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Old 06-13-2017, 05:40 PM   #1  
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Default Using Light Sport Airplane for PPL

Howdy folks, posted a thread in the Career Questions section but figured this would be more appropriate here. I'm trying to do accelerated training from zero to CFI. I found a school here who has an accelerated PPL program (6-8 weeks) but they're using light sport aircraft (the SportCruiser) instead of a traditional Cessna 172 or something similar. Couple questions...

My biggest concern is the SportCruiser has a "joystick", not a yoke. ( http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/...9110.jpg?v=v40 ) ... will it be difficult to fly with a yoke down the road instead of a joystick? (My initial PPL will be done in this aircraft but it's not IFR rated, so after PPL, I'll be in a traditional Cessna.) I'm just worried it's gonna throw me off...

Any downside to training in a LSA rather than a 4 seater Cessna or something?

The SportCruiser has an all glass cockpit. Should my initial training be done with traditional gauges? Will going from glass to gauge be difficult versus the other way around?

Do airlines care if initial training is done in a light sport aircraft?

Any other thoughts or advice appreciated. This forum is a great resource. Thanks again fellas.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:49 PM   #2  
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As far as flight time, most of it should count towards "total time". As far as cost, I'm not convinced its a cheaper route and in many cases, it looks to be more costly!
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:53 PM   #3  
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The school I'm using now has it at $130/hr. It's their cheapest airplane. The Cessna 172 is running $150/hr. Still probably not THE cheapest I could find, but it's one of the few area schools I've found that will do accelerated training.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:15 PM   #4  
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I've seen Cessna 150's for rent at about $100/hr wet, of course the instructors may charge more than LSA Instructors but it sounds like you are using a regular CFI. Another positive is you can become a LSA CFI which requires 15 PIC in an LSA and 150 hours total time! Are you planning on getting the LSA license before the Private?

Last edited by 155mm; 06-13-2017 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:25 PM   #5  
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From my experience and observations, it's generally easier to transition from a round-gauge aircraft to a glass cockpit. If instrument skills are developed solid in the round-gauge, then they are usually still solid in the glass. Instrument flying IMO is looking at the right place at the right time, which sounds simple, but in reality it relies on knowing many relationships, being able to estimate changes, set them on the attitude indicator, not have to look at certain instruments for significant portions of time, but look at them nonetheless. It's nice having everything right together on the glass display, but once you separate it out, such as for your first serious commercial job flying a metro liner or king air, many people tend to look around randomly and spend nearly equal amounts of time on each instrument, bouncing back and forth with no real structure. This doesn't usually cause huge issues when everything is working right, but more than once I've seen people lose control or fly into mountains in the simulator when an instrument fails, even during simple failures like having to use a backup round attitude indicator, which for those of us that learned on round gauges, there should be no excuse for.

There are specific ways when teaching instruments to build that structure, and while I won't say it's impossible to do with a glass cockpit, it's much more difficult, like trying to determine where the student is looking over a much smaller distance and whether it was a lack of understanding that led to an error or if an error was covered up by using another instrument in close proximity.

This is all very opinionated and you'll get lots of flight schools and others that have spent lots of money on glass cockpits telling you that you need to learn glass cockpits because that's what the airlines have and that's what they want. Most younger people are pretty tech savvy and this isn't much of an issue IMO. In fact, some of the FMS systems on some of these aircraft are very ancient in terms of programming and data-entry, like a computer from 1982, so I've seen that present more of a challenge to some young people in terms of the poor interface (that many people have adapted to). So I wouldn't worry about "learning glass", there's also a lot of different systems that present differently. Things are great if you are on a garmin 430 or basic G1000 and upgrade to a G3000+ suite in a learjet or something, there will be a lot of crossover, but go fly a collins pro-line and you'll be lost. Unfortunately, airliners are not all equipped with the same systems.

Time building is time building, you want to get hours as efficiently and cheaply as possible, while maintaining good training and proficiency.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a LSA aircraft or "glass" aircraft. You can become proficient in it and any checkride is about being proficient in the aircraft that you bring for the checkride. Whether it will provide the best training for instrument flight might involve some decisions on your part, but that too can absolutely be done.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:25 AM   #6  
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Thanks for replies, fellas. I kind of want to train in a traditional gauge set-up, but this flight school's planes are all glass.

Any thoughts on using a "joystick" versus a traditional yoke? That is my biggest worry...that it will be difficult to transition after learning with a "joystick".
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:52 AM   #7  
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So how does this jive with FAAO 8700.1

B. Logging Time. Unless the vehicle is type certificated as an aircraft in a category listed in FAR 61.5(b)(1) or as an experimental aircraft, or otherwise holds an airworthiness certificate, flight time acquired in such a vehicle may not be used to meet requirements of FAR Part 61 for a certificate or rating or to meet the recency of experience requirements.

I thought the common understanding was LSA doesn't count for ratings. LSAs are not type certificated or experimental.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:23 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WstCstCmtr View Post
So how does this jive with FAAO 8700.1

“B. Logging Time. Unless the vehicle is type certificated as an aircraft in a category listed in FAR 61.5(b)(1) or as an experimental aircraft, or otherwise holds an airworthiness certificate, flight time acquired in such a vehicle may not be used to meet requirements of FAR Part 61 for a certificate or rating or to meet the recency of experience requirements.”

I thought the common understanding was LSA doesn't count for ratings. LSAs are not type certificated or experimental.
It depends.

Time in an actual certificated aircraft (like a CE-152 or cub) or even experimental which also happens to fall under the LSA limits can be counted towards all appropriate ratings.

Time in an aircraft which is truly only an LSA does not count for other ratings I think, except that total time in anything which is legal to fly can always be counted.

Airlines won't care what you got your ratings in (unless it was a T-45 or T-38).

Yoke vs. stick won't matter, pilots generally find that it takes about 30 seconds to adapt from one to the other. Non-issue.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:36 AM   #9  
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Sounds like a good question for FAA, EAA or AOPA but I agree it should count towards "Total Time" since it is a registered aircraft!

Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) Make/Model Directory
https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/gen_av/light_sport/

It lists the Czeck Sportcruiser.

I personally would get the LSA license at the 20 hour point then go for a Private Pilot license then the LSA CFI at 150 hours. Sounds like a great way to build total flight time! Just my two cents!

From my understanding, once one is an LSA pilot the aircraft categories are additional logbook endorsements ie: LSA airplane, LSA glider, etc.....but not an expert in Light Sport. Recommend EAA or AOPA as a good source of info!
https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/advoca...ut-sport-pilot

Last edited by 155mm; 06-14-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:46 AM   #10  
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From FLYING Magazine, October 2006

Quote:
Can a person earn a private pilot certificate in a light-sport aircraft exclusively, or must some of the training be in a more "conventional" aircraft?

A light-sport aircraft can be used for training of all pilot levels-provided the aircraft is properly equipped for the training required and the LSA manufacturer does not specifically prohibit such training in that aircraft. Special LSA aircraft fall under direct control of the manufacturer, so even if the FAA might allow a particular operation, it must also be approved by the manufacturer in order for the aircraft to be operated in that capacity.

Private Pilot Training in an LSA? | Flying Magazine
I have to think that this is still valid as Cessna designed it's now out of production 162 as an LSA aircraft with the training market in mind.

https://generalaviationnews.com/2011...s-perspective/
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