Can a Low Time Pilot Handle the Mustang?
While it is a high performance airplane, most of our builders do not have a lot of hours in their logbooks when they first start flying the Mustang II. You may consider transitioning into a Mustang II similar to transitioning into a Skylane from a Cessna 172. It is not difficult but takes a little preparation. In fact the Mustang IIís pattern speeds typically match a Cessna 182ís or a Cherokeeís. Some dual in a high performance airplane is recommended before flying the Mustang. If you have no taildragger experience and build the taildragger version, 10 hours of dual in a Champ, Cub, or some other type of conventional geared airplane will usually prepare flyers enough for the Mustang. A taildragger endorsement is required.
The most pronounced difference between a Mustang and a Cessna or other factory built is how responsive the Mustang is. It is an airplane that is flown with 3 fingers and does not need to be manhandled like a truck. Until new Mustang flyers gets used to this, the tendency is to over control in all axis. A grass strip will make this an easier transition in the taildragger as the grass will dampen the rudder inputs.
responsiveness does not mean it is not stable. The airplane can be trimmed
up and flown hands off. It does not need constant attention to keep it
from diving or spinning away. Many low time builders/flyers have gone on
to get their IFR rating in the airplane.
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typically brakes about the same as a Cessna 150 in the Mustang II. Some Mustangs mush along at a high sink rate like a Cherokee
depending on wing root fairings, wing tips, and other factors that can change
the stall characteristics.
There are many features of the Mustang II that we feel offer much more in the way of safety as compared to a factory built. The low power loading of the Mustang II allows it to quickly accelerate and climb away from danger in a botched landing. This also helps with high density altitude performance. The four point safety harness and rugged aerobatic structure also provides the average flyer with enhanced safety.