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Thread: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

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    Registered User Daleandee's Avatar
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    Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Like many of you I've often pondered how we might invite more people into the wonderful world of aviation. We talk about the cost of aircraft, maintenance, hangars, & insurance but the cost of training is pretty steep also as is the availability of instructors. So I'd like to open a discussion on the possibility of a pilot's license where the student is self taught. I'm not talking about people being allowed to kill themselves but rather an approach that meets somewhere between FAR-103 and Sport Pilot.

    The concept is rather simple in design. It would allow a person to receive a low speed (less than 87 knots - the FAA likes that number) single seat only, no medical pilots license with training of the applicants choice. Much like learning to drive where a person is taught by their parents, grandparents, a friend or even a professional driving school with an instructor.

    What would be required is for the applicant to take and pass three very thorough tests i.e. oral, written, and flight given by an FAA examiner or an FAA representative. Training could come from many sources including computer simulators, actual instructors, fellow pilots, reading material, etc. In the end the examination by testing would prove whether the applicant knew the material and could handle a single seat, low speed aircraft, in G- only airspace.

    I have no idea if this would/could work or even how to propose such a crazy idea. Thoughts?

    Dale Williams
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    Registered User BBerson's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Yeah, I have been advocating a less restrictive single seat sub-category of the Light Sport rule. The aircraft should be exempt from most of the Light Sport standards, such as certified engine requirement. The training rules should obviously be relaxed as well. A stepping stone approach makes sense. As is is now, the first step is too steep.
    The U.K. has something called Single Seat Deregulated rule.

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Never will happen today. Staying in Class G airspace, not busting it by accident or on purpose already spells disaster. Also flying low puts the plane in the area of where haters will complain. At one time the FAA accepted single seat testing; those days are gone. No one loves aviation anymore; it is an appliance. Its a toaster. Dont worry, cars are going that way via self driving. You will not be allowed to do your own thing in time, so why get others involved in something they cant do in the future? Its a little apocalyptic, but 99% of most fliers, and fliers is important not aviation enthusiasts, will give you a good old fashioned Saturday morning TV wrestling pile driver to keep flying. Those have always been the people who fly; they want to and dont take no. Its like in "Apollo 13" when they said NASA made landing on the moon as exciting as going to Cleveland. Flying, unless you like the poetry, has been safed out of cool. Danger is sexy and we have yawned the public to sleep.

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    Registered User BBerson's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    I think single seat testing may be possible under Light Sport.

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    Registered User D Hillberg's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    They do single seat testing already training to solo then a few refreshers then the examination flight in your single seat buzz killer....

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Yes, 61.45(f) says you can take sport pilot practical test in single seat aircraft. Comes with a limitation can't carry a passenger and can fly single seat a/c only.
    “The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” - Mark Twain

    “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull$hi+.” ― W.C. Fields

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    Registered User Wayne's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    I love the idea of reducing barriers to entry for flying, as many of you know from my voluminous posts on the subject from time to time. One thing that would need to be addressed would be the variability of the training due to source. Some folks would be taught to truly fly an airplane (Imagine if some of you Airport Bums taught someone to fly? They would REALLY know how to fly!) but perhaps other folks would grind through a check-ride and be a liability to themselves and others because of a "GroupOn Special".

    This happens now to an extent with Part 61 schools where the quality and standardization of training is all over the place. Once constant, IMHO, that makes the system work a little bit is that the local DPE knows the school and is a realistic influencer of student quality over time through direct feedback to the schools about what works and does not work. Do you think that a wider diversity of learning systems might impinge on this feedback mechanism?

    New learning methods for new pilots would be great, but to be authentic they would have to include the smell of Avgas and hot oil, plus the chirp of the wheels on landing (not the boing, boing, boing that my buddy Grumpy gets)

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    Registered User rbrochey's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by TFF View Post
    Never will happen today. Staying in Class G airspace, not busting it by accident or on purpose already spells disaster. Also flying low puts the plane in the area of where haters will complain. At one time the FAA accepted single seat testing; those days are gone. No one loves aviation anymore; it is an appliance. Its a toaster. Dont worry, cars are going that way via self driving. You will not be allowed to do your own thing in time, so why get others involved in something they cant do in the future? Its a little apocalyptic, but 99% of most fliers, and fliers is important not aviation enthusiasts, will give you a good old fashioned Saturday morning TV wrestling pile driver to keep flying. Those have always been the people who fly; they want to and dont take no. Its like in "Apollo 13" when they said NASA made landing on the moon as exciting as going to Cleveland. Flying, unless you like the poetry, has been safed out of cool. Danger is sexy and we have yawned the public to sleep.
    I agree. In simplistic terms you could say follow the money.. rules exist to control us and to generate revenue for governments to enforce the rules they create... that's one thing but it's so much larger and insidious... people blindly accept technology as progress, the dim future of driver-less cars wouldn't be on the radar screen without GPS (which I will never use) and if I complain I'm accused of being a luddite which isn't true, my life was saved once by the da Vinci robot and once by other advanced surgeries, so no I'm not opposed helpful technology but I am opposed to technology that regulates and controls us... it's sold to us under the package of it's beneficial and will help you navigate our declining society.. sell us fear... "I've falllen and I can't get up..." on and on... and it seeps in everywhere, my wife doesn't approve of my aviation goals because of the insurance exclusion... if I die of a self induced spin at 5000 feet all those premiums paid were for nothing.. so you have pretty much industry, attorneys and insurance companies slowing wiping out sport aviation... remember all the FBO's around in the 1980's ?? Mostly all gone. Fortunately for me I live in an area where there's not much currency to be gleaned by government over reach.. so my advice is enjoy while you can... like on the Navy ship I was on when the captain said over the PA... (the smoking lamp was lit) "smoke em while you got em..."

