Transitioning to a 182RG

This shorthand list is designed to highlight key differences and concepts for pilots transitioning from a 172 to a 182RG (retractable gear). Some items may be specific to a particular example of the 182RG or wishes of the owner and/or club.


  • Ensure gear selector is in down position, prior to turning on power [yes, the “squat switch” on the nose gear should keep you from retracting them accidentally on the ground, but why push your luck?]
  • Retractable tie down rings on strut
  • No fuel steps (fuel cap is further out wing anyway) = need small ladder to check (there’s one kept in luggage area)
  • Oil dipstick – nonlinear markings; must be wiped down for accurate readings
  • Oil filling is separate (on top of cowling)
  • Check area of tire and landing gear wells for obstructions (a bright flashlight is helpful during the day)
  • Check switches in each wheel well for damage or loose wires (flashlight)
  • Check area of main gear actuators (pivot points) for leaks/damage (flashlight)
  • Check back of prop for oil leaks related to prop governor
  • Check that prop blades can’t be rotated by hand
  • Air intake/filter is on pilot’s side of cowling
  • Two static ports to check near firewall – one on each side (second set on each side of empenage for autopilot altitude sensing)
  • You can’t get to elevator and rudder cables to check tension
  • Electrically powered hydraulic pump located between pilot and copilot footwells – you can check fluid level if there’s reason to believe there is a leak


  • Electric trim requires both halves of switch on pilots left yoke top to be moved (forward = nose down). Know where the trim off switch is (top center of console) in case of runaway trim
  • Fuel pump – tested before start by pressure rise, then turned off, unless needed for indicated low fuel pressure (emergency)
  • Cycle prop control during runup (until noticeable rpm drop); notice 1) manifold pressure rise, 2) slight oil pressure drop
  • Gear selector must be pulled gently out in order to raise or lower selector
  • Normal takeoff – raise gear after positive rate of climb established and there is no usable runway left
  • At level off, reduce power, then rpm; when adding power – increase rpm, then power
  • My typical approach: 90 kts into pattern (10 degrees of flaps + gear down); 80 kts on base or 1-2 mile final (20 degrees flaps); 70 kts on short final (40 degrees flaps); I use gear extension to help slow to 90 well before pattern entry or even at FAF when IFR (I try to slow well below gear extension speed before extending). Yes – in an engine out situation you might then want the gear back up to extend glide, but gear up landings are _much_ more common than engine failures
  • GUMP – Gas (both), Undercarriage (gear down green + visible gear), Mixture (appropriate to altitude, but generally full rich near sea level), Prop (forward/high rpm); some add S (seatbelts and switches)


  • Pitch forces are heavier than on typical trainer aircraft; keep the airplane in trim to reduce effort and avoid nose heavy landings that can damage gear
  • 40 degrees flap + idle = 1000+ fpm descents = can be difficult to arrest descent and time properly; use power longer into final or delay use of 40 degrees
  • Small tires, higher tire pressure, heavier weight = grabby brakes that are easy to flat spot tires; plan ahead to minimize use of brakes at speed and apply cautiously
  • Rotating collar on gear indicator lights allows you to dim them at night; that setting during the day may make it difficult to see the indicator; if you don’t get a green “gear down” indication, try rotating the collar or replacing bulb
  • Fuel tanks are rubber bladders – can dry out and crack then leak, so fill tanks after flight
  • Rudder trim – don’t adjust on the ground

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