Howdy y'all from Houston!

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MackAttack
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:22 pm

Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby MackAttack » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:05 am

Been lurking for a few weeks and reading the collective wisdom of this group ... First post!

First of all, this past week in Houston has made me wonder whether I should be considering an LSA or a submarine ... :roll: but I digress...

I'm in my mid-, edging towards late-, 50s - "rusty pilot" with a PPL but no medical for a long time, just getting back to aviation after too long a break focusing on career and family. Now that I'm divorced, single, grown kids, 3-5 years (hopefully that short but could be longer) from retirement ... Time to return to my first love. Familiar with the 3d class medical reform situation (also been lurking and posting on COPA), but I am managing some medical issues and probably won't be in a position to seek a medical with anything short of 6 document boxes for a couple years. Nothing disqualifying ultimately, but too much paperwork.

Am leaning towards purchasing an S-LSA to get re-trained on and do recreational flying. Low wing appeals to me more than high-wing... But my mission is well suited to the LSA profile - tooling around, $100 hamburgers, occasional short cross-country trips limited by "full bladder, no reserve" ... No business purpose, no depreciation, not a "must dispatch traveling machine," etc. 120 knots, daytime VFR should do me just fine. If and when I decide I want/need more, I will deal with the medical issues and go rent something certified.

In any case, LSA CFI's seem few and far between here in Houston; rentals are even fewer and farther between, and Mogas is essentially non-existent for 200 miles in any direction. And according to the one great CFI that I found (who is exiting the training biz to focus on his AOPA Rusty Pilot mission), there isn't a single low-wing LSA for rent anywhere near Houston ...

That's about it - glad to be here, all thoughts and suggestions welcome!

Thanks in advance!
Joel

3Dreaming
Posts: 2270
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:13 pm
Location: noble, IL USA

Re: Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:18 am

Welcome! The high wing verses low wing normally goes back to what you learned to fly in. Don't get to hung up about it. I have thousands of hours in both high and low wing aircraft, in fact I own one of each. It is the individual airplanes personality that really matters. There are several of the high wing LSA's that have some pretty sporty performance.

Cluemeister
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:20 pm

Re: Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby Cluemeister » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:26 pm

MackAttack wrote:
Am leaning towards purchasing an S-LSA to get re-trained on and do recreational flying. Low wing appeals to me more than high-wing... But my mission is well suited to the LSA profile - tooling around, $100 hamburgers, occasional short cross-country trips limited by "full bladder, no reserve" ... No business purpose, no depreciation, not a "must dispatch traveling machine," etc. 120 knots, daytime VFR should do me just fine. If and when I decide I want/need more, I will deal with the medical issues and go rent something certified.

In any case, LSA CFI's seem few and far between here in Houston; rentals are even fewer and farther between, and Mogas is essentially non-existent for 200 miles in any direction. And according to the one great CFI that I found (who is exiting the training biz to focus on his AOPA Rusty Pilot mission), there isn't a single low-wing LSA for rent anywhere near Houston ...

That's about it - glad to be here, all thoughts and suggestions welcome!

Thanks in advance!
Joel


Welcome. A few thoughts, as I feel your pain.

- I was very excited to look into the LSA world. And then reality hit. 2 hours to an LSA to the west. 3 hours to an LSA to the east.

- Despite how it looks, there are LSA out there, but sometimes they are hidden. I would call every small airport in your area and ask. Sometimes they don't advertise they have them. The ones I tend to find are the Skycatchers. I finally found one 45 minutes south!

- There are flight schools in other parts of the country that offer accelerated sport training. If you can take 2 weeks off, you can concentrate your training all at once. I could only do one week, so I couldn't finish, but I enjoyed concentrated training. Those are usually high wing.

- They do train in the Bristell in Pennsylvania. They are the dealer as well. Perhaps you could go up there and do concentrated training?

- As far as Mogas, it's coming to more and more locations. I would truck fuel cans to the hangar, and then use 100LL only when you need to.

That's all I can think of for now. Keep us updated on your progress!

MackAttack
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:22 pm

Re: Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby MackAttack » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:06 pm

Thanks much! Turns out that Tecnam has a dealer/school in Orlando, a short flight from Sebring, which runs a LSA/PPL flight school using only Tecnam aircraft. They have the required time in type and Tecnam will do a delivery at the school ... and if the sale is run through the school, up to 25 hours of instruction is included. So the short answer is that a buyer can get trained on his/her new airplane at delivery with either Tecnam or Bristell by CFIs with lots of time in type. Which helps on the insurance front too, as I understand it (5 hours in type being typical for a CFI to be covered).

I will let folks know what I decide to do. Useful load is the main Tecnam issue, but long-term support is an issue with all these small, Eastern European S-LSAs ... and even Flight Design is not immune with the bankruptcy stuff. So there are some risks when you swim in the S-LSA pool ...

Good tips, especially on Mogas. Most airports won't let you hangar-store fuel so it would be shlepping gas every time I want to fly. I will probably try it a couple different ways, and see what works best for me. There is a Rotax service place at a nearby airport so fortunately that's apparently not a big deal...

Cheers!

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drseti
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Re: Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby drseti » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:30 pm

Welcome aboard, Joel -- we're happy to have you lurking, but even happier to have you posting!

I have a 3-day, one kilobuck LSA transition course in central PA which might be useful for you - come out for a short vacation to Amish country and fly an Evektor SportStar with me. Details at <http://avsport.org/about/downsize.htm> (though if you're very rusty, you may desire an extra day or two). All the Rotax-powered low-wing LSAs fly pretty much the same, so the skills learned in the SportStar will but you in good shape for the Tecnam Astore, Bristell, Sport Cruiser, Gobosh, RV-12, etc.

Since I can't get ethanol-free mogas, I've been running 100LL through a pair of Rotax engines for the past 6 years. No big deal, as long as you adjust your maintenance intervals appropriately.

Please keep us posted on your ongoing adventure.

Safe Skies,
Paul
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HAPPYDAN
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby HAPPYDAN » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:52 am

For Dr Paul:

Quote:"Since I can't get ethanol-free mogas, I've been running 100LL through a pair of Rotax engines for the past 6 years. No big deal, as long as you adjust your maintenance intervals appropriately."

Just musing - My big bore thumper absolutely hates ethanol. Non-eth MOGAS is hard to come by on the road. I carry a bottle of STA-BIL along and add 1-2 oz every fill up. It really reduces the rough running, crackling and backfires. Would something like that work in the Rotax? M/C shops actually sell an additive just for that purpose, but it is expensive.

Oh, and welcome to the forum, MacAttack. Sorry about the 7500! (Does that still exist?) You'll find these folks are a wealth of knowledge.

kbrown66
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:02 pm

Re: Howdy y'all from Houston!

Postby kbrown66 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:57 pm

Did you ever find a CFI-S in the Houston area? I recently completed my SP training and successfully got my SP ticket...currently have 65 hours. Let me know if you are interested in making contact with the instructor I used. However, you are right, not too may CFI-S and LSA's available for rental. I am aware of only two LSA's in the area.


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