Should I bother with sport license if I can't buy a plane?

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by AmeliaGrace, Jul 8, 2021.

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  1. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Clubs sometimes have LSAs. For example, there’s a club near me with an Ercoupe that rents for $70/hr plus modest monthly dues. I enjoyed flying that particular plane, when I was a member.
     
  2. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I think you are wise to stay with Sport Pilot. The FAA’s medical requirements for just a simple Class III are a little over the top! Something like 95% of pilots are able to finally get a CLASS III, many of whom have to spend thousands of dollars for medical tests. Since they ultimately are granted the CLASS III, it tells me that the vast majority of the time the tests aren’t necessary. Thank goodness we don’t have a federal DMV!! We would all be walking!
     
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  3. AmeliaGrace

    AmeliaGrace Filing Flight Plan

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    I think I might have talked to you already on Reddit. I'm planning on checking out the
    Unfortunately I've looked everywhere and can't seem to find anything like that near me. It looks like the school I'm currently at has the only LSA anywhere around here.
     
  4. AmeliaGrace

    AmeliaGrace Filing Flight Plan

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    I think you may be the person I talked to on Reddit a few weeks ago? If so, hi again! :)

    I'm probably going to join EAA and I think the chapter at LZU is the closest to me, so I'll likely be checking that out soon. When do you guys meet?
     
  5. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    One of my hangar neighbors bought an Ercoupe to fly LSA. If you could locate a CFI to work with you, might be an option to consider. Or, if possible, maybe you could find a flight school where you could go for three or four weeks and come back with your certificate? You have probably already thought about all this, so sorry if I am being annoying.
     
  6. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Translation: There's an 80% chance you'll get denied. Great odds if you're dropping quarters into a slot machine. Crappy odds if you're gambling with whether or not you will ever be allowed to fly, at all, for the rest of your life.

    And before someone jumps in to point out how completely wrong I am, yes, this doesn't include ultralights, gliders and hot air balloons. But if you wanted to fly those you'd probably already be well on your way.
     
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  7. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    You might find an LSA owner who doesn’t fly much and is willing to change to a club or partnership structure. That really does happen.

    You would need to suggest it to the owner and maybe assist in getting things going. AOPA has suggestions for clubs.
     
  8. Samuel Seidel

    Samuel Seidel Pre-Flight

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    1st Saturday of the month for breakfast. You could come July 17, it’s a young eagles rally and lots of people will have there planes out.

    Give me a call 6xx-576-7222
    I can discuss some options about possibly borrowing my plane to do your SPL.

    Another option is to do all your training in a Cessna 150 and then switch to the 162 after you have the required hours and are proficient. Then in the 162 you can do your solo and solo cross country.

    The hours in a non-LSA count towards the SPL certificate. You only need to be in an LSA to take the test, and additionally to log solo if you don’t have a medical.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2021
  9. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are plenty of options out there for you, they just take a little bit more work than if you had your PPL. If flying interests you I would absolutely recommend finishing out your sport pilot certificate but if you are wavering and just looking to use the LSA rental market as an excuse to stop flying then nobody here will be able to change your mind.

    Flying can be cheap if you want it to be. You can pick up a Sonex for about 20k if you just want to do some day VFR trips. If that is too much money then take on a few partners. It wouldn't take much to find them by posting on the sonex facebook or web forum. Find 3 other people interested in starting a small flying club and you have an airplane to fly for a 5k investment and all maintenance/upgrades/insurance/tiedowns are only 1/4 of the cost.

    If you want a certified plane then go buy a Champ or any of the other inexpensive LSA airplanes out there. Most Champ fall under the LSA rules and can be had for near the same money as a Sonex. I know of one guy who started a local club by getting some people together to buy a champ with the goal of making flying affordable for those who join. There are more people that want to join than they had open spots for. You just need to ask around.

    Finally, just because you have a sport pilots license doesn't mean you can't go fly something non LSA. It just means you need to take an instructor up with you when you do. Instructors are cheap. Just because you have your license doesn't mean you have to stop using them. There are endless things you can work on with an instructor that don't have to be in pursuit of a higher level license. Go take some aerobatic courses, find a local glider port and learn about gliding, heck you can even have an instructor teach you how to fly instruments even if you don't ever plan on getting your IFR rating. Looking for some non-LSA activities after your get your license, go visit all the FBO's that can be driven to and make it a goal to try and fly with an instructor for an hour in every different type of plane you can find for rent. Again, there are lots you can do after getting your license. Even if you got your PPL instead of a SP ticket you are eventually going to get bored of day trips in a spam can and be looking for other fun things to do in aviation. Many of them don't care what type of certificate you have.

