Training has stalled. Advice sought. What would you do in my position?

darthanubis

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Cmdr Heretic
Well, my IRA checkride was cancelled by a DPE once, never to hear from him again, he's still doing rides. I found another DPE myself, and the last two dates have been rescheduled for wx. I was ready to take my checkride in March! My next date for my check ride is first week of July!

I haven't started CPL timebuilding, because I have no one to split the cost of the plane with, as the rental cost is $200/hr wet. I only have 95hrs. A PPL student has his upcoming ride mid June. If he passess, I'm helping to make sure he does. He is willing to time build at 5hrs/day, for our 150 towards CPL.

I'm considering getting my tail wheel endorsement, buying a tailwheel plane, and hopefully work with the school to leaseback, and enable the school to branch into selling tailwheel endorsements. Once I get my CFII, I could do the endorsements myself if the school isn't interested.

My only issue with a tailwheel plane, is that most don't appear equipped for XCs, even if they are IFR capable. How comfortable, noise etc, are they for XC. I ask considering satisfying 61.129.

If I or me and my copilot purchase a plane, I'd like for it to be useful, hence the leaseback. On the high side I think maybe $170k, but I'd rather it be a lot lower than that. That would be financed. I think between me and the other guy, we could do $60k outright.
 
Where are you located(?) and give me a call at the number on my website. Depending on how experienced the school is that might be fine or it might be a terrible idea.
 
My only issue with a tailwheel plane, is that most don't appear equipped for XCs, even if they are IFR capable.

I'm curious, how so?

Perhaps your expectations need to be recalibrated, depending on what aircraft you're looking at.
 
Where are you located(?) and give me a call at the number on my website. Depending on how experienced the school is that might be fine or it might be a terrible idea.
I'm in central Virginia. Texas is a bit of a stretch for me atm.
 
I'm curious, how so?

Perhaps your expectations need to be recalibrated, depending on what aircraft you're looking at.
Well, I have zero time in a tailwheel, so I don't know. I saw a YT video where someone said they weren't as comfortable XC in a TW as say a Bonanza. Sounds fair to me, but again, no idea, which is why I'm soliciting input from those who have the experience.

I'm planning on tying the plane up outside. Most of the older TW planes have fabric, and some wood props. I can't imagine that's great for the elements. All metal birds I'm considering are, Cessna 170B- popular and expensive for the Super type. Cessna 140, all metal, Luscombe 8E-F, Stinson 108E?, I don't know which Citabria would be good. Also a Maule 7-180, I think these are the only model all metal? I'd prefer the side by side seating. I would at the least want ADSB, a 430W would just be icing.

My main issue for now is to get in the air and start logging hours. If I can get more use out of the plane than that, it'd be great. I don't think schools are looking to leaseback Mooneys or Bonanzas. With the TW time, I could pull banners and teach, so I'll have more options. I don't have other motivated pilots to bounce my rough ideas off. The CFIs are leaving to the airline queue. I've resisted asking here, but realize I need help.

While waiting for my checkride, I'm studying to take the FII,AGI,IGI, FOI.
 
My only issue with a tailwheel plane, is that most don't appear equipped for XCs, even if they are IFR capable. How comfortable, noise etc, are they for XC. I ask considering satisfying 61.129.
Not to be a jerk, but the Spirit of St Louis was a tailwheel.

Joking aside, I can't see any money in specifically having a tailwheel aircraft just to do endorsements. I could maybe see doing primary flight instruction in tailwheel, at a premium over instruction in tricycle. It may or not be true, but some believe that learning that first leads to better overall training.

As far as cross country goes? If you're comparing aircraft in the same weight and wing loading range, I can't see any possible difference. Now if you're talking about different weights and wing loading, then sure - is an aircraft with a 38 mph stall going to get tossed around in the wind more than one with a 63 mph stall? Yes. I don't know if that's a comfort thing, though, or if it means that you might not get as many flying/training days in a lighter aircraft. That is a thing. I flew at a place that trained in both J3's and PA-28's, and there absolutely were days too windy for training in a cub, but fine for most in a Cherokee. Percentage though? I don't think all that much. Even if you can fly a PA-28 in 15G25 or whatever, few are going to train in that.

Just my 2 cents, not a CFI, never been in the IRA.
 
Not to be a jerk, but the Spirit of St Louis was a tailwheel.

Joking aside, I can't see any money in specifically having a tailwheel aircraft just to do endorsements. I could maybe see doing primary flight instruction in tailwheel, at a premium over instruction in tricycle. It may or not be true, but some believe that learning that first leads to better overall training.

