PDA

View Full Version : Learning to fly Ultralights



Norman Langlois
09-01-2012, 08:37 PM
Learning has become a challenge. Rather finding instruction is. Its not impossible to learn to train in a single seat airplane, but many do not agree.This is Not acceptable to many. I think it is. We are back to where it began with out the two seat trainers.There are some who will instruct from the sideline but are very rare. I found such a CFI. I was instructed and I have completed flight training to solo.
There is no real reason why my flight training can not continue in the aircraft I built. We have found two place training is available in other aircraft if I need it. The U/L is still very appealing to many including myself. Its a shame to let the nay sayers end the era. I not only learned to fly the plane, I designed and built the plane and did the initial testing.Then I handed the plane over to an experience pilot for complete test, after which I was instructed in steps. For U/L planes that are well known this is not as much of a challenge.
I am not finished learning and probably never will be, but at this time I can still continue increasing my knowledge with safety in mind. It is very rewarding to have accomplished the goal with so many closed doors. The will to fly and years of flight simulator time helped. I now have the actual flight time. Flight simulation falls to far from the tree but still spawned a pilot. Wish they put that wind turbulence in there.

rosiejerryrosie
09-02-2012, 06:57 AM
You are to be admired, Norm. You had a goal and you achieved it. Congrats.

Buzz
09-02-2012, 02:18 PM
Its not impossible to learn to train in a single seat airplane, but many do not agree.This is Not acceptable to many. I think it is.

This was the ONLY way we trained people to fly ultralights in the early years. In my experience, the safety record of a properly conducted single place methodology using the right single place ultralight is the same as a 2-place.

The early basic ultralight designs were simply hang gliders with an engine on them. We had been using the single place methodology to teach people to fly hang gliders and just ported the training methodology over when the availability of an engine on the early designs ultralights eliminated the need for a hill. Kitty Hawk Kites has trained 300,000 people to fly hang gliders with a single place training methodology.

I got a GA license when I was 17. I also have experience teaching others to fly both hang gliders and ultralights using the single place method.

Providing one has the right training aircraft, neither way is superior. Both will achieve the same final learning outcome of a trained ultralight pilot if properly done.

However, the methods are very dissimilar. The 2-seat method starts high in the air and gradually works down. The single place method starts down on the ground and gradually works up. If one has not used both methods, one probably can't fully grasp how different they are in terms of what is taught when in the learning process. One learns the same things, just in a different sequence depending on the methodology.

I think the reason why the single place method has naysayers is that too many people tried use it for self-teaching. Both the single place method or the 2-seat method need to be taught by an instructor knowledgeable in the particularly methodology.

The bad reputation of the single place training methodology for ultralight training was because some individuals with absolutely no aviation experience tried to train themselves to fly using a single place. They had no clue as to the single place training methodology. It's been said, "Any doctor that treats himself has a foot for a patient". Anyone that tried to act as their own flight instructor and figuring out the single place training methodology had a fool for an instructor.

-Buzz

Norman Langlois
09-16-2012, 06:03 AM
As the student I can get the most important things during the time with an instructor. There is the time after instruction. When I still am the student but flying on my own. I am sure there are many stories to be told of experiences alone in an ultralight , facing the varying environmental influences on the plane. I fly a ultralight seaplane with no landing gear. I try to choose low wind conditions, but often that can not be determined from the ground or by calling flight services. The local conditions you have to face as soon as you lift off and gain altitude you must deal with that accordingly. go around and land and go home or accept.

Here is an experience. I was flying around the lake not exactly liking the wind conditions but since I had gone to the trouble of getting the plane in the water and getting the air time I was going around a few time . I took the down wind leg low and when approaching the down wind end of the lake I put on the power and went for altitude for my turn safety margin. I was not liking the rate of climb. It was too shallow. I new the landscape straight ahead was also rising .I had options Since I new the lake I new I could make the turn around an island and be in the upwind stream before I would have obstruction. It was exactly that and went as executed. What was learned ? don't buzz the fish on the down wind leg do that in the up wind leg and fly a safer altitude down wind.
The ultra lights don't have the power to stand on there props when you come up against the wall.

Buzz I do like having the wide open space of the lake for opps. With stick and ruder skills already in a student the transition to real flying is these things learning to deal with the environment.

Norm

Buzz
09-17-2012, 05:06 AM
Here is an experience. I was flying around the lake not exactly liking the wind conditions but since I had gone to the trouble of getting the plane in the water and getting the air time I was going around a few time.
Norm-Thanks for sharing your story above.

Because this thread is learning to fly ultralights, I'll comment on what I see is the greater lesson in your story.

The line that I quoted above has been the start of so many stories of accidents in every area of aviation that there is even a illness named after it in aviation. "Goitis". This illness has burned so many pilots. Especially new pilots. And especially utralight pilots where a lot of the learning is on one's own.

But it's a term that was coined first in General Aviation. Pilots have the family on board, weather condition are deteriorating but they decide "We've come this far, it's a real hassle to turn around. I'll just press on and see what it is a little further ahead." They fly into weather where they don't have the skills to safely make a 180 and then crash.

Or someone makes the drive out to the hangar, there is more crosswind than there are used to, it makes them nervous but they say, "Since I went through the trouble....." Their gut tells them not to fly. That conditions are at the edge of their skill level. But they justify pressing on because they've already invested some time and effort to initiate the flight.

And my very favorite [which has been the source of so many parts sales for the manufacturers of ultralight]..."My family/friends/etc. came out to the airport to watch me fly my project. I wasn't liking the conditions but they had gone through all the trouble to come out and I didn't want to tell them I wasn't going to fly."

There is an old line so many flight instructors have told their students, "It's more important to know when NOT to fly than it is HOW to fly." If you learn that lesson, you will save yourself untold heartache. There is nothing worse than wrecking your airplane and having to live with "I KNEW I should have left it in the hangar." The idea that you overrode your gut feeling for expediency or to save face with spectators who came to watch, or dozens of other justifications that got them to override their gut feeling and press on even though it made them nervous. [Another old aviation line is "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots. There are no old, bold pilots."]

I applaud your inventive spirit Norm. I also applaud all the work you've done. Also that you are going to be a life long student of aviation. One of the best things you can learn is not to make all the prep you put into doing your next aviation action be the reason you take it. Take it not because of that, but because your gut says you are ready. Flying is not an activity that should take nerve to do. If one is at nervous about starting a flight, that's the sign NOT to take it.

Unlike any other activity there is, flying is unforgiving. It is travel in 3 dimensions. There is no pulling over to the side of the road and letting whatever condition you don't like pass. You can't slow down the airplane to let you catch up to it. Every takeoff has to be paired with a successful landing. There are far less "second chances" in aviation then there are in other activities. And unlike the flight simulators, there are no "reset" buttons once you get in the air.

Goitis probably has it's most fertile ground to grow in very early on in someones flying career. That's when the thrill of the next flight can cloud one's decision making ability on not taking the risk. Also, one doesn't have a lot of experience, so the likelihood that they'll be bumping up against their skill level with wind conditions etc. is most likely. Aviators need to listen carefully to their gut. And the new aviator has to listen to their guy the closest.

If you read the aviation accident reports, they detail the reason for "pilot error" ["Failed to maintain proper control of airspeed". Etc.] Technically that's true. For many pilots [and mores for new pilots], the accident report is more correct if it said, "Failed to follow gut instinct and leave plane in hangar [or on trailer] after getting to the airport."

"I wasn't liking flying conditions, but since.........." is a line that anyone flying without an instructor to take over if they get behind the airplane needs to really avoid.

Not to be critical Norm. Just trying to help you [and others new in the aviating game] avoid unnecessary heartache on repairing stuff that so many of us have either had or watched others experience in ultralight flying.

-Buzz

jedi
09-21-2012, 06:17 PM
A Men, Buzz! Thanks for the great comment. The same can be said so many ways but by no means better or more clearly. I hope others will follow up on this concept.

The EAA message of the day is:
All too often, investigations of fatal accidents reveal that the pilots involved were generally competent and safe individuals who fell victim to a tragic lapse in good decision-making."

"To fly or not to fly, that is the question"

Give the wrong answer and you loose.

Norman Langlois
09-22-2012, 04:10 PM
I new I was putting foot in mouth with that statement.
I could have avoided that response .
Please note conditions were not detectable from the ground level . I said I didnt like the conditions when at altitude for opps . Not that the conditions are or were unacceptable for typical U/L opps . Just not for my pleasure level. Still I need to get time and experience in the conditions of the day. And that was the reason for the 2 go arounds.
If I , we avoid all such conditions than we will not gather the important experience needed. I take it in small doses . twice around the lake and home I go if its not to my liking. Once in the air one most land so one take off one landing .

I feel spanked , But that response was worth it.

Regards Norm

Buzz
09-23-2012, 01:03 AM
Norm-
I give you tremendous credit for sharing your experiences on this website. Both your trials and your tribulations.

You've put terrific preparation into everything that you've done. I also suspect that you have shared only a SMALL portion of that preparation with us in your postings.

A lot of my feedback has been cautionary for other readers who may have had your dream and probably underestimate how much sweat you've put into your project. It's like looking at those really nice homebuilts at Oshkosh and saying "Gee, I'd love to do this.", not realizing what it means to put year and years and thousands and thousands of building hours into what one sees sitting there." No one is ever an "overnight success". They just look that way to others.

Your results speak of themselves. You don't have to defend them. Or feel spanked by anyone's feedback.

I appreciate your willingness to be the subject of a "I Learned About Flying From That" type thread which lets the rest of us share what we've learned. Hopefully any reader will take a "use what works and leave the rest behind" approach to reading the thread. Some of the stuff they read they'll get some benefit out of, other stuff they may find neither useful nor agree with.

Finally, the Internet, like no other time in history, has made it possible to learn from others. I can go in and Google just about any question and tap a huge storehouse of information. But it takes people like you that take the time to put their information out there that make that possible.

Fly on and post on Norm!

-Buzz

jedi
09-25-2012, 05:01 AM
Thanks again Buzz for your insightful input. I have encouraged another single seat student to follow this blog. I hope that Mr. Caesar will join in with his progress reports. Any other lurkers out there please join in. All comments pro and con are appreciated.

Norman Langlois
09-27-2012, 05:42 PM
Thank you Buzz!
Even though I have been posting in these forums for 4-5 years. I still feel the presence of the how dare you think you can build and fly without credentials .

Yes I have only shared a small part of the whole project. Form wanting to have a plane and learning to fly all the way to having my dream and flying it has been 8 years.

It is no small undertaking . In the early days someone said it takes an understanding spouse and family. and a lot of tenacity . I did not have the support of my family and only a truce between the spouse and still occasionally flaring to and argument.

I chose to wait till I had a plane before learning to fly. Maybe that was a mistake , maybe not.I was of the mind set that type specific and a more current education in flight was better than being stagnant for 8 years, till I got to use the training. Financially, I could not do both at the same time anyway.

Norman Langlois
09-27-2012, 06:15 PM
Lost part of my post

Learning to fly came partly from the unmentionable source Simulation. I spent 10 years with a combat flight simulation squadron. During the time I custom built ruder and flight yoke system. flying in combat simulation with this hardware and being accustomed to the 3 dimensional world necessary to do combat. Is actually no different than the real thing as far as the body's coordination goes its the same. I am well trained physically.

The shock and awe came when I was 100 ft in the air. This ain't no game and they didn't put this dam wind in the simulator .
Still I was quite able to fly the plane . No miracle no luck just unprepared. Just level off power down and land.
Prepared is a state of mind . I had not confirmed the plane would fly . Luck maybe but that has to do with the construction not the flying . After the flight I began to learn to control the lift off speed .I was never afraid of it after that,I kept working to improve the stats for rotation.
last month I reached the time when the plane was to be flown by a test pilot to confirm its character. who also completed my lessons to fly using the single seat methodology all the time. As well all the early lift off and landing were always discussed in detail.

One such event was a take off and landing during gusty wind conditions of 7-8 mph
At the point of flare power set to a rate of decent ( not off). A gust of wind stalled me at 5 ft off the water,resulting in me skipping like a stone up to 7 or 8 ft and splat like a Mallard duck .I got a bit wet . lesson learned power on with such wind conditions fly it back onto the water timing the power off at the contact and flare
Regards Norm

Bill Berson
09-27-2012, 06:36 PM
I train radio control model students using a second controller (called a "buddy box" )that allows the instructor to take control when needed. Could this be used for ultralights? I can't recommend this just yet because of problems with reliable radio signals.

But, after some thought about this, I think maybe radio control might work if the student had direct cable control of half the controls and the instructor had half(requires additional control surfaces for instructors use, throttle could be instructor only, I think.) If the ultralight was properly trimmed, the instructor could avoid disaster when needed, and a radio control glitch would not be a total disaster either since the student retains some control(hopefully).
The instructor should have voice radio communication also.

Buzz
09-28-2012, 02:09 PM
In the early days of ultralight flying prior to the advent of two seaters, there was a lot of training done via radios by instructors.

