It's possible to learn to fly on a homebuilt airplane?

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Fullmetalwelder

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It's something I've been thinking for a while, do you think it's possible to learn to fly on a homebuilt plane? Apart from the fact that looks kinda dangerous I think that learning to fly on a home built plane would be ideal because you already kinda know how it works.
Let me know what do you think!
 

TFF

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By yourself? Probably not survive. You can find some instances where people kind of survive by not doing things stupid, but they tend to no do things like turn.

Now the case for the primary glider can be made, but that has verbal instructions while student makes a hop.

I had thousands of hours of RC and it wasn’t the same except concepts. Feeling is different than seeing. I have taught a number of pilots RC and they struggle with watching the plane.
Those are examples of people who know teaching people who know. Everyone with enough time can learn. Not special that way, but it is like learning to ride a bike, except skinned knees are not what you get if you fall.

Here is an example of bad
 

Turd Ferguson

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It's something I've been thinking for a while, do you think it's possible to learn to fly on a homebuilt plane? Apart from the fact that looks kinda dangerous I think that learning to fly on a home built plane would be ideal because you already kinda know how it works.
Let me know what do you think!
What kind of homebuilt plane? If it's a 2-place plane, has full dual controls and you learn with an instructor it's not much different than learning in any other plane.
 

Victor Bravo

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It's something I've been thinking for a while, do you think it's possible to learn to fly on a homebuilt plane? Apart from the fact that looks kinda dangerous I think that learning to fly on a home built plane would be ideal because you already kinda know how it works.
Let me know what do you think!

YES, you can learn to fly on a homebuilt plane. It's easy to learn, you just have to have the right kind of homebuilt plane. It needs to have two seats and two sets of controls, which MANY homebuilt planes do have.

Look at the Wag-Aero Sport Trainer, the Zenith CH-750, and the RV-12 for starters.

Learning to fly a home built plane by yourself with no help, no instructor, no teacher... wins you the Darwin Award.
 

N804RV

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A guy a few hangars down from mine built a Glassair III, a high performance complex aircraft. He did not have a pilot's license. When he was ready to fly it, he found a CFI with extensive experience in Glassairs and hired him to do the first flight. Then he got instruction through the first solo flight in a Cessna.

He and his CFI have been finishing up his private pilot in the Glassair. I don't know all the particulars. But, it does prove its possible.
 

Fullmetalwelder

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YES, you can learn to fly on a homebuilt plane. It's easy to learn, you just have to have the right kind of homebuilt plane. It needs to have two seats and two sets of controls, which MANY homebuilt planes do have.

Look at the Wag-Aero Sport Trainer, the Zenith CH-750, and the RV-12 for starters.

Learning to fly a home built plane by yourself with no help, no instructor, no teacher... wins you the Darwin Award.
Yeah obviously I mean with an instructor, I don't think anyone with no experience at all would fly a plane and just improvise ahah
 

Wanttaja

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You can, but I don't recommend it.

For one thing, if you're not a pilot already, you'll have trouble picking out the best homebuilt for you. You won't have anything to judge it against.

A second point is that homebuilt aren't required to meet the handling and stability requirements that production airplanes are. So the plane may NOT handle similarly to other aircraft you might fly later, and you may develop some bad habits that will bite when you try to fly another type.

A third point is that, if you try to learn to fly on an airplane you own (production type or homebuilt), your training is going to be dependent on THAT airplane. If it breaks, your training stops. And if it's a homebuilt, you'll be casting around for how to fix it. Better to take at least your initial training at a local Fixed Base Operator with a fleet of training aircraft. If one breaks, you can fly another.

Fourth, flight training is hard on aircraft. You're going to be landing hard, swerving, etc. Wouldn't it be better to do it on a rented aircraft, rather than one you own? And if you own the airplane and ding it, as I mentioned, your training stops.

And on that note...have you considered how you're going to INSURE your homebuilt while you train on it? You might have trouble finding an insurance company that will cover you when you aren't even legally able to fly the airplane. They may require your instructor has ~10 hours on the aircraft type, which means you sit on the ground and watch him or her burn your gas.

