We Flew Sonaca 200 - Rodric
After having flown the OO-SON demonstrator in 2016, I had the opportunity to once again fly on the OO-NEW pre-series machine on 24 September 2018 during Pierre Van Wetter’s tour in Switzerland.
Already during the pre-flight visit, we noticed the machine’s beautiful finish and the few external signs of airframe reinforcement compared to the demonstrator (the aim being eventually to certify the machine in order to perform upset and spin recovery exercises). This airframe reinforcement with a changeover to VLA 750 kg immediately inspires confidence in comparison to the equivalent certified 600 or 620 kg two-seaters which I usually operate. There is this feeling of robustness and safety that you find aboard a C152.
A fixed pitch propeller, a classic cockpit and improved ergonomics in comparison to the demonstrator make it a highly suitable machine for basic training.
As for the flight quality, we find the same easy aircraft handling and stability which were already noticed on the demonstrator, while maintaining a good level of agility. The control balance is extremely well done. The machine is simple to handle, stalls gently and is effective, a judicious blend. The visibility is good which contributes to safety.
Only one regret: Pierre explained to me that the EASA procedure for certifying an airframe parachute is so complex and so costly that consideration of this option has been postponed sine die for the moment.
In short, this is a very well-designed machine for training and recreational flights which has a bright future ahead of it. Since the Sonaca Aircraft design office is certified to provide solutions and improvements without lengthy administrative procedures, and the company aims to be very responsive to operators’ needs (spare parts without delays, etc.), it is also at this level that the Sonaca 200 can make the difference in relation to its competitors.
LSGY Yverdon Air Club
Member of the Committee of the Swiss association of pilot instructors ASPI