How do you think the Sport Pilot rating will affect GA.... [Archive] - Glock Talk


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12-09-2003, 13:50
specifically the flight training market.

I'm currently on injured reserve and thinking a career change may be inevetable. I think I'd make an excellant flight instructor but the current market is tight and its not a particularly high paying job during high times. I'm wondering if the SP thing will rev up GA enough for long enough to get through the entry level phase as a CFI. It would seem that if the SP rating creates a trickle-up affect of SP pilots getting private and other advanced ratings, then CFI's would catch a nice wave.

Texas T
12-09-2003, 19:36
Depends upon how much and how well the industry can advertise and get the general public to understand what they can do with this. The only "learn to fly" commericials I ever see on TV are on Discovery Wings, and while I'm sure there are a lot of wannabees watching that channel, there has got to be a huge untapped market elsewhere that still thinks getting a license is a long, hard, tedious, expensive proposition. Those are the people that have to be reached and shown that:
A) This is all that's involved, and
B) Here is what you can do with the license.


M2 Carbine
12-11-2003, 21:00
Right now it looks like a Rat Orgy.

I'm flying a PPC (powered parachute), it's considered to be an ultralite.

Ultralites have BFI's (basic flight instructors) not CFI's.

Under part 103 you don't have to take any instruction to build and fly an ultralite.

Matter of fact a couple days ago I was watching a BFI give dual instructions in a PPC. No dual controls. The student just sits in the back and rides.

My dual instruction before my first PPC solo was 20 minutes of taxing around then taking off solo.
I've got many thousands of hours flying time logged so it wasn't that big a deal for me but a guy with no time at all, scary.

The best I can figure out what happened with this BFI deal is the FAA told the EAA and another Ultralite Association that they could "bless" people and make them BFI's.
In effect the Feds gave them an exclusive money making franchise.

So to be a BFI you have to be in the EAA or that other outfit and pay them hundreds of dollars a year to call yourself a BFI and collect $50 an hour from "students".

Also the best I can figure is your CFI won't work, for "lite" aircraft, like it does now. The CFI/BFI has to be checked out in each type/model ultralight/lite aircraft.

The only thing I like about it is the two place ultralite aircraft that are flying now may be given a airworthiness certificate and be able to carry passengers legal.

Now, the only way to carry a passenger legally is to be a BFI giving instruction.
That's why a lot of people get this BS BFI so they can carry passengers and call it training.

12-12-2003, 10:28
So what you're saying is that the Sport Pilots wont be trained under the existing Part 61 structure, or somthing like it, that uses CFI's to train pilots? Seems kind of strange since the aircraft are every bit as capable as the aircraft that real Part 61 pilots train in.

M2 Carbine
12-12-2003, 11:55
Originally posted by Wulfenite
So what you're saying is that the Sport Pilots wont be trained under the existing Part 61 structure, or somthing like it, that uses CFI's to train pilots? Seems kind of strange since the aircraft are every bit as capable as the aircraft that real Part 61 pilots train in.

I've been reading about it and it is confusing at best.
Now, I may be wrong and the FAA may change their minds a hundred times before it's final.

It seems the BFI's will become "real instructors" but I doubt they will be given CFI's, as we know a CFI today.
The ones I've seen aren't really qualified to be CFI's.
Don't flame me BFIs, I've only met a couple of you and as a former CFI I wasn't impressed with them as instructors. They didn't know crap about regulations.

One of the problems is there are so many different types of ultralite/lite vehicles (the FAA calls them vehicles) and they do fly different from your Cessna 152.
It will be interesting to see what hoops the FAA wants a CFI to jump through to instruct in an ultralite type aircraft.

Another Rat nest is flight time. It seems (and I may be wrong) that the EAA, FAA and the other Association that controls the BFIs wants to only recognize ultralite flight time that you logged as one of their members.
So, my time in my PPC doesn't count for anything, like if I wanted to get a BFI.

