Captain Charles

Newbie needs advice please

43 posts in this topic

Hi, newbie to the forum and looking for some advice please.

Been flying for decades, but "conventional" types.

Looking to say goodbye to my Cirrus, cos it's just getting too expensive to run and maintain.

Only the wife and I now, kids grown up, so a two seater would fit the bill, just not sure if the CTLSwill work for me. I can live with the VFR restriction, the lower speed, and general lack of load capability.

Way back learnt on a C150, I'm imagining generally speaking the CTLS is not too dissimilar?

But how about windy gusty days ( get a lot of that near me ) ?

I'm worried LIGHT sport maybe just too light in that scenario.

Will it really cruise all day at 120 kts realistically?

Should I get the carburettor or fuel injection model?

Best model year ( Least SBs and ADs )?

Things to look out for during a pre buy inspection?

oh and finally, anyone know of a CTLS in the Phoenix area I could get a ride in to experience it , happy to pay !

 

Thanks for any input.

Charles

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can actually cruise at 120kts but you might have to climb to 7,500' and fly wide open throttle and have a prop pitch that lets you do that plus gives you the resulting speed.

I find my winter speeds might be higher than 120 and summer a little lower.  Top speed for me is prolly 127 and minimum is prolly 115.

My CTSW is nothing like a 172 let alone a 152 but that is performance wise, light aircraft wise its worse than a 172.

A CT is useable in much the same way a tail dragger is, there are more times that you should not go that would have been reasonable in the Cirrus, this is true.  The skills of an ultra-light pilot do come in handy for landing as well as 'seeing' the air mass moving through the terrain and taking advantage of lift and minimizing sink, ... etc.

For my money the best deal by far is a low time 2006-7 CTSW.  Mine weighs 719lbs and is worth $50k.

The Arizona CT pilots you will meet likely deal with winds by landing at higher speeds, you can't argue with them but there is another way :)

Getting a ride in a CT in Arizona shouldn't be harder than bumming a smoke.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.

Talking of prop pitch, I understand there are several types, ground adjustable and flight adjustable, that's a new concept for me.

My budget should stretch to a later CTLS.

I think I'm reading there's a thread right now about the "Should I get the carburettor or fuel injection model?"

I'll keep reading up on the forum.

Thanks again.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

LSA only permits ground adjustable.

Fixed or ground adjustable. No in flight adjustable props allowed.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.

Talking of prop pitch, I understand there are several types, ground adjustable and flight adjustable, that's a new concept for me.

My budget should stretch to a later CTLS.

I think I'm reading there's a thread right now about the "Should I get the carburettor or fuel injection model?"

I'll keep reading up on the forum.

Thanks again.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Captain Charles said:

Thanks for the info.

Talking of prop pitch, I understand there are several types, ground adjustable and flight adjustable, that's a new concept for me.

My budget should stretch to a later CTLS.

I think I'm reading there's a thread right now about the "Should I get the carburettor or fuel injection model?"

I'll keep reading up on the forum.

Thanks again.

Even though you might be able to afford a CTLS, there is one reason you might want the older CTSW:  Weight.

The CTLS is a bit more stable around the vertical axis because the longer tail, but they tend to be 50-80lb heavier than the CTSW, and the CTLSi (fuel injected) adds another 20-30lb of weight on top of that.  As Charlie Tango said, his airplane is a 2006 and weighs 719lb, giving a useful load of 601lb.  My 2007 has an empty of 745lb, and a useful of 575lb.  Many of the CTLS airframes have useful loads in the 520-530 range, and the CTLSi is regularly down in the 480-490lb range.   

This may not matter to you if you plan to fly solo all the time, or you weigh 135lb soaking wet.  But most of us Americans weigh in the 180-230lb range, and our passengers might be similarly "girthy".  Once you put two American adults and fuel in the airplane, you can get over gross pretty quickly, especially if you are flying a longer trip and need to takes bags with you.  One of the best advantages the CT has over other LSA is the carrying capacity, and as you go up in models after 2006 the weights start going up every year.  Even my 2007 weighs 26lb more than Charlie Tango's, and they are essentially the same airplane.  

Just something to consider.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe consider the newly redesigned RV-12. It's performance numbers sound really good and you don't have to worry about the composite fuel tank upkeep/damage protection. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, N456TS said:

Maybe consider the newly redesigned RV-12. It's performance numbers sound really good and you don't have to worry about the composite fuel tank upkeep/damage protection. 

