Ferrying an EAB that has current airworthiness documentation and out of phase 1

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KeithO

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Everyone needs to figure out how much they can or cant handle. My wife works as a corrections officer. 12 hour shifts, a 50 min commute one way. When she was working for the state prison system it was 3x 16 hour shifts + 2x 8 hour shifts per week. Thats 6 days a week with 1 day off. I, since covid, have for the first time in my life been allowed to work from home. But thats my first job. My second job was a total renovation of a small house that we bought in the city to "downsize". basically 7 days a week over a 2 year period every night. Now that the real estate market has gone bonkers (especially in SE Michigan where it had been down over 12 years) now we can probably sell the renovated small house for enough to pay off the mortgage on my original house. So achieve the same goal (to have no debt) but just in a different way than what we planned.

Now that we are keeping the bigger house, we are renovating that. Once again a major undertaking. So, I just need to make myself clear that I cant afford to commute for 2 hours to some place where I might get 1 hour of instruction twice a week. And keep that up for 70 hours which is typically what the schools want to see before thinking you are ready for your check ride. Lets run the math quickly on that. $149/hr for a cessna 150 x 40 hours dual + 30 hours single @$104/hr =$5960 + $3120 = $9080. Commuting @36.2 miles x2 x70 = 5068 miles and 117 hours of commute time. Assuming 20mpg and $4.50/gal that is another $1140 in gas alone. Total cost $10 220, 117 hours of commuting and 70 hours of flight with an assumed 40 hours of instruction.

My budget so far to buy a trainer along the lines of the Titan was $18k. But it seems like that is not going to cut it in the current market conditions. Maybe if I go as high as $30k I can actually find a 2 seater trainer with a nose wheel. Yes, a lot of money compared to the $10k in training costs with a rental. But lets look at that equation again, because we can likely sell the trainer for very close to what we paid for it (or potentially more) when we are done.

Now we switch operations to KJXN. Thats a 12 min drive or 4.9 miles. An airplane like the CH 601 with an O-200 will burn about 4 gal/hr @ $6/gal thus $24/hr. The instructor will add $50/hr. Same process 40 hours dual and 30 hours single = 40x$74 + 30x$24 = $3680 Time investment = 70 hours + 28 hours commuting 686 miles driven commuting and $154 spent on gas. If we repeated this process for both of us we would save $12k or nearly half the cost of the airplane even at $30k investment. If she needed an extra 30 hours over and above the 70 hours in the baseline, no sweat thats another $720 if she is doing it solo or $2220 if its al dual. Even with the cheapest rental we have found @ $100 an hour (started at $90 till the fuel price shot up) and $50 for the instructor, 8 hours of instruction is running $1200/month and 8 hours a month is really not enough. If we own the plane there is no financial pressure to double that time. No competing for available time slots compounded by weather delays with 60 other people in the club.

But this location does not have tailwheel CFI's and hardly any other CFI's at all for that matter. Its likely though that if we could offer a CFI regular hours, that one could convince them to come to us to do the training, both for the pay and for the hours.

You seem to have all the answers figured out. It's pretty expensive to ignore the advice of guys with hundreds or thousands of hours, but my last word on the subject would be, if a 50 minute one way commute is too much of a sacrifice to make for the five or ten lessons you or your wife would need to solo a taildragger, to be well grounded in flying, it may not be the hobby for you.
 

Daleandee

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Just a heads up ... some instructors and DPEs will not train/test in experimental aircraft. We have suffered through that issue in this area. I suggest you talk with your flight instructor and whomever the DPE will be to get their take whether or not they are OK with an experimental aircraft.

As far as a LODA, an earlier poster is spot on with the fact that a LODA for training in an experimental takes a few minutes via email.
 

KeithO

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Jackson, MI
So far the CFI's I have spoken to have not had any objections to training in an experimental. Most of the experimentals I have looked at were far newer than the typical trainer. But most did not have a tail wheel endorsement.