Dan Johnson, one of the most respected people in the ultralight and the light sport field, recounts this radio training at 2:00 in this video interview. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwaP9a1niBE&feature=related.

The key to successful non-dual flight instruction was/is:
1. Use the simplest aircraft possible. In the early days of ultralights, that was a 2-axis, single surface, high dihedral ultralight [e.g. the Quicksilver MX]. Still is.
2. Train in the simplest conditions. Training is done in completely calm conditions.
3. Introduce only 1 new skill at a time. Example, one learns throttle control and yaw control first with lots of "penguin" time spent on the ground. One then transitions to learning pitch control by lifting the nose wheel off the ground and setting it back on without transitioning to flight. First flights are typically at 1-2 ft in complete control and last often less than 100 feet. The flights build up from there.
4. Have an instructor that is very knowledgable and experienced in the aircraft being trained in and the single place methodology. An instructor very experienced in the a/c is well ahead of it at all times. If they are "ahead" of it, they can keep the student from getting "behind" it.

Following the four points above, some simple voice instruction is all that is required from the instructor. The student never gets into a situation where the instructor has to take control of the aircraft.

If one follows those 4 points, the instruction will result in the safe outcomes that Dan Johnson states occurred in the "pre two seater" period of ultralight instruction.

[With RC flying, there is essentially no penguin time. Ditto to how utralight flying is taught with the "dual" method. All the instruction and learning is done in the air at high altitude. In that case, one needs to have dual control of the a/c. In the case of RC, with a buddy box. In the case of ultralight instruction via "the dual method", with the instructor in the a/c.]

P.S. As Dan Johnson points out, the two seater made instruction easier. Primarily because one could train in some wind conditions. However, as he states about the single place method. "It worked. It was alright. Because the early ultralights were so simple to fly."

Norman Langlois
09-28-2012, 05:01 PM
This being from the student point of view.
Regardless of all the training the point of being at altitude and alone. Is shocking . With all the modern tech since the early days, surely there is some aid device. to assimilate the instructor being with you during these early altitude stages even during the whole program while a student is in the cockpit, Like cockpit cameras and radio communication.Setups that give the instructor the same views the student has and the ability to suggest and comfort .
Instructor intervention by suggestion only by Verbal command.

Buzz wind conditions ?
In my part of the world calm windless days . You would probably get about 20 days a year like that in my area. and most of those would not fall on scheduled training days. restricting you to small time windows early morning late evening at the time the winds shut down or before the sun stirs things up .
Wind is part of the training even though it must be light 5 to 7 mph.
I realize what you mean but it seems so wishful thinking a training season would be so frustrating to come to learn only to go home because the wind doesn't cooperate.

In your young student plan Have you considered a summer camp venue. with flight training as the main theme? your students would would be able to better move through the developing stages with such a day to day regimen.
Respectfully Norm

Buzz
09-29-2012, 06:41 AM
Norm,
The two times I believe when the student has the most chance to feel a bit overwhelmed is the first time they break ground in a crow hop and the first time they climb high enough to no longer be judging their pitch and airspeed from ground reference. Those are two major transitions. #1 Ground practice to flight. #2 Ground reference flight to non-ground reference flight. So I'm not surprised that you really felt shocked when you were at altitude alone for the first time. Part of it is realizing the ground is WAY down there and loss of control of the a/c isn't going to result in some bruises and maybe some bent tubing. I had maybe 150 hrs in Cessnas the first time I took my MX up to 800 ft. It was a "holy smokes" experience, looking around in that seat.

All flying has certain critical transition points. For instance, It's been said the most critical hours of flying are the 100th, 500th and 1000th for all pilots. Those can be periods of complacency and one needs to be vigilant to complacency when passing through them.

As for technology, I think it depends on how sophisticated the airplane is. The lunar lander took hundreds of hours of simulation to learn how to land it and a ton of people providing the pilot information during the landing stage. Even then, the first actual lunar landing was still pretty dicey because there was so much technology involved. [Armstrong said later he thought prior to the mission that there was a 50% chance Apollo 11 would be successful in trying to land. There was that amount of chance something would not go perfectly right.]

I think as the aircraft gets simpler and easier to fly [because of slower speeds, less control sensitivity, less mass in a hard landing, less responsive flying characteristics, etc.] there needs to be corresponding less instructor control. With a 2-axis, single surface, high dihedral ultralight, history has shown there can be really good training outcomes with the instructor just using a radio after sufficient ground instruction.

In calm wind conditions, the instructor can judge airspeed and pitch by reference to the ground in the first crow hop flights. They don't really need to be seeing anything from the student's visual perspective. [Any more than an RC pilot needs to be looking at a camera shot from the RC airplane to know what control inputs it needs.] If the student has received lots of prior instruction about what to expect and what their responses should be, the instructor is really just giving the student some minor coaching over the radio. The student is already ahead of the airplane because of the ground instruction and the instructor is just helping the student stay ahead of it if need be with some minor input over the radio. They are not "teaching" the student while the flight is occurring [that occurred on the ground], they are simply giving some "coaching" if needed.

There are going to be conditions under which non-dual instruction isn't go to work. For instance, one can't do it at the size airfield where one could do dual instruction. The amount of space needed to safely do the initial crow hops is a lot more than one needs for simply taking off with a student and flying to an aerial practice area. A student crow hopping needs more ground run and more space to get down and stopped.

Ditto with wind. Some areas of the country are not suitable for anything but dual instruction. Wind is a variable that can rapidly get a fledgling crow hopping student behind the airplane. If there is an area with few calm days, it's probably not possible to do anything but dual instruction there. [One sees this in hang gliding. An area of the country either completely flat, always calm or with few rolling hills isn't going to be of much use for the crow hopping method of learning to fly a hang glider.]

Norm, when you look at the amount of things you did prior to ever actually flying, it's not really realistic to call your method "single seat training". You prepared far more than the typical person that tried to do "self-taught" single seat training typically did [and which gave the method such a bad reputation]. They often started the engine and tried to get airborne in one day. You spent hours and hours of time doing flying simulation, thinking through your first flights, etc.

As for the training regime, it does need to be done over several days. The student needs time to absorb what they've learned, do some visualization of what they've learned to build some muscle memory, etc. The problem with making the days continuous, is that the training is so wind dependent. You'd have to do contiguous training in an area of the country [or a season] where one has some assurance one would have the right wind conditions during the training timeframe. That's why a "week at camp" would probably be a tough model to use.

Waiting for the calm conditions may seem a hassle for an instructor accustomed to being able to do dual instruction with some wind. One big payoff, in my view, is that the student gets more satisfaction from the training process. While there isn't as much actual flying time in the student's first "solo" using the crow hop method as there would be under the dual method, there is flying. Alone. As PIC. It may only be a 75ft flight and 2 ft of altitude. But there is no question that one was "the pilot". You got it up and you got it down. That's a source of great satisfaction. And in my view, it's what sets the "hook" the most and gets them wanting to learn more. They have gone from "student" to "student pilot". I'm sure you experienced that feeling of "rite of passage" after your first actual flight Norm.

I'm not advocating radio training because it sets the hook better than dual. I only advocate it because.....well........its the only true "ultralight" training anyone can do any longer. One could learn to fly in something heavier and then transition down to an ultralight. But that's going to cost a ton more than radio training in an actual ultralight. [A used Quicksilver MX equipped for radio training will cost an instructor maybe $4500. That's a mite less than any two seat LSA trainer is going to run.] I think rather than bemoaning the loss of the dual training exemption, the utralight community should take a new look at training in simpilier ultralights and with radios. That training methodology with those machines may not be quite as convenient than the two place method, but it certainly has enough benefits and was certainly viable enough in it's day to warrant more effort being put into it today for those really committed to giving training.

My thoughts.

-Buzz

Bill Berson
09-29-2012, 09:16 AM
This pilot needs the help of an experienced ultralight instructor, I think-
http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/60_Year_Homebuilt_Project_207406-1.html

uncleleon
10-03-2012, 02:29 PM
Norm, - This is not a personal attack. Please don't take it as such. But.... ARE YOU CRAZY !!!
If your story inspired at least ONE wanna-be pilot to try to begin his flying experience alone...in a single seat airplane; it will have done it's DAMAGE. Yes...damage.
You have great courage...that's to be commended. You survived and succeeded. I'm (truly) delighted. But this is dangerous and foolish.
A 10,000 hour pilot in our EAA group was just killed. My, gosh, man...If death can come to such an experienced pilot, what chance does a beginner have.
Norm, you are certainly not the first person to have done this, and survived. But many have not.
-
I'm an old fart. - I have been flying for 51 years. All that experience tells me, above everything else; that I am NOT assured of 52. - Anyone can die, any time. Why tempt fate?
-
Please, boys and girls....do not try this on your own

Buzz
10-04-2012, 08:01 AM
Hi Norm,

What are the general specs of your craft. Empty weight, take-off speed, cruise speed, engine, etc?

Thanks!

-Buzz

Buzz
10-04-2012, 10:04 AM
Norm, you are certainly not the first person to have done this, and survived. But many have not. Who are you aware of that did not survive learning to fly in a legal single place ultralight? [With or without the assistance Norm has had and the prep time he put into preparing for his first flight.]

-Buzz

martymayes
10-04-2012, 10:36 AM
In the early days of ultralights, that was a 2-axis, single surface, high dihedral ultralight [e.g. the Quicksilver MX]. Still is.


Hey Buzz, any idea how many Quicksilver MX's were built and how many still survive? Is there anything comparable?

Buzz
10-04-2012, 10:42 AM
Hey Buzz, any idea how many Quicksilver MX's were built and how many still survive? Is there anything comparable?I did some asking about this last year. The problem is that there was a flood at the factory at some point [I think in the 1990s] and all the production records were destroyed. I believe the figures I found were that the MX was built 1981-1983 and the belief is there were around 7,000 built.

As for how many survive, there are still a lot stuffed in barns and sheds in a state of disrepair. People flew the heck out of them, go bored with them and then stuffed them away.

As for anything comparable, I think there were some other similar cruciform designs that were 2-axis. Nothing nearly as commercially successful as the MX. And with the number of MXs built, nothing that could claim the same safety record. [There were a couple similar designs that had short lifespans because they had design flaws.]

Quicksilver really got it correct very early on. Lyle Byrum was a Cessna dealer in Texas if I recall correctly when he put Quicksilver on the map. Great assembly and owners manual, unbelievable smart kit [Every part vacuum packed on cardboard sheets. It truly went together like plastic model airplane and the 80 hr build time was very accurate.] Great marketing. [He had Mario Andretti, astronaut Jim Irwin and famed aerobatic pilot Art Scholl as early owners and in very slick print ads].

As for "comparable", it depends on what criteria they are being compared on. If it is proven design, number built, number that got people aviating, ease of flying, ease of maintenance, affordability, role as an "everyman airplane", etc. Then IMHO, the MX has no peer. There has never been anything that compared to the MX as the everyman's first rung on the aviation ladder. Again, IMHO.

-Buzz

Buzz
10-04-2012, 10:49 AM
I had to weigh in on this logic on the EAA site


A 10,000 hour pilot in our EAA group was just killed. My, gosh, man...If death can come to such an experienced pilot, what chance does a beginner have. A DC-10 designed by hundreds of degree aeronautical engineers and maintained by legions of A&P mechanics killed 111 people in Souix City through a design flaw that none of them caught. What chance does a person without an aeronautical engineering degree or that isn't an A&P have in designing and/or building their own aircraft? What kind of "crazy" person would form an Association to encourage such foolishness? [If he inspired just one wanna-be airplane builder to build and fly his own airplane, it will have done it's damage. After all, if they can't build a DC-10 right, what chance does anyone else have building an airplane on their own in their garage?]

Further, out of 5 Shuttles built, 2 failed and killed the crews. And then some guy thinks he can build a space plane by himself out in Mohave?!?!? It took the government many man-years and billions of dollars and they had a 40% failure rate. Who would tempt such fate?

It seems to me the next time Rutan is up on the stage at EAA, the whole audience needs to stand up and yell, "Please, Burt, do not try that on your own. Are you crazy!!!" But they are too busy giving him awards for putting the same years of work and careful preparation into his projects that Norm seems to have described went into building his single seat ultralight and then learning how to fly with it.

As for Norm encouraging anyone. Hasn't the FAA sort of already done that by writing a regulation that lets one fly a legal ultralight without requiring any instruction. Even when it had a reg on the books for years that made the instruction very available? Or did the FAA find that, even with none of the guidance or prep Norm has had, trying to teach oneself to fly in a legal ultralight wasn't all that dangerous. The ego or the ultralight might not survive the experience, but the person that attempted it did.

From what I can understand from his threads on the Ultralight Strip forum, Norm is a tinkerer, a dreamer and an experimenter that is fascinated with flight. That sort of strikes me as what the whole idea of an association named the Experimental Aircraft Association would be about.

-Buzz

P.S. In his other threads, it's my understanding that Norm has tapped a lot of other knowledgeable people during his project, which also seems to be th reason why this Association was formed to begin with, too.

jedi
10-04-2012, 01:29 PM
This pilot needs the help of an experienced ultralight instructor, I think-
http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/60_Year_Homebuilt_Project_207406-1.html

I have spoken with Ed and we are working the problems. All is under control and we will proceed slowly and carefully. I will report progress if and when there is something to report. We have gone over details of the airplane but I have not seen it yet. In my opinion it is not flyable as is.

jedi
10-04-2012, 01:55 PM
Norm, - This ........ is dangerous and foolish.
A 10,000 hour pilot in our EAA group was just killed. My, gosh, man...If death can come to such an experienced pilot, what chance does a beginner have.
Norm, you are certainly not the first person to have done this, and survived. But many have not.
-
I'm an old fart. - I have been flying for 51 years. All that experience tells me, above everything else; that I am NOT assured of 52. - Anyone can die, any time. Why tempt fate?

Leon - Any day that you get out of bed you are tempting fate. Your friend did not die in an Ultralight did he? Perhaps if he were in an Ultralight he would still be here. Speed kills and Ultralights are, as a class, the lowest speed class of aircraft. That does not make them safe? No, it only makes them less dangerous.
Can you provide any details of the accident you reference? Is there a lesson to be learned here?

Jedi

Norman Langlois
10-05-2012, 07:28 PM
Buzz

You asked for the basic specs for my plane.
The MT weight is approx. 300 Lbs this is 4 lbs under for the seaplane of this configuration. It never ceases to amaze me how many people do not know the proper Numbers. for all the U/L classes there are 4 primary weights unpowered, powered and 2 seaplane configurations.
The power plant is a 440 kawasaki. Sporting a 2.7 to 1 reduction belt drive. with a 68 pusher prop from IVO.
The lift off power setting is 5000 rpm min. it will lift at 4500 but needs some head wind or chop. the speed required is 26 MPH with my weight of 160 LBS and a full tank of gas.
Cruise speed 45 to 55 MPH 4500 to 5000 receptively. 6200 rpm max I saw 60 MPH ,in level flight stick forward .

The plane is still going through some fine tuning. only for trimming up the control pressures .It flies extremely well So says my test pilot and so say I the student .My test pilot weighs 20 Lbs more than I so he experienced a few different numbers.
Generally the numbers are still not chiseled in stone . A lot of flying and observing needs to be done and I just have not had the air time to write the pilots hand book yet.

I have not been able to fly since the week end after labor day . The weather has not been cooperative.

Norman Langlois
10-05-2012, 07:52 PM
Thanks for coming to my defense with the true logic of experimental aviation.
I dont know who or what my adversary are but most of my negative commentary comes from pilots who do not take a look at the whole picture. My positives come from the experienced experimental builders and flight instructors. If you bought a kit you are not an experimental builder . Most my pilot negatives come from people who do not know a thing about how a plane is engineered only thing they know is what happens when you do this or that with the controls in this or that conditions . So they read the pilot hand book . I get to write the book you dare say I am not ready to fly still.

The thread a fool and his dream is about avoiding not doing.
I did a lot of research I do not intend to defend piece by piece comment by comment. I had the support of some good people. I may have built it alone but I was not alone in building it. I may have flown it initially alone but I was not flying it alone. I did not self teach that is only the perception of some hard heads like religion keep your religion to yourself. I accept the SSM as my flight training religion.

I chose to design a plane rather than buy one So that makes me an offender of some perspectives but I believe it needed to be done when you all get over your tantrum Maybe you will look inside and see what I really did with the build.

martymayes
10-05-2012, 08:33 PM
I did some asking about this last year. The problem is that there was a flood at the factory at some point [I think in the 1990s] and all the production records were destroyed. I believe the figures I found were that the MX was built 1981-1983 and the belief is there were around 7,000 built.

As for how many survive, there are still a lot stuffed in barns and sheds in a state of disrepair. People flew the heck out of them, go bored with them and then stuffed them away.


So what would happen if someone reversed engineered an MX and started building them? Does anyone have legal rights to the design?

Buzz
10-06-2012, 06:41 AM
So what would happen if someone reversed engineered an MX and started building them? Does anyone have legal rights to the design?
I think the last people that had "rights" to an aircraft design were the Wrights. As I recalled, they tried to block Glenn Curtis from using some part of their design.

As for the MX, there isn't anything on it that is either a "first" or patentable. One could [and have] replicated the design. The problem is that one would not have the economies of scale that Quicksilver had when the market was clamoring for them and they were pumping them out. The other problem anyone would face that decided they wanted to start building them again is they'd competing with a lot of used ones that are on the market.

What the MX is [and remains] is a viable ultralight flight training tool in the hands of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. I believe it's importance as an ultralight training tool has increased since the elimination of the dual instruction exemption and the loss of so many dual instructors. I believe that enough that I have one I bought and am outfitting for entry level ultralight instruction. [E.g. moving the rudder to the pedals]

-Buzz

Buzz
10-06-2012, 06:47 AM
I dont know who or what my adversary are but most of my negative commentary comes from pilots who do not take a look at the whole picture. Experimenters throughout history have taken the slings and arrows of "the Establishment". Ford was told he was nuts by the carriage builders, Gates got ridiculed by the IBMs of the time, ditto Steve Jobs with their "hobby computers", the Wrights were considered quacks and did most of their work away from the public, etc.

But occasionally one has to put their work "out there" for others to see so they can attract the attention of those that will support them and help them get over the hurdles every experimenter runs into on the way to their goal. No one ever pursues an experiment for the public accolades. Those come rarely, if ever. I know you didn't put your project "out there" to gather a lot of "attaboys".

You're to be commended Norm for your perservence.

-Buzz

Norman Langlois
10-06-2012, 03:20 PM
Learning to fly ultralights or how to learn to fly ultralights. This is hard to get out a message and reach out to those that need to hear it. Disagreeing about what form of training is or is not acceptable.does not help
The real problem is how to reach the ears of those that want to learn .I have been shocked to get so many replies during my exposure to the public with my plane at hand .I get the amazed and flabbergasted replies they do not know they can. have and fly what they see . Even when a pilot confronts me most know nothing about the details and the requirements. What has happened ?
We who want to rebuild the UL fever have a problem with more than just training.
I have a chance to put forth good public relations I get real enthusiasm ,at the gas station any where I stop with the plane . Some times its overwhelming and dangerous they swarm me when I am prepping to launch. I try hard to keep my concentration and still give good positive information.
How can we get more exposure to those that want it and don"t even know it.

On the Saturday of labor day week end. It was arranged that a professional videographer, would be there and we did an afternoon of shooting ,with a 15 year old young man. Who did a fine job of doing an interview with myself and the test pilot. It has been given to me and I have edited the shoot . the shoot projects what Ultralight flying and requirements are and does . the intent was multifaceted and still is with several of the associated to gain from the content to the young man it is a school project . to us what ever we can make use of. I wanted a good flying video. It is when seen in HD but I can't burn that quality to disc for DVD TV. I see the video as good showing for young and old interested parties.
I can not distribute it with out consent of all parties. Yet to be acquired.

These forums don't seem to get the message out

Buzz
10-07-2012, 05:03 PM
Learning to fly ultralights or how to learn to fly ultralights. This is hard to get out a message and reach out to those that need to hear it. Disagreeing about what form of training is or is not acceptable.does not help The real problem is how to reach the ears of those that want to learn.
The problem is that those that would want to learn have few ultralight training sources now. The only training is from a CFI [either Sport or non-Sport CFI] in something a lot larger, heavier and faster than a legal ultralight. And most people that think about learning to fly an ultralight don't picture themselves going to an airport, learning from a CFI and then transitioning down to an ultralight.


I have been shocked to get so many replies during my exposure to the public with my plane at hand .I get the amazed and flabbergasted replies they do not know they can. have and fly what they see . True. Most people over-estimate the legal requirements to learn to fly an ultralight.
Even when a pilot confronts me most know nothing about the details and the requirements. What has happened ? We who want to rebuild the UL fever have a problem with more than just training. If you get more people interested in learning to fly an ultralight, they still face the daunting task of finding training. Personally, I don't think the smaller number of people flying ultralights is because of the lack of interest. I think it's the lack of training. Finding training is too big of a hurdle for many people.


These forums don't seem to get the message outI don't think these forums probably attract a lot of non-EAA members. So these are probably not going to add a lot to the ultralight population.

I believe what built a lot of interest in ultralight flying in the early years was the concentration of ultralight activity at some of the local airports. People would stop to watch and ask questions. Also, there was someplace for people interested in learning more to come to on a weekend morning. When the housing market went nutso in the 1990s and early 2000s and there was a lot of demand for developable land, I believe many ultralight air fields got lost to development. I know the home field of EAA UL Chapter #1 was lost in that way.

jedi
10-08-2012, 11:28 AM
So what would happen if someone reversed engineered an MX and started building them? Does anyone have legal rights to the design?

Marty,
Don't have to do that. Even on this list of near experts it is amazing how little is known about Ultralights and Ultralight training. M-Squared has been building Quicksilver like aircraft and training pilots almost forever (forever in the UL world that is Ė Translated likely in the 80ís). I can recommend their equipment and their training as well as the stay ability/determination of the company.
M-Squared, Inc.
10050 A Hwy. 90 West St. Elmo Airport
P.O. Box 457
St. Elmo, AL 36568 251-957-1533
http://www.msquaredaircraft.com/page15a.html
Jedi

Norman Langlois
10-08-2012, 05:11 PM
Buzz
I got to fly Sunday
While prepping to launch.I was approached by a lady driving in with a boat trailer. Stating how her Husband was frantically search the lake for my little plane. Well he got to see it when he came in to load up his boat and after he exclaimed he had to have one . We had discussion but after he is still left with out a recourse if he was serious How can I help propagate the U/L through these very enthusiastic inquiries. I fell I am missing an opportunity to help these people find there dream.
You are right about the scarcity of training. And the perception of the backward training VIA LSA. I was rejecting that as well.
What happened to all those USUA instructors where they actually CFI or just UL instructors and if so Why can't they come back to the table and add to the deficiency You explained how the SSM is actually less liability than dual.

Buzz
10-09-2012, 07:48 AM
Marty,
Don't have to do that. Even on this list of near experts it is amazing how little is known about Ultralights and Ultralight training. M-Squared has been building Quicksilver like aircraft and training pilots almost forever (forever in the UL world that is – Translated likely in the 80’s). I can recommend their equipment and their training as well as the stay ability/determination of the company. Jedi
Marty, I can recommend Paul Mather and M-Squared, too. I've known Paul since around 1979-80 when he was working with one of the early Quicksilver dealers in Janesville WI. From there he went to work for Quicksilver and then went out on his own with M-Squared. He's a very good guy and as dedicated to the ultralight industry as anyone you'll find.

To your original question about building the MX again, if there was a market for a high dihedral, 2-axis ultralight like the MX, Paul would probably build it for the market.

As for training, anyone building and selling a Part 103 compliant ultralight [M-Squared, Quicksilver, etc.] faces the same challenge to the health of their companies. That is the general lack of easy entry into ultralight flying because of the loss of a lot of ultralight training and instructors with the ending of the exemption.

Buzz
10-09-2012, 07:57 AM
You are right about the scarcity of training. And the perception of the backward training VIA LSA. I was rejecting that as well.
What happened to all those USUA instructors where they actually CFI or just UL instructors and if so Why can't they come back to the table and add to the deficiency Anyone instructing under the dual ultralight instruction exemption needed to upgrade to a Sport Pilot-CFI. The real problem, however, is that they could not keep using their training aircraft under the Sport Pilot rule. So to continue to instruct, they would have needed to move up to a lot more expensive aircraft to instruct in.

So the loss of the exemption raised the equipment expense beyond the reach of just about everyone giving ultralight instruction. One has to charge so much for instruction to make it worthwhile compared to the economics under the exemption, many just quit instructing. I count myself in that group. I wasn't going to go out and spend that kind of money on a Sport Pilot compliant trainer. There wasn't enough money in instructing to afford it. I quit instructing rather than grandfather into the Sport Pilot-CFI, which I could have done. I think a lot of other ultralight instructors did the same thing.


You explained how the SSM is actually less liability than dual. First, no one got into giving ultralight instruction if they were concerned about liability because there has never been viable insurance available anyway. My only reason for pointing out that there is, indeed, less exposure to an instructor when one is giving, essentially, ground instruction vs. in-flight instruction is because everyone seems to believe there would be MORE liability not being in the aircraft with the person. There is actually a lot less.

That said about liability, it's the economics [not the lower liability] that make the "crow hop/radio" instruction method with a very simple 2-axis ultralight so much more economically viable as a method of ultralight instruction since instruction exemption ended. Those simple 2-axis ultralights can be had on the used market for maybe 1/10th or less what the lowest level of instructor [Sport Pilot CFI] would need to spend on anything they can give dual in.

