Monday, December 31, 2012

Thoughts on flying the Cessna 162

Yesterday I had a chance to fly the Cessna 162/Skycatcher. This isn't a review, just some thoughts on the experience. We just had almost 75 days straight of rain in Seattle. My drive to renton looked like: Joy; Despair; Joy; Despair; Joy as I drove through alternating spots of fog and sun. Luckily for me KRNT ended up in a spot of very clear skies centered around the Lake Young area. Pretty much everyone else looked socked in.

A little about my perspective: I've got about 70 hours, all in J-3 Cubs or Champs, only the first six were in a round gauge Evektor Sportstar. I got to the point in my training where I could take the sport pilot checkride back in August 2011, life intervened and I couldn't. This was my first flight since then.

I'm also out to fly as many different flying contraptions as I can. Gyroplane, weight shift trike, powered parachute, glider, motor-glider, balloon, did I miss any?. Therefore my training is biased heavily towards fundamental stick and rudder skills and learning a lot about aeronautics and aerodynamics. I'm not very focused on getting from point A to point B in an easy and quick manner.

I have a love hate relationship with the classic taildraggers. They definitely made me a much better stick and rudder pilot, hands down. But I occasionally wish for some creature comforts, like cabin heat, and not being passed by a big rig when following I-5 with a small headwind. Or an electrical system. Had I not stopped to explore what the rudder exists for, I'm pretty sure I would have my license by now.

RFS has three 162's on the line, and they do most of their primary flight training for private pilot in them. They are currently renting at $99/hr wet with no fuel surcharge.  I met with John Miller, one of their full time instructors who recently moved here from Arizona.

The 162 is well thought out for life in a flight training environment. It's barren inside. In their desire to maximize useful load with the 1320 pound LSA gross weight limit, there is a lot of bare metal and unadorned plastic. I like the Mad Max look and a rattle can of flat black would get you there in a heartbeat :). Nice thing about barren? There isn't any upholstery to get stained and ugly looking. The only fabric was the carbon fiber seats done in a black cloth.

Fuel management is very reliable. There are fuel gauges in the wing roots that are just floating plastic balls in a tube of fuel. They are only calibrated for in-flight level reading. But the filler necks in both tanks are marked with little holes at 1/2, 3/4, and Full. RFS keeps the planes at 3/4 tanks to improve the available load for students and instructors. That's around 18 gallons, or 3 hours fuel. Fuel is just on or off and is always fed from both tanks via gravity.

I'm torn about the glass cockpit. So far in my training I've chosen to eschew use of a hand-held gps to try and hone my map reading skills. This has been a lifelong weakness for me, so I really wanted to learn how to do it better.

Surprising things for me about the glass:
- no need to slave the HSI to the 'compass'
- the compass is driven by a magnetometer. That means no whiskey compass errors. Ever.
- You can set heading and altitude bugs and the computer will announce on your headset as you approach them and deviate
- It shows TAS too (derived from the OAT prove and pressure from the kollsman window).
- It has synthetic vision, supposedly useful for accidental VMC->IMC. I fear that it will breed more deliberate flying through a layer by non IFR rated pilots.

The plane was pretty easy to fly. Very little adverse yaw, and man, I'm a little jealous of tricycle gear pilots right now. Takeoff was easy, with none of the excitement when the tail comes off the ground. I think density altitude was approaching -2000 feet, so we launched pretty quickly.

Landing was also straightforward, though it was a very different experience for me as we did a power on approach and had flaps to use. It was a little confusing, with power off abeam the numbers and no flaps (my comfort zone), there aren't too many variables to play with, pitch to set airspeed, add power if you are short, slip or go around if you are too high. We did full stall landings, so felt very familiar from that angle. It theoretically has a higher wing loading than a champ (11lbs vs ~8lbs), but aside from a very gentle crosswind I didn't get a chance to test that. Another day.

One big problem I had with the landing? I stayed off the heel brakes like was drummed into me. That means I was applying brakes on touchdown with those handy toe brakes... Even with that abuse the plane refused to depart the runway and groundloop (did I mention I'm a little jealous of the physics of tricycle gear). I'm a little worried about retraining myself when I fly a taildragger with toe brakes.

In flight? Not much to say. Doesn't buffet as hard as the champ before dropping a wing when stalling, but the horn screams for quite a long time. Departure stalls were more exciting as the pitch was held at 25 degrees until stall. Steep turns were easy, though I had a tendency to lose some altitude there. Site picture being 6'4" tall was difficult with steep turns to the left.

I'm 6'4" tall and weigh 170 lbs. Most of my height is in my torso. Comfort was about what I expect. Much more roomy than a 152. The stoke (stick/yoke) just barely hit my knees on full aileron deflection. Better than the back seat of a cub (but really, what isn't), more cramped than the Champ, though getting in and out was easier. I'm finding that high wing tandem works best for me. While in all cases I stare into the wing root, the tandem gets me further away from it and gives me more sky to look at.

The 162 looks like a nice addition to the planes used for training. I know if I was just starting (and didn't get bitten by the taildragger bug), going for the 162 with the glass would be a pretty straightforward decision for me.

Am I going to jump ship for the rest of my training? Unlikely. I'm a sentimentalist at heart. Not only does the slow drafty Champ have a long history, this particular one was owned by my friends father back in the 50's before it was sold to Snohomish Flying Service. I expect I'll get checked out in the 162 at some point (and the Evektor Sportstar) so those days when I'm looking for something a little more snappy I'll have choices.

