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8 Answers

C-152 for Instrument Training?

Asked by: 6305 views Instrument Rating

Would a Cessna 152, suitably equipped, be a credible platform in which to train for an instrument rating? Trying to keep the cost down...

8 Answers



  1. Chad Trautvetter on Jul 11, 2011

    As long as it has the required instruments needed for instrument training and the aircraft is airworthy, then there isn’t any problem using a C-152. The only concern I’d have is if the student had aspirations to buy a faster aircraft, such as a Mooney or Cirrus, right after completing instrument training. He/she might be able to fly an approach in a C-152, but speed it up in a faster aircraft and a newly-minted instrument pilot could quickly find him/herself in trouble in IMC or while conducting an instrument approach into/from a busy airport. If the flight school has a simulator available, that’s also a great way to keep instrument training costs down, and later in training you can have the student fly at higher speeds in the sim to get them used to a quicker pace that they’d see in a faster aircraft.

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  2. T.J. Fogarty on Jul 11, 2011

    As stated, the Cessna 152 can be used for an instrument rating provided it is equipped for IFR operations.  Make sure the aircraft has at least a Nav with a glideslope since a precision approach (ILS) is required for the instrument checkride.  I’ve found having a GPS in the aircraft also makes life a lot easier for IFR but unfortunately are rare in 152s.

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  3. Bob Watson on Jul 11, 2011

    While it’d be perfectly legal to train in a suitably equipped C-152, there would be some challenges:
    1) It’s going to be crowded when both the CFII and the student have their approach plates, clipboards, and other instrument flying hardware out.
    2) the C-152 is going to need a pretty light touch and flying in any sort of rough air is going to be a workout keeping the plane on track. That’s not a bad thing after the fact, but it’ll be a workout in the meantime.
    3) Depending on where you’re flying, it could take longer (thereby reducing some of the cost savings) if your instrument approach airports are very far apart. It’ll take longer to get around from one approach to the next during a lesson.
    If you’re looking for cost savings, you might see how a mix of simulator and faster airplane might work out.

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  4. James MacGregor CFI on Jul 12, 2011

    Just a mini 172, dont see a issue

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  5. Tommy D Eldridge on Jul 15, 2011

    I have a little time In a C150 however most of my time is in a CE172. During my training I found that when I had to take the C150 I had a more difficult time. Now that I have my pilot certificate I have not been back in a C150. (Most of the time there is more than 2 going anyway.) I am glad most of my training is in the aircraft that I frequent the most. 

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  6. Kent Shook on Aug 05, 2011

    The biggest issue in my mind is that many 152’s aren’t suitably equipped (no glideslope for example). The other thing is that even if they’re legal, most 152’s don’t have dual nav radios, which can make holding at a fix EXTREMELY difficult – I wouldn’t want to do it! That, coupled with the extra time it’ll take you to get from one approach to the next, might make the 152 more expensive in the long run despite the lower hourly cost. Think about what type of plane you’ll be flying when you get the IR – Usually, instrument rated pilots get the rating because they want to go somewhere – And think about cost per mile instead of cost per hour.
     
    Often, the cheapest rentals in terms of cost per mile are the 130-140 knot class (182’s, Arrows, etc.) and those make great traveling planes as well. Training for your IR in an airplane you’ll be using for travel can be quite beneficial, as you’ll learn to do things like slow the plane down for approaches, put the gear down at the FAF, etc. and you’ll spend less time in between approaches with a faster plane. I’d much rather spend my money that way than “save” money by spending hours trying to make an intersection hold work with a single nav radio.
     

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  7. James MacGregor CFI on Aug 05, 2011

    150/152s will have whatever avionics that someone installed in them.
     
    Many, many of them come with heated pitot (which is the big PITA when it comes to making a plane a good IFR machine).
    Saying a 152 doesnt have a glideslope is the same as saying they all have white paint, it all depends on how they were equiped.
    Most 150/152s I have seen have dual nav/coms xpdr, and a basic six pack. Also the cost diffrence between a loc only VOR and a LOC/GS is minimal (especialy when buying used avionics) so installing a glide slope isnt a huge expense to a owner/flightschool.
     
     You want to get your IFR ticket on a budget, 150/152 and a good sim (and a GOOD CFI with as much IMC experience as possible)
     IFR flying is procedure flying, the machine you use doesnt really matter much as long as it is well maintained.

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  8. vinodh on Mar 24, 2013

    Need a Cessna 152

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