As far as cross country goes? If you're comparing aircraft in the same weight and wing loading range, I can't see any possible difference. Now if you're talking about different weights and wing loading, then sure - is an aircraft with a 38 mph stall going to get tossed around in the wind more than one with a 63 mph stall? Yes. I don't know if that's a comfort thing, though, or if it means that you might not get as many flying/training days in a lighter aircraft. That is a thing. I flew at a place that trained in both J3's and PA-28's, and there absolutely were days too windy for training in a cub, but fine for most in a Cherokee. Percentage though? I don't think all that much. Even if you can fly a PA-28 in 15G25 or whatever, few are going to train in that.

Just my 2 cents, not a CFI, never been in the IRA.
Thank you. You did hit on something I care about but did not type, I don't care to be tossed around. I absolutely would do primary training instruction in a TW. I just have to get my CFII. Which I would hope will be in the next 6 months. I was thinking, if the school leasebacked my plane,it would defer the cost of flying their C172RG for XC. I plan to fly that plane once my copilot passes, and gets checked out in it to build complex time. I'm trying not to move up in A/P capability too fast. Recent high profile mishaps, and certain V-tail planes, give new pilots the heebee geebees. However, I do see some very reasonably priced high performance, complex planes. However, the maintenance and insurance requirements bring me back to reality. I was just thinking I'd find a niche and make my skill set and plane work to my advantage.
 
Well, I have zero time in a tailwheel, so I don't know. I saw a YT video where someone said they weren't as comfortable XC in a TW as say a Bonanza. Sounds fair to me, but again, no idea, which is why I'm soliciting input from those who have the experience.

I'm planning on tying the plane up outside. Most of the older TW planes have fabric, and some wood props. I can't imagine that's great for the elements. All metal birds I'm considering are, Cessna 170B- popular and expensive for the Super type. Cessna 140, all metal, Luscombe 8E-F, Stinson 108E?, I don't know which Citabria would be good. Also a Maule 7-180, I think these are the only model all metal? I'd prefer the side by side seating. I would at the least want ADSB, a 430W would just be icing.

My main issue for now is to get in the air and start logging hours. If I can get more use out of the plane than that, it'd be great. I don't think schools are looking to leaseback Mooneys or Bonanzas. With the TW time, I could pull banners and teach, so I'll have more options. I don't have other motivated pilots to bounce my rough ideas off. The CFIs are leaving to the airline queue. I've resisted asking here, but realize I need help.

While waiting for my checkride, I'm studying to take the FII,AGI,IGI, FOI.

That's a bit of a different concern than whether an aircraft is "equipped for XCs" or not.

Conventional gear aircraft are not required for banner towing and in my experience, people aren't going to be beating down your door for tailwheel endorsements. Your comments here suggest that you're not real sure what you're really after, other than flight time. There are plenty of inexpensive tri gear airplanes that will fill your needs and would likely be gentler on expenses. Having observed several cases (including my own) where aircraft ownership ends up being a distraction and time building takes a back seat, I'd recommend just finding an inexpensive flying club or rental option and fly whatever they have. Ownership will almost certainly not be the cheaper route unless everything works out perfectly.

And for the record, I take my Super Cub with the minimum VFR instruments all over the US. Not everyone has the same view on what kind of aircraft is or isn't acceptable to travel in.
 
Suggest you get a few hours in a taildragger to see if you like it before making career plans.
I will also add as somebody whom did all my initial training and first solo in a champ that learning from day one in a taildragger with adverse yaw is (in my very biased opinion) a far better way to learn. (Primacy of learning and all that..). When from the very beginning you learn to USE the rudder, the light wing loading and slower speed teaching you to deal with updrafts/downdrafts/gusts more noticble on final, the adverse yaw forcing coordination on turns and not just lazy yoking… many subtle things that make for a better pilot in the long run, and prevent the development of bad habits. Learning crosswind gusting wheel landings took me a while, but the first time i smoothly set it down on one wheel at a pretty high bank angle and smooth as grease progressively touched down the other two was a da** good feeling of pride and accomplishment.

That said, I think for somebody who has never even flown a tail wheel aircraft to be considering teaching it once they have their minimums would be great disservice to their future students..
 
That's a bit of a different concern than whether an aircraft is "equipped for XCs" or not.

Conventional gear aircraft are not required for banner towing and in my experience, people aren't going to be beating down your door for tailwheel endorsements. Your comments here suggest that you're not real sure what you're really after, other than flight time. There are plenty of inexpensive tri gear airplanes that will fill your needs and would likely be gentler on expenses. Having observed several cases (including my own) where aircraft ownership ends up being a distraction and time building takes a back seat, I'd recommend just finding an inexpensive flying club or rental option and fly whatever they have. Ownership will almost certainly not be the cheaper route unless everything works out perfectly.

And for the record, I take my Super Cub with the minimum VFR instruments all over the US. Not everyone has the same view on what kind of aircraft is or isn't acceptable to travel in.
Thank you for hitting all the points!

