What were the reasons for Quicksilver to be where they are today?

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pwood66889

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"the airplane market isn't "really" finance friendly for the average ultralight enthusiast"
Which squares with some of my thinking, Dill. What is it in the bank's thinking that keeps them from taking on a flying machine; not just ultralights?
All my purchases of flyables have been cash. Do too many people crash and die before pay off? Just wondering.
 

MadProfessor8138

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I would think the issue with financing an aircraft stems from the repossession,resale and fluctuating value of the aircraft.
It's difficult for a lending institution to recoupe their investment if someone defaults on the loan.

Kevin
 

Bille Floyd

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The dragonfly isn't an ultralight, it has to be registered E-AB. The ultralights it tows may be one or two place hang gliders, though I'm sure it could tow very light sailplanes or Goat type aircraft. I don't think the USHGA training exemption covers anything that's not foot launchable, but I could be mistaken.
@ Dana :
I Really "Like" your avatar !!!
How big a steak will i take ; to get a ride in that ?

About the towing thing :
I lost both legs below the knee in a pay-out winch towing accident
in 2007, and i have no desire to ever tow-up in anything , ever again .
It's the reason why i'm interested in an engine, with a folding prop,
for my Rigid-wing Hang glider, to get me up to altitude so i can
catch a thermal. I Really Like thermalling ; don't like running off
a mountain , with two fake legs , to do it !!

I still have dreams about that first flight i had, in the quicksilver,E model
nearly 40 years ago ; bummer that company had to give it up !!

Bille
 
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Dana

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About 15 years ago in a moment of madness I resurrected an old Weightshift Quick with the 15HP Yamaha engine that a friend had stored in his barn for years. Crowhopped it a bunch of times, then lost it on final on the first trip around the pattern. Walked with a cane for several months and sold the wreckage to another optimist. If I'd lived in the midwest surrounded by endless farm fields where I could land in any direction I might have tried again, but the small airport I was flying from was just too tight... I went back to paramotors until the airport closed and then bought a Kolb Ultrastar which I kept in a trailer and flew at another airport. Another guy in the area had a North Wings soaring trike with a 28HP Simonini engine, and there were a couple of guys around with Mosquito powered harnesses (which were a lot of work to set up and launch compared to a paramotor!)

Sometime in the early 1980s I took a ride (er, "instructional flight") in an Eipper MX somewhere in the LA area. Around the same time I bought a Taylorcraft and kept it at Lakewood, NJ, where there was a lot of ultralight activity as well as a skydiving operation and an EAA chapter, but the three groups mostly kept to themselves. I probably would have hung out with the UL guys eventually, but one day the airport owner saw me in my T-Craft doing snap rolls on downwind in the traffic pattern (I was a foolish twentysomething at the time) and told me I wasn't welcome at that airport any more.
 

bmcj

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Sometime in the early 1980s I took a ride (er, "instructional flight") in an Eipper MX somewhere in the LA area.
Do you recall where that was or anything about the airport or aircraft or pilot? If it was Flabob, you most likely flew with me.
 

Dana

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Do you recall where that was or anything about the airport or aircraft or pilot? If it was Flabob, you most likely flew with me.
That would have been a small world! But no, I checked my old logbook and seems I misrembered... it was Chula Vista in 1985 (those days I took frequent business trips to both LA and San Diego).
 

Bille Floyd

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Do you recall where that was or anything about the airport or aircraft or pilot? If it was Flabob, you most likely flew with me.
Sounds like You flew with a Bunch of people , in your day ?

Flying can be Really addictive ; and the Quicksilver helped to fuel
my addiction to flying !

Bille
 
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radfordc

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About 15 years ago in a moment of madness I resurrected an old Weightshift Quick with the 15HP Yamaha engine that a friend had stored in his barn for years. Crowhopped it a bunch of times, then lost it on final on the first trip around the pattern. Walked with a cane for several months and sold the wreckage to another optimist.
About 20 years ago I acquired a Quicksilver weighshift with a 10 hp Kawasaki (I think). I flew it several times successfully, but I got slow on final one day....it stalled, dropped the nose and went into the ground with me pushing full out on the down tubes (what the HG guys call a "whack". Bent both tubes but I only got a couple of bruises. That pretty much cured me of flying that plane. I repaired the plane and sold it to a doctor who needed to replace his friend's QS that he had totaled in a crash. The doctor later had a Pitts S-12 that he also crashed (fatal for him and his pax).
 

Dillpickle

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The dragonfly isn't an ultralight, it has to be registered E-AB. The ultralights it tows may be one or two place hang gliders, though I'm sure it could tow very light sailplanes or Goat type aircraft. I don't think the USHGA training exemption covers anything that's not foot launchable, but I could be mistaken.
It CAN be registered E-AB, but is also sold fully built and ready to fly by Pitman Air in Northern California. Bobby Bailey goes to Red Bluff a few times a year to crank out parts and planes. Ed Pitman wrote, submitted to the FAA, and maintains the exemption to allow commercial towing for profit using "grandfathered" two place trainer Dragonflys, but the factory built airplanes don't need it. The aircraft LOOKS deceptively simple, but is not. Nearly every metal part is either welded stainless or anodized aluminum because of the aircraft's exposure to salt air in coastal areas. It is a 75 thousand dollar factory airplane, and can easily tow more than 500 lbs.The thing is built more like a truck than ANYTHING remotely resembling a Quicksilver.
 

