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The FAA this week issued a final rule (BasicMed) that allows GA pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate, as long as they meet certain requirements.

Until now, the FAA has required private, recreational, and student pilots, as well as flight instructors, to meet the requirements of and hold a third class medical certificate. They are required to complete an online application and undergo a physical examination with an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner.

Starting May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete a medical education course, undergo a medical examination every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions. For example, pilots using BasicMed cannot operate an aircraft with more than six people onboard, and the aircraft must not weigh more than 6,000 pounds. See the FAA’s BasicMed web page and AC 68-1 for more information.

Basic Med FAQ

FAA New Drone Rules

Categories: Aircraft, Newsworthy
Comments: No

FAA Launches New Drone Rules

On August 29, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new comprehensive regulations went into effect for routine, non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – more popularly known as “drones.” The provisions of the new rule – formally known as part 107 – are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft, and people and property on the ground. A summary is available here. (PDF)

Testing centers nationwide can now administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under part 107. After you pass the test, you must complete an FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application at: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx to receive your remote pilot certificate.

The new regulations don’t apply to model aircraft operations, as defined in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (now codified in part 101), as long as the model aircraft operates only for hobby or recreational purposes.

For more information: https://www.faa.gov/uas/

Quick Summary

Operational Limitations • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
• Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must
remain within VLOS of the remote pilot in command and the
person manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS.
Alternatively, the unmanned aircraft must remain within
VLOS of the visual observer.
• At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close
enough to the remote pilot in command and the person
manipulating the flight controls of the small UAS for those
people to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision
unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
• Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons
not directly participating in the operation, not under a
covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary
vehicle.
• Daylight-only operations, or civil twilight (30 minutes before
official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time)
with appropriate anti-collision lighting.
• Must yield right of way to other aircraft.
• May use visual observer (VO) but not required.
• First-person view camera cannot satisfy “see-and-avoid”
requirement but can be used as long as requirement is
satisfied in other ways.
• Maximum groundspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
• Maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if
higher than 400 feet AGL, remain within 400 feet of a
structure.
• Minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from control station.
• Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with
the required ATC permission.
• Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC
permission.
• No person may act as a remote pilot in command or VO for
more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
• No operations from a moving aircraft.
• No operations from a moving vehicle unless the operation is
over a sparsely populated area.
• No careless or reckless operations.
• No carriage of hazardous materials.

My Garmin Android Pilot

Took a VFR flight recently with my 32GB Nexus 7 (2nd Gen) tablet loaded with Garmin Pilot along with a couple other pilots using their iPads, Foreflight and the Stratus 2. I am always pleased with my android tablet and the built in GPS along with cellular modem for 4G reception. Only one piece of modest priced equipment at $349, as opposed to two with a 32GB iPad mini WiFi at $459 + the Stratus 2 at $899. The iPad mini with cellular modem and GPS is about $599. If you wish the addition of active weather and traffic for your android, the Garmin GDL 39 sells for $899 like the Stratus. I know it’s not always about money when you are a GA flyer, but then I’m a bit of an Android fan. Okay, yes, I know the iPad/Stratus 2/Foreflight combo has ADS-B traffic plus WAAS GPS and my single android setup doesn’t, but for VFR, the Garmin Pilot+Android tablet has become quite capable for what I needed on the flight.

To Compare Specs:
Garmin Pilot – https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-go/apps/garmin-pilot-/prod115856.html
Garmin GDL 39 – https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-go/apps/garmin-pilot-/prod115856.html

Foreflight – https://www.foreflight.com/ipad/
Stratus 2 – https://www.foreflight.com/ipad/

So, back to the flight. Besides the charts and course info, I would hear “I can get fuel price information and I have airport information”, but then so could I. Now we get to the ADS-B addition that I didn’t have on my android. Certainly was helpful with the active information until we got to a high traffic airport.

Quick tutorial:
ADS-B receiver only – Displays only ADS-B Out equipped aircraft (Not a lot of GA aircraft in that category “yet”).

**HOWEVER, if a nearby ADS-B Out aircraft is connected to a ground station, it will be receiving a traffic picture in a cylindrical shape with a 30 mile diameter and ±3500ft high around that aircraft. This traffic picture is “specific” to their location. If you are located somewhere within that 30 mile cylinder, your receiver will show the same picture of both ADS-B traffic “and” any Mode C traffic within that cylinder. Fine if you are in the center, but not so if located on the outer portion.