Regarding the LODA. Given the current 6 month registration backlog at the FAA, if the registration is still in the previous owners name, does that mean one has to wait 6 months until they get the registration sorted out before you can apply for a LODA ?
 

KeithO

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Jackson, MI
If I wasnt able to work something out with the DPE then when I felt I was ready to do the checkride I would take a weeks leave and go to one of the flight schools in Florida that had trainers similar to what I had trained in and finish out with an instructor there in intensive fashion and take the test at their facility. Instead of battling the low wing vs high wing C172 transition for the sake of doing the checkride.
 

Dana LaBounty

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Mar 29, 2019
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Are you a member of the EAA and are there any ACTIVE chapters in your area. That should be your primary resource for answers to all these issues. Buy a Aeronca Chief or similar and I would be truly shocked if there were no CFI's to get the training with. Either that or move. On my end of the spectrum I have a half dozen instructors that'll just about give away tailwheel endorsements just to go flying. One is a retired Dr. with a Luscombe that loans his aircraft out for training. Different world here in South Carolina, reason why I left the North.
 

ddsrph

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Jul 28, 2010
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77
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Tullahoma, Tenn
Can you get insurance for a student pilot to fly a experimental like the bk1? Take the money the plane is costing, plus the ferry fee, plus cost of maybe unavailable insurance and use to continue training. Like others said no instructor will ever sign her off to fly it anyway.
 

Dillpickle

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Piny Woods, Tx
Everyone needs to figure out how much they can or cant handle. My wife works as a corrections officer. 12 hour shifts, a 50 min commute one way. When she was working for the state prison system it was 3x 16 hour shifts + 2x 8 hour shifts per week. Thats 6 days a week with 1 day off. I, since covid, have for the first time in my life been allowed to work from home. But thats my first job. My second job was a total renovation of a small house that we bought in the city to "downsize". basically 7 days a week over a 2 year period every night. Now that the real estate market has gone bonkers (especially in SE Michigan where it had been down over 12 years) now we can probably sell the renovated small house for enough to pay off the mortgage on my original house. So achieve the same goal (to have no debt) but just in a different way than what we planned.

Now that we are keeping the bigger house, we are renovating that. Once again a major undertaking. So, I just need to make myself clear that I cant afford to commute for 2 hours to some place where I might get 1 hour of instruction twice a week. And keep that up for 70 hours which is typically what the schools want to see before thinking you are ready for your check ride. Lets run the math quickly on that. $149/hr for a cessna 150 x 40 hours dual + 30 hours single @$104/hr =$5960 + $3120 = $9080. Commuting @36.2 miles x2 x70 = 5068 miles and 117 hours of commute time. Assuming 20mpg and $4.50/gal that is another $1140 in gas alone. Total cost $10 220, 117 hours of commuting and 70 hours of flight with an assumed 40 hours of instruction.

My budget so far to buy a trainer along the lines of the Titan was $18k. But it seems like that is not going to cut it in the current market conditions. Maybe if I go as high as $30k I can actually find a 2 seater trainer with a nose wheel. Yes, a lot of money compared to the $10k in training costs with a rental. But lets look at that equation again, because we can likely sell the trainer for very close to what we paid for it (or potentially more) when we are done.

Now we switch operations to KJXN. Thats a 12 min drive or 4.9 miles. An airplane like the CH 601 with an O-200 will burn about 4 gal/hr @ $6/gal thus $24/hr. The instructor will add $50/hr. Same process 40 hours dual and 30 hours single = 40x$74 + 30x$24 = $3680 Time investment = 70 hours + 28 hours commuting 686 miles driven commuting and $154 spent on gas. If we repeated this process for both of us we would save $12k or nearly half the cost of the airplane even at $30k investment. If she needed an extra 30 hours over and above the 70 hours in the baseline, no sweat thats another $720 if she is doing it solo or $2220 if its al dual. Even with the cheapest rental we have found @ $100 an hour (started at $90 till the fuel price shot up) and $50 for the instructor, 8 hours of instruction is running $1200/month and 8 hours a month is really not enough. If we own the plane there is no financial pressure to double that time. No competing for available time slots compounded by weather delays with 60 other people in the club.

