Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

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Siddhartha
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Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby Siddhartha » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:10 am

Hello all, I'm a former PPL ASEL looking to get back into flying probably with a SLSA as I find them more exciting (especially with some of the whizbang avionics) than legacy certified aircraft. Unfortunately there aren't any LSA dealers in New England, and it has so far proven to be impossible to find a LSA instructor either! So if anyone knows of a LSA instructor please reply. Also, I am considering the Czech SportCruiser, the Airplane Factory Sling 2 and the Sting S4, so if any of you have flown two or all three I would be very interested in learning about the significant differences. Thanks and Happy New Year! Dan

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drseti
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby drseti » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:02 am

Dan, if you're a lapsed PPL, your first step should be to take one of the many Rusty Pilot seminars offered by AOPA around the country (I'm sure you can find one, even in MA). Then, get up with a CFI in anything, get current, and get a flight review. At that point, you will no longer be a "former" PPL!

Next, to transition to LSA, may I suggest my 3-day Pilot Downsizer course, described here:

http://avsport.org/about/downsize.htm

Since you will already have completed a flight review, we can spend those three days getting you comfortable in an LSA, and introducing you to all those fancy features and whiz-bang avionics you refer to.

After that, it's time to start shopping around for an LSA to buy. I can help there. I don't sell planes (I still have a soul), but I routinely do prebuy examinations, and aircraft ownership training.

If you see a plane in your future, don't hesitate to get your name on a hangar waiting list at the nearest or most convenient GA airport. It takes a while, but you'll find an available hangar (and suitable plane) long before you find an available rental aircraft near you!

Here's a video of a useful webinar for your viewing pleasure:

http://avsport.org/webinars/videos/stepping_up.mp4

Best wishes for lots of flying in the new year,
Paul
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
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AGLyme
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby AGLyme » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:52 pm

I grew up in SE Mass (Marshfield), earned a PPL (@ Plymouth) as a kid and then life got in the way. I too wanted an LSA, so I bought a Flight Design in Woodstock CT. Love it. My instructor in Chester, CT brought me back up to speed in a Cub, then an LSA... he's a great stick and rudder guy. Having a blast. Happy to chat with you if you wish.

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Warmi
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby Warmi » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:55 pm

I actually went thru the same process 2 years ago...

I looked at quite a few planes ( high and low wing although my preference was a low wing ) and finally settled on two finalists: Sling 2 and Sting S4. To be frank with you, I actually leaned towards Sling 2 due to the sliding canopy and just overall "more solid" feel and look but ultimately went with the S4 due to :

    - there were no lightly used Sling 2 planes on the market and I had really hard time pulling the trigger on a new one ( 160 K !!! )

    - additionally , there were only something like 12 or so Slings in the whole country back then so I was also a bit worried about being stuck with a plane without any support etc.

    - I found a 150 hours Sting S4 for a lot less than a new Sling 2 and after I took a demo flight I was really sold on it - no other plane ( Evektor comes close ) makes you feel like you are out there, siting on a wing spar with almost nothing around you - just awesome.

2 years later I am at 200 hours on my Sting S4 and still love flying it every time I get a chance to do so. As far as Sling 2 vs Sting S4 things have changed a bit though :

    - Sling 2 really took off - there are now something like 3 dealerships, lots of folks building Sling 2 and TSI planes and the company seems to be doing great

    - Sting S4 planes are no longer being sold by SportAir USA ( they are selling STOL planes now ) and while they do provider support and maintenance , I am not sure how long will it last - having Bill Canino represent TL Ultralight was really , really great...

    - there is a new dealership for TL Ultralight but they seem to be only interested in selling planes ( no real support ) and I have no experience with them whatsoever so I can't tell one way or another

As far as SportCruiser planes , I had 1 hour demo flight on , I think a 2007 model, didn't like the way it handled and after talking to a flight school owner who kind of unloaded on the plane and who later sold his SportCruiser in favor of additional Remos planes, I didn't bother. Since then I have heard some really hairy stories about all sorts of issues with owner support, very expensive SBs etc ... I will let other speak to that.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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designrs
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby designrs » Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:59 pm

Hello Dan and welcome!

I see that you are already getting some excellent advice here. I have no experience with Sting or Sling, but there seems to be a lot of good noise around Sling these days.

My experience is in SportCruiser. I owned a 2012 from 2014 to 2016 and put several hundred hours on it. Great plane. No problems in handling once you get used to it. The newer aircraft have improved handling. So I wouldn’t worry about handing concerns from 2007 unless you are in fact interested in an older model.

