Cessna 152 – What You Need To Know Before Buying One
In 1978 the Cessna 152 was handed the baton by its older sibling, the Cessna 150. This revised model offered a slightly larger cabin and was fitted with a 110hp Lycoming O-235 engine. It offered a greater tolerance of 100 Octane and 10hp more in engine power. Production stopped in 1985 when Cessna temporarily suspended the production of light aircraft. During those seven years of production, only minor cosmetic changes were made. A total of 7,584 of these aircraft were produced.
The Cessna 152, as is the case with the 150, is probably the most commonly used trainer world wide. Most pilots trained since 1958 would in all likelihood have done some hours in the Cessna. This valiant little aircraft is not only used for training budding pilots, but has also earned a solid reputation as an acrobatic trainer.
So, what makes the Cessna 152 such a popular trainer?
The answer is two-fold.
Firstly, although the 152 is an easy flying light aircraft, it can be made to behave poorly enough to force the budding pilot into acquiring and applying the basic skills needed for him or her to qualify as a worthy pilot.
All the normal characteristics such as stall, adverse yaw and so forth, are very prominent. Instructors prefer a trainer with a definite stall as opposed to one which simply musses forth.
They need the trainer to give a characteristic buffet when the airplane approaches the stall, the controls to become noticeably pulpy and for the trainer to break perceptively.
This enables the student to see and fully experience the stalling process. This is where the basics are truly taught and how student pilots should be prepared during flight training to deal with future challenges. The Cessna 152 is perfect for this job.
Secondly, the Cessna is cost effective. The initial investment is relatively low. It is easy and affordable to maintain. It is not a gallon guzzler. It only requires about six gallons per hour.
Also, because of its safety records, the Cessna 152 has the edge when it comes to insurance premiums. The cost-effectiveness of a trainer has a direct impact on the instruction rate charged to the student and concomitantly on training sales.
Whilst all student pilots know that acquiring a PPL will not come cheap, they certainly also do not want to feel ripped off in the process. Yet again, the Cessna 152 fits the bill.
Different strokes for different folks, they say. Personally, when I am asked for advice around flying schools, I always add to my recommendation: “Insist on a “Cessna 152” Over and above its training ability and economics, it is also very safe and really sweet to fly.