While the "crow hop/radio" instruction method has it's operational limitations compared to dual instruction [E.g. one needs to do all the initial instruction with lots of area and dead calm conditions], it is the only economically viable way to provide ultralight instruction today. The loss of the ultralight training exemption put the equipment economics for dual instruction beyond the reach of the vast majority of the ultralight instructors that were operating under the old dual exemption.

-Buzz

martymayes
10-09-2012, 09:32 PM
Originally Posted by jedi http://eaaforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://eaaforums.org/showthread.php?p=23464#post23464) M-Squared has been building Quicksilver like aircraft


I can recommend Paul Mather and M-Squared, too.

if there was a market for a high dihedral, 2-axis ultralight like the MX, Paul would probably build it for the market.

I am familiar with M-Squared guys. Just collecting info for now and following Buzz's comments. He references the MX often.. :)

Buzz
10-11-2012, 07:22 AM
Just collecting info for now and following Buzz's comments. He references the MX often.. :)When Norm started talking about ultralight training without using dual, that prompted my comments about what would be suitable as a training aircraft. The success of non-dual training depends on the student being able to stay ahead of the aircraft. That, in turn, means using an aircraft and conditions where the student is least likely to get behind it. In my experience, that's going to be something like the 2-axis MX, used with sufficient training area and the right wind conditions [calm].

I believe many of the naysayers on the non-dual method have that position because they are envisioning using a training platform that a student easily gets behind. [By student, I mean someone that hasn't done nearly the pre-flight training Norm has done. I think his situation and approach was unique, which is why he could train in what he built.] I know that non-dual instruction can be given in an MX with a very high rate of success. I can't speak for any other ultralight as a training platform.

-Buzz

martymayes
10-11-2012, 07:41 AM
Buzz, if I get an ultralight I've already decided I'm going to train myself how to fly it. And post the results here.....daily. lol

Buzz
10-12-2012, 12:13 PM
Buzz, if I get an ultralight I've already decided I'm going to train myself how to fly it. And post the results here.....daily. lol Thanks Marty. Just what we needed to hear. Now Norm and I will be accused of trying to promote self-teaching!! LOL.

Remember that if you kill yourself trying to teach yourself to fly an ultralight, you will be banned from posting here any longer. It's in the EAA forum rules.

-Buzz

malexander
10-12-2012, 01:43 PM
Thanks Marty. Just what we needed to hear. Now Norm and I will be accused of trying to promote self-teaching!! LOL.

Remember that if you kill yourself trying to teach yourself to fly an ultralight, you will be banned from posting here any longer. It's in the EAA forum rules.

-Buzz


LOL

Norman Langlois
10-12-2012, 05:09 PM
Buzz you have been right on with your perception of me and my preparation.
You are only missing the component.
I was not going to show it but this is the part of the equation that's missing . I don't expect everyone to understand even when they see it . Just remember the hardware develops the same stick and ruder skills regard less whether its real or unreal.25582559 With this and using a world war II combat flight simulator and flying with and against an online community for 12 years the last 5 active years with this system .Until I developed an eye problem ,and I was deeply involved in the build. I remain a member and will probably be active to keep my flying skill sharp over the winter. I will never use the maneuvers I know how to do in combat with my UL .Still I know how if it was required if to save my life.

This is only the physical development, there was still ground schooling VIA instructor and then came the crow hop lake tests. OOPS well they were a bit higher than hops.They were still hops and kept short straight ahead.

Buzz
10-13-2012, 06:23 AM
Holy smokes Norm!!!

To label yourself as "self-taught" is a huge error! You were no more "self-taught" than the average college graduate can label themselves as "self-taught".

You were "self-educated", choosing what "courses" you took. But you were not your own teacher; you tapped the wisdom and experience of others.

If everyone that was ever "self-taught" in an ultralight did as much preparation as you, it would have eliminated a lot of parts sales!! [Which was the primary negative outcome of any self-teaching I ever heard about.]

Your approach also reminds me of "them thar bye-cycling fellers from Dayton-O", who took a very methodical approach over a number of years that lead up to their "overnight success".

You should be commended for your spirit of exploration and preparation Norm. One could say you learned the "Wright" way.:cool:

-Buzz

jedi
10-14-2012, 06:13 AM
Buzz,

I get the impression that you think the two axis (rudder with dihedral, no direct roll control) is an eaiser method for learning to fly. I am not sure I agree with that. Please explain your position and reasons.

Buzz
10-15-2012, 10:09 AM
Buzz,

I get the impression that you think the two axis (rudder with dihedral, no direct roll control) is an eaiser method for learning to fly. I am not sure I agree with that. Please explain your position and reasons.First, I was referring to teaching someone to fly an ultralight via the crow hop method.

Second, one also has to define what "learning to fly" an ultralight means. I see it as being able to safely control an ultralight through a complete flight. That I define as consistently flying a complete traffic pattern safely and in complete control - - -what a "solo" is in the General Aviation world. For the discussion purposes, I'll use that as a definition of "being able to fly an ultralight".

For success with the crow hop training method, one needs to keep the student ahead of the airplane at all times. One of the things that contributes to that is keeping the aircraft controls as simple as possible, especially in the first crow hops. One thing that simplifies the airplane is eliminating one axis of control.

Roll control is needed to either turn an airplane or to handle crosswinds. However, there are no turns in the initial stages of crow hop training and the training is done in calm conditions to eliminate the variable of wind. So roll control is not needed.

When one is finally ready to fly a traffic pattern, the rudder and the high dihedral of something like the MX will cause the aircraft to bank when one wants to initiate a turn. One doesn't need roll control to do it. The turn won't be perfectly coordinated, but the aircraft will turn.

Roll control is not needed in the straight and level portion of the crow hop method. And it's not needed on a high dihedral wing once one starts making turns in order to fly the traffic pattern. So one can eliminate roll control on a high dihedral ultralight like the MX and eliminating one additional axis just make the learning process more straightforward and easier.

My thoughts.

-Buzz

jedi
10-16-2012, 11:52 PM
First, I was referring to teaching someone to fly an ultralight via the crow hop method.

[Comments deleated]

Roll control is not needed in the straight and level portion of the crow hop method. And it's not needed on a high dihedral wing once one starts making turns in order to fly the traffic pattern. So one can eliminate roll control on a high dihedral ultralight like the MX and eliminating one additional axis just make the learning process more straightforward and easier.

My thoughts.

-Buzz

Buzz,

Thanks for the comments. You have done much more two axis training than I have.

The reason for the question was because of a recent student with a single place MX equipped with spoilers and nose wheel steering. The aircraft has stick for rudder control and foot pedals for spoiler roll control and nose wheel steering (connected in the typical airplane sense, not trike like). I feel quite strongly that he should learn the crow hops as a two axis control aircraft and not use the rudder pedals at all. The aircraft responds adequately to the stick operated rudder for both ground and flight operations.

Although all taxi and crow hop flights are done in near clam conditions, there is still some wind and generally some cross wind. I have observed several instances, not just with this pilot, where near lift off the aircraft rolls in one direction (to the right for example) while the aircraft drifts to the opposite direction (left in the example). The pilots, particularly those with other pilot experience (even though it may only be flight simulator or imagined flight), find this very bothersome and confusing.

This is my reason for requiring the two axis only initial flights in spite of the student’s strong desire for roll control. With this non standard control system it is common for the pilot to input the wrong control response (left stick) to correct the rising right wing at the expense of directional control (left drift). As the ground loop to the left develops the right wing rises further (due to centrifugal force and high CG) resulting in more left stick and more turning to the left resulting in an excursion off the left side of the runway. By not allowing the use of the rudder pedals for ground steering it forces the pilot to use the stick for directional control and he develops the proper habit patterns for this aircraft.

Having said this, I do think that if the aircraft had more conventional or intuitive controls the student could easily learn the three axis controls provided adverse yaw were not a significant factor. Good aircraft design could minimize the adverse yaw to allow for reduced training time over some of the heavy adverse yaw trainers commonly used. Your comments please.

I am somewhat concerned about the retraining that may be required when this student advances to another aircraft. I see this as an issue when trike pilots transition to three axis aircraft in that it is difficult to adapt to the reversed rudder steering effect. I expect that this issue is the root cause of several accidents that I am aware of.

Buzz
10-17-2012, 12:28 PM
[
QUOTE=jedi;23653]Buzz,

Thanks for the comments. You have done much more two axis training than I have.

The reason for the question was because of a recent student with a single place MX equipped with spoilers and nose wheel steering. The aircraft has stick for rudder control and foot pedals for spoiler roll control and nose wheel steering (connected in the typical airplane sense, not trike like). I feel quite strongly that he should learn the crow hops as a two axis control aircraft and not use the rudder pedals at all. The aircraft responds adequately to the stick operated rudder for both ground and flight operations.


Jedi, I argee whole heartedly. New students need do have a consistent learning experience. That means not learning yaw directional control using the steerable nose wheel on the ground and then having ro RE-LEARN that yaw directional control is now on stick once they transition to flight. Having them need to re-learn something at a critical training phase just leads to problems. Transitionins to flight is a bad time to be unlearning what you've been conditioned to learn during your taxi period


Although all taxi and crow hop flights are done in near calm conditions, there is still some wind and generally some cross wind. I have observed several instances, not just with this pilot, where near lift off the aircraft rolls in one direction (to the right for example) while the aircraft drifts to the opposite direction (left in the example). The pilots, particularly those with other pilot experience (even though it may only be flight simulator or imagined flight), find this very bothersome and confusing.

Experienced pilots will have the MOST significant problem flying a conventional MX in my experience. A lot tougher than a newbie learning. All of their muscle memory from years of experience tells them that yaw is controlled by their feet. If they are hit with a cross wind that begins turning them or drifting them to one side, their natural tendency will be to 'rudder into it' with the rudder medals. If the pedals are only controlling the spoilerons, they are pretty useless to counteracting the crosswind issue.

Also, one has to seriously consider doing any training in a high dihedral wing in cross winds. A cross wing will get that wing turning a lot faster than you'd see in a low dihedral wing. While the high dihedral wing is docile and tracks straight ahead in calm conditions, it's going to get moved around in any kind of crosswind. I personally won't train in any cross wind with a high dihedral wing. Not the additional phases anyway. It just caused problems that makes the student feel either overwhelmed or scared. I find it better to wait for a calm morning.


This is my reason for requiring the two axis only initial flights in spite of the student’s strong desire for roll control. With this non standard control system it is common for the pilot to input the wrong control response (left stick) to correct the rising right wing at the expense of directional control (left drift). As the ground loop to the left develops the right wing rises further (due to centrifugal force and high CG) resulting in more left stick and more turning to the left resulting in an excursion off the left side of the runway. By not allowing the use of the rudder pedals for ground steering it forces the pilot to use the stick for directional control and he develops the proper habit patterns for this aircraft.


I think the best solution [which I am doing] is convert the MX for rudders on the pedals. I think what you want them learning is that yaw control is done with the feet, not the hand. You can keep the steerable nose wheel in place if you couple it to the rudder pedals. That way the yaw control, [on the ground or in the air] is always done with the feet. My objective is to get them learning down a path they won't' need to unlearn.

My MX has differential brakes on it now, which I am moving to a single brake handle on the stick. I'm only going to re-install a steerable nose wheel if I can connect it to the rudder on the pedals. I want the student learning that all yaw directional control, on the ground or in the air,is done with the feet. Pitich is done with the stick.

If it makes an sense, i'll put the spoilerons own the stick at some point, but I consider them fairly useless Making this change is low priority for training in my book. i'll probably leave them unhooked up.

The other thing I'd suggest is taking out the element of the cross wind out of the early process. Once the student has some flying experience, they can be taught to "rudder into the wind to get the high wing down" and to also make all landings directly into the wind. Any crosswind component is simply going to contribute to the start of a ground loop on landing or take off. Fortunately, the MX has such a show landing roll in any kind of wind, it's not hard to always land into it. However, in the initial crow hops i don't want them having to correct for any kind of wind. It just complicates their training.


Having said this, I do think that if the aircraft had more conventional or intuitive controls the student could easily learn the three axis controls provided adverse yaw were not a significant factor. Good aircraft design could minimize the adverse yaw to allow for reduced training time over some of the heavy adverse yaw trainers commonly used. Your comments please.

I think it make a lot of sense to start training a student from the beginning to make their transion into 3-axis control at a future date easiest. Most will want to graduate up from then entry level MX at some point.. That is why I am moving the rudder on the pedals in the MX trainers we are configuring. I want them leaving their MX training conditioned that feet are yaw and the hand is pitch. They then only have to learn how the hand can also be roll control.

That said, even the heavier 2place Qucksilver trainers like the Sprint II one teaches the student to basicallyly fly it with their feet. They are a very rudder dominant airplane.

I suspect having two feet putting rudder pressure inputs on the rudder may also make the rudder pedal a bit more sensitive for the student, too. A side benefit.

