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 by at September 11, 2004 3:52 PM