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Whats It Like To Fly A Tomahawk  
User currently offlineAIRNZsaab340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2584 times:

Today Im going flying in a tomahawk. Whats it like? I have experience in a bonanza but never a tomahawk. Are they good safe litte aircraft? 4 hours to go can't wait.

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineGreeneyes53787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 844 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2481 times:

Tomahawks are small and subsonic. I never heard of anyone riding in one. Let's hope the one you ride in/on doesn't have a warhead. Depending where it is launched it could give you quite a kick as the rocket motor engages. Later at turbojet power the ride probably is smooth and automically adjusting to the terrain according to its programing.

BUT... you'll have to get off before it engages the target. Tomahawks cannot land.


User currently offlineAJ From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 2406 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

I always liked the Tomahawk Ryan (we are talking about the PA38-112???). They are a great little trainer and are particularly docile near the ground. I wouldn't recommend spinning them though!

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User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2388 times:

Great aircraft, but because of a cost/ weight cutting measure they decided to remove a couple of ribs from the wing after it was certified.

Because of that its not as strong as most normal trainers on the wings and they are know to flew during stalls and spins. Not very fun to watch or be in.

Flies pretty well overall though. But you wouldn't get me in one for any type of flight that would include stalls and spins.

At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineMD11Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2358 times:

Do not stall it and get in a spin. The Tomahawk is notorious for bad stall/spin characteristics...just like PPGMD said.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

As a CFI I have given a significant amount of dual in "Traumahawks". It was an OK plane, designed from the get-go as a primary trainer. As far as its stall/spin characteristics go - yes, it will stall and yes, it has a tendency to spin. There are two schools of thought regarding this characteristic: Training airplanes should "bite" the student when he makes a mistake so that he will not make the same mistake in the future; the other argument states that a trainer should be forgiving and gentle because neophyte pilots are more likely to get into trouble.

I have stated my personal philosophy regarding spins and spin training on this forum in the past. Personally, I believe that ALL students should be taught spin entries and recoveries prior to solo. When I was instructing in Tomahawks my students were taught spin entries and recoveries. The problem is that most pilots raised on a diet of Cessna 150/152/172 and Piper Cherokee trainers really have no idea what a real spin feels like. For all intents and purposes, these aircraft have had the "spin" designed right out of them. It's all a pilot can do to get them to spin in the first place - they have a tendency to enter into a spiral. (Which can be a much more dangerous situation if the recovery is not done properly.) Additionally, when you do get them to spin, their spin recovery is usually simply a matter of releasing the controls. Is this really a good characteristic in a trainer? Personally, I don't really think so. The Tomahawk requires the use of the "textbook" spin recovery. It is not a particularly pleasant ride and the students learn a valuable lesson about sloppiness and airmanship. I believe that it is a lesson worth learning for a student pilot.

Like any airplane, the Tomahawk has its beauty marks as well as its warts. The Tomahawk is a good trainer that has certain characteristics which should be respected, not feared. I wouldn't avoid flying one if you have the chance.


User currently offlineAIRNZsaab340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2333 times:

I just finished the flight. It was amazing. You are right the controls do feel really sloppy. I arrvied at Napier airport at around 2:00. I met my instructor and he was around 45 and was a really nice guy. I did the walk around of the plane. And it looked really nice. It had recently been painted about 1 month ago and was in really good condition. The walk around took around 20 mins and we had a good chat about the characteristics of the plane. He let me taxi to the runway. And then we took off which he also let me do. Takeoff was really good and easy. Then we did some 30 degree bank turns. Then 45 degree turns. And then a 90 degree bank turn. The 'G's we amazing it was incredible. We flew around and circled my house. The instructor let me approach to land and also land. The flaps were really weird because they were manually done. Landing was incredible. I don't know if it was any good but it seemed ok. I he then let me taxi to the apron.

The tomahawk is an amazing aircraft and I fell in love with it. I did around 7 hours in the Bonanza and the instructor didnt let me do anything but turns and taxi. This guy let me do everything. Of course he was helping out with the landing but I really liked it. Next week I get to fly the tomahawk all over again. I can't wait.


User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2326 times:

Good joy enjoyed it! Flying is wonderful!

However, as the bank angle approaches 90 degrees, the lift required approaches infinity. I don't think the Tomahawk is stressed for unlimited G's...  Big grin And to the best of my knowledge it isn't aerobatic either, limiting it to 60 degrees of bank and two Gs in a level turn. Sure can feel steeper though, especially when not looking out the front but down the wing. I've been fooled.  Smile

Keep enjoying your flying! You're going for the certificate?


I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

Well I have found that most students when it comes to emergencies during the first 30 or so hours, when they get in a real emergency they seem to have thier brians dissconnect. I feel that the plane should be able to spin, but must be forced in to do so, not to have a tendency to spin.

I think the best plane to learn spins and upset training is in a dedicated spin and upset training course. Which of course is the Pitts Special or a T-6.  Smile

At worst, you screw up and die.
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 12 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2319 times:

Congratulations Ryan!!! I still remember every detail of my first lesson and my first solo - and that was 36 years ago.

