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 Mar 12, 2015 11:58 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Wm.Ince » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:54 pm

SportPilot wrote:A partnership in an LSA makes perfect sense for me for all the above reasons. I'm just not willing to part with $60,000+ to purchase by myself. I enjoy flying the SkyCatcher as much or more than any other airplane I have ever flown and that includes 40 different makes and/or models.
Out of that, any helicopter experience?
Bill Ince
CTSW
Retired Heavy Equipment Operator

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

Postby SportPilot » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:19 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Jack Tyler » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:37 am

"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."

Quite true. Which always leaves me a bit surprised that one simple path to owning an aircraft, well equipped for its mission and well maintained, isn't pursued more frequently. Namely, forming an equal equity partnership. This option is open to both those who want a newer LSA as well as those who would prefer the less expensive Part 23 aircraft, altho' we all know that the distribution of LSA a/c geographically varies greatly and so that is less an option for some than others.

If you let the perfect be the enemy of the good, then it's easy to find reasons not to seek out or create a partnership. It might not be *exactly* the right plane, or it's a bit too far from the house, or whatever. There are abundant reasons being offered in these kinds of forum discussions that are used to justify not owning when the desire is to own. I've started two partnerships, one for myself earlier in life and the other more recently on behalf of others. Both are and have been successful by any measure. And just like all the boats one sees parked in a marina, actual use is low enough that 3-4-5 partners can usually be accommodated without any significant scheduling conflicts. A partnership also need not continue until the end of one's life, since one can move 'up' or 'over' while getting into the air sooner and more regularly (and therefore more safely) than waiting for the solution to present itself. My suggestion to those of you who want an affordable way to fly - and I mean a few hundred dollars a month, all in - is to spend a little time researching this option (AOPA has much helpful info on co-ownership) and then be fair to yourself about whether this might a solution for you, at least for a while.

Just to illustrate: There has been a Grumman Cheetah 1/4 share available in my area for some time now. By any measure (share price, a/c condition, maintenance costs, etc.) it would be affordable for anyone who rents regularly. It is IFR certified, which means it provides an upgrade path for those who seek to be better pilots. It's fixed gear & fixed prop, it is well supported by both an STC holder and multiple regional Grumman businesses. Yet the owners continue to find little interest in their open share. I could offer a second example of a freshly painted Grumman Traveler with a low time engine that the owner, who's lost his medical, is considering parting out because finding a buyer has proven difficult...and his asking price was somewhere in the high $20's. One can sit on the sidelines and wish things were different or one can become an active pilot and aircraft owner. For some of you, it could be about effort and desire, not a medical NPRM or the LSA marketplace.

One added note: Apparently some folks here, who haven't owned an older Part 23 a/c, are quick to testify about how expensive older a/c are to maintain. That's a generalization that I don't find proven in my experience. As one example, my 1979 Grumman Tiger's maintenance bill, during the 3+ years I've owned it, has been a total of ~$80 to fix a brake line weep and the replacement of the vacuum pump after it exceeded it's 500 hr recommended lifespan. In fairness, on its purchase I had to spend a significant amount of money, $6K or so, to have it brought up to a very high standard, so someone buying a used a/c can build that into their purchasing decision just as I did. And yes, making the right choice initially is critical...but also feasible if one studies up a bit on the issues for a given model and enlists the help of a person truly knowledgeable in that model. I don't see maintenance costs being an across the board major cost issue among the owners I speak with, although I do find they tend to be more knowledgeable about their own aircraft since mods, upgrade paths and equipment replacement alternatives continue to evolve. Once again, my advice is not to let the perfect by the enemy of the good.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

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

Postby dalewalt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:06 am

Well, most of these responses have been in types of planes, hangar issues, airport issues, etc. Maybe I'm posting in the wrong thread... if so, I apologize.

That said: my interest level is just taking off. Unlike (it seems) all of you, I am about as newbie as you can get to flying... while I've wanted to get a license my entire life, it's taken 52 years to get to the point where I feel I can devote time, energy, and what little money I have to finally realizing my dream. I've ordered the King ground school for Sport Pilots (it should be arriving today, in fact), have talked to an instructor at a local airport (PA... outside of Pittsburgh), and plan on meeting the flying club president this weekend.

I'd love to actually get a plane one day, but that pretty much seems like a pipe dream right now. But you never know. Until then, I plan on learning as much as I can, being involved as much as I can, and generally start enjoying myself in my new pursuit. And who knows, maybe one day I too can start complaining about the lack of decent hangars for my plane :D

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

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:57 am

Welcome!

