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Thread: What's a guy to do? Can't find Sport Pilot training anywhere close

  1. #11

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    I believe Chris Lord is from up by the Quad City IL. area if that helps any. I am more central IL.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    It's kind of hard to give you any help of nearby instruction when neither of you say where you are.
    I'm in a location where there is no sport pilot CFI within 150 miles. Where specifically, is irrelevant, since there are neither local instructors, nor any interest in what everyone around here calls a "worthless ticket".

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tessmacher View Post
    I'm in a location where there is no sport pilot CFI within 150 miles. Where specifically, is irrelevant, since there are neither local instructors, nor any interest in what everyone around here calls a "worthless ticket".
    I'm not sure what these CFI's are talking about when they say "worthless ticket" but apparently they aren't too smart. I wouldn't fly with them just based on that. More than likely they're "hour hogs" looking to fill their log book to qualify for their next job. I'd get in touch with your local EAA chapter and look for a competent CFI through them. Sport pilot is a great cert that simplifies flying for a great many of us. As a private pilot who flies as a sport pilot I'd say these so called CFI's are way off the mark. The FAA did a great service to GA by granting the sport pilot cert, not because it allows some pilots to fly that can't get medicals (as asserted by another poster) but because it allows basic flight with a minimum of effort to be safe. I fly sport because my airplane qualifies and have never been hampered conforming to the regs. If you were in east Texas I'd go get my rating and teach you. Maybe you can find somebody to do that up your way?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by pacerpilot View Post
    I'm not sure what these CFI's are talking about when they say "worthless ticket" but apparently they aren't too smart. I wouldn't fly with them just based on that. More than likely they're "hour hogs" looking to fill their log book to qualify for their next job. I'd get in touch with your local EAA chapter and look for a competent CFI through them. Sport pilot is a great cert that simplifies flying for a great many of us. As a private pilot who flies as a sport pilot I'd say these so called CFI's are way off the mark. The FAA did a great service to GA by granting the sport pilot cert, not because it allows some pilots to fly that can't get medicals (as asserted by another poster) but because it allows basic flight with a minimum of effort to be safe. I fly sport because my airplane qualifies and have never been hampered conforming to the regs. If you were in east Texas I'd go get my rating and teach you. Maybe you can find somebody to do that up your way?
    I completely agree with you that they were "way off the mark" and anyone who has that kind of attitude wouldn't get a cent from me for any service.

    The one guy that told me "I don't waste my time with that sport pilot crap, because I can't make any money off of it, and you can't do anything with it" got a rather indignant response from me. He was the only one I went to visit in person, and seeing both the look on his face, and the body language he displayed really rubbed me the wrong way. Add that to the disdainful attitude and dismissive tone of voice, and I couldn't stop myself. I told him, "You are not doing me a favour by teaching me something I don't want, can't use, and wouldn't need, just because you feel like it is necessary I give you money for it. To the contrary, it is my money, hard-earned, and I decide where I spend it." He stood there with his mouth open, and told me that he wouldn't fly me around the pattern, and walked away. If there were a way for me to post advertisements for people to avoid this airfield, I would do it, but I don't think it's worth the effort. I'm pretty sure that he fawns over people who fly in with Citations or Mooneys, and barely tolerates the Cessna and E-AB folks.

    The entire point of my original post was to point out that as an interested, prospective student, the antipathy and disdain for what could be the best thing in aviation since the invention of the propeller, is driving people away. If GA wants to save itself, then the people who are "in" have to not only want new people to come in, but encourage them to do it instead of taking this "I got mine on my own, and paid my dues by washing planes for 15 minutes of pattern work so you have to do the same thing" attitude. GA is dying. It's dying because of the inherent "I don't like new things" attitude across the board. That's not only disappointing, but discouraging.

    Unfortunately, I am actively considering giving up the idea of pilot training entirely, mostly because of the people in my local area. There is a local flying club, and the first thing they wanted from me before they'd even explain anything about the club was a bank statement. (no joke). The local EAA chapter is full of old men who clearly don't like anyone under 40. My visit to their private airfield and meeting was very unpleasant and unenjoyable. I mostly sat there and watched several discussions about the current situation in Congress, and heard some things that made my skin crawl. On top of that, they all wondered why I was at their 'private' meeting. The first two questions I got were "Who are you?" and "What are you doing here?" (both questions asked in a very suspicious tone) I told them I was interested in learning more about aviation, and was told "well, go get your pilot's license and then come back." (one of them said exactly that). The closest FBO is all about money. They keep the entrance gate from the parking lot locked, and to even get on the airport, you have to use the little phone at the gate to call the office and explain why you want to come inside before they'll buzz the gate open. Not very friendly or inviting. Unless you drive up in a new Mercedes.