ADS-B

So here’s a problem. If you are approaching a busy airport area for landing, like the Oshkosh AirVenture, and there is and ADS-B Out aircraft nearby connected to a ground station, you get all the active ADS-B & Mode C traffic within a ±3500ft altitude. So far sounds good, but then one of my pilot passengers began to get “Information Overload” from his tablet displaying many traffic targets all around us. Problem is, that in spite of all the displayed targets, the tablet will still not display traffic that could be passing right in front of you if that traffic not ADS-B Out or Mode C equipped.

I feel that the tablets with all the aviation information are great, but sometimes no substitute for simply looking out the windscreen and flying the airplane. My comment in the airport traffic area was to please look outside and help me spot “all” the close traffic.

Okay, so bottom line. Do I like the iPad combo? Definitely yes, but then my Android Tablet is perfectly acceptable with loads of information for VFR flying and at a modest price.

Some ADS-B detailed tutorial links:
https://ipadpilotnews.com/2012/08/understanding-ads-b-traffic/
https://ipadpilotnews.com/2013/06/ads-b-traffic-101/
https://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2014/April/02/Portable-ADS-B-seminar

*Under current FCC regulations, the use cellular devices is prohibited while airborne. BUT, there are some changes in the wind… stay tuned.

Skycatcher
End of LSA? Been thinking about the Cessna Skycatcher LSA (162) aircraft ending production and some saying the LSA movement is over. Well, probably not. Especially not simply because Cessna decided to be out of that market. There are scores of active LSA manufacturers that have aircraft flying in many parts of the world including the US and many of those are at FBO’s for training. It did seem as though everyone was expecting the 162 to be the next 152. However, the lower purchase costs and rental rates of the 152 vs 162, has kept the 152 a very popular trainer. The greater useful load for the 152 is also a positive factor. People don’t seem to be getting smaller these days.

Piper CubPersonally I think that light sport aircraft have more limited use than I had previously thought. Not to mention higher prices that were originally hoped for. One does have to admire the early days of civil aviation where the Piper Cubs and Champs along with others were the mainstay of flying. The fact is, like the earlier aircraft, there is not much weight vs wing surface in a typical LSA to ride comfortably in light/mod turbulence or climb power to get above. We are talking gross weights of only 1100lbs to the LSA of 1320lbs and wing loading in the 9-11 lbs/ ft² range.  Common wing loadings for a GA single engine aircraft are at 14-17 lbs/ft² and twins-26 lbs/ft². (birds-5 lbs/ ft² – airliners-@120 lbs/ ft²)

CTS
So how does wing loading affect aircraft performance? A larger wing area relative to mass (wing loading) creates more lift. It also will have lower stall speeds, shorter takeoff & landing distances, better climb performance (for the power available) and better maneuvering/turning performance. Sounds great except for the bumpy ride as the wing is more sensitive to gusts and turbulence.

Tomahawk
When I think back to my early days in flight training, I started in a Piper Tomahawk or “tummy-ache” as some of us called it. The main issue was the light wing loading and the squirrely nature in the more turbulent summer air. And we are talking a gross weight that was several hundred pounds heavier than the cubs/champs or today’s LSA’s. Of course there are other factors that contribute to an aircraft’s’ ride in unsettled air, but weight is part of the equation.I recall coming in for my lesson one day to find that it had to be cancelled because the Tomahawk was down for some repair. Rather than cancel, there was a Piper Cruiser 4 seater sitting on the tarmac and I said, how about we take that instead? We did and I never went back to the Tomahawk. Why? Because this Cruiser had another 300 lbs of GW and another 25hp. All seemed more stable handling in rough air and the extra power was great.

Archer

Next, I tried a Cherokee Warrior with even more hp, gross weight and higher wing loading. Now I’m hooked on this even as my training costs continue to rise with each new airplane. Wasn’t done yet. Finally went to the Archer with even more weight and power and this was the one! Loved it and oh yeah, there were all the great avionics because it was the instrument trainer too. Finally got my Private in the Archer and went on to fly many airplanes in the years to follow.

Rans S7-S
How does all this relate to LSA? Well, with the advent of the new category and license, I began getting involved with light sport and it thrust me back to the Tomahawk days of training and the somewhat under powered planes with the bumpy ride. Now don’t get me wrong, I like these light sport aircraft and even own one. They are great fun to fly down low and slow on those nice summer days. The view is terrific compared to climbing up to 7-8-9k and just heading to the destination as fast as you can. But, if I want to travel somewhere over a couple hours or so, the bumps and lack of horsepower to get above the turbulence, all make the travel less comfortable. I think a lot of the older pilots like me that are moving to the LSA are finding some of the same truths. If you’re not, great!