    Keith
     
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  10. AmeliaGrace

    AmeliaGrace Filing Flight Plan

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    I'll try to make it for the next breakfast, it would be great to start meeting some people!

    Sending you a PM as well.
     
  11. masloki

    masloki Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    See, that’s what I am talking about!
     
  12. AmeliaGrace

    AmeliaGrace Filing Flight Plan

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    Y'all have been super nice and helpful, I appreciate you!
     
  13. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Late post, sorry about that, hope this helps. I got my sport pilot before my private, simply because I was doing all of my primary flight training in a light sport anyway, because I wanted to learn tailwheel first. I actually had a medical already. My experience is this - from a flying perspective, the only thing I couldn't do was fly larger aircraft. I spent a couple of years flying just light sport.

    If you're flying for fun, and that's the best reason, sport flying is great. After getting the private, I could fly larger aircraft, take longer trips more practically, and work on my instrument rating. The funny thing, though? The little taildragger is still the most fun. I'd recommend getting the sport pilot. The only thing I regretted about learning to fly was not doing it sooner.
     
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  14. 40YearDream

    40YearDream Pre-Flight

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    I very much doubt that the 3 AMEs you consulted with would know what the rules / restrictions / options are for a special issuance - because they don't deal with that. In my (admittedly limited) experience, those folks don't have expertise for special issuance. I had to tell the AME that I went to, what I was doing for my SI. I think you need to get better advice r/e a medical: there are companies that specialize in this area. As I said earlier, 'Pilot Medical Solutions' worked for me (eventually), although not real great customer service. 'Air Docs' was used by an acquaintance, with good results. There may be others.
     
  15. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Unless you consulted with Dr Bruce Chien (@bbchien) or Dr Lou Fowler (@lbfjrmd) I wouldn’t necessarily rule out a run at the Class III unless it’s simply a cost thing.
     
  16. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I started with a SP license and flew for about a year and a half before getting Private. The restrictions really aren't too restricting if you just want to fly for fun, with maybe an occassional long trip. SPs fly across the US and to the Bahamas, so it's very doable, but if you have a passenger along you have to pack like you would for a motorcycle trip. Minimum amount of luggage, as light as possible. Even that has workarounds, though, as it's not that tough to ship something ahead to your destination.

    For example, if you want to fly out west and spend a couple of weeks camping and fishing, you could pack up all your outdoor gear and ship it ahead. Carry just enough in the plane for the journey, probably a couple of overnights along the way. Then pick up the extra gear when you arrive. Ship it back when it's time to fly home.

    In my area, there are LSAs for rent but that's not the case everywhere. But renting in general is a pain, not limited to LSAs. I have trouble getting a Cherokee when I want one, and getting one for a week-long trip is almost impossible. You'd be better off owning your own plane and there are lots of options for that as discussed in previous posts. Being able to go whenever you like, unconstrained by rental availability, is worth a lot.

    In any case, I don't seen any reason not to get your SP. Fly under SP rules for a while and things may evolve to give you more options in the next few years.
     
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  17. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    @AmeliaGrace strongly consider getting Class 3 Med tested and see if you can pass. The requirements are published and the tests pretty simple. It could be done by your private doctor as a go/no-go decision before seeing a certified FAA Med examiner.

    I’ve been surprised a few times by friends who thought they were ineligible but in fact were.

    A good friend got his Class 1 back after heart attack in 9 months.

    Costs $120-$150 bucks to know for certain.
     
  18. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've heard that the average FAA med examiner can't always give a reliable prediction of who will pass, so I don't see how the average non-AME physician could be expected to do so. The FAA's way of doing things is not always obvious to outsiders, especially when it comes to deferrals and special issuances.
     
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  19. Vincent Becker

    Vincent Becker Filing Flight Plan

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    This is bad advice. Consider asking an AME to do a consult, but do NOT have a non aviation doctor fool around testing FAA class 3 med regs and then take the chance of submitting a Medexpress, going through a live exam, failing it, and then ruining your possibility of flying sport because you failed a medical.

    Sorry buddy, but you must not spend a lot of time over on the Medical forums.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  20. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    No, it will cost 120-150 bucks to have a guess by a doctor unqualified to make the call.

    Here's the problem that I see with this very well intended advice. I'm glad your friend was able to get his medical back. As a counterpoint, I have a very close friend who will never be able to get a medical or qualify for BasicMed, after a relatively mild MI. Not all heart attacks are the same, and it's not the MI that screws you -- it's the underlying or remaining condition. My friend's best bet, actually, would be another, worse MI requiring a bypass operation.

