September 9, 2004

Signed Off in the Cessna 172

My trip to Alaska kept me from flying for about two weeks. I returned to the air this evening. I scheduled a flight with my instructor knowing that I would be rusty, and also so I could finally get signed off in the Cessna 172.

I did all of my training for my license in the Cessna 152 and had flown the 172 just once prior to tonight's flight. Some people say there is little difference, I disagree. The 172 has much more power and feels much heavier than the smaller 152. My problem last flight and for the first part of tonight's flight was making good landings. I figured out midway through the lesson that I was flaring to early and the heavy plane was dropping a few feet for a rougher than preferable landing. By the end of the flight, I was making better landings but they still need practice.

Either way my instructor felt I was flying safely and has signed me off in the 172. So I now have two planes I am cleared to fly at Co-Op Aviation. I look forward to getting in some practice time in the 172 soon.

Posted by at September 9, 2004 10:01 PM

I had a simular experience when I stepped up to the Cessna 182 Skylane frome the lighter 172 last year.

The 182 is so nose heavy with that bigger engine up front, that it tends to run out of elevator if you don't nail the airspeed over the fence.

In the 152 & 172, I was initailly taught full-stall landings that were mostly about continuing to pull back on the yoke through the flare... trying to keep it from landing as long as possible... (without ballooning) until the stall settled the plane on to the ground.

In my transition to the bigger plane, we concentrated on ATTITUDE in the landing. Keeping the slightly nose high attitude, but not OVER rotating...

This yields a safer landing than the "Full stall," technique. It may be something to think about.

Enjoy the Skyhawk!

Posted by: CAPblogger at September 10, 2004 1:08 PM