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February 03, 2015

flying: F**k The Feds, I'm Buying A Motorcycle Instead

No, I'm not buying a motorcycle, it's a quote from an informative post at PoA that demistifyes how the red tape kills flying (written by a flight instructor struggling to find students):

Money is likely the biggest problem why someone chooses NOT to learn to fly once I talk with them. After we take the discovery flight the next obstacle that's absolutely devastating is the medical.

In the last month I've generated maybe 10 good leads. Converted 4 of them into discovery flights (these are the people of the 10 that could afford it) and of those 4 none of them could get issued a medical on the spot by an AME. I suspect maybe 1 of them will follow through on my advice to work through their issue with Dr Bruce.

The medical problems of the four:

1.) Young and received a minor in possession of alcohol standing outside of his apartment. About six months before he turned 21. We'll likely work past this.

2.) Young and sees a shrink regularly and is on an anti-depressant. Not interested in jumping through any hoops and just decided they didn't want to fly when they learned there would be significant challenges getting issued a medical.

3.) Young and was "diagnosed" with ADHD at a young age and was given prescription pills that he took for quite a long time but no longer does. He threw in the towel when he found out there would be significant hoops to jump through.

4.) In his 50s, a few DUIs years back but none for many years. When he found out that he may have to get some paperwork together for the Feds he was basically like F the Feds I'll just buy a new motorcycle instead.

I can sympathise. In fact, although I hold a current 3rd Class, I'm very nearly thinking the same. That's why I'm interested in things like Affordaplane, which are not regulated under the same rules. Note, however, that the modern red tape comes in many forms. For example, you cannot fly one of these contraptions if you live near a Class Bravo airport. The post-9/11 TFRs apply to ultralight pilots fully, and you bust one, you get your kidneys kicked in by Secret Service goons only because Uncle Biden was fundrising nearby.

Another thing about the missive above is that it makes no mention of the Sport Pilot, which does not require medical certification [1]. Of course, it's heavily hamstrung: only 1 passenger (so no family vacations), no flying at night, no flying on instruments, no flying above 10,000 ft except below 2,000 ft AGL. Still, it's not a bad deal. The equipment is pretty decent and will get your places.

[1] As long as you did not foolishly seek such certification in the past and failed it. At which point, it's glider time.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at 10:58 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 484 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I don't have any of those "medical" problems, but I wonder if there's problems with health certifications otherwise. Also, the cost of fuel and the cost of the aircraft. I want a Defiant or LongEZ, but the trouble is making sure you get one that is solidly built and will last with kit planes. How are the fuel costs these days?

Posted by: kazriko at February 03, 2015 05:21 PM (677yh)

2 Why don't you call David Orr and have a little chat?

I knew a guy with LongEZ, which he bought for $19k some time around 2000. A dollar went much further back then than today. He was quite satisfied with the airplane. One thing you can't do with it, however, is to land at unimproved strips. It's the downside of the canard in general: you must have extensive, expensive, and heavy mechanization at the canard to drop your landing speeds significantly (recall that area load of the canard is significanly higher than that of the main wing and that it flies at somewhat higher angle of attack).

Since you already know what you want, I'm sure you realize that LongEZ is not eligible for SP.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 03, 2015 08:12 PM (RqRa5)

3 Gas is coming down, but it's still about $4/gal for 100LL.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 03, 2015 08:13 PM (RqRa5)

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