ETA: Clubs aren't accepting new members. The clubs that are, prices aren't better than outright renting. Not a lot of options in these parts. Which is why I'm trying to think outside the box.
 
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I will also add as somebody whom did all my initial training and first solo in a champ that learning from day one in a taildragger with adverse yaw is (in my very biased opinion) a far better way to learn. (Primacy of learning and all that..). When from the very beginning you learn to USE the rudder, the light wing loading and slower speed teaching you to deal with updrafts/downdrafts/gusts more noticble on final, the adverse yaw forcing coordination on turns and not just lazy yoking… many subtle things that make for a better pilot in the long run, and prevent the development of bad habits. Learning crosswind gusting wheel landings took me a while, but the first time i smoothly set it down on one wheel at a pretty high bank angle and smooth as grease progressively touched down the other two was a da** good feeling of pride and accomplishment.

That said, I think for somebody who has never even flown a tail wheel aircraft to be considering teaching it once they have their minimums would be great disservice to their future students..
I absolutely want those skills. I just don't want to get endorsed, and then not have TW availability and those skills decay. I appreciate also not rushing to teach someone right after acquiring said skills. Thank you!

This is all great input!
 
My only issue with a tailwheel plane, is that most don't appear equipped for XCs, even if they are IFR capable. How comfortable, noise etc, are they for XC. I ask considering satisfying 61.129.
Does my friend’s flight from North Carolina to Alaska in an IFR-equipped Husky count?
 
I ask considering satisfying 61.129.
Specifically which sections of 61.129? The only sections that can be satisfied by equipment are the complex/TAA requirements.

Sounds more like you’re just needing to build time while maintaining proficiency. You can do that by owning an airplane, but as @mondtster indicated, that can also become a distraction. The simpler the airplane, the less likely it will be a distraction, but that may defeat your proficiency needs.

You mentioned the M7-180…I think that would be a good cross country plane, especially if you could find one equipped for IFR. The trade offs…the fuselage is still fabric (you mentioned concerns with that), and insurance might be prohibitive (as one agent used to say, “Every Maule owner is a demo pilot.”) From an insurance standpoint, it might be near impossible to use it as a tailwheel trainer.

Another downside to ownership is your experience ends up revolving around flying one airplane, and we tend to develop habits rather than skills fairly quickly, which makes it more difficult when the time comes to learn a new airplane. I spend a lot of time teaching basic instrument skills and procedures rather than teaching people to apply solid instrument skills and procedures to a new airplane.

I think you need to more clearly define your goals before you think about aircraft ownership.
 
Primary in a TW isa very good thing. But you have to convince the students.

But first, you need to run the numbers. Check on insurance cost for a low time TW pilot. Be sitting down when you read the quotes. Then ask for insurance to include instructing. And if you are doing primary, then there will be student solo in the plane.

How much is tie down? How much for annuals and 100 hour inspections (you realize you will need those)? Fuel? Oil? Tires?

Other maintenance? Starter just died on my TW airplane. New starter is $1300. Plus labor.

You may find, especially if you finance the plane that it is not a lot cheaper than renting.

$200 per hour wet for a 177RG is actually pretty cheap.
 
We have a very active club on field, and *had*, at another FBO, the ability to do TW work.

Very few people did this - and I think you're own story highlights it- because the endorsement is not part of the time building track.

I don't fully understand the price sensitivity to time building, but considering buying a plane to leaseback.
 
Taildraggers aren’t equipped for cross-country? I’ll pass that along to my friend who has flown his Stearman to all lower 48 states, almost all of it below 1500 AGL.
 
If you have the cash flow, it seems like you could start some of the required dual for commercial now.

I will say I thought flying recreationally to places I wanted to go taught me more than an equally low time cfi building time for their atp was going to teach me, but maybe it’s heresy to say that…
 
Specifically which sections of 61.129? The only sections that can be satisfied by equipment are the complex/TAA requirements.

Sounds more like you’re just needing to build time while maintaining proficiency. You can do that by owning an airplane, but as @mondtster indicated, that can also become a distraction. The simpler the airplane, the less likely it will be a distraction, but that may defeat your proficiency needs.

You mentioned the M7-180…I think that would be a good cross country plane, especially if you could find one equipped for IFR. The trade offs…the fuselage is still fabric (you mentioned concerns with that), and insurance might be prohibitive (as one agent used to say, “Every Maule owner is a demo pilot.”) From an insurance standpoint, it might be near impossible to use it as a tailwheel trainer.

Another downside to ownership is your experience ends up revolving around flying one airplane, and we tend to develop habits rather than skills fairly quickly, which makes it more difficult when the time comes to learn a new airplane. I spend a lot of time teaching basic instrument skills and procedures rather than teaching people to apply solid instrument skills and procedures to a new airplane.

