62 votes
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What instructions should I give to an untrained passenger for Hand propping Cessna 172N as a pilot?

That is crazy. DON'T just rely on an person who's new to airplanes and only training is 5 minutes of showing them what to do, who may or may not react correctly when it springs to life, as the only ...
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  • 105k
57 votes
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Is it possible to install a bike rack on a Cessna 172?

Is it practically possible to do that? Is it okay in terms of weight, CG? Bikes (depending on make and model) are not all that heavy and in this picture they are more or less center mass and would ...
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  • 96k
54 votes

What prevents a small plane like a Cessna or Piper from flying as high as a jet?

We will take the case of an unsupercharged piston engine, as used in most small Cessnas and Pipers. All engines need the oxygen in air to burn their fuel. As an airplane climbs, the air thins out and ...
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46 votes
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Why does the lack of a magneto affect engine RPM?

Firstly, to understand the answer, we need to understand that the Cessna 152's and 172's run a 4 Cylinder, Horizontally-opposed Engine. Each Cylinder has 2 spark plugs, one on the top side of the ...
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  • 2,011
44 votes
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What happens if you exceed the maximum speed on a C172?

You can, but you have to live with the consequences. There are several things that can happen: Depending on the vertical gusts ahead, you might not even get close to v$_{NE}$. There is another speed ...
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42 votes

Could this "Wingless Dodo" fly in real life?

There is an old saying "If you put a big enough engine on it, you can make anything fly." The Lockheed Starfighter was a classic example of that. With its short stubby wings it is basically a guided ...
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  • 4,796
40 votes
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What are these holes in my Cessna 172, just in front of the elevator?

Those are called "Lightening Holes". The name refers to the weight reduction brought about by removing part of the material—lightening—and should not be confused with anything to do with electrical ...
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  • 16.1k
34 votes

Is it possible to install a bike rack on a Cessna 172?

Just eyeballing your image, the CG looks OK, and it's possible to put that much weight into the interior of the plane just fine, so the weight is OK. The aerodynamics on the other hand - yeah, no. ...
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33 votes
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How much physical strength is required to control a Cessna 172?

I will take this from a more general perspective. A Cessna 172 is part of the CS-23 category (in EASA land, see the equivalent Part 23 for FAA land). In the relevant document, point CS 23.143, we ...
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  • 31.6k
31 votes

Why can we not use full throttle in a C172 when cruising at lower altitudes?

These engines are not designed to run at maximum horsepower output all the time with a lean mixture. They are designed to cruise at 50-75% of their rated max power, and deal with that level of ...
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  • 105k
29 votes
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Why does the Cessna 172S Skyhawk use only two blade fixed pitched prop?

You're not wrong, but a fixed pitch two-blade prop has a pretty big advantage: it's cheap. Cheap to buy, cheap to install, cheap to maintain, cheap to repair. 172s are predominantly trainers in FBO ...
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  • 23.1k
29 votes
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What causes a Cessna 172 and its gear to shake violently after landing and braking?

I'm pretty sure you have encountered "nose wheel shimmy". For reference, see this video on Youtube: c172 M Nose wheel shimmy [sic]. The shimmy can occur for a variety of reason, most likely ...
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  • 21.2k
28 votes

Why not always take off with 10 degree flaps in a Cessna 172?

Flaps out will reduce the ground run, but you're forgetting that they also increase drag. This is why you don't climb all the way to cruise altitude with flap extended. A 172 will climb better without ...
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  • 13.2k
28 votes

Why does aileron response diminish as speed becomes slower, from slow-flight up to the stall? (In a light trainer)

This is real easy, no explanation required: Tell your student to stick their hand out the window of the car driving 25mph in the city and rotate it like an aileron. Then have them do it on the freeway ...
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  • 16.3k
28 votes
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Why do electronics have to be off before engine startup/shut down on a Cessna 172?