By the way, the reasons why the MX never had rudders on the pedals came from it's historial legacy. When it was a foot launched hang glider, the rudder cables were attached to the side of the pilots swing seat. Swinging forward provide pitch control and swining side to side actuated the rudders. From there, one of the early requirements [Pre-103]of the FAA had for a definition of an "ultralight" is that they needed to be demonstrated they could be "foot launched". The rudder couldn't be controlled by the feet because they were too busy being the landing gear! There is a video of a guy from the QS factory foot launching an MX.] I think the MX ended up with the rudder on the stick because of early simplisticy. It is the one modification that needs to be made to it to increase it's value as a trainer.

i think the additional of the steerable nose wheel as an aftet market addition for MX owners was a good idea. It made taxing around the airport easier. But it reduced the value of the MX for entry level training a bit. It got newbies thinking about controlling yaw with their feet on their ground practice and then having to switch to controlling rudder with their hand in the air. In that respect, it diminished a bit the value of the MX as an entry level training. But that can be easily fixed by using the rudder components off the Quicksilver Sprint to covert the MX to rudder pedals.

Thanks Jedi.

-Buzz

Buzz
10-17-2012, 12:57 PM
1

jedi
10-17-2012, 09:00 PM
I think the best solution [which I am doing] is convert the MX for rudders on the pedals. I think what you want them learning is that yaw control is done with the feet, not the hand. You can keep the steerable nose wheel in place if you couple it to the rudder pedals. That way the yaw control, [on the ground or in the air] is always done with the feet. My objective is to get them learning down a path they won't' need to unlearn.

-Buzz


This suggestion was made but the conversion would eliminate the use of spoilers for drag control. This and the effort of conversion and the desire to keep the aircraft original contributed to the decision to learn to fly the beast as is.






My MX has differential brakes on it now, which I am moving to a single brake handle on the stick.

-Buzz

Why not keep the differential brakes? BTW I was not sure that MX is the right terminology for this craft. Can you run through the design configurations and names associated with the Quicksilver livery as well as owner modifications versus factory offerings?


Thanks Buzz - You have a great thread going here.
-

Buzz
10-18-2012, 08:31 AM
This suggestion was made but the conversion would eliminate the use of spoilers for drag control. This and the effort of conversion and the desire to keep the aircraft original contributed to the decision to learn to fly the beast as is. Jedi, I can see not wanting to convert the MX. If that's the case, then what I would suggest is making the steerable nose wheel inoperable for training. This could be done by putting an aluminum plate on the underside of the pedals where the pushrods for the the steerable nose wheel connects.

The reason I believe it's important to fix the nose gear [even though it makes taxing inconvenient] is help prevent the student from getting behind the airplane once they transition to flying.

I believe the key to successfully teaching someone with the crow hop method is to introduce one control at a time. The first control they should learn is yaw control. They do this with lots of "penguin" practice with the rudder on the ground doing a lot of taxis with the stick forward and the nose pinned to the ground. Once they have yaw control virtually second nature [and throttle control, too. from the taxis], then transition them to learning pitch control.

Pitch control is going to be learned when they make their initial hops. At that point, one wants to have yaw control 2nd nature to them and doing it essentially without thinking about it. That's impossible if they've been doing yaw control with their feet and now have to do it with their hand. What has become second nature through practice now doesn't work. All of a sudden they need to be more consciously thinking about yaw control when all their focus should be on pitch control.


Why not keep the differential brakes? Again, I would only keep a steerable nose wheel or differential brakes if the rudder is on the rudder pedals. I think having an axis of control done one way on the ground and different in the air just makes it a lot harder for the student and increases the probability they'll get behind the airplane in those critical first crow hops.
BTW I was not sure that MX is the right terminology for this craft. Can you run through the design configurations and names associated with the Quicksilver livery as well as owner modifications versus factory offerings? I think you can see most of the Quicksilver models on the company's website or at Air-tech's or Ultralight Aircraft of Iowa. The ones that won't be shown there, because they are no longer produced, are the MX and the MX II. The MX is a single surface, high dihedral with rudder and elevator on the stick and spoilerons on the pedals. The MX II was a 2-seat version of it. The Sprint is also a single surface but lower dihedral, I believe a shorter wing and ailerons. Has a 2-place version as well. The Sport is a double surface wing with ailerons. Has a 2-place version. They also have a Sport 2S which is a 2-place that comes with struts instead of wires.

If you have spoilerons rather than ailerons, it's almost certainly an MX. [There was an aileron retrofit kit for the MX. But by the time one did the whole conversion, it was usually easier to just sell it and buy a used Sprint.]-[/QUOTE]


Thanks Buzz - You have a great thread going here. Thanks Jedi. I know there has been a lot of complaining about the loss of ultralight instruction since the end of the 2-place training exemption. I agree. It killed the economics for many instructors. But I don't believe it eliminated the only safe way to give people ultralight instruction. That's what this thread is about.

Buzz
10-18-2012, 10:13 AM
Jedi-
It's been 30 years since I did any single place training in the MX. I did a bit of it. Not nearly as much as any of the Quicksilver dealers at the time might have done.

As I started to prepare to do single place training again in an MX, I asked some of the vets about their training methodology. This is what the experienced relayed training with an MX:

1. Lots of taxi practice with the stick forward. First straight taxis with a manual turn at the end, then straight taxi with a powered turn at the end
2. Then taxi S turns with an end turn. Do this until they are very comfortable on the rudder and very comfortable on the throttle.
3. Transition to straight taxis with forward stick to prevent any inadvertent flight. Increase throttle settings slightly on each taxi until the rear axle gets light. [Nose wheel will be on the ground.]
4. Once the RPM setting for #3 is determined for that student's weight, straight taxis with stick neutral. Increase the throttle on each taxi until rear axle is light and then ease the throttle to half the taxing RPM. Do repeatedly, watching for a smooth easing off of the throttle. [The student will be leaving the ground momentarily and having their first flights during this step.]
5. Once #4 is done well repeatedly [easing off the throttle as soon as the main gear gets off], then the student does a count of two before easing off the throttle.
6. Throttle hold times are lengthened as the easing off of the throttle is demonstrated to be smooth.

The caution I got was the MX should never jump off the ground and should not be flown with back stick and increasing throttle ever during training.

As the student gets more comfortable, the height of the flights should be increased to no more than a couple of feet with very slight elevator movements used to extend the flight or shorten it. At the end of this training sequence they'll be flying the length of the runway under complete control.

From what I know about the MX, here is why I think it worked so well:
1. The MX has a high thrust line. Which means throttle changes can really affect the pitch. The key is to learn careful throttle control during the initial crow hops. If the student start doing a lot of throttle changes, they'll be chasing the pitch around. A fast way to spook a student. [The worst part of is that it is a high thrust line, so if the student gets off the ground unexpectedly, backs quickly off the throttle because they get spooked, the nose starts to ease up. The last thing one wants; a student climbing and slowing.] So after yaw control, soft throttle control is the next thing that needs to become second nature for an MX student.

2. Getting the main gear light before the nose gear [#3] may seem out of whack for anyone that learned to fly with tricycle gear. But what one is really trying to learn in the early stages with the MX is how to essentially take off and land with primarily throttle changes. Learning how the throttle affects the MX needs to be learned before how the elevator affects it.

3. The throttle has two effects on the MX during crow hops. First, as said before, it can change the pitch. The other thing it does is impact the control sensitivity because it's a pusher configuration. I believe the MX needs to be flown a bit faster than on would suspect in the early crow hops so that there is decent rudder and elevator response. I think getting the main gear light rather than trying to get the nose wheel off the ground ensures the first take off is at a very flat pitch angle and is fast enough [which isn't very fast at any throttle setting in an MX!] for good rudder/elevator sensitivity.

I wonder if the ground loops your student experienced be because they were using too much back pressure, getting off at too slow and airspeed and sort of wallowing into a ground loop from whatever cross wind there was? I sense the key with the MX is to keep it moving and keep it flying. Trying to "barely" crow hop it by using low power settings and back stick is the wrong thing to do. [And probably what gets a lot of "self-teachers" in trouble.] That high lift wing will get it off the ground in ground effect and it will just wallow. Any kind of crosswind and it'll start ground looping I suspect. Instead, one wants to be getting it off the ground with some airspeed in a very flat pitch attitude.

I also think MX training needs to be done on grass. The high dihedral will make it really drift with any kind of little cross wind and being on concrete will just increase the chances of starting a ground loop.

In summary, I think the MX learning sequence for crow hops is
1. Yaw control [done with lots of taxing on the ground, stick forward]
2. Throttle/pitch [first with stick forward and then stick neutral]
3. Pitch/elevator [learned once the throttle control is mastered in the early crow hops]

Wonder how what I've shared here relates to your training experience with your student?

-Buzz

Norman Langlois
10-27-2012, 05:23 PM
POST FLIGHT Learning still . Its been a dry spell for flying for me[meaning not able to] .Finally just as I was about to ready it for winter I got a fine Saturday afternoon. Did an hour of flying and about 20 take off and landings as well as a couple of 360 tight turns at 30 degrees. I just haven't had much time to practice with the bad wind conditions early on. After a fine hour of flying its a bit cool here I got chilled and put down and went back to the landing for extraction.
How many of you do a post flight inspection?
Certainly saved me a head ache. I wont be wasting my time taking it out again only to have to abort and go home. And I know why and what from the damage was caused. Hull damage
Needs some repair or redesign I have the whole winter . See you all in the spring. Still it was a good last flight.
Regards Norm

Norman Langlois
10-28-2012, 09:17 AM
Learning to fly one then transition to another type.
This is something that has been concerning me all the time I have been preparing and flying my plane.

The things I did to prepare and the steps taken. still as I said many time before did not prepare me for the actual flight but even now after I have finally become comfortable in my plane and confident in my plane that it will do as I expect for a given scenario .
I am very unsure if I was attempting to fly some other type it would not be the same. It is a confidence thing that an assurance from an instructor might smooth over but still I think I would be very nervous and need to go through several hours with any change of venue.
I chose the seaplane I think it was a piece of cake . I believe a land base plane would be much more difficult for me. I would need several hour of training to sort of be endorsed to fly that venue.

Point is piloting is not general it is specific. Ultra lights do not make it necessary. to acquire additional flight training.
I expect one should recognize this and do accordingly.

Norm

rawheels
03-01-2013, 11:16 AM
Where can I find more information about single seat training methods?

Norman Langlois
03-02-2013, 12:57 PM
rawwheels There is another thread by Buzz. It has content that explains some of the process. You might contact him Directly. If you are actually looking for an CFI that would cooperate with you with such a plan Ask Jedi or Buzz you might find a way.

1600vw
03-02-2013, 06:30 PM
My first solo in a 1984 quicksilver MX, this was 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8v8VWP8Pjo

pacerpilot
03-02-2013, 07:01 PM
Years ago I worked with a guy who bought a Quicksilver U/L direct from the factory. After assembling the craft he invited me over to admire his new ship. I gave it the normal "pilots" look over as we all do when eyeballing somebodys new ride and found a few issues for him to correct. Nothing huge, but important. I asked about his flight training. He informed me he had read the "book" several times and watched a video that came with the kit. His plan was to take the machine to a local U/L airpark and get info/pointers prior to flying the beast. I tried to convince him of the serious need of actual flight training, even inviting him to fly with me to get some experience. He didn't accept (I guess I'm just too scary). We talked about flying for a while and I found he had no idea of what he was about to get himself into. I watched a portion of the video and found it completely misinformative. Well, the following weekend he tried to fly his new craft. From what I was told he performed a perfect "stall/spin" into the top of a school. He recovered from his two broken legs and other injuries fortunately. He blamed the airplane for the accident-we know better.

There is no substitute for dual flight training. There is no excuse not to get dual training-ever. I for one will never condone "self teaching" or "learn by doing" flight training. We get enough bad press in aviation and we don't need any more news articles about fools augering their planes into the ground.

1600vw
03-02-2013, 08:10 PM
My first solo in a 1984 quicksilver MX, this was 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8v8VWP8Pjo


This flight was after 10 hrs dual instruction. I was ready to solo at around the 6 hr mark but I was not comfortable in the air enough to solo. I wanted a few more hrs. the man teaching me told me I was ready.

pacerpilot
03-02-2013, 11:20 PM
This flight was after 10 hrs dual instruction. I was ready to solo at around the 6 hr mark but I was not comfortable in the air enough to solo. I wanted a few more hrs. the man teaching me told me I was ready.

That's the right way to do it. Formal training, understanding your own ability and, realizing when your ready-by your intructors input as well as yourself.

jedi
03-03-2013, 07:24 AM
Years ago I worked with a guy who bought a Quicksilver U/L direct from the factory. After assembling the craft he invited me over to admire his new ship. I gave it the normal "pilots" look over as we all do when eyeballing somebodys new ride and found a few issues for him to correct. Nothing huge, but important. I asked about his flight training. He informed me he had read the "book" several times and watched a video that came with the kit. His plan was to take the machine to a local U/L airpark and get info/pointers prior to flying the beast. I tried to convince him of the serious need of actual flight training, even inviting him to fly with me to get some experience. He didn't accept (I guess I'm just too scary). We talked about flying for a while and I found he had no idea of what he was about to get himself into. I watched a portion of the video and found it completely misinformative. Well, the following weekend he tried to fly his new craft. From what I was told he performed a perfect "stall/spin" into the top of a school. He recovered from his two broken legs and other injuries fortunately. He blamed the airplane for the accident-we know better.

