Experimenter

FEB 2015

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

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28 Vol.4 No.2 / Februar y 2015 ULTRALIGHT WORLD SO YOU HAVE BEEN bit by the fl ying bug! Flying may have been a lifelong dream or a midlife goal. Or you may have had a past fl y- ing experience and now decided that fl ying low and slow in a powered parachute is exactly what you need. You may have taken some preliminary steps to investigate what it takes to get seriously involved in the sport. You have found that manufacturers seem more than anxious to sell you an aircraft. You may have scanned the Internet and found dozens of seemingly great deals on used aircraft. And you may have been told by somebody that learning to fl y a powered parachute is a piece of cake. Now what? I can tell you from my experience of observing many pro- spective powered parachute pilots that some jump right in and live to regret their impulsive decision for a variety of reasons. I also know dozens of would-be pilots who spent years overana- lyzing and never made the decision to take a step forward. We of er this simple checklist of issues as a way of prompting you to investigate with due diligence and then get on with fulfi lling your dream. Here is a summary of the primary questions you should ask before you make an investment of time, money, and other resources: • What type of fl ying are you most interested in? • Would you prefer to fl y a simple, single-seat aircraft, or do you envision carrying passengers? • What is involved in learning to fl y? • Do you want to purchase a new aircraft or a used aircraft? • Are you a builder, or do you mainly want to just fl y? • What other expenses are involved in owning a powered parachute? • Do you have support available, including instructors, flight examiners, qualified maintenance personnel, and factory resources? • Do you have places to fl y and people to fl y with? Let's take these issues one at a time. WHAT T YPE OF FLYING ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN? We'll stay focused on light-sport aviation and ultralights, assuming you may have already checked out the costs and requirements to fl y a general aviation (GA) aircraft and earn a private pilot rating or higher. But within the light-sport world, there is a variety of great ways to fl y. These include powered parachutes, airplanes, weight shift trikes, gyrocopters, and even balloons. The powered parachute is a good choice for those who don't mind traveling at only 30 mph and wander- ing not more than about 75 miles on a typical local fl ight. And the powered parachute remains one of the safer ways to fl y since it is not a three-axis aircraft and therefore is resistant to stalls, rolls, loops, and other maneuvers that might be possible in an airplane. The powered parachute is easier to learn to fl y because of these characteristics. The powered parachute is a fair weather aircraft, and we generally don't fl y in winds greater than 15 mph. If you want to fl y farther, faster, or in a wider Getting Started in the Sport of Powered Parachuting Approaching with due diligence BY DOUG MA AS

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