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YARP
03-10-2011, 10:07 AM
I know this doesn't have anything to do with cars, but it is a form of transportation that most wouldn't think about. My uncle had a pilots license for a long time, he let go of it awhile ago but couldn't stand not flying. So instead of messing around with all the rules, licences and in general BS he decided to build his own ultralight plane. My interest is mainly in helicopters and I've thought about taking some classes in order to learn how to fly them. Anyone else on here in to this kind of stuff?

I don't have any sound at work, but these were cool to watch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr1orv7uiM8&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCPslIrzj_0&feature=related

tx_bhp
03-10-2011, 10:16 AM
Private Pilot SEL&S, A&P w/IA. Mostly fly an Aeronca Champ 7AC, trade for maintenance, being in the Light Sport category no medical needed. It is a skill everyone should have. If nothing else take a couple of lesson and learn how to land! It is just eye hand coordination. I always tell people if you can drive a stick shift, you can fly. Never flown a chopper. Go for it!

sloughfoot
03-10-2011, 08:44 PM
Private, MEL, Instrument. About 1000 hours PIC.

Civil Air Patrol Transport Mission Pilot. CAP Cadet and JROTC orientation pilot. Going for Mission Pilot the end of March.

My squadron was just assigned a Garmin glass panel C182 this week so I am transitioning to the the Garmin over the next week or so. from what I have seen so far, I may never want to go back to steam gauges......

clintofio
03-11-2011, 08:02 AM
My advice for an aspiring ultralight pilot from a Flight Instructor and Aviation Insurance Agent:

Take lessons, don't think you can teach yourself, especially helicopter. Find a Mentor.
Just like shooting, money spent on training is money well spent.
Join the EAA.
If you buy, make sure you trust the builder, and have the aircraft thoroughly inspected.
Avoid the hanglider-winged models, I see more customers die in these than other styles.
Strictly limit yourself on when you'll fly to low winds, clear, nice weather only.
Get liability insurance from the EAA program.

Go for it! I've never met someone who regretted learning how to fly.

YARP
03-11-2011, 08:09 AM
clintofio-For sure, lessons would be the top of my list. I'll probably take a couple just to see how well I like it. I'm pretty sure I would be a fair weather flyer for the most part, it'd be nice to get to the hunting camp up north without all the hassle of driving!

Quasar
03-11-2011, 08:20 AM
Private, Instrument Rated, 2000 Hrs

Those ultralights have very minimum load carrying ability. Especially with full fuel load and you the pilot. I have about 300 Hrs in the Quicksilver MX ultralight and that was enough. You might want to look at some of the smaller homebuilt options available. I have seen some homebuilt helicopters and all I can say is NO WAY for me. They are just as complex and difficult machine to fly as the full sized ones. Helicopter flight training is also VERY expensive compared to fixed wing.

YARP
03-11-2011, 08:52 AM
Quasar-Yeah I've looked in to the cost of training. Lucky for me I'm a half hour away from a small airport that does this kind of training. I checked it out ten years ago and believe it or not, the cost of an instructor has gone down since then! Mostly due to Michigans crappy economy I suspect. I've also thought about Gyro planes. Basically if I was to own one, I'd want to be able to fly it right from home. It'd be the shortest landing strip ever.

Dorkface
03-11-2011, 09:10 AM
Why was the first thing I thought of when I read this thread title the Gyro captain from The Road Warrior?

I think it would be fun. lol.

YARP
03-11-2011, 09:18 AM
Why was the first thing I thought of when I read this thread title the Gyro captain from The Road Warrior?

I think it would be fun. lol.

That guy kicked ass in my book! LOL!

Teckomando
03-11-2011, 10:55 AM
During my first go around in college, ground school was an elective credit. I had a girlfriend at the time who's father owned a Cessna 152. So I took advantage of the opportunity to get my private ticket. There's a local helo pilot school about 15 minutes from me. I want to try them. They're very affordable but it will have to wait until I'm done with school(again) and my economic situation changes. Suarez classes are my first priority after finishing my second degree, then helo training. My suggestion would be to find a friend that has some ultralight experience and/or check for a local ultralight club. We have one in my area. They will have tons of information and experience that would benefit you.

Riz58
03-11-2011, 10:59 AM
Private, MEL, SEL, Instrument with over 1000 hours. Current plane is a turbo-charged Piper Saratoga.

