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Thread: Frustrated sport pilot student

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Grand Rapids, MI
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    Frustrated sport pilot student

    Last January, right after I soloed, my flight school sold their LSA. The closest rentable LSA is a 2.5 hour drive away. With my schedule only allowing me to fly on weekends combined with Michigan weather, I managed only 5 lessons this summer. Bouncing between 2 instructors with very different teaching methods, I have not soloed the new plane. With winter coming it seems less likely that I could finish my training anytime soon.

    I have been thinking about going someplace that offers accelerated training. I would like to hear about other people's experiences with these schools. I'll be heading to Orlando for vacation this December, if anyone could recommend something in central Florida.

    Thanks,

    Larry

  2. #2
    AllenR's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Boca Raton, FL
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    Probably the best place to go for a sport pilot license is Lockwood Aviation in Sebring, FL. They are just south of Orlando and specialize in sport pilot and have a very structured program to get pilots certified ASAP. They even offer housing. A friend of mine did it and loved how organized they are. They are also the U.S. distributor for Rotax engines. http://www.lockwoodaviation.com/

    G
    ood luck.
    Allen Rice

    Skybolt
    RV9A
    Pietenpol

  3. #3

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    Jul 2011
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    Larry, yes, I do. At Winter Haven , Florida there are three flight schools.
    Look them up on the internet, ie google.

    First is Tailwheels, Etc. a flight school which advertises getting your pilot license in 2 weeks. I am sure there are lots of naysayers who will downgrade this and try to talk a student out of it, but I am impressed when a flight school is willing to state this up front. There are lots of other places that will drag a student along for months as long as he's willing to pay, until he runs out of money or interest.
    I have actually been at this school, although I did not take lessons from them. They are low key and friendly, not one of those places where 300 hour CFIs are wearing a tie and calling everyone "Sir", but may not really have done much flying or teaching.
    I have flown into Winter Haven, it is a very pretty small airport about 20 miles east of Lakeland. 3 good runways, no tower to delay you or interfere,and with a lot of convenient housing and restaurants nearby.
    It sits on a lake, right there is also Brown seaplane base, a long time flight school offering float ratings in J3 Cubs and twin Seabees.
    Also on the same field is Preston Aviation, which says it offers tailwheel checkouts in J3s and Stearmans.

    I don't know if they have any LSAs , but unless you are irrevocably wedded to only LSA flying, I'd suggest you go to Winter Haven.
    It's probably very nice weather in Dec there, not too hot. Also nearby is Kermit Weeks Fantasy of Flight complex, and Warbird Adventures at Kissimmee that teaches in T6s. I have done a biennial flight review with Jon there and it's great, if not cheap. That's a real airplane and a real pilot trainer.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-18-2011 at 12:43 PM.

  4. #4

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    Larry, I forgot to mention that if you are training in a J3 Cub, it qualifies for both LSA and private pilot training, not limited to just LSA.

    I was curious and tried to phone Lockwood aviation that Allen suggest. Lockwood is closed today, Sunday, so didn't get any info from them.
    Being closed on Sunday, which is when many students are able to fly, seems like an inconvience unless they have some process where a student can access the keys and the planes and fly solo.
    I wonder if they have a religeous objeciton to working, flying on Sunday? Their recording doesn't say or their website. The photos look good. I personally prefer low wing planes, not the Cessna look alike LSAs they show on their sight. When and if you get into advanced aviation, which I hope you do. most of the high performance planes are going to be low wing. Plenty of good high wing ones also, Cub, Stearman, Pitts, etc. It's not the biggest factor in deciding what to fly especially what to learn in.
    I have not flown a high wing strictly LSA. I have flown a Gobosh low wing LSA, and found it fun. You do need a hat or shade of some type on a hot sunny day.Great visibilty.

  5. #5
    Chick's Avatar
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    Georgia
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    I finished my ticket there

    Lockwood is the place to go. They do an incrededible job. A totally professional organization. They moved mountains to make me feel like I was the only student there. The CFI was first rate and they have a DPE on staff. I wish I went there years before.

  6. #6

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    Sep 2011
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    I trained with a great CFI in Hendersonville, NC in a great Champ. It was an accelrated course and if it were not for weather on the last day would have been completed in 10 days over a Christmas break. His website is www.blueridgesportflight.com and name is Greg Collins. I highly recommend his program. An added bonus is "mountain" flying and multiple grass strips carved out of the tops of those mountains. Well worth the money.

    Scott

  7. #7

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    Jul 2011
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    Tho' not quite what you were asking for with info about Florida, but much closer to home, with weather conditions & terrain not dissimilar to MI (ie, beautiful at this time of the year ) is Steve Krog's place at Hartford, WI - http://cubair.net/

  8. #8
    Adam Smith's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Jefferson, Maryland, United States
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    Hang in there Larry. A similar thing happened to me - soloed and then an accident to my instruction plane left me high & dry. It took over 2 years to finish my PPL. What got me across the finish line was an accelerated training school in Florida where I had the time, planes, instructors and weather.

  9. #9

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    Oct 2011
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    Hey Larry,Try Orlando Gateway Sport Pilot, working on mine now and they have accelerated program. They have locations in Kissimmee/ Orlando and in Winter Haven. Talk to Jonathan he is great guy and honest.. Good Luck..

  10. #10

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    Nov 2011
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    I'm in Eaton, Ohio and interested in LSA but can't find any instructors in vicinity. Anyone know of anyplace close? I am halfway between Dayton, Ohio and Richmond, In------------rick

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