Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 88

Thread: Learning to fly Ultralights

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northwood ,N.H. USA
    Posts
    103

    Learning to fly Ultralights

    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.

  2. #2
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    392
    You are to be admired, Norm. You had a goal and you achieved it. Congrats.
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    147
    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Langlois View Post
    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
    Last edited by Buzz; 03-05-2013 at 12:13 PM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northwood ,N.H. USA
    Posts
    103
    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

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    147
    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Langlois View Post
    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
    Last edited by Buzz; 09-17-2012 at 05:17 AM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    154
    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.
    Last edited by jedi; 09-21-2012 at 06:31 PM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northwood ,N.H. USA
    Posts
    103
    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

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    147
    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

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    154

    Happy Welcome Comments

    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northwood ,N.H. USA
    Posts
    103
    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.
    Last edited by Norman Langlois; 09-27-2012 at 06:22 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •