Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cessna 350: Cessna’s New-Generation Single

Is the Cessna 350 the new NGP?

If you want to start a lively debate with a group of pilots, take a side on the high-wing/low-wing debate, and then stand back. You’re almost guaranteed to hear passionate arguments from both sides of the issue. Cessna has always built its single-engine airplanes with the wing on the top. Columbia Aircraft models are most emphatically not high-wing airplanes. Perhaps for that reason, it came as a surprise in November 2007 when Cessna purchased the rights to a bankrupt Columbia Aircraft for a relatively paltry $26.4 million.
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If the 350 is willing to scamper cross-country at 191 knots, it’s also capable of noodling down final at almost sleep speed. Eighty knots works just fine. The stall on the 350 is practically nonexistent. Prior to my landings in the new 2009 model, I tried a half-dozen stalls at altitude. I brought power to idle, eased the side stick straight back to the aft stop and held it there for a full 30 seconds. The aircraft responded with little more than a gentle hobbyhorse pitching up and down, with no tendency to roll off on a wing. It was apparent that I could have mushed all the way to the ground under good control.

It’s a stylish, comfortable machine ...incorporating new ideas for the world’s most successful GA airplane company

Such manners relegate normal landings to student’s play. It’s apparent this airplane will make an easy transition for anyone stepping up from practically any entry-level trainer, such as the Skyhawk, Diamond Eclipse, Warrior, Liberty or even a 152.

At a price of admission near $550,000, the 350 probably won’t sell by the hundreds. Cessna hopes to sell 30 of the 350s and another 60 of the 400s by the end of 2008. It’s a stylish, comfortable machine, however, incorporating new ideas for the world’s most successful GA airplane company. Combine Cessna’s experience and marketing with Columbia’s innovation, and the result very well may be a winner.

Garmin G1000 Advanced Tips
Maximizing the all-glass avionics suite
By Joe Shelton

In a previous issue, we brought you some initial tips for getting the most out of your Garmin avionics system. [See “Garmin G1000 Tips” in “The Ageless Skylane” from P&P October 2008.]
1) USE DME FOR NAVIGATING CLASS B AND C AIRSPACE. When navigating in Class B and C airspace, pilots can set the map display to show the boundaries of the special use airspace (SUA). That works, but it isn’t precise enough, and knowing exactly where you are relative to the airspace borders can be problematic, depending upon the map scale. Instead, press the PFD’s soft key and then the BRNG soft key to set up a Bearing Pointer display on either side of the bottom of the HSI; it will show distance to the selected VOR or GPS waypoint. Select VOR because the GPS references the current active waypoint, which is already displayed at the top of the PFD. The Bearing Pointer isn’t really DME, but indicates a GPS-derived, great-circle distance from the bearing source. In the context of navigating Class B and C airspace, the difference in distances is negligible.
2) SET YOUR AIRCRAFT V-SPEEDS TO DISPLAY ON THE AIRSPEED RIBBON. Use the TMR/REF button at the bottom of the PFD to display the glide, Vr, Vx and Vy speeds on the airspeed tape. The reference speeds are indicated by small “r,” “x,” “y” and “g” icons to the right of the vertical airspeed ribbon. These values are useful because they’ll always be displayed, so you don’t have to remember them. There is, however, a caveat: All of the speeds are for aircraft at full gross weight; they’ll be lower if the aircraft isn’t at gross weight. If you’re at a lower weight, then you need to interpolate. Using the data in your POH to get an idea of how much the speeds will vary depending upon weight, do a calculation of the speeds at the lowest logical aircraft weight. Worst-case scenario, you can always use the gross weight reference speeds as displayed on the G1000.
3) USE THE G1000'S RUNWAY CENTERLINE EXTENSIONS FOR AWARENESS, ESPECIALLY IN LOW-VISIBILITY CONDITIONS. The MFD map can display “runway extension” lines that extend outward from each runway at the flight plan’s destination airport. Press the Menu button and use the Map Setup–Aviation Group option to set the desired extension parameter. Runway extensions are very useful as you arrive in the vicinity of an airport because they provide a reference regarding where your aircraft is in relationship to the runway centerline. They’re useful in lining up on the correct runway when flying a straight-in approach from miles out, but can be critically important when visibility is marginal.
4) CONFIGURE THE FLIGHT PLAN WINDOW TO HELP MANAGE YOUR FLIGHT. The tabular waypoint data in the Flight Plan window can be configured in two views: narrow or wide. Use the FPL button and View soft key, then select Wide to configure the window in the wide display and show fuel required, ETA, etc. You’ll still have the use of the map display, albeit, a smaller version. In addition to the normal bearing and distance information, the wide display adds fuel remaining, ETE and ETA for each waypoint.
5) KNOW WHERE YOU ARE WHEN CONTACTING ATC. Using the G1000 to give flight following your exact position can sometimes be difficult. When navigating with a GPS, your bearing to and distance from the next waypoint is displayed at the top of the PFD. Instead, you might need bearing and distance either from a nearby airport or VOR. You could use the information in the PFD’s Nearest Airports display, but that requires calculating the reciprocal of the bearing to the airport and, besides, it’s often better to reference from a VOR. Turn the MFD’s FMS knob to Nearest Group and then the Nearest VOR page, press the FMS knob, and scroll to highlight the desired VOR. The map will display a line between the aircraft and the VOR icon so you have the direction. The distance is shown beside the VOR in the list at the top right of the page.

SPECS: 2009 Cessna 350

Labels: Piston SinglesSpecs


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