Best bet: Talk to your local FBO, and find out what a full Private Pilot or Sport Pilot course will cost. Gather up that amount, and do some concentrated testing to get your license in a moderately short time (two months or so). THEN you'll be the ace of the base, ready to evaluate potential purchases.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Victor Bravo

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Sorry to respectfully disagree with Ron a little, but you might try contacting the Zenith Aircraft Company and asking them how many of their customers took their flying instruction in the airplane they built. The CH 750 series of airplane will make a perfectly good trainer.

Is it a universal perfect training situation like a Cessna 172? No.
Is the 750 as robust as the Cessna 172? No.
Will it save the rental cost of the 172? Yes.
Will it allow you to safely learn to fly in your own homebuilt airplane? Yes.
Will you be better off in the long run renting the 172 while you are building the 750? Yes.
 

Dana

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Quite a few people have learned to fly in their experimental.

Legally, no issues as long as the aircraft owner or instructor has the necessary paperwork, you need a LODA or "Letter Of Deviation Authority" for the instructor to get paid to fly in an experimental.

Is it a good idea? That depends. Ron has a lot of good points, and it will depend on the aircraft. If it's a conventional design with benign handling, not a big deal. A high performance or otherwise demanding airplane, not such a good idea.

Then as Ron pointed out, training, especially initial pre-solo, can be hard on a plane. It might be best to get through solo and then some before flying your own plane. Beat on the school plane and then save money by doing the cross countries and stuff in your own plane.

I have a friend who started in ultralights (Pterodactyl), then learned to fly in conventional planes. But at some point after he soloed, his instructor signed him off the fly (including the first test flight!) in the Sonerai he built himself.
 

speedracer

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It's something I've been thinking for a while, do you think it's possible to learn to fly on a homebuilt plane? Apart from the fact that looks kinda dangerous I think that learning to fly on a home built plane would be ideal because you already kinda know how it works.
Let me know what do you think!
I remember reading about a guy who built a Long EZ with the goal in mind of getting his PPL in it. He installed full dual controls including back seat rudder pedals. He found an instructor that was willing to do (something a little different). He went through the process and got his check ride. All went well till the guy had him demonstrate a stall. EZ's don't stall so the guy made him rent a C150 to do that. He passed.
 

TFF

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The hardest part is finding a willing instructor. Most are on airline career paths and that’s cutthroat on blemishes on resumes. Even after they are working, the airline owns them, so they will rarely stick their neck out for a couple of bucks over a full career loss. They are not going to take a chance.

Size of plane too. If you want something minimal, there is just not going to be room like a certified plane to keep everyone comfortable. Learning to land is rough on planes, some can take it, some can’t. A friends dad had to put three landing gear under their plane for trying to land like he was still in the navy. He really needed to be supervised, and when he didn’t have “help” he would be a lot rougher without someone in the back acting like a conscious. A Cessna wouldn’t have been an issue, although still rattle your teeth.
 

Ried

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If money's an issue, look into light sport aircraft training options.

On one hand, Orville and Wilbur learned to fly in their own homebuild, even though it was underpowered.

On the other hand, they wrecked several aircraft and took several years time before getting proficient at piloting.

The concensus is getting trained first is more efficient and economical before training in your homebuilt.
 

Woofbite

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By yourself? Probably not survive. You can find some instances where people kind of survive by not doing things stupid, but they tend to no do things like turn.

Now the case for the primary glider can be made, but that has verbal instructions while student makes a hop.

I had thousands of hours of RC and it wasn’t the same except concepts. Feeling is different than seeing. I have taught a number of pilots RC and they struggle with watching the plane.
Those are examples of people who know teaching people who know. Everyone with enough time can learn. Not special that way, but it is like learning to ride a bike, except skinned knees are not what you get if you fall.

Here is an example of bad

By yourself? Probably not survive. You can find some instances where people kind of survive by not doing things stupid, but they tend to no do things like turn.

Now the case for the primary glider can be made, but that has verbal instructions while student makes a hop.

I had thousands of hours of RC and it wasn’t the same except concepts. Feeling is different than seeing. I have taught a number of pilots RC and they struggle with watching the plane.
Those are examples of people who know teaching people who know. Everyone with enough time can learn. Not special that way, but it is like learning to ride a bike, except skinned knees are not what you get if you fall.

Here is an example of bad

ah, an oldie but a goodie . . ..
 

Bille Floyd

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Sep 26, 2019
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A more inexpensive way to learn to fly , would be to take sailplane
lessons ; then go for the ultralight later, to give yourself a bit of
a chance at surviving.

Bille
 
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