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

Postby Wm.Ince » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:52 am

rgstubbsjr wrote: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?
Great little story and message.
I loved it. :)
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby SportPilot » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:04 pm

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

Postby Edgefly » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:09 pm

SportPilot,
I belong to several Aviation forums and have for several years. Let me assure you that all are subject to the "I'm AN EXPERT AND HERE IS WHY YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A DUMB AxxHOLE" kind of members.
Please be encouraged to continue your participation here and just let the blowhards spin their tale and ignore it. You have on this topic received some objective and some not so useful input and this is to be expected on such public media exchanges. There is lots of good content here for those of us interested in recreational aviation and especially the part which pertains to LSA's. Speak your piece and look for what you find useful in response. Anyone who takes a position will be subject to the occasional raking over by the "EXPERTS" but most of the participants will simply respond in a civil fashion and it is only a professional view to let it run off and utilize the forum for its' real intent. it's not necessary to defend yourself, the rest of us will understand the difference between canned growls and reasonable conduct.

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

Postby drseti » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:19 pm

+1
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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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Wm.Ince » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:44 pm

+2
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby SportPilot » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:13 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby N918KT » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:15 pm

Flocker wrote:
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?


If the 3rd class medical goes away and I am not restricted to LSA, a 4-seat Piper Cherokee, Archer, or Warrior looks like a fun plane to fly. Or if I wanted to go cheap, I could get a Cessna 150 or 152.

But if 3rd class medicals are here to stay, I am still partial for low-wing SLSA like Sportstars, RV-12s, and Zenith Zodiacs. If I wanted to buy an SLSA, I would go for a used one, preferably the earlier SLSA models from the mid to late 2000s and get a few other partners to further split the cost.

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

Postby AJChenMPH » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:31 pm

Nomore767 wrote:My first solo cross-country was from KPNE to KLNS.

Funny, my first solo cross-country was also to KLNS! :mrgreen: I flew KTTN-KLNS-KABE-KTTN...

To get back to the original question: in general, my interest still remains high in flying LSAs. Until I own my own plane, I will look for rental options that meet the mission at that particular time. So if I'm flying by myself on a VMC day, I may rent the SportCruiser that's not too far away from me (thanks to Rich for letting me know about that one), but once I get my instrument rating and my wife and I decide to go somewhere and we're on a schedule, I'll likely take an IMC-capable plane from the airport closest to us.

I've built a spreadsheet that estimates both the cost and the total time for a trip. The baseline is a C172S from the airport closest to our home, and other planes at different airports are then loaded in and compared to the baseline. Based on the destination, I get a cost estimate and a total one-way time estimate (flying AND driving), and this lets me decide what's the best option for me -- if I'm willing to give up a little bit of time in order to save some money, I can choose the slower (but cheaper) plane; if time is of the essence, then I'll chose the faster (but maybe more expensive) plane. (See attached for a screenshot...yeah, that's supposed to be "C172M", not "C712M". And I haven't included the SportCruiser yet since it's still down south for the winter, and don't know the rental rate.)

When it comes to owning my own plane, however, I recently decided that I will likely not purchase an LSA as my first plane. Right now, while flying is fun in and of itself, I'm using flying more as a means to an end in terms of time-saving. So the capabilities of an LSA doesn't meet that mission requirement right now. But an LSA is definitely under consideration for later when the flying becomes purely about the flying, and not about getting from point A to point B in the shortest amount of time possible under the majority of weather conditions.
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby Chemguy » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:01 am

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.


Your observations are interesting as I too, am looking at a 150/152 for exactly the same reasons (fly alone, etc.). I waited until late in life to earn my ppl with the hopes of purchasing an LSA upon retirement. I was desirous of a new/modern aircraft with lower operating costs and, because, renting (other than for a few hours), is very difficult. I still have my original Skycatcher sales brochure and watched as that whole program went "down". Even at the original $115,000, it would have been a stretch for me. Then, there is the fact that my wife goes "ballistic" when I talk about BRS
.
Though my health is good, purchase of a part 23 aircraft when in one's sixties is risky (my youngest brother sold his Piper due to lost medical and costs). Since, I'll be paying for my kid's college until I die, my budget, as it turned out, is not what I had hoped for, that brings in the 150/152. For the amount of flying I do, compared to LSA, the higher fuel and annual costs amortized over the next ten years or so (God willing) would be in the 20 to 30 thousand dollar range (some, as you note, offset by lower insurance and tie-down costs). Throw in a rebuild, and you are still not near the cost of a new LSA.

