Best LSA for training?

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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chesapeaketechie77
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Best LSA for training?

Postby chesapeaketechie77 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:11 am

I'm getting back into flying and would like some thoughts from everyone as to what are some good LSA's for training? I would be transitioning from a C150 / 152 and a TB9 Tampico.

I had a chance to fly a Tecnam Sierra and wanted to get some thoughts on how other LSA's fly compared to it? How does it compare to the Eaglet, RV12 and other similar LSA's?

Thanks very much!

Merlinspop
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby Merlinspop » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:50 am

It's very hard to identify any single airplane as "best" for your needs, so I won't. But I will offer a few things to consider:

- All three planes you listed are tricycle gear, so you may want to stick with that.
- All three have toe brakes and nose wheel steering. A few LSAs offer a hand brake that activates both wheels, which would be very foreign to you. Direct steering of the nose wheel is what you're used to, although it really doesn't take much time to get the feel for using differential braking for ground ops. But still, of you want to stay in your comfort zone in that regard, it's something to consider.
- You list both high- and low-wing aircraft, so you may not have a real preference there.

Unless you're buying your own to train in, availability might be THE main consideration. If you're looking to buy your own, then I'd suggest you try to get some time in as many models as you can. Only you can decide what feels best for you. If it were me, my initial short list would be Carbon Cub/Sport Cub, Legend Cub, RV12, and SportCruiser (not necessarily in that order). Half the fun is in the picking...so have fun!
- Bruce

MackAttack
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby MackAttack » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:33 am

You will find that the main limitation is what aircraft that flight schools have available ... there are relatively few flight schools that offer choices in the LSA department. Of course, when buying one, you have all the choices. So the main issue is whether you plan to train in a rental or buy a plane for your own training (the subject of another and very extensive thread). In general, LSA rental availability is relatively scarce ...

chesapeaketechie77
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby chesapeaketechie77 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:57 pm

I'm looking at regaining proficiency after not flying for a number of years and rental rates in my area (MD / DC / VA) seem quite steep. LSA's are renting for $130/hr. I currently have my PPL but will be flying under Sport Pilot rules due to some prior medical issues that are resolved but may cause my 3rd class medical to be very expensive. Thus I'm looking into an LSA for the time being.

Most of my flying would be local training flights and the occasional cross country. I'm thinking I'll fly between 60-80 hours per year and would like to get some thoughts on which would the better option?

Option 1: Rent
Rental Rate: $130/hr wet
Insurance: $1200/yr

Cost @ 60 hrs = $130 x 60 = $7800 + $1200 = $9000

Option 2: Flying Club
Rental Rate: $55/hr wet
Buy In: $5000
Monthly Dues: $300

Year 1 Cost @ 60 hrs = $55 x 60 = $3300 + $5000 + $3600 = $11900
Year 2 Cost @ 60 hrs = $3300 + $3600 = $6900

Option 3: Buy Plane / Leaseback
Purchase Price = $60k / $650/mo for 10 years

Gross Rev = $120/hr
FBO Cut = $24/hr
Fuel = $25/hr
Reserve = $20/hr
Net Rev = $51/hr
Annual Insurance = $4500
Tiedown = $1200

Low Estimate 250 hrs/yr
$51/hr * 250 = $12750 - $4500 - $1200 = $7050 annual net proceeds
$7050 - $7800 = $-750 annual cash flow

Mid Estimate 350 hrs/yr
$17850 - $4500 - $1200 - $7800 = $4350 annual cash flow

High Estimate 500 hrs/yr
$25500 - $4500 - $1200 - $7800 = $12000 annual cash flow

Thanks everyone for your input.

Merlinspop
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby Merlinspop » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:31 pm

Where are you located (more specifically than MD/DC/VA... that's a big area)? I live near Charles Town, which is now sort of the outer suburbs of the DC Metro area (commute into downtown DC every day...uggh!). Don't know if you've talked to them yet, but the big flight school that has locations in Leesburg, Manassas and one or two other places does have some LSAs in their fleet (that's the good news) BUT they require a medical in order to rent them (they say it's an insurance driven requirement).

I don't know of an LSA club around here, other than one that has a J3. If you know of one, let me know who they are, please!

If you went with the buy/leaseback option, where would you be looking to do the leaseback?
- Bruce

foresterpoole
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby foresterpoole » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:42 pm

Let me add 2 cents in here: not all Technam's have toe brakes. The P-92 Super Echo (similar to the Eaglet) has a hand brake as do some P2002 Sierra's. I believe that the toe brakes were optional not standard. I started a few hours in a 172, and got used to the toe brakes, the hand brake was a big change for me. In my case availability was the factor, only one plane in a 100 mile radius so the Technam P-92 it is! The P-92/Eaglet has a Gottinga 398 airfoil for better handling. The Sierra has a laminar airfoil which is better for higher speed cruising (and that is relative, because speed and LSA are not synonymous). These two airfoils will behave slightly differently under similar circumstances so your experience may differ, the P-92 I fly is very hard to stall, and really gets "mushy" and does not have a definitive "clean brake" during power off maneuvers. I've heard the P2002 has a more defined stall, but I've never flown one. The Rotax 912 that is in most of the LSA's has basic controls, no mixture and the P-92 I fly does not have a carb heat option either. There are some drawbacks to the Technam: flaps in the Technam's are not set and forget like a 172 which has detentes and labels, you have to hold the switch and watch the indicator and flaps themselves to judge how much are being deployed so you can't set the flaps easily. In my case it's palm, thumb and two fingers on the throttle and two fingers working the flap switch, takes some getting used to and don't even ask about short field landings, work the stick, work the throttle, pull up the flaps, and brake, all with two hands is almost impossible until you get the hang of it. Then there is the high vs low wing, not going to get into that.
Ed

