Cessna 152 or 172 for training?

oilcanbland

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
84
Total Time
400
I am not flying until next summer, but I was just wondering about what kind of plane I should use to start my training. The airport by my house has 152s and 172s. I know that if I did it in a 152 it would save me some $$. Are there any other considerations or recommendations I should consider? By the way I am about 6'2" and 175 lbs.
 
C

Chas

My 2 cents

I got my ppl in a 152.( even did the long ,long commercial X/C in one ) I am 5 10 and weigh 180 My instructor was the same dimensions . In the interest of saving $ I would begin in a 152 as it is an easy transition to the 172. The only difference being the 152 spoiled me landing in gusty winds as its real maneuverable . Enjoy your training !! Chas
 

Timebuilder

Entrepreneur
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
4,625
Total Time
1634
A guy your size? A 172, for certain.

If only someone had given me the following advice before I began training: buy a twenty year old Cessna with a mid-time engine, and put it on leaseback at the flight school. This will take you right into your commercial, and save money in the process.
 

Cardinal

Of The Kremlin
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
2,308
Total Time
K's
I'm 6' 1" and 210, and I can certainly fit in a 150. There's plenty of headroom due to the reclined seating position. It's adding the instructor to the equation that makes it interesting. It's like you have four butt cheeks, because every inch of width in the cabin is used. It's definitely thigh to thigh. The 172 solves this problem. Training in the summer, you're going to be bumped around viciously during the afternoon due to convection. You won't turn quite so green in the Skyhwak, and you'll find that it doesn't get tossed around like a kite as the 150 seems to be. It's a real airplane. On the other hand, the savings could buy more than a few hours, so are your priorities enjoyment or career-conscious efficiency?

And this last might be anecdotal, but the 172 fleet seems to have had an easier life than the 150 family. It seems they are lower time and haven't spent their entier existence getting the crap beat out of them while training. As such they seem to be in better shape, as a whole.
 

Eagleflip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
794
Total Time
5000+
Having spent a bunch of hours in both, I can say that if you try a 152 you will not really enjoy it very much, given your Goliath stature.

The only problem is that when you fly a 172, you'll immediately become enamored with the additional room.

My vote: go with the 172. Why?
- More room = more comfort, and more comfort = better learning environment
- Its safer...think about it. You're 210, your instructor is about ??...you will be over gross weight in a heartbeat if you have any gas at all on board the plane. If nothing else, you will see very poor climb performance, especially on a summer's day.

Just my two cents. Remember though...if you decide to go with the 152, don't even think think about climbing into a 172. Once you do, you'll be spoiled!

Best of luck!
 

oilcanbland

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
84
Total Time
400
Yeah, obviously I would be more comfortable in the 172. I will more than likely go with that. I was just wondering, because it would be cheaper with the 152. I would like to be able to have my private by the time the summer ends. How much money do you guys think that it would cost me to do that in the 172?
 

sstearns2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
596
Total Time
9000
C-152

I'm 6'3" and 200 and I instructed in both 152s and 172s. The 152 is a little tight inside, but it's a much more responsive airplane and a lot more fun to fly than a 172, IMHO. The 152 is a little slower, but your building hours not miles. I'd stay with the 152 for the pvt and time building and try to fly a new(er) 172 for the instrument so you can learn the newer avionics and GPS.

As for buying an airplane... if it floats, ****s, or flies, it's cheaper to rent than to own.

Scott
 

mattjenna

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
47
Total Time
notnuf
Both

Your tall but your relatively light. You need to weigh up comfort vs expense-You could certainly fit in and fly the 152 (as long as your instructor is not a doughnut stuffed beast)-but you'll be more comfortable in the 172. I flew the 172R for both my PPL and Inst and the 152 for my Comm-and loved both-the 152 is a great little responsive, if not underpowered, aircraft-both are forgiving and great trainers.

Try out both and weigh up the pluses and minuses for yourself-I vote for the 152- merely to save $ (if that's an issue).

Matt
 

Cardinal

Of The Kremlin
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
2,308
Total Time
K's
That, also, depends.

Rental rates are very location specific, here in the rural Northeast a 172 is $69/hr whereas the the 150 is $55/hr and the instructor is worth $22/hr for a grand total of $91/hr of dual. Assuming you show up with your written exam complete:

At least 10 hrs Solo = 690
At least 30 Dual = 2730
Another 10 hours Ground = 220
Another 1.5 for the checkride = 103
Examiners Fee = 100 ish

Lowball estimate $3843 Flying the C150 would save you $574 off that figure. And I really mean that's a lowball estimate. Very few get there licenses at only the 40 required hours, plan on at least 50. If you've played MS Flight Sim from infancy deduct 5-10 hours.

So I'd bring $4500 to the table if you can find a Skyhawk renting for the above rates. That is alot of money for alot of people, but if it makes you feel any better, your local FBO owner is probably running on a rather scant margin.
 

oilcanbland

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
84
Total Time
400
Thanks guys for the responses. You guys make good points about both aircraft. I would almost rather start out with the 152 and try that and see how that works, mainly because of the cost factor. Speaking of costs, how much $$ did you guys spend on your private and in what plane? What is the average cost just to obtain a private?
 

low&slow

In Limbo
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
48
Total Time
5000
I spent $3500 back in '96 flying a 152 (57 hours). Students these days can spend closer to $5000 in the same plane I flew (in the pacific NW). A 172 would run you about $1000 more to get your license. If you can fit in the 152 and be comfortable, I would go with it.
 
