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Tuesday, March 24, 2009
2009 Cessna 172S: Skyhawk In Year 53
Is it just me, or does the Cessna Skyhawk seem younger than 53? After all, take away the panel, paint and interior, and you might mistake a 2009 for a 1964 model if both airplanes were parked side by side on the ramp in bare aluminum livery. But while the current model’s configuration is physically very similar to that of the older models, the 2009 172S is a very different machine from that early version.
Bill Cox, Photos By Scott Slocum
Garmin G1000 Tips By Joe Shelton
1 SIMPLIFY INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURES. The process of selecting an approach procedure is both easy and confusing. Easy because you should always start with the PROC button to select the procedure. Confusing because you’ll typically be offered the opportunity to either load or activate the procedure. Activating a procedure means that the autopilot immediately will transition to the initial approach fix as the active waypoint. Sometimes that’s what you want, but often, it isn’t. You should only activate an approach when you’re actually transitioning to the IAF for the approach. If ATC gives you a vector or directs you to another waypoint, you’ll have to scramble. An easier solution is to select the full procedure and load it instead. Then, when you’re given a clearance direct to any waypoint in the procedure, you’ll simply select the waypoint, choose Direct To and ENT, and that segment and the rest of the approach will become active.
2 OPTIMIZE CLIMB PROFILES. A modern aircraft’s POH provides an airspeed range for optimal engine operation during cruise climb. The G1000 doesn’t let you set the cruise climb speed (i.e., flight level change or FLC) before takeoff. Instead, set vertical speed (VS), select the rate of climb in fpm and use that for the initial autopilot climb. When appropriate, switch to the cruise climb airspeed. Combining the two options during departure works because the initial climb can be at a predetermined rate of climb to reach a safe altitude quickly, and the cruise climb should be at the optimal airspeed. First, set the autopilot using VS, then use the NOSE UP or NOSE DN buttons to set the initial climb rate, which is displayed at the top right of the altitude ribbon. Engage the autopilot after takeoff. As the aircraft passes an appropriate altitude (e.g., 1,500 AGL), press the FLC button, and the the autopilot will continue to climb at the current airspeed. Adjust to the desired cruise climb speed with the NOSE UP and NOSE DN buttons. The desired climb rate will be shown at the top of the airspeed ribbon. The climb will continue at the selected airspeed until reaching the target altitude.
3 PREPARE EARLY FOR ALTITUDE CHANGES. When on a nonprecision instrument approach, or anytime there’s a predetermined altitude change, the normal procedure is to wait until the altitude change begins, then enter the new altitude and the rate of climb and command the autopilot to make the altitude change. It’s actually easier to prepare slightly early, especially during an instrument approach. Once you’re level at an assigned altitude, enter the next target altitude using the ALT knob. Press the VS button on the autopilot to set up for the descent or climb. Monitor that the aircraft continues to fly level, then verify the autopilot setup by looking at the autopilot status box at the top of the PFD. When it’s time to initiate the altitude change, simply press the NOSE UP or NOSE DN button to set the desired rate. For a descent, you’ll probably also want to decrease power; for a climb, you’ll want to add power.