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Author Topic: Anyone fly ultralights?  (Read 121 times)

p144

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Anyone fly ultralights?
« on: October 21, 2014, 01:38:52 AM »
I've always loved anything with an engine since I can remember. Heck, I even like lawnmowers! Got a new Husqvarna zero turn this summer, and that thing is awesome! But I digress...

I've never flown in a small aircraft, but I want to and imagine that I would like it. Add to that the fact that I like to do everything myself as much as possible, and I find myself thinking about an ultralight. I have a few acres that I could develop into a small airstrip and the thought of being totally free is super appealing to me.

So does anyone here fly? Any thoughts and/or advice about ultralights?

Mr.Mazza

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 03:53:08 AM »
I've flown small two seaters that weigh less than 600kg and it's pretty awesome feeling dashing through hills and over rivers.

If you have even 250m of even, doesn't have to be dead flat, just even and not too soft earth, you'll be fine. Just never fly in clouds or heavy wind or rain in something THAT light, it wont go well.
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gizzo

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 05:05:46 AM »
Sounds like a sensational idea! If you've never flown small before, find flying schools/ clubs in your area and take a TIF (Trial Introductory Flight) in a few different kinds of aircraft. See if one turns you on more than another. For me, gliding is the go. Sailplanes are awesome but you need some infrastructure and it  can be time consuming. I'm a paraglider pilot, 400+ hrs and tandem rating. It's great fun, very low performance and quite addictive. (like an RE then  ;) ). Other friends fly ultralights, trikes (a powered hang glider with a pod you sit in) , gyrocopters, powerchutes (a powered parachute) and hang gliders. All have their merits, all are huge amounts of fun and all can kill you. Whatever you choose, do it safe and get instruction. If you have a few acres, why not have a look at paramotoring? Is a pretty cheap way to get in the air. Foot launched so you don't need an airstrip. It's a totally pointless way to fly, like paragliding. Just for the pure fun of going into the sky. Won't catch me flying one though. The noise.
Anyway, my thoughts only. If you feel the need to fly, you'd be mad not to go through with it.
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p144

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2014, 12:40:05 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I've got a small municipal airport about 5-7 miles away... I ought to check with them.... Hmmm. You've got me contemplating now. Building an ultralight is a fun daydream that could potentially happen one day, but taking flying lessons at an airport nearby isn't all that far fetched....

barenekd

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 09:50:55 PM »
I flew ultralights back in the '80s when it was at its biggest and the Yellow journalists at "48 Hours" a piece of crap "news" show managed to literally kill the industry in one swell foop. That was the last time I watched the news, lying, propagandistic, stinking bastards.
Now that I have that partly off my chest, I could go on and on...
Ultralights are great fun, but I'd sure you'd better get a little bit of flying experience Before you think you can learn to fly it yourself. Unfortunately, not knowing something about aeronautics, and how planes operate, and what keeps them in the air and how to get out of unusual attitudes can ruin your day. Because they are small and light doesn't mean you hit the ground anymore softly!
If you are going to build your own, follow the instructions closely, use the materials called for and use the best workmanship you can. Don't try to shortcut anything.
When I was flying them, I already had 2500 hours flying airplanes and helicopters, but it was still a different experience. I won some flying contests at flyins with them and had a great time. I considered buying one, but the above mentioned put most of the industry out of business within a few months after I had started flying them and I never bothered getting one. Overall they were a lot of fun, but somewhat useless in the real world. Kinda like owning a dirt bike, which I was racing in those days, and all the riding areas getting closed up.
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p144

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2014, 02:34:20 AM »
What was the "news" storyline about that killed the industry?

barenekd

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2014, 06:30:54 PM »
It was a crockumentary about how, if you were going to fly an ultralight, you were going to die. You had no chance whatsoever of survival. If you didn't crash it from lack of skill, it would break and you were still dead!
Ultralights were extremely popular at that time and a TV show about them drew a huge audience.
As I mentioned after that show aired, the Industry just rolled up and died! There were several airframe manufacturers that folded and the peripheral outfits went with them.
Bare 
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mattsz

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2014, 07:26:36 PM »
Bare - I do enjoy your vocabulary!  "Crockumentary"... "decrapressor"...  ;D

AussieDave

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Re: Anyone fly ultralights?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2014, 11:42:09 PM »
 In Australia the ultralight thing has been largely taken over by the homebuilt/light sport category. Apart from the odd drifter, cri-cri, or vari-eze the only real ultra lights are the trike community.
 I would recommend starting with the recreational pilots licence ,this can be done from cute country strips without traffic or landing fees,and you can convert to  a GA licence later on.
Its also the cheapest route to flying, and the most fun by miles.
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