You shut the components off to protect the sensitive electronics from electrical surges that may occur during start up of the engine. Circuit breakers are designed to trip open if too much current in ...
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  • 16.2k
27 votes
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What prevents a small plane like a Cessna or Piper from flying as high as a jet?

What limits a small plane to be able to fly at a much higher altitude? Money. Power and lift on an aeroplane both decrease with increasing altitude, as shown in the image above, from my paper copy ...
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  • 57.9k
26 votes
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Is it right to call out out “50...40..30..RETARD” in a C172 simulator?

It is not common to call out the height above ground level when landing in a small aircraft. The main reason for this is that there simply is no way to measure it: A radio altimeter, which could ...
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  • 45k
25 votes
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What could cause uneven fuel levels in a Cessna 172?

Consulting your handy POH (or one for a 172N that I Googled up) you'll find the fuel system diagram looks like the one below (click to enlarge - most high-wing gravity-fed fuel systems are similar). ...
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  • 67.2k
25 votes
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Should I have one hand on the throttle during engine ignition?

Yes hand on throttle when starting, always, except on engines with fuel injection where you have to have it on the mixture because you start on idle cutoff and move it up as the engine catches. In ...
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  • 105k
24 votes

Why does the Cessna 152/172 nose wheel turn only when the aircraft is moving?

Because the nose wheel is only attached to the rudder pedals indirectly, through some springs that transfer the displacement of the pedals into a force that is applied to the position of the wheel. ...
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23 votes
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What is the appropriate fuel tank selection to land a 172?

You should check your POH but it may just be that the instructor in question was recently flying a lot of Pipers and it was force of [bad] habit. This POH for the 172S is in agreement with you. ...
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  • 96k
23 votes

Why do electronics have to be off before engine startup/shut down on a Cessna 172?

The main problem lies in the behavior of the coils inside the starter. As all inductors, they build up a magnetic field - this stored energy will cause a high spike in voltage while disconnecting. ...
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  • 2,495
22 votes

How much physical strength is required to control a Cessna 172?

It depends on what you mean by "strength". In general, it is "not much". I've flown a lot of sims and also flown a real Cessna 172. It is true that most sim controllers (especially joysticks) require ...
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  • 39.2k
22 votes

What instructions should I give to an untrained passenger for Hand propping Cessna 172N as a pilot?

I’ll second John K’s answer. Do not attempt to hand prop an airplane without receiving professional instruction on how to do it safely. It is a real easy way to get seriously injured or killed, as ...
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22 votes

What causes a Cessna 172 and its gear to shake violently after landing and braking?

This shaking is the infamous Cessna nose-wheel shimmy. It is a result of the bungee connection between the nose wheel and the rudder pedals, which is required due to the way you work the rudder of a ...
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  • 26.4k
20 votes

What is a Cessna 172's maximum altitude?

The absolute ceiling, or the maximum height an aircraft can fly to, is usually not published; manufacturers usually use service ceiling as the benchmark. Service ceiling is the maximum altitude which ...
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19 votes

What happens if you exceed the maximum speed on a C172?

You can exceed the never exceed speed $V_{NE}$, but doing so will most likely result in damage to the structure. From FAA handbook of pilot knowledge: $V_{NE}$ —the speed which should never be ...
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  • 98.6k
19 votes

Does this fuel leak from the carburetor of a Cessna 172E need immediate maintenance?

The drips only after shutting down means fuel is coming from somewhere it shouldn't and is being pulled into the engine while it's running, and when there is no intake flow, the fuel dribbles out the ...
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  • 105k
18 votes

Is there anything extra required to spin a Cessna 172 in the Utility category?

Provided you meet ALL of the requirements for utility category operation as spelled out in the POH (within W&B limits for the utility envelope, no aft passengers, empty baggage compartment, and ...
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  • 67.2k
18 votes
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Why fuel left/right when C172 is secured?

It's pretty much to limit imbalance when parked on a slope, and if the tanks are full, stop fuel from the high side tank from forcing fuel out of the low side tank's vent or seeping out the fuel cap ...
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  • 105k

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