    But here's the problem. If you don't apply for a medical certificate, you can happily fly under Sport Pilot rules for as long as you like. If you do apply and get denied and can't get an SI, then you're completely screwed. No Sport Pilot for you, pal. It's "Don't ask, don't tell" all over again, or as I like to call it, the "aviation death penalty" for trying and failing. So no, do not apply for a medical certificate unless and until you are 100.0% certain that you will pass. And the only way to know that for sure is to consult with a good AME, and I do mean a good one.
     
  21. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    PoA approved definition of "good one:"

    @lbfjrmd or
    @bbchien

    No generics.
     
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  22. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Suggestions:
    1) Post as "anonymous" in the medical forum and outline your situation. And/Or contact one of our expert AME's on this site for their thoughts.
    2) You can train in the Skyhawk and with a "normal" CFI almost up to all of your hours for a Sport License. You'll need an LSA for solo hours and check ride.

    As stated above,
    DO NOT OPEN THE MED EXPRESS SYSTEM
    DO NOT PUT YOUR MEDICAL INFORMATION IN THE MED EXPRESS SYSTEM
    DO NOT GO TO AN AME AND PROVIDE HIM/HER WITH YOUR MED EXPRESS NUMBER
     
  23. MarkH

    MarkH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    While I agree with the other posters about getting a consult with an AME, you seem informed about your medical situation, so I will assume you already have.

    I suggest that you go for your sport pilot anyway, here are my reasons (based on what I have learned since getting my PPL.

    1) Just knowing you can fly is way more valuable than most give it credit for, its a huge confidence booster in everyday life.
    2) Once you have your certificate, even if you loose currency, you can get flying again with just a BFR if you suddenly find availibly.
    3) There are way more sport-pilot eligible certificated airplanes than I ever imagined. I chose to purse my PPL because I was worried about availability of LSAs but since I made the decision to get my PPL (from a club that offered a sport pilot eligible Champ), I have looked at a gorgeous Luscombe 8A for $22K, 2 Aeronica Chiefs for under $20K, and I have discussed a rental arrangement/partnership on an Ercoupe 415C (8K buy in 1/3rd for the ownership). All of these planes are sport pilot eligible and the partnership wouldn't consider anyone with less than 100 hours. Pilots have more opportunities to fly planes than student pilots think they will.

    Also, join the EAA chapter at LZU, they are an awesome group of folks and being connected to the aviation community will give you a small idea of the recreational opportunities that exist.
     
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  24. AmeliaGrace

    AmeliaGrace Filing Flight Plan

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    They were all HIMS AMEs who actually do work with the more difficult cases. One in particular was very familiar with the requirements and still didn't think I had a good shot. The problem is it's not just one thing that would require an SI. I have a very complicated medical history with several different issues. They are all resolved, but there's no getting around the past.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  25. AmeliaGrace

    AmeliaGrace Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, I have consulted with 3 different AMEs. All gave me the same opinion that it's not impossible for me to get a medical, but unlikely and would be very expensive. All 3 were HIMS AMEs with a lot of experience working with difficult cases.

    I did join that EAA chapter and went to an event last night. :)
     
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  26. kell490

    kell490 Pre-Flight

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    Older I get I find money is less important then time I have left I would just continue with SP be happy with that maybe the FAA raises the limits for larger aircraft I think they will eventually.
     
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  27. Tapestes

    Tapestes Filing Flight Plan

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    One quick thought... and if this was already mentioned in the thread, my apologies in advance... You mentioned training in a skycatcher was an option. It'd be worth asking if the aircraft is owned by whoever is doing the flight training or if it's a leaseback. Leaseback's have a habit of disappearing suddenly. No big deal with a PPL, but it really is hard to find LSAs to train in. I wouldn't let that stop me. Just know there's a chance that you'll have to interrupt you're training for a while. That's absolutely not the end of the world, and you're not starting from zero coming back from a forced hiatus. And, like several folks have pointed out, there's a reasonable chance that with the change in LSA rules, a whole world of 150s and the like will open up. In which case, you'd be golden.
     
  28. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Don't know if this one's LSA, but they are out there...
    ercoupe.png
     
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  29. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    That should be LSA compliant.
     
  30. PleasantRoad

    PleasantRoad Filing Flight Plan

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    I am in a very similar situation. I should be able to get a medical eventually but I need to put some time in between the issue and when I actually apply. So for now it’s the LSA route, maybe 3-5 years. I’ve been flying a 172 and getting to the point where my CFI is talking about soloing. I could just keep training in the 172 and worry about soloing down the road but I think it will be a huge confidence builder to actual fly all by myself. So I just made a deal on an Ercoupe and I’m having it ferried in from a few states away at the end of the month. Funny to see the post above with an Ercoupe in Lebanon PA since that is where I live. I hope you stick with it and pursue the sport pilot certificate. Keep training and the right opportunity will come along.