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JonR

Flight instruction and Covid

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I am thinking of getting back into aviation and looking for advice from flight instructors/schools , or others in the know, on this forum.

 

I have a PPL but took off many years as life got in the way. Now retired, the Sport pilot / medical / LSA route would fit my needs and mission.

 

With the Covid mess, is flight instruction occurring despite the ‘confined’ cabins and the need to mask and distance?

 

In looking around my area in the southeast (Augusta, GA / Aiken, SC) it seems I live in a Sport Pilot “desert” as there are no apparent rentals or instructors that are set up for sport pilot training that I can find.

 

I would be interested in hearing from Sport Pilot instructors / schools, and in particular anyone in the southeast U.S. I like the Flight Design aircraft, especially the CTLSi, and would prefer to learn in this type aircraft and then have the the ability to rent one when I am proficient and fully transitioned to the LSA world.

 

As I continue to explore my options, any thoughts, advice, recommendations would be appreciated.

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Hi Jon,

We own and have been teaching in Flight Design aircraft since 2008. We currently operate two CTLS aircraft each flying around 500hrs a year.  One has passed 3200hrs since we bought it new, the other is crossing 2100hrs.  Our CTLS's have been very reliable, popular and have allowed us to generate a number of Sport, Private and commercial pilots. We continue to instruct this year using Covid-19 precautions such as wearing masks during flight and ground instruction, disinfecting cockpits between flights and keeping sanitizer available for constant hand cleaning.  Currently my wife and I are the only instructors so we can maintain a constant but staggered student schedule to ensure separation of students between lessons.

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Not real close to you, but Island Air Express at Panama City Beach, FL teaches light sport.

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@coppercity  Eric, thanks for your reply. I like your training philosophy and input to this forum. It give me a good sense I could be well trained at your facility. Unfortunately, travel across the country for this is not my plan at this time. Wished you were closer, it would be a non-brainer.

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3 minutes ago, JonR said:

@coppercity  Eric, thanks for your reply. I like your training philosophy and input to this forum. It give me a good sense I could be well trained at your facility. Unfortunately, travel across the country for this is not my plan at this time. Wished you were closer, it would be a non-brainer.

Totally understand Jon, let us know if we can help in any way!  

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Jon, I found myself in a similar position last June. I live near Asheville NC.  I caught a cheap flight to Miami and got checked out in a CTLSi at Ameravia.  Came back and bought a 2008 CTLS and I love it. 
 Neither of us wore masks. 

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@Bill3558    Bill, ok, I'm jealous.

It is looking like I will have to leave the 'southeast' to find a CTLS training facility. My problem is when I get back home there are no LSA aircraft, let alone a CT, to rent that I have found. Buying is a consideration buy I would like to build some hours in the CT first. My training a long time ago was in 172s, so I want to be sure I will be comfortable in the lighter CT. Also I am a little apprehensive of the 'sensitive' landing characteristics mentioned by owners and want to nail this before any purchase consideration.

By the way, how did you decide on Ameravia. I checked their website and they don't mention CT aircraft. Any comments on your experience with them?   Did you consider anyone else?

Thanks for your input and good advice.

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I hadn’t flown since 1985.  When I moved here to Western NC I met some pilots and got the bug again. Took some online and AOPA classes and got with a CFI at Greenville aviation and got current in cessnas and pa28s. It all came right back.  It’s amazing how easy it is now with GPS and ForeFlight. 

Like you, all my previous time was in Cessnas. The CT is different. ( I flew in a Skyhawk last week and it seemed massive)but it’s more fun to fly. It’s sporty, visibility is better, performs better, and it’s not 40 years old.  Landing for me did take a while to get comfortable with, but it all came down to carrying too much airspeed on approach. The airplane is very slippery, but it slips well. 
 

Suggest you talk to Dana Lynn at Star LSA at S17 Airport right there by you. He put me in touch with the guy I bought my plane from and he just completed my annual and hose job. He may know of a rental.  

I thought long and hard about buying this airplane, but I’m glad I did. It keeps me active, makes me think, challenges me, keeps me social with other pilots in my area, and gets me out of the house. I fly almost every day weather permitting.

Good luck in your journey. N121YT
 

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Bill, my story is similar in terms of flying gap (36 years) and Cessna training.  When I returned to flying in 2018  I knew I wanted  a modern, safe plane with gps, autopilot, terrain and weather.  After my research I figured I needed rudder training which lead me to tail wheel training.  I received a tail wheel endorsement in an old cub, then checked out in another lsa brand and when my CT arrived from Germany I checked out in that.  
the CT is superior to a 172 in my mind in  almost all respects except the landing hurdle... which is well documented on this forum.  I go where all the vfr metal planes go and any time they go.. no problem.  Landing on grass now which is a blast.  Grass is where a light plane that wants to fly — shines.  

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