For instance (and he may be wrong) the owner of the PPC I first flew was talking about getting his BFI so he could legally carry (instruct;Q ) passengers.
He said he would have to pay a BFI to "sign off"($$$) his logged time so the the Association would accept the time. Of course he would also have to pay the EAA or Association a fee every year to allow him to be a BFI instructor for them.

I'm sure somethings will change but now it seems like a CFI would have to pay the EAA to allow the CFI to instruct in "lite" aircraft. (you know that will never happen)

I also read where part 103 (ultralite regs) will still be in effect.
So a guy can still build a ultralite and fly it by himself (under 103) with no instruction or license.

See, very confusing.

BTW There is a very real shortage of lite/ultrlite aircraft and instructors.
I was looking for something to fly off my ground so I started looking for an ultralite to fly to see what they would do.
The closest instructor/aircraft I could find was 120 miles away and he wouldn't rent the plane for solo flight.
I took an hour dual (fun) but I saw it needed more runray than I have.
So I wound up with this PPC. Fun but parachutes don't like wind;f

I know a LOT more people would like to learn to fly the low cost ultralites if they were availably.

12-12-2003, 12:15
I'm not sure that we're talking about the same thing. I saw that Popular Mech article at the Dr's office. All the planes pictured looked like fully capable two seat GA trainers/commuters. Not PPC's or ultralights. If you look at the performace specs for the SP aircraft they can exceed that of a 152/tomahawk/etc. I cant imagine the FAA would allow these aircraft to fly in controled airspace and share the same ramps as regular aircraft without much more scrutiny than what you're implying. I kind of thought that the SP license was going to be more of tweak of the Recreations Pilot cert. that would leave you still under the umbrella of the existing GA scheme.

M2 Carbine
12-12-2003, 12:55
Ya, I haven't looked at the top side of the SP license.

I've just been looking at it from the ultralite side.

A lot of the ultralite people think their flight time will qualify them for the SP license and type of aircraft you are talking about, but I don't think it will work that way.

I really don't see the need for a SP license. The Private Pilot requirements just barely make a person safe to carry passengers.
And cutting the license requirements back a little isn't going to save the student much money if the "sport" aircraft are still going to cost a fortune to buy and rent.
The "Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards" for the airplanes that they are looking into (the ones I believe you saw) will still mean very costly airplanes to buy and rent.
Which, of course means many people still won't be taking lessons.

Entering aviation needs to be made cheaper which means small cheap planes need to be available for basic training.

The one thing I see a need for, is for the FAA to allow a qualified ultralite pilot to carry passengers and to allow passengers to be carried in airworthy two place ultralites. (this change may take effect with SP)
The more people you introduce to aviation the better.

Many people get into aviation with ultralites because of cost, even though they are expensive to. If some of the restrictions were lessened, and they may be as part of SP, there would be many more pilots moving into GA as they see they can afford it.

Maybe there is a need for a license for people that just want to fly something like a C150, but what they really need is lower cost basic training.

12-12-2003, 17:02
Yeah, the whole cost of equipment thing is a pet peave of mine. The FAA has so many regulations in place to make aircraft safe that everything else suffers; pilots are always working to minimize flight hours and meet minimum standards, mfgrs resurect 40 year old designs rather than design somthing modern just to avoid the FAA hurdles, safety features and advances in avionics are avoided cause the market is small and the capitol to get your product into planes is high.

Take one of the high end GPS units Garmin 530/UPS etc. That's a $12 thousand dollar box, not including installation. But the actual electronics in it are a fraction of that in a cheepie PC. If it were not for the certification process that box might cost 1/3 of its current price. If you could scale back FAA regulation across the board by that ammount (i.e. an hour in a 172 might cost you $25) I figure most pilots would put that savings into more hours and more proficency. The current system seems to have created a system where pilots let planes down more often than planes let pilots down.

