Renting/Owneing/Flying 4-place a/c without a Medical

Here's the place to ask all of your medical questions. But don't believe everything you read!

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matthew
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Postby matthew » Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:49 pm

I've got a question here.

I've seen some references to the "recreational pilot" certificate in this conversation.

Am I wrong, or is the RP not an extremely limited rating? I believe it only allows you to fly within 50nm of the origination airport, no?

As I read some of the commentary here, it seems to say that what is being proposed is that Private Pilots with elapsed (failed?) medical can fly as Recreational Pilots?

It would seem to me you'd just be better off flying as a Sport Pilot (albeit in the lower performance aircraft).

If this is all true, what are folks trying to accomplish here?

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dstclair
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Postby dstclair » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:19 pm

The RP as originally defined in the FARs was very limited and was amended over time to allow for more privileges via endorsements. The RP with all endorsements would be similar to an SP except they could fly 180hp, non-complex planes and need a 3rd class medical. A PP and above would already have the required training so would be exempted from the endorsement requirement if they were to exercise the privileges of an RP. Wouldn't make sense to do this unless the medical requirement was dropped.

The AOPA and EAA proposal only talks of 'recreational flying' which may be something like I describe or whole different animal. Given they are angling for an exemption and not rule rewrite the easiest thing to do would be to ask for the medical requirement to be dropped from the RP. Just my opinion.
dave

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drseti
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Postby drseti » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:18 am

matthew wrote:I've seen some references to the "recreational pilot" certificate in this conversation.


The rec pilot (some pronounce it "wreck pilot") rule was such a dismal failure, because of its multiple restrictions, that even though reworked incrementally, only a few hundred such certificates were ever issued in the couple of decades since it was introduced. It's now pretty much a dead end, with Sport Pilot filling the niche it was intended to fill (with far fewer restrictions, except for the aircraft limitations -- and no required medical). What I think we'll see here is going to allow PP and above with lapsed medicals to exercise SP privileges (which they can do now, just in an LSA), but in the kind of aircraft which RP are permitted to fly. (IOW, RP aircraft under SP rules). That seems a whole lot better than getting an RP license (even if they dropped the medical requirement), but still far short of simply dropping the medical for Private pilots (which I doubt would happen in the short term, if at all).
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SSDriver
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Re: Not entirely thread drift...

Postby SSDriver » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:33 pm

Jack Tyler wrote:Flying today in America is - comparatively - amazingly inexpensive if one can shed one single trait that plagues most Americans... "trimmed"


Jack,
Your absolutely right. Aviation is the best bang for the buck these days. I often see partnership arrangements you mentioned locally as well as long as you hold a Private ticket and have 150 hours logged. Local flying clubs won't let you in the front door without 100 hours (they cite insurance rules) I can't blame them for that, if I owned a plane looking for partners I doubt I would want a new pilot in there either. But do you see those partnership scenarios for Sport Pilot's? I don't. I'm not at all trying to be a wise guy. Location could have alot to do with it. Very possible that those of us that live in the North East are just out of luck.

I absolutely love the door that the Sport Pilot ticket has opened for me. I've never enjoyed something as much and wish I'd done this 15-20 yrs ago but what good is it if there aren't airplanes to rent or partnerships? Rental on a 172 up here can be found for around $125/wet which is worth every penny in my opinion. But if your not licensed to fly it, it wont do you much good.

So from a consumer stand-point... if the LSA industry leaders are upset at the prospect of this new rule and can't get behind it. I guess smarter people than I need to brainstorm and figure out how to better market the Sport Pilot culture and make airplanes available or what choice do folks have but to move over to something else? While all that's being decided all we new guys can do is continue to rent the very few that are available and build hours.

I can only go by what I read or pick up on a podcast but it certainly seems like there alot more LSA's in the South, namely Florida. Has that been your experience?

Take Care,
Drew
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Jack Tyler
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Postby Jack Tyler » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:14 am

Drew, you're describing a situation - lack of LSA rental a/c and available shares in LSA co-owned a/c - that exists in many parts of the country, as described often on this forum and elsewhere. 'Booting up' this new industry was going to be an incremental, iterative process in any event, but my take is that two factors have slowed it more than was expected: a lousy, persistently weak economy (wherein even those with plentiful financial resources become wary of spending) and the resistance of flight schools. The resistance stems in part from the small number of SP student pilots, and in part because there's a financial penalty for them to instruct to a shorter curriculum after purchasing another training a/c. Bottom line: What you're experiencing isn't unusual and is, from what I can tell, only going to change slowly in many areas of the country over the years to come.

So my advice is to consider establishing your own partnership. It will take some time to find potential partners, but the local flying schools might be able to help identify both SP pilots & student pilots as well as PP's that might be looking to own their own a/c. IN addition, you can use AOPA's free Partnership Program ( http://www.aopa.org/aircraftpartnership/ ) and take it one step beyond registering by directly approaching (via their messaging system) other participants who seem to have flying goals compatible with LSA rules. (Remember: AOPA membership is free to student pilots for a 6-month period).