Whereabouts in the country are you?
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
FastEddieB@mac.com

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

Postby dalewalt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:04 pm

FastEddieB wrote:Welcome!

Whereabouts in the country are you?



Outside of Pittsburgh PA. (Murrysville, specifically)

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

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:02 pm

If your travels ever take you south, I'm in N GA and we could chat and maybe go up in my Sky Arrow.

Learning to fly at any age is challenging, but highly, highly rewarding!
Fast Eddie B.

Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA

FastEddieB@mac.com

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

Postby pjcampbell » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:32 pm

Cost initially, but I don't think it actually works out if you are on the way low price point of purchasing a plane (say $25k) and especially if you want tricycle gear and an electrical system.

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

Postby dalewalt » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:35 pm

I stumbled across the Sonex last night (taking a break from a ground school lesson on airspaces). To my very untrained/unpracticed eye, it looks like a pretty decent plane; with the quick-build option I should get in under $45k (depending on the engine).

I'm planning on traveling down to the AOPA fly-in June 6th; I'm hoping to get a good look at a sampling of the planes that are out there.

And until then, study, study, study.

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

Postby Jack Tyler » Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:44 am

If interested in a Sonex, be sure to find one you can sit in for at least half an hour. 'Fit' is often a disqualifier. If your mission involves going anywhere with more than a lunch pail, that too may be worth considering.

From the video & pics of AOPA's regional gatherings I've seen, I'm not sure you'll see a good cross-section of aircraft at the less expensive end of the continuum. The Sun 'n Fun gathering in Lakeland, FL in April would be a far better venue for you.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

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

Postby MrMorden » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:22 pm

dalewalt wrote:I stumbled across the Sonex last night (taking a break from a ground school lesson on airspaces). To my very untrained/unpracticed eye, it looks like a pretty decent plane; with the quick-build option I should get in under $45k (depending on the engine).

I'm planning on traveling down to the AOPA fly-in June 6th; I'm hoping to get a good look at a sampling of the planes that are out there.

And until then, study, study, study.


The Sonex is a GREAT plane. I built the fuselage and tail for one, then stopped and bought a CTSW when I realized I was three years into the build and had another 1.5-2 years left. I wanted to fly instead of build!

Jack is right, the small cockpit is a disadvantage. The designer, John Monnett, and his whole family are basically Hobbits. They designed the plane around other Shire-folk. I'm 6'1" and I fit in one, but it's tight with two people. I'd say it's not for you if you are any taller than that. It has limited load carrying (about 500lb useful load) and a 40lb baggage limit. The fuel tanks is 17 gallons, so you can plane to stop every couple of hours if you put a Jabiru 3300 in it. With the Aerovee (VW) I think you can get three hours out of it.

The upside is performance; I know of *very* few planes that perform as well on such low horsepower. At 8000ft you will see best airspeeds of 130+mph for the 80hp Aerovee and 160ish mph for the 120hp Jabiru 3300. The Aerovee is a little weak on climb and best suited to long runways and/or one person on very hot days. With the Jabiru it's like a fighter and will climb at 1000fpm+ in most conditions.

The airplane is built like a tank, very strong. It's aerobatic with +6g/-3g limits, but the factory static test wing did not deform until it reached the equivalent of 10.5g loads. If you break a Sonex you have done something very wrong or very dumb.
Andy Walker
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Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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

Postby dalewalt » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:31 am

Thanks for the info! At the risk of being labeled one of the Shire-folk, I don't think the cockpit size would be much of an issue; I'm 5'6", 173lbs; my gf is 5'5", and ??? (she'd kill me if I actually gave her weight), so together we're pushing a bit under 300.

As of now, though, actually buying/building is still in the pipe-dream stage, but it's definitely a plane I want to look at if/when.

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

Postby MrMorden » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:46 am

dalewalt wrote:Thanks for the info! At the risk of being labeled one of the Shire-folk, I don't think the cockpit size would be much of an issue; I'm 5'6", 173lbs; my gf is 5'5", and ??? (she'd kill me if I actually gave her weight), so together we're pushing a bit under 300.

As of now, though, actually buying/building is still in the pipe-dream stage, but it's definitely a plane I want to look at if/when.


The Sonex would fit you perfectly...Bilbo. :lol:

Nothing wrong with being a Hobbit...it's just hard for us taller people to fit in the planes designed for ya'll! BTW the Onex is the single seat airplane from Sonex, and they made sure it was setup for people 6'3"+ and of considerable girth. I think enough people were turned off of the small cockpit in the Sonex they wanted to make sure the newer plane had broader appeal.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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

Postby dalewalt » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:56 am

"broader" appeal. I see what you did there ;-)


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