There is no substitute for dual flight training. There is no excuse not to get dual training-ever. I for one will never condone "self teaching" or "learn by doing" flight training. We get enough bad press in aviation and we don't need any more news articles about fools augering their planes into the ground.

Pacer Pilot,
I really do not like saying this but I think it needs to be said. Please do not take it personally. Your statement, "There is no substitute for dual flight training." is not true. I agree that dual training is wonderful and useful and should be a part of every pilots training. However, sometimes that is not possible. (Unfortunately the FAA is at least partially to blame for this.) There are always at least two ways to do a job. Normally that is the right way and the wrong way. Dual training is the right way, no doubt. However, when dual training is not an option, other methods must be investigated and developed. Single seat training is possible if done slowly and methodically.
The red flag in the example you cite is the inexperienced pilot not accepting an offer of advice and assistance. This is the clue that indicates he thought he could fly his plane. One must approach self teaching with the knowledge that you do not know how to do the task. Then you set about proving that you can do one step at a time without placing yourself or others in danger. There are dangers and those dangers must be recognized and accounted for. Every effort will not be successful. As one of my instructors so accurately stated, "You can pay me or you can pay the doctor, it's your choice". This student chose to pay the doctor when he did not accept your offer. We can name others who made similar choices and paid a higher price, he was lucky. I know the feeling of being in a plane and realizing that you do not know how to fly it. It is definitely something you can only experience without an instructor on board and it is not a feeling that you want to experience without a way out. Ask the Quicksilver pilot about that.

Norm,
Did you ever get the dual that was highly recommended. Now would be an excellent time to start checking into that!!!

:eek:

rawheels
03-03-2013, 08:05 AM
I for one will never condone "self teaching" or "learn by doing" flight training. We get enough bad press in aviation and we don't need any more news articles about fools augering their planes into the ground.

I don't hear anyone on this forum advocating for that either. In fact, the intent seems to be geared toward "How can we get some reliable ultralight training so guys don't start 'self teaching' themselves again". Without a usable solution it seems, in my opinion, that Part 103 will be revoked when all of the untrained pilots start killing themselves.

From FAA AC103-7: "The actions of the ultralight community will affect the direction Government takes in future regulations. The safety record of ultralight vehicles will be the foremost factor in determining the need for further regulations."


There is no substitute for dual flight training. There is no excuse not to get dual training-ever.

It seems like the SSM is worth looking into. Evidently the hang gliding industry has had some success with the method. Also, it has been indicated that early ultralights and WWI pilots learned by that method. (before anyone starts quoting WWI pilot fatality numbers, remember they were learning in underpowered taildraggers, doing aerobatics, and being shot at).

Again, we are talking about a structured class with lots of ground school and maybe even some training devices. Not a 30 minute talk and "here are the keys". The only other option I am aware of is getting dual LSA training in an airplane that is more complex and weighs more than twice as much as an ultralight, and then having the indv self teach themselves in an UL airplane (you probably got training in a pressurized Cessna 210, GW 4000lbs, in order to fly your Pacer, GW 1950lbs). Who says the person interested in UL flying will stick out the LSA training past solo anyway? Half-taught is sometimes just as dangerous.

1600vw
03-03-2013, 08:15 AM
jedi: I agree with what you are saying.

But for the person who has never flown in anything but an airliner, this was me, some dual time in a small little aircraft as a quicksilver was needed just to get me comfortable. It took me about 5 hrs in the air in what I called a lawn chair type of seat to get comfortable. The plane I was flying in had daul throttles. My friend was worried about me messing with this throttle and told me I could put my hands in my lap. I looked at him and told him I had a death grip on the seat and was not letting go. He laughed.

Without these flights I doubt I would have done this alone.

Now I believe I am ready for being trained in a single seater by an instructor on the ground to further my flying certificates. Before this UL training I was not ready for single seat instructor on the ground training, no way.

So if you have had some flight time I believe you are a canadate for single seat instructor on the ground type of training.

But if you where like I was and totally new to flying never been up in anything, you need dual time from a qualified instructor. Learn to fly your UL well and move on to SP.

Now I believe this SP certificate for this type of person whom has moved up from UL could be done in a single seat EAB with the instructor on the ground very safely for this person has already flown, knows what the rudder does, its not there to turn the plane. Nows how to bank and follow a course, this person is perfect for this type of single seat instructor on the ground training, and this country has hundreds of people whom fit this catagory whom need this type of training and would jump to get it.

Buzz
03-03-2013, 09:24 AM
Where can I find more information about single seat training methods?
Hi Rawheels, I had read your post a couple of days ago and was thinking about a suitable response.

I realized on some reflectiong that my first question needed to be: "Are you interested in teaching yourself or others?"

I can see that from your further posts is that your interest is in the potential of the SSM to get people safely flying rather than as a self teaching method.

A very important distinction needs to be made here. That is that the bad reputation of the SSM is because of the numerous incidences of ultralight buyers thinking they could self-teach using SSM. SSM is NOT a way of teaching oneself to fly an ultralight. If one takes the time to read through Norm's posts, he was NOT self-teaching. He had a number of aviation mentors teaching along the way.

As I have pointed out previously, I don't think the SSM can be highly successful with any ultralight. Dan Johnson and other veterans of the early period of the ultralight industry prior to the availability of 2-seat ultralights will attest to the high safety rate of the single seat training they did at the time. What we have to remember is that they were primarily using 2-axis, single surface airfoil ultralights like the Quicksilver MX.

It's my contention that an experienced and knowledgeable SSM instructor using the SSM with a very basic 2-axis ultralight will have the same high levels of success the instructors using the SSM in the early days of the industry had.

As I have also said, the last person I'd get SSM training from is a instructor only experienced in dual training. The training sequence and methodology are so different, it would be like asking a football coach to teach you how to place baseball.

-Buzz

Buzz
03-03-2013, 09:44 AM
jedi: I agree with what you are saying.
But for the person who has never flown in anything but an airliner, this was me, some dual time in a small little aircraft as a quicksilver was needed just to get me comfortable.
You may not understand the very large differences between what a student experiences in the SSM from your perspective of having only learned using the dual method.

In the dual method, a student gets in the ultralight and goes immediatley to 5-700 feet in their first minute of flight. They are at that altitude for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes for an hour. The sensation is overwhelming. They are in sensory overload.

In SSM method, done properly, the student has spent, in some cases, a couple hours over a couple training sessions getting acclimated to the ultralight on the ground. Taxing it around, learning throttle control [which your instructor did not want you touching in your dual method] and getting a feel for all the sensations, sounds, etc. of being in the ultralight. They also build confidence in their use of the throttle, how the ultralight will feel as it transitions through the speeds up to just below takeoff, etc.

On their first training sessions where they actually leave the ground, they reach 1 foot of altitude and the first flight lasts for a few seconds. They are so far "ahead" of the ultralight from their prior ground practice that the sensation is not overwhelming. The purpose of that first flight is to introduce, for only a few seconds, the sensation of actually being off the ground. This is a small step up from the prior sensatory experience they've acquired in their ground practice. So they are never put into a situation where they get hit with so many new sensations that they feel "uncomfortable".

I agree that one needs dual time if the experience one is going to have in their first flight in a single seater is going to be 5-700 feet off the ground. I do not agree one needs several hours of flying around at 5-700 feet to be comfortable being 12 inches off the ground for a couple hundred feet.

Too many people believe that the sequence of learning in the SSM is the same as in the dual method, just without the instructor on-board. Nothing could be further from the truth. The sequence, the sensations and the experiences are vastly different.

-Buzz

Buzz
03-03-2013, 10:00 AM
Where can I find more information about single seat training methods?
Mark Smth of Tri-State Kites about 3 hours SW of you in Mt. Vernon IN was one of the first Quicksilver dealers and probably trained more people than anyone else using the SSM prior to Quicksilver coming out with the 2-place.

Last year he explained his SSM training methodology on the yahoo group Quicksilveraircraftowners site when there was discussion there about the SSM. I'll try and find his post and repost it here for you so you can see his methodology.

-Buzz

Buzz
03-03-2013, 10:06 AM
dual time in a small little aircraft as a quicksilver was needed just to get me comfortable.
Unfortunately, this whole discussion about bring back the SSM was prompted by the new Sport Pilot rule which has eliminated all training in aircraft you refer to. There is no more dual training allowed for hire in 2-place ultralights. Unless has a friend with a 2-place Quicksilver that will give you 5 hours of flight time for free, they could not get the airtime you received. It's no longer available.

jedi
03-03-2013, 11:38 AM
Unfortunately, this whole discussion about bring back the SSM was prompted by the new Sport Pilot rule which has eliminated all training in aircraft you refer to. There is no more dual training allowed for hire in 2-place ultralights. Unless has a friend with a 2-place Quicksilver that will give you 5 hours of flight time for free, they could not get the airtime you received. It's no longer available.

Yes, this is the whole reason we are having this discussion. Norm is not alone in this catch 22 operation. The non renual of the Ultralignt Training Exemption and the restrictive FARs are affecting thousands of pilots and hundreds of thousands of wanabe pilots while AOPA, EAA, SAA, SSA and fifty more alphabet orginizations lament about the poor state of the economy and high student drop out rate.

jedi
03-03-2013, 11:41 AM
Pied Piper
There are three things man should do before every flight.


A check list.
Think!
The Aviators Prayer



I do not know what I donít know but I do know that what I do not know can kill me.

Please help me in guessing what it is I should know in order to survive the day.

Thank you!

Buzz
03-03-2013, 12:51 PM
There is no substitute for dual flight training. There is no excuse not to get dual training-ever. I for one will never condone "self teaching" or "learn by doing" flight training. We get enough bad press in aviation and we don't need any more news articles about fools augering their planes into the ground.
Pacerpilot-
I'm glad you made this point.

From it I realize that we need to change the acronym to SSTM. [Single
Seat Teaching Method]. What we're talking about is an experienced, knowledgeable ultralight instructor using a particular training methodology and a particular type of single seat ultralight to get people safely into ultralight flying.

There is an old line that any doctor that treats himself has a fool for a patient. With SSTM, anytime the instructor and the student are the same person, the student has a fool for an instructor.

This is not about people trying to teach themselves to fly an ultralight. This is about "Can we safely teach people to fly ultralights now that we are back to the early days of the ultralight industry when 2-place ultralights for ultralight instructors were not available."

One option today for getting people safely into ultralight flying is have them get dual instruction a lot heavier and faster than an ultralight and "transition down" into legal ultralights.

We have to remember that option was available at the onset of the ultralight industry. Virtually no one took that route. No one was going out to the local FBO for instruction before the transitioned into their ultralight.

Unfortunately, many of them took the "teach myself route" instead. In their eyes it was more affordable.

To say "There is no substitute for dual training" is to say the ultralight community has no future. It will essentially die out. "Dual ultralight instruction" is history and the early ultralight industry has shown that the probability of people taking "transition down" dual to get into legal ultralights is very low.

Without a way of expanding the availability of instruction to those that get into ultralight flying, we're also promoting self-teaching.

It's my premise that the way to expand that availability is to brush off the SSTM.

Look at why it worked [simplicity of the ultralight designs at the time], how it worked [training sequence] and then update it [with today's technologies].

For example, with a GPS tracker, Google Earth and a Go-Pro video an instructor can review an ultralight student's flight away from the airport in incredible detail. "Was he/she always within gliding distance of a safe landing if the 2-cycle quit?", etc. When I did my Private solo practice 40 years ago all my CFI could do in term's of reviewing my flight practice with me is ask "How'd it go?"]

-Buzz

Buzz
03-03-2013, 01:19 PM
One other point I think is important to make. I'm also not suggesting that every ultralight buyer can be taught using the SSTM in their own ultralight.

I might want to own a Cessna 210 but I'm not going to earn my Private in it. A Cessna 150 is a much more suitable trainer. Not every ultralight will be equally suitable for the SSTM. I think the 2-axis control of the Quicksilver MX makes it the more suitable trainer. The simpler the ultralight is, the better. I believe SSTM should be done with a dedicated ultralight trainer.

One won't train in the same conditions as one can with dual instruction. Initial SSTM flights are crow hops and should be done in calm conditions. Wind is one more variable that can overload a student's information processing in the initial hops and should be eliminated from initial training sessions.

While SSTM has some operational limitations over the old dual ultralight instruction method, it also has some advantages for the instructor. One is scaleability. One could buy 4 MXs for the cost of a 2-place. 4 students could be doing their initial flights in a class.

