Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Thrill of Flying a New Aircraft (...or Two)

Cessna 182T Skylane - Cessna Promo Picture.
As you might already know the four of us spent the last weekend in Miami partying and relaxing from those flting hours we've been building, the weekend was great and Miami was able to meet our high expectations! But was described in the video you saw on the last post. After all those party days it was only fair to get to work as soon as possible, but since the aircraft have been in maintenance during all week we decided to spend extra money and fly a more advanced machine which has been teasing us since we first saw it parked at the ramp, close to our C172. I'm talking about the Cessna C182T Skylane, a 230Bhp, 6 cylinder, Variable Pitch Propeller machine fully equipped with G1000 avionics and only 4 years old. This beauty does not fly much because it is quite expensive once compared to the C172's, so we decided to go for a checkride on it with the instructor, since our Cessnas were lingering in maintenance.
N65306, the Skylane I've flow seen from a different angle.
G1000 Avionics on the Cessna 182 Skylane.
The flight itself was quite simple, the airplane handles really easy like a Cessna 172 on Steroids with a heavy nose but it made me remember those old days when I flew the TB20 which has 250Bhp. The main difficulty was getting used to the G1000 avionics, which didn't take that long since the Flight Simulator hours kicked in and made me remember those Airbus style displays and glass cockpit information displays. After an hour and a half, 4 landings and a few stalls and turns I was set to go on what the FAA calls a high performance aircraft (since it has more than 200 Bhp).
Since I was feeling good and into the flying mood I eased back to Air America's office and decided to schedule a Cessna 172 G1000 avionics equipped just to feel the difference between the ones I fly and these new machines which have the same exact engine and dimensions but are fitted with those TV's and playstation like instrumentation. I was lucky enough to get the newest aircraft on the fleet which is less than a year old and still has that "new car smell". Needless to say that everything on this aircraft worked and felt like new, it flew flawlessly and it had an integrated AutoPilot with Flight Director and Go Around mode (those who understand aviation will know how fancy this is for a Cessna 172). I hoped in for a 5 hour flight to the middle of Georgia and back just to get used to the avionics and the systems of this aircraft and once I landed it felt like a candy was taken from me since I now have to get back to those "old" round dial gauges which are only 5 years old but feel like rags and aircraft from the 70's. Anyway, they still fly quite well and have never let me down and one can not be used to flying only state-of-the-art machines!

I leave you all with this promo video from Cessna...
Photos were taken from the following websites:

No comments: