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Thread: Learning to fly Ultralights

  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    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).

  2. #82

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    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!

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    #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.]
    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    #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.

    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by rawheels View Post
    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
    Last edited by Buzz; 03-07-2013 at 03:24 PM.

  4. #84

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    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.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacerpilot View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Buzz; 03-16-2013 at 05:52 AM.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    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.

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacerpilot View Post
    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."

  8. #88
    Norman Langlois's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Norman Langlois; 06-30-2013 at 02:36 PM.

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