Cessna 150

Websterpilot

Well-Known Member
Okay guys,

snagged my first CFI job primarily flying Cessna 150’s. I’ve flown a variety of different model 172’s and the 150 seems similar. Some things are going to take some time to get used to ie. ASI in MPH, non-standard cockpit layout, size, speed; all I’m sure will feel normal in due time.

Here are my thoughts:

The 150 seems to be a bit more twitchy, but overall just as stable as a 172. However, during power on stalls, the 150 seemed to be a little less stable, requiring some quick dancing on the rudder to remain wings level and coordinated.

One big thing that I noticed and I’m assuming it has a lot to do with weight and speed, was the fact that the 150 seems much easier to land. It doesn’t seem to float as much as a 172, but seems to want to drop a bit more in the flare after power reduction. The 150 also seems much more responsive in pitch during the flair making for easier corrections without dropping it in.

I’ve spent a lot of time in fuel injected aircraft and recently got back into flying carbureted models while completing my CFI training ect. I noticed today during my run-up check, that I had built a little carb ice during taxi. Granted, the temperature and humidity was perfect for it. I’ve read the discussions about the difference between Continental and Lycoming line routing, but it seems to be comparing apples to oranges when it comes to its effect on carb ice.

Basically I’m looking for any tips, hints, suggestions or wisdom from more experienced 150 pilots. It’s hard enough to learn how to teach, let alone in something I’ve never flown before.

Thanks in advance!
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
Here's a few things.
  • Make sure you lean for taxi, or be prepared for fouled plugs during run-up.
  • Teach your students how to clean plugs at run-up for when they forget to do #1
  • Definitely susceptible to carb ice, know the symptoms and cure.
  • Some 150's have momentary flap switches, they only move while you're holding the switch... so if you're used to throwing the switch to a setting and letting it do the work, you'll be disappointed.... can cause for failure to retract flaps fully during a touch and go or go-around if pilot isn't paying attention.
  • 40° flaps is great, until you dont want drag.... go around and stall recovery must have 20° flaps built into their recovery flow by absolute memory or they are not going to fly. The airplane will not accelerate with more than 20° flaps.
  • Know that Vx and Vy converge with altitude, if your students fly in higher density altitudes teach them this and how to adjust their climb speeds accordingly (there's not that much extra horsepower to begin with in a 150).
  • With a single On-Off fuel selector it's easy to exclude it from checklists (why the hell would it ever get turned off after all?), dont let them...make them build the right habits from the beginning and explain why.
  • Like most Cessna's be prepared for uneven fuel burn from right/left tanks. The shutoff is post-crossover so turning it off on the ramp isn't going to prevent any cross-feed if on a slope.
  • With lots of right rudder during a power on stall, prepare to release that when the stall breaks or it's going to want to go to the right.
  • Make sure they know how to do a weight and balance as it can be easy to go over gross with two adult males, especially if you have Commuter tanks.
  • Oil capacity is 5 quarts, not 6... if you give it 6 it will spit out the extra quart in the first 15 minutes of flight (all over the bottom of the plane).
  • It's fairly simple to re-arrange the instruments in a standard 6-pack layout, ask maintenance if they can do it next time it's in for 100-hour/annual.
  • Look under the right dash at the oil pressure line, if it's a hard aluminum line have them replace it with pressure hose, the aluminum can stress crack after 50 years of operation and leak.
  • Some have an extra fuel drain mounted on the belly, this is an extra safety feature to put a water drain at the actual lowest point. Find out if the ones you fly have one and make sure the students check them (wont be on the standard preflight checklist)
  • When you do night flight be prepared for a worthless overhead red instrument light. I use a small red LED head lamp strapped onto the overhead light, works great.
That's all I can think of right now. I think they are more fun to fly than a Skyhawk, save the slow climb performance with two adult males in it.
 

A150K

Well-Known Member
First off, your carb ice encounter is not unusual-O-200s are highly suseptable to it. Another thing, since the 150 is lighter and has alot of drag with full flaps, you might find it easier to get behind tthe curve. this characteristic also makes it great for short field landings. If you are operating at high DAs, consider using less than full flaps because attempting a go-around with full flaps at gross can get a little interesting(most of my 150 time is in a 150 hp model, so this was not an issue for me). Also, unlike a 172, a 150 is likely to spin if you stall it with your feet on the floor-it is pretty docile, but not as much as a 172(makes it a better trainer imo). Otherwise, it is an airplane, fly it accordingly.
 

A150K

Well-Known Member
As rframe said, not going from 40 to 20 on a go around (the poh procedure for both 172s and 150s) is a bad habit alot of pilots have.
 

Websterpilot

Well-Known Member
Great thanks for the advice guys! After flying with the chief pilot, it looks like he recommends 10 degrees for normal landings, 20 degrees for soft field and 30 degrees for short field. He didn't say that 40 degrees couldn't be taught, but to use caution with inexperienced students. The 150's here do have momentary flap switches. I've flown A/C with them before, just not ones with the indicator above the left door. Talk about an odd location for it.

I also forgot to mention some power settings, was told to use approximately 2,300 RPM for cruise, 2,200 RPM midfield, 1,800 RPM abeam the touchdown point which then gets adjusted during the decent. Seemed to work pretty well; didn't really have to touch the throttle again after the numbers. If I remember right it put me close to 80-85 MPH downwind, 70 MPH base and 65 MPH final. Again, all seemed to work fairly well.

I agree, I can tell that the power curve is going to come into play with this airplane. Not a lot of excess power with a 100 HP engine. During a go around at 20 degrees I was convinced I was going to be half way down the runway before I got a speed increase and a positive rate of climb. I am also at sea level, so at least DA shouldn't be too much of a problem. However, I can see the summer months getting a bit interesting.

About leaning, I went to lean prior to taxi and was told not to worry about it. Something about students forgetting to adjust for full rich on takeoff ect. Leaning on the ground was beat into my head as a student and I agree with it. Hopefully it won't cause a lot of conflict around here. Good thing to know about the oil capacities. I was pretty much told to wait until 4 quarts and add 1. I also checked under the belly, it does have a fuel sump, which I'm assuming is where the fuel filter is located? I'm used to it being a drain for the fuel selector; not sure on this one.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
As for numbers, what I teach initially is about 2450 in the pattern, otherwise it's just too slow to play well with others.

Climb is 65-70 depending on density altitude (we're about 2500 MSL) straight out to 700'. With a load it's easy to turn too soon and not make it to TPA before hitting downwind which is a safety problem and against AIM guidance.
Downwind is safety check - GMS (gas on, mixture rich, safety belts).
Abeam touchdown is carb heat hot, 1500 rpm, 10° flaps, pitch for 70mph.
Base is 20° flaps, 70mph.
Final is 65 mph.

I recommend always going to 20° flaps as it's the point with maximum lift gain and just starting to gain substantial drag, so will result in the slowest landing without an excessively steep approach and the drag will help minimize float.

I leave it at 20° for soft-field (assuming it's long) as that doesn't present a super steep approach angle, reducing chance of a hard landing, about 1200-1300 rpm in the flare is plenty to help soften the touchdown.

Short field, for an "FAA Checkride" appraoch, I pretty much just have them keep power in through final and bring it to 40° flaps and it'll come down fine.


On the fuel sump. No the belly drain is not connected to the filter/strainer. You drain the strainer via the pull handle in the oil compartment, that just pulls up a plunger at the bottom of the strainer cup and whatever is in there spits out the metal tube. The additional belly drain is just an extra drain added to the low spot of the fuel system, below the fuel shutoff valve.
 

Websterpilot

Well-Known Member
Thanks rframe, I'll play around with the settings and hopefully the school isn't too strict on how they want things done. Seems pretty relaxed so that's a good thing. I picked up ASA's Cessna 150 guide (recommended by the flight school owner,) which seems to have some good stuff in it. It's hard to track down information on these older models; the POH/Information manual seems to be pretty useless.
 
Question about instructing in 150s..
For teaching Short field takeoffs isn't it more about technique? In my opinion putting 20 degrees of flaps on takeoff seems to increase the roll and decrease climb rate.. For those of you more experienced how do you guys teach it?
 

A150K

Well-Known Member
Question about instructing in 150s..
For teaching Short field takeoffs isn't it more about technique? In my opinion putting 20 degrees of flaps on takeoff seems to increase the roll and decrease climb rate.. For those of you more experienced how do you guys teach it?
You sure about that? I don't have a C150 POH in front of me, but I seem to remember the procedure being 10 degrees if you have to clear an obstacle and no flaps otherwise.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
You sure about that? I don't have a C150 POH in front of me, but I seem to remember the procedure being 10 degrees if you have to clear an obstacle and no flaps otherwise.
This. With 10 degrees you'll shorten the ground roll slightly but lose climb performance and will not clear a 50' obstacle as soon as if you just took the slightly longer ground roll... just not enough extra horsepower in the 150 to overcome that flap drag. Basically the only time you'd use flaps is on a long sticky muddy runway with a clear departure path.
 

Inverted25

Well-Known Member
I teach power idle abeam the touchdown point but otherwise everything sounds right. 150s are a neat little plane.
 
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