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Thread: Wanting to learn to fly in my own bird

  1. #1

    Wanting to learn to fly in my own bird

    Iím wanting to learn to fly in my own bird to obtain my sport pilot certificate. Is this possible to do even if the CFI is unfamiliar with my aircraft?

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokeyplaces2go2 View Post
    I’m wanting to learn to fly in my own bird to obtain my sport pilot certificate. Is this possible to do even if the CFI is unfamiliar with my aircraft?
    It's possible, and I can see most CFIs willing to do it, but I recommend against it.

    1. Since you're not a pilot yet, you don't really know what airplanes will suit you. They're not like cars, where all behave nearly identically (Hertz and Avis don't require "checkouts"). Once you know how to fly, you'll be able to better evaluate the features of various aircraft before plopping down your money.

    2. Learning to fly puts a lot of wear and tear on the aircraft... why not use a rental, instead?

    3. If your airplane develops a mechanical issue, your lessons stop until you can get the plane fixed. Not as much of a problem with a rental.

    4. The airport you want to learn to fly at may not be the one you'll want to base the airplane at.

    Over the years, I've heard from several folks who have done this successfully, but I think, generally, it's better to buy after you get your ticket.

    Ron Wanttaja

  3. #3
    lnuss's Avatar
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    Is this possible to do even if the CFI is unfamiliar with my aircraft?
    Ron is basically right, but possible complications include aircraft type, the CFI needing to get properly checked out in the aircraft, and perhaps other factors depending on where you are (weather patterns, population, air traffic, etc.). And a particular question is what type of aircraft are you talking about? A Cessna 152 or a Piper Cub (CFI needs lots of tailwheel experience, not just a checkout) aren't much problem, but homebuilts, war birds, multi-engine, retractable gear, etc. do present possible problems, and I'll guarantee that a simpler aircraft takes less time to learn, as well as being cheaper and safer to learn in.

    However it is, as Ron says, quite possible. A school I once taught for had a man who bought a Cessna 206 to learn in and to fly -- it took him a lot of time (lots of extra hours) and frustration from the extra complexity, speed and mass of the aircraft. Some time later (poor judgement) he died in a crash of his bird. There are plenty of other examples, most not quite so extreme, such as the gentleman who bought a 1956 Cessna 182 to learn in. He got his ticket, but it took extra hours and complexity was a problem for a little while. His outcome was MUCH better, though.

    What aircraft type do you have in mind, and roughly where are you located?

    Larry N.

  4. #4
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Larry's excellent post reminded me of another factor: Insurance. Coverage for a raw pilot is going to be pricy, and the policy will need to cover the instructor flying as PIC.

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #5

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    Most insurance policies will have a blanket clause covering any instructor as PIC provided they are instructing a pilot approved on that policy.

    To answer the original question, yes you absolutely can and many have done so. The more popular and generic your aircraft is, the more likely you are to find a good instructor. When you get into more boutique aircraft the risks go way up and finding a CFI becomes far more difficult. A friend of mine bought a SeaRey and learned to fly in it successfully but it was quite an adventure. Out of the several hundred CFIs at the 10 schools around our 4 local airports we found exactly one instructor qualified and willing to do ab-initio training on an amateur built amphibian. He could easily have charged triple what he ended up getting paid so my friend got lucky.

    On the other end of the spectrum we have a C150 on the field here that has had many owners buy a share, get their licence, and either stay or move on as their requirements dictate. It cost each pilot about half as much for the licence as they would have paid at the local school. Every instructor on the planet can teach someone to fly a C150 so no problems there.

    Lastly, there are several horror stories around here of people buying aircraft with no clue about what they are buying, spending a fortune on unexpected repairs, and then having the aircraft destroyed by an instructor who was perfectly willing but not qualified to teach on that aircraft type.

  6. #6
    Dana's Avatar
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    As others have said above it's definitely possible, and may or may not be a good idea. But for Sport Pilot training it may be the only option depending on where you are, LSA rentals for training aren't found everywhere.

    If you want to take that approach, it's probably best to get at least some instruction first before considering buying a plane; with a little experience you'll have a much better idea of what you want.

  7. #7
    Hey thank you guys for the quick response. Right now I’m living in Northeast Ohio, just west of Cleveland. My family and I will be moving to Texoma area within a year. I recently retired as a 30 year Firefighter/EMT. Prior to that I worked the ramp at Cleveland Hopkins were I got to refuel the Concord, The Thunder Birds, and I pull the air stairs up to Air Force One and met a few of the Tuskegee airmen. Prior to that I served 4 years in USMC Air Wing in a F4 squadron in Yuma AZ.


    The Aircraft I’m interested in is a Slip Stream Genesis Light Sport Aircraft. It’s a 2 place with very low hours.Name:  2BFEAAEB-D34D-4A0F-B6A4-1424C256D4DF.jpg
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Size:  19.2 KB

  8. #8
    bigdog's Avatar
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    Why this aircraft? You made another post asking for info about it and got no response. That should be a huge red flag as should low hours. If the attraction is cheap and available you should rethink. That's a recipe for failure. Stick to something tried and true to learn. Then you can better evaluate the risk/reward.
    Regards,
    Greg Young
    1950 Navion N5221K
    RV-6 N6GY - first flight 5/16/2021
    1940 Rearwin Cloudster in work
    4 L-2 projects on deck

  9. #9

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    Smokeyplaces2go2

    Check your personal messages to discuss the Slip Stream Genesis Light Sport Aircraft and flight training. I suggest you log into homebuiltairplanes.com and read Eugene's posts concerning the Skyboy.

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