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Thread: Build, then fly?

  1. #11
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    Good luck Jo - but you bring up another somewhat potentially scary point. Is it really a good idea for a freshly-minted barely-minimum-hours-for-the-license (read more or less completely inexperienced) pilot to be doing the first flights and phase I flight testing on a brand new, never-been-tested airplane? Let's say Buzz Air's place is somewhere else, you're going to go to some other part of the country, probably learn at a pilot-controlled (uncontrolled / non-towered) field, slam through a quick course, then return to your home area.

    Inevitably, a few months pass, then things get to the point where you are going to make a first flight in a brand new, just built airplane. Not only "just" learning a new airport, a new pattern, where traffic comes from and goes to getting in and out of there, maybe working with a different kind of traffic - more jets, more instrument training, hotrod Bonanza pilots calling multi-mile straight-ins and expecting you to compensate (my "problem" last weekend), remembering what you learned, remembering what switches to throw in what order, remembering what radios to tune to what frequencies and when, trying to deciper what's that buzzing in the headset, what's that smell, what's that sound, why's that feel that way, where do I turn to get to the runway?

    You're going to find out if:
    You built it all right. All the wires are going to hold the smoke in, or better yet, not set something on fire. You're going to monitor engine instruments you've never flown with before that look into an engine that has never flown before - and instantaneously make sense of that data (remember - where's the pattern, where's that traffic, I'm supposed to say what, push what, flip what, pull what, hear what) - is that normal, or does that indicate a leak? Should I just go around the pattern and land? Why's the stick pulling so hard? Why's the ball so far off-center? Does that look right? Why did I invite so many people to watch? Did I put the fire extinguisher on board? Is that overcast high enough? What's the wind doing? What am I doing about the wind? Man, those power lines are close.

    And then there's daylight under the tires for the first time...

    Good luck with all that.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  2. #12

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    Thanks Eric for the thoughtful response. You have a nice of way of presenting the (potentially) harsh truth with just enough humor to show that you care. I will take your advice very much to heart.

  3. #13

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    I believe you can use your plane if it is certified to fly off the 40 hrs and you have soloed. You must also find an instructor who will finish your instructions in your plane. That is my hope. You can not fly your homebuild if your are not certified for that perticular plane even if you have your LSA license.

  4. #14
    "You can not fly your homebuild if your are not certified for that perticular plane even if you have your LSA license."

    Forgive my ignorance, but can you explain that comment further? I am contemplating building a single seat, experimental LSA airplane. If I was only a light sport certified pilot, how would I go about getting certified to fly my homebuilt?

    FAA 61.315 says a sport pilot cannot be PIC: "(16) Contrary to any limit or endorsement on your pilot certificate, airman medical certificate, or any other limit or endorsement from an authorized instructor." Would I need an endorsement for a particular plane or category under the LSA rules? If I have an endorsement for an LSA taildragger can I fly any LSA taildragger?

  5. #15

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    Congrats JoFredrick. That's what it's all about. BTW, what will you be using for a powerplant?

  6. #16

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    Airport of choice for spot pilot license

    If your airport of choice is a class that the basic sport polot license does not permit, C, D, make sure when you go for your SLA license you insist the instructor adds the needed qualifications.

  7. #17

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    Thanks for both of your "watch outs" SprintUS1. Since I'm in or near crowded airspace here in NJ, the C, D is appropriate.

    I may truck my completed airplane south to a completion center to have them go over it prior to first flight and check out by a DAR. Hopefully I can get someone to do the first couple hours there as well. If your suspicions are correct about needing checkout in a 701 (versus the 750 I plan on learning in), and since you can't pay someone to check you out in a typical 701, do I need to rely on gratis for a checkride?

    By the way, Petemitchell, I think I heard or read recently that for a single seater, there are special rules for checkrides etc. Can't remember where though.

    Finally, Martymayes, I've purchased and drilled an engine mount for a Jabiru 2200. This is based on Roger (at Zenith's) comment to me during my demo flight that he would like to have one in their demonstrator. This was a year and a half ago, and other engines are being demo'd at Zenith, but they are all too new for me.

    I can't wait to find out how this all turns out. So many pleasant problems to solve.

  8. #18
    rosiejerryrosie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoFredrick View Post
    By the way, Petemitchell, I think I heard or read recently that for a single seater, there are special rules for checkrides etc. Can't remember where though.
    You CAN get a checkride in a single seater but your certificate will carry limitations. It is a bit difficult, though, in getting dual instruction in a single seater Check the FARs for how the checkride is given and what restrictions will apply.
    Cheers,
    Jerry

    NC22375
    65LA out of 07N Pennsylvania

  9. #19

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    Would I need an endorsement for a particular plane or category under the LSA rules? If I have an endorsement for an LSA taildragger can I fly any LSA taildragger?
    Not necessarily.

    The infamous "sets" of LSA aircraft are gone, but there is still the "greater than" and "less than" 87 knot endorsements.

    For example, I did my training in a Flight Design CTLS, which has a cruise speed greater than 87 knots. So I was okay to fly any trike LSA that fit the bill.

    When I got my tailwheel training in a Champ, I picked up two endorsements - tailwheel and aircraft less than 87 knots (make sure BOTH get put in the logbook!). The tailwheel works for both airspeed categories, though.

    So now I can fly any LSA compliant aircraft that isn't on floats!

    One doesn't need a formal checkride for the other airspeed endorsement, btw; just a signoff from a CFI. Which in reality is a friendly sort of checkride that resembles a flight review. We went through all the standard tasks (slow flight, stalls, etc.) as transition training to another aircraft anyway, so might as well get credit for it!

    On controlled airspace: while a student the endorsement for controlled airspace is only for the type of airspace one has been signed off on; for example, if one is signed off on for Class D, one can't fly into Class C unless that endorsement is specifically placed in the logbook as well. Once the SP permit is granted, though, one endorsement for controlled airspace allows one into all.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 11-27-2011 at 01:27 AM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  10. #20

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    I wouldn't recommend it. I may be new to flying, but I know a lot about planes. If you are new to flying, don't start by building a plane. Start by getting experienced in a plane you feel safe in. Once you have a high performance rating, I recommend the Cirrus SR22 model. Once you have skill, and feel comfortable with flying in potentially hazardous situations, then build a plane.

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