I agree 100% with what you said about the best way to learn spins is in a dedicated spin and upset training course in a Pitts Special or T-6. Several years ago I instigated that very program in our company's corporate flight department. We were one of the very first companies in the nation to make it a formal part of our pilots' recurrent training program. Extreme attitude recoveries can be an issue in corporate flying - the wake turbulence behind some of the heavy jets can be very dangerous. There has been at least one bizjet lost to a wake turbulence encounter. The smaller airliners (MD80, B737, etc.) are susceptible also and a few airlines are beginning to implement this training into their recurrent programs. My project now is to upgrade the course and do the flying in one of the surplus 2-seat jet trainers that are out there. The goal is to make the training as realistic as possible, but I'm not about to try and spin the bizjet - it probably would be unrecoverable anyway.

The problem with what you say is that few student pilots have the time or the money to take a dedicated course. It just doesn't happen. That being the case, I feel that there is a pressing need to incorporate spin recovery training into every pilot's training syllabus. (If I were king, I would also require taildragger training and glider training; but alas, me thinks these are posts on another thread...)

Way back when, it was a requirement for student pilots to have some spin training. Way back then, stall/spins were the leading cause of "early death" in the pilot community. The FAA recognised that, in most cases, if an aircraft is capable of stalling it is also capable of spinning ergo, they required spin training. Later on the enlightened FAA decided that if they just ignored the problem it would go away. Hence the requirement for spin training was removed. Results - stall/spins continued to be the #1 cause of "early death" in the pilot community. The FAA then decided that perhaps they had over done it and reinstated the requirement for spin training - for CFI applicants only. Results - stall/spins remain the #1 cause of "early death" in the pilot community. Personally, I feel that if an airplane is capable of spinning, then the student had dang well better be trained and proficient in spin entries and "textbook" recoveries (both directions) - regardless of what the FAA requires. (And not in an airplane that only requires you to relax pressure on the controls to recover. Believe me, there are many popular airplanes out there that require "aggressive" spin recovery techniques.)

Better to have the student's first spin experience with a CFI at his side than hanging from the straps at pattern altitude, watching the world starting to spin around him with his wife sitting beside him and wondering what the hell just happened. Just my humble opinion.


User currently offlineMD11Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 12 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

I think the decision the FAA made not requiring spin training is one made with economics tradeoffs. Most stall/spin related accidents happened during the traffic pattern at low altitude and even with spin training, pilots simply would not have enough altitude to recover anyways. The few percents of accidents where spin training could have saved lives are written off as acceptable loss. The training of new pilots should concentrate on avoiding a stall and if not possible then avoiding a spin.

I was fortunate enough to learn spin recovery at a flight test school. That was highly educational and a whole lot of fun.

Best Regards,

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 12 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2288 times:

The problem with the current FAA approach ("Just don't stall and you can't spin.") is that it's simply not working and never has. Stall/spin accidents remain up near the top, if not at the top, of the pilot killer list. As an instructor, I simply find it more palatable to give the training because, when it comes to my students, there is no such thing as an "acceptable loss" - if you get my drift.

User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (13 years 12 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2278 times:

Jetguy, I 100% agree about spin training. Luckily, I had an old timer for a PPL flight instructor, I think his seniority number with American Airlines was in the double digits when he retired, we did every kind of spin entry you can think of out of a stalled condition. He also had the smarts to let the spin develop before recovering; we didn't just do a turning stall and then chicken out. I'd add to your comments the fact that a few hours of glider training can be worth a fortune in aerodynamic classroom learning.

My next adventure after the PPL was with an Instrument Instructor who flew the Burma Hump. He insisted on spins and spin recoveries under the hood. He also liked to tune the ADF receiver to a local rhythm and blues station and play it really loud. Having "Johnny B. Good" blasting in your ears while somebody elbows you in the ribs and says "Ain't that great?" makes for an interesting glideslope interception. I can't hear that song to this day without having the urge to cut to 1900 RPM and pitch nose down.

User currently offlineZiggy From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

For the CFI certificate, you have to have a spin endorsement. For this I was taken up, stalled, hard right/left rudder to flip the plane over and start, I guess a spin/spiral (could you also define the two) and taught to recover. Their really wasn't much to it, but my question is. Was that adequate training, or should I being looking for additional training.

Ziggy  Smile

User currently offlineSkyguy11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2230 times:

Ziggy if you do not know the difference between a sipn and a sprial then it probably wasn't enough.
Spin - stalled, spinning (hence the name), low airspeed and not rising, slight G load and not increasing
Recovery: power idle, full opposite rudder, then briskly move control stick forward; then pull out of the resulting dive
Spiral - not stalled, spiraling down, rapidly increasing airspeed, rapidly increasing G load and bank angle. High and possibly increasing bank angle.
Recovery: power idle, roll wings to level, then gently pull up out of the steep dive, be careful not to overstress the plane.

User currently offlineZiggy From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

Thanks for the definitions, has a case of brain fart until I read the it then it all came back. But as far as additional training goes, some pilots recommend performing unusual attitudes in an acrobatic aircraft so you can get really extreme attitudes. But I guess my question was relating to going that extra step to getting additional training on spins. I would like to direct this question to MD11NUT or some similarly experienced pilot.


User currently offlineGerry From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2197 times:

I liked the Tomahawk. It was twitchy on take off because of the T tail I wasn't used to and it would always drop a wing in the stall. It was also very loud inside the cabin and gave the impression of much higher speed on landing than was actually the case. Just the same a great trainer - pity the flaps were next to useless.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2190 times:

Here’s my personal opinion concerning your question…

The FAA has established the minimum standards and requirements to qualify to receive the various airman certificates. If you successfully meet those minimum standards and requirements then you receive the certificate. At most schools, because of the costs involved, there is little effort to train above or beyond that which is required. In other words, you are only trained to the minimum standards and the MINIMUM standards become the training goal. Are you a safe pilot when you receive your new license or rating? Are you fully qualified or are you merely legal? I think you know the answer to that one.

By all means, make the effort to increase your knowledge and understanding. The amount of understanding and skill that you will acquire will more than offset the modest cost. (The aerobatic training that I have received has been very reasonable price wise.) While you’re at it, check out some soaring schools near you. I agree 110% with what 30E said about soaring. Getting a glider rating will teach you things about aerodynamics and airmanship that you can learn in no other way. The time and cost involved in earning a glider rating is also very reasonable.


User currently offlineSkyguy11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2183 times:

If it will make you a better pilot and you have the time and money, why not do it?

User currently offlineMD11Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 12 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2170 times:

Regarding the recovery procedure applying the full forward stick... IMHO, for many aircraft, that are wing-loaded (most of a/c weight is distributed along the wings--engines, fuel, etc.), this is fine, especially for heavy grossweight and/or aft-CG loading and light twins but for some it might cause problems such as negative G overstress and/or tuck-under (resulting in inverted spin).

I believe that many aircraft (fuselage-loaded) recovery procedures call for stick neutral or just slightly forward of neutral. I read that for some fighter aircraft, stick is supposed to be aft. I guess the bottom line is to look up the proper recovery procedure for the particular airplane.

Ziggy, your question is a tough one. You may not need addtional training if you know what you are doing and it seems you do since you thought the spins were no big deal. My first few spins got my heart beating about 100 beats faster than normal  Smile/happy/getting dizzy. Keep in mind, there has been criticism that the spin training required for CFI is not adequate - I heard that it's only one rotation before recovery? If this is true then additionally training, IMHO, is highly desirable. Another point to keep in mind that about 20% of the spin accidents happened with flight instructors onboard.

In a more detailed spin training, right after the incipient spin, you are taught to command ailerons in either direction to recognize the differences between a right and wrong aileron input. You are also taught to observe instruments to determine direction of yaw (which is tough to tell if you are inverted or during night or IMC conditions). Airspeed is very important to tell the difference between a spin and a spiral. Spins recovery inputs are applied after 3 or 6 rotations to show that it usually takes more than the 1.5 rotation recovery the FAA required since you are in a fully developed spin. It also teaches you to be patient and trust your recovery inputs since it would take a second or two (seems like a lifetime) before you can observe the change in the spin. To reverse the correct inputs in a panic would be disastrous. One thing I learned was that the kind of fast and steep spin is the one easier to get out of.


User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (13 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2137 times:

Great... second hand knowledge on a tomahawk... I fly a skipper, which is generally similar. If you have any questions, E-mail me.

User currently offlineZiggy From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (13 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 2110 times:

Thanks Jet and MD. I'm always looking for ways to improve my skills, and making me a better pilot.

Ziggy  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (13 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 2104 times:

Spin Recoveries: Look folks, the RAF resolved this decades ago. To recover from a normal spin in a conventional airplane, don't pull anything or firmly push anything or waggle or briskly anything. Take your hands off the wheel or stick and put your feet on the floor and apply power. When the airplane RECOVERS ON ITS OWN in about a quarter or half of a turn, you can then firmly or briskly do whatever you want. Airplanes are dynamically stable and want you to get your silly hands off the controls so that they can return to straight and level flight at normal speed, please.

All of this is predicated on the fact that you are not flying a Bell X-1A or an ME-163 and have not done something wacko like run the trim way nose up or loaded outside the CG envelope or gotten yourself into a flat or inverted spin.

User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (13 years 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

One More Thing (and then I'll shut up): the beauty of the no-hands technique is that it works just as well in IMC as it does in VFR and you can NEVER exacerbate the situation with an incorrect input when recovering this way.

User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (13 years 12 months 19 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

Except for the applying power part (which is a big no no) that was about how I was taught to recover in a dire emergency condition.

At worst, you screw up and die.
25 ThirtyEcho : Clarification: PPGMD, you are correct. I looked back over my post and it wasn't clear that power should be applied after the airplane has recovered fr
26 Bjones : In many aircraft the technique of letting go of the controls will get you out but there are also many aircraft that will spin all day or until they hi
27 ThirtyEcho : Agreed, Bjones, one should follow the PPL instructions for spin recovery and should have spin training. It is interesting, though, that the RAF found
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