The New Single Engine Cessnas

Parabellum

New Member
Recently, the FBO out of Fort Collins I fly with took delivery of its brand new, 2003 C-172, and about a week ago I had the opportunity to fly it for the first time. I would have posted this sooner, but I've been busy, so here I am.

I must say overall I was very impressed with the new bird. The airframe design is really not any different from the older 80s Skyhawks we're all used to flying. I had to go up with my instructor for the first flight because there are differences between older 172s and the new ones in preflight and starting procedures.

During your preflight inspection, you pretty much do all the same things you did on the checklists for the old 'hawks, except this time you have to make sure your annunciator pannel of warning lights is working, and you have to sample your fuel for contaminents from 13 sampling ducts as opposed to only 2 (5 on each wing side and 3 underneath on the belly).

Starting the engine can be the biggest challenge if you do it incorrectly, or have little experience starting fuel injected engines. Instead of using a primer knob, you prime the engine by turning on an auxillary fuel pump and setting the mixture to full rich for approximately three seconds, then pull it all the way back out to lean. Then you crank the engine with an ignition key as usual, but as the engine starts you gradually move the mixture back to full rich. Once you get the engine running, the mixture adjustment technique for high altitude airports is pretty much the same as it was for a carburated engine.

Its also important to be aware that if the engine has recently been run and is still warm, the priming procedure described above may not be necessary. Its easy to flood the engine if the priming procedure is executed too much within a short period of time.

I think Cessna's move to fuel injected engines was a good one. The thing that impressed me most about this new airplane was how smooth the engine ran compared to older engines with carburators. When we took off, the climb rate on takeoff was noticeably higher, and my first comment to my instructor was, "Are you sure this thing only has 160 horses in it?" The engine overall seemed to be running much more efficiently, and I'm sure that the fuel injection likely had something to do with it.

The newer Cessnas have a higher rental price tag, as you'd expect. But be warned, you will be spoiled when you climb into one of their cockpits for the first time, and your money to you may seem more and more like its only paper.
 

Eagle

New Member
part of the problem with all LYC FI engines is the injector lines run over the top of the engine into the spider valve, this area get so hot... so after you shut down the fuel gets heated, making it harder to start (some of the fuel may be in vapors in the lines.)

If you have difficulty starting the engine, remember this rule-of-thumb: if the engine is hot, you've probably flooded it; if the engine is cold, you've probably not primed it enough.


Flying the new Cessna is as my pal put it, like sleeping with your X-Girlfriend, she has lost a little weight, looks a bit cleaner... but when it comes down to it... she is the same...
 

Tim

New Member
I flew some '99 model 172 that were FI. The warm engine prodecure is total different as you mention and flooding is a normal thing at a flight school. Great on cool or cold days though. Another item you might want to remember to check is the nav/gps toggle switch. I have on several occasions gotting the plane and someone who had an instrument flight and they must have been shooting GPS approaches. Just a reminder. On the ones I flew it was up near the annunciator switch.
 

Jonaselm

New Member
I get to go up in a 2002 172S at 2:00pm today, cant wait to see the difference... did you say 13 sampling ducts?!
 

ERAU_Intern

New Member
Yeah, thats correct. 13 sump drains. Here is the deal, the new cessna wing is a "wet"wing. Meaning that rather than having a solid fuel tank in each wing, the actual wing itself is the fuel tank. The skin of the wing on the inboard section is all that is between you and your 40 or 50 some odd gallons of 100LL. This serves to reduce weight, make maintenance easier, and increase fuel capacity. But since the inside of the wing is not exactly shaped like the old tanks were, there are more "low" points for sediment and water to collect, and therefore more sump drains. Hope this helps.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Wow thanks for that explaination... That explains how they got so much more fuel in those wings without making them bigger. And I just thought the 13 drains was some legal thing so they could always say 'well did you check ALL 13 drains?'.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
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And I just thought the 13 drains was some legal thing so they could always say 'well did you check ALL 13 drains?'.

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LMAO!!


I'm amazed that there's much fuel left after you check all those things!!

My FBO just got one of the new 172SP's and that thing is SUWEET!! I really dig the cup holders!!
 

naunga

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
My FBO just got one of the new 172SP's and that thing is SUWEET!! I really dig the cup holders!!

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I guess I've been spoiled. That's really all my school has...okay we have 1 '98 172R, but it's still a nice plane.

The planes are awesome, we've got one that's got the fully tricked out avionics package with the moving maps and traffic advisory, that's my fav to fly.

Thanks to whoever mentioned the warm / hot engine starting procedures. The last two times I've been up the engines were hard to start (one actually had to be started with the GPU). Both times the plane had recently been flown and it was really warm on the ramp. So I'll have to check the POH next time and see if I have any better luck.

Oh, a quick question: Should I lean the engine a bit after I start it or not? I've seen both sides and I'm just wondering what you guys think.

Later.

Naunga
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
As for the starting I found that it REALLY helps to just flood the engine intentionally if you have trouble starting. It takes all the guess work out of it (i.e. is there too much fuel, too little, too hot, etc).

