Ultralight or wait to see if the FAA makes changes in the next few years that will allow me to fly again?

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Victor Bravo

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The post earlier saying that there are several really capable ultralights... and many really capable motorgliders... are both right on.

The difference is you can have an N numbered motorglider and operate it "like a normal airplane" at a municipal towered airport without specific permission or a letter of agreement like you would need in an ultralight.

So I would start looking at the Grob 109 like Bill has, or there is a neat TMG for sale on Barnstormers now called the Brasov IS-29M. Either of these motorgliders can easily be operated out of a municipal airport. So can the Pipistrel TMG, so can the Dimona, and the Lambada, and a bunch of others.

The other side of the coin is that one particular ultralight, the Kolb Firefly, takes up a very VERY narrow storage space when folded up. It can store in a small T-hangar under or next to any single engine airplane. Unfolds in 15 minutes or less from hangar/trailer to ready for takeoff.
 

Dana

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Deferred is the same as denied for this purpose. But if you haven't had a stone in 15 years that probably won't be an issue. And most BP meds are ok, if your BP is under control. If you're on one of the few the FAA doesn't like, ask your doctor about switching.

Go get the medical, you have nothing to lose at this point. Might be worth looking for a senior AME.

You have to get a flight review in power before you can solo a glider and I think you have to have some sort of medical or basic med to make that legal.
This is not correct. You don't need a flight review him power to solo a glider, but you can get a flight review even with no medical, as long as it's clear that the CFI is PIC.
 

13brv3

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If you aren't a member of AOPA, it would be worth joining. They have medical experts that will advise you on your options, and they can help you though the process if needed. That's certainly what I'd do if I were in your shoes.
Best of luck,
Rusty
 
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Turd Ferguson

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What does law school teach about representing yourself?

You may want to get a second legal opinion on your interpretation. According to the FAA, a medical application can't remain in deferred status forever. Once the time period passed (usually 30 days) and requested additional info was not received your application for medical certificate was denied and you should have received a letter stating such. Possibly the denial letter was never processed due to clerical error. After all, this is the government.

You can be your own detective and request the medical portion of your airman records. Will eliminate a lot of guessing.
 

skyking

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Closest thing to a 'real' aircraft in Ultralight category is the Hummel Ultracruiser with a 45hp 1/2 VW engine. Plans build, Kit build, or you can purchase ready to fly. I just finished building my second kit. Costs less than a new Harley motorcycle.

Yes you can fly LSA under Sport Pilot with deferred. You can even fly Sport Pilot if you had a Special Issuance (like I did) as long as it wasn't 'withdrawn' before it expired.
 

kent Ashton

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I haven't had a kidney stone in at least 15 years now. But, I'm afraid to take another physical because I'm older and on blood pressure medication.
Here's the AME guide for kidney stones. It sounds like you would "pass" that.

Here's the one for blood pressure. Maybe you would pass that

I suggest getting a physical, learn what your health is, and consult the AME Guide. It is available online or for download

-Kent
2-time stent recipient
 

1Bad88

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This is not correct. You don't need a flight review him power to solo a glider, but you can get a flight review even with no medical, as long as it's clear that the CFI is PIC.
Please see the attached clarification by the FAA. Are you saying that a pilot can get a flight review in an aircraft in which he is not rated?
 

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BJC

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If you aren't a member of AOPA, it would be worth joining. They have medical experts that will advise you on your options, and they can help you though the process if needed. That's certainly what I'd do if I were in your shoes.
Best of luck,
Rusty
Thatone
Yup, what Rusty said. Go to experts (lawyers and physicians) who deal with FAA aeromedical issues.

Note that using the AOPA’s medical service costs more than the basic membership.


BJC
 

Victor Bravo

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That Brasov MotorGlider for sale on Barnstormers has some great flight videos..... Table mesas!!!!
The Barnstormers ad links to a video of that same airplane just peacefully ridge soaring back and forth on one of those mesas. Jeez I miss ridge soaring... I'm feelin' like Keith Richards when his guy doesn't show up for a week!
 

Bluehair

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"Deferred is the same as denied for this purpose."

