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Old 07-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #1  
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Default 162 Skycatcher?

my flight school recently got a 2011 162. Its about 100 an hour to rent so i was thinking about building time in it, but i have heard that once you get into a spin its very difficult or impossible to recover from? Also the POH says no spins. This is because the first two experiment 162 both crashed during spin testing. Maybe some of you have flown one? Just give me advice on what you think about the new trainer. Thankx
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:51 PM   #2  
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It's very light and touchy. Somewhat like a 150 if you have flown one of those. The stick movement in roll is unnatural (it slides from left to right versus tilting). It performs better than a 150. Great views with the big windows. Decent space. Uncomfortable seats.

The biggest complaint I had with it was it was LOUD. I have a Bose A20 and I couldn't imagine using a non-ANR headset for any length of time in it.

It's a fun plane to play around in. I liked going low and slow and enjoying the scenery. But after ferrying several from ICT to Texas, I would pass on the chance to take any more cross country.

Depending on options, it may be very basic (FAR minimums) or "loaded" with an MFD, aux input, autopilot, etc.

And yes, no spins, the Cessna guys were very pointed on that fact in ICT.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:19 PM   #3  
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Hows the g300 compared to the g1000, i have about 10 hours in a g1000, whould it be an easy transition? And they look like a blast to go putt around and kill time in.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:35 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 172skyhigh View Post
my flight school recently got a 2011 162. Its about 100 an hour to rent so i was thinking about building time in it, but i have heard that once you get into a spin its very difficult or impossible to recover from?
Unless you are planning on practicing a lot of stalls in the airplane during your timebuilding, why are you concerned with spins? With a power on stall in the skycatcher you have to be at a very high pitch up attitude, compaired to a 152, to even make it stall. I wouldn't really consider this in your choice on whether or not to use it for time building.

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The biggest complaint I had with it was it was LOUD. I have a Bose A20 and I couldn't imagine using a non-ANR headset for any length of time in it.
I have a non-anr headset and haven't really noticed much of a difference in the noise. The one thing I do have a huge complaint about is the stall horn. It constantly has a high pitch whistle throughout the entire flight which is extremely irritating on long cross countries.

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Hows the g300 compared to the g1000, i have about 10 hours in a g1000, whould it be an easy transition? And they look like a blast to go putt around and kill time in.
The g300 is nice, and if you have time in the g1000, you shouldn't have any trouble with the transition.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:11 AM   #5  
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From a CFI perspective, I would prefer an airplane that is either very, very spin-resistant, or very easy to unspin (ie a properly W&B 172 which usually unspins itself when you let go).
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:26 AM   #6  
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The airplane was extensively tested for spin recovery and I was friends with the test pilots. It's actual spin recovery is fine since the tail fix and ventral strake installation. There may be certain spin modes which are not all that easy to recover from but the protos were spun nine ways to Sunday during development and if the guys identified any troublesome spin modes they certainly knew what they were. There are plenty of reasons why Cessna would not certify the SC for spins besides its actual spin recovery performance. They could range from practical to legal in nature. So, don't go trying to do spins in the Skycatcher but having an irrational fear of what is going to happen if you get in an inadvertent spin is unfounded in my opinion. It will recover in most instances if not all. Let me add the disclaimer that this is just my opinion on the subject and I have never performed any spins in one.

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Old 07-09-2011, 10:05 AM   #7  
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I did a bfr in one, and we did stalls and I don't remember it having any unusual stall characteristics, other than it was hard to get it to do a power on stall so we used partial power so we wouldn't need to have a crazy high angle of attack. I didn't do much flying myself, but the owner let me do a touch and go and it seemed like it would be easy to get used to the feel of the plane.

I think it would be a good cross country time builder - cheap, but faster than a 152, better avionics than you will find in most other 'cheap' rentals. I assume if you are time building for commercial or something you are going to be doing mostly cross country flying, and the spin issue shouldn't deter you from doing that. With that kind of flying you should be nowhere near stalling the aircraft, let alone spinning it. I'd say do some cross country flying, try to get some actual IMC time if the fbo/school will let you.

On the issue of spins, for certification all single engine aircraft must have a test pilot demonstrate that they can recover from a spin in them. I would never intentionally spin a plane that is not certified for it, and I'm not suggesting that anyone does, but if you inadvertently get it into a spin you should be able to recover if you have enough altitude. I had been told never to spin a Piper (like archer, arrow, saratoga, etc) because they are 'impossible' to recover from a spin in. But I've met people who got into spins both accidentally and intentionally in those planes that are still here to talk about it.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:35 AM   #8  
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No IFR certification, so no IMC time in it.

I stalled it several times on the acceptance flight (every kind of stall I could remember), it felt good the entire time. Of course I was over flat Kansas with a Cessna pilot on board, I wasn't particularly worried about it either.

2750 is redline if I recall, been a while. I cruised right at that the entire way from Wichita to Dallas, that might be why I considered it quite loud.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #9  
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I own 162 #5. I just want to Jump in and give my 2 cents.
I have had the plane just over one year. I have 100 hours on it. It is a leaseback at the local flight school. The plane has just over 300 total hours.
I and everyone else who has flown it loves it. It has a roomy cockpit, great visibility, and better climb performance than a 172. The G300 is a baby G1000 and is easy to use. It gives lots of info, I have the MFD and XM in my plane.
Stalls are easy if the rudder is attended to. The plane just drops it's nose and starts to fly again. The spin accidents which are on everyones mind were extreme aggravated stalls. Frankly I am happy Cessna tested the plane so thoroughly.
It is responsive but not touchy on the controls. It is light and wind does affect it more that a heavier plane. The plane requires more foot work than a 172, more like a Cub.
One has to remember what it was designed to do. It is a trainer and a local flyer. It is not for long cross countries and IMC. I have no regrets in my purchase of this plane.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:20 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 172skyhigh View Post
my flight school recently got a 2011 162. Its about 100 an hour to rent so i was thinking about building time in it,...
...Just give me advice on what you think about the new trainer.
To get back to your original post, I guess you are asking if it is safe to build time in. I'd have to say "yes".
My follow up would be "do you have access to another aircraft for about the same price?" If so, what is it? If not, go fly the Cessna.
If stalls scare you, then go get some dual time,... doing a bunch of stalls and slow flight,... in whatever you are flying until they don't scare you.

Without trying to threadjack,... for those of you that bought one, why did you get the 162? Other LSA offerings seem to offer so much more in terms of useful load, roominess, etc...
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