I, like you, am refraining from what could be an ill advised or "desperation" purchase. Believe me, your discussion is both important and pertinent as there are thousands of similar stories of folks like us. Though, now older and discouraged that maybe this whole thing has gotten away from me, I have not given up.

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

Postby SportPilot » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:05 pm

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

Postby deltafox » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:45 am

The fact is, aviation is expensive. Whether it's the cost of the airplane, the cost of fuel, or the cost maintenence it is always going to be more than expected. I have told some clients after a Discovery Flight that while they had a great time, their expectations were probably outside their budget. And we ALL have a budget. BTW, for the first time since owning her, Sally's condition inspection was over $1K. Breaks ...aka students.
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Re: What is your interest level in Light Sport flying?

Postby SportPilot » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:55 am

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

Postby MrMorden » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:35 am

Edgefly wrote:SportPilot,
I belong to several Aviation forums and have for several years. Let me assure you that all are subject to the "I'm AN EXPERT AND HERE IS WHY YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A DUMB AxxHOLE" kind of members.
Please be encouraged to continue your participation here and just let the blowhards spin their tale and ignore it. You have on this topic received some objective and some not so useful input and this is to be expected on such public media exchanges. There is lots of good content here for those of us interested in recreational aviation and especially the part which pertains to LSA's. Speak your piece and look for what you find useful in response. Anyone who takes a position will be subject to the occasional raking over by the "EXPERTS" but most of the participants will simply respond in a civil fashion and it is only a professional view to let it run off and utilize the forum for its' real intent. it's not necessary to defend yourself, the rest of us will understand the difference between canned growls and reasonable conduct.


Oh, so now you are an expert on aviation forums? :mrgreen:
Andy Walker
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Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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

Postby MrMorden » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:49 am

deltafox wrote:The fact is, aviation is expensive. Whether it's the cost of the airplane, the cost of fuel, or the cost maintenence it is always going to be more than expected. I have told some clients after a Discovery Flight that while they had a great time, their expectations were probably outside their budget. And we ALL have a budget. BTW, for the first time since owning her, Sally's condition inspection was over $1K. Breaks ...aka students.


That's one of the reasons I will probably stay with my CTSW, even if the medical stuff gets sorted and I get a Private Pilot certificate. Sure the initial buy-in on an LSA is higher than most old 172s or Cherokees, but for the price you get a newer airframe with modern avionics and a less restrictive maintenance regime.

Even on my LSA insurance, taxes, hangar fees, and maintenance eat a large chunk of money per year, to the tune of several thousand dollars. Adding Part 23 rules on top of that with an older airplane might make some aspects less expensive, but I bet it would cost more overall. Plus I get to burn pump gas in my CTSW, which saves probably $10/hr over using 100LL.

A larger cargo capacity would be nice, but in honesty a two seat airplane that travels at 120kt that can do three hour legs and carry reasonable baggage for the two people meets my mission just fine. The BRS, modern features, and cheap fuel burn all sweeten the pot even more.
Andy Walker
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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

Postby Wm.Ince » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:39 am

MrMorden wrote:That's one of the reasons I will probably stay with my CTSW, even if the medical stuff gets sorted and I get a Private Pilot certificate. Sure the initial buy-in on an LSA is higher than most old 172s or Cherokees, but for the price you get a newer airframe with modern avionics and a less restrictive maintenance regime.

Even on my LSA insurance, taxes, hangar fees, and maintenance eat a large chunk of money per year, to the tune of several thousand dollars. Adding Part 23 rules on top of that with an older airplane might make some aspects less expensive, but I bet it would cost more overall. Plus I get to burn pump gas in my CTSW, which saves probably $10/hr over using 100LL.

A larger cargo capacity would be nice, but in honesty a two seat airplane that travels at 120kt that can do three hour legs and carry reasonable baggage for the two people meets my mission just fine. The BRS, modern features, and cheap fuel burn all sweeten the pot even more.
Could not agree with you more Andy.
Flying for me is strictly recreation. Keeping operating costs reasonable will ensure I can keep doing it.
The CTSW performs my mission very well.
Bill Ince
CTSW
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator


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