In a real world (non sport pilot) sense a deferral is the same effect as a denial, but it a legal sense it's different. While it is not an approval, it is also NOT a denial. I can't fly a non LSA aircraft using a deferred medical, but under the rules for sport pilots, I can since my physical before that was approved and expired. It was not revoked. So, the last valid physical I had was a class 1 in 1988 which then expired. When I tried again in the early 1990's, no final action was taken. It's still there in limbo. Limbo works for me under the rules. I should legally be able to use my drivers license. Also, someone said that the FAA can't keep it in that status forever. Well, gosh. It looks like someone in the government has made a mistake! What are the odds of that?

I did some case law research last night and I found a case of a pilot that had diabetes who was issued a 3rd class but because he was a commercial pilot he needed a 1st class for his job. He requested and upgrade and they never responded. So, he appealed to the NTSB and they ruled he could not appeal since the FAA had taken no action. Next he went to federal court where the court ordered the appeal to be considered because the FAA by effect had denied his request by not approving or issuing a denial. That gave him standing to appeal. It was all remanded back to the FAA/NTSB to resolve. I don't know how it worked out in the end. My point is that the FAA can and does screw up. So does every other government agency. Sometimes it hurts you and sometimes it helps you. In the early 1990's, there was no such thing as a sport pilot or an LSA. They were able to keep me out of the air by taking no action since the physical from 1988 had expired. Then, decades later, the sport license arrives along with the LSA and using a drivers license for a medical exam. What kept me out of the sky in the early 1990's due to their inaction will today allow me back in if I decide to go that route. There are a number of financial reasons to just stick to an ultralight, so I'm not saying I'm going to go the LSA route.

I want to avoid the doctor because I have seen a number of my coworkers (before I retired) get into trouble with their Commercial Drivers License physical exams by stirring the pot when it was best left unstirred. I just want to fly and to be honest, I doubt my wife would ever go with me. So, maybe a Hummel Ultracruiser as was mentioned would be a good fit. The wing span on a glider looks too wide to be practical at my local airports. The expense is pushing the budget as well. I'm paying $35,000 a year for tuition for what will be a hobby. That's money I won't have for an aircraft!
 

Victor Bravo

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Bluehair, what part of the country are we talking about? Ultralights and the small/light end of the LSA spectrum are pretty weather sensitive. A Hummel UltraCruiser in the CA, CO, UT, or NV mountains is not going to be a confidence-inspiring or enjoyable experience. The UltraCruiser putting along over Iowa cornfields in the morning is probably fine.
 

Bluehair

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Bluehair, what part of the country are we talking about? Ultralights and the small/light end of the LSA spectrum are pretty weather sensitive. A Hummel UltraCruiser in the CA, CO, UT, or NV mountains is not going to be a confidence-inspiring or enjoyable experience. The UltraCruiser putting along over Iowa cornfields in the morning is probably fine.
Western Washington State. I would restrict my flying to the low lands and only CAVU days. I'm not going to push it. I just want to enjoy the feeling again. Ultracruiser is just one option. I have seen ads for Fisher ultralights and some minimax. While I know there is peace of mind in knowing how it was built, the prices for assembled, used craft are below the costs of buying and building a kit. Something to chew on I guess...
 

Daleandee

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In a real world (non sport pilot) sense a deferral is the same effect as a denial, but it a legal sense it's different. While it is not an approval, it is also NOT a denial. I can't fly a non LSA aircraft using a deferred medical, but under the rules for sport pilots, I can since my physical before that was approved and expired. It was not revoked. So, the last valid physical I had was a class 1 in 1988 which then expired. When I tried again in the early 1990's, no final action was taken. It's still there in limbo. Limbo works for me under the rules. I should legally be able to use my drivers license.
This, if correct, answers the question that I asked in post # 5. I'm not certain this is the answer but I know the FAA is quite particular about their wording and in fact a deferral is not the same as a denial. But they are the FAA and they are serious about their motto:

"We're not happy until you're not happy!"
 

Dana

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You can see an AME and tell him you want a consult, not an actual medical. As long as the doctor doesn't enter the code you get from medexpress, it's not an actual medical and the FAA doesn't see it. If the doctor doesn't enter the code to make the application live, it expires and disappears after some short period of time.