1600vw
03-04-2013, 06:52 AM
Unfortunately, this whole discussion about bring back the SSM was prompted by the new Sport Pilot rule which has eliminated all training in aircraft you refer to. There is no more dual training allowed for hire in 2-place ultralights. Unless has a friend with a 2-place Quicksilver that will give you 5 hours of flight time for free, they could not get the airtime you received. It's no longer available.


Sure you can. You register your dual seat quicksilver as a EAB. Check here for this answer.

http://www.sportpilot.org/questions/afmfaqs.asp?topicid=12

Fly Smart

jedi
03-04-2013, 07:47 AM
Sure you can. You register your dual seat quicksilver as a EAB. Check here for this answer.

http://www.sportpilot.org/questions/afmfaqs.asp?topicid=12

Fly Smart

1600vw Not true! You haven't read the details. This only works after the student purchases and builds the aircraft and pays someone to fly off the phase 1 flight test (generally 40 hours). I am an instructor and I can tell you only 1 in ten million prospective students are willing to build a two seat training airplane so they can learn to fly a single seat ultralight. It does not work and very few students or pilots understand how and why the system is faiing.

1600vw
03-04-2013, 12:56 PM
1600vw Not true! You haven't read the details. This only works after the student purchases and builds the aircraft and pays someone to fly off the phase 1 flight test (generally 40 hours). I am an instructor and I can tell you only 1 in ten million prospective students are willing to build a two seat training airplane so they can learn to fly a single seat ultralight. It does not work and very few students or pilots understand how and why the system is faiing.



Everything you need to know about Ultralights and how to train in them plus some history.

http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=86656565001

Fly Smart

1600vw
03-04-2013, 01:29 PM
1600vw Not true! You haven't read the details. This only works after the student purchases and builds the aircraft and pays someone to fly off the phase 1 flight test (generally 40 hours). I am an instructor and I can tell you only 1 in ten million prospective students are willing to build a two seat training airplane so they can learn to fly a single seat ultralight. It does not work and very few students or pilots understand how and why the system is faiing.

I believe we are talking about two different types of training. You are talking training for hire. I am talking, you have a friend whom has a two seater. He can take you up and show you what you need to know to fly your single seater.

Fly Smart

jedi
03-04-2013, 08:48 PM
I believe we are talking about two different types of training. You are talking training for hire. I am talking, you have a friend whom has a two seater. He can take you up and show you what you need to know to fly your single seater.

Fly Smart

That is true but how many wanabe pilots have a friend with a two seat similar to what the student wants to fly? PPC, WSC, airplane, gyro or glider. If you are going to have a healthy industry you need to pay the bills. You cannot depend on non instructor, non professional, and volunteers to train pilots and sell aircraft.

I would not want to sell an Aerolight 103 to someone who has a friend with a CTLS and has had three flights where he was able to fly more or less straight and level and made a few turns. Let's look at the real world here. Although that would help it certainly is not a substitute for working with an experienced CFI using the SSTM. I believe he would be even more of a danger to himself because he will have false confidence.

Buzz
03-05-2013, 06:32 AM
I believe we are talking about two different types of training. You are talking training for hire. I am talking, you have a friend whom has a two seater. He can take you up and show you what you need to know to fly your single seater.
I agree with Jedi.

What we are talking about is not how one person can get trained but how the ultralight community can maybe start invigorating itself.

If we are going to say going forward you'll need to have a friend with a 2-seat "N-Numbered" ultralight that will act as your instructor, we're saying for the very vast majority of people, getting into ultralights is now impossible.


I also agree with him that what we talking about is how those committed to teach others to fly ultralights and get people into the sport might be able to operate again legally and profitably again.

This discussion is about what can be done to remove the barriers people have today to getting into ultralight flying and also how to remove the barriers people that want to be instructors to help expand the sport are facing.


Everything you need to know about Ultralights and how to train in them plus some history.

http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=86656565001

Fly SmartLike the EAA guy that did this video, I was a GA pilot when I started flying hang gliders in '74, bought one of John Moody's first engine kits for my hang glider and turned it into an ultralight in '77, bought my first MX in '81, etc. etc.

This video needs to be retitled, "How To Get Into Ultralights If You Are Already A GA Pilot". That is his perspective and what he talks about. That is the target for this video. Which is not the audience or subject this thread is about. It is not about GA pilots transitioning into ultralights. [I could watch the whole video to see exactly how he addresses getting training because the EAA videos seem to go into "Replay" mode and make the whole thing reload very easy. I had to reload the things a dozen times and finally gave up trying to skip ahead the the part on training.]

EAA can't put out a video that is 'How To Get Into Ultralights If You Are A Non-Pilot". Because under the training slide section on "How To Get Training", the slide would say "Good Luck with that." Sadly.

jedi
03-05-2013, 08:55 AM
I agree with Jedi.

What we are talking about is not how one person can get trained but how the ultralight community can maybe start invigorating itself.

If we are going to say going forward you'll need to have a friend with a 2-seat "N-Numbered" ultralight that will act as your instructor, we're saying for the very vast majority of people, getting into ultralights is now impossible.

I also agree with him that what we talking about is how those committed to teach others to fly ultralights and get people into the sport might be able to operate again legally and profitably again.

This discussion is about what can be done to remove the barriers people have today to getting into ultralight flying and also how to remove the barriers people that want to be instructors to help expand the sport are facing.

For a second oppinion see www.sneddenm7.com/

Buzz
03-05-2013, 10:09 AM
For a second oppinion see www.sneddenm7.com/
Jedi-
I've seen Andy's site before. He's written so much information there that my head hurts trying to keep up with his points! He doesn't have one opinion there, he has about 100. :D His site reads like an Op Ed column!!! I do like his enthusiasm, however.

What part of his site were you referring to as a "second opinion"?

-Buzz

Buzz
03-05-2013, 11:05 AM
Where can I find more information about single seat training methods?
I read through the earlier posts in this thread.

If you read through the early exchanges in this thread between Jedi and myself. we share about everything we've learned from experience and by talking to practitioners about the SSTM as it applies to the Quicksilver MX.

As for where else you can learn about it, I believe it's been so long since the training methodology was used that there isn't any information out on the Net about it.

I think the other reason it's not talked about is because I think the methodology really applies best to the Quicksilver MX. As I've said elsewhere, if one took a plain sheet of paper and was going to design a basic ultralight for the SSTM, it would be probably be an MX. With the exception of maybe moving the rudder function to the pedals so the transition later to a 3-axs control is easier, I can't see how the MX could be improved for the SSTM.

I also believe the evolution of ultralight designs past the MX became too complex for SSTM. [3 axis controls, double surface airfoils, etc.]

So if someone said, "I want to do single place ultralight instruction", my response would be "Go out and buy a basic MX". [As you'll read in Jedi's and my early exchange, with a fixed nose gear or move the rudder function to the pedals.]

On my 10-18-12 entry I do share what I picked up from Mark Smith at Tri-State Kites. As I said, Mark taught more people using the SSTM and a Quicksilver MX than anyone else probably did.

What is key about the SSTM method is changing the sequences of what a student learns vs. the dual method. In dual, one learns pitch before power. The first takeoff a student does power is pushed in and left alone. Then they pitch for a climb and wait for the airplane to leave the ground.

In the SSTM [when all their penguin training/practice is complete and there is a lot of it done properly] they are going to be learning power before pitch. Pitch is set to neutral and they do a slow increase of power until the main wheels get light [nosewheel is going to be on the ground because of the design of the MX]. Then they ease the throttle closed.

Each time they leave the ground, they leave pitch alone and ease the throttle off to land immediately land. In calm conditions and with the right pitch, the first flight should be just inches off the grass. And if the student has been properly trained, they simply close the throttle and "land". In complete control and complete confidence.

Pitch is set so the MX NEVER leaps off the ground. It's comes off the ground in a very level pitch attitude and rises very slowly. The student's visual perspective changes slowly and they respond smoothly by easing the throttle shut.

If you have any specific questions about the SSTM with the MX once you've read through Jedi's and my posts, let us know.

-Buzz

rawheels
03-06-2013, 10:29 AM
#1 - Kitty Hawk Kites has been mentioned a few times as an example on how successful single place training could be. Here is a video showing some of their hang glider training. http://youtu.be/ga3e6wQy6Lo

I'm having a hard time envisioning the ultralight aircraft version of this training (I see lots of stalls & bank limiting tethers). Is the dihedral on a 2-axis MX style ultralight really enough to keep the aircraft level. If not, what replaces the stability help of the tethers in the video, the wheel-barrow portion of the training? I'm starting to wonder if a lot of the success of the early training was due to the majority of people coming from hang gliders and already having the stability training (and the minor bumps and bruises to show for it). Maybe not. I did see something on Mark Smith's website that said when he did that sort of training he had a moped and followed close enough to touch the control surfaces http://www.trikite.com/good.htm

#2 - Just an observation about the aircraft. It seems like any aircraft training is going to be most successful when someone can purchase the type of aircraft that they learned in. That is why so many people have purchased 150s, 172s, and 182s in the past? Might be the same with Challenger, Quicksilver, etc.

Expecting people to pick up 30 year old ultralights and modifying them doesn't seem like a real solution. So, I would think that some serious thought would need to go into whether or not this could be successful with modern Part 103 aircraft. I'm not saying to use any 103 legal aircraft, but possibly a basic 3-axis like the MX Sprint. Is the dihedral between the Sprint and the original MX a lot different? Can it be flown aileron-neutral in no-wind conditions for training?

Buzz
03-06-2013, 03:59 PM
Good comments Rawheels.


I'm having a hard time envisioning the ultralight aircraft version of this training (I see lots of stalls & bank limiting tethers). Is the dihedral on a 2-axis MX style ultralight really enough to keep the aircraft level. If not, what replaces the stability help of the tethers in the video, the wheel-barrow portion of the training? I'm starting to wonder if a lot of the success of the early training was due to the majority of people coming from hang gliders and already having the stability training (and the minor bumps and bruises to show for it). Maybe not.
I had a basic Rogallo wing like they use at KHK. The reason they need the bank limiting tethers for training is that hanggliding training MUST be done in wind. Trying to launch in calm conditions will wear out an athlete. Trying to train in calm conditions will give the student almost no flight time. They'll be worn out quickly from trying to get enough running speed to launch. [With a wind, to take the glider back up the hill you can just grab the nose wires and fly the HG backwards up the hill, another energy saver, too. Carrying one up in calm winds is tiring.]

The tethers are needed because there IS wind in HG training. It can shift a bit and the student can get into a turn inadvertently. If a wing tip touches they ground loop.

Training in an MX is done in dead calm. The MX has a lot of directional stability because of the dihedral. The calm conditions and dihedral is what eliminates the tethers in the KHK video. The dihedral, rather than the wheelbarrowing, is what causes direction stability and keeps a wing from "falling off".

The reason why the MX wheelbarrows a bit in the initial flights is because of the angle of attack of the wing when the plane is sitting on the ground. It's pretty high. So when one is trying to come off the ground at a low angle of attack in the inital crow hops, the MX main gear will actually get light and leave the ground first. This would be pretty foreign to any instructor that has done dual in other aircraft where wheelbarrowing is the last thing they want happening.


I did see something on Mark Smith's website that said when he did that sort of training he had a moped and followed close enough to touch the control surfaces http://www.trikite.com/good.htm Mark has never used any verbal communication between himself and the student while flying. Even giving dual I've been told he does not train with an intercom. He uses all hand signals.

Dan Johnston, in contrast, used radios when he was doing single seat training. You can hear his view of single seat training in the MX at 2:00 in this youtube video along with his comment about using radios. [I had to paste the URL into youtube to get it to play.]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwaP9a1niBE&feature=related
I think radio communication with the student would be invaluable. Rather than touch the elevator, Dan simply had to say, "Ease the stick forward".

You'll hear Dan say that SSTM with a radio trained a lot of people before the dual training exemption because the 2-axis MX is so easy to fly. [He would have been referring to the MX because the 2-place MX was the first 2-place trainer Quicksilver had. The single place Sprint was not on the market during the period Dan is referencing.]


#2 - Just an observation about the aircraft. It seems like any aircraft training is going to be most successful when someone can purchase the type of aircraft that they learned in. That is why so many people have purchased 150s, 172s, and 182s in the past? Might be the same with Challenger, Quicksilver, etc.First, we need to recognize that there are particular flight characteristics that make an aircraft the optimum entry level trainer. Those are probably not the flight characteristics someone is going to want to have once they know how the fly. [I know Cirrus runs ads in AOPA & other magazines about "Learn to fly in the airplane you'll fly". Slick marketing. I guess if one's goal is to be an airline pilot, one should have learned to fly in a 737. LOL]

I believe there was a period during the early evolution from the unpowered Quicksilver hangglider to the 3-axis double surface ultralights of today where the design had the characteristics that made it perfect for SSTM. Pretty much what Dan Johnston say in his video about the MX. That particular design was so simple to fly, SSTM worked well.