That way you KNOW what to do: mixture out, throttle full, fuel pump off, crank and when it fires mixture rich and throttle out.

Doing it this way I was able to start it up in 105 degree heat after it died on the idle check (I really had my doubts as to whether I'd get it running again!).

As for the leaning it depends on the temperature. If it's hot I keep it rich so the fuel has less chance to lock at low RPM. If it's cold or hasn't flown in a while I lean it out.
 

Jonaselm

New Member
Wow, those new 172s are really nice! This was my first lesson in a 172 actually (us po' people fly 150s) and the controls are much heavier than I expected. It is a great plane though. I had a hell of a time trying to start the thing. Guess it takes a little practice.
 

naunga

New Member
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I had a hell of a time trying to start the thing.

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Glad I'm not the only one.

What's funny is that I didn't have any problem starting it when I went up in the early spring.

Guess they like to be started on cold days.

Naunga
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
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Guess they like to be started on cold days.

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What is this thing you call a "cold day"???


Here in FL it's Summer 10 months out of the year. The other two are "Fall" and "Spring" (k - I exaggerate - we MIGHT get two weeks of "winter").


Oooohhhh for the change of seasons.
 

naunga

New Member
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What is this thing you call a "cold day"???

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Funny.


Believe me I can't wait until my wife starts her residency. We're going down south. Right now Alabama and Georgia are the top two choices. Only 11 months left.

Naunga
 

sbe

Well-Known Member
let's not talk about cold days. Summer JUST started and I don't have to think about preheating engines and wiping frost off the wings again for a good long while, so let's just forget about it for the time being, 'k?


Sarah
 

js747400

New Member
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Wow thanks for that explaination... That explains how they got so much more fuel in those wings without making them bigger. And I just thought the 13 drains was some legal thing so they could always say 'well did you check ALL 13 drains?'.

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Funny you should mention that. The instructed I went up with the other day specifically mentioned that one of the reasons there are some many drains was because of the lawsuit's Cessna has faced in the past.

So from a safety point of view, there's lots of places to check, and from a liability point of view, Cessna can say "Did you check drain 2 under the nose?"

Jon
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
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I don't have to think about preheating engines

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ok time for a funny "Never Again" story...

Quite a few years ago I was asked to "ride shotgun" on a Cessna 414A From ORL to Aspen to pick up the owner. I was the "Cessna Guru," having been a twin cessna instructor at Simcom.

Trip out was uneventful. Awesome night in Aspen, although it was 7 degrees outside.

Next morning we get to the aircraft and wipe off the frost. The lineman says "do you guys want preheat?" Both of us are Florida Flatlanders so we said, "Preheat? What's that?" "It's $60 an engine." "Well then hell no, we don't want preheat!"

So the owner shows up with his wife and two dogs. We crank and crank and crank those engines. They fire once or twice but never catch. Next thing you know battery is dead. So we get the ground cart. Crank and crank and crank. Flood it and try again. Crank and crank and crank .... and so on ....

At this point there is a huge puddle of fuel (over flow from flooding it) all around the aircraft. Did I say puddle? More like a small pond. The fumes are all through the aircraft.

Finally the ambient temperature gets above 32 degrees and the right engine starts. We disconnect the GPU and crank and crank and crank ... about 2 gallons of spilled fuel later, with the owner looking over our shoulders and giving us advice (yeah and me the big Guru looking very stupid), we get the left engine started.

To further complicate things, the left boost pump jammed in HI. We took off out of Aspen (hi altitude) with no low boost pumps. Thank God we didn't get vapor lock!

Both vacuum pumps failed on the way home, so we did a no-gyro in to ORL. Next day the mechanic tells us we need two new starters ("fried to a crisp" was the expression I believe).

So the moral of the story of this "Flight from Hell" .... PREHEAT!
 

Raskal

New Member
Where I work we have 6 172R's, so we are all intimately familiar with the hot weather starts-pain in the ass. As for the aircraft, they're ok. The avionics package is overkill (3 axis ap, KLN 94 color GPS...) kind of like leather interior in a canoe.

I will never forgive Cessna for placing the electrical switches below the yoke where no one can see them. It gives my students fits until they memorize where they're at. Moronic.
 

naunga

New Member
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I will never forgive Cessna for placing the electrical switches below the yoke where no one can see them.

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Amen to that!
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
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I will never forgive Cessna for placing the electrical switches below the yoke where no one can see them.

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Wow I didn't even realize how much I hate that until you mentioned it....

...especially in IMC when you're trying to fly and figure out if it's the pitot heat or the fuel pump or one of a dozen other switches your finger's over.
 

stuckingfk

Well-Known Member
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Quote:
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I will never forgive Cessna for placing the electrical switches below the yoke where no one can see them.


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Wow I didn't even realize how much I hate that until you mentioned it....

...especially in IMC when you're trying to fly and figure out if it's the pitot heat or the fuel pump or one of a dozen other switches your finger's over.

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That is why I would like to fly an aircraft with a sidestick. The view of the panel is unrestricted and doesn't hit your lap or anything else.
 
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