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Thanks, Ted, for a great topic.
Things that I've noticed people struggling with, either in my first flights in complex aircraft, or with students new to complex aircraft:
The addition of the prop knob or handle throws them (did me!).
The management of the gear - not the use of it (read: abject fear of landing with wheels up), but rather the "when" of it's usage in various situations.
Checklist usage - the addition of a couple of extra handles just seems to overwhelm folks and the fundamentals slip.
Understanding of how a constant speed prop works, not from a mechanical standpoint, but from the aerodynamic side.
These aren't criticisms - rather an observation that the addition of one or two more items can really overwhelm people. If you think about it, a modern 172SP is much more complex (due to the avionics) than an older Cutlass. But the 172RG really seems to be a stumper at first, even when transitioning from the SP. I'd be interested in hearing thoughts about the psychology or ergonomics of this situation - it'd be much more efficacious (I've always wanted to use that word!) for my students if they and I had a better handle on the situation.
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