With my SportCruiser, I was fortunate not to have any expensive Service Bulletins or Customer Support issues. The USA distributor for SportCruiser is different now and I have not had any direct owner experience with them. I do hear that getting Letter Of Authorizations (LOAs) from the factory can sometimes be challenging. However, if you are in the market for a new SportCruiser, it’s nice that they have available inventory at different price points, depending on equipment and options.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about unexpected Service Bulletins with a new SportCruiser model as there have been many improvements already done. However, on a used SportCruiser, I’d be really careful to check that all SB’s are up to date. Most of the SBs were about the nosewheel, nosegear and firewall reinforcement. The new airplanes have all been strengthened in these areas.

For more on SportCruiser see the SportCruiser forum at http://www.scflier.com/ and the dealer / importer at: http://cruiseraircraft.com/

If you like the SportCruiser you should definitely consider Bristell, which is basically a newer generation SportCruiser, with outstanding handling. It is designed by Milan Bristela, who is the original designer of the SportCruiser. Bristell’s production numbers are up with a newly expanded factory, very exciting products, and they have excellent owner support in the USA.
http://www.bristellaircraft.com/
https://sportflyingusaservices.com/
- Richard
Sport Pilot
Ground Instructor
Previous Owner: 2011 SportCruiser
Author of: INDELIBLE SPIRIT - Overcoming Adversity and Living An Extraordinary Life, by Pilot Rich
Book Preview: https://indeliblespirit.com/sneak-previ ... le-spirit/

Otto
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby Otto » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:55 pm

Alpha-1 at KPYM has a Skycatcher. Flight school at Mansfield has 2 sportcruisers. Chi Aero up in Portsmouth has Rv-12s and a few other LSAs. Hampton has Cubs.

Siddhartha
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby Siddhartha » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:38 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies so far. To clarify, I'm probably looking at a used SLSA as the new ones are ridiculously priced (if I were going to spend that kind of money I'd get back into PPL mode and get a used fixed gear 180-HP Beech Sundowner, Cessna Cardinal, Cessna Skyhawk SP or Piper Archer Archer) but I just want to fly around and sightsee and fly the plane stick & rudder for the simple joy of it (the modern nav displays would be helpful since I'm near a Class B (BOS) and Class C (PVD) and also want to take occasional cross-country flights. My biggest concern is having adequate support for the aircraft, especially if there is something wrong with it that requires returning it to the national distributor to fix (FL for the SportCruiser, Torrance for the Sling-2 and who knows where for the Sting S4 not that it's no longer Arkansas). While I am aware of the two SportCruisers at 1B9 (Mansfield), the FBO there seems focused solely on flight training for college kids who want to become airline pilots and didn't seem at all interested in me since that's not my goal. Even a local AME recommended just getting into BasicMed and getting a certified aircraft because of these issues with SLSAs! :o

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designrs
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby designrs » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:19 am

There are very few things that you’d actually have to get an LSA back to the factory reps. What your really need though is a very good ROTAX CERTIFIED Light Sport Repairman (LSRM) preferably one that is familiar with your make and model aircraft.

Another option is to have an A&P nearby who is at least somewhat familiar with Light Sport and Rotax to help you with the “simple things” (tires, brakes, batteries, avionics, and miscellaneous tasks that could ground you.) THEN have a serious Rotax Certified LSRM within an hour or so away for your regular maintence. I’ve used this setup in both New York and Florida and it worked just fine.

Of course, this is not as simple as having an A&P on every field that can work on Cessna... but then again, I’d be bored out of my mind in those planes!

All of my “manufacturer support” came from the SportCruiser distributor and Lockwood Aviation (ROTAX) via UPS.
- Richard
Sport Pilot
Ground Instructor
Previous Owner: 2011 SportCruiser
Author of: INDELIBLE SPIRIT - Overcoming Adversity and Living An Extraordinary Life, by Pilot Rich
Book Preview: https://indeliblespirit.com/sneak-previ ... le-spirit/

3Dreaming
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:36 am

designrs wrote:There are very few things that you’d actually have to get an LSA back to the factory reps. What your really need though is a very good ROTAX CERTIFIED Light Sport Repairman (LSRM) preferably one that is familiar with your make and model aircraft.

Another option is to have an A&P nearby who is at least somewhat familiar with Light Sport and Rotax to help you with the “simple things” (tires, brakes, batteries, avionics, and miscellaneous tasks that could ground you.) THEN have a serious Rotax Certified LSRM within an hour or so away for your regular maintence. I’ve used this setup in both New York and Florida and it worked just fine.

Of course, this is not as simple as having an A&P on every field that can work on Cessna... but then again, I’d be bored out of my mind in those planes!

All of my “manufacturer support” came from the SportCruiser distributor and Lockwood Aviation (ROTAX) via UPS.


How about a good certified Rotax A&P mechanic who understands light sport aircraft and their rules.

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drseti
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Re: Hello From Southeastern Massachusetts

Postby drseti » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:46 am

3Dreaming wrote:How about a good certified Rotax A&P mechanic who understands light sport aircraft and their rules.


I think you just described yourself, Tom! :D
Unfortunately, you're one of a very rare breed.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US


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