LSA or GA Ticket?

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by Scarecrow56, Oct 10, 2015.

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  1. Nov 23, 2015 #21

    Vigilant1

    Vigilant1

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    +1. The two biggest things you can do to reduce your training time and save money in getting your PPL or SP:
    1) Fly frequently--I'd recommend 3 times per week. People who need to spread things out (because of their work schedule or finances) usually wind up spending many more hours and a lot more money to finish--if they finish at all.
    2) Prepare in detail for each flight. You should have done your reading of the syllabus (or notes on what your instructor told you when you finished the last lesson) and be able to tell the instructor what you'll be doing in the air. Do the reading, and do "chair flying" of your pattern procedures, flight maneuvers, etc. Be prepared to ask questions of your instructor about what you read. You'll probably be tired after your flight time, but don't leave the briefing table without a firm understanding of what you need to do to prepare for your next lesson. An instructor that sees a motivated student will be motivated himself to get the most of each minute. If he sees a student who comes ill-prepared, he'll figure maybe money and efficiency isn't very important to you and behave accordingly.

    You don't know where this might lead, so I'd try to get instruction that will count toward a PPC in case you eventually decide you want to go that route. It can be hard to find LSA rental aircraft in some locations, and they are often more expensive than a trusty old Cessna 152.

    Good luck as you move ahead!
     
    Joe Fisher likes this.
  2. Nov 23, 2015 #22

    dcstrng

    dcstrng

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    Going to agree with TTF; Assuming the Pilot’s Bill of Rights doesn’t lose momentum once again, the slight extra time and cash investment in PPL is well worth it over one’s flying lifetime, not to mention the cross-country and tower skills are usually needed sooner than later except for the very lightest aircraft. If the one-time 3rd-class medical comes to fruition, the cyclical hassle will abate noticeably and many more things or potentially possible.

    Having said that I’m in the rusty (very) PPL category and plan to stay within the Light Sport rules – getting embarrassingly close to 70, it suits me just fine and I don’t plan to go through the medical drill any longer (mine is over ten years old) because I don’t see myself drilling holes in the sky after dark, or ever likely to have more than one person at a time willing to ride with me and the Light-Sport/PPL (driver’s license medical) allows me all the cross country I’m likely to want…

    Choices, choices -- but I’d suggest getting the PPL as early as possible (as long as it IS possible) and then backing off as/when the flyer may desire rather than always wishing for something you don’t have… when I look at the aircraft available, one can buy a fist full of C152s and Cherokee 140s for the price of one manufactured LSA (or whatever the proper designation is), and those birds as well as C172s, Archers and other aircraft common to flying clubs are just maddeningly out of reach for the pure Light Sport pilot. When finished I think my project will extract as much as one can get out of the Light Sport rubric, but I’m in the minority of folks who never lost their love of the little Cessna 150 and always dreamed of a Piper Colt, but they are no-goes for a Light Sport pilot…
     
  3. Nov 23, 2015 #23

    jimson

    jimson

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    The LSA I am training on is harder to fly than a Cessna and I am spending a hell of a lot of lessons on T and G's. I am certain I would be further along if I was training in a 172. I expect I will be much closer to 40 hours then 20 hours when it's all done. So you are not likely to save a bunch of money or time UNLESS you are going to need SI's for a medical. That could possibly drive the cost up thousands.

    There's nothing wrong with Sport pilot if it fits your mission and even if your sport hours don't count if you later upgrade to PPL so what? Get a very seasoned instructor and without having to teach you basics all over again, you can probably get extra ratings in those duplicated hours.

    If you own a 2 seat LSA you can use for PPL the costs won't be that much, you want to be flying anyway so you will pay a little to carry a passenger around.

    Find an instructor who will work with you and then pay him his 50 bucks to accompany you when you want to go for a 100 dollar breakfast somewhere. Fly a few S turns along the way and boom, you have another training hour in your logbook you would be flying anyway.

    More training is never a bad thing.

    The way I see it is that I start with sport and then hopefully buy an LSA, maybe a tail dragger and then if I decide to upgrade to PPL I'll get a tail wheel endorsement, towered airspace rating and any other available ratings at the same time. Whatever general flying I do may count as my solo work and I wont have to do another 40 hours I wasn't planning on flying anyway.

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but there is no requirement that you practice a certain number of S turns, turns around a point etc, so if you demonstrate a few and the instructor is satisified you can use those required 20 hours to concentrate on tail wheel, airport procedures or anything else you didn't learn with SPL, and should hit the bare minimum hours needed. a little hood time, and you do your solos and x country work flying something you wanted to do even if you weren't training.

