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djpacro

Aerobating the Cessna

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Bill Kershner's book, The Basic Aerobatic Manual, is one of the best aerobatic books around but as it is focused on the Cessna Aerobat it has limited application. Bill was a test pilot and instructor, amongst other things and was a spin specialist.

 

He wrote the 150 Aerobat Training Manual for Cessna then went on to write his own aerobatic book. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone flying the Cessna Aerobat.

 

Unfortunately the Aerobat has been out of production for over 25 years but there are still many nice examples in flying schools and still being used as aerobatic trainers.

 

It doesn't have inverted fuel and oil systems so pilots must be aware of the associated limitations and take care when exiting after a session of slow rolls as there'll be some spots of oil around.

 

A great little aeroplane which is why the 150/152 series was one of the most popular types ever - over 30,000 built!

 

 

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...the Aerobat has been out of production for over 25 years but there are still many nice examples in flying schools and still being used as aerobatic trainers

Hi DJP

 

Nostalgia...

 

I went down to YLTV today following Herb and son in DKH. Was going to go to Shep until I looked at the strength of the northerly amd thought about the inevtiable bumps crossing the Divide.

 

It was almost still when I arrived. Landed on 09 and joined the others at the BBQ. Sitting on the tarmac outside the clubhouse was a little old Decathlon. It was painted in blue tones and it took me a minute to absorb the significance of the rego -- BIK! I did my TW and 2/3 of an aero endorsement in it with Sharpie all those years ago when it was almost new.

 

I hope to goodness the spars and airframe have been examined carefully by the current owner because I heard it had a bit of a rebuild that may or may not have been signed off. Done by the same guy whose partner's C150 sits in long grass at YLIL. But it was nice to see it sitting there...

 

Best for New Year

 

kaz

 

 

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.... Sitting on the tarmac outside the clubhouse was a little old Decathlon....

It was for sale years ago when I bought mine - it has done a lot of work since and has been going well, I've done a bit in it. Certainly hot north of the Divide - I was at Toc trying to practice for the next contest.

 

Hi .....Best for New Year ..

You too, see you at CEM sometime - pity there are no Aerobats left there.

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It was for sale years ago when I bought mine - it has done a lot of work since and has been going well, I've done a bit in it. Certainly hot north of the Divide - I was at Toc trying to practice for the next contest.

You too, see you at CEM sometime - pity there are no Aerobats left there.

Or Decathlons... but I did get 40 minutes in the back of the 52TW!!!!

 

kaz

 

 

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Hi Dj, A year or so ago I was working for a maintenance org who had a C152 aerobat on line in their flight school. It was on leaseback, and well, wasn't in the best of condition. It came up for a 100hourly/annual, and as I wasn't familiar with the particular aircraft I decided to have a real good in depth look at it, plus one of the aerobatic rated female instructors expressed a desire to give it a whirl !.

 

As you would know the main differences with them over the standard 152 are the overhead windows, jettonsable doors, g-meter on the panel, and presumably a stronger airframe for the approved aerobatic capability. And of course not forgeting the checker board strip on the tail !..We replaced and resealed the two overhead windows as the were crazed and weakened. I seem to recall it may have had four-point harnesses as standard. The door jettesioning handles failed to quickly release the doors during testing, so some remedial work was done there.

 



 

 

 

We did the usual things applicable to all C150-152s like checking the vertical-fin lower attach fittings, and the lower wings strut areas for cracks per the applicable ADs/service instructions. The gear leg attachments, nose gear bolts etc. I am very familiar with standard Cessnas in general, and continued with the usual cable/pully checks etc etc.



 

 

 

 

Once in the wings I'm now looking for what makes this aerobatic, strength-wise, over the standard aircraft, which i am also familiar with. All I could find were strengthing doublers on the main and rear spars at the wing-strut attach points, and wing root attach points. (front and rear of the spars). I'm sure the standard aircraft is probabily up to very basic aerobatic capabilities in the right hands.



 

 

 

 

I can certainly see the merit of the Gmeter, jettonsable doors, and overhead windows when intenionally performing aerobatics, but airframe-wise are the doublers the main changes to certify the aircraft for aerobatics ?...I am aware of coure that even the c152 Aerobat is still only certified for only very basic manouvers and not the gut-wrenching stuff that say a Pitts would do.....................................Maj...



