Finding My Inner Warrior

I’ve been told by several folks that early in my flight training I should fly both high- and low-wing aircraft so I could compare them and then settle on one for the remainder of my training. So today, after getting about six hours to date in a Cessna 172 (high-wing) I took a lesson in a Piper Warrior II (low-wing). Here’s the bird …

The verdict is that I really liked the Piper. While it’s a smaller cabin, I felt more comfortable, in particular because the Piper feels more like sitting in a car while the Cessna can feel like sitting in a truck. Visibility was better for me, both of the airfield in the pattern and up front over the cowling. Here’s the view up front:

The Piper moves around a bit more, and I needed to use much more rudder (or so it seemed) than with the 172, especially right rudder on takeoff. And while low-wing aircraft experience more “ground effect” than do high-wing aircraft, meaning they can float a bit longer when landing and take a bit longer to climb off the field on takeoff, for me the Piper was easier to land than the Cessna. Even though it was my first time in the airplane, I felt every landing I had today was better than those last Saturday. Maybe that’s the effect of experience, but maybe not. Either way, I felt a lot more effective landing today, even with a slight crosswind.

So I’m sticking with the Piper. The only immediate downside is that the basement sim is laid out as a Cessna! But that’s okay, I can still fly a Piper in the sim and work Piper checklists. I just have to remember that the flaps in the Piper are a big manual handle like an emergency brake and not that little lever like in the 172 …

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