Additionally, the kind of inovation that would make pilots more effective, and planes and engines more inherently robust are stifeled. I really cant think of a better case example of unintended consquences than faa regulation of general aviation. I suppose eventually, that between the FAA and the TSA aviation will get so sickley the bueracys will back off just so they dont cook their own goose by killing the industry they regulate.

M2 Carbine
12-12-2003, 17:23
Ya, what's really bad is when following the rules or regulations is dangerous.

But that's a whole new subject:)

12-19-2003, 21:24
In my opinion the Sport Pilot License will enable older pilots to fly longer, not necessarily recruit more pilots...mainly due to the medical part of licensing.

12-22-2003, 13:12
"The Private Pilot requirements just barely make a person safe to carry passengers".


I'm a 1,600hr. CFII/MEI, and some of the "Private" pilots I've been running into lately are making my hair curl -that is what little I have.

Got my "Private" in 1977, and didn't fly for 14yrs and got bitten by the "bug" in 1991, and have flown more or less "consistently" since.

I recently did a BFR (not complete yet!!), on a 55hr Private Cert. holder, who got his ticket with 44hrs logged.
I couldn't have, with a clean conscience signed him off for a "Solo" , much less let him rent "MY" airplane.

Don't get me wrong. There are some of my students that got their tickets with 50-60hrs, but,,,,,,,,,,,,, One had about 500 "un-loggable" hours including some stick time in a Lear 35. Not exactly your ordinary "student". Shortest "seat time" was a former Military Pilot (KC-135) who got his "sign-off" for check ride at 40.4hrs. But, he probably taught me more than I taught him. (Yeah, he could have converted his military ticket, but still had to be up to "Commercial" standards on a check-ride with an DE, so, he went the cheaper and easier route of a "private" ticket, in his "own" C-172. We had a wonderful time together too!)

(Yeah, I'm still learning; ---like how at age 47, and a stint put in my heart to treat "job-stress" from my "day" job------ 4 weeks off from work cured me of what the $32,000 trip to the cardiologist didn't--- irregular heart beat and chest pain/indigestion, but that's another story--- TO GET MY MEDICAL CERTIFICATE BACK !!!).

In todays airspace and political environment with the fiasco involving the flight schools and training of forigeners- 9/11, (now I know why I was hearing all those "Arab" sounding flight school students on the "air", certainly there weren't that many flying jobs "over there"), I think that GA is taking another real "HIT", and may not recover. A local airport in the last 3years has gone through 2 pt.141 schools and a currently "floundering" pt. 61/91 operator. I can't see many students wanting to pony up $50.00 an hour for a CFI (who only see's maybe $15.00 of it) and $75.00/hr for the a/c which will barely see 90kts just to be able to take Ma 'OR' Pa, but not both up, just to look at the scenery. Exactly why the recreational ticket never made a "go".

In the words of a former student, who now owns not one, but two a/c, and regularly flys himself, and occasionaly "hires" me for the day to impress a client with his "aviation staff", and status of having his own "Pilot", ---"If I had it to do all over again, but starting today and not 10years ago, I'd advise against it, unless I was looking for a military or commercial pilot career- OR THE WORLDS MOST EXPENSIVE HOBBY".

Yeah, I'd love it if I could retire tomorrow from my current "day" job and start "teaching" aviation for a living, but right now, In about 6mos I'd be in the "Soup line" at the homeless shelter.
I don't see it getting better Peeto!!! Of all the students I've sent off with "sign-off's", only one is a professional pilot, and that for his Father-In-Law.

However, since I am "retiring" from my "day job" in about 3 weeks, I'll be in the market for another 'light single' to replace the C-172 I sold back in '96, and instruct for a "hobby", and hope to "make enough money" to pay the aviation bills!!

Happy times may come again, like when Paul Harvey talked about when he and a friend used to fill up the tank on his dad's J-3 cub with "farm gas" and terrorize the local livestock as a teenager (but never hurt anything bigger than a grasshopper). But with what I've seen of the current generation, the livestock would be the least of our worrys.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but 25yrs in law enforcement and a 30yr love affair with aviation will do that to you.