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zaitcev
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby zaitcev » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:59 pm

The P-92/Eaglet has surprising great glide ratio and may take a bit of speed discipline to force it on the ground, even more than in C172. Systems are somewhat different and need studying, for example separate fuel valves. Other than that, I didn't notice anything surprising.

Sierra is a capable little airplane that's certified for IFR in Europe. Sadly it's heavy for an LSA. Flies fine, no complaints.

RV-12, I dunno. Ask at VAF forums, I guess. I think RV-12 has a castering nosewheel, like Tiger or Cirrus. Or Skycatcher, even. So it's not like a typical CT or GX, which have hard steering like Piper PA-28/Cherokee/Archer.

I haven't yet been in an LSA that required a special caution. Just fly it to its numbers and you should be fine. Some have benign quirks. For example the cowl shape on GX is somehow deceptive and makes everyone to land sideways at first (myself included). There is nothing on the nose for the eye to latch onto. I have to remind myself to align more to the right before every touchdown. On school airplanes, right tire always wears out first.

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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby roger lee » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:34 pm

The real answer is any of them.
Most learn in all kinds of planes and they did just fine.
You will adapt to that plane just like anyone else has in history to whatever plane they started in.
Roger Lee
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(520) 574-1080 (Home) Try Home First.
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foresterpoole
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby foresterpoole » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:35 pm

I'll agree that the P92/Eaglet has a great glide! I once forgot to put in full flaps on final and the instructor let me try to land it with only 15° in not the full 30°. Got it to come down, but way past the numbers. I had a good 20 knot headwind gusting higher the last time I went up indicated airspeed was 60 on final, ground speed on the GPS was 30-40, it almost felt like I was floating in place!
Ed

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drseti
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby drseti » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:01 pm

zaitcev wrote: the cowl shape on GX is somehow deceptive and makes everyone to land sideways at first (myself included). There is nothing on the nose for the eye to latch onto. I have to remind myself to align more to the right before every touchdown.


Pete, the secret is not to even look at the nose. Instead, align the plane so that the runway center line looks straight, and is coming between your legs. Then, hold it there, and you'll be fine.
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
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
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foresterpoole
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby foresterpoole » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:25 pm

Yep had to learn what Doc said with practice: The CFI (who mainly flew Cessna's) I have at first said to try to"Aim" the aircraft nose at the numbers, it just did not work for me, I was always off center. Now I just align my legs/head with the center line, not perfect but much better!! My Dad used to say "you have to drive a car not aim it." I think the same can be said for my flight training thus far: I have to fly the plane and don't aim it....
Ed

Merlinspop
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby Merlinspop » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:19 pm

foresterpoole wrote:Yep had to learn what Doc said with practice: The CFI (who mainly flew Cessna's) I have at first said to try to"Aim" the aircraft nose at the numbers, it just did not work for me, I was always off center. Now I just align my legs/head with the center line, not perfect but much better!! My Dad used to say "you have to drive a car not aim it." I think the same can be said for my flight training thus far: I have to fly the plane and don't aim it....

Also remember that when you're looking at the runway on approach, look for the spot that's neither rising nor falling in your windscreen. The spot that's staying put is where you're actually heading. Or it's a bug.
- Bruce

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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:32 pm

Merlinspop wrote:Also remember that when you're looking at the runway on approach, look for the spot that's neither rising nor falling in your windscreen. The spot that's staying put is where you're actually heading. Or it's a bug.


For an example of this, fast-forward to about 1:25 in the below video and watch the tree and sandy area to the right of the runway. The grass strip is in Lake Placid, FL and the Mooney pilot is a prior student of mine.

https://youtu.be/PX2OZg60DAo
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
FastEddieB@mac.com

chesapeaketechie77
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby chesapeaketechie77 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:54 pm

Merlinspop wrote:Also remember that when you're looking at the runway on approach, look for the spot that's neither rising nor falling in your windscreen. The spot that's staying put is where you're actually heading. Or it's a bug.


Can you elaborate on this technique a bit? I recall my instructor 20 years ago mentioning this ;)
Do you also advocate on approaching controlling airspeed with pitch and altitude with power?

I was listening to a podcast the other day that advocated flying down a ramp, keeping the point fixed which will essentially keep you on "glideslope" and then power will be used to adjust airspeed.

Also, what's a good guideline as to when to start the flare? And should all power be out right when the flare is started?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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drseti
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Re: Best LSA for training?

Postby drseti » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:02 pm

I'm a firm believer that, in light aicraft, pitch controls airspeed and power controls altitude. As supporting evidence, consider a glider flying in stable air. Pushing forward on the stick increases airspeed. Stick back decreases it, but without power (or thermals, or ridge lift), you're surely going to lose altitude.
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
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
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