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Thread: Student sports pilot to Airplane owner

  1. #1

    Student sports pilot to Airplane owner

    Hello All, This is my first post and hoping that I can connect with people who are currently in my position or have been. I am a student pilot with about 20hrs, I am quickly closing in on my student license. I have been considering buying a plane soon after getting my student pilot license so that I may take the practical in the plane I am going to fly on a regular basis. The advantages are low cost in comparison to renting per hour and even though I love the Evektor Sportstar I'm learning in, It's quite more expensive than anything I could actually buy. At first I was leaning towards an Ercoupe but after working the math I realized It's not practical for carrying passengers due to it's 900lb weight. So what I'm left with is a tail dragger i.e cub, champ. what I don't know is how many more instruction hours does it take to get my taildragger endorsement and are these planes worth it for a new pilot. I will mostly be fun flying but some cross country is in the cards. Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    Absolutely, an older taildragger is an excellent choice for a new pilot and can be a much better value than any modern LSA. If you do your instruction in it, you won't need extra time afterwards to get the tailwheel endorsement. My first plane was an old Taylorcraft.

  3. #3
    By any chance did you do any cross country with it. That is my only concern with buying a vintage plane. Well, that and flying a taildragger CFI

  4. #4
    Dana's Avatar
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    Sure, I flew it all over the northeast US.

  5. #5
    bigdog's Avatar
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    Absolutely a good thing to do. I bought a Taylorcraft BC12D after renting for 2 hours after I got my license. I got my license in a Cherokee but really learned to fly in the Tcraft. This was 1974 and the Tcraft was considered old even then but the ability to learn in one is just as valid now. I got checked out in 3.7 hrs. I flew the Tcraft from Illinois to Seattle via Los Angeles with only 75 hrs in my logbook. The Tcraft has an honest 90-95mph cruise. The Luscombe 8 is a little faster, the 65hp Champ a little slower. They make for the least expensive flying you can get considering acquisition and operating cost. There are lots of other choices depending on your budget, mission and preferences. I had a delay getting my medical renewed a few years ago and picked up another BC12D to fly as an LSA. It was every bit as much fun as my first one 40 years ago. Just do it.
    Last edited by bigdog; 05-28-2015 at 07:12 PM.
    Regards,
    Greg Young
    1950 Navion N5221K
    RV-6 N6GY - 99.3% done, 13.2% to go
    1940 Rearwin Cloudster is next
    4 L-2 projects on deck

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    Absolutely a good thing to do. I bought a Taylorcraft BC12D after renting for 2 hours after I got my license. I got my license in a Cherokee but really learned to fly in the Tcraft. This was 1974 and the Tcraft was considered old even then but the ability to learn in one is just as valid now. I got checked out in 3.7 hrs. I flew the Tcraft from Illinois to Seattle via Los Angeles with only 75 hrs in my logbook. The Tcraft has an honest 90-95mph cruise. The Luscombe 8 is a little faster, the 65hp Champ a little slower. They make for the least expensive flying you can get considering acquisition and operating cost. There are lots of other choices depending on your budget, mission and preferences. I had a delay getting my medical renewed a few years ago and picked up another BC12D to fly as an LSA. It was every bit as much fun as my first one 40 years ago. Just do it.

    I like how you did this or your training. But I do not agree that a Luscombe is the cheapest way to get into aviation. I am really surprised on an EAA forum such as this people push GA airplanes. Are we afraid of an EAB or experimental or just don't like them?

    I purchased my first airplane before I ever took a lesson.

    I have owned 9 airplanes to date. I never spent over 7 grand on any one of them. Some I gave less then 5 grand. Only one needed some work to get flying. I am still working on this airplane but she is close to flying. Every other one was flown right after getting them home and going over them. The cheapest way to get into aviation in my book. They are simple single seat airplanes. Something to get me in the air at a cost I can afford. Just what I believe this thread is about. One of these airplanes has a speed of 130 mph and can carry over 1000lbs. Comes in wet at around 700 lbs with pilot. Hard to beat that.

    Unless your all about flying your friends and such. Then you might want to reconsider this cheap forum of flying. Once you start wanting to fly others the price goes up by about 10 grand, just for the airplane. Like others here have pointed out. Most of these airframes will cost close to 20 grand.
    So for me its a single seat. I love them or the cost of not only flying them but owning them. When someone asks what if I want to go for a ride. I tell them buy an airplane and learn to fly it. Then go for all the rides you want. Or buy a ticket and take a ride on something heavy.

    Tony
    Last edited by 1600vw; 05-29-2015 at 07:12 AM.