    You could probably spend nearly half the dual hours needed for PPL just to get your tail wheel rating.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  4. Nov 24, 2015 #24

    bmcj

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    I generally recommend going for the PPL (or at least do your LSA training with an instructor that also does PPL). However, we recently had a new member with a very clear concept of what and where he wanted to fly, so for him I recommended the LSA. He had no need for PPL level aircraft or flying, so I felt that he might as well save the money and avoid any possible medical snags. Besides, there are several PPL level aircraft (like the Champ) that can be flown as LSA by a LS pilot.


    So, ultimately, it truly depends on what type flying you really want to do.
     
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  5. Nov 24, 2015 #25

    12notes

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    Another option is to get your PPL and 3rd class medical. If the 3rd class medical reform bill passes in the next 2 years, you won't have to get a medical again and have options to fly in more planes, at night, over 10,000 feet, or even get your instrument rating, . However, if it doesn't, after your medical expires you can still fly under sport pilot rules with your driver's license.

    https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/sportpilots/response2/
     
  6. Nov 24, 2015 #26

    bmcj

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    Is it two years, or will they go back 5 years? I seem to recall some wording that said 5 years. Besides, don't the current medicals last longer (3 or 5 years) for younger pilots?
     
  7. Nov 24, 2015 #27

    BJC

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    If you have had a valid medical certificate (not the exam, the certification) that was not revoked, within ten years of the effective date of the PBOT2, assuming that it passes as written, then you will not need another FAA medical to fly aircraft covered by the PBOR2. You will need to have perodic medical checks from your physician.

    If it has been more than ten years, then you will need an FAA medical, once.


    BJC
     
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  8. Nov 24, 2015 #28

    bmcj

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    Thanks BJC.
     
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  9. Nov 25, 2015 #29

    12notes

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    Sorry, that was a little confusing, I meant if it doesn't pass in two years we'll still be under the current rules, so if the original poster( who is over 40) gets a 3rd class medical today, he will need to renew his medical 2 years from now to keep flying under PPL rules. If it passes before 2 years then his medical never expires. It passes between 2-10 years from now, then he can fly PPL for 2 years, Sport Pilot until it passes, then PPL indefinitely after it passes without ever getting another medical.
     
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  10. Nov 25, 2015 #30

    jmt1991

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    I purchased an ultralight and thought I would take enough lessons to get competent with the ultralight.
    However, before I began, I decided to just get my PPL because that would provide me with everything I would need, regardless of whether I decided to move up or not.
    I figured if it took me 12 or 14 hours to get comfortable with an ultralight, why not put that time and money towards a PPL rather than coming back at a later date and having to repeat a lot of it.
    Who was I kidding anyway, thinking I was just going to stick with ultralights. :)
     
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  11. Nov 25, 2015 #31

    dcstrng

    dcstrng

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    Kind of depends on what type of flying you need/enjoy… I’m not sure I’d be content with only Ultralight either, but every time I see one of the mini-max/hi-max/airbike/legal-eagle style birds I think I should have one or at least a very-light N-numbered bird in my future somewhere – although my “mission profile” might seem odd… regardless of pilot rating, I plan to do cross-country flying and I recall spending a pleasant afternoon many years ago chatting with Morry Hummel about the joys of just getting up and just going somewhere; kinda stuck with me… if the pilot needs more than 2-seats, higher-speeds/altitude and the like then the Lowenslo may not work well at the moment -- especially if one is planning to build of a rating stockpile or thinking in terms of more commercial/business uses, but then it might…

    By analogy I recall chatting with this guy late one night at a truck stop – he was riding a somewhat overloaded 50cc motor-scooter- (the kind that usually are unlicensed in moped rules) and halfway from Maine to Florida thoroughly enjoying his trip (I’m an Iron Butt member and used to ride long pavement quite a lot, sleeping on the bike and herding heavier iron halfway across the continent none-stop; but I was envious of his minimalist approach). For some it’s as much the trip as much as anything – but to each his own. Nonetheless, the lighter birds have their place I think… :)
     
  12. Nov 26, 2015 #32

    fmartin_gila

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    Fully agree with this assessment as I am also a bit older at 76 and have seen quite a lot over the years. The old saying "It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it" seems to pertain here. Should always instill the mindset of constant improvement and this may eventually lead to a quest for a higher rating and the need to redo some of what has already been accomplished because of limitations of a specific ticket.

    Fred
     

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