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by Daleandee View Post
    I have no idea if this would/could work or even how to propose such a crazy idea. Thoughts?
    I applaud your objective; however, since I believe that the history of the so-called "loss of control" crashes is proof that civilian flight training in the USA is inadequate, I do not think that a simplified training program would be effective. Nor do I believe that the current FAA flight test validates the applicant's ability to control the airplane. I do agree that there could be a "no passengers" restriction placed on some pilots based on the pilot's medical history.


    BJC

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Proliferation of consumer electronics might make this dream a reality. Introduce gaming software that includes more than just stick and rudder skills ....... that branches out into theory of flight, navigation, meteorology, etc. Start with gaming software and flight simulators. Once a gamble er advances to level X, he gets a free introductory flight in a Katana.
    Once the hook is set, the local flying school finishes the practical flight experience needed to complete minimums for a restricted (single-seat) pilot's license.
    Once approved to fly solo, the new pilot is still monitored by onboard cameras and GPS. The school retains the option of reviewing all flight data and refusing to rent to anyone who exceeds their operating certificate.

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    Registered User BJC's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by Riggerrob View Post
    Proliferation of consumer electronics might make this dream a reality. Introduce gaming software that includes more than just stick and rudder skills ....... that branches out into theory of flight, navigation, meteorology, etc. Start with gaming software and flight simulators. Once a gamble er advances to level X, he gets a free introductory flight in a Katana.
    Once the hook is set, the local flying school finishes the practical flight experience .......
    That is a great idea for attracting people to the airport.


    BJC

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by BJC View Post
    That is a great idea for attracting people to the airport.


    BJC
    The flying schools are drying up.... I had to go 200 miles from my home to find a sport CFI... all the ones in the other airports are gone and closed. One airport in Albuquerque was bulldozed to erect a casino... that airport had several FBO's in the 1980's... prior to mass computerization I would add

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    Quote Originally Posted by BJC View Post
    I applaud your objective; however, since I believe that the history of the so-called "loss of control" crashes is proof that civilian flight training in the USA is inadequate, I do not think that a simplified training program would be effective. Nor do I believe that the current FAA flight test validates the applicant's ability to control the airplane. I do agree that there could be a "no passengers" restriction placed on some pilots based on the pilot's medical history.


    BJC
    yeah simpler is generally better.
    But like BJC I got doubts about the finished product such a program would turn out. Especially in the case of the single seat restricted license. That sounds to mean the student has never flown with another pilot for so called "instruction" in the finer aspects of the art of flying. We know often it's the little stuff that kills...for instance the acute awareness of the necessity for keeping the ball in the middle with proper rudder when flying slow and the practiced ability to do so by second nature. Many don't get that even with supposed professional instruction. And we all know that kills.
    I know two "self taught" pilots. They seem to motor around pretty well, but in casual conversation it becomes obvious they don't know much about flying at all and I've seen them demo it when airborne. Two accidents waiting to happen...they don't know what they don't know.
    All things considered, it seems impractical to me. But have at it; good luck with the Fed.

    Spencer

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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    I am in favor of even ultralight pilots having some instruction, at least stall spin awareness and landing instruction. It is not reasonable to allow others to conduct themselves in a manner that has a high likelihood of harming themselves or others and or property not there own. Things like stall and spin awareness and recovery are learned responses and the learning process should include a safety pilot. I do not see necessarily the need for certified flight instructors to teach some basic flight skills to those wanting to pilot uncertified aircraft or some other categories such as single seat sport aircraft, but to go it totally on bravado is foolhardy and fosters an attitude that I am not comfortable encountering aloft.

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    Registered User Little Scrapper's Avatar
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    Re: Self Taught Pilot's License - Single Seat Sport

    I'm a firm believer in market pressures, in other words, the market will decide where it goes from here. Until the manufacturers and service providers get pinched hard enough the innovation in training to lower costs simply are not on the radar. Basically, there's enough people with money to keep aviation companies happy.

    The only other means of change, beyond market pressure, is lobbyists or massive groups coming together to force change. This requires lots of passionate people that all agree. I don't believe that exists.

    So, until that happens the road to affordability will be an individuals ability to have grit and determination.

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