  7. #7
    cub builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    Absolutely a good thing to do. I bought a Taylorcraft BC12D after renting for 2 hours after I got my license. I got my license in a Cherokee but really learned to fly in the Tcraft. This was 1974 and the Tcraft was considered old even then but the ability to learn in one is just as valid now. I got checked out in 3.7 hrs. I flew the Tcraft from Illinois to Seattle via Los Angeles with only 75 hrs in my logbook. The Tcraft has an honest 90-95mph cruise. The Luscombe 8 is a little faster, the 65hp Champ a little slower. They make for the least expensive flying you can get considering acquisition and operating cost. There are lots of other choices depending on your budget, mission and preferences. I had a delay getting my medical renewed a few years ago and picked up another BC12D to fly as an LSA. It was every bit as much fun as my first one 40 years ago. Just do it.
    I did the same in about the same time frame; back when the FAA didn't require a tailwheel endorsement because pilots were expected to know how to fly a tailwheel. Now days things have changed a bit. Most instructors can't fly a TW and those that do won't do an endorsement without about 10 hrs TW time; especially for a new Light Sport Pilot. My hangar mate had built a Sonex with his son. Once the plane was done and his son was actively flying it, he decided he might also want to learn to fly. He rented a modern S-LSA plane to get his light sport ticket. Then found an instructor to teach him TW in the instructors antique taildragger before transitioning into the much faster Sonex taildragger. He spent about 10 hrs in the antique plane with the instructor, then another 10 hours working with the instructor in his own Sonex until he they both felt he was safe in the Sonex. It took more time, but to him, the learning was as much fun as the flying once he was free to go fly his own plane.

    -Cub Builder

  8. #8
    I bought a Pietenpol Air Camper in partnership with two other people. Purchase price was only $10k. I'd had instruction from years and years ago, but I took a bit more in the Piet, built some time, and then wrapped up instruction and the flight examine in the same week with Blue Ridge Sport in an Aeronca Champ. I've gotten years and years enjoyment from the Piet, since then. I really don't think you can do it cheaper than that.

    Not everyone can be so lucky, but I agree with 1600VW -- look on Barnstormers for a solid experimental design like a Piet or a Cub-a-like -- a good example will be about about as cheap as you can get. There are flying Piets there now ranging from $7.5-20K. Also, try getting out to the smaller airports, even check into privately owned grass strips. You might find one that is a good fit. I did.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Boatright View Post
    I bought a Pietenpol Air Camper in partnership with two other people. Purchase price was only $10k. I'd had instruction from years and years ago, but I took a bit more in the Piet, built some time, and then wrapped up instruction and the flight examine in the same week with Blue Ridge Sport in an Aeronca Champ. I've gotten years and years enjoyment from the Piet, since then. I really don't think you can do it cheaper than that.

    Not everyone can be so lucky, but I agree with 1600VW -- look on Barnstormers for a solid experimental design like a Piet or a Cub-a-like -- a good example will be about about as cheap as you can get. There are flying Piets there now ranging from $7.5-20K. Also, try getting out to the smaller airports, even check into privately owned grass strips. You might find one that is a good fit. I did.
    Jeff you are so right about the little Private sod airstrips. Where I live the owner of the airpark had a nice 172. He was wanting to sell it for some time. I never thought to ask him about it, then one day he tells me he sold it. He sold it to a young man of 19 years and even financed it for him. No money down and so much a month. He even gave him the hangar to keep it in at no extra charge. Lucky little cuss. He hired a CFI and is taking his lessons in his new toy. Lucky little cuss...lol... I am very happy for the young man.We have become good friends. His CFI is a really upstanding young man himself. Its great to see them out here flying that 172. He went up for lessons yesterday. Lucky little cuss...lol

    Tony

  10. #10
    I am a new student sport pilot with about 20 hours flight time, trying to learn to fly an Ercoupe 415 C with rudder pedals. When I finally get my ticket I am going to be severely limited in what I can rent, because outside of the tri-cycle Ercoupe and the newer LSA's( which practically no one has) there are darn few planes to rent. The majority are of the J3 Cub tail dragger type, but very few instructors are teaching this art in my part of Texas. There are also very few Sport Pilot CFI's as the program, at least down here in my area in Texas, is dying. I know all the private pilots are forging ahead to be able to fly with their DL, like we can, BUT is anyone pushing very hard to up the 1320 gross LSA weight so the Cessna 140's, 150,s and other Ercoupes will qualify? If this is not done I think the Sport Pilot program will be done in about 10 years as very few instructors are going that way ( and students) and even fewer schools are buying the new LSA's. I am in my 60's, so I do not care about being a private pilot as it will be too expensive involves night flying and other aspects that I do not want to encounter.

    Does anyone have any "crystal ball" opinions on raising the 1320 limitation or am I using a "buggy whip" for my bucket list?

    Mike

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