In this post (and the following) I'll introduce you to the aircraft in the fleet of OSM Aviation Academy.
The Skyhawk is the most produced single-engine aircraft of all time and the core of the fleet at OSM Aviation Academy.
The flight school in Västerås has a total of six Skyhawks which flies, on average, around 500 hours/year. These aircraft are utilized for flying every day between 06:00 AM and 12:00 PM.
When you begin your training to become a pilot at our flight school the Cessna 172 is, contrary to what many people think, the first aircraft the pilots are introduced to - yes, we fly for real before stepping into the simulator!
One of the reasons is that the simulator is for more advanced training, and it actually takes around 6 months before we even enter the artificial cockpit of the Boeing 737.
It doesn't take long before we get to fly the airplane for the first time. Just after a couple of days of introduction and ground training, we do our first flight together with one of the instructors.
After three or four months we are ready to do our first solo flight which means that we fly all by ourselves without anyone else on board.
In total, we perform over 90% of our airborne flight training in the Skyhawk, which is quite a lot. All in all, we gather around 140 hours in the Cessna before starting our final training in the double engined aircraft, the Diamond DA42.
4 things to know about the Skyhawk:
Equipped with Garmin G1000
The Cessna is equipped with a system that provides us with flight instrument information, navigation information, and system supervision: Garmin G1000.
All the information is portrayed on two screens (as pictured above), including, among other things: airspeed, altitude, and geographical position.
Wings on top of the fuselage
The fact that the wings are located on top of the roof instead of underneath the fuselage is a nice feature, not only because it gives you some shelter when exiting the aircraft on a rainy day in October, but for the static lateral stability of the aircraft.
This means that the aircraft will be very stable to fly as it will have a natural instinct to return to its wings level condition. In short, an ideal characteristic of a flight school aircraft!
Five to six hours range when fully fueled
With the fuel tanks fully loaded the Skyhawk will fly up to five or six hours in good weather conditions.
With a velocity of 110 knots (or 200 km/h), this equals a trip between Stockholm and Amsterdam - without having to stop for refueling if conditions are ideal.
Auxilary music cable input
When cruising at high altitude on a long journey some students like to connect their music to the aircraft, and just like a car stereo, the Skyhawk has an auxiliary music cable input - the music is of course shut off automatically if someone says something on the radio or intercom.
Maybe not the most important feature, but nevertheless a fun thing to know about!
Continue to read, when I give a tour of the Diamond DA42, the school's two-engine aircraft.
If you're considering a career as a pilot - take our pilot test and find out if you have what it takes...