I like the RV-12, but I don't think the composite fuel tanks on the CT are a problem.  Have there been a few leaks?  Sure.  But the RV-12's fuel system has had more problems than the CT's, in a much smaller fleet.  This includes a hard landing that caused both occupants to get soaked in gasoline, and at least one post crash fire that may have killed the occupants.  Several other RV-12s have been destroyed by post-crash fires, and Van's has issued at least one service bulletin to re-design the tank mounts.  I also know personally of two RV-12s that had leaking fuel tanks at the seams.  The new RV-12 tank design may solve all of this, but we just don't know until more of them are flying.  

I may be wrong, but I don't think there has ever been a post-crash fire in a CT. There is usually no "upkeep" involved in the tanks, other than filling them. :)    The CT has its flaws, but I don't think the fuel tanks are one of them, and certainly not relative to the RV-12.  Just IMO of course, take it for what it's worth.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Even though you might be able to afford a CTLS, there is one reason you might want the older CTSW:  Weight.

The CTLS is a bit more stable around the vertical axis because the longer tail, but they tend to be 50-80lb heavier than the CTSW, and the CTLSi (fuel injected) adds another 20-30lb of weight on top of that.  As Charlie Tango said, his airplane is a 2006 and weighs 719lb, giving a useful load of 601lb.  My 2007 has an empty of 745lb, and a useful of 575lb.  Many of the CTLS airframes have useful loads in the 520-530 range, and the CTLSi is regularly down in the 480-490lb range.   

This may not matter to you if you plan to fly solo all the time, or you weigh 135lb soaking wet.  But most of us Americans weigh in the 180-230lb range, and our passengers might be similarly "girthy".  Once you put two American adults and fuel in the airplane, you can get over gross pretty quickly, especially if you are flying a longer trip and need to takes bags with you.  One of the best advantages the CT has over other LSA is the carrying capacity, and as you go up in models after 2006 the weights start going up every year.  Even my 2007 weighs 26lb more than Charlie Tango's, and they are essentially the same airplane.  

Just something to consider.

 

5 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Even though you might be able to afford a CTLS, there is one reason you might want the older CTSW:  Weight.

The CTLS is a bit more stable around the vertical axis because the longer tail, but they tend to be 50-80lb heavier than the CTSW, and the CTLSi (fuel injected) adds another 20-30lb of weight on top of that.  As Charlie Tango said, his airplane is a 2006 and weighs 719lb, giving a useful load of 601lb.  My 2007 has an empty of 745lb, and a useful of 575lb.  Many of the CTLS airframes have useful loads in the 520-530 range, and the CTLSi is regularly down in the 480-490lb range.   

This may not matter to you if you plan to fly solo all the time, or you weigh 135lb soaking wet.  But most of us Americans weigh in the 180-230lb range, and our passengers might be similarly "girthy".  Once you put two American adults and fuel in the airplane, you can get over gross pretty quickly, especially if you are flying a longer trip and need to takes bags with you.  One of the best advantages the CT has over other LSA is the carrying capacity, and as you go up in models after 2006 the weights start going up every year.  Even my 2007 weighs 26lb more than Charlie Tango's, and they are essentially the same airplane.  

Just something to consider.

Thank you for taking the time to explain all that, it's appreciated.

I weigh in at around 180 lbs and my wife tells me she's about the same ;-), so perhaps the useful load is not so much an issue.

But I'll be sure to check out empty weights before I decide.

Thanks again.

Charles

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, FlyingMonkey said:

I like the RV-12, but I don't think the composite fuel tanks on the CT are a problem.  Have there been a few leaks?  Sure.  But the RV-12's fuel system has had more problems than the CT's, in a much smaller fleet.  This includes a hard landing that caused both occupants to get soaked in gasoline, and at least one post crash fire that may have killed the occupants.  Several other RV-12s have been destroyed by post-crash fires, and Van's has issued at least one service bulletin to re-design the tank mounts.  I also know personally of two RV-12s that had leaking fuel tanks at the seams.  The new RV-12 tank design may solve all of this, but we just don't know until more of them are flying.  

I may be wrong, but I don't think there has ever been a post-crash fire in a CT. There is usually no "upkeep" involved in the tanks, other than filling them. :)    The CT has its flaws, but I don't think the fuel tanks are one of them, and certainly not relative to the RV-12.  Just IMO of course, take it for what it's worth.

