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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Skillsets: 'lil cub

Home-built STOL, needs nothing more than a Sport Pilot License.

This little wonder would be able to - easily - take off from the pad site for III Arms.

That is a serious achievement.  Runway space has always been one of the most limiting factors of your choice of aircraft.

I have no intention of ever trying to build my own flying machine - but learning to fly has made the imperative skills list.  The FAA's creation of the Sport Pilot License has put this in reach of nearly everyone.  If you need to put serious distance between yourself and X, going airborne is hard to beat.

Thanks to Mike C. for the link - there is a cool video there.  Take a little while and explore the world of "Experimental" aircraft and anything you may fly with a Sport License.  Those same skills will permit you to fly most light aircraft in a pinch.

Here's the link.



  1. STOL's are impressive.

    I caught a hop on a Bird Dog from TSN to Bien Hoa once, and man, they could land and stop on a dime.

    We went by jeep to a nearby rice paddy where an O-1 was stranded on a cart path with barely a foot clearance on either side of the landing gear," Youngblood recalls. "Dogood paced off the length of the path, put some gas from a tanker truck into the plane. Then he got in and in a cloud of dust flew the O-1 off the cart path."

    South Vietnamese Air Force A-1E (AD-5) Skyraider

  2. I have recently taken a serious interest in becoming a private pilot.
    I stopped to talk to the instructor at the local, tiny, airport. It should cost about $6,000 total and it will take less than a year (that's my goal, anyway). He gave me some things to get to help me learn to fly before I ever actually get in a plane (he currently has the engine out of his trainer getting rebuilt and doesn't expect to have it airworthy until around March).
    First, a good simulator program. He suggested (and I have purchased) Xplane 10. You can buy all of the accessories to build a cockpit through amazon.com (I'm sure you can get them elsewhere, but that's where I bought what I have so far). You'll want a yoke and rudder pedals at a minimum (that's all I have right now), but there are so many other components... gauges, instruments, controls, even a stand to mount it all to. Saitek builds all of the components (if there are other manufacturers of ALL components, I didn't find them).
    Second, there's a "Private Pilot Kit" available from Gleim. I've ordered that too.
    Third, there are materials from a guy named Rod Machado. I haven't ordered any of his stuff yet, but only because I'm on a budget. I'll be ordering his private pilot handbook next week. So far, I've got about $400 into my stuff. I haven't received the Gleim kit yet, but Xplane is VERY realistic, and you can adjust the settings for failures, weather, time of day... hell, pretty much everything. The instructor told me that this is what he's using to teach his kids to fly. Another added benefit of Xplane is that is has many many airplanes, gliders, helicopters and more available for you to fly.
    I'm not sure how well you'll be able to fly with only this stuff and not actual flying lessons, but I'll let you know how hard it is for me to go from 1-1/2 (or 2) months of simulator/kit training a couple days a week to actually flying a Cessna 172.


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