You might want to post your questions in the medical section on the Pilots of America forum. There are a couple of senior AMEs who regularly participate there, and in the medical section only, you can post anonymously.
 

robertl

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OK, I hold a private license, but I haven't flown in about 30 years. The last medical exam I took was in the early 1990's and it was deferred due to a kidney stone history. The AME wanted me to go see a urologist and get a lot of records none of which I followed up with. I haven't had a kidney stone in at least 15 years now. But, I'm afraid to take another physical because I'm older and on blood pressure medication. I called the FAA last week and they show me as deferred from that physical. The guy suggested I talk to the Sports license people to see if I could fly that way. I will follow up there. I have read of some proposed changes to the sports license stuff, with larger aircraft and doing away with the third class medical being a possibility.

I'm looking for advice on whether I should hold out for the new rules or just go buy an ultralight. My concerns with the ultralight are mainly with the restrictions on where I could fly. Flying to another airport for a burger is more possible with a certified airplane than with an ultralight.

I will only do what is legal. I'm in my 60's, but I am about 1/3 of the way through law school and so I follow the law. Tell me what you think I should do! Please and thank you!
I was in the same boat, here's what I did. First, I went to an AME to see if he thought I could pass a 3rd class medical with the problems I have, and there are several. We decided it was worth it so the paper work began. A statement from my heart Dr. and a stress test, a statement from my sleep Dr. and a statement from my eye Dr., 15 pages in all. Well, 90 days later I get a letter from the FAA, they want more paper work, they want the original print out from my stress test, my Dr. does not keep all that paper work, it's put on a CD. Doesn't matter, they want it, so I had to do another stress test, on my dime, also, they want more info from the eye Dr. and the Sleep Dr. All this is time sensitive too, so I'm making appointments and jumping through all their hoops like a mad man. My wife is a nurse so she knew what to ask for when we went to the hospital to get more records. 92 pages later I get it all in the mail, certified I believe ! (Very important; MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING !!!) Well, another 90 days goes by and I finally get a Special Issuance 3 rd class medical. THEN, I did the Basic Med. From my first visit to the AME on 3/27/18 until I got my S I on 9/10/19, it took 18 months. It was a ***** but I'm glad I did it, I'm now the proud owner of a Cessna 150 and flying my ass off. I'll be 75 in about 4 months. Let the AME know how important it is to you if you decided to go for it. If the FAA changes the rules for Sport Pilot, that's all I need, but at my age, I didn't want to wait. Oh, I almost for got, I had to fly with an FAA examiner to get his approval. Best of luck.
Bob
 

Doran Jaffas

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The post earlier saying that there are several really capable ultralights... and many really capable motorgliders... are both right on.

The difference is you can have an N numbered motorglider and operate it "like a normal airplane" at a municipal towered airport without specific permission or a letter of agreement like you would need in an ultralight.

So I would start looking at the Grob 109 like Bill has, or there is a neat TMG for sale on Barnstormers now called the Brasov IS-29M. Either of these motorgliders can easily be operated out of a municipal airport. So can the Pipistrel TMG, so can the Dimona, and the Lambada, and a bunch of others.

The other side of the coin is that one particular ultralight, the Kolb Firefly, takes up a very VERY narrow storage space when folded up. It can store in a small T-hangar under or next to any single engine airplane. Unfolds in 15 minutes or less from hangar/trailer to ready for takeoff.
Here I go again, my two cents worth but much shorter than on the other subject I just posted on.
I've been around ultralights since they were hang gliders in the Federal aviation administration did not know what to do with them. I thought on that without even reading some of these other posts is that I would absolutely go with an ultra light and then in a few years if the FAA lessons the restrictions even more than they are now then jump back into heavier aircraft. although you really got to have something wrong for the FAA it's not allow you to fly these days. It was one thing that they had done over the years and it is easier now to get them retain your pilot's license then it was back when I first got mine over 37 years ago. Just my thoughts. There are some excellent ultralights out there that really our aircraft in every way except for their weight, their top speed and their fuel requirements. Enjoy whatever you choose to do and be safe and good health to you.
 

Bluehair

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Correct. I don't need a medical for my G109. The type certificate is glider (powered glider).
I've been thinking really hard about this, and this may be the way to go. No medical and I can avoid some of the restrictions placed on a light sport pilot. This is me, scratching my chin...
 

Bluehair

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After even more obsession/research, I have discovered that unless one of a couple of things happens, the only way I can be legal and fly is to fly an ultralight or fly a glider. The only way I can fly light sport right now is if I go back for another physical and pass, but then I might as well fly something bigger then because I won't need to comply with the restrictions. The other way is if they change the rules in 2023 when they come out with the NPRM. I guess I'll think it over...
 
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