So, I would think that some serious thought would need to go into whether or not this could be successful with modern Part 103 aircraft. I'm not saying to use any 103 legal aircraft, but possibly a basic 3-axis like the MX Sprint. Is the dihedral between the Sprint and the original MX a lot different? Can it be flown aileron-neutral in no-wind conditions for training?My experience flying the both is the 3-axis Sprint is a hot-rod compared to the MX. It's not going to be nearly as stable [even in calm air] as the MX.

The advantage of the MX design was that it eliminated the need for 1 axis of control [roll] because it had so much dihedral. It doesn't fall off on a wing at all. My understanding is that you have to reduce the dihedral if you modify the MX with ailerons because the dihedral wants to keep the wing level. I believe there is also a lot more washout in the MX wing, which also makes it want to be directly stable.

I love the Sprint. But it is too high performance to be a training platform with the SSTM. The MX is going to have far fewer training problems using SSTM than a Sprint will.


Expecting people to pick up 30 year old ultralights and modifying them doesn't seem like a real solution.There is another way to look at it.

Once the ultralight evolved past the 2-axis hidihedral MX design, the complexity reduced their suitablility for SSTM. That was never noticed because training had evolved into dual instruction at about the time they stopped making the MX.

If the FAA has regressed the ultralight community back to the period where there is no dual instruction, then we need to go back and look at the designs that were very successful SSTM trainers. As Dan Johnston points out in his video, that design is the MX.

In my mind, it's not about how long ago the MX design was marketed. It's about where the MX was on the evolution of the ultralight. We know hang gliders were easy enough to fly that they didn't need dual instruction. The weight-shift Quicksilver was easy enough to fly that it did not need dual instruction. Once they made the seat stationary and did pitch with a stick, they still didn't necessarily need dual instruction [per Dan Johnson].

Finally, the greatest opportunity we have right now is that some training pioneers will be able to reinstitute SSTM instruction without much financial risk and see how viable it could be. Used MXs are relatively plentiful and cheap to buy/operate. I bought two last year for $2000 each.

If some people start doing SSTM with MXs they may very well come up with some design updates to the MX platform that generate better training outcomes. Such as moving the rudder to the pedals [I think the Sprint rudder cables will work], so a steerable nosewheel can be used. Directional control on the ground and in the air remains with the feet through out training.

We'll never have the availability of training that existed when there was the dual exemption. However, maybe the economics of SSTM [being able to teach people in groups, like KHK] and the availability of the used MXs, will get some dedicated ultralight instructors to see if SSTM is the way to get back into the training game.

Who knows?

This is a good discussion.

-Buzz

rawheels
03-07-2013, 08:30 AM
I guess if one's goal is to be an airline pilot, one should have learned to fly in a 737. LOL

I'm sure you know that I am not advocating that someone has to learn basic in a 737. I'm simply pointing out that commonly after training a new pilot to decides he wants to purchase a plane (especially since UL's are not typically a rental item). The usual choice is to get the aircraft that they trained in, or the next step higher. Hence, 74,500 Cessna 150/152/172's were produced.

There aren't any new 2-axis aircraft available to purchase that I am aware of, and no used ones that you wouldn't have to modify for standard controls. So, when you are complete with the training there is no usable aircraft that someone can purchase. I'm thinking this is some of the point in Jedi's early 3-axis aircraft questions.

So we are left with three options, or some combination of them:
#1. You train people in older/modified 2-axis aircraft and hope that some of the UL manufacturers start producing 2-axis planes.
#2. Every instructor now has to purchase two planes, and modified 2-axis for initial training, and a 3-axis for final transition.
#3. You find a 3-axis that will work.

I noticed that one common mod on the Quicksilver MX line is to replace the flying wires with ones that will give you a lower dihedral. As opposed to having a manufacturer completely re-tool and start producing another model, possibly a MX Sprint-T (trainer) could be produced which uses a different set of wires for a higher dihedral? Training would still be done initially with 2-axis controls (aileron-neutral), and then after the student gets in the air, they can start adding in aileron movements. Obviously with the high dihedral, the inputs are going to be fairly muted, but they can get the idea of what the controls do. When they are finished with training, they can purchase a trainer, which they could update to a normal Sprint later with a new set of wires, or they can buy a normal Sprint and understand that it is the next step up and will require a little more training (like the 150 trained student who buys a 172).

rawheels
03-07-2013, 08:34 AM
With the risk of producing some thread creep here, I'd like to point out that working at KHK must be intense; Running up and down hot sand dunes the whole time! Yikes!

Buzz
03-07-2013, 03:17 PM
I'm sure you know that I am not advocating that someone has to learn basic in a 737.Sorry Ryan. I was poking fun at Cirrus' ad promoting the idea that some learning to fly should buy a Cirrus and then use it to learn to fly. I think a Cirrus is getting pretty advanced to be used as a basic flight trainer for most people. I may be wrong.


There aren't any new 2-axis aircraft available to purchase that I am aware of, and no used ones that you wouldn't have to modify for standard controls. So, when you are complete with the training there is no usable aircraft that someone can purchase. Modifying an MX for 2-axis standard controls is not hard. I believe all the parts from the Sprint will work for the rudder.


#2. Every instructor now has to purchase two planes, and modified 2-axis for initial training, and a 3-axis for final transition.To a trained ultralight pilot, transitioning from "MX 2-axis" to a standard 3-axis is not that much of a transition. [At least in the Quick line.] The instructor can do their transition in whatever ultralight they end up buying; the instructor doesn't need one for transition training.

As for modifying the MX to "2-axis standard", the only reason one would do that is to be able to use the steerable nosewheel configuation for training. [Getting out of the seat and turning the fixed nosewheel MX around so you can taxi back during all the crow hops is time consuming. One might want to avoid that teaching classes. Maybe not.]

#3. You find a 3-axis that will work.I don't think it can be found. When you modify the MX for 3-axis, the modifications remove the docileness that makes it such a great SSTM trainer. You need to take out the dihedral for the ailerons to be useful. I might be wrong, but you may also have to shorten the wing to use ailerons. As I recall, the general rule of thumb is that it was cheaper to buy a Sprint then mod an MX because of the # of mods required to the MX.


I noticed that one common mod on the Quicksilver MX line is to replace the flying wires with ones that will give you a lower dihedral. I forgot in addition to 2-axis control and dihedral, the other major difference between the Sprint and the MX is that MX wing is 32ft rather than 28ft. Those 4 extra feet create a lot more docile flying machine. They are two very different ultralights and fly very differently.


As opposed to having a manufacturer completely re-tool and start producing another model, possibly a MX Sprint-T (trainer) could be produced which uses a different set of wires for a higher dihedral? If SSTM in MXs starts taking hold and we ever run out of MXs, someone will start making a 2-axis design again for training. Either Quicksilver or Paul Mather at MSquared.

Again, I think "First Things First". That is to start doing SSTM radio training in the same exact machine that was used when it was done a lot previously. Then take what we learn from there and move forward. They used a fixed nose gear MX at the time. If the rudder-on-the-pedal so the steerable nose wheel can be used for reversing direction on the ground easier [and there is a lot of that in the early training], then do it. If the modification is too hard or creates other issue, then stay fixed nose wheel as they did previously.

RE: instructors buying 2-axis trainers. They won't until they start thinking like the hang gliding schools and holding "classes". Once they see the profitability of training people in groups, I think some will get really excited about training again.

Again, I take a page from KHK. They are using a Rogallo for initial training that looks very much like the one I owned in 1974. Hang gliders have advanced to where some advanced designs probably preform better than the lower end of the sailplane category. But the best design for training is a design that first hit the market 38 years ago.

I think we have in the MX for SSTM in ultralights what the basic old style Rogallo is to SSTM in hang gliders. The ideal entry level trainer design. Or at least a design that has a proven history as a successful SSTM trainer.

-Buzz

pacerpilot
03-14-2013, 08:19 PM
Can someone tell me when dual flight training wouldn't be available. I did a little research and have found two seat airplanes at every airport near where I live. I can't recall not seeing them at airports where I used to live too. I guess I'm just lucky because it sure doesn't seem too hard to find somebody with a plane to go flying with. I still get a little apprehensive when doing flight testing in a "new" airplane. I couldn't imagine being an "armchair" pilot and taking an airplane up to do stalls without ever having had one-and its recovery-demonstrated. I don't care how much somebody has read, or how much coaching they've had, that first stall is very exciting-it might also be the last. But I do understand what's being said here. You've built a flyin' contraption yourself, it doesn't weigh to much for the boys in OK City to worry about it so, why not learn to fly it yourself to save a few bucks right? To me, it just doesn't make sense not to get some actual dual training-not to solo-but familiar with flight and airplanes.

Buzz
03-15-2013, 12:50 PM
Can someone tell me when dual flight training wouldn't be available. I did a little research and have found two seat airplanes at every airport near where I live. But I do understand what's being said here. You've built a flyin' contraption yourself, it doesn't weigh to much for the boys in OK City to worry about it so, why not learn to fly it yourself to save a few bucks right? To me, it just doesn't make sense not to get some actual dual training-not to solo-but familiar with flight and airplanes.Pacerpilot, I think you have not been closely reading this thread.

1. No one is saying there is no dual available.
2. No one is saying learn to fly an ultralight yourself. Self-teach.

What is being said here is that the current entry-point paradigm for ultralights is so unwieldy that there are very few people entering the sport any more.

pacerpilot
03-17-2013, 05:32 PM
Pacerpilot, I think you have not been closely reading this thread.

1. No one is saying there is no dual available.
2. No one is saying learn to fly an ultralight yourself. Self-teach.

What is being said here is that the current entry-point paradigm for ultralights is so unwieldy that there are very few people entering the sport any more.

I understand Buzz, I was in fact responding to a couple posts that were trying to rationalize the "self taught" process. But with regard to ultralight flight, yes it is diminishing somewhat. However, what I've found is a great number of GA guys (myself included) that are drawn to the light types. No big brother issues to deal with. I'm thinking of building a Legal Eagle in fact. Sorry if I barked too loud earlier but when the "single pilot" training issue pops up I get interested. I did find your comment from Cirrus very insightful. That is a very complex slippery airplane to learn in. So I guess the curve goes both ways.

Buzz
03-18-2013, 12:09 PM
I understand Buzz, I was in fact responding to a couple posts that were trying to rationalize the "self taught" process. Sorry if I barked too loud earlier but when the "single pilot" training issue pops up I get interested.
Pacerpilot, this is a pretty unwieldy topic to discuss. One can't bark too loudly.

On the one-hand, the biggest accident problem in ultralight flyng had always been the non-pilot trying to take their single place ultralight and teach themselves to fly it. It was a huge problem in the heyday. [I strongly suspect getting people to stop teaching themselves was probably the strongest argument the industry put forth to the FAA for the 2-place instructor exemption. The FAA would have responded fastest to a safety argument in the need for the exemption.]

What makes this discussion unwieldy is that it's very hard to discuss the potential of using the 2-axis MX ultralight in the hands of an instructor experienced and knowledgeable in SSTM in that particular ultralight to help provide entry level UL instruction of non-pilots in this kind of public forum.

While the availability of more entry-level ultralight instruction would help reduce the incidences of "self-teaching", the single-place nature of SSTM instruction in the MX almost seems to encourage a non-pilot that the training methodology could be applied to their ultralight and they could figure it out themselves.

This is the kind of conversation that needs to have "Don't Try This Yourself At Home!" as a continuous running caveat!!

There can't be enough people like yourself trying to stop any rationalization of "self-teaching". I'd be the first person to tell a non-pilot, "Hey, trust me. There are a LONG line of non-pilots with a freshly purchased new or used machine that wished they'd driven even a couple hundred miles for some type of instruction rather than wiping the thing out trying to teach themselves and having it [and or themselves] laid up for repairs. If you wouldn't teach yourself cobra handling, don't teach yourself how to fly. Both are equally dangerous and equally unforgiving in the process of learning."

Norman Langlois
06-30-2013, 08:34 AM
This is an update and a comment My opinion only.
Yesterday Sat June 29. I had booked a dual stall lesson in a Piper. All went well. Part off the instruction was . Landing with power off and holding the planes attitude and angle. I tried that landing with power off and attitude with my plane Sun. June 30.
The wind conditions were the same. The planes are very different. I had to abort the landing as described. And land as always with 40% power. I have heard how dual instruction is so important and the Single seat method in ultralight like aircraft is discouraged. I wounder if the situation were a first time landing for a new pilot trained in LSA. trying to fly his or her UL in the same circumstance. Just what that outcome would have been. Learning to fly an LSA. and then transition to A UL must still contain a UL instruction. this must some how return .I do have my instructor but many do not. My instructor is not local and was not able to fly with me in the piper.I offered the new instructor the opportunity to fly my plane bluntly turned down he only flies certified aircraft. I will continue to seek a local support.It would be better to have that. My instructor did fly the plane but time has passed and modifications make differences. I report each flight, dual evaluations would be much better. if my instructor were also able to fly and evaluate the plane and me. I am fortunate to have continuing evaluation beyond basic training . I needed to mention that.I have about 12 hrs solo, with no onsite instructor, that fallows by phone after each.