AOPA and EAA submitted a request in March 2012 to the FAA for those flying recreationally and has completed the recurrent aeromedical course, to use the driver’s license as the baseline of health as an option to obtaining a 3rd class FAA medical. This would be limited to day vfr, two on board in aircraft with max of 4 seats and up to 180hp. This would be a good alternative for those that may want to transition to light-sport / recreational category-class-type aircraft or someone who is only interested in these aircraft. Personally I’m not interested in the super light ac for travel.

Now, we also have the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act (GAPPA) designated S. 2103 in the Senate and H.R. 3708 in the House of Representatives. This legislation would apply medical certification standards similar to the decade-old and successful Sport Pilot rule to most general aviation aircraft when flown for personal flights under visual flight rules at or below 14,000 feet MSL and under 250 knots.

Please support this initiative and sign the petition though this url at EAA: https://govt.eaa.org/14781/support-general-aviation-pilot-protection-act/

 

GA Protection Act

Categories: Aircraft, Newsworthy
Comments: 1

General Aviation Protection Act (GAPPA)

You have probably heard of the two pieces of legislation currently going through the US Congress and Senate, which includes a provision that would reform airman medical certificate standards while maintaining safety. The EAA has created a web page that will send a message/petition to your Senators and Representatives urging their support of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act.

https://govt.eaa.org/14781/support-general-aviation-pilot-protection-act/

Also, please contact your Senators and Representative and politely ask them to co-sponsor the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act. A phone call generally creates the fastest results.

https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

A possible email…

Dear —- , As a constituent and long time pilot, I wholeheartedly support the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act  H.R. 3708 (Rokita) in the House and S. 2103 (Boozman) in the Senate. I would ask that you please support this important Act for General Aviation which:

Expands on the FAA’s successful sport pilot medical standard.
Saves pilots and the FAA money and time.
Addressess the number one concern of pilots.

General aviation is a vital part of the nation’s transportation system and I hope you will please seriously consider becoming a cosponsor.

Warm Regards, —–

Cessna 162 Skycatcher – No Future

For all of you who follow light sport aircraft…Skycatcher

At the recent National Business Aviation Association 2013 in Las Vegas, media has reported that Cessna Aircraft CEO Scott Ernest says “No Future” for the Skycatcher. Another Cessna executive reported that about 20 of the 162 Skycatchers had been sold (I assume in 2013) and had several in stock and available. Looking of the FAA Aircraft Registry database, it appears that several available is in the neighborhood of 80 plus. In Aug 2007, Cessna Aircraft announced that they had orders for 720 Skycatchers. Again, according to the FAA database, there are only a total of 276 Skycatchers registered to date and that includes the unsold inventory. Wow, I remember when the aircraft was announced in 2006, that there seemed to be a huge interest, and many FBO’s and individuals plunking down cash to reserve an airplane for the special introductory price of $109,500.00. So, I am really very surprised to see the numbers that I found in the FAA database! Now the Skycatcher is selling at almost $150,000.00 with several previous optional features as standard. That certainly put the aircraft on the higher end of light sport. Ernest’s later commented  “That program didn’t have a business model that worked”. I certainly hope that this sad news, is a function of the economy regarding light sport aviation, and not of light sport in general….

 

FAA Action

Final Notice Of The Process For Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed Via Asdi.

**Read Full FAA Rule Release...Tracking

…Conclusions

With respect to the procedures for aircraft owner and operator requests to block and unblock aircraft from inclusion in the FAA’s ASDI data feed, the FAA concludes as follows:

1. Requestors. The FAA will honor each written request of an aircraft owner and operator, submitted in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 to block or unblock their aircraft’s appearance in the FAA’s public ASDI data feed. Aircraft owners and operators may submit their request on their own behalf, or they may do so through a legally authorized agent, including an attorney or an aircraft management company with a fiduciary duty to carry out the owner’s or operator’s express wishes with respect to the aircraft.