I love flying. I believe you will as well. Don't fool around - get lessons. A major screw-up in a car results in you being stranded on the side of a road or a bent fender. In an airplane, it can be your life! Flying is safe if you do it right, so do it right!

blackballed
03-11-2011, 11:17 AM
Can't be that hard...

http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/images/puffs/spence.jpg

CreekIP
03-11-2011, 06:07 PM
I'm an Army aviator in the NG and Army contract Instructor at Fort Rucker with @ 7000 Rotary Wing flight hours. 4500 of that is as an Instructor teaching Primary Flight. That is pedestrians to pilots. Please get good training. The Bell 206 is real squirly. I can't imagine how easy it would be to ball up a bird as small and light as you're looking at.

Don't get me wrong, I say go for it and have a ball! Just do it right!

BTW: I'm not trying to be a smart azz but you'd better believe you'll be a fair weather pilot in one of those experimental helos. Heck, just a month or so ago, I was in a UH-60 (weighing in at 14,500 lbs.) getting tossed all over the sky on radar vectors getting around thunderstorms at night in the soup. Good times!

edit: By the grace of God and good training, all of my time is accident free. That includes combat, day, night, instrument, and nvg. Oh and multiple power off touchdown autos on a daily basis. Thank God we still train them to proficiency in the Army.

CreekIP
03-11-2011, 06:13 PM
Can't be that hard...

http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/images/puffs/spence.jpg

That's awesome! But it's awfully hard for many folks. (Helos, that is.) Flying a helicopter ain't quite natural ya know.

Faramir
03-11-2011, 06:52 PM
That's awesome! But it's awfully hard for many folks. (Helos, that is.) Flying a helicopter ain't quite natural ya know.

as a former pilot friend of mine said, "helicopters don't fly, they beat the air into submission."

bae
03-11-2011, 07:29 PM
as a former pilot friend of mine said, "helicopters don't fly, they beat the air into submission."

My first boss had been a Blue Angel when he was in the military. He decided it was time to learn to fly a helicopter one summer. He came back from his first lesson pale and a bit shakey.

I'm sticking to lighter-than-air craft :-)

noflyers
03-11-2011, 07:37 PM
Light Sport category no medical needed. It is a skill everyone should have. If nothing else take a couple of lesson and learn how to land! It is just eye hand coordination. I always tell people if you can drive a stick shift, you can fly. Never flown a chopper. Go for it!

So if you are slightly and I do mean slightly re-green color blind it is not an automatic No-go on the license or flying. If that is the case I have to check into this seriously! My pilot's hopes were dashed at MEPS when they said I was slightly re-green color blind, flying had been all I ever wanted do when I grew up.

Still haven't grown up but the lessons may quite possibly be do-able and where I am now I have as many places to land as I could want, well at least until bean season!

blackballed
03-11-2011, 07:42 PM
That's awesome! But it's awfully hard for many folks. (Helos, that is.) Flying a helicopter ain't quite natural ya know.

I've had a helo driver tell me it ain't nothing like flying a plane. I wonder why, with the skill set involved, pilots are looked at with so much more admiration and enthusiasm than drivers? I get that fighters are like the Lamborghinis of flying, but driving a Blackhawk into a hot LZ ain't exactly a Sunday stroll thru the cool grass...

fidalgoman
03-11-2011, 11:30 PM
Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect. Captain A. G. Lamplugh

In other words. It's easy to get killed or crippled even for a minor screwup. The danger by the way is one of the thrills of this kind of flying. Unlike in a famous TEOTWAKI book, flying ultralights with machineguns mounted is sure to earn you a "Darwin Award".

EDELWEISS
03-13-2011, 10:39 PM
Does this count??? Ive wanted one ever since the movie came out....http://thetoyhq.com/shop/images/CG04602_183_Corgi_James_Bond_Gyrocopter.jpg

YARP
03-14-2011, 07:14 AM
Edelweiss-Minus the rockets I've considered a Gyrocopter, I hear there a little more forgiving compared to an ultralight helicopter. Fellas I appreciate the warnings, don't worry I'd be a fair weather flyer!

WIG19
03-14-2011, 11:10 AM
as a former pilot friend of mine said, "helicopters don't fly, they beat the air into submission."Yup. Layne Heath said that in his book "CW2", a must-read for rotary-wing head-case wannabes if there ever was one. (Said with a smile, really.)

fidalgoman
03-19-2011, 12:11 PM
I've considered a Gyrocopter, I hear there a little more forgiving compared to an ultralight helicopter. Fellas I appreciate the warnings, don't worry I'd be a fair weather flyer!I haven't flown a gyro, but I have flown a great variety of fixed wing aircraft from bush-planes to 300 MPH experimentals, all the way down to a variety of ultralights. There are a number of ultralights that are just about what I'd call real airplanes with enclosed cabins, etc. Flying is like being in the ocean, weather makes a big difference. Size and sophistication counts for much as well. FWIW a fixed wing enclosed ultralight would give you the most practical, functional and safe vehicle in what you're looking for.

Just as an example this guy (LINK) (http://www.thundergull.com/Models.htm) used to fly to the EAA Arlington Fly-in every year all the way from somewhere in California and has flown all the way across the country a few times. Few ultralight anything can say that. He also offers turn key aircraft. IMHO something like this would be ideal. At least buy a quality kit with good rep.

jlbraun
03-19-2011, 12:24 PM
Everyone in this thread should read up on the very effective guerrilla warfare role that ultralights played in the African bush wars. Even a measly 500 lb payload is enough for some AS rockets.

http://www.exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7490&IBLOCK_ID=35


von Rosen built his force around the MFI-9, a tiny prop-driven Swedish trainer that looks like those ultralights people build in their garages. This plane could park in subcompact spaces at the Stockholm mall. It had a maximum payload of 500 pounds -- me plus a couple of medium sized dogs. Lucky those Swedes are so skinny. Von Rosen bought five of these little "Fleas" down the coast in Gabon, slapped on a coat of green VW paint to make them look military, and installed wing pods for unguided 68mm unguided anti-armor rockets. Then he and his pilots -- three Swedes and three Ibo -- flew them back to Biafra and into combat.

They blew the Hell out of the Nigerian AF and army. These little Fleas were impossible to bring down. Not a single one was knocked out of the sky, although they"d buzz home riddled with holes. They flew three missions a day and their list of targets destroyed included Nigerian airfields, power plants, and troop concentrations.

The Fleas turned their weaknesses into advantages in true guerrilla style. They were so slow that they had to fly real low -- which made them almost impossible to hit in the jungle, since you never saw them till they were on top of you. The low speed made for better aim: almost half the 400 68mm rockets they fired hit their targets, which is an amazing score for unguided AS munitions. (There used to be a joke in the USAF that if it wasn't for the law of gravity, unguided AS rockets couldn"t even hit the ground.)

The Biafran AF managed to destroy three MiG-17s and an Il-28 on the ground. Killing enemy planes on the ground may not be as glorious as shooting them down in a dogfight, but they're just as destroyed. The Fleas also took out a couple of helicopters, an airport tower, a Canberra bomber and a half-dozen supply trucks. And they blew away at least 500 Nigerian troops.

Netpackrat
03-26-2011, 12:42 PM
So if you are slightly and I do mean slightly re-green color blind it is not an automatic No-go on the license or flying. If that is the case I have to check into this seriously! My pilot's hopes were dashed at MEPS when they said I was slightly re-green color blind, flying had been all I ever wanted do when I grew up.


If you can correctly identify the colors of the light guns used by the tower for NORDO (no radio) operations, then you can get a statement of demonstrated ability (SODA) waiver for a Private Pilot certificate in the US.

Netpackrat
03-26-2011, 12:43 PM
Low time PP-ASEL, full time A&P.

907Thunder
03-26-2011, 04:50 PM
This is a cool series.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Td0QTQu9Zs&feature=related

78_towncar_460
03-30-2011, 03:37 PM
My grandpa built an experimental...never got to fly it due to health problems.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a20/78_towncar_460/westwyndIIIpa.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a20/78_towncar_460/11.jpg

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a20/78_towncar_460/1-2.jpg

He is gone now and it is sitting in my Grandma's garage. One of my uncles and I tried to get it started about 5 years ago. It has a Continental O-200 which is in good condition but the Marvel Schebler carburetor was pretty gummed up needed to be rebuilt. We got the kit but never got around to finishing that job. It's not airworthy right now but it has only been flown 2 times...in 1983. It is still registered. I'm not sure what you need to do to get it inspected, and I'm not sure how much work would need to go into something that hasn't been flown in 28 years.

Netpackrat
03-30-2011, 06:44 PM
That looks like a Jodel, which was an old-school homebuilt. Good for punching holes in the sky, but not really much else (not that there is anything wrong with that). If it has been stored indoors the whole time, chances are the wooden structure and probably the fabric are both good, but it would definitely need to be gone through with a fine toothed comb just to make sure there are no lurking problems, rat's nests (literally), etc. The best thing for a carb is to have it overhauled by a mechanic or accessory shop that is familiar with them. They are pretty simple, but the details are important, and as long as it is sitting there are probably AD's (airworthiness directives) that you should comply with. Legally you don't have to, since it is a homebuilt, but in the interest of safety it is usually a good idea.

