Skyhawk to LSA transitioning

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Mike Butorac, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. Mike Butorac

    Mike Butorac Filing Flight Plan

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    Howdy All!

    I currently fly a 172, and I'm thinking of building a Zenith CH650 with a ULPower 350iS to get me a few extra knots in cruise, plus a few other goodies. What should I expect in flight given that the CH650 is shorter in length and wingspan?

    Mike
     
  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I haven't flown a Zenith, but the only thing I have really noticed with a LSA (based on three types) is that the significantly lighter weight and wing loading requires better pilot technique for landings than a 172.

    That was also the experience of a flight school I used to fly with. A longer checkout for an LSA checkout for pilots used to standard certified aircraft than normal.

    But really, it's no big deal.
     
  3. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    The other thing I've noticed is that LSA tends to be very light on the controls, especially in pitch. Be on the lookout for over-controlling and for altitude excursions.
     
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  4. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-Flight

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    low mass, high drag airframes.
    Cut the power and it feels like someone just threw out the anchor. Pitch down, NOW!
     
  5. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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  6. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You rang? :)

    I owned a 172 for many years, and switched to a Zenith CH601XL several years ago. As others have mentioned, the controls are lighter but it only took an hour of transition training in the Zodiac to feel very comfortable with it.

    The comparison I make between flying a C172 and the Zodiac is the 172 is like driving a Chevy sedan, while the Zodiac is like a Mazda Miata.

    I absolutely love the way the Zodiac handles.
     
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  7. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Comments concerning lighter wing loading, faster response, and less energy are all spot on. The term is actually quite accurate when you consider "light" as these planes are lighter, and "sport" or should it have been "sportier." A well built light sport plane with good power on the nose is a blast to fly!

    I might argue that the C-172 was more like a bus than a Chevy sedan ... :D
     
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  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a 172 and a Mazda Miata MX5 . The 172 is much easier to get in and out of , the Miata more fun in Glacier Park. :)
     
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  9. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    You won’t feel like you are flying a 70s pick up with no power steering :)
     
  10. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Kinda like transitioning from a PA-28 to a C-152.
     
  11. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Paul V has a nice AVWeb short video on LSA vs regular certified GA. Accident rate statistics are hard to come by - but essentially it comes down to “learn how to land”. Stan is the best person to comment on the validity on that “Watch Out”.

     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  12. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    As @asicer observes, the elevator control on some LSAs - including my Zodiac - is very light, and learning to avoid over controlling with resulting pilot induced oscillation is important. During my hour long transition training that was the first thing my CFI told me. Use a light touch on the elevator and don't come in too hot over the numbers; the airspeed sweet spot on short final is 60 knots indicated (for the Zodiac) unless it's gusty, then carry a little more speed. Just hold it a foot or so off the runway at idle power with the nose high and let the mains settle. The first couple of landings may be a little tricky, but you learn how to finesse it very quickly.