2. Substance of Requests. To assist the FAA in processing aircraft owner or operator requests promptly, all requests related to an aircraft’s ASDI blocking or unblocking must include the following information:

  • The name of the requestor;
  • the registration number(s) of the aircraft to be blocked or unblocked;
  • a certification that the requestor is the owner or operator of the specified aircraft or is a legally authorized representative of the aircraft owner or operator;
  • a telephone number or electronic mail address to which the FAA can direct any questions about the request; and
  • for a request to block one or more aircraft, a statement indicating the requestor’s desired level of ASDI blocking—either at the FAA source or at the ASDI subscriber level.

3. Addresses. The FAA’s primary electronic mailbox for all aircraft blocking and unblocking requests and for related inquiries directed to the ASDI blocking program is ASDIBlock@faa.gov. The FAA also will accept aircraft block and unblock requests submitted by regular mail at: FAA ASDI Blocking Request; ATO System Operation Services, AJR-0; Wilbur Wright Building, Room 3E1500; 600 Independence Avenue SW; Washington, DC 20597.

4. FAA Monthly Implementation. The FAA implements the ASDI block list updates on the first Thursday of each month. As a result, requests that the FAA receives on or before the 15th of the preceding month are likely to be processed in time to take effect in the month after the FAA receives them. However, it is possible that the volume of requests in a given month, a requestor’s timeliness, or issues with the completeness and accuracy of the information that the FAA receives could preclude the FAA from processing some requests in time for them to take effect in the month following their submission. In that event, the FAA will process all requests in the order in which the FAA receives them, to the extent that it is possible.

5. FAA Treatment of Aircraft That Are Currently Blocked. Any aircraft that is currently on the ASDI block list, either by virtue of a certified security concern submitted after June 3, 2011, or a request submitted under the FAA’s interim ASDI block policy, will remain indefinitely on the ASDI block list when the policies in this document take effect. It is not necessary for the owners or operators of these aircraft to resubmit their requests, unless they wish to change the blocking status of their aircraft or amend the level at which their aircraft is blocked.

Issued in Washington, DC, on August 14, 2013.

J. David Grizzle,

Chief Operating Officer, ATO.

FCC and 121.5 ELT

Categories: Aircraft, Newsworthy
Comments: No

FCC again trying to ban the 121.5 Mhz ELTs…

Here is an excerpt of the proposed rule:

ELTs that operate only on frequency 121.5 MHz will no longer be certified. The manufacture, importation, and sale of ELTs that operate only on frequency 121.5 MHz is prohibited beginning [ONE YEAR AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE]. Existing ELTs that operate only on frequency 121.5 MHz must be operated as certified.

Link to the complete FCC Proposed Rule

The FCC is requesting comment on whether the manufacturers, importers, sellers, and, in particular, users of 121.5 MHz ELTs are small entities, and the extent to which a total or partial prohibition of 121.5 MHz ELTs might impose burdens on them. It is estimated that there are 200,000 aircraft currently equipped with the 121.5 MHz units and replacement for owners would approach $300 million dollars.

Most aviation associations request that at a minimum, the FCC permit aircraft owners to continue using the 121.5 MHz ELTs currently installed in their aircraft. It can also be noted that the lower frequency is still monitored by the Civil Air Patrol and others involved in search and rescue.

You may submit your comments, identified by WT Docket No. 01-289, FCC 13-2, by any of the following methods:

So why is the FCC bypassing the FAA when it comes to issues related to aviation safety? Beats me…

 

 

Ready to Buy an Airplane?
Over the years I have bought a few airplanes and here are some thoughts and information that should be helpful for those who have not had the experience yet.

What Do I Want and How Much?
Assuming you already have some type of aircraft in mind, you should begin your research by going to the main for-sale sites. Barnstormers, Trade-a-Plane and the Controller would be good sites to start with. Look carefully at the listings for the type you are interested in and pay close attention to not only the features listed but the implications of things that are not mentioned.

Here’s some common classified abbreviations:
0SFRM – Zero time since factory remanufacture
0SMOH – Zero time since major engine overhaul
COMP – Compression : CSPD – Constant speed propeller
FWF – Firewall forward : DH – Major damage history
NDH – No damage history : SCMOH – Since chromed cylinder major overhaul
SFRM – Since factory remanufacture : SMOH – Since major engine overhaul
SOH – Since engine overhaul : SPOH – Since prop overhaul
STOH – Since top overhaul (cylinders, pistons & valves)
TBO – Time between engine overhauls : TT – Total time
TTA – Total time airframe : TTAE – Total time airframe and engine
TTE – Total time, engine : TTSN – Total time since new

If it’s an older classic type airplane and there is no mention of fabric age/condition or corrosion, you might want to be asking questions in those areas. Expect to see included in the ad Information total times on airframe, engine and prop. any damage history, listing of all the avionics, any autopilot and interior/exterior condition. Other items included could be new battery or tires and recent annual or pitot/static xponder certification dates.

