The Cessna 182 vs. the Cessna 172

Brian of Brian’s Flying Blog recently posted a very detailed response to an email he received regarding whether or not the Cessna 182 (Skylane) was harder to fly that the Cessna 172 (Skyhawk). His answer: Any private pilot should be able to fly a Cessna 182 with some instructions from a instructor who regularly flies one.

In general, Brian comments that the Cessna 182 is a great plane that can carry 4 people and baggage well but depending on the weight of the passengers and baggage, it may not be able to carry a full fuel tank. Another downside he describes is the fact that the plane is a bit nose heavy which is noticeable during flaring. However, the Cessna 182 is more roomier than the Cessna 172 and Brian says he was even able to fit someone in the back who was 6′ 8″.

Brian then provides a fairly detailed evaluation of the Cessna 182 for takeoffs, speed and slowing down, landing and flares, stalls, stability and carb heat usage and hence, the post is well worth a read by any pilot who plans to rent or fly one on a regular basis.

Cessna 182 Cessna 172


8 Responses to The Cessna 182 vs. the Cessna 172

  1. brian July 30, 2012 at 18:25 #

    please send detailed evaluation of cessna 182.


  2. Kevin O'Connor November 19, 2014 at 18:26 #

    How is it that there has been less advance in the field of light aircraft than any other form of transport. Compere Formula 1 car to one of 3 years ago. Compere modern racing catamarans with the same 10 years ago. Quantum leap in performance. Even Dreamliner use composites and are hugely efficient. Yet when we look at the light aircraft we find Cessna 182,(great work horse that it is) still made from aluminium and still does 142 +/- knots. What about the efficiency of Canards, both in terms of fuel and speed, the strength to weight ratio of Carbon composites, the increased volume for lift ratio of the flying wing designs. When will designers of light aircraft embrace the futue and incorporate these things into a truly efficient performance fun cheap aircraft. Its no wonder Private pilots are a die ing breed, its all so boring doing what grand dad did.

    • Mike Morrissey January 2, 2015 at 02:21 #

      Making any structural changes to a GA aircraft other than maybe LSA is very expensive and time consuming. Why? The FAA cert process. One can do almost anything to a car as long as street legal is met. It took years and tremendous investment for the 787 which won’t break even for years.

      With an Evektor rental I use my IPad with latest FlyQ and Clarity ADS-B and could ditch all the paper (much like some airlines.) But the general use IPad is not certified and never will be….too costly and new models and software all the time. Apple isn’t interested. Android is so multi sourced …. Worse.

      If the 3rd class medical reform gets through, things may get interesting as many of us will move out of LSA back into regular GA planes. Could also include IFR in the reform.

      Structures and engines won’t change much. But would be surprised if aviation electronic tech doesn’t take off even without FAA check-off. Just keep current with the “steam gauges” for reviews.

  3. Matt March 15, 2015 at 10:36 #

    I usually fly 172s, but have logged quite some flying time in the 182, too. I agree that in terms of handling characteristics, there isn’t too much of a difference to the 172. In fact due to its heigher weight the 182 handles ‘nicer’ and also the addtional engine power makes it a better experience and a more versatile plane. What really makes the difference in my views is the greater payload ability of the 182 compared to the 172.

    What I have always wondered – don’t know if anyone of the 182 owners can comment – how do annual fixed costs (maintenance, parts, etc.) compare to the 172? When I compare prices of comparable aircraft (TTAF, age) between the 172 and 182 on a aircraft classified site like, I see that the 182 seems to be priced around $50k higher – but I havn’t been able find any Information on maintenance costs.. If similar to the 172, I would definitely prefer buying a 182.

  4. 40 year pilot July 16, 2015 at 03:22 #

    Since the 182 has 2 more cylinders as well as a constant speed prop, both operating costs and fixed costs are higher.

  5. Breanna April 16, 2016 at 17:24 #

    I have owned a couple of 172, a 172xp, a 210, a piper Cherokee 6 and a seneca, and three 182s. The 182 is my favorite by far. Expect of a base 172 to spend 36 percent more per hour on fuel…but only 10 percent more on a trip due to faster speeds. It handles great and packs a good load. Has longer legs between fuel stops and is much more stable. It can get in and out of short fields better to.
    Every thing from insurance to maintaining it to an annual costs more so add on probably 25 to 30 percent average for a 182 over a 172….if you can afford it though its certainly worth it.

  6. Staa September 15, 2017 at 22:11 #

    I fly a Wittman Tailwind W10 at 180 Mph on 7.5 gph. Fully IFR with STOL capability. It does howerver only have seats for two!

  7. Jessie January 29, 2018 at 19:44 #

    I personally prefer the C-182 over the C-172 I have flown both many times and found myself more comfortable in the Skylane.

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