 

024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif 076_joystick.gif.1d2ed07889352a966338f6390696faff.gif 041_helmet.gif.78baac70954ea905d688a02676ee110c.gif

 

 

 

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Hopefully some-one will correct me - the changes that I recall are the fin attachment, stronger wing struts, thicker wing skins and reduced wing rib spacing.

 

 

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There is also an AD on the rudder stops. The 150/152s were prohibited from spinning until that AD was completed. There wasn't much involved in doing the mod. We've done a couple in the course of regular periodics.

 

I'm not an aerobatic pilot, but there is a lot of talk of it in our mealroom. The opinion there is that high Gs do not necessarily equate to good aerobatics, so the Normal Category 152 would not need to be beefed up too much to be approved for aerobatic manoeuvres. The reasons it can't cut holes in the sky like a Pitts is that it has a much lower aileron area to total wing area than a Pitts. Also the power to weight ratio greatly favours the Pitts. Having said that, the 152 is still a useful plane for ab initio aerobatic training.

 

OME

 

 

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...... so the Normal Category 152 would not need to be beefed up too much to be approved for aerobatic manoeuvres...

It wouldn't need to be beefed up at all as it can be in utility category at max weight so feasible to get approval for limited aerobatics - needs the aerobatic harness fitted but in Australia doesn't need the jettisonable doors and you can paint the chequers on it if you like. 4.4g Limit doesn't give as much margin as the 6g Limit of aerobatic category but it has been successful in other types. eg the Airtourer T-6 can do aerobatics in Utility Category at its max weight which is somewhat above the maximum for Aerobatic Category; different certification basis, but the Beagle Pup was only in Semi-Aerobatic Category at 4.5g Limit.

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Some time back at Port Macquarie, a C-150 training aircraft, doing incipient spins ended up bending the fin over in a recovery from a spiral dive. The plane landed safely. Does anyone have a record of this? Has there been other evidence of this kind of structural failure? The aircraft was mishandled so I'm not attaching blame to the aircraft .Nev

 

 

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That report sure makes for interesting reading. I trained initially for my GA PPL in three different C152 including all initial long navs, and found them nice to operate. I then transitioned to 172s and larger Cessnas which is the way Cessna intended when they designed the range..I have a friend who has just rebuilt and flown an early C150 and I will certainly make him aware of that report. Thanks for posting Dj................................................Maj...024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif

 

 

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David and Ross,

 

That was a very detailed analysis of the in flight breakup and you cannot but feel sorry for that poor 28 year old kid who happened to be flying her that day. Did you note the post mortem discovered coronary disease in the pilot at 28 years of age (not considered as a contributing factor in the accident but I guess undiagnosed his flying days would have been over sooner 0r later).

 

David,

 

I know that all the C150s and 152s were spin certified by Cessna, but do you remember when we used to have separate CASA 'Approved Flight Manuals' for all aircraft. In the Australian manuals not all C150s were approved for spins and no C172s were approved for spins either, even though the manufacturer did certify them all as spinnable. I remember where I trained years ago, of the four C150s (1966/67 G models) only WFT was spinnable, she was a C150M 1976 year of manufacture. I note that Australian 'Approved Flight Manuals' are no longer issued and it is legal to now use the Manufacturers Pilot Operating Handbook (POH). So on that basis all C150/152s are spinnable under this regime

 

It seems from this very detailed analysis that the early C150s (A,B, C ... models) were weak in the fin area and I do recall that later versions were beefed up in this area. I was told that was why only the M model that we had at Warnervale at the time was legally spinnable back in the 80s and 90s in Australia. Do you recall any of this, or was it an operator decision based on strength and maintenance?

 

 

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... I note that Australian 'Approved Flight Manuals' are no longer issued and it is legal to now use the Manufacturers Pilot Operating Handbook (POH). So on that basis all C150/152s are spinnable under this regime. ...

Not only legal to use the manufacturer's approved Aircraft Flight Manual (which is generally incorporated in the POH) but it must be used except for some types which did not have an AFM originally - and that includes the C150 series. i.e. the C150 doesn't have an FAA approved AFM. I have a POH for the Aerobat 150M so by that time at least Cessna was providing a comprehensive POH.

There was an FAA Bulletin on spinning Cessnas back in the '70s - an excellent summary here at Flight's archive. http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1978/1978 - 2617.html?search=cessna spin

 

An excellent spin brief for the C150/152/172 online here http://williams.best.vwh.net/spin_seminar.pdf

 

The Type Certificate Data Sheet confirms that all of the C150 and C152 series are approved for spinning but I vaguely recall some other notes somewhere about the earlier models. More later.