    I have a friend I took some lessons from 20 years ago in a city about 100 miles away, but he is now a "pilot for hire" and doesn't teach any more. I asked him about the sport pilot cert, and he said he "didn't know much about it, and while it sounded 'okay' " wouldn't I rather "get my ATP so I could get paid for flying?" (If I wanted that, I would have made it my career and gone to an aviation college 20 years ago) It's almost like the people who are currently pilots don't want anyone new coming in and poaching on their patches...

    I apologize for being such a negative Nellie, but the whole thing has me disgusted. I've looked at a lot of websites about LSA planes, and there are a few of them that would be perfect for me. Many of them come in kits, a bunch of them were under $80K, and almost all of them had some glass cockpit feature. I like to think I'm pretty handy, know my way around most tools, and could probably build a pretty good airplane, but I'd have to do it completely on my own, with no one to turn to for advice, or other resources. I've read flight reviews of all of the ones that interested me, and I even tracked down a local guy who owns one of the ones I was looking at, and exchanged a few really good emails with him, right up to the point where I asked when he was going to take his plane out again, because I'd like to come see it. Haven't heard a thing from him since. I think he might have thought I'd want to touch it or something.

    People want to know why GA is dying? It's dying because many of the folks who are involved in it don't want anyone new to come in, unless there's something in it for them.

    It doesn't have to be that way, but it is.
    Last edited by Tessmacher; 10-12-2013 at 09:47 PM.

  5. #15
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tessmacher View Post
    There is a local flying club, and the first thing they wanted from me before they'd even explain anything about the club was a bank statement. (no joke).
    This is not unusual. Many private clubs (not just flying clubs) do this. You want to make sure prospective members can pay their bills.

  6. #16

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    TM, don't give up. Stay away from the FBO's and go to your local, small, uncontrolled airports. Do some hangar flyin' with the locals and you'll find a CFI somewhere in the mix that will get you your ticket. Also, I'd recommend buying a vintage LSA like a Taylorcraft, Chief or, Pietenpol. $10,000 to $15,000 will buy a beauty and they are as cheap to keep as an old Volkswagon (I'd personally go with a Piet or Pober Jr Ace-my favorites). I feel your pain with regard to the EAA chapter experience. I went to a local meeting once and wasn't welcome because I don't have an RV with a glass panel (I don't drive a Lexus either). Well, it's a foggy, rainy day. I think I'll go to the hangar and work on putting the copilot stick in my plane. You've given me the encouragement to get my SPCFI cert. I just wish the sport pilot training hours counted towards additional ratings. Good luck and I know with a little perseverance you'll get there!

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    This is not unusual. Many private clubs (not just flying clubs) do this. You want to make sure prospective members can pay their bills.
    If you aren't infuriated by this kind of economic elitism, then you're just like them.

    The fact that the guy asked for my bank statement tells me one thing: They only want a club for people like them.

    THAT is the reason GA is going to die.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by pacerpilot View Post
    TM, don't give up. Stay away from the FBO's and go to your local, small, uncontrolled airports. Do some hangar flyin' with the locals and you'll find a CFI somewhere in the mix that will get you your ticket. Also, I'd recommend buying a vintage LSA like a Taylorcraft, Chief or, Pietenpol. $10,000 to $15,000 will buy a beauty and they are as cheap to keep as an old Volkswagon (I'd personally go with a Piet or Pober Jr Ace-my favorites). I feel your pain with regard to the EAA chapter experience. I went to a local meeting once and wasn't welcome because I don't have an RV with a glass panel (I don't drive a Lexus either). Well, it's a foggy, rainy day. I think I'll go to the hangar and work on putting the copilot stick in my plane. You've given me the encouragement to get my SPCFI cert. I just wish the sport pilot training hours counted towards additional ratings. Good luck and I know with a little perseverance you'll get there!
    Two of the three local airports were uncontrolled small local airports. The third one was the one with the locked gate. There are four privately-owned airfields within 40 miles, two of which are owned by EAA chapters. One of which also has a locked gate since it's an airport-community. There are about 12 houses around this airfield, all with hangars, all facing the runway, and they are their own chapter. There is barbed wire around the top of the perimeter fence! No one can get in unless they have the gate code, or fly in to the runway. I've often wondered what would happen if someone who didn't live there had to make an emergency landing on that field. I imagine these people would run out of their houses with shotguns.

    There are no locals that I'd want to do any hangar flying with, because they're all just like your "you don't have an RV with a glass panel, so go away" types. That is the entire problem in a nutshell. I'm not willing (or able) to drive almost 100 miles to hang out with people to get the chance to maybe fly, and even if I did get training elsewhere and buy (or build) an airplane, I still live where I live, around these people. It would be like living on an island. I would never be part of the group. Where would I keep this airplane if I got one? There's the EAA fields, where they don't want any new people, so that's out. There's the two other privately owned airfields, and I'm sure one of them would want some stranger around all the time with another airplane on their property. The closest field, (the one with the locked gate with the phone next to it) charges $750 a month for outdoor tie-downs, and $1200 a month for space in their hangar, and from the few times I've ever seen it from the road with the doors open, it's filled with big twins, jets, and other airplanes that you could put two or three Taylorcrafts, Cubs, Champs in. I've never seen a small plane in the hangar.