Now you can begin to compare prices for a plane equipped as you would like and see what falls into your price range. Aircraft are not selling very quickly as of late and motivated sellers prices can be a bargain. Not sure how long the bargain prices will remain, but beware if an unusually low price is listed. I recall going to look at a “super bargain” once. The pictures looked good, low time engine, you name it and when I traveled to see the airplane with my trusted A&P, he would not even let it fly with a ferry permit. If I wanted to buy it, the plane would need to be disassembled and put on a flatbed truck for transport. Yeah, I passed on that one…

VREF
To help get a better handle on pricing, go to the AOPA website and do a VREF (Aircraft Value Reference) to see what the specific plane is estimated to be worth. You need to be an AOPA member to use the VREF, but being an AOPA member is definitely worthwhile for pilots considering all the membership benefits. VREF prices will probably be lower than the listed price, but then everyone always thinks their stuff is worth more than the market. A seller will usually have a price in mind lower than the listed price so don’t be afraid to ask if that is the best price. I have gone to complete a purchase with a percentage of the price in a cashiers check and the balance in cash. Sometimes there are problems not discovered from the conversations, photos, and specs and it turns out to be worth less when you are there looking at the aircraft.

Taxes
When figuring out your total purchase costs, you will need to know what state sales or use tax might apply to your purchase. There often is a state registration fee as well. All are likely found on your State Department of Revenue and Department of Transportation / Aeronautics websites.

Things To Ask
When you call or email the owner, see how they respond to why are they selling the plane? A big pause might tell you something. Other good questions are how long have they owned it, are they the first owner, any liens on the aircraft, how many other owners, what were their locations, what is the useful load, empty weight, fuel capacity, typical fuel burn, typical airspeed at normal cruise altitude and 75% power, cylinder compression, date of last annual, any damage history, and do they have digital copies of the log books or the last annual…

If you are seriously considering a particular aircraft it is wise to get an aircraft title search done. Current cost of the service is $160.00 with a discount for AOPA members. You can find out about any liens on the aircraft as well as previous owners, complete aircraft records and any accident/incident reports. These services are available through Aircraft Title and Escrow Service. Bottom line is that it’s money well spent to avoid problems on tens of thousands being spent.

Insurance
Plan on talking with an aviation insurance agent about cost, pilot requirements and how you can quickly bind a policy for the particular aircraft you are interested in purchasing. Depending on your hours and time in type, you may not be able to fly the aircraft home without some sort of check ride or additional flight time in type. I have taken an instructor friend along to not only help me evaluate the aircraft pre-purchase, but to also do any necessary check outs/dual flight time required by insurance. Make certain the instructor will be covered by your insurance and has proper time in type. It is not unusual these days that the sellers insurance policy will not allow you to actually fly the aircraft. Possibly not even with the sellers CFI unless his policy specifically includes instruction in the plane. It is common that only named pilots and instructors are covered by a policy. If you have not flown the type before, you may want to find an FBO that has the type on the line and get an instructor to take you flying. At least you will know the characteristics of the type…

Pre-Purchase Inspection
Most of us are not aviation mechanics, so my first recommendation would be to either bring a trusted mechanic with you or arrange for a local mechanic to meet you at the aircraft location and do a thorough mechanical inspection. You could also arrange for a mechanic to inspect the aircraft prior to making the journey and send you a written report. I would also be inclined to choose a mechanic other than the one regularly doing the annuals.

A simple walk around will tell you quickly how the owner has cared for the aircraft. Was the aircraft something special or simply something to fly as cheaply as possible? Scratches, hangar rash, fuel stains, torn/dirty upholstery, all for future bargaining and a clue to overall care. It can be amazing how much better an airplane can look in the ad pictures.

The aircraft engine, airframe and propeller logbooks should be studied in-depth for inspections, major repairs, AD compliance and status of manufacturer service bulletins. Check for missing pages or entries. Do your ARROW check for the airworthiness certificate, registration, radio station license (not req. in U.S.), pilot operating handbook and the current weight and balance. Missing items can cause some real problems for you.