Dillpickle

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"the airplane market isn't "really" finance friendly for the average ultralight enthusiast"
Which squares with some of my thinking, Dill. What is it in the bank's thinking that keeps them from taking on a flying machine; not just ultralights?
All my purchases of flyables have been cash. Do too many people crash and die before pay off? Just wondering.
Insurability DRIVES lending. Not just the object financed, but the person as well. Billion dollar plus mortgage pools, single homes, and the Bike my kid wanted all require insurability. Interestingly enough, Insurance on a 50% down bike for a 19 year old was TWO GRAND a year. Same bike, bought for cash and PLPD'd was less than a hundred. Underwriters hate risk. Back when I was worth something to an Employer, they had me insured for $800,000 grand. My boss was complaining about the added risk of me being a private pilot costing the company more, lol.
 

pwood66889

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Well, Dill, I certainly agree that lenders hate risk. Yet that is part of what interest on the loan is supposed to take care of. Sounds like they are getting together on it.
The problem with risk is that it can be perceived as bigger than it mathematically is. People hate the down side more than the up.
Thanks for your comment.
 

1Bad88

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Bellville, TX
I agree with previous posters that said a big part of the issue is access and storage. There are fewer places to fly due to urban sprawl and the cost to store a plane at the places that exist are expensive. I believe that a fair number of people are okay with the idea of plunking down $10 - $20k for a plane and even $1 - $2k for maintenance however a $200 - $300/month hangar liability is tough to swallow. Not to mention the waiting list to get hangar space because people are storing everything but planes at the airport.
 

MadProfessor8138

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Boats,rv's,cars,farm equipment,etc.....can all be found in hangers at most local airports.
The airport that I'm based out of use to be the same way for MANY years.
It was a shame too because there were a lot of people looking for hanger space at the time that stuff was going on.
Luckily,that situation has been weeded out from our airport now and the hangers are full of aircraft.
Not saying that all those aircraft are in Annual and get flown,but that's another story for some other time.............

Kevin
 

bmcj

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I have no problem with people renting hangars for storage or non aviation projects, as long as there’s not a waiting list of aircraft or aircraft projects/clubs. It gives the municipality an opportunity to make the airport more profitable (good for longevity). However, it should be understood that there will be a vacate owner if it is needed for aircraft use.

The downside to this is that the municipality might use the broader demand as justification for higher rents. If restricted to just aviation use, then prices could drive lower to fill empty spaces.

Unfortunately, the FAA mandate for aircraft use is being used by some cities to say that it must be a currently licensed and flying to be in the hangar and they are forbidding any aircraft building, restoration, maintenance, or (inclusive) storage of tools or parking of cars while you are out flying.
 

TFF

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Complicated.
Some have long leases, that until over are not going to be subject. Not for a while.
The airport near the in-laws is full of boats because no one else wants to rent. Might as well get some revenue. There as many Cubs flying of farms as airplanes at the airport. One farm has dad’s Cub on one field and the other side has the sons on an adjacent field.
City owned airports can have city lawyers trying to protect the city like lawyers do.
There is waiting lists for T hangars. The common hangars tend to have room, but they cost the same as the T. If you have a plane in your T at my airport, they don’t care if you stuff something else in. Someone who bought one for storage, they made him put an airplane in or call the lease void.
 

cpd

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been a long time since ive posted in here but if figured I'd chime in on this one since I am a member of the younger generation of ultralight pilots.

I learned to fly ultralights back in 2007 at the age of 17 mostly thanks to an ex BFI flying a ELSA TBird 2 while personally having no license himself. The plane was a bit ratty and hadn't flown since he registered it but he was willing to bend the rules and teach a kid to fly for the price of gas/oil for the sake of growing the sport. since then ive aquired my ppl, logged over 3100 hours (mostly in ultralights) and owned a legal eagle, minimax, Quilcsilver MXII, Himax, Airbike, phantom, sonerai II, Tbird 1, and now I put around the sky in a C model Weedhopper because you just cant beat the basics of stick and rudder fun.

in the lest decade ive seen 3 ultralight flight parks in my area (Wichita ks) close, 2 becoming housing editions and the 3rd turned into a horse pasture after the owner died in a crash and the new owners kicked the ULs out after a year becauses horses were more profitable. now my plane is hangared at a GA field 50 miles from my house and they are actively trying to push me out of there since I don't by fuel or other services from them and there is a 10 person waiting list for people who will. Ive been made to buy renters insurance for the hangar, leases have been updated to forbid the storing of a gas can / engine oil in the hangars and my every flight is being scrutinized by the airport management for any possible rule infraction. there used to be 3 of us UL guys on the airport but im the last hold out.

I owe the fact that im flying at all to an "old guy" willing to bend the rules. maybe someday i'll be able to pay it forward but till then ill keep lifting my plane into the evening sky and hoping a kid lifts his eyes from his video game long enough to be inspired.

Chris
 
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