a engine failure, fire and God knows what else, having to stop and ask about the ice.

That having been said, the E120 was a blast to fly. Good feel back through the controls, challenging to fly well and over powered.

The CL65 is about the opposite. Systems are very well thought out, easy to fly, and no control feed back what so ever (all hydraulic & fly by wire). The aircraft is designed in such a way that it reminds you of anything amiss.

Go to the NTSB's web site and look at some of the probable cause reports. They will tell you a lot about what is easy and what is hard out there.
 

skydiverdriver

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I guess Airbus's are nice if it does what you think it's going to do.

What does a new airbus pilot say, "What's it doing now?"

What does and old airbus pilot say, "Look, it's doing that again."

Good luck to all.
 

aggiepilot87

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habubuaza and others who've flown the 727 -

I've never flown anything bigger than a Twin Otter, so I'm only going on what I hear and see. A lot of people say good things about the 727 and obviously it is/was a successful aircraft. But watching them take off they appear to be limping into the sky at best. The later generation airliners climb at what appears to be at least 3 times faster. I can't see how a 727 could climb at all with a failed engine.

Does this apparently lame takeoff performance not detract from the exceptional handling enough to make people dislike it? I guess if it is predictable, you get used to a less enthusiastic take off performance. Just curious.
 

UPS Capt

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Hardest plane to master for me was the Metroliner and it was also the best teacher I ever had. The B727-200 was difficult to achieve good landings in (unlike the B727-100) but a joy to hand fly and still the sexiest jet flying IMHO!

The B757/767 are truly the nicest airplanes I've ever flown. Neither has any bad habits and both are excellent performers. The B757 was a sports car and very maneuverable and the B76 is a cadillac with sports car like performance. The B767-300 was a little harder to master and achieve good landings in than the B757 but both were a joy to fly!

The A300-600...Hmmmm, well, my mother said if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all, so I'll leave it at that.
 

Cornelius

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I'm sorry to see that the EMB-120 made the list since I'll be in training for that bad boy next week.

I can say the BE1900D was a great airplane to fly. I don't remember anything difficult about flying it. Its very stable, responsive, and forgiving. It climbs well and lands like a Seminole.

I heard the EMB-120 is difficult to put on the rwy smoothly. Can anybody back that up?

C-ya.
 

skydash

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Whoa!

The MU-2 could be quite a handful in a strong crosswind landing!
 

328dude

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I'll second the MU-2. Not thats it's hard but it does require alot of attention. But as UPS Capt said, it was the best teacher I ever had.
 

cmrflyer

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Cornelius,

I can tell you from experience that the emb-120 is very hard to land smoothly. Every time you are about to land you think it is going to be nice and soft, then, wham.
The emb-120 is a real pain.
Good luck, and enjoy the training.
 

captjim

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Not having flown a huge amount of transport aircraft, I have to say the EMB120 is on of the hardest transports out there. The thing flies like a truck. Everytime you touch the power levers or the props you have to retrim the rudder. The systems are a nightmare, the electrical system that is. Its hot as hell too.

With that said, its still my favorite, for the reasons stated above. All of the 120 drivers know what I'm talking about. Not everyone could fly the thing well throught all flight envolopes. I've only got 1,600 hrs on it but miss it like an old friend. Fun plane.
 

Thedude

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The reason that you see most 727 lumber into the air is that most of them nowadays are used for charter and are extemely heavy. I can attested to this comming out of Montego Bay at 197,000 lbs and using up every bit of concrete.

NA-265 Saberliner is the easiest airplane/jet I have ever flown. Guess it has to be for those Air Force pukes.

BE-200 - I could teach my grandmother to fly this one and it is very forgiving.

BE-100 - Same as 200 except wing differences make it hard to get a sweet roller landing.

SA-227 Metroliner aka San Antonio Sewer Pipe - heavy in the roll and sensitive in the pitch. Handles like a wet buffalo in the mud. Straght gear make it extemely hard to get good landings. I spent three year flying this pig with no autopilot. Makes you a kick-ass instrumet pilot. But as far as flying this thing Single Pilot I will admit I have scared my self once or twice in the soup.

B-727 Handles great but a little senstive in the pitch. Coming from the Metro it was a little hard to get used to the power streering. But turn all the hydraluic boost of and it handles just like a Metro. Once got to depart IAH empty with a hard right turn and max foward speed. Now that was an airshow and it rocked.

All Cessna products handle alike. From the 150 all the way up throught the Citation series. Very easy to control and forgiving on the landings
 

Lindy

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For the previous poster who didn't like the Learjet 25....I don't think the Learjet 25 is difficult, but it can turn around and bite you, very, very fast.

As for your paper, if you look at the Learjet family, beginning with the 23s, 24s, 25s, 28s, 31s, 35s, 36s.....You can see a development of an idea and the implementation of what is better. For example, the early Lears had the nac heat wired differently than the later models. The gear has, effectually stayed the same (thank you Switzerland). Always when you meet lear drivers, they also ask "what serial number" because the aircraft differs so much (different wing types, varying electrical systems [inverter systems] and even different engines CJ610 vs TFE731 [20 series vs. 30 series]).

Again, every pilot brings different experience and different skills to each aircraft. This will affect the comments from varying pilots because someone may consider Turboprop ABC extremely difficult while others will not. It is a very broad idea for a paper topic!!

Good Luck.
 
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