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Canyonman

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Nov 18, 2020
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Hi All. Ken here. I have always wanted to Fly far back as I can remember. So I joined the "Air Explorer Scouts." That wasn't enough so I joined the USAF. I have over 3500 hrs in aircraft but it was all in the "back." After I Retired It still wasn't enough so I earned my A&P. It got me with planes but still no flying. I logged some hrs in a friends plane flying right seat.
Can't get a real pilots license, hopelessly colorblind (Had to memorize stoplights. And my wife laughs when I stop in the middle of the block for a Xmas decoration! Never live that one down :)) Building a plane is not the problem, I weight 300 pounds and at my age that isn't going to change much. So yea I'm a problem child, looking for a heavy 103, but not visually so. And of course on a Retired budget. Sigh. So that's my story. Looking forward to interesting fun.
Ken
 

Dana

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A Sport Pilot licence may be an option, no medical required, though finding an LSA to carry you and an instructor might be a problem.
 

cluttonfred

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Welcome, Ken! Dan mentioned Sport Pilot, and while he's right finding about an LSA that can carry you and an instructor, it is possible. Note that you could start flight training as a student pilot right now in something like a Cessna 172 and just finish up and do the checkride in an LSA. I have also heard of private pilot's licenses with colorblindedness restrictions requiring a working radio and day VFR flight only and a prohibition on using tower-controlled airports.

When it comes to flying, it's worth looking at small two-seaters that meet Sport Pilot limitations that you could fly as a single seater. Evans VP-2, Jodel D-11, just about anything with a bench seat and one central control stick can be easily set up as a single-seater for a large pilot, essentially you are just leaving out one set of rudder pedals and one seat harness. Here's how it would look in a VP-2, though obviously you could leave out the second set of pedals for a dedicated single-seater.

2.jpg
 

Victor Bravo

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Hi Ken, welcome! We're glad to have you here.

There is some pretty good news for your situation:

You can start flying gliders and sailplanes right now, no medical required. If you ever think that this is not a "cool enough" or challenging enough part of aviation, you're mistaken. The greatest test pilots, the first man to walk on the moon, the only guy who lived through racing the Gee Bee and then flew a B-25 off of an aircraft carrier, the first person to have flown pistons, jets, rockets, pulse-jets and helicopters... were all enthusiastic and active glider pilots. It's plenty challenging for them, should be good enough for anyone :)
 

blane.c

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300lbs is a tuff nut to crack for flying, I am about 250lbs and it would have been difficult to start flying at this weight fortunately I was 40lbs lighter when I started. I have looked into gliders near me and weight limit for instruction is 240lb. I keep thinking I will lose 10lbs and get some, I've made it to 242lbs several times ... . You may look at the Bearhawk it has the weight capacity and possibly enough room for you. Payload capacity and physical size of the interior will limit your selections to just a few aircraft. There may be an ultralight that will allow you to dangle under it but it doesn't present a pretty picture to the minds eye.
 

Pops

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The reason I designed and built the JMR Special. There is very little designs out there for a big person. I have 2 grandsons that are 6'4" and 6' 5"X 250-260 lbs.
The JMR will take up to 300 lb pilot and full fuel tanks with no baggage. Any baggage comes off the pilot weight.
 

cluttonfred

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Two quick points...

For Part 103, Leonard Milholland's Legal Eagle XL is rated for a pilot up to 275 lb with his 30 hp half VW engine which itself weighs 88 lbs not including the propeller. Something like a 37 hp Polini Thor 250 DS two-stroke will give you a little more power at about half the weight so it should manage a 300 lb pilot, though you might have to lengthen the engine mount and/or sweep the wings back a little for balance.

For an LSA type, the Evans VP-2 is listed at 640 lb empty and 1040 lb gross, so it absolutely can take a 300 lb pilot as is with no modification though you'd want to make a cockpit mock-up to be sure the leg room and instrument panel clearance would work for you. I am sure that there are other homebuilts out there, including ones already built and flying, that would also work. There are a lot of little two-seaters out there that are marginal with all but very small people that make great single-seaters for big pilots. A Sonex with a single central stick (some have dual sticks) would be a great candidate for conversion.
 

cluttonfred

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There is no requirement to do all the training hours for Sport Pilot in an LSA. Per the AOPA site....

I've already started my flight training toward the private pilot requirements. Can I transfer that flight training time over to the sport pilot certificate requirements?

Yes, you may do this. The FAA has clearly expressed that a student pilot certificate is a student pilot certificate, regardless of which certificate you are pursuing. Keep in mind, however, that a student pilot seeking a sport pilot certificate may not solo in an aircraft or perform the checkride in an aircraft other than a light-sport aircraft.
For the last few hours and the checkride, there are LSAs out there with 550 lb or greater useful load: Aeroprakt A22 Valor, Rans S-20 Raven or S-7 Courier, Just Aircraft Escapade or Highlander, and others. You might have to get friendly with the instructor but it could still be safe and legal.
 
