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Thread: 172 Cessna...tell me something bad.....

  1. #1
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    Default 172 Cessna...tell me something bad.....

    I continue to research planes....beginning a basics class...and pouring over advice from experienced aviators...took some good advice from here and decided not to buy into a plane at this time. Sooo..to a total novice..the 172 looks like the perfect compromise for a guy that will be hauling himself...his gear...and one other person. Ruled out the smaller Cessnas after being told " you can take your girlfriend and your hat along...nothing else". The 172 seems perfect....should you need to haul three passengers..you can. Good power...forgiving to fly....popular and proven. Tell me something you don't like about them .

  2. #2

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    Great airplane. Parts cost more than Piper product parts...which is a large part of how I ended up in the TriPacer instead...but I love my PA-22 and I have loved flying a few different 172s here and there. The best budget to capability is in these two airplanes.

    Once you get to the point where the airplane is more limiting than the pilot ability, say after 500 hours or so, you might want to decide if the extra 20% capability of other planes is worth the extra 60% cost...hasn't been for me.
    14 Days to Alaska
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  3. #3
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    Well I wrote this last night from my Nexus tablet but it would not stay put: So here goes on my desk-top.

    Confessions of a reluctant Cessna 172 owner:
    1. Having grown up around tube and fabric planes, it is weird not to be able to cut out and replace fabric damage. Metal is not as easy to work with.
    2. The older 172s were slightly underpowered but they had manual flaps up to the D model. The newer versions might have more power but they have the slow electric flaps.
    3. The older versions had sturdy spring steel landing gear that sat higher off the ground. But is was a more narrow stance.
    4. The newer Oleo style gear legs are wider in stance but the plane sits lower to the ground. Plus the Oleo system does not seem as strong. Also the plastic and alloy cover over the Oleos are pretty flimsy.
    5. The interior knobs, levers and switches are flimsy and easily broken compared to a plane with a tough interior like a Cherokee Six, Piper Arrow, Piper Lance, Beaver or Helio Courier.
    6. Some ( well really all) of the flimsy plastic parts for the interior trim, and exterior tips and tabs are super over priced and surprising easy to break in rough service.
    7. Sometimes it seems to me that many of the paint jobs on the C-172s were pretty thin. I have seen more C-172s with bad paint than any other model of Cessna.
    8. There are more than a few ADs that you need to check on when buying a C-172.
    9. For some reason Cessna only made a limited run of the beefed-up factory Seaplane C-172s. Thus they are overpriced compared to land-only C-172s.
    10. Land-only C-172s tend to have a wimpy firewall structure, if you install big tires all the way around and go bush bashing. A review of 100 Cessna accidents and incidents shows lots with firewall damage from student pilots landing nose-wheel first.
    11. The Cessna Wing has a speed wing and you eat up a lot of distance when going Vx trying avoid hitting trees and solid granite during short field (short lake) ops. Most factory C-172s do not have enough power for steep climb angles. ( Note 180-horse and above do just fine with a climb or seaplane prop. )
    12. The door hinges,door locks and door seals are junk.
    13, The seat rails and fully adjustable seats can be annoying.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  4. #4
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    In spite of all its noted "shortcomings," the C-172 is known worldwide as the safest, most economical, and easiest to fly of all available four-place, general aviation aircraft still widely available. Every mechanic knows how to work on them, and parts are available everywhere except at your corner grocery store.

  5. #5
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    I have considered a nice 172 as of late. It has sat for a decade and half. Everything new firewall forward...0320/160, low time airframe and of course new rubber and such. Nice in and out for a price of 50K.

    A comfortable cross country machine for a couple and some gear that like to get away for a weekend or even a trip stateside and occasional off airport if you are careful.

    The 172 is a docile nice flyer and has enough wing loading to keep you from getting beat up in the wind like in a Tcraft.

    I am going to pass on it. I would love to have it though. It belongs to a friend and I believe it is still available if anyone is interested.

  6. #6
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I have loaded up a few 180 horse C-172s with four adults and hauled them cross country. Usually with the 180 horse and above engines you get a 2,550 pound gross weight.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  7. #7

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    The 180 horse 172n we have is nice, the door hinges and other hardware stated above is total junk. Interior is disgusting and the panels crack very easily even new ones. And the small cowlings and covers that screw into the vertical stab like to crack out the holes and come loose, the one where it meets the fuselage. The v brace from the firewall to the wing roots helps, and sticking a larger nose gear under there helps, except on 8.50s it sits like a taildragger...

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    I had a '79N for 10 years and it was cheap to fly on the 160hp and the Horton STOL helped some as did the 8.50s and 206 nose gear. It was an IFR bird and it got from ANC to HOM in clouds more times that I can remember until the H engine sucked an exhaust valve over Soldotna at 6K in solid IMC. ANC approch and Center got me down just fine and I put a new engine in it and flew it for another 6 years. All the above comments are true and doing my own annuals made it affordable...all in all it was an OK plane...if you're a new pilot it's a great plane for 2 people and full fuel or a couple little kids in the back. On a hot humid day it's not a 4 person plane or a 3 person in a short field. I flew it out of Leadville, CO once but I had to wait until midnight to get out when it cooled off a lot. Accept a 172 for what it is and you'll be fine.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  9. #9
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    Low Rider: Oddly enough my N model, with a 160 horse and Horton STOL. With 850 mains and a C-206 noise fork, used to live in Idaho. Well I can't get a photo to attach. It keeps jamming up. Danged Windows 10 . Well it was there, now I am not so sure. It keeps going back into edit mode by itself...... WEIRD.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  10. #10
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    "Accept a 172 for what it is and you'll be fine."

    ^^^^ This.

    - Watch for gross weight limits if hauling passengers
    - As noted above, a pretty stable platform. When I'm away from my -12 and have to undergo a biannual, I rent a 172.
    - Great (IMO) airplane for basic training. I learned in a 150 and while learning in an underpowered, overloaded, aircraft has it's benefits, with a 172 it's nice not to have to factor the Sheraton into your takeoff planning for the former 24 at Merrill.
    Back in AK

  11. #11
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    I just learned today my training will be in a 172. My local instructor is backed up a month or better... But I am pretty excited to begin.

  12. #12
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    Float,

    Mine was blue and white and was the traffic plane for WTOP in Wash. D.C. before I bought it. I sold it to a rancher in West Texas and as far as I know it's still there. She was a good bird except that once.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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