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Why is the Cessna 172 so popular?

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Why flight schools in Minnesota (and everywhere else) fly the 172

Anyone who’s involved in aviation knows that only a few aircraft in history have become iconic, and in the world of flight training, the Cessna 172 certainly belongs in the discussion.

It’s simple but solid, balanced, and stable. It can squeeze in 4 passengers, and above all, it’s reliable. Those are a few reasons why, after 60 years, more pilots have earned their Private Pilot’s License in a 172 than any other plane.

If you’re receiving flight training in Minnesota, you are probably already familiar with the Cessna 172. But for those who are still new to the pursuit of flight, let’s take a closer look at what makes the Cessna 172 so good as a training aircraft.

  1. Wing position. The high wing position gives beginner pilots a clear view of the ground and improves situational awareness in general and landing in particular.
  2. Easy to land. According to legend, Cessna’s Marketing Department called the Cessna 172 the “land-o-matic.” Indeed, this Cessna is known to be forgiving to new pilots learning to land, and it can handle many landings per hour. The “tricycle” landing gear makes the aircraft very straightforward to land and eliminates the need to remember to lower landing gear.
  3. Adequate power. In the words of aviationconsumer, “Let’s be real – the 172 isn’t a speedster.” Yet pilots and instructors alike say the 172 has plenty of power for takeoffs and cruising. The engine, a Lycoming IO-360, has evolved from a carbureted to a fuel-injected version, which then removes the possibility of carb ice.
  4. Safety. By any measure, the Cessna 172 has an admirable safety record, boasting an accident rate around half of the industry average. But we have to point out that safety is a function of multiple factors, aircraft reliability is just one.
  5. Avionics. Newer glass-cockpit 172s are equipped with the Garmin G3X Touch avionics suite, known for its advanced training capabilities. It’s worth noting that “traditional” instrument configurations cost less to rent, and that there’s a strong contingent of pilots out there who believe that there’s nothing wrong with learning fundamentals on “steam gauge” instruments before moving on to more advanced tech. Talk to your flight school instructors about the advantages of each option.

When reviewing your flight school options in Minnesota, consider Twin Cities Flight. We have a Cessna 172 with your name on it, ready for your Discovery Flight.

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