But this location does not have tailwheel CFI's and hardly any other CFI's at all for that matter. Its likely though that if we could offer a CFI regular hours, that one could convince them to come to us to do the training, both for the pay and for the hours.
Too bad with all that math someone didn't realize that once a pilot is soloed and signed off to land at two separate airports, they can FLY between airports, building time and commuting to lessons.... So...MAYBE as many as five two hour lessons on a student pilot (who soloed already) would be enough. The rest of the airtime commute would be doing EXACTLY what you want--building time safely in the cheapest manner possible. You are fixated on flightschools offering training.

That is usually the fastest and most expensive way to learn. Conversely, the instructors are often "kids" building time with the least experience. You've been given good advice by a bunch of pilots. You didn't ask for that advice, I'll admit, but there are a bunch of good hearted people here who don't want you to make the mistake you were going to make.

I was a high school teacher for a while, and lectured in the local University. I learned you can't teach someone who already knows all of the answers. I also learned that we can learn a bunch from people who are DOING what we want to do, as opposed to people who are SELLING a path to what we want to do.

I too was "too busy at work" when learning to fly. I actually wanted to fly to save commuting time. I bought my first airplane when I only had about 4 hours of training. I had a half dozen airports signed off in my logbook soon after solo, and built time commuting to work. But I was looking for solutions, not problems. By the way, that airplane appreciated in value, and the friendships I made at those "little airports" allowed me to maintain and repair that airplane at a fraction of the cost most city folks pay for anuals. But then again, I showed up at the airport with questions, a good attitude, and a willingness to learn, rather than showing up with all the right answers Google gave me.
 

Stolch

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Jan 10, 2022
Messages
73
KeithO,
After reading this thread where you stress over the costs and challenges of learning to fly, buying the right aircraft, the lost time and mileage costs, the availability of instructors, time and competing priority challenges, and in particular, your post at 10:46 pm yesterday where four of the five paragraphs you wrote included comparison costs of your house, of flying….these are indications to me that now is not the right time for you to buy an aircraft, maybe even to fly at all. Maybe it’s time to step back and take a break. An opportunity will arise someday when your head is clear and your mind is relaxed.
 

Daleandee

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Sep 11, 2015
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SC
Is the DPE able to refuse the test in an SLSA (factory built) ?

I'm not certain but from what I understand they can refuse to fly in any plane they are not comfortable with. It's up tp them. If it were me I'd want to have that right and I certainly would use it. Our DPE here that does Light Sport rides has said clearly he will not fly in any experimental. Most of his LS rides are in a Tecman from a local flight school.
 

KeithO

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Nov 29, 2009
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867
Location
Jackson, MI
This thread has all been about supporting my wife in her quest. My flight training is definitely on the back burner. I have plenty things going on in my life as I get into the latter years of my career. I'm planning to leave MI within the next 3 years. Im trying to establish 2 different lines of work that are independent and that I can run out of my workshop. The house projects have just been an added wrinkle on the path to getting in suitable financial shape to contemplate making such a move. We couldnt have anticipated what has happened to the real estate market in the last few years. In general we are very thrifty people. Every car we own has over 120k miles on it. No car notes. For now still 1 house note but hopefully not for long as we sell the second house, which was paid for and renovated entirely on a cash basis. So it is galling to spend thousands of $ on airplanes from the 1960's and turn money into smoke. It seems possible to do better by owning and its just a matter of finding the right deal.
 

KeithO

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Dale, I guess that is the privilege of a salaried and unionized government official.... I will cross that bridge when I get there. I will first have to worry about getting experience and then pick a school that has low wing airplanes similar to what we would be owning (RV-9A) to take my refresher and check ride in.

