Real Answers from Real Pilots

C172 or Archer?


I’ve only flown the C172 but I’ve only been in a bonanza for a low wing SE plane.

What are y’alls preferences between the C172 and archer for training. 6 on way half a dozen the other?


(Jordan Lascomb) #2

For the most part, doesn’t make much difference. But I prefer the 172 if I have to choose, for 3 reasons:

  1. I find low-wing planes much easier to land. For this reason, I think a 172 trains a better landing technique. I equate it to going from 6 pack to glass for instrument - one way is an easy transition but the other is much more difficult.

  2. Spin recovery characteristics.

  3. The views are better!



You’ll get people on both sides. I’m a Piper guy. As Jordan said they’re far easier to land but I don’t see that as a negative. The fact you can carry a few extra knots and not float down the runway like a kite allows you to get more proficient at handling crosswinds which is often many new (and old) pilot’s biggest challenge. On a far less important level I simply prefer the appearance of the Pipers. Skyhawks look like trainers, Archers don’t. Regardless they’re both fine airplanes.

As for the view it may be better looking down but I like looking up :wink:


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I have flown both the Archer and a 172, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. I for one am a Piper fan and thus lean towards the Archer. I like the low wing and the layout of the cockpit. That being said, either will do the job perfectly fine, I would not make any training choices based off of one or the other.


(Sergey Kireyev) #5

Cessna 172 Heavy gets my vote…

(Tory) #6

I’m probably bias because I have more time in the 172.


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(Tom Tolento) #7

I really enjoyed the archer during my home airport transition flights prior to starting ATP but im a fat kid so my vote is 172 mainly for a 2nd door! Can I get an AMEN! :joy::rofl::joy:

(Michael Taft) #8

All my private and Instrument was in the 172. While the Skyhawk is a mainstay I’m looking forward to the Archer. The design of the cockpit and the low wings makes it appeal more of a trainer for the airlines. Unless of course you start flying Dash-8s.

(Sergey Kireyev) #9

Ooof… too soon, man! Too soon… :joy:

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(Dorian) #10

I hate hi jacking discussions, but why is a low-wing easier to land?

I intend to train in a C172 because 1) I LOVE looking down, and 2) that lift strut provides a lot of peace of mind :wink:

I never knew they were more difficult to land though.



I do not remember the 172 being any more difficult to land. I seem to remember that a high wing aircraft floats down the runway more in a landing flare, but this can be adjusted for. I think what we really have here is a bunch of airline pilots that are used to flying low wing airplanes :slight_smile:



Low-wing creates more ground effect (aka a nice cushion). Because of that they can also be landed “flatter” which means you can kind of fly it onto the runway hence less of a transition.

This debate has been going on for decades and everyone has their preference. Both are exceptional training aircraft.

I’m more concerned that you need a strut to give you peace of mind.


(Dorian) #13

Ever since that wing broke off at ERAU last year (and after having help build four Super Cubs), I have a better appreciation of a lift strut on GA aircraft. I’ll still fly a low-wing. I was up in a Cherokee a few months ago. My preference though is a high-wing.

(Don) #14

Our location has Pipers. But I prefer the 172. Mainly the two doors and big door windows that open.


I finished my last step in the process by doing the intro flight(already have the loan and 1st class which is probably backwards lol). I took the discovery flight at the Conroe location just north of Houston, TX. I was excited to see that the location. has the majority of new Archers. I did most of my flight instruction in a 172 with steam gauges. The new Archers along with the cockpit layout and G1000 I can see I’ll get spoiled quick!

Now I can see why many like the Archer.
I will be placing the deposit for the June start date this week and will definitely knock out 3-4 writtens

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Sounds like a good plan to me. Thank you for keeping us up to date.


(Jasson) #17

quick question. if I go to ATP, can I choose the Airplane I want to fly (cessna, piper)?



You can chose which location you attend, which will determine which aircraft you fly. Contact the admissions department to see which locations have which aircraft.


(Tristan West) #19

Generally, if you’re located from Denver to west of the Rockies, you’ll be flying the 172. East of the Rockies and it’s the Archer. There are some exceptions though - I know Florida has both depending on the airport.

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