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View Full Version : Flying just got cheaper!



Plunkertx
04-22-2006, 09:00 PM
Has anyone heard of the new Sport Pilot program? Basically, it's a brand-new pilot rule created by the FAA that lets you fly at half the cost of a traditional pilot license. No medical needed--if you can drive a car, you can fly an airplane! You can become a sport pilot with as little as 20 hours of flight instruction. You can fly a one or two-seater aircraft capable of speeds up to 138mph. And in most cases, you can pass the medical requirements just by showing your driver's license! That's not all...

Now you can:
1.) Obtain an FAA pilot certificate at a lower cost and with less time commitment than ever before.
2.) Fly a sport pilot-eligible aircraft with your driver's license serving as evidence of medical eligibility.
3.) Purchase new, more affordable, ready-to-fly aircraft.
4.) Make your dreams of flying come true more easily and less expensively.
5.) Fly interesting alternative aircraft such as powered parachutes, weight shift-controlled (trikes), gliders, gyroplanes, or balloons.
6.) Maintain your own aircraft

Anyone here going to try this program out? My friend just trained in Texas and he said he was certified under 21 hours and only paid a total of $2,300!


It's cool cuz you can pick basically any type of plane you want and either build it or have a factory build it for you. Here are some photos of the various aircraft available for purchase: http://www.sportpilot411.com

But, doesn't it sound too good to be true? I mean, is it safe to only train for under 20 hours?

VW-IceFire
04-22-2006, 10:10 PM
Interesting...not likely to happen here in Canada. Flying rules are VERY strict. Safe on 20 hours...not sure...but historically speaking Spitfire pilots during BoB went into combat with 9 hours on Spitfires and a few more hours on trainers. So...yeah maybe doable...fortunately you just have to fly the thing...not face down the Luftwaffe.

roboas
04-22-2006, 11:13 PM
First off, the Spit Pilots were around their squad mates and superiors around the clock so they gained a wealth of knowledge from collabaration, unlike a 'sport' pilot who might pick up a few mags about flying, watch an episode on discovery wings, or attend a ground school class that you pay to pass.

2,300 dollars? 20 hours? Is that what your life is worth? Please understand that I am not trying to discredit anyone who does this program, but I would just like to emphasize that the minimums give you minimum proficiency, and a limited exposure to the world of flying. I can't believe that people with just 40 hours are allowed to do whatever the heck they want and people with just a few more are allowed to instruct. I reccomend anyone who is serious about flying pursue an insturment rating and to also research your school before attending.

Remeber that you have to be safe or you may put an end to your fun!

VV_Holdenb
04-23-2006, 01:08 AM
Seams similar to the Private Pilots Licence (rated for Microlights) in the UK, PPL(A). Through there is a little more involved with this. Any comments from "real" pilots on this
type of course ?

http://www.bmaa.org/FAQ.asp?FAQID=2&FAQName=New+to+the+sport%3F&FAQEntryID=2

http://www.microlightflyingschool.co.uk/courses.html
http://www.flights4all.com/private_pilots_licence.asp

mortoma
04-23-2006, 07:45 AM
I think they are calling it a different name now, because they had a very similar, if not the same thing when I got my PPL in 2000. They didn't call it "Sport" anything though. It was a shortcut system where you could get priveleges, but not fly
with passengers and you couldn't fly very far awayfrom your home airport, IIRC. Also I think it was daylight hours only. I wish I could remember what they called that program.

mortoma
04-23-2006, 07:50 AM
Oh, yea, they call it "recreational pilot" I think?!?!?

p-11.cAce
04-23-2006, 09:11 AM
Recreational pilot still exists - yeah no passengers, daylight only, 50 miles tops from home airport (or something like that). Ok children sit around and listen to the story of the sport pilot license:
Once anyone could build any a/c in their garage and sell it and many did and many died. This was not a good situation so the FAA in all its wisdom came up with FAR 103: If you build an ultralight it can only carry 1 person, 5 gallons of gas, top speed of 80 or 90 (cant remember) and weigh no more than 263 pounds. The thinking was if you want to kill yourself fine - at least make the vehicle small and light enough than you probably will not take out anyone on the ground. This was great for awhile but soon people asked smart questions - what about training? what if I add an enclosure and that puts me over the weight limit? what if I build it out of composites and it can go 150? Soon everyone just ignored far103 and just built whatever they wanted...without calling them "experimental" (which would require a pilots license to fly) which is what many "103 legal" aircraft had become. So the faa went back to work and came up with Sport Pilot. This program has been in the works for 4 or 5 years and it basically creates a new classification of aircraft that have to be certified for flight but are still relativly simple and low performing. As for cheaper Stewerts flight training here in KY will train you to your private for around $3000 so I don't really see the benefit.

slipBall
04-23-2006, 09:35 AM
Plunkertx

But, doesn't it sound too good to be true? I mean, is it safe to only train for under 20 hours?


