Student in right seat with private pilot PIC-legal?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Baxsie, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Baxsie

    Baxsie Filing Flight Plan

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    (I did search and did not find a post, please direct me to an existing post if I missed it.)

    I am starting my Private Pilot training.

    I have my medical, IACRA submitted, logbook, and a 1.5 hour flight with a CFI logged. I have signed up for an in-person, classroom-based ground school, and I am already studying using Embry Riddle Avation 101, and a couple of BoldMethod courses.

    I am 53 and I can tell that I do not learn as fluidly as I used to.

    Flight time with a CFI here is pretty spendy. One school here charges $159/hour for the plane, plus $65 an hour for a basic CFI, an advanced CFI can be up to $100. They also charge straight time for brief and de-brief. So for a 1.5 hour flight, it might be:

    30 mins brief at $65
    1.5 hour wet rental at $159
    1.5 hour instructor at $65
    30 min de-brief at $65
    8% tax $32
    Total for 1.5 hours $433​

    So this gives an average of $288/hour of training based on the above 1.5 hour flight with 1 hour of brief/de-brief.

    There is a buy-ahead, get lower rates subscription plan that makes sense if you plan to fly regularly in a known period.

    There is another school a little farther away that has lower rates (172 wet rental at $140) but I am not sure of their instructor rate and their brief/de/brief policy. I assume that their instructor rate is similar, need to check.

    To help keep the expensive flight time to a minimum, I plan to take the ground school this winter and pass the written before getting into the flight training. My hope is this approach will minimize the amount of non-flight learning that has to be done at flight rates.

    == End of long, boring, background information. ==

    I have a friend that has an Arrow 140 and loves to fly. He is a private pilot of many years -- he taught me to fly ultralights 33 years ago.

    So my idea is to spend some time in the right seat of his plane getting some of the basics down, and just generally becoming familiar with powered GA flight. Plus we can get a hundred-dollar hamburger :)

    So my question is:

    1) Is it legal to have a PP/PIC let a student fly from the right seat?

    2) I assume these would not be logged hours since the student is a passenger and the PIC is not a CFI.

    So then, armed with some cheaper stick time and having passed the written, my thought is that I could spend close to the minimum amount of expensive time need with a CFI in the flight school's plane.

    Thoughts? Comments? Ridicule? Pitfalls?
     
  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    1. Yes. Although I’m not sure how helpful it would be for a student pilot to be doing any flying from the right seat.
    2. Correct
     
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  3. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    1) Yes. no different from any passenger 'takin the controls'
    2) You can't log it of course.
     
  4. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    You can even sit in the left seat with a PPL in the right seat. I'd have about 50 more hours if I could log it
     
  5. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    I'd concentrate more on stuff like navigating, working the radios, going through checklists, stuff like that. Beware of letting 'muscle memory' set in from the right seat. Maybe your buddy could get some time with a CFI and learn to fly from the right seat.
     
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  6. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    I would be concerned about your buddy unintentionally teaching you bad habits.
     
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  7. rk911

    rk911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    it's not logable instruction time since your buddy is not a CFI but it is valuable learning time. best case, for every hour you fly with him learning the basics is an hour shaved off of your time with the CFI. real world, your CFI whomever it is will want you to demonstrate basic maneuvers...steep turns, stalls, turns around a point, slow flight, take-offs, landings, taxi, etc.etc. until s/he is satisfied with your skills. the CFI may not like the techniques you develop flying with your buddy so be prepared for that. you'd be flying as friends so legally you can compensate your friend only for a maximum 50% of his actual expenses meaning gas, oil, landing/FBO fees, etc. he cannot charge you for labor. you can't solo but if he wants to let you fly the plane...be the sole manipulator of the controls...that's his call but he has to be in the plane with you. seat position is irrelevant. this is no different than a parent "teaching" a son, daughter or family friend. before I started my training I went up with a buddy a few times on poker runs or $100 burger flights and he let me fly the plane for a bit. nothing I could log but it was good experience especially because there was a 30-year break between my original instruction and resuming my instruction and getting my certificate.

    you likely can shave off a few hours of dual which at the prices you quoted could be serious money. but more importantly find a CFI who has the heart of a teacher and not just someone who wants to rack up hours. both types are out there. I was lucky to find my teacher/instructor early on. the first CFI I flew with when I resumed my instruction was a yeller but my second was a teacher and is now my buddy. good luck to you.
     
  8. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait

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    I’d watch primacy. You should do your first flights with the wisest cfi that will teach you impeccable habits to make you safe and conscientious for the rest of the years of your flying.

