So far all my flying has been in certified machines.
My provate flights are either to get somewhere (cruise speed is a factor) or to just fly for the sake of flying (cruise speed no factor). I spend between 250€ and 500€ per hour renting. Somewhere in this forum someone mentioned that an affordable way to fly and even own a plane is the UL route.
Now, I could rent an old DA20 Katana for 2,4€ / min wet (never liked that canopy opening the wrong way though…).
Or an ultralight for 1,7€. Since my main motivation of flying the Cirrus was CAPS the fact that ULs are equiped with a parachute appeals to me.
Taking friends up for local flights would be much more affordable.
From the perspective of someone used to Piper, Cessna, Diamond and Co. am I getting myself into trouble thinking about flying non certified? Anything I’m missing? What is your advice for someone coming over to the dark side?
I am not proficient (and brave) enough to fly a Cirrus in actual IMC so most of my flights are very weather dependent anyway. Might as well enjoy more time in the air, flying to smaller fields like LIKE etc…
Thanks for your remarks, warnings and advice!
For taking passengers, consider useful load.
For owning a cheap, simple, aircraft, consider an EASA “Orphan” – factory built but on same regime as a homebuilt. I have shares in two different types.
Never heard of easa orphans, will look into it.
Look at the the contents of annex II. Some of the old Mooneys for example, are annex II. But they would not have a chute
What is your advice for someone coming over to the dark side?
The dark side welcomes you
There really is nothing to it. A microlight has much lower wing loading and more power to weight ratio compared to a normal certified aircraft, and a Rotax is easier to operate. That’s the only difference.
I spend between 250€ and 500€ per hour renting
That is perhaps the problem. Renting has the highest marginal (hourly direct) cost. If you get into a syndicate, your costs will fall dramatically. The aircraft type can be anything that you can find (or establish).
A data point to consider. At the club we recently got an Atec Faeta, all carbon, all glass, 912iS. It only had about 270 h on it. The previous owners are two professional pilots at Widerøe. They both fly Dash 8, and one of them got his check out on the brand new Embraer E-190 E2 a few days ago, and will be flying that for the foreseeable future. They sold it to the club due to low utilization (at the point in life where house, wife, kids etc takes a lot of time). They will still use it however, one of them is also a microlight instructor at the club, (as am I by the way).
You can look at it this way: If a microlight is “good enough” for them (considered to be the best airline pilots on the globe) to horse around in, it surely must be “good enough” for a PPL pilot Anyway, what have you got to lose? Just make sure you fly one of the modern stuff, the tube and fabric microlights is a different breed altogether (although fun as well).
Here’s another welcome from the dark side..
If you have not already done so, read the tread ‘changing horses’ on the forum. Lots of relevant information.
I now have some 100 hrs on the Bristell in about 8 months and am very happy with her. No surprises in her behaviour, very nicely running Rotax. Have started up flying further afield, into Spain, so found out that you can easily get up high, no issue with high oil or CHT temps. Of course it takes a bit longer to get where you want to go, but with its spacious cabin it’s very doable, although I will get some more comfortable seats. The thing that struck me is the quietness inside. Bristell did a very good job of engine noise insulation, plus it seems to be a plus to fly an UL where the engine is further out to the front. The Diamonds are quiet aircraft, but my Bristell is quieter. Together with a Bose A20, it feels turbine-smooth.
The thing that still baffles me is the freedom in many senses. Don’t know how that works in Austria though. It’s becoming my new hobby: sneaking out of bed before dawn and go fly and meet balloons. And sunset flying. Without ever having talked to anyone.
You seem like a careful pilot, and with a thorough check-out on the type you’d be flying and knowing that a Rotax is very reliable, you and your pax will be perfectly safe.
Like you, my plan was to combine UL with flying certified aircraft. Other than doing a revalidation to keep my ratings, hasn’t happened yet.. So, be careful, once you’ve entered the dark side you may be stuck there. I can see you getting into UL ownership. ‘Hotel California’ playing in the background.
Some shots from Avinyonet, the best equipped UL field in Spain (sorry, Catalonia) which I’ll be using a lot. Always hangarage available, friendly people.
If they fit your mission profile (it seems so), you’ll never look back once you start flying them.
Of course combining best of both worlds is the best.
considered to be the best airline pilots on the globe
Woah! By whom? Any references?
How would that be relevant anyway?