What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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SportPilot
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby SportPilot » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:51 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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drseti
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby drseti » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:10 am

Nomore767 wrote:.
I've a couple of longer trips planned to PA when the weather improves


Howard, I hope one of those trips will be to Lock Haven. Phone or email me in advance so we can coordinate schedules. Don't forget our upcoming breakfast May 3, and our Sentimental Journey fly-in June 16-20.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
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deltafox
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby deltafox » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:56 am

1) On airports: I have found that a Pilot's Organization at the airport makes a difference. It can be a flying club (with a jointly owned airplane) but doesn't need to be. Having an "Association" where the tenants regularly meet to discuss issues with other pilots, the airport manager and the airport authority keeps everyone on the same page. Both sides can see the value in General aviation being healthy at this airport and better understand the various points of view.
2) On Mission: it took me awhile to define my own mission. LSA is not for everyone. "Big" Americans do not do well with the 1320 MTOW limitation. An "ex-IFR" pilot needs time to acclimate to VFR only flying. Flying without the medical means no night flying. But I think it is impossible to find one airplane that satisfies 100% of MY mission requirements. Sally is a good compromise for ME.
3) On activity: Winter in the Northeast is horrendous this year. Ice storms, wind storms, snow storms have all limited my flight time. Tomorrow is forecast to be blow 0°F. It is just so much harder to fly in icy cold conditions. Even so, I've done a few flight reviews, discovery flights and started a new student. ...and I read a lot of forums. (I also just completed my biannual eFIRC).
Dave

Nomore767
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:38 pm

drseti wrote:
Nomore767 wrote:.
I've a couple of longer trips planned to PA when the weather improves


Howard, I hope one of those trips will be to Lock Haven. Phone or email me in advance so we can coordinate schedules. Don't forget our upcoming breakfast May 3, and our Sentimental Journey fly-in June 16-20.


Paul,

Will certainly keep you in mind. I used to live in Bucks County and that's where the family is. I'd like to re-visit some old haunts. My first solo cross-country was from KPNE to KLNS. I also did a lot of learning flying over south NJ. I kept a plane at Flying-W and got my PPL at the one-time Burlington County airport.


On the topic of Cessna 150/152s….I instructed in them for a time when Ronson Aviation got the Mercer County Communit College contract. The 150 is cozy no doubt but an honest well built and reliable airplane, If you're an aviator and respect it's limitations, like you would with all airplanes, it will serve you well.

I regret forgoing on buying a friend's really well kept 150 several years back. For $25k thinking back it was a steal. Never a trainer and he really looked after it. One summer I went with him to a country airport and we had lunch. He had filled up on the cheap gas whilst I was having a pee and so it was an interesting max weight take-off. It struggled to climb and that was when he said he probably shouldn't have refueled which I didn't know he had. After a few minutes we established some altitude safety and continued but it was a lesson on it's limits.

My RV-12 has performed much better than I anticipated it would before I bought it. At 5300 rpm I routinely get 123KTAS at 4,8 gph. There's an excess of power and it climbs really well.
My 'mission' has always been about keeping it simple. My interest in the refurbished 152s that Aviat produces in conjunction with AOPA I believe is an excellent idea as there are plenty of airplanes that would get a new life and provide a club or owner genuinely cost effective flying in a known product. Yes, you can always get STCs etc and modify but I think as they stand they're a great airplane for the occasional flyer to own and operate cheaply.
I'm not saying I wold definitely buy one, as it wouldn't compete with my RV-12's performance, but as an ownership plane it competes well on costs and there are so many more options on maintenance than with the Rotax. That said, Rotax expertise is expanding and it's really fantastic little engine.

Looking to the future I'm optimistic about the technology, light sport leading the charge in producing new and exciting airplane. My biggest beef is with the 'can't do' attitude of parts of America that just don't seem interested in providing the infrastructure to support aviation and GA growth. The posts here which suggest that it's not all bad are very encouraging. Some places seem to just 'get it' and others, not at all.
I have to say there places not that far way from me which would be great. I just can't make the two-hour drive each way work.

There are a couple of air parks that want me….but they're a lot like a marriage. You buy the hangar-home you buy all the politics of the airpark community. One that wants me has had more than it's share of 'issues'. Living off airport but close seems to me to be a better choice than buying into the airpark. Either way it involves moving house and that's not easy to justify to my wife. I'm going to pester the current airfield manager a bit more. There's loads of space to build. Right now he's involved with a project putting up fencing to keep deer off the airport and I'd bet where this year's budget has been spent.