    After you get started and have good habits, flying around with your buddy is probably good too.

    Let me throw another idea out... would your buddy let you buy in as a partner in his 140? They’re great trainers, and much cheaper than 200 per hour. If you could find an independent cfi, that might be a good option


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  9. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    Almost any time spent in the air is useful. The exception as already pointed out is flying with a pilot that has below average piloting skills but thinks he can teach you a thing or two.

    I am amazed not only how expensive flight training is but also how today's flight schools charge you every second you are there. They didn't do that back when I learned to fly. You were charged hobbs time period & ground time only if the CFI dedicated his time just to you.

    I own a glider flight school & apparently I'm way too generous with my time as a CFIG. I don't want to scare people off with the costs. I rarely charge for my ground time.

    Good luck with your training!
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As a CFI you are correct, you cannot log the time but you can fly from either seat, right or left. An Arrow 140? Piper Cherokee Arrow 140? Never heard of an Arrow 140, if it's a Piper product anyway. Once you learn how to plan a XC (cross country) and your friend is willing, a XC would be beneficial to you. Sure, doesn't hurt anything to go up, just try not to learn any bad habits from you're friend, which you may not know or recognize a bad habit unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  11. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am 52. I did something similar when we bought our 182. My wife has her commercial (but not a CFI). We probably flew together 10 times (without our daughter with). Sometimes just for fun. But I got pretty darned good at taxiing so would always do that. Holding altitude, simple climbs, descents, 30deg bank turns, a bit of VOR tracking, setting up radios, etc. I got really comfortable with uncontrolled airports during all that. I do believe it all helped.

    Now my first CFI wrote me an endorsement to taxi at the Delta on my second lesson so the early experience started off great. Then we spent around 10 flights just on air work, he seemed really happy. I would attribute another 2hrs during that period just to HP stuff. Then we started landings. Landings did not come easy for me. I think it took 5 or 6 dedicated 90min flights until I got it. Lots of laps around the pattern. And then it finally clicked. For me it was all about the sight picture and keeping the plane lined up straight. The majority of those learning to land days had some notable crosswinds. The first day we had "Winds Calm" he soloed me.

    Flight planning, navigation, cross countries and night flights went great.

    But my own nemesis was stronger crosswinds. My first CFI never taught me slips to land and I suspect that played a bit of a role. I was actually slowly learning cross control slips - about 15ft above the runway with about 5 second on each try of a crosswind landing. If I could go back and practice anything during those days before starting it would have been slip on final, just to get the feet and hands...to not work together :) As an almost PPL I would definitely not feel comfortable teaching them to a eager wannabe student in the right seat. However, my wife with thousands of hours easily could have. But I never even knew what they were to ask.

    I see one thing in your post that mirrored my thoughts: To fly in the right seat, get good and keep the PPL to minimums. Well, didn't happen for me. And my advice would be to basically kill off that expectation all together. I'm not trying to kill your dreams. Rather, I hope your plan does work out for you but when you are 90% of the way to your minimums and not done you might get pretty down on yourself. And if you are combining your minimum PPL expectations with your budget you could also be in for a letdown (budget overrun). My advice, at age 53...plan for 75hrs. Then come back and tell me how wrong I was...believe me, for your sake I hope I am wrong.

    But here I sit over 90hrs and not done yet. I did decide to switch instructors which set me back. I am okay with it now. Currently we are doing mock check rides. On the flip side, I have over 35hrs of solo time which has been a blast.

    Here's is what I would have done in the plane (right seat) prior to starting lessons:

    0.) DO NOT bring your own tablet with for these steps. Ideally, you wouldn't even see your friends.
    1.) Learn to start the engine (your friend in right seat) followed by taxi and run up and then shutdown so your friend can get back in the left seat.
    2.) You (right seat) always taxi anytime with him - always. No exception unless there's a problem or confusion.
    3.) If you are at uncontrolled airport, talk on the radio especially when no other traffic
    4.) If your friend is comfortable, have your hands and especially feet lightly on the controls on takeoffs and landings (up to your friend)
    5.) Once you are like 1500ft above the pattern after take off, your controls and continue flying to cruise altitude and headings and he calls them out
    6.) Practice lots of standard turns (bank angle 15deg) ....hold altitude and not overshoot course.
    7.) Practice lots of 30deg bank turns ...hold altitude and not overshoot course.
    8.) If you are comfortable do just a few 45deg turns but I really suspect you'll want to associate that with the left seat.
    9.) Have your friend demonstrate only slow flight for you so you can feel and hear what it is like.
    10.) If the plane you will train in matches your friends plane, have him show you power on and power off stalls but do not fly them yourself.
    11.) Have you dial in the VOR and then fly the radial and get good at passing right over the top.
    12.) Listen to ATIS/AWOS and make the altimeter adjustments and decide the correct runway to land on based on winds
    13.) Go up at least one time at night to experience it.
    14.) Wear the hood once or twice and practice standard turns altitude changes to get an idea of what wearing the hood is.
    15.) Have you friend show you a couple of go-arounds when landing so you can see/hear/feel what goes on
    16.) Do the pre-flights with your friend. Actually do them. Take your time.
    17.) Actually go someplace with your friend where you have to pump the gas yourself, do it so its not a surprise on a solo cross country.

    Things I would definitely not recommend unless in the left seat and with an instructor:
    1.) Learning to takeoff...save that for your instructor and being in the left seat
    2.) Learning to land...ditto...DITTO!!!
    3.) Slips (I believe a instructor will teach you better than a new PPL would)
    4.) Stalls (you want a expert here)
    5.) Slow flight (just too close to a stall or spin to do with PPL)
    6.) Emergency procedures (If you have an emergency during a emergency, you'll want the best with you)
    7.) Class B,C,D radio communications (mainly to not get your friend in trouble)
    8.) Flying the pattern (it just won't be realistic until you are doing it all by yourself in left seat)

    Other recommendations:
    1.) Find an instructor who will communicate progress with you openly and often.
    2.) Ask your instructor what he/she will do if you get stuck (just power through, recommend another instructor, etc)
    3.) Just because your friend flies plane type 'A' you might feel much more comfortable in another type so take your time to try them.
    4.) Be sure of your instructor's total time and if they nearing a jump to a career job.
    5.) Don't put off flying for the sake of your written if you have known bad wx months. I waited to start until late April. Once we hit late October, flying days are rare. I wish I would have started in early March. If you delay your start, you could literally lose months due to bad weather.
    6.) Make sure the FBO you are using has several planes. If there is just one and it goes down you can be down for months.
    7.) Don't buy a lot of stuff. Find a decent headset, then buy other stuff as needed.
    8.) Buy a handheld aviation radio (used or new), Keep it simple. Listen to the tower and ground. It will become your backup, so have it early. I really learned a lot about the radio by listening whenever waiting or driving to the airport.
    9.) If you get stuck don't be afraid to take a small break. Don't just vanish forever. Tell your instructor you just need a few days off. You will come back refreshed and ready to go.
    10.) If your FBO has a online reservation system, learn it early and schedule ahead.
     
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  12. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm just curious how your CFI and your pilot buddy with the airplane replied to your questions.
     
  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Holy cow! We supposed to read all that? :eek:
     
  14. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes. Reading every word of every post is mandatory. Haven't you read the forum rules?
     
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  15. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well if you did then you had time to fly over to GMU today.
     
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  16. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Only half the length of a Nate post. :)
     
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  17. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I thought that was Nate's posts only.... :popcorn:
     
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  18. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :raspberry: Went to the wrong airport, I was waiting at the restaurant at GSP. No one showed, friendly waitress though.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew a lot with my brother(and from both seats) before flying with a real CFI. Worked for me.
     
  20. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    But did she give you a 20% discount?? Doubt it!
     
  21. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I gave her, oh never mind....it was out in the parking lot anyways. :yesnod:

    Y'all said Greenville, and there I was, all by my lonesome....:(
     
  22. Baxsie

    Baxsie Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you all for your replies.

    What I am hearing is that it is legal, my student status does not matter unless I am with a CFI, otherwise, I am a just passenger.

    Possible drawbacks:
    • not having the right/safe/modern way ingrained from the start
    • learning bad habits from my friend
    • not loggable, of course
    • right-seat time might not create good muscle memory for the more typical left flying
    Possible Benefits:
    • flying time is always good
    • it would be learning time
    • low-cost learning/familiarization potentially reducing expensive CFI+plane rental time
    • if the friend was comfortable flying from the right seat as PIC, the passenger can be in the left seat
    Understandings:
    • Any skills gained would still have to be demonstrated with to my CFI, but perhaps not practiced ad-infinitum
    • Still would need the minimum hours of CFI supervised dual and solo time required, even if all skills were known ahead of time
    • The friend would have to be willing to cover half the flying expenses, I could cover the other half.
    Right, it is a Cherokee, not an Arrow. My bad.

    Good to know. I better not budget for the 40 hours shown in all the literature!

    I appreciate your detailed thoughts on all the other points. Good food for thought.