Finally, take a test flight/ride. See that all avionics, autopilot and systems work properly. Study the manuals a bit beforehand if some of them are unfamiliar to you. Then just look, listen and sense for an overall impression.

The Paperwork
Okay, now time to make it happen. The price is agreed to and you should have some sort of written agreement. The agreement does not need to be complicated but is a good idea to involve an attorney and make certain that it is enforceable. Here is a link for a sample agreement. Sample Agreement

An FAA Bill of Sale AC Form 8050-2 is needed with original signatures on both copies. (both copies go to buyer) Seller name should be EXACTLY as it is on the current registration. The actual moment of aircraft transfer occurs when the Bill of Sale is signed.

The purchaser then needs to fill in the Aircraft Registration Form AC Form 8050-1 and the name should match the purchaser information exactly from the Bill of Sale. This form is NOT available online, cannot be a copy and must be obtained from the Aircraft Registration Branch or your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). Purchaser(s) must also print or type name in addition to signature(s). Don’t count on the seller to automatically have these forms unless they are a dealer and say they will supply all the necessary forms. If you are unsure, go and get a couple of the forms from the FSDO yourself to make certain the transaction can be completed.

You the purchaser submits the Aircraft Registration Application, FAA Form 8050-1, along with the Bill of Sale AC Form 8050-2 and recording fee, to the FAA. Be sure to send any state registration forms and fees to your appropriate state offices.

Seller removes the original aircraft registration certificate, from the aircraft, completes the sale information on the back side of that certificate and mails it back to the FAA registry in Oklahoma City.

The pink copy of the Registration Application is placed in the aircraft as the temporary registration certificate and valid for flight within the United States for 90 days.

Final thoughts
Well, the plane has been purchased and the money spent. Always exciting, and now begins your new adventure with the perfect airplane. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to email me.

And oh, by-the-way, if you would like to put up a FREE For-Sale or Wanted ad in the MyFlyingStuff Classifieds, pictures and all, Who knows, you might just have a buyer/seller lurking here.

Was thinking about my early training days and reflected on the airplane I was trained in. Actually several, but all were low wing Pipers. In my many years of flying, I had been in clubs with both high/low wing and have owned both. Some of my favorite airplanes are high wing like the Cessna Cardinal, the 210 Centurion or the fun little Citabria, but then I also liked the Piper Archer, Lance and the A36 Bonanza. Even still, there is still a special place that has a preference for the low wing, the type that I was originally trained in. I would suppose that most pilots have that innate preference for their first flying experiences including the high/low wing preference. So are there any significant differences other than simply preference. Well, let’s make a list:

Low WingHigh Wing
Upward visibility – Excellent visibility in landing patternDownward visibility – Better ground view
Greater ground effect – takeoff on a soft fieldLesser ground effect
Fuel boost pump(s)Gravity fed fuel
Easy to refuelLadder to refuel
Wider spaced main gear & struts vertical for grater shock absorptionGreater wing clearance for objects – better on unimproved fields, runway lights etc.
Entry/exit by climbing on wing usually single doorEasy entry/exit usually doors on either side

You know, bottom line is that I simply enjoy flying most any airplane regardless of high or low wing, BUT if you are in a low wing watch out for what’s below and the high wing needs to be looking above…!

Landing1Landing2

Please add a comment if you have other benefits for the low or high wing configurations!

Flying Cars

Categories: Aircraft
Comments: No

Terrifugia

 

Found some fun Flying Car photos and history.

Check out the Gallery….

 

 

Why a flying car might be difficult to create:

Made for Driving Made for Flying
 auto  plane
Auto engines are designed
to have varying rpm for
constant speed changes in
traffic.
 Airplane engines run at a near
constant rpm at @1/2 an auto’s
maximum.
 Auto wheels are on the
outer perimeter & away from CG
to provide stability.
 Landing gear is near the CG for
easier rotation during takeoff &
landing.
 Car design and spoilers disrupt
airflow/lift to ensure car grips
road during acceleration.
 Aircraft and wings are shaped to
generate more lift as speed
increases.

Selling An Airplane

Categories: Aircraft
Comments: No

Recently I put up an airplane for sale and although I have sold three planes before, each time seems to be a different experience. So here is what went on and what one needs to think about.

