In this day and age where airbuses and Boeings are as common as a Ford Mustang, you will expect that studying to become a pilot will have you experience flying these gigantic planes. Unfortunately, that dream is far from reality. In flight school, most students are taught to fly planes using smaller aircraft. The Cessna 152 is a common aircraft that is used for beginners.
If you are a student, or maybe just an enthusiast interested to learn how to take off in a Cessna 152, here are some of the basics.
- Have a professional pilot with you. If you are flying the Cessna 152 for the first time, wait for a professional pilot to assist you. Do not attempt to fly the aircraft alone unless you have the license to do so.
- Settle down. Breathe in and settle down in the cockpit. Observe the different controls around you. Feel free to ask the pilot questions before you proceed. Put on your seatbelt and turn on the radio controls.
- Adjust the carburetor. Notice the lever on the control panel near the steering wheel (or what they call the “yoke”). Switch the level from “heat” to “cold”.
- Prepare the wings of the aircraft. If you have experienced sitting in the wing section of a commercial aircraft, you may have noticed the flaps on the plane’s wings. These flaps help in adjusting the wind that passes through the wings. It is essential to position them correctly before taking off. On the right side of your seat, you will see a large lever handle. Pull it and wait for it to click. Notice that the flaps on the wings will adjust and go down until 10 degrees.
- Position your aircraft on the runway. Using the yoke, navigate the Cessna 152 towards the center of the runway. Place your left foot on the left pedal and lightly step on it. Make sure you look at the immediate area to see if there are other aircraft going your way.
- Get a permission to take off. In an airport, the tower will give you clearance via the radio before you can take off. This is done to ensure that the immediate airspace is free from other aircraft. Do not proceed unless you hear the tower say that you are cleared for takeoff.
- Prepare for takeoff. Look at the control panel in from of you and locate the big, black handle. This handle is the control for the throttle. Hold the handle firmly and slowly push it forward. You will start to feel the aircraft moving when you move the handle. As you bring the handle all the way forward, the aircraft will start to pick up the speed. The momentum will help the take off.
- Fly the aircraft. Look at the airspeed indicator in the control panel and wait for it to reach 56 knots. Once it displays this desired reading, put both of your hands on the yoke and pull it slowly towards you. The aircraft will begin to takeoff. Continue pulling it until you have reached the desired height or when the airspeed indicator states 70 knots. Use the yoke in parallel if you have to direct the aircraft towards a certain direction.
Do not be fooled by the size of a Cessna 152. It is tougher than it seems as it is designed to withstand rough handling from novice pilots.