September 22, 2004

Ready for Passengers in the Cessna 172

For the past few days the weather has been absolutely beautiful. I was just hoping the weather would stay nice for my flight time tonight. When I left work I knew I was in for a great flight. The winds were light and variable and the skies were clear.

When I arrived at the airport, I noticed the Cessna 152 I had scheduled was booked after my flight so I would be limited to a short flight. So I instead decided to take the Cessna 172 which was free for the remainder of the night and would give me valuable practice time in this aircraft I was not 100% comfortable landing yet.

The airport was hopping, it seemed the nice weather had a tractor beam effect that pulled the pilots away from their other passions to the airport. I decided my time in the 172 would be best spent working on my landings and with Blue Ash being so busy I departed to the north to Lebanon-Warren Country Airport.

As I approached Lebanon-Warren County I noticed a hot air balloon off in the distance. I remembered from my studies that the balloon had right of way over my more maneuverable plane so I steered clear. I lined up my first landing approach and made the best landing I have ever made in the Cessna 172. I followed it up with two more great landings. I believe my previous landing problems in the 172 were caused by having too much speed during final approach. Using a slightly reduced speed I can now touch down softly and smoothly.

I next returned to Blue Ash where the traffic was starting to wind down as it was just me and two other planes. I made a landing there and decided I was having to much fun to call it quits for the night and flew the pattern again. I was sad to make the final landing of the night but was excited to have had such a successful flight.

I think I am finally comfortable with my abilities with the 172 and now feel comfortable bringing passengers along in this plane. Anyone ready, Bueller, Bueller...


Posted at 9:09 PM | Post Category: Cessna 172, Flight Time | Comments (1) | Save & Share This Story

September 15, 2004

Return To The Cessna 152

Tonight, as I would be flying alone, I decided to take a flight in the Cessna 152 which I had not flown in the past few weeks. I really enjoy this plane. I think it is an ideal aircraft if one is flying alone and not worried about traveling long distances; perfect for a night like tonight.

I took off from Blue Ash with a nice crosswind. I had not flown a take-off or landing in a crosswind in a while so it was nice to get a few take-offs and landings in these conditions under the belt. I then flew to Lebanon-Warren County Airport, a small airport about 15 miles north of my home base. It is a nice airport because they have some pretty land surrounding it, a nice long runway, and very little traffic. I performed two really nice landings there before returning to Blue Ash.

I logged 1.1 hours tonight and enjoyed every minute of it. I had been having troubles with my landings in the 172 as of late. It was nice to see I still had the touch in the 152.


Posted at 9:06 PM | Post Category: Cessna 152, Flight Time | Comments (0) | Save & Share This Story

September 11, 2004

Learning to Land the Cessna 172

Thanks to those who wrote and CAPblog for posting some suggestions for transitioning from the Cessna 152 to the Cessna 172. I went back out today to fly the Cessna 172 solo for the first time.

Today I was flying N162HB which is not the 172 I flew in my two previous flights. So, I took a few minutes to familiarize myself with the subtle difference between this 172 and N193JS. After getting comfortable in the cockpit and pre-flighting the airplane, I departed. My goal today was to stay in the pattern and continue to practice my landings.

The other day I was finding the plane to be heavy on landing and requiring more back pressure on the yoke during the flare than I was used to. Today, I felt like the plane wanted to float a bit. My first few landings were not up to my standards. I did a complete stop landing and taxied around. I then took a deep breath and thought about how I could improve my next and final landing for the day. I decided I had been flying the pattern too fast in my first few landings. So, I went back up and flew my best pattern of the day. When I turned final, I was on a perfect glide slope. I slowed the airplane down a bit and came in and made my best landing of the day.

I realize I still need more practice in the 172 but I am starting to feel much more confident in the plane. I spoke with one of the instructors after the flight and mentioned that the two 172s actually have different landing characteristics and that HB tends to want to float during landings while JS tends to want to land. I was glad to hear that the reason I had noticed such difference was not because I was flying inconsistently. I will now know in the future how to handle each of these planes and look forward to flying them again.


Posted at 3:52 PM | Post Category: Cessna 172, Flight Time | Save & Share This Story

August 6, 2004

Aerial Photograph for AirNav.com

oxd_small.jpgThe Midwest is being blessed with a beautiful weekend. Temperatures are in the mid-seventies and the skies look to be clear for a few days. The wife and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and the new pilot's license with an after-work flight today. We met at the airport and decided to fly to Oxford, Ohio home of Miami University.

The winds and turbulence made for a bumpy ride to Oxford but once we made it there the ride seemed to smooth itself out. It only took us about 15 minutes to get there while by car it easily takes an hour.

Prior to our flight today, I had visited one of my favorite aviation resources, AirNav.com, that offers great airport information. For most airport listings they provide a variety of pertinent information and often the display a photo of the airport. I noticed they did not have a photograph on file for Miami University Airport in Oxford. It is the first time I had found an airport on their site without a photo.

So I decided to bring the digital camera along for our flight. My wife captured a nice photograph of the airport that I will submit to AirNav.com later today (view the photo). As you can see the airport is in the process of building a taxi-way. Currently pilots need to taxi back down the runway after landing.

I fly next on Monday when I will take my first flight in the Cessna 172. The 172 is a four passenger Cessna that is not only bigger than the 152, but more powerful too. I will be flying with my instructor in that just to ensure I am comfortable with the transition to the larger plane.


Posted at 7:38 PM | Post Category: Aerial Photography, Cessna 152, Flight Time | Save & Share This Story