I do like the look of the CTLS, never thought of the RV.

no one seems to mention the likely faults on the CT, or perhaps I haven't looked around the forum enough!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Captain Charles said:

no one seems to mention the likely faults on the CT, or perhaps I haven't looked around the forum enough

That's because there are not a lot of faults to see. Note the lack of service bulletins and airworthiness directives compared to other makes. Sure there are the odd problems that will come up with any mechanical device but the CT is a well developed/built aircraft. As far as the wind and turbulence issue, any light aircraft will get shoved around a bit more than something a bit heavier it all comes down to pilot skill. Remember that you will give up a long time before the CT will. When the weather gods turn nasty with weather not forecast and you are in the air just tighten your belts and remember just how strong these little birds really are. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ct9000 said:

That's because there are not a lot of faults to see. Note the lack of service bulletins and airworthiness directives compared to other makes. Sure there are the odd problems that will come up with any mechanical device but the CT is a well developed/built aircraft. As far as the wind and turbulence issue, any light aircraft will get shoved around a bit more than something a bit heavier it all comes down to pilot skill. Remember that you will give up a long time before the CT will. When the weather gods turn nasty with weather not forecast and you are in the air just tighten your belts and remember just how strong these little birds really are. 

Well that's very reassuring. Often people will tell you how good something is, but miss out on the downsides ! I just don't want to buy into a whole new flying chapter full of limitations or problems.

Obviously Tirr are going to be times when an LSA is going to be grounded in weather that a more sophisticated airplane won't.

I just don't really want to end up waiting for blue skies and calm winds before I can go places.

In the end,as we know, it's down to the mission.

Thanks for the input.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

Do you have a current FAA medical?  I assume you do.  Are you familiar with the new Basic Med provisions?  A CT would be a great airplane to own and probably meet your mission, but there are a lot of other airplanes out there you could look at that would be much less expensive to operate than your Cirrus.  I wouldn't be too quick to jump on the Light Sport bandwagon until you ruled them out.  For instance, a Cherokee 180 is a great airplane IMHO or a Cessna 182, etc.

If you do decide to go LSA, you can't go wrong with a CT.  They carry a good load plus 34 gallons of fuel.

My best friend is selling his 1968 Mooney M20C.  It's listed on Barnstormers for $59,900 and is fully decked out with most of the Mooney 201 modifications, recent paint, and recent resealed fuel tanks.  If I still had a medical or qualified for Basic Med (missed by 45 days), I would jump on that Mooney.  It's located in Gainesville, GA.

Well one of my main issues getting me a way from GA and into LSA has to do with Avgas availability and sometimes high cost in some of the places I fly to around Europe.

Thankfully my FAA medical is not the problem. But paying up to $10 a gallon sure is !

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Captain Charles said:

Well that's very reassuring. Often people will tell you how good something is, but miss out on the downsides ! I just don't want to buy into a whole new flying chapter full of limitations or problems.

Obviously Tirr are going to be times when an LSA is going to be grounded in weather that a more sophisticated airplane won't.

I just don't really want to end up waiting for blue skies and calm winds before I can go places.

In the end,as we know, it's down to the mission.

 

You won't need blue skies and calm winds, but you do need VFR conditions.  I am a Sport Pilot and have completed several long flights, the longest to date about 3000nm round trip.  You do get grounded to weather occasionally, but really only under conditions that would ground any VFR airplane/pilot.  If you really need IFR capability, the CT is not really the right answer.  If you can live with VFR flying and are okay flying in MVFR conditions, the CT works beautifully.

There are some downsides to the CT.  First, the controls contain various arrangements of centering springs, and are heavier than many LSAs.  Fast Eddie on this board told me he thinks mine flies like a Mooney when I took him for a ride.  The faster you get, the more work it is to deflect the controls.  Not a bad thing really, but it's takes a little more than fingertips to control.  The RV-12 and some others are definitely "sportier" in this regard.

Second, the CTs do not have great rear visibility.  The CTLS has a quarter window behind the main side windows, and it a little better, but the CTSW is just terrible.  You have about 270° visibility if you turn your head and press your forehead against the window, but the 90° or so to the rear is just blind.  I'm really looking forward to installing a full ADS-B suite so I can have something telling me what's behind me. :)

Fuel management is a slight drag, because of the simple ON/OFF fuel valve.  The latest airplanes have a LEFT/RIGHT/BOTH valve that's nice, but the vast majority of CTs feed both tanks at all times.  To keep fuel balanced between tanks, you have fly for 10-20 minutes in a slight slip to cause the high wing to transfer fuel to the low wing.  Not a big deal, but just a quirk to be aware of.  You don't want to let one tank get complete dry, because when you get into a turn if you are uncoordinated you can unport the full tank and starve the engine.  I try to keep my tanks close to even on long legs, it doesn't take much effort.

Most other "downsides" are really just nitpicks or personal preferences.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

You won't need blue skies and calm winds, but you do need VFR conditions.  I am a Sport Pilot and have completed several long flights, the longest to date about 3000nm round trip.  You do get grounded to weather occasionally, but really only under conditions that would ground any VFR airplane/pilot.  If you really need IFR capability, the CT is not really the right answer.  If you can live with VFR flying and are okay flying in MVFR conditions, the CT works beautifully.

