Learning to fly is, in many respects, simpler than it’s ever been. True, airspace is more congested, especially around the 80 or so major airline hubs, and aspiring pilots probably have more to learn, but today’s trainers are about as sophisticated and easy to fly as possible. These days, it seems that Garmin glass avionics extend practically to the bottom rungs of most manufacturers’ model lines. Admittedly, that talented glass-cockpit system is a complex device, but once a student gets in step with the big Garmin, flying the airplane becomes almost second nature.
The ranks of general aviation teaching machines have been dominated by Cessnas. Piper has always had a significant presence in the training class, but Cherokees and their successors have had an uphill battle in catching the older 150/152 and, more recently, the Skyhawk. Still, various versions of the PA-28-180/181 are popular as training aircraft. My Pilot Peggy started working on her private license in an Archer a while back, and absolutely loved the airplane. She switched to a late-model Skyhawk when the Archer’s owner took his airplane off leaseback.