Talking of waiting for the FAA to announce something positive…I thought they were going to do it this month? Again…what's with the 'can't do' attitude in America anymore?

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:02 pm

SportPilot wrote:I guess I need to lay off the boards for a while. I'm getting frustrated at all the experts that have to tell you why you're wrong no matter what you post. I have 100's of hours in C150's. I can buy a C150 for 1/4 the price of a used LSA. I usually fly about 200nm at the most or a couple 200nm legs. For the difference in price, I can leave 12 minutes sooner. I can tie it down outside and wouldn't need in insure it (other than liability). My wife doesn't fly, so I'm either by myself or with my sister who is slim and trim as is my wife. Useful load is not an issue for me. If I needed to go far and fast, I would get a medical and buy something more capable or fly my friends Mooney. It would be good if people would remember that we all have a different perspective, different backgrounds, different experience levels, etc. What makes sense to one of us might not make sense to another.


Analyzing your own personal 'mission' is key to having a positive ownership experience. For you the C150/162 airplane seems to be what you want and what would work out best. certainly, just about every mechanic at every airport can work on one and parts are plentiful.

One point about a refurbished Aviat 152 is that an owner gets a zero-timed well restored airplane that would offer great resale value. If your finance payments, hangar/tie-down, gas, oil etc are equal or less than what you pay to rent then you have a better deal in my book. If you have to eventually resell as you age or a medical issue cause it, it would be easier to sell. Running an older airplane into the end of it's life is okay if you don't mind the time and expense lost fixing something unexpected. A hangar neighbor went flying last week and came back reporting his vacuum system had gone on his old 172. he was very frustrated as he'd just been down for several months with cylinder issues. Just saying.

You'll always hear a variety of opinions on the boards. And you know what they say about opinions. Manythough will offer food for thought and help you handle your decisions whatever they are.

Nomore767
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Nomore767 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:14 pm

zaitcev wrote:Cessna 150 does not have anywhere near the typical LSA's performance. As I pointed it out in this forum several times, it's not only excuriatingly slow, but it's essentially a solo airplane. The fact is, if I and my wife get into a 150, we can only take fuel for 40 minutes (legally, e.g. without overgross). But if we load into a Remos GX, we can fly from Albuquerque, NM to Denver, CO non-stop -- and take baggage enough for an overnight stay.

I came very close to buying a 150 out of sheer financial desperation (even put down a deposit for one), and I became somewhat familiar with them. I consider my escape fortunate.

A 172 has a performance that exceeds that of most LSAs. Although a CTLS is still faster than most 172s, a 172 has much greater payload, so it's a wash: you can take spare underwear for more overnights.


So did you buy a CTLS instead? If so how are you enjoying the LSA experience?

I did a couple of lessons in a CTLS whilst checking out Light Sport flying. It was my first experience and it took a bit of getting used to it. I found the cockpit decals all peeling off and the school environment was giving it a beating. I thought the cockpit was a bit helicopter-like and I wasn't used to the handle for the brakes.
It had a BRS but the CFI seemed worried about accidental deployment so made a big deal of keeping the pin in. Once I got used to it I found it did grow on me.
When I went to get checked out in a Remos GX which had similar features to the CTLS it really helped.

I still think that if your mission is for local, nice day, solo flying….a nice C150/152 is still a good choice.

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:45 pm

SportPilot wrote:I guess I need to lay off the boards for a while. I'm getting frustrated at all the experts that have to tell you why you're wrong no matter what you post. I have 100's of hours in C150's. I can buy a C150 for 1/4 the price of a used LSA. I usually fly about 200nm at the most or a couple 200nm legs. For the difference in price, I can leave 12 minutes sooner. I can tie it down outside and wouldn't need in insure it (other than liability). My wife doesn't fly, so I'm either by myself or with my sister who is slim and trim as is my wife. Useful load is not an issue for me. If I needed to go far and fast, I would get a medical and buy something more capable or fly my friends Mooney. It would be good if people would remember that we all have a different perspective, different backgrounds, different experience levels, etc. What makes sense to one of us might not make sense to another.


I know I'm the last person you want to hear from, but please read my response. Nowhere in Ziatcev's post does he say the Cessna 150 is not right for you, or does he tell you that you're wrong. All he does is offer his opinion. Personally I don't agree with his opinion. Based on sheer numbers the LSA that he mentioned are not typical LSA aircraft. There are far more LSA aircraft that are slower than the Cessna 150 than there are faster.

