The Venerable 172

The Cessna 172 has been around (in one form or another) for more than 50 years. It deserves the title VENERABLE as much as any of its fellow small aircraft. I would venture a guess that more people learned to fly in this airplane than any other.

hawkflyingThat’s a handsome airplane up there, no doubt about it. It has excellent stability, decent fuel economy, and great visibility. These days, the instrument panel has changed dramatically. Slowly the “steam” gauges (or round dials you might have seen) are being replaced by multi-function displays like the one shown below.

hawkpanelThe information presented is the same, only the format has changed. This is not your grandfather’s 172. Still, flying remains the same; you have to watch your airspeed, look out for other traffic, and not forget to keep an eye on where you’re going.

These days general aviation has suffered with everyone else due to high fuel prices, increasing fees, and encroachment upon airports of housing developments. However, flying remains more than a dream for many. Stop by your local airport and you’ll see people admiring the planes, trading stories, and discussing their next trip. And well they should. If you haven’t looked at the sky and wondered what it was like to fly, check for a pulse. You might have expired without knowing it.

As always, do your checklist!

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Published in: on April 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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