Save Money Flying Your Airplane!

Save Money Flying Your Airplane!

Flying can be expensive! Flight schools typically charge about $10,000 for instruction required to become a Private Pilot. The Sport Pilot certificate is less expensive, at about $6,000, but still not cheap. You can fly an Ultralight aircraft that doesn’t require a pilot certificate, but you still should get training, typically about $2,000, to be…

What if There’s a Problem? (Flight Planning Gone Awry)

What if There’s a Problem? (Flight Planning Gone Awry)

Sometimes nothing seems to go as planned. Even after you’ve spent time planning a flight, something like the weather or another factor can change your plans. That’s okay. In fact, that can be part of the fun of flying: learning how to quickly and accurately change your plans and still enjoy the flight. Because you…

Unexpected Costs

Unexpected Costs

Hopefully, you won’t have any unexpected costs. But you might. Like what? Typically, major maintenance or a repair that isn’t covered by insurance. One way of avoiding major maintenance and repair costs is shopping smart. Make sure that ongoing maintenance has been done on any used aircraft you’re considering. Unlike cars, airplanes must have maintenance…

Altimeter

Altimeter

It would be inconvenient; not to mention dangerous; to run a long, weighted string out the aircraft window to see how far you are above the ground. Fortunately, your plane has an instrument that measures the air pressure against a standard and tells you the difference in feet of altitude. It’s called the altimeter. An…

Official Sky Inspector

Official Sky Inspector

So you now have your sport-pilot certificate and you’re itching to go flying. Any old excuse will do. I’ll cover the most popular ones in the next two sections. Meantime, here is the most important one: honing your flying skills. Remember, all pilots are really student pilots—until they quit learning. Your sport-pilot instructor has given…

Repairs

Repairs

If your plane is excessively worn or damaged making it no longer airworthy, chances are you’ll need to hire an A&P mechanic to do the required work. If you have mechanical skills, an A&P mechanic may allow you to do the work under his or her supervision. You probably aren’t going to try to do…

Rudder

Rudder

The airplane’s rudder is a vertical control surface that’s part of the tail section. The trailing edge is movable from the cockpit. Turning the rudder to the left makes the plane’s nose yaw to the left, and turning it to the right yaws the nose to the right. The rudder is controlled using two floor…

Calculating Costs

Calculating Costs

What options do you have? One of the advantages of the new light-sport aircraft rulings is that it limits your options. If you eventually want more options you can step up to higher-performance aircraft and a private-pilot certificate. But in order to fly under your sport-pilot certificate you must fly a plane that qualifies for…

Experimental Aircraft Maintenance

Experimental Aircraft Maintenance

You may be surprised to learn that currently more than 20,000 amateur-built or experimental aircraft are licensed in the United States. And thousands more are parked in garages and hangars waiting for additional work. One of the greatest benefits of building your own airplane within the experimental classification is that the FAA says, in essence,…

Aircraft Certification

Aircraft Certification

The FAA (and, prior, the Civil Aviation Authority [CAA]) has regulated aircraft manufacturing for more than 50 years, working hard toward making all aircraft as safe as they can be. In addition, the FAA requires periodic inspections, certified mechanics, and other rules that ensure public safety. To their credit, aircraft that are properly maintained and…

Quick-Builds

Quick-Builds

Due to recent rule changes and clarifications, some aircraft kits can be constructed using quick-build kits while still complying with the 51-percent rule. Make sure the quick-build kits you select comply with FAA regulations for experimental aircraft. Quick-build kits or subassemblies can dramatically cut the amount of time you spend in your garage working on…