When a homebuilt is signed off for flight, they are normally issued operating limitations that specify a test flight period before it can be used to carry a passenger (not sure if that is a single seater or what), along with a flight test area you have to stay in. With only a couple of flights on it, it never had the chance to complete the test period (normally 25-40 hours). At the very minimum, it will need to have an annual condition inspection performed before the flight test can resume. You will need to obtain the services of an A&P mechanic to get this done. One good thing is that with a homebuilt, any A&P can sign off the inspection; you don't need an I/A (inspection authorization) to do it. Normally the builder is issued a "repairman certificate" that allows him/her to perform the condition inspection on that one particular aircraft, but for a used homebuilt you need to find an A&P willing to do it. Other than the yearly inspection though, anyone can do maintenance on a homebuilt and sign it off in the logs, but you'd want to get some experienced help depending on your background in aviation, or lack thereof.

From a realistic standpoint, other than sentimental value because your grandpa built it, I doubt if it is worth much more than the value of the engine and any radios/accessories/wheels/hardware that are in it. If it was built right in the first place, and hasn't deteriorated in storage, once up and running it would most likely be an economical flyer, but the performance won't be much to brag about compared to the designs we have available now.

Netpackrat
03-30-2011, 06:50 PM
Also, be aware that the FAA is currently purging its records of inactive/scrapped airplanes. If not already, you will soon have to contact them to renew the registration or they will write off the aircraft. I'm not sure what all would be involved in getting it re-registered at that point. It would probably be easiest just to start over again, especially since you'll basically be re-starting the flight test process over again. Since you didn't build it yourself, you still won't be able to get the repairman certificate, unless you find enough wrong with it that you end up having to do a substantial amount of re-work. In which case, I'd strongly advise finding a more practical design and maybe using your existing engine in it.

78_towncar_460
03-30-2011, 07:14 PM
It was definitely built right...Not looking to sell it since it is not worth anything. It was a home design from about 1963 or so. The registration expires in 6/2012.

Netpackrat
03-30-2011, 07:44 PM
Another thing to consider is that unless one of you is an experienced pilot, you are looking at finding somebody willing to test fly it for you. Most homebuilts have more sensitive handling than certified aircraft, and can be a shock to the system for pilots who have only flown cessnas/pipers/etc, sometimes with fatal results. If you are looking to get it going and then using it to get your pilot certificate, you should probably forget about that, especially if it is a single seater. If you are already a pilot, and can get some time in another aircraft with similar characteristics, then getting your grandpa's plane going is probably a lot more realistic.

Netpackrat
03-30-2011, 07:48 PM
And as for being built right, that's probably a matter best left to a builder/mechanic who is experienced with wood construction. I'm primarily a sheet metal and tubing guy, and would still want to bring in somebody more knowledgeable about wood aircraft and hopefully that model in particular in order to evaluate whether or not to salvage an older aircraft that somebody else built. I have no doubt that your grandpa was a skilled craftsman, but it is way better to have an expert, unbiased eye look over the aircraft before you put any time or money into it.

MattCFII
03-30-2011, 08:22 PM
I'll jump out of a plane, but fly one? No way! I know I lack the coordination for it.I don't know what kind of skydiving you've done but in some ways I would say free-fall skydiving has a lot of co-ordination that flying requires. Static lines are pretty straight forwards but the few freefalls I have gave that superman feeling of trying to figure out how to use your body parts as control surfaces. Plus I've watched a lot of students go out the door and tumble all over the place with bad body positioning when I was a jump pilot. I haven't done it, but talking to the guys I would say the new school freeflying vertical body orientation skydiving takes more whole body co-ordination than flying (that kind of skydiving versus traditional is kinda like the difference flying a plane vs. helicopter).

I've been a flight instructor for just over 10 years now, hence the CFII on my forum name. Anybody looking for advice on lessons feel free to send me a PM.

YARP
03-31-2011, 07:47 AM
MattCFII-I'd be interested in talking with you in the future just to pick your brain. Do you do all of your teaching out of Indy?

MattCFII
03-31-2011, 08:57 AM
Sure. Yep, Indy is where I'm at these days.

Scott
04-26-2011, 11:50 PM
Hard to beat the Robinson R22 or R44 - I'd be nervous spending much time in a homebuilt helicopter. In the fixed wing realm - look at the Super Cub and Zenith Ch 750.