How Much?
Currently aircraft are not selling all that well, so prices are depressed. The first thing I did was go to the AOPA website and do a VREF (Aircraft Value Reference) to see what the plane is estimated to be worth. You need to be an AOPA member to use the VREF, but being an AOPA member is definitely worthwhile for pilots with all the membership benefits. Well, a bit of a surprise on the value, but then everyone always thinks their stuff is worth more than the market. I also looked at the various for-sale sites to see what the asking prices were. I chose a price a bit higher so I had room to negotiate.

Photos
I needed to take several photos of the plane in and out. Made sure I picked a spot that has a nice background setting and good lighting. A sunny day, and blue sky with puffy cumulus will work well. Lot’s of clutter, dark or out-of-focus images and old hangars definitely detract from the prospective buyer’s impression.

Ad Information
Decide on all the details that should be included in the ad. Total times on airframe, engine and prop. any damage history, list all the avionics, autopilot and interior/exterior condition. Include anything new like battery or tires and recent annual or pitot / xponder certification dates. Should all be simple right? We’ll see.

Placing the Ad
I placed the plane information on a few of the main for-sale sites. Barnstormers, the Controller and Trade-a-Plane. Barnstormers allows a 100 character ad with no pics for free and on Controller, you can post a free one-time ad. Truth is, you really don’t do an ad justice, with the small free ads. When you look at those minimal ads on the sites, they just don’t capture your attention adequately. Better to spend twenty to thirty dollars to get a good ad with all your info and pictures. The for-sale sites allow emails to you without listing your email directly in the ad. Saves on the spammers. I put in a phone number and although there were some talkers and a couple brokers, really didn’t have a problem calls.

What They Asked
Now is the wait for the buyers to come swarming in… or not. A couple days went by and finally a call/email. Not sure which one was first. Anyway, the first question and almost everybody’s first question was “why are you selling the plane”? I actually had not thought about that question or the answer, so there was the grand pause. I finally answered that I had bought into another plane and didn’t need two. After that, I was asked things like how long have I owned it, are you the first owner, how many owners, what were their locations, what is the useful load, empty weight, fuel capacity, what kind of fuel burn, true airspeed, normal cruise altitude, how about true airspeed at cruise altitude and 75% power, cylinder compression, and please send copies of the log books… Maybe I would send a copy of the last annual pages. Then there were the flying stories and some conversations going on longer than I would have liked, but hey, you never know who the buyer might be.

Insurance
Talked with my insurance person and was shocked to find that I could take a prospective buyer for a flight, but unless they were checked out in type and named on my policy, they could not touch the flight controls. I then asked, “what if I had my normal CFI take a buyer out and let them fly?” Again the answer was no. The plane is not insured for instruction. Things are certainly getting more difficult these days insurance wise. About the only thing a buyer can do, that has not flown the type before, is to go find an FBO that has that has one on the line, and then get an instructor to take them flying. At least they would know the characteristics of the type…

Pre-Purchase Inspection
This will take a while. First the walk around and no matter how perfect the aircraft is, there will be flaws pointed out. Scratches, a bit of hangar rash here and there, a small fuel stain, and maybe pulled seam in the upholstery. All for future bargaining no doubt.
There will also be the in-depth study of the log books and maybe a local mechanic hired to do a quick inspection. Might even meet at the mechanics location for a more detailed annual type look-over. Actually a good idea if I was buying.

The Paperwork
Okay, all said and done. The price is agreed to and it’s a good idea to either get certified funds or a direct bank transfer to your account. The paperwork is reasonably simple but not all easy to come by.

An FAA Bill of Sale AC Form 8050-2 is needed with original signatures on both copies. (both copies go to buyer) Seller name should be EXACTLY as it is on the current registration. The actual moment of aircraft transfer occurs when the Bill of Sale is signed. Get your money…

Seller removes the original aircraft registration certificate, from the aircraft, completes the sale information on the back side of that certificate and mails it back to the FAA registry in Oklahoma City.

The purchaser needs to fill in the Aircraft Registration Form AC Form 8050-1 and the name should match the purchaser information from the Bill of Sale. This form is NOT available online and must be obtained from the Aircraft Registration Branch or your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

Don’t count on the buyer to automatically bring these forms. It’s best if you go and get a couple of the forms from the FSDO yourself to make certain the transaction can be completed.

Final thoughts

Well the plane was sold and the money deposited, but you just never know until it’s all over. The sweat that forms each time there is a concern. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to email me. And oh, by-the-way, if you would like to put up a FREE For-Sale or Wanted ad in the MyFlyingStuff Classifieds, pictures and all, Who knows, you might just have a buyer/seller lurking here.

 

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