By popular demand (believe it or not), quite a few folks have messaged me regarding the Cessna 208 as I’m often found promoting this sporty aircraft. Questions varying from speeds, flap settings, weights, configurations for pattern work and point to point flights, opened my eyes that a lot of folks are starting to pick up this gem.
This tutorial will cover pattern work specifically in the Cessna 208. However, that does not limit you to the speeds and flap settings that you could use in different phases of flight on a point to point route.
The Cessna 208 is a rather simple and quick aircraft to learn. With only three (3) flap settings, two (2) of which are only used, there is nothing too complex about this aircraft.
Key Speeds & Flap Settings
|Phase of Flight||Speed||Flap Setting|
|Takeoff||Rotate at 90kts / Climb up to 105kts||Flaps 10|
|Crosswind||Minimum of 105kts / Maximum of 120kts||Flaps 10|
|Downwind||Maximum of 120kts||Flaps 10|
|Base||Maximum of 105kts / Minimum of 90kts||Flaps 30|
|Final||80kts - 90kts||Flaps 30|
|Touchdown||75kts - 80kts||Flaps 30|
For the purpose of simplicity of this tutorial, visibility was 50km , temperature was 23˚C and winds were set at 0kts. Once you have the hang of landing in 0kts winds. Slowly work your way up into stronger winds.
Tutorial Step by Step listed below:
Weight & Balance Setup
Before we takeoff, its important to set up the Weight & Balance. By doing this, you will have an easier time flying the profiles that I will have included throughout this tutorial.
With that said, take a look in the screenshot below. I have topped off the fuel tanks up to 100%. I have 1 passenger (the pilot) who in this example weighs 185lbs/84kgs
First step is down. On to the takeoff portion…
Before you takeoff, ensure the device has been calibrated which can be found in the “Pause” menu.
- Set trim to 10%
- Set Flaps to 10˚ degrees.
- Verify fuel remaining. Ensure that it is reading 100% as noted in the “Weight & Balance Setup” section.
Once you have these items set up and verified, you are ready to go. Increase throttle to 100% and wait until the airspeed increases to 90kts.
Once 90kts is reached, slowly begin your rotation. The aircraft will fly off the ground without hesitation at altitudes from 0ft MSL (sea level) up to 3000ft MSL (Mean Sea Level).
Once you have lifted off, continue increasing pitch to 10˚ degrees nose up. This will be the second bar located above the horizon line. 10˚ degrees nose up will get you in the range of 1400-1600 fpm and will provide you a nice climb speed up to your next target airspeed for the picture below.
Once you reach 105kts on your upwind, you will immediately make your turn for the crosswind/downwind. From personal experience, it is easier to make a smooth turn from the upwind to the downwind omitting the crosswind. This will and should set you up with decent spacing from the runway.
Also note the vertical speed and the indicated airspeed in the above photo. Ideally, this is what you would like to see on your upwind to crosswind/downwind turn.
Do not retract flaps. Flaps will stay at 10˚ degrees through the downwind leg
You have now rolled out on your downwind heading. I am landing on Runway 08 and the downwind heading is the opposite of that which in this case would be 260.
Fly your downwind leg at a speed no greater than 120kts. You are free to use an altitude of your choosing. In this example I chose 600ft which in the Juneau, AK area is roughly 590ft AGL as noted at the bottom of my toolbar.
Flaps are still 10˚ degrees throughout the downwind portion.
On the downwind leg, you will need to find a point somewhere on the runway where you will pull the power to 0% or idle. I like to generally pull power at the runway number or at the 1000ft marker. But be specific in where you pull the power. If you’re not specific its likely that you’ll end up flying too far past the runway or you’ll be too high on final.
Pick a point, preferably something that recognizable and something that you can repeatedly use over and over as you remain in the pattern.
Once you’ve picked a point from the downwind leg and have already reduced your power to idle, dump your flaps in to 30˚ degrees. You will be skipping over the Flaps 20 as we will not be using this flap setting.
Once you reach 105kts (sound familiar?) while on the downwind; turn base.
Note the power setting, airspeed, and flaps setting on this turn.
Pitch the aircraft accordingly so that you will have a somewhat normal descent for landing.
When in the base turn, your speed will eventually bleed off and you’ll start to get slow. Stay ahead of the power curve and catch the airspeed at 90kts before you drop below this speed.
Fly between 80-90kts on final. I typically will shoot for 85kts because this will put me in a good spot in terms of speed when touching down.
Continue flying that 85kt speed until you’re about 5-10ft above the ground at which you’ll begin to slowwwwly flare. The flare is not an abrupt movement and is smooth. Once you’re this close to the ground and at the same time as the flare, reduce the power to 0% or idle and touch down between 75-80kts.
Touch & Go: The aircraft will naturally slow down when on the runway. Maintain directional control with the rudder, retract the flaps up to 10˚ degrees, power 100% and take back off at 90kts as prescribed in the takeoff section of this tutorial.
Full Stop Landing: Maintain directional control with the rudder, apply braking action via the rudder brake and smoothly pull off of the runway.
(If wind conditions exist, it may be necessary to retract flaps while on the runway as this will reduce the lift on the wings which will apply more weight to the wheels for better ground handling.)
Note: In the Speed Pattern, you will pretty much throw out all of the above steps except for the final and takeoff portions as those speeds are still utilized. The above steps and the premise of the video was for your “Normal Pattern”.
Once you feel comfortable with this aircraft, I highly suggest using a website called “BadBadWeather”. The link for the website is below. This website is particularly useful for finding airports with the strongest winds.
I will warn you that not all airports listed on this website will be found within Infinite Flight. Majority of the ones on this website can be found in Infinite Flight, but don’t be surprised if you draw a short straw and come up with nothing.
Other than that, that’s all I’ve got for the Cessna 208. Its an incredibly fun aircraft to fly. Its the best aircraft out there if you’re looking for patterns. Airliners, jets, or cargo aircraft are not your ideal aircraft for patterns.
The Cessna 208 out performs all of those aircraft when it comes to maneuverability in the pattern. The 208 is a very agile and responsive aircraft, giving you endless hours of fun and practice.
Once you can master landing the Cessna 208 in 40kt gusting 50kts, you’ll be able to land virtually anything in any wind conditions.
Hope this helps in your piloting experience and give you another fun aircraft to fly. Its a great aircraft for the pattern and an even more fun one to take back country flying. Happy flying and watch out for wildlife on the runway.