I was reading one of Bruce Kings interviews yesterday about how his mom was one of the "Rosie the Riveter" types during the war and his father worked for the FAA and he got his check ride as a teenager. Then for many years (several decades) couldn't afford to fly. Then the first thing he owned (age 50) was his customized Hummelbird (built for $5000) with a full VW engine. Must have been quite the ride for a near zero time pilot. Ultimately he got up to 700 hours in that. Yet people here would suggest that someone who has soloed cant fly a plane like that. The FAA comes up with a new category of aircraft with the intent to have safer handling, lowered stall speed, lowered maximum speed, reduced maximum weight etc, all for the goal of making it safer, yet now I am told that one needs to be a high time pilot to control such "small planes" safely ?

I sense a little dogma on this board with regard to convention. That unless you buckle down and submit to the inevitable fleecing by the flight schools, which "all of us" had to go through, like some sort of initiation, then one is trying to cheat the system / take shortcuts or whatever. Just like those passionate about aviation should work for close to minimum wage for years as a CFI so that they can accumulate the required number of hours before they can get hired for a "real" aviation job.. Yet I see very few of those individuals willing to acquire their own airplane by whatever means necessary so that they can accelerate the hour accumulation process at a cost that they can manage while possibly have alternative forms of income than being a CFI.

I'm not looking at the process as the "mere" achievement of a PPL by my wife. She is going to need to get her IFR and commercial ratings and a bunch of additional hours. And finally, having reached that point will have to likely accumulate something like another 500-1000 hours before someone will hire her. So this is a long haul strategy. One cant rent your way to 1500 hours. And not everyone is cut out to be an instructor. That is why we have such lousy instructors today, they are all chafing at having to do this penance in order to get ahead in their aviation careers. After the RV-9 I may have to build a more efficient airplane for the specific goal of managing the cost of the final phase of her time building. Maybe something with retractable gear so that she can book more time in complex aircraft.

I'm not certain but from what I understand they can refuse to fly in any plane they are not comfortable with. It's up tp them. If it were me I'd want to have that right and I certainly would use it. Our DPE here that does Light Sport rides has said clearly he will not fly in any experimental. Most of his LS rides are in a Tecman from a local flight school.
 

Daleandee

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FWIW the least expensive way I'm aware of is to have a handful of money and go find an instructor with a proper plane and get on the bull and don't get off until the horn blows. There are a couple of guys at our airport desiring sport certificates. One of them took a couple of lessons a month, often had to redo what he learned as not flying enough was resulting in his being rusty for the next lesson. In the long run it cost him almost two years and nearly 15K (yes that is correct) going through a few instructors and dragging his feet between lessons. He did finally get his Sport Certificate.

Another guy has bought three planes (or left overs). One is flying and he is now and again taking lessons from a CFI in a Cessna 150. I tried to make him understand that he cannot take his sport check ride in the C-150 and that when he went to get a LSA that the examiner would ride in the flight school will want him to have adequate time in the plane to prove that he can fly it. He's not saving any money doing it the way he is doing it and from talking to him he's really not learning anything. He's been at this route for over two years and can't fly a proper pattern and his radio work is atrocious. I've worked with him until I'm ready to toss in the towel but he wants the dream of flight so I'm trying to support him while keeping him from getting boogered up.

Sorry if I have contributed to the dogma but the truth is ... flying takes money, time, & skill. Folks can get by with less money, or can take their time, but they gotta develop the skills to fly. Taking a lot of time to do that can be costly as you tend to lose what little you gain if you don't stay on the bull until the ride is over.
 

KeithO

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I'm clearly willing to invest a significant amount of money to have a plane so that it is possible to fly as many hours as one has daylight. Cant do that at $150 an hour. Especially if you project the process out to getting to at least 1000 hours of PIC. Thats obviously much more than the legally mandated 40 or potentially 70 hours that the flight school wants to squeeze out of you. For my wife, not for me. As a career option. Rather than spend money on a useless degree.
 

TFF

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Nothing shaker than someone as a minimum hour PPL. Latitude of their learning is so small. They just know enough. The suggestions intended to to help not get your wife hurt and really saving of money.

