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.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/457474

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EAA Experimenter 31 Transport. Most powered parachute pilots trailer their aircraft from fi eld to fi eld much like trailering a boat to vari- ous lakes. Basic transport can be with a simple utility trailer; however, you need to be careful to learn the footprint of the aircraft you will buy. Most require slightly oversized, non- standard trailers. If you envision traveling far to attend events or just to enjoy fl ying in various areas of the country, then a covered trailer is nearly mandatory. A covered trailer protects your investment and becomes your portable hangar. Again, be careful to consider the size of the trailer required for your particular aircraft. Training. This was discussed earlier, so be sure and con- sider this as a primary cost of acquiring an aircraft. If you fl y a two-seat powered parachute, you will also need to antici- pate a fl ight review every two years with a certifi cated fl ight instructor. Flight reviews usually range from $150 to $400 and require a minimum of one hour of ground and one hour of fl ight training. The fl ight review is designed to keep you safe, legal, and profi cient. Helmets and intercom. Some pilots fl y without helmets, but you will fi nd that our pilot culture encourages helmets as basic safety equipment. The helmets and intercom systems used for light sport are really quite specialized and available from only a couple of reputable vendors. Radio. If you will always fl y alone and never with another powered parachute in the sky with you, and in remote areas away from airports and more complicated airspace, you might not need a radio. Most of the powered parachute pilots we equip and train purchase a simple handheld VHF aviation radio that is compatible with the helmet and intercom system. Maintenance. The typical powered parachute pilot carries a nice small set of personal tools so that he can conduct routine in-the-fi eld maintenance. There is also an annual inspection of condition required for FAA-certifi cated light-sport aircraft. If this inspection is completed by a qualifi ed repairman, expect to pay an average of $400 a year. An owner also can take a 16-hour repairman course that earns him a certifi cate and privilege to conduct his own annual inspection. The cost of that course is about the same as an annual inspection and thus a very good investment of time and ef ort. Registration and taxes. This is a fi nal area that you need to investigate and is specifi c to your state requirements. There is a cost associated with the fi rst-time inspection and issuance of an airworthiness certifi cate, but this is quite often included in the pricing of new aircraft or already done if you purchase used. The FAA now requires re-registration every few years, but that is only a $5 process. States vary, but most require that FAA-certifi cated aircraft be registered with the state aviation authority, and thus another fee. And this registration is usually shared with the state department of revenue, thus the need to check on sales tax requirements. DO YOU HAVE SUPPORT AVAILABLE, INCLUDING INSTRUCTORS, FLIGHT EXAMINERS, QUALIFIED MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL, AND FACTORY RESOURCES? As you conduct your due diligence in the areas detailed above, you will soon discover whether or not the support resources are available. Unfortunately there are many areas of the coun- try where these are far and few between. If you will be earning a sport pilot certifi cate and your nearest instructor is a thou- sand miles away, you need to anticipate the logistics and costs

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