Now if only I could find a SportCub to rent... (


  1. Good posts are really interesting to read and difficult to get. I have referred many sites for this particular topic; I didn’t get one which is genuine and informative. At the end I got this post which includes all the details about the topic. The post is very informative. You have chosen a good topic for the article. It is really a difficult task to select a topic which will grab the reader’s attention. Always keep sharing such good quality posts. It is very happy to read your posts. I am a writer and I have to collect good knowledge to use in my content. Refer best essay writing service to get any help in writing.

  2. As for me, information from will help you to get a high grade in college. Here you can read about research project methodology

  3. It is very important to know you have time for interests, such as sports! And for this, you can leave your assignments, essays, and similar works for those whose interest is to write and help other people in this at a custom essay service uk

  4. If you have no background knowledge on how to write a grant proposal and if you are not confident whether you can cope with grant writing or not, you are strongly recommended to contact this writing service

  5. Hey, your article is really great. This is very informative for me. Thank you very much for sharing the fascinating information with us. Due to poor understanding of any subject, college students are unable to write assignments. In this case, they can take help from the online Assignment Help experts of ABAssignmentHelp.

  6. Hello everyone, I am graduated from the university and now the moment came when we needed to write a qualified resume, but since I had no experience in this, I had difficulties. And then I came to the rescue, the guys from "" came. I just wrote them "write my resume references" and got a quick and very high-quality work. I am very pleased with the result and want to recommend them to you that professional resume writers​​​​​​​!

  7. It would be nice if one day I could fly on this plane with my girlfriend I met on have a peek at this

  8. I get all the information from your blog. Keep sharing this type of blog reguarly.If you are looking for assignment help in UK, Then you can contact us:- cs@abassignmenthelp .com

  9. The information you shared was useful. You have brought up a very wonderful points , regards for the post.
    canon printer support | brother printer support| epson printer support | hp printer support

  10. Get live homework help by the best online homework tutor. All levels of online homework help for all subjects whatever you want and get better grades every day. As they are having a long span of experience in this domain and work to deliver for best which is available 24/7.

  11. Canon Printer Support is a team of experts who takes care of your canon device issue. If face any problem with your device like your device is crashed , device is not working properly or others then contact Canon Support and get instant help.

  12. When you are looking for Assignment Help services or engineering assignment writing services, make sure that you check with all the different facets of the company. For further assistance visit here!

  13. Coursework help is a commonly utilized tool in the education process with a various purpose. My Course Help prompts the student to explore various subjects on their respected topics of their subjects.

  14. We are continuous read all the information from your blog. Keep sharing this type of blog regularly. If you are looking for UAE Assignment Help, and you want to more information related to assignment help then you can contact us:-

  15. How Lemeridian funding service  grant me a loan!!!

    Hello everyone, I'm Lea Paige Matteo from Zurich Switzerland and want to use this medium to express gratitude to lemeridian funding service for fulfilling his promise by granting me a loan, I was stuck in a financial situation and needed to refinance and pay my bills as well as start up a Business. I tried seeking for loans from various loan firms both private and corporate organisations but never succeeded and most banks declined my credit request. But as God would have it, I was introduced by a friend named Lisa Rice to Le_meridian funding service and undergone the due process of obtaining a loan from the company, to my greatest surprise within 48hrs just like my friend Lisa, I was also granted a loan of $216,000.00 So my advise to everyone who desires a loan, "if you must contact any firm with reference to securing a loan online with low interest rate of 1.9% and better repayment plans/schedule, please contact Le_meridian funding service. Besides, he doesn't know that am doing this but due to the joy in me, I'm so happy and wish to let people know more about this great company whom truly give out loans, it is my prayer that GOD should bless them more as they put smiles on peoples faces. You can contact them via email on { Or} or Text through Whatsapp +1-989 394 3740.

  16. Thank you for sharing this interesting article, It was quite informative and looking for more such article from your end. We do have a article on printers. If you have any issue related to printers then you can contact or visit our websites and we will be happy to help you out.

    Brother printer support | Epson printer support

  17. minuman penyegar seperti bentrap tambun sekarang ini banyak digemari oleh pria untuk memelihara stamina agar tetap perkasa saat berhubungan badan. produk bentrap karawang ini banyak diminati karena sudah memiliki sertifikat halal yang keabsahan bisa anda yakini 100% dapat memberi manfaat bagi pria yang ingin mendapatkan klimaks saat berhubungan badan. bentrap bandung dikemas dalam bentuk serbuk dengan aturan pakai seperti minuman yang mudah dikonsumsi bagi siapapun tanpa pengecualian sekalipun bagi pria yang menderita penyakit seperti diabetes. viagra asli dapat diterima oleh semua kalangan dan hasilnya juga sangat memuaskan bagi setiap pasangan yang ingin menjaga keromantisan dalam bercinta agar selalu optimal setiap libido memuncak. wanita bisa merasakan kebosanan kalau pasangannya tidak dapat memberikan kepuasan seksual saat diranjang, untuk itu anda sebagai pria harus mencari solusi dengan cara mengonsumsi permen soloco tembalang sebagai obat untuk meningkatkan libdo serta membuat ereksi lebih keras dan tahan lama. klik seterusnya .

  18. Thank you so much for the best information. It was really good to know about Geography Homework Writing Service. I have read a few similar blogs related to this and found it really good.


  19. شركة تنظيف الامارات

    شركة تنظيف دبي شركة نظافة بدبي
    شركة تنظيف كنب دبي بالبخار تنظيف كنب دبي بالبخار
    شركة غسيل سجاد بدبي غسيل سجاد دبي
    شركة تنظيف في ابوظبي شركات تنظيف ابوظبي
    شركة تنظيف منازل فى العين شركة تنظيف منازل العين
    شركات تنظيف كنب في ابوظبي شركات تنظيف كنب ابوظبي