The first 350 hours are painful. They usually set the tone. Screw them up and you can be done. Why? Because the job applications are full of perfect resumes. You want her to be in that stack. If she does it right, she will not have to pay for the next 1150 or not much of it. You are seeing it as minimum numbers. The people hiring are looking for certain things, not just ticking boxes. The odd airplane can be a plus after the basics.
 

KeithO

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There is no need to insure a plane like the BK 1.3 that you paid cash for. If liability insurance is needed because of airport rules, that would be all I would cover. If one is going to be in an accident, the main thing is to survive and walk away, not worry about the investment of equal value to a well used car. Bruce King built the prototype for $5000 and that included the engine. On the BK1.3 serial #1 he built a great plains engine from a kit, so it probably cost him $3500+ for the engine and perhaps another $5000 for the airframe since it was larger than the prototype, had a fancier canopy and inflation because of the time that had passed. There is no law that requires you to have insurance. Usually it is your lending institution that wants insurance.

Can you get insurance for a student pilot to fly a experimental like the bk1? Take the money the plane is costing, plus the ferry fee, plus cost of maybe unavailable insurance and use to continue training. Like others said no instructor will ever sign her off to fly it anyway.
 

ddsrph

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I have never had full coverage on a airplane. But when departing the airport over that school or housing project a lot of liability seems like a really good idea. When I got my RV3 and I had over 1200 hours I couldn’t get liability until I had 10 hours in it. A student pilot would have even a harder time. It has a Lycoming and not a VW which probably helped also.
 

ddsrph

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A case could be made for a flight instructor to fly with a student in a experimental for a few hours and then sign them off to fly it solo. I don’t see how a case could be made to sign a student off to fly in a single seat aircraft of any type that they had never given them instruction in. They would be assuming a large professional and financial risk with zero personal benefit.
 

KeithO

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So, assuming primary flight instruction to the point of solo is in a C150.
Then, instructor and student transition to training in an RV12, performance specs as below. Same configuration, tricycle gear, low wing, virtually identical performance numbers. You would suggest that if the student pilot shows proficiency in the RV-12 and can solo in it, that they are still incompetent to fly the Bk-1.3 ? Because once the student pilot would take her check ride there would be nothing stopping them from flying a single seater of a similar configuration with similar performance specs (assuming it is not a tail dragger).

What am I missing ? Of course the instructor could verify for himself that the performance characteristics are comparable beforehand. Soloing in the single seater would have to be done strategically. Takeoff would not be expected to be an issue. Climb and cruise neither. Student would have to do slow flight and stalls as a first priority and then do a series of touch and goes starting at higher speed and working down to a full stop landing. Since its a tri-gear control on the ground should not present any special challenges. If one goes through the exact same procedure beforehand on the same day, prior to flying the single seater the concepts should be well grasped.

One could go all the way to the check ride in the RV-12 except for the fact that it is about an hour and a half drive to the field that has this airplane. a 3 hour commute to get in some training time.

Im not entirely sure of the best solution yet. I think once she passes ground school and has soloed in the flying clubs C172 it may be worthwhile considering doing one of the "intensive" 2 week training sessions in Florida where they have similar airplanes (RV-12, DA-20 , Pipistrel etc). They will get in something like 40 hours in a 2 week period. No problem with currency in that situation. Thats assuming I havent been able to find a "proper" 2 seat trainer by then.

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Turd Ferguson

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What am I missing ?

It's not that the student is incompetent. The problem is It's contrary to the regs. 61.87 (summarized) says a student pilot has to receive flight training and demonstrate proficiency to an authorized instructor in make and model or similar make and model of aircraft to be flown. What do they mean by similar? Cherokee 140 is similar to Cherokee 160. Cessna 150 is similar to a Cessna 152. Cherokee and Yankee/Grumman AA-1? Nope. Those are not similar.

Once they have their certificate then yup, can do what they want as they are no longer riding on a CFI's coat tail.
 
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