I think you need to more clearly define your goals before you think about aircraft ownership.
Thank you for the thoughtful response. You picked out some concerns I touched on but didn't particularly articulate. That being, wanting an airplane that would satisfy time building, while allowing me to maintain my instrument proficiency requirements. I realize I have a broad request for assistance, as I was more or less, needing to have an informed discussion about a way to approach, killing a half dozen birds with one or two stones. Everyone's shared experience is helping me look at this problem from a more informed perspective.
 
IMHO - you are over complicating this.
1) Focus on finishing your Instrument. Just keep practicing your Instrument skills, do mock check rides every week, keep reviewing the knowledge part. And you'll need to have a CFII sign you off for the check ride. I don't know that they last indefinitely - you might need to get re signed for a check ride?? Might want to look into that.

2) What is your goal? You mentioned becoming a CFII, but why?

3) Do not buy a plane, deal with lease backs, etc. Don't switch to getting your commercial work. Just get the IR done.
 
I don't fully understand the price sensitivity to time building, but considering buying a plane to leaseback.
I can understand that. My thinking was 150hr * $200/hr being $30k before I even pay for my CPL/CFI/II/and multi checkrides would make better sense, if I could lease a plane back to the school and get some ROI. There is a glass equipped 172SP supposedly bring in $9k/month for the owner that is leased back to the school. It's always booked, but I can find a pilot who wants to fly it because of the g1000. You hear of stories of guys getting through all their rating with a purchased plane, and then selling to break even, or make a profit. Those stories are usually c150s, but you see some are Mooney drivers.

I was wondering how I might do something of the sort, but with the TW twist. I though with the bush pilot fad red hot, I could capitalize on that. All to the end of getting myself through these ratings without so much pain, in lost time, and money.
 
Buying a plane to lease back is a money losing proposition, especially something like a TW aircraft.

If building time is the point, a well maintained 2 seater can accomplish this. And it doesn't have to have the latest panel gizmos to fly cross country.
Such as.....
 
IMHO - you are over complicating this.
1) Focus on finishing your Instrument. Just keep practicing your Instrument skills, do mock check rides every week, keep reviewing the knowledge part. And you'll need to have a CFII sign you off for the check ride. I don't know that they last indefinitely - you might need to get re signed for a check ride?? Might want to look into that.

2) What is your goal? You mentioned becoming a CFII, but why?

3) Do not buy a plane, deal with lease backs, etc. Don't switch to getting your commercial work. Just get the IR done.
Thank you.
1. Roger that. I did my instrument part 141. My first 60days lapsed, so I have to redo my end of course ground and flight to reset that clock.
2. Well, CFII's make more money because they can give more dual, getting more flight time, getting myself to become more employable. I'm not in this for fun.
Although I love flying.
3. So you're saying FOCUS! Roger that!

I'm just getting antsy, and frustrated, seeing as I should be further along. I hear you though. I just said the same thing to myself this morning.
 
Are you able to safety pilot for anyone where you are?

It has it's uses, although I learned the hard way to not fly with anyone that was just trying to get out of learning with a CFII.
 
…There is a glass equipped 172SP supposedly bring in $9k/month…
Ask what the expenses are. I’m guessing the fuel bill takes a bite, the routine maintenance and 100hr takes a bite, the database takes a bite, the insurer takes a bite, the airport takes a bite, and the flight school takes a bite. I’d bet the owner sees very little profit off the income.

Second, the only way a leaseback makes money is when other people are flying. If you fly it, others can’t; you’re losing that income while also incurring expenses for every 0.1 on the hobbs a renter isn’t paying for.

Club is the most affordable way to do what you want to do; absent that, find an existing partnership to buy into or split cost being someone’s safety pilot.
 
I can understand that. My thinking was 150hr * $200/hr being $30k before I even pay for my CPL/CFI/II/and multi checkrides would make better sense, if I could lease a plane back to the school and get some ROI. There is a glass equipped 172SP supposedly bring in $9k/month for the owner that is leased back to the school. It's always booked, but I can find a pilot who wants to fly it because of the g1000. You hear of stories of guys getting through all their rating with a purchased plane, and then selling to break even, or make a profit. Those stories are usually c150s, but you see some are Mooney drivers.

I was wondering how I might do something of the sort, but with the TW twist. I though with the bush pilot fad red hot, I could capitalize on that. All to the end of getting myself through these ratings without so much pain, in lost time, and money.

Leasebacks work well for the school, not so good for the owner. Lots of pitfalls in leasing back.

Planning to buy, put hours in then sell at a break even point is a long shot. One oil change with a filter full of metal can end that scenario in a second, or any other huge unscheduled maintenance event.
 
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