I have booked my first flying lesson for 2 weeks time, in my first step to obtain a PPL or LAPL. I had done all of my research on the Cessna family, assuming that is what I would learn in. I was satisfied by the safety and glowing reviews by students and instructors alike.
Anyway, my local school has since told me that they don't have the 152 anymore, so I will be learning in a Piper Tomahawk. Some quick reading here states:
The PA38 accident rate ranged from 0.336 to 0.751 fatal stall/spin accidents per 100,000 flight hours, compared to 0.098 to 0.134 for the 150/152.
There was always a concern about the stall and spin characteristics of the Tomahawk. The old adage “be careful what you wish for” applies because an overwhelming majority of the PA38 survey respondents requested an aircraft that would stall with more authority than the 152. And they got it.
You’ll hear many people talk about the stall characteristics of the PA38 like they’re referring to a demon, but it should be remembered that this was essentially a design feature to teach better pilots. Unfortunately, this led to a higher than average stall/spin accident rate that earned the PA38 a less than admirable reputation quite quickly (thus the nickname Traumahawk and Terrorhawk).
This isn't as comforting. So taking into account engine reliability, stall issues, etc. - which aircraft really is safer?