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Transtioning from 1959 Cessna 172 to 1968 Cherokee 180D

Asked by: 1675 views Private Pilot

Most of my 350 hours of flight time has been in a 1959 Cessna 172.  I'm purchasing a 1968 Cherokee 180.  Is the transition from high-wing to low-wing and 145-HP to 180-HP difficult.  Should I plan on spending time with a CFI to make the transition?

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5 Answers



  1. Kenneth Carroll on Jan 14, 2014

    You’ll notice you will have softer landings as the ground cushion will be more pronounced, but your ground view will be less than you enjoyed in the Cessna. One other minor point, when descending and ascending through a traffic pattern your focus points will be reversed. Meaning your blind spots have reversed.

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  2. Best Answer


    Bob Watson on Jan 14, 2014

    No and Yes.

    No, it’s not difficult, but they are different airplanes with different systems and different procedures. So…

    Yes, you should plan to spend some time with a CFI to review all of that. I doubt that it would take much time to get used to the new airplane, in fact, your insurance requirements might be the limiting factor. But, if you’ve only flown a C-172, operating a Cherokee is different enough to make it worth spending some time with a CFI to help you learn the differences (and break your Cessna habits) without bending anything on your new (to you) airplane.

    Enjoy your new plane. The PA28’s are nice planes.

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  3. Greg Williams on Jan 16, 2014

    Thank you Bob & Kenneth! I will schedule some time with a CFI before I fly it home (from Salt Lake City to Bakersfield CA).

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  4. Sam Dawson on Jan 18, 2014

    One of the things you will find is that most airplanes will have some similar handling characteristics due to certification requirements. For example, both the 172 and the PA28 will have approach speeds of about 70 MPH. You will also find the pitch attitudes to get this 70 MPH will be similar.
    For just about any fixed pitch airplane with flaps:
    1. About 2200 RPM on downwind.
    2. Abeam the touchdown point about 1600 RPM. One the airplane is slowed to approach speed +15 MPH, adjust your pitch to keep that airspeed. Add your first notch of flaps and keep that pitch attitude. In most airplanes each notch of flaps will slow you about 5 MPH/Knots.
    3. Turn base at 45 degree point.
    4. Add next notch of flaps on base. Keep your pitch the same and you will slow another 5 MPH.
    5. Turn final, add final flaps.
    I’ve used this in many airplanes and it gets you ball park where you are making small adjustments to pitch/power for the specific airplane, weight and weather conditions.
    As others pointed out, get down the systems differences. Fuel system is a big one; electrical system; pitot static system will be a little different.

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  5. graham on Mar 25, 2014

    can’t find the pitot or static vents on my cherokee 180

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