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Dana

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Another possibility is a tandem paramotor flown solo.
 

don january

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Welcome to the Forum Ken. I'm sure someone will help in the right direction to get you in the air. Pops type plane is a good candidate IMO Don J
 

Wayne

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Hi Ken! Welcome to the forum! You can indeed learn to fly in a normal certified aircraft like a 172 up until you are ready to solo, at which point you would have to get a medical per FAA regs. There are variances available for certain colorblind conditions but it sounds like you might not be a fit for that given the extent of your colorblindness.

If you can find a light sport like a Remos you might be able to train in it with a light instructor. We just bought a Paradise P1 for the flying school and it has a max payload of 470 pounds at the FAA light sport max of 1320 pounds. So out of the 470 you need two pilots and maybe 10 gallons of gas at 6 pounds a gallon. After 10 gallons of gas you have 410 pounds of load. I actually might have a CFI that is close to 110 pounds. I think the remos is about 100 pounds lighter than the paradise.

Another great option is to fly paramotor using a trike buggy. They are ultralight aircraft and can mix and match easily using big wings to counter weight. My buddy has a waiver for two up training as well. Very fun and removes the Light Sport question - less useful due to weather.
Also - don’t give up on your weight loss! I lost 65 pounds over the last 6 months and am off all pills now. Went from 225 pounds to 160 at 56 years old. With all these variables we have to have a solution!!
 

Victor Bravo

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I lost 65 pounds over the last 6 months and am off all pills now.
Fantastic, great job Wayne! I know the hot dogs and deep dish pizza out there are great, but flying, walking... living... is better !

I'm down 30-40 from a few years ago myself, had to say goodbye to things that had been part of my life. I was a little sad, until I managed to zip up a pair of size 36 jeans for the first time in 30 years. 1-800-WORTH IT
 

Speedboat100

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Fantastic, great job Wayne! I know the hot dogs and deep dish pizza out there are great, but flying, walking... living... is better !

I'm down 30-40 from a few years ago myself, had to say goodbye to things that had been part of my life. I was a little sad, until I managed to zip up a pair of size 36 jeans for the first time in 30 years. 1-800-WORTH IT

I have to wear 40 size at least and at 119 kg right now.
 

robertl

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Heath Springs, S.C. USA
300lbs is a tuff nut to crack for flying, I am about 250lbs and it would have been difficult to start flying at this weight fortunately I was 40lbs lighter when I started. I have looked into gliders near me and weight limit for instruction is 240lb. I keep thinking I will lose 10lbs and get some, I've made it to 242lbs several times ... . You may look at the Bearhawk it has the weight capacity and possibly enough room for you. Payload capacity and physical size of the interior will limit your selections to just a few aircraft. There may be an ultralight that will allow you to dangle under it but it doesn't present a pretty picture to the minds eye.
I know, I know, we were WAY over weight but, I took a flight in a Cessna 150 that I was thinking about buying. At the time I weighed 225 lbs and the owner weighed 325, yeah, I know. Anyway, it took a bit to get airborne and I was supprised at how well the plane flew, we had to leave the windows open the whole time. Most instructors will do an hour at a time, so you just have to configure the amount of fuel you can carry.
Bob
 

blane.c

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Trainers are typically flown with the FAA assumed pilot weight of 170lbs each as the math part of the weight and balance because otherwise it would be difficult to carry enough fuel for the endurance required to do anything meaningful.
 

Canyonman

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Nov 18, 2020
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Hi All. Thanks for all the great information! I will have to digest it all. Some quick thoughts. I'm in Oklahoma, not ideal Glider flying area AFAIK, Would love gliders though and have looked into it.
I do have access to two "little guys" for more flight training. I have some time in a Luscombe Silveraire and a '65 Mooney with coupled ailerons. Both tight but loads of fun. Both flew well albeit some extra runway. Loved that Luscombe!!! :)
Most of my flying would be local fun flying with the occasional trek to Stillwater, Tulsa and OKC. However I live directly under the landing/takeoff path of Vance AFB which requires you to immediately leave the area on a designated vector to get to some "play space" The amount of time it takes to get out of the airspace irritates Vance tower. There is a local arpt. Woodring. Oh and here you get good at crosswinds!! Due to the winds you don't see many if any para
I wish the 103 rules were upped just a bit to say the Canadian level but one knowledgeable gentleman I spoke with said we didn't want to touch the rules for fear of losing them altogether.

The learning goes on and I appreciate everything! Ken
 

Kamcoman77

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Oct 31, 2018
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Douglasville, Georgia
You might want to look into Leonard Milholland's Double Eagle. It is an enlarged version of the Legal Eagle Ultralight and should make a nice flying single seat Experimental Amateur-built. Getting the time to qualify for a Sport Pilot license would still be an issue, but the plane is an easy to build item with a VW 4-cylinder engine. Go to YouTube and type in "jeremey dunn Double Eagle" in the Search box. He starts out with five videos about the fuselage, but has a few more. He is building the plane to be his single seat flyer. Jeremy is a big guy, as you will see in the videos. Also several nice YouTube videos of Double Eagles flying (Grant Booth has a nice one).
 
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