There are some downsides to the CT.  First, the controls contain various arrangements of centering springs, and are heavier than many LSAs.  Fast Eddie on this board told me he thinks mine flies like a Mooney when I took him for a ride.  The faster you get, the more work it is to deflect the controls.  Not a bad thing really, but it's takes a little more than fingertips to control.  The RV-12 and some others are definitely "sportier" in this regard.

Second, the CTs do not have great rear visibility.  The CTLS has a quarter window behind the main side windows, and it a little better, but the CTSW is just terrible.  You have about 270° visibility if you turn your head and press your forehead against the window, but the 90° or so to the rear is just blind.  I'm really looking forward to installing a full ADS-B suite so I can have something telling me what's behind me. :)

Fuel management is a slight drag, because of the simple ON/OFF fuel valve.  The latest airplanes have a LEFT/RIGHT/BOTH valve that's nice, but the vast majority of CTs feed both tanks at all times.  To keep fuel balanced between tanks, you have fly for 10-20 minutes in a slight slip to cause the high wing to transfer fuel to the low wing.  Not a big deal, but just a quirk to be aware of.  You don't want to let one tank get complete dry, because when you get into a turn if you are uncoordinated you can unport the full tank and starve the engine.  I try to keep my tanks close to even on long legs, it doesn't take much effort.

Most other "downsides" are really just nitpicks or personal preferences.  

Well thank you, that's very useful information.

I was thinking the CT was a little "delicate" about weather, I understand it's placarded "Flight into IMC prohibited ", which seems a little severe.

I notice the CTLS has indeed the extra quarter windows, and that would be my choice.

When did the new fuel selector appear?

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've had my SW for 5 yrs now (Sundowner and Skyhawk before) and I love it.  Fla to NY and back a number of times, no problem.  Being retired no IFR is no problem.  Just a night in a nice hotel, only happend once.  My only gripe is the lack of a shelf behind the occupants.  For charts, reference books, water bottle, snack etc. etc.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mick said:

i've had my SW for 5 yrs now (Sundowner and Skyhawk before) and I love it.  Fla to NY and back a number of times, no problem.  Being retired no IFR is no problem.  Just a night in a nice hotel, only happend once.  My only gripe is the lack of a shelf behind the occupants.  For charts, reference books, water bottle, snack etc. etc.

I see.

don't the CTLS have a couple behind each of the seats at head level?

I think I saw a picture somewhere.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Mick said:

My only gripe is the lack of a shelf behind the occupants.  For charts, reference books, water bottle, snack etc. etc.

But you have a floor panel for that stuff!   :D

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Captain Charles said:

I see.

don't the CTLS have a couple behind each of the seats at head level?

I think I saw a picture somewhere.

Yes, CTLS has a shelf under the quarter windows, the CTSW doesn't.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My CTSW is has very light stick forces :)  I'm not sure that heavy is common.

In one respect I find my CTSW more capable flying cross country.  I get weather and synthetic vision on my glass display making VFR cross country.  CT = cheap glass.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Captain Charles said:

Well thank you, that's very useful information.

I was thinking the CT was a little "delicate" about weather, I understand it's placarded "Flight into IMC prohibited ", which seems a little severe.

I notice the CTLS has indeed the extra quarter windows, and that would be my choice.

When did the new fuel selector appear?

 

Flight in IMC prohibited was required by the ASTM standards since sometime in 2010. This is something that applies to all SLLSA aircraft built since that time. SLSA built before that time do not carry the placard, and it is left to the manufacturer to approve or disapprove flight in IMC.

The new fuel selector came with the 912iS engine. It was needed because of the way excess fuel for the injection system is returned to the tank.

The CTLS has both quarter windows and hat shelf that the CTSW does not.

Having owned 2 CTSW's and a CTLS, and flown several of each type including couple different CTLSi's I prefer the CTLS.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Captain Charles said:

. . . don't the CTLS have a couple behind each of the seats at head level?

 

1 hour ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Yes, CTLS has a shelf under the quarter windows, the CTSW doesn't.

True . . but the CTLS (with the two cockpit hat racks), reduce the available space in the baggage compartment and also make it more cramped in accessing mechanical components within the compartment. Personally, for those reasons, I prefer the extra cargo space and an unobstructed view of the upper compartment, when I do my preflight walk around inspection (with baggage doors removed).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

My CTSW is has very light stick forces :)  I'm not sure that heavy is common.

 

My 2007 does have an extra spring compared to yours.  But I think "light" is relative.  I have never seen a CT with stick forces near as light as a Tecnam or RV-12.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now