5 Light Aircraft Every Pilot Should Fly

How many different aircraft types have you flown since becoming a pilot?

Many pilots stick with the type that they learned to fly in, or maybe one different type which they begin flying when they buy an aircraft or an aircraft share.

To get the most out of flying there are certain aircraft types you should try out.

Doing so will increase your confidence and experience as a pilot, and also simply help you to enjoy being a pilot more!

Some aircraft are no more difficult to fly than standard training types, and others offer a bit more of a challenge.

With that in mind, here are 5 aircraft every pilot should fly…


Cessna 172


The classic touring aircraft, with 4 seats and an ease of use. Cessna 172s can be found all over the world, with thousands built. The more modern ones tend to have better equipment in the cockpit. Whichever you fly, it’s a nice, comfortable, fun aircraft to fly.


Piper PA-28


There are many variants of PA-28 in the skies, which have been available since the 1960s in some form or other. The original Cherokees are seens as classic, whilst the more recent Warriors and Archers have a little more power and finesse to them.

The PA-28 is the 4-seat Piper equivalent to the Cessna 172 and popular with touring.


Tiger Moth


Photo (c) Ron Smith

The classic wartime trainer aircraft which is beloved by so many pilots. The Tiger Moth is a taildragger, so are still popular for pilots training to fly such aircraft. The open cockpit is a great thing to try out for feeling the rush of the air as you fly over open countryside.


Cirrus SR22

By Airman7474 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Airman7474 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Cirrus revitalised the general aviation industry. The market for light aircraft was swamped by old, beaten up types which had not offered anything new for a long time. Then came the SR22.

This brand new type first appeared in 2001 and featured glass cockpit, a parachute, lots of comfort inside and a powerful engine. It quickly became the best selling light aircraft and remains very popular with pilots.


Slingsby T67 Firefly

By en:User:MilborneOne at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

By en:User:MilborneOne at en.wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Built as an aerobatic trainer for the RAF, the Slingsby T67 Firefly is now popular in the private market with pilots and flying clubs. It is a good way to enjoy and learn aerobatics and pushing the boundaries of your flying a little, with its light controls and zippy flight characteristics.


Leave a comment below to tell us which type of aircraft you fly, and which you think other pilots need to try out…




Matt Falcus is a private pilot and aviation writer. He has been flying since 2006, taking the opportunity whenever the British weather allows to explore the local area and other airfields. He is author of a number of aviation books.

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2 Responses

  1. Ron Smith says:

    I have taken off and landed about 40 types, about half of which I have flown solo. There is a list of types flown in (as passenger and pilot) at http://www.ronandjimsmith.com/books/aircraft-types-flown-and-flown-in-as-passenger/
    I have also owned Jodel D120 G-BIEN, 1940 Luscombe 8A G-AFZN, 1946 Luscombe 8A G-AICX, 1938 Tipsy B G-AFSC, SAN Jodel D150 G-BHVF

  1. May 3, 2017

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