Cessna 172 Review - Is The 172 The Right Aircraft For You?
If you are into flying or have a remote interest in it, you probably have noticed that the Cessna 172 is almost everywhere. It seems like every second aircraft that fly's over you is a Cessna 172 and half the airplanes at most small airports are Cessna 172's...
And that did not happen by accident... It is a great airplane that pilots have enjoyed flying for literally decades now. It is easy to fly, nice looking and has a lot of room for a 4 seater aircraft.
But here's the problem: The 172 has a lot of competition in terms of other airplanes that you can buy instead of this one. The reason that is a problem is because it can complicate your buying choice. If you have a bunch of other airplanes to compare against, you need to figure out which is the right one for you and you can easily get stalled and buy the wrong one.
2 Important Ways To Tell If The Cessna 172 Is Right For You
First - How Often Are You Going To Use 4 Seats?
This is a very important question that you are going to want to think about. If you are in the market for a Cessna 172 and you have a tight budget, you might want to think about down sizing to the Cessna 152.
If you don't ever plan on flying around with 4 people, or you only plan on doing so when you have to take the extended family for rides after your turkey dinner, then you might just want to consider the 152. And then when you want a 172 you can easily rent one from most flying schools or flight clubs.
You really want to crunch the numbers on this issue. No one says you have to buy a 152 instead of a 172. But it is important to at least give yourself a couple hours to go through this thought process to better undertand what you do want in your next airplane.
The Gift You Can Give Yourself
The reason I say this is because if your not going to fully use the 172, you could take that extra money you will pay for it and buy yourself an even better 152! So make sure you figure out if you are going to use the 4 seater.
Because if you don't and just rent a 4 seater when you need to, it is not that big of a deal as you'll be saving a lot of money in fuel savings by owning a 2 seater 152. So if you have to rent a 172 for a few hours a year - that should not break the bank and your still likely going to be well ahead financially.
Not only that - you DON'T have to buy a 152 instead. But if you decided on a 2 seater, you could get yourself a faster, newer & cooler one to fly around it and then rent the 172 when needed. (It's just an idea to kick around.) But at the very least - think about what the same dollar amount your going to spend on the 4 seater can get you in terms of an awesome 2 seater.
Second - Do You Want To Build Your Way Up Thought The Cessna Chain Of Airplanes?
One of the great things about buying a Cessna 172 is that it is good preparation for flying other larger Cessna's as you get more hours under your belt. If you get some good hours on the 172 that you buy, your going to have a lot of hours for insurance purposes which should help you out in getting better rates on some of the bigger Cessna models.
Also, it is not going to be that big of a jump in terms of relearning everything if you move from a 172 to a 182 or 210. Sure if you move up to a Cessna 210 your going to have more speed, power and things to deal with such as landing gear. But they are both high wing aircraft's that have similar flying characteristics.
So even though there will be a bit of a learning curve, there should not be a huge one as you already understand the characteristics of this type of aircraft and will have had a few hundred hours or more on it!
The "Hidden" Reason For Getting A 172
One of the great things about owning a Cessna like the 172 is the fact that you can easily get rid of them when you want to buy a bigger model. If you do buy a 172 and down the road feel that you want to upsize to a 210, you should be able to sell your 172 for a reasonable price as there has historically been a really good resale market for this aircraft.
Of course - that is assuming the one you are selling is in good condition. That said - it should be a lot easier to sell your 172 on the used market then some obscure airplane you bought that no one else wants. You've probably seen more then a few of them on the market & they sit forever...
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