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Advise on starting ultralights

Posted By:
Michael Goetzman
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
88
Posts
72
#1 Posted: 9/18/2009 09:29:29

I've always considered ultralights, but I keep telling myself its dangerous. (even if it isn't, I still have that feeling)

 

So, How do I go about getting started safely? How did you get started?



Michael Goetzman | Milwaukee, WI
Jerry Rosie
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
482
Posts
101
#2 Posted: 9/18/2009 10:04:24

Don't kid yourself, Michael, ultralights are dangerous - flying is dangerous.  Airplanes don't have brakes and gravity still exists.  The only way to fly safely is to get training before you start.  To try to fly anything without training is asking to hurt yourself, or mess up your newly purchased flying machine, or both.  If you are looking at flying ultralights, the best thing would be to get training in an ultralight like airplane, but these are not all that available.  The next best bet is to get training in a Light Sport Aircraft which approaches an ultralight in handling - one of the older LSA qualified airplanes (like an Aeronca Champ) is the next best bet to getting you tready to fly an ultralight.  If you are thinking about one of the ultralights that is not a tri-axle type of airplane (Trike, powered parachute, etc) then they will require very specialized training, and you need to be looking for someone who can train you in their operation.  Ask around and you should be able to find an instructor to help you out (it may take some traveling to get to the instructor but folks have done it in the past).  If it is a long trip from your home to where you can get instruction, consider doubling up and taking a lesson in the morning, then .lunch, then another lesson in the afternoon to cut down on the driving time required.  Good luck in your quest for flight.



Cheers, Jerry NC22375 out of 07N
Enrique Londono
3
Posts
1
#3 Posted: 9/23/2009 10:42:37

Hey Michael.  I took lessons from a basic flight instructor in my area.  After that, I participated in a club wich owned a drifter single seat on floats.  It was a lot of fun.  I now own a Quicksilver MX. 

First things first, where are you located?



Michael Goetzman
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
88
Posts
72
#4 Posted: 9/23/2009 11:08:29

Green Bay, WI..  and anywhere within 100 miles from there

 



Michael Goetzman | Milwaukee, WI
Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
538
Posts
381
#5 Posted: 9/23/2009 22:47:31

Your local hotbed of ultralight activity is EAA Ultralight Chapter 41 based at Brennand airport in Neenah - - http://www.eaaul41.org/Home.html



Taylor Trammell
27
Posts
1
#6 Posted: 9/24/2009 11:25:33

Me and my friend are doing the same thing trying to get started, i'm looking for a place where they teach you how to fly ultralights but i cant find one, do you know where a list that might help me?

 

            Taylor



Dwayne LaFave
1
Post
1
#7 Posted: 9/24/2009 19:52:47

You will need to dig into the site a little but you should be able to find Sport Pilot insturctors on "FAA.gov"



Timm Bogenhagen
Homebuilder or CraftsmanUltralight Enthusiast
30
Posts
13
#8 Posted: 9/25/2009 13:06:55 Modified: 9/25/2009 13:14:31

 

Unfortunately finding someone to teach you to fly an ultralight is not always easy.  The best source to find someone to teach you to fly an ultralight is the EAA sport pilot flight instructor list.  You can use the list to find a CFI that is using an ultralight-like aircraft.  The list is searchable by state, here is the link, http://www.sportpilot.org/instructors/

EAA has a great publication for anyone interested in learning to fly ultralights at this link, http://www.eaa.org/ultralights/fixed_wing_training.pdf

Having flown and owned both Cessna type and ultralight type, in my opinion ultralight flying is as safe as other general aviation flying, in some cases it is safer.  Good flight training, conservative decision making and proper maintenance on your vehicle are key components to safely operating an ultralight vehicle.  In the event of an off field landing I would rather be landing at 27mph than the higher landing speeds of heavier faster aircraft.  Flying ultralights is interactive hands on stick and rudder flying. 

Part 103 is a great regulation for those that embrace freedom, coupled with personal responsibility.  Part 103 can be printed on 1 piece of paper.  The simplistic basis of ultralight flying makes it the least expensive form of manned powered flight!  LONG LIVE PART 103!

Timm



Dale Burnham
1
Post
0
#9 Posted: 10/2/2009 19:49:43

Michael, could you be more specific on what your definition of an ultralight is? From the prior posts, it is assumed you are talking about fixed wing aircraft, but powered parachutes and weight shift trikes are also considered ultralights. I started out with a 2 seat powered parachute and now have a 1 seat powered parachute that fits into the Part103 regulations. The main reasons i went in for that type of ultralight is because i am only  interested in low and slow sight seeing type of flying, just flying around the "patch" as it is commonly refered to. Another reason to fly a ppc is because you don't need to pay for hanger space that adds to your cost of flying, you can keep it in your garage or large shed and trailor it to your airstrip. The weight shift trike is more versatile in that it also can be kept in garage and trailored to the airstrip, but the wing takes more time to set up and take down. It can also fly faster and farther depending on the wing size and engine combo. So i would recommend that you determine what type of flying you are interested in and then research the different styles of ultralights according to your preference and budget limitations.