Last edited:

Wiggums

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
1,040
Total Time
.
Even if you get your private in the 172, I would consider using the 152 when you build time for your commercial license. It’s a fun airplane, and the weight will be right when you fly it solo.
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
I agree with "eagleflip." Either aircraft would be fine, really, but I have a feeling you would like a 172 better, and here's why. You might find a 152 cramped. Also, after loading the airplane with fuel, you and your instructor, performance won't be exactly supersonic. One other point: You can do virtually all your training to Commercial single in a 172. A 172 is a much more stable instrument platform than a 152. You can to all your cross-countries and learn the commercial maneuvers in a 172.
 

skydrillr

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
6
Total Time
925
If cost is a factor, try out the 150/2. I did my private in 99 for under 3500 bucks. Part 61. My cfi was 6'2 210 lbs and I'm 5'10 160. I did my training in mid June. It was very very hot and humid and the performance sucked. We used every inch of runway possible. Also, we couldn't head out with full tanks which was a pain in the butt for cross countries. However, I did save money. The comfort level sucked. Money was a factor so I dealt with it. During my solo flights, it was a blast. Solo'ing for the first time was an eye opener, that thing jumped off the runway on take off. It was amazing the difference when he was out of the plane. Thats when I really enjoy myself!

If your CFI is a taller/heavier person himself, you may not at all enjoy flying in the smaller cessna. May actually affect your training progress. So, when shopping around at flight schools, scope out the CFI's for size! ;)

Traci
 

bobbysamd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
5,710
Total Time
4565
Private cost

Cost will depend on four primary factors: (1) cost per hour of the airplane you fly; (2) cost per hour of your instructor; (3) weather, maintenance and aircraft availability; and (4) you.

I'll start with the last first. If you take instruction and criticism well, come to the airport prepared for each flight and are ready to learn, then you should do fine. Even the best students have trouble grasping some concepts. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and you are no exception. But you should do fine if you are ready and willing to learn and take criticism. After being involved in athletics at a high level of participation, that should be no problem for you.

You can estimate the cost of training using factors (1) and (2). I suspect a 152 goes for $50 - $60 an hour. You will fly it at least 40 hours. Your instructor will charge something like $20 - $30 an hour. He/she will charge for ground time as well as flight time. Most people need more than forty hours for the Private. A lot of that depends on factors (3) and (4). Most people have to canx flights because of weather and mx at least a couple of times, and sometimes aircraft aren't always available. I already discussed (4).

If luck is with you and you can fly three or four times a week, you can get your Private in four to six weeks. Don't forget about ground school; it'll help if you can pass the written sooner rather than later. I had to stop while I was getting my Private to take the written.

Hope all this helps. Good luck with your training.
 

oilcanbland

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
84
Total Time
400
how about this

You guys talked about the size of the instructor that plays a factor in which plane I fly. Well I know one guy who is an instructor who I took a ride with who probably weighs about 140-150 lbs and is about 5'8"-5'10". How would that be in a 152? I would really like to start off in the 152, due to the cost, so maybe I'll just look for a light instructor.
 

itsme

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
7
Total Time
5000+
If bucks are not a big problem, go with the 172 for all the reasons everybody has said, however, 210 lbs plus instructor weight will probably make the 152 out if the question anyway. Both airplanes are a joy to fly and learn in. Have fun a get out there.
 

floatflyer99

ex-float pilot
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
56
Total Time
>4000
It seems that some people are confused.

6'2"/175lb (the original poster) is just fine for a 150/152.
6'2"/210lb is also fine, depending on instructor weight, and how much fuel you take.

I'm 6'3" and (was) 175lb when I trained and instructed on 150's. Fitting in a 150 was never an issue. It's cozy but not really cramped. I actually used to enjoy flying the 150 more than the 172. When I spent a whole day in the air, however, I would often yearn for the relative comfort of a 172's bigger and softer seats.

I have always thought the 150 to be the superior trainer. WHY?
It is more demanding of smoothness from the student since it is more responsive. This responsiveness, in turn, leads the student to have a better "feel" for the airplane (which is what flying is all about, isn't it?). With regards to the 150 being easier to fly in gusty conditions: believe me, if you can land a 150 in a 15 knot crosswind component, you can land a 172 in the same. Finally, the little 150 is just plain more FUN. :D
 

mattjenna

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
47
Total Time
notnuf
Oilcanbland asked: "You guys talked about the size of the instructor that plays a factor in which plane I fly. Well I know one guy who is an instructor who I took a ride with who probably weighs about 140-150 lbs and is about 5'8"-5'10". How would that be in a 152?"

Absolutely fine at your weight and even a little more (you'll get full tanks too). The POH does a weight and balance at about 170lb for each occupant so you've got at least 340lbs to play with for the front seats (no that there's any back seats ;-)) and full fuel-of course you'll need to check the POH for your model to make sure.

Go the 150/52 you'll love it-it's a GREAT little plane. I'm buzzing around now in a 180hp 172RG and it feels like a bloody tank compared to the Sparrow.....

Matt
 
Top