    Ya. I'm working on that. I met an individual CFI (retired), who I really liked, but as the last bit of good weather in the fall rolled around, we could not make our schedules match. That is when I took the expensive first lesson at the one school. (To be clear, I think the "expensive" school is a good organization and very professional, but I think they are more focused on students working towards a career.) So right now I do not have a certain flight instructor. I do have four options:
    1. win the lotto and go with the expensive school
    2. reconnect with the individual CFI
    3. find out that I like the people from flight school (the one that is doing the ground school), and connect with one of them.
    4. meet another local instructor through the local pilots association or EAA
    Right now there is snow on the ground, the holidays, and work is slamming, so I have decided to just concentrate on the home study, the ground school and passing the written.

    Frankly, I am a bit worried about my performance in the ground school. It has been a long damn time since I have had to do that kind of a learning, and I have never been good at memorize-recall knowledge. I want to get that out of the way before I start burning AMUs in the air. I am sure I can pass it in the end, I just want to get that variable off my plate now when it is snowy and flight time is limited.

    One step at a time.

    Thanks for all of your insight and comments.
     
  23. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I wouldn’t do any “real” flying from the right seat. I’d maybe just do radios, cross country planning, pilotage, dead reckoning, etc. You don’t really want to be doing any maneuvers or landings from the right seat as a student pilot.
     
  24. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I learned how to feel comfortable flying in the right seat about ten years ago with a retired UAL 747-400 captain (who is also a CFII) in the left seat. This was after more than 40 years as a private pilot. Now I can confidently take passengers aloft with them in the left seat and feel very comfortable doing it, but I'd wait until I had at least a couple of hundred hours under my belt and treat learning to fly from the right seat as serious transition training.
     
  25. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    No regulatory problem. Over the years I have let dozens, if not hundreds, of non-pilots sit in the right seat and, in many cases, let them take the controls. Your right-seat time in your friend's airplane, while educational, will not be acceptable toward he FAA minimum experience requirements.

    Bob
     
  26. JonH

    JonH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ouch, lots of PPL bashing going on here lol.
     
  27. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    why do you think that?
     
  28. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I don’t understand the advice to not fly right seat. Worst case relearning the sight picture and a few bad habits will take less time than learning from scratch.

    I flew right seat quite a bit in a totally different plane and I got my cert in less than 45 hours. I did stop flying the other plane while I was learning to land. The different timing of the flare was throwing me off when switching between planes.

    I wasn’t 53 yet though, I was a whippersnapper at 49.
     
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  29. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Law of primacy.
     
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  30. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Law of falsely assuming every instructor will teach you no bad habits.

    Sorry, but not flying for fear of learning a bad habit is just silly imo.
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Are you asking if he uses his senior discount along with his AARP membership? LOL.
     
  32. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What the others said, you can sit in ether seat and manipulate the controls, just can't log the time.

    Also I'd recommend the king schools for ground stuff.

    The CFI charging flat rate for ground is fine, is his time less valuable on the ground? I think not.

    The price for that plane is crazy, is look into flying clubs and also free lance CFIs, ask on here with you location someone might be able to help you out.

    Also 50 vs 100hr for a CFI, what's the difference that makes one worth twice the other??

    When I freelance I charge $50 cash or barter, and that get your a working ATP pilot with a thousands of hours. $100hr is a little crazy for primary instruction in a standard issue trainer in a standard issue airport environment.
     
  33. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    I’d trust the opinion of the worst CFI more than a PPL. They were trained to teach. A PPL is not.
     
  34. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just can't agree that flying from the opposite seat or using the opposite hand to fly is either harmful or difficult for a student or low time pilot. After I had my ASEL and just beginning working on my AMEL rating in my CFI's Duchess, a friend took me up in his Geronimo and let me fly and land it from the right seat. I found the transition not difficult at all and even greased the landing. In the next few years I did my tailwheel endorsement in a Decathlon and then my ASES in a Citabria, both of which require you to fly right handed. No issues at all.
     
  35. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Heck, she could charge me 20% extra and I would not complain.
     
  36. JonH

    JonH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There were a couple of posts. Learning bad habits from a PPL, and not learning stalls from them, etc. Anyway I don't want to derail this thread, just take it as my uniformed PPL opinion.
     
  37. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You and me both. Certainly a nice courtesy.
     
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  38. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    How is that PPL bashing?
     
  39. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Man, I wouldn't go that far. I have seen some pretty poor CFIs and some pretty outstanding teachers that weren't CFIs.
     
  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
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    22,495
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Yeah, there's always going to be opposite opinion posts. But I think the majority of the posts were of a favorable opinion, just with caveats about doing so.