 

 

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More later.

from Rich Stowell's book http://www.richstowell.com/store/books/book-stallspin-awareness/

In the early 1970s, the Cessna 150 ... came under fire when a couple of flight instructors reported difficulty in recovering from spins. A representative from the FAA subsequently flew many different 150s with Cessna test pilots. No problems were found with the airplanes. The FAA representative then went into the field to address questions about the 150's spin characteristics. The representative was met with considerable misunderstanding about spins in general and the Cessna 150 in particular....

 

the FAA published an eight-page Flight Instructor Bulletin devoted to spinning ... and Cessna published a supplementary pamphlet ...

The NTSB was scathing about the competency of the instructors in general.

 

www.cessna.org notes that the 1975 model 150M had a "6 inch increase in vertical fin and rudder height improves spin recovery. This also helped make the Aerobat’s snap rolls easier to perform."

 

I should've included this earlier: an excellent online magazine article about the Cessna 150/152 http://www.loop.aero/Featured-46/428/Focus+on+Cessna+150152.aspx

 

 

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Not only legal to use the manufacturer's approved Aircraft Flight Manual (which is generally incorporated in the POH) but it must be used except for some types which did not have an AFM originally...

My Auster is exempt from the AFM requirement because it never had one. I obtained a copy of the POH prepared by the Royal Newcastle Aero Club for their Austers but much of the content isn't relevant to mine as they were later models. I do have a W&B sheet for it but no graphs, just max weights for each area - front, back and luggage - in combination with different fuel loads.

 

I remember a story about a C150 where the doors popped during recovery from a loop!

 

kaz

 

 

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I remember a story about a C150 where the doors popped during recovery from a loop!

standard operating procedure!
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Can't say I have done aeros in the Aerobat but the idea of using a yoke instead of a stick just doesn't seem "right" for aeros!

 

I've had the text for quite some time, but always preferred Neil William's book.

 

 

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Neil's book, "Aerobatics", is great reading but if we're not flying an Aerobat then I'd recommend "Better Aerobatics" by Alan Cassidy.

 

 

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Neil's book, "Aerobatics", is great reading but if we're not flying an Aerobat then I'd recommend "Better Aerobatics" by Alan Cassidy.

Just the thought of you and Dick G in an Aerobat together makes me chuckle...

 

kaz

 

 

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Hi Matt,

 

When we used to operate C172s under the CASA approved flight manuals spins were prohibited.

 

We don't have those now and the Manufacturers POH and flight manuals are accepted. As such spins in C172s are permitted in Australia, although I have never spun a C172 I would like to try it one day.

 

Spins are NOT approved in C182s and C206s.

 

 

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... some of the 172's I've been in have a "no intentional spins" placard, would that be a left over from the earlier CASA manuals and could be disregarded? ...

The old CASA approved manual required the placarding.

DJP would be able to confirm this but from what I understand if you revert to the manufacturers flight manual the placarding required elsewhere can be removed.

 

 

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Following on from my earlier post #14 wrt flight manuals and the situation for the 172 is the same as for the 150/152. The correct AFM to use is from the country of origin and as approved by their airworthiness authority. The AFM specifies the required placards and there will be one showing that spins are approved. You'd better not leave an old placard there which conflicts with the required placards. Earlier models didn't get an FAA approved flight manual however the Type Certificate Data Sheet also mandates the placards. i.e. when the flight manual changed over there should have been a consequential action to get the correct placards.

 

I just checked my old copy of the Cessna 172 handling notes from Groupair at the old Casey Field at Berwick circa 1975 (anyone remember the Elsaburgers?). It was approved for spinning in Utility Category then as it is now. My guess is that the original placards were all removed as they would have been in mph therefore forbidden in those days. Aeroplanes may have been left with the placards only required by the old Air Navigation Order. You'd need to look at the flight manual for more detail (not that those old manuals had much detail) and then to the manufacturer's POH for even more detail.

 

It would be interesting to actually get hold of one of the old Aus flight manuals for a Cessna just to see what was in it.

 

I was talking to one of the "old" instructors recently about this a little while back - considering doing the instructor course spins in a 172 - he used to do them back then as that was the only type he had available. Which is of course why the small Cessnas and the early Cherokees had spin approval - so they could do instructor training otherwise schools would need another different type.

 

 

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