Some capable if basic S-LSA a/c can be purchased new by a group of 3, 4 or 5 co-owners for $15K-$20K. (See e.g. the AvWeb video on the Aerotrek: http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/exclusi ... 342-1.html ). And I'm reminded of the used LSA's that were being sold at the Sebring LSA Expo I attended in January, the reason being that too many LSA's were initially purchased by flight schools and as demo a/c. Obtaining insurance will be initially challenging but you may also find you have some allies to help you - e.g. the retailers/distributors of the a/c you are considering purchasing, your SP license completion, and your willingness to take additional transition training for a specified number of hours after its purchase.

I realize we're still talking about a sizable investment and that a partnership isn't for everyone. But my point is that, if one is willing to be proactive and also thinks this relatively affordable option is worth pursuing, there are a lot of resources available to 'make it happen'. (For lots more on this, and a sample Co-Ownership Agreement that allows one to see how such an arrangement might work, visit: http://www.aopa.org/members/files/guides/multiple.html )
Jack
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shasta
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Postby shasta » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:08 am

Jack I agree that flying can be a lot more affordable that most people think. You are correct that the lack of rentable LSA’s is a big drawback right now in most places. I was very excited about the sport pilot program until I sat back and really started to figure out how all this was going to work for me. In the perfect world I would do my sport pilot training, with a CFI who could do private training too, but for me that would cost about $50 more an hour for the sport training and a half an hour further drive to the airport. I am looking at less than $2000 more to just go ahead and get my private and will have 25-30 more hours of training when I am done. I am budgeting for 60 hours but hope I can do it in about 50 because I have a few hours solo. I hope I still remember a few things.

Around here you can rent 152’s for $80 wet and 172’s for $90-100 all day long. One club south of me has a 172 for $80 if you buy 20 hours at a time. Another flying club here has a full glass, 180HP 172 for $116. In the end lack of options is pretty much pushing me out of the sport pilot training at the present time. The cheapest place here I can find a rentable LSA is only $85 an hour but really can only use it on Sundays and then only when previous students don’t want to use it too. I am afraid that if I got my sport license I would not fly enough.

As far as LSA’s I think I would probably just opt for an AB LSA qualified. The link you provided was very nice but you are still looking at 75k for an airplane. There are lots of Avid’s and Kitfoxes out there, with 912’s and similar performance numbers, for around 30k and fairly low hours, way less if you want to take your chances with a 2-stroke. Some of the airplanes have even been converted to trigear. You do have to be careful because many have added in flight adjustable props but many have not too. Sure it may not be as nice as a new airplane but still would be plenty of fun and I don’t think you would lose a ton of money if you ever decided to sell it. You can still get a partner or two and your costs would be pretty minimal.

So far my plan is to start training in a month or so. After I am done I will either keep renting or try to buy into a partnership. Most likely I will have to keep renting until I have enough hours someone will allow me to be in a partnership. I also want to take some tailwheel training and see if that is something I would be comfortable with. Ultimately I would love to get my own airplane but first I really need to get some flight time and decide if that would even be practical.

By the way Jack I love your link to your sailboat. Funny for a kid who grew up in the mountains I have always been drawn to the sea.

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zaitcev
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Postby zaitcev » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:35 pm

shasta wrote:The cheapest place here I can find a rentable LSA is only $85 an hour (. . .)

OK, that's the cheapest one. What about more expensive places?

shasta
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Postby shasta » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:19 pm

zaitcev wrote:OK, that's the cheapest one. What about more expensive places?


Well I only know of three places around the Elk Grove/Sacramento area that rent. One place has a Sting Sport for $85. There is another place that has a Sport Star for $90-100. I know for flight training it is $90 but I am not sure what he charges for the rental, only that he will rent it out. There is also another place in Lincoln California that charges $105 for a Tecnam P2004 for rental and $100 for training. I believe that they have a couple of airplanes but I am not completely sure. I know of one other place that trains in a Rans6 and charges $125 for an instructor and airplane but I have no idea if he rents that plane out.

As far as flight training two places, sport pilot only, are $125 for instructor and airplane. One is $150, also sport pilot only. The last one is $160 an hour but can do private training also. To contrast that the local university flying club charges a little under $80 for a 152 and $96 for a 172. Their instructors get $32.

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t always believe that just because it is cheaper it is better and I would gladly pay a little more for better training. Let’s face it I might have my daughter with me. I am guessing that the flying club instructors are just trying to build hours for something better. I would imagine that at $32 they are making less than most guys waiting tables at the end of the year. One guy giving sport pilot lessons looks like he is basically just financing his hobby. I have heard very good things about both places though.

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zaitcev
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Postby zaitcev » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:21 pm

I'm just asking to see what the range is. I used to be based out of TCY, which is some 50 nm south from you. I still have a house in the area.

Out here we still have ONE (1) LSA rental in the whole state, the nmsportaviation.com, $99/hr wet. I am current in that and in fact I flew it just last Saturday to airshow at TCC.

I also learned that before NM Sport Aviation, there was an outfit called Community Aviation, that operated an Evektor SportStar. Unfortunately, they were based in Farmington, NM. It used to be a triving GA hub, but it gradually withered and essentially collapsed during this recession. FBOs closed, planes rust at edges of ramp. They could not find renters and closed down. Now there's a 225 TTAF&E airplane for $72k at Barnstormers.

California is bound to have a wider selection, even now. You're so lucky, as an SP, even with all the taxes.

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Postby shasta » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:02 pm

I was in Tracy the other day and almost stopped by the airport there. It is really too far to go though. I see they have a Skylark there for $69 but I am sure that is without fuel. Two of the places I listed were in Lodi too so not too far from Tracy.

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drseti
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Postby drseti » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:27 pm

shasta wrote:I see they have a Skylark there for $69 but I am sure that is without fuel.


That actually sounds about right for a dry Hobbs rental. My fuel consumption runs $28/hour (assuming you don't firewall it -- if you fly at max cruise, that goes up to $36.40/hr). Assuming max fuel consumption (which is pretty much the way pilots fly when they rent wet :wink: ), that would come to $105.40/hr wet Hobbs, which is pretty much on par.
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bshort
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Postby bshort » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:02 am

I don't think that $69 Skylark is flying anymore. It was pretty well used and getting a little rough around the edges. Havn't been in that plane or around KTCY since late 2010 though. And it was $69 dry.

Windknot
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Has there been any more clarification on this?

Postby Windknot » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:17 am

The conversation got a little skewed (to which I will add my .02 worth as well at the end) but I was wondering if there has been any new or revived discussion about the proposal?

If there were so few actual Recreational tickets ever issued, why would so much effort be put in place to get the few exemptions?

Does the proposal suggest that a former Class III medical holder, can fly their 4 place, >180hp etc airplane under revised "REC" pilot standards?

I guess I'm a little confused.

As far as the rest of the debate, as a SP wannabe, I'd GLADLY pay the extra to train with a PP CFI....in a 4 seater etc. - I'm 5'8" tall and weigh 250# and wear a size 50/52 sport coat. I've been that size for half of my 45 years. God built me short and extra wide. Suggestions that I "just lose weight" dont really work for me.

There are almost NO LSA for rent in Michigan period. Finding one with an extra-wide cockpit.....yeah right. There's lots of weight shift, PPC, former ultralight buggies out there, but even still, the useful load on those is so low that I've got to find a CFI that weighs under 125#. Then add in that the SP examiner in the area (I've been warned) is over 220# himself - so....where the heck do I find a plane to rent? Put me in a 172 and I'm golden!!!!

And lets face it - buying a Jab, or CTLS (even in 4-way partnership) is still roughly the cost of just buying a used 172....that's if I could find 3 other people with the coin and the desires to own and fly a SP plane.

Jeeze....I think I'll just take up golf!!!
Early time Sport Pilot Student after 40 years of dreaming!!!! Now I need to find a plane I fit in!!!

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dstclair
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Postby dstclair » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:38 am

Filed with FAA around March 20. Actual proposal: http://www.eaa.org/news/2012/petition_for_exemption.pdf

The easiest way to figure out what you can/cannot do under this exemption is to look at the priviledges of a Recreational Pilot along with the added endorsements (cross country, airspace, etc.).
dave

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drseti
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Re: Has there been any more clarification on this?

Postby drseti » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:44 am

Windknot wrote:Does the proposal suggest that a former Class III medical holder, can fly their 4 place, >180hp etc airplane under revised "REC" pilot standards?


Sort of. If you are already a licensed pilot, Private or above, and the proposal is adopted by the FAA, then you will be allowed to let your medical certificate lapse, and fly under the Rec pilot rules. This does nothing to help the Private Pilot wannabe, who would still need to be able to pass a 3rd class medical exam in order to get licensed -- and then could let the medical lapse. As the proposal is written, if you're a Sport Pilot wanting to upgrade to Private, you'll still need a medical (which you can then let lapse after you get licensed).

I guess I'm a little confused.


Don't feel bad, Knot; we all are. :wink:

I'm 5'8" tall and weigh 250# and wear a size 50/52 sport coat. I've been that size for half of my 45 years. God built me short and extra wide. Suggestions that I "just lose weight" dont really work for me.


Certainly sounds to me as though you were designed for Cessnas and Cherokees! LSA isn't right for everyone, and nobody should imply otherwise.

Let's hope, for your sake, that the proposal goes through (and that you can pass that initial medical exam, and get licensed).

There are almost NO LSA for rent in Michigan period.


That problem is not unique to Michigan. :(

Jeeze....I think I'll just take up golf!!!


Now, don't give up so easily. Golf is a poor substitute for flying.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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