I agree with that, 20 hr. does sound insufficient, I did'nt solo till around 22 hour's, at least I think it was, it was along time ago

slipBall
04-23-2006, 10:19 AM
I'll never forget the look on my instructor's face. I was practicing touch & go's with him for the first time. We were above the up-wind end of the runway at about 200 feet alt., full flap's, low airspeed. He suddenly announced that I should apply full power, and raise flap's. SOoooo that's what I did, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif the plane dropped like a rock http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif he never stated what degree of flap's to raise, so being a ignorant punk kid, I raised them all in one quick motion. I still can see his totaly white/shocked face. We did'nt hit, but we were close. Year's later the same instructor went down in the bay, practicing touch, and go's with another student. I can't help but wonder if he did'nt learn his lesson with me, and repeated his half correct order's to raise flap's http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
back then late sixtie's, PPL in I think 38 hour's minimum required. $18.00 a hour dule (with instructor) $9.00 (solo) Piper 140
PPL for under $500

Ciscobird
04-23-2006, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by slipBall: He suddenly announced that I should apply full power, and raise flap's. SOoooo that's what I did, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif the plane dropped like a rock http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

I did the same thing albeit on my own when I had to do a go-around once. Fortunately I was high enough not to strike the ground as I zoomed along the runway. Once is enough, never again! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif


back then late sixtie's, PPL in I think 38 hour's minimum required. $18.00 a hour dule (with instructor) $9.00 (solo) Piper 140
PPL for under $500

I got mine for about $4000, $40 a hour in C-150, $20 for instructor. That was 8 years ago. Worth every cent! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

slipBall
04-23-2006, 01:08 PM
Ciscobird

I did the same thing albeit on my own when I had to do a go-around once. Fortunately I was high enough not to strike the ground as I zoomed along the runway. Once is enough, never again!


LOL, don't you hate when that happen's! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
you did'nt mention if you thought 20 hour's training is enough flight time to be competent

Haigotron
04-23-2006, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
Interesting...not likely to happen here in Canada. Flying rules are VERY strict. Safe on 20 hours...not sure...but historically speaking Spitfire pilots during BoB went into combat with 9 hours on Spitfires and a few more hours on trainers. So...yeah maybe doable...fortunately you just have to fly the thing...not face down the Luftwaffe.


Just when things looked great. Would you know where I could go to learn to fly? I live in Montreal. Should I check for flying clubs? or flying schools....

Ciscobird
04-23-2006, 02:47 PM
slipBall

you did'nt mention if you thought 20 hour's training is enough flight time to be competent

Well, the FAA requires another 20-hour of solo on top of that, totaling 40 hours. It's not unusual for student pilots to exceed the minimum, sometimes twice as much. I think the average is around 60-70 hours total before checkride, so that's more than plenty.

It depends on individuals and several factors, especially instructors' judgement.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gifOften when I encounter people who are thinking of getting their PPL, I encourage them to buy one of Il-2 series and start playing to shave a couple of hours off training (saving some $$$ and time). It's that good, although I'm sure some Microsoft Sims might be better, with modern instruments and technolgies found in General Aviation aircraft, albeit no planes to shoot down!

Oh, only if someone at Microsoft could model a Cessna C177RG with twin gunpods! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

slipBall
04-23-2006, 03:11 PM
Haigotron

Just when things looked great. Would you know where I could go to learn to fly? I live in Montreal. Should I check for flying clubs? or flying schools....


Down here in the state's, many small airport's offer flight training. Best thing would be to call some local airport's up there. Get as much training as you can. Don't go into it thinking 20 hour's. Read about, and study flight theory, weather, navigation (dead reckoning), and rule's of the road, meaning air, before starting a training program.
Good luck to you, follow your interest. My brother and I both wanted to be Alaskan pilot's, starting at a very young age. He's up there, and I'm down here, so follow your heart

Haigotron
04-23-2006, 03:58 PM
Down here in the state's, many small airport's offer flight training. Best thing would be to call some local airport's up there. Get as much training as you can. Don't go into it thinking 20 hour's. Read about, and study flight theory, weather, navigation (dead reckoning), and rule's of the road, meaning air, before starting a training program.
Good luck to you, follow your interest. My brother and I both wanted to be Alaskan pilot's, starting at a very young age. He's up there, and I'm down here, so follow your heart

will do -thanks for this great advice!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif