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Wisdom of canard/Varieze for new pilots

Jay Evans

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Greetings!  I've loved Rutan plane designs since I was a kid, but I've only ever flown under Part 103 (powered parachutes).  My 17 year old son and I are now beginning ground school and I'm thinking forward to possibly purchasing a plane for our solo hours, which may be more cost-effective.  Would be unwise for a rookie pilot to build hours in a Varieze or similar?  I assume we'd have to do our inital time in Cessnas, but do you think it is even possible to transition to a canard that early?  Don't know if a CFI would even set foot in one.  My gut says I'm stuck having to buy a Cessna, if anything, and get a canard later.  

Any thoughts on this?

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The trouble with the Rutan designs is that you can't learn the things you would learn in a Cessna or Piper:  stall behavior, spins, short/soft field takeoffs, flapped approaches, good rudder use.  You might be required to demo those skills on a Private Pilot exams.  The lack of true dual controls is a problem for instructors.  If you never flew anything else but canards, you wouldn't need those skills but they are important to experience and perfect for general flying.   The Rutan airplanes are just good, fun airplanes for going places and tinkering with.

With a Private completed, you should have no problem flying an EZ or Vari.  It is just a matter of learning speed control in the landing pattern.


Edited by Kent Ashton

Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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