    I really wish you get your SPCFI. I hope that there will eventually be more out there like you, who are willing to be open, inclusive, and welcoming before its too late. As of now, I'm just fed up dealing with the political extremism, the exclusive, elitist attitudes, the overall snobbishness, and the "I got mine, and you don't" sneers. I have little to no interest any longer, in trying to "get in" to the "club". I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to spend my precious time around people who are grumpy, negative, exclusive, elitist, and rude. I have other friends with other hobbies who enjoy each others company, and aren't exclusivist.

    The EAA is so big, bloated, and cumbersome that it doesn't have any idea what is going on at the local chapter level. They like to claim that they're promoting grass-roots aviation, but all they're really doing is facilitating rich-boy's clubs that are driving away people in droves. If they only knew... Or cared.

  9. #19
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tessmacher View Post
    Two of the three local airports were uncontrolled small local airports. The third one was the one with the locked gate. There are four privately-owned airfields within 40 miles, two of which are owned by EAA chapters. One of which also has a locked gate since it's an airport-community. There are about 12 houses around this airfield, all with hangars, all facing the runway, and they are their own chapter. There is barbed wire around the top of the perimeter fence! No one can get in unless they have the gate code, or fly in to the runway. I've often wondered what would happen if someone who didn't live there had to make an emergency landing on that field. I imagine these people would run out of their houses with shotguns.

    There are no locals that I'd want to do any hangar flying with, because they're all just like your "you don't have an RV with a glass panel, so go away" types. That is the entire problem in a nutshell. I'm not willing (or able) to drive almost 100 miles to hang out with people to get the chance to maybe fly, and even if I did get training elsewhere and buy (or build) an airplane, I still live where I live, around these people. It would be like living on an island. I would never be part of the group. Where would I keep this airplane if I got one? There's the EAA fields, where they don't want any new people, so that's out. There's the two other privately owned airfields, and I'm sure one of them would want some stranger around all the time with another airplane on their property. The closest field, (the one with the locked gate with the phone next to it) charges $750 a month for outdoor tie-downs, and $1200 a month for space in their hangar, and from the few times I've ever seen it from the road with the doors open, it's filled with big twins, jets, and other airplanes that you could put two or three Taylorcrafts, Cubs, Champs in. I've never seen a small plane in the hangar.

    I really wish you get your SPCFI. I hope that there will eventually be more out there like you, who are willing to be open, inclusive, and welcoming before its too late. As of now, I'm just fed up dealing with the political extremism, the exclusive, elitist attitudes, the overall snobbishness, and the "I got mine, and you don't" sneers. I have little to no interest any longer, in trying to "get in" to the "club". I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to spend my precious time around people who are grumpy, negative, exclusive, elitist, and rude. I have other friends with other hobbies who enjoy each others company, and aren't exclusivist.

    The EAA is so big, bloated, and cumbersome that it doesn't have any idea what is going on at the local chapter level. They like to claim that they're promoting grass-roots aviation, but all they're really doing is facilitating rich-boy's clubs that are driving away people in droves. If they only knew... Or cared.
    Tessmacher,

    Sad that the chapter near you is like this. Our chapter has its share of RVs but our Chapter pres flies a T-Craft as an SP, the VP is a student pilot who works line service and we have members with a RANS, a VP-2, a Pacer (me!), a Stinson, multiple Sonexes, Cessnas new and old, and many projects to talk about (Cavalier, BD-4C, Skycoupe rebuild, Fly Baby, etc.) Each Chapter is its own individual gang (intentional choice of word) that develops its own character. Is there only one chapter near you? We have four or more in the greater St. Louis area.

    I also talked about the SP training on the other thread but here I also think like some of the other posters that you might want to think about the accelerated course. Have you considered looking for a place to do it on a compressed schedule? I know our local FBO St. Charles Flying Service (http://www.stcharlesflyingservice.com/) has done this multiple times. You might want to give Dennis a call and talk to him. They are currently down one LSA due to a takeoff accident by a renter but are very actively searching for another one. They also have a Facebook page if you are so inclined.
    Jim Hann
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  10. #20
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tessmacher View Post
    If you aren't infuriated by this kind of economic elitism, then you're just like them.

    The fact that the guy asked for my bank statement tells me one thing: They only want a club for people like them.

    THAT is the reason GA is going to die.
    Step back & think about it for a minute. Say a new student flies 10 hours in the first month leaving him with a bill of $1000 owed to the club. If it is a person that has a history of not being able to make their monthly rent payment do you think the club is going to get paid? No, the club is out $1000. It makes perfect sense to make sure a potential member has the means to pay their debts.

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