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:50 pm

SportPilot wrote:Thanks. I really need to resist the urge to buy something now and wait until the FAA announces something. If they let us fly retracts (which I doubt), I'll be back in the Mooney. If my wife flew, it would be a different situation, but since she doesn't, I can't see putting a lot of money into a toy that only I can enjoy.


There are more ways for your wife to enjoy your flying than going with you.

My wife really enjoys when I'm out flying.

Because if I'm out flying, I'm not around to bother her. :D

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby SportPilot » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:39 pm

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dstclair
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby dstclair » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:51 pm

FYI. There's starting to be a pretty healthy used LSA market in the $60-70K range for 2007's and earlier.
dave

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby SportPilot » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:36 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

3Dreaming
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:39 pm

SportPilot wrote:If the FAA wasn't getting close to announcing something, I would probably go ahead and find a SkyCatcher. Since they are probably getting close, I need to wait. Best case scenario for me would be to rent, lease, or purchase 50 percent of my friend's M20C. He already said he would be amenable to one or the other of those options. I leased 50 percent for about 10 years when I still had a medical and it worked out great for both of us.


You know you could pick up an all metal Luscombe LSA for just a little more than the average Cessna 150. There are a few on Barnstormers right now.

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Flocker » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:48 am

SportPilot wrote:When you start talking about a $100,000 purchase price, the C150 is WAY DOWN on my list of potential airplanes. As a matter of fact, at that price, I would rather have a really nice SkyCatcher.


What would your top 3 choices be at that price point if the 3rd class medical goes away and you're not restricted to LSA?

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby rgstubbsjr » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:26 am

Since 1964, I've flown just about everything including commercial jets, warbirds, 2 tours in F-4D/E in SEA. I still have my medical, I still fly over 100 hours a year.

With a few exceptions, almost all my time is in Light Sport aircraft. They are fun, they are agile, they are cheap to fly, and they suit my mission of going out and boring holes in the sky, sightseeing, or flying out to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Unless it's absolutely necessary, if it means IFR, I don't go. I just don't want to have to work that hard. If I absolutely have to, I borrow something that is good in IMC. A couple of the Light Sport planes I fly have complete IFR panels, so I can practice for hours for peanuts.

As the kids say these days. "The haters are gonna hate." But given the opportunity to fly something, new with good performance, that can carry two people and full fuel, or some 40 year old rebuild, with no performance, that is over gross with 2 people and a full load of fuel, it's an easy choice. At least for me it is.

Sometime soon, I may have to break down and buy a plane, because I'm outlasting all my compatriots. When I do, it will be a Light Sport. Will it still be flying in 50 years and bring a tear of nostalgia to the flyboys of the future? I doubt it, but the plan all along has been to die in the plane :wink: , so who cares?

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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Jack Tyler » Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:34 am

Dave, it also helps that you - like me - live in two of the three states with the largest pilot populations. That's one reason I'm so impressed when flying out west. Population densities are so low out in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Montana & Wyoming - and correspondingly, the pilot numbers - that it's remarkable a county or city chooses to operate a small airport. And yet some of our best airport experiences are out there. The Montana Pilots Association attempts to place a courtesy car at even the smallest unattended airports, which is then accessed via a combo lock on the tiny FBO building along with a sign above the lock that reads something like 'Squawk 1200' or 'Unicom'. A number of these airports offer some kind of pilot shelter since hiking and camping are part of the lifestyle out there. Bozeman International is I believe the most active commercial aviation airport in the state, yet it has a beautiful shelter, complete with large covered patio deck, BBQ with tables and chairs, large restrooms with hot/cold showers, and a grassy area to tie down and pitch the tent. Helena has a bunk house that includes all the amenities you'd expect to find and a place to sleep overnight in a bed with fresh linens. When the USAF recently proposed tripling the size of the Powder River MOA, the entire aviation community of airport managers, pilots, the state aeronautics board and even the Governor cooperated in proposing alternative rules that were more workable for civil aviation. That signals to me that there's more of a 'we' than a 'them vs. us' orientation to aviation there. (Unfortunately, none of them were accepted as the USAF writes & conducts the EIS and then the deciding authority is the Sec of the Air Force. See how nice that works. Same thing is about to happen in Florida's Panhandle where state forest roads will become landing strips for Osprey a/c full of 'operators'. Mind your walk to the privy in the middle of the night...).

I guess my point is that there's lots to whine and wring our hands about BUT the country is large enough and an aviation culture sustained enough that there are highly satisfying experiences available to we pilots, no matter where we fly. Still, part of the local scene that distresses us as pilots and a/c owners can be changed if we were to roll up our sleeves.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
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