MarioDonick

Some first real world impressions vs. X-Plane

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Great read, and thanks for sharing Mario.  Left a comment there :-)

Try GPL or LAPL if you can...

UL are.... too light :-/

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30 minutes ago, jcomm said:

Flying is always good Mario :-) anyway ...

Had you any particular negative experience with an UL?

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That was an interesting read, thanks for posting it. It always feels a bit strange the first time you are in the driving seat of a small aeroplane, but as you found, it's something you can get used to fairly quickly, especially with some simulator knowledge to help you concentrate on the new things instead of having to learn everything from scratch.

Keep looking out of that window, there can be other inexperienced pilots flying near a training school (or anywhere really), so you really want to keep your eyes looking about, it is especially important to take a glance in the direction you intend to turn before you make the turn. Flight sims can enforce the bad habit of not doing that!

As with every other fledgling flyer, you've also learned that it can be incredibly difficult to spot a grassy airfield in real life! That often comes as a shock to flight simmers. In most flight sims airfields stick out like a sore thumb, not so in real life, especially when looking through some haze or an inversion layer.

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2 hours ago, MarioDonick said:

Had you any particular negative experience with an UL?

Yes,

in early 2010 as I was considering to add it to my GPL, before having converted it to a EASA license, and since here in Portugal SLGs and SSGs require that you have an UL license, I decided to go for it.

I would have to log 5 hrs, if I correctly recall, including an x-country flight, and a verification flight with a certified instructor.

I went twice to the airfield ( LPCS ) where the P90  P96-Golf I was going to use was based. In my first engine inspection I got the idea that indeed an ULM engine is not an aviation engine :-/ and luckily found an oil duct  with a hole in it... The flight was cancelled...

On my 2nd tentative, 15 days latter, while inspecting the aircraft, I noticed something wrong with the left undercarriage. It was actually damaged after a "wing wheel" landing on that day due to a stronger than usual x-wind component, even if well within the operational limits...

It's probably me, but I decided to "uninstall" my will to get a UL license and kept flying only gliders, although I know that should I go to other EU countries I could easily fly SSG's and SLG's with my license.

If you're aiming for a professional pilot career my suggestion is, skip the ULs and go straight LAPL, otherwise, could I recommend that you try gliders ?

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Jcomm, consider that ULM is way less expensive. By curiosity how much does it cost in Germany to take the ULM license? I did my first lesson last year at Castelnuovo airfiled (you can check my scenery at the org) and the total cost was about 4000 euros medical exams included. Unfortunately I had to postpone because wife...well we know..."why do you need to make three children orphans"...

And yes, hard to spot a grass runway in the middle of other ploughed fileds if you don't know tha area before. My instructor kept saying "look there, that was our old runway before we moved to the new one", no way, I knew where to look at, what to look for, but no success. Only on the second pass I was able to spot the runway and we were less than 1000 feet altitude.

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Another interesting experience is landing at night at some airport in the middle of even a little town like Lisbon... You don't really see the rw until you start following the ND and checking outside :-)

I think X-plane's night rendering also does this pretty well, for sure better than default runways and lighting are depicted in other platforms....

In gliders, and while I still take the map and even the calculator with me, and I avoid fancy ( and expensive ) stuff, even a simple Kobo Mini e-Reader with Top-Hat, can help you find your way home if you got lost while thermalling and at the same time drifting with the winds....

 

@Desaix: around here between 3,500 and 5,300 euro for the UL pilot license ( class 3 ) depending on aircraft used in the course.

@MarioDonick: But the future of Leisure Aviation will probably be UL, and I believe it's already being considered raising the weight limit towards the 700+kg MTOW

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4 hours ago, jcomm said:

On my 2nd tentative, 15 days latter, while inspecting the aircraft, I noticed something wrong with the left undercarriage. It was actually damaged after a "wing wheel" landing on that day due to a stronger than usual x-wind component, even if well within the operational limits...

(...)

If you're aiming for a professional pilot career my suggestion is, skip the ULs and go straight LAPL, otherwise, could I recommend that you try gliders ?

Hm your experiences may speak esp. against the particular owner of these aircraft ... bad usage or servicing maybe. Regarding the engine, the Rotax 912 used by a lot of UL aircraft seems to be pretty much one of the UL engines. Its reliability is discussed sometimes (e.g. here), but usual consensus seems to be that, if operated properly (turn propeller several times before oil check, use correct fuel type, ...), it's quite reliable.

No professional career. Just for fun.

I have no real interest for gliders (and if, only motor gliders). It's also a question of expenses. If I should come to a point in life where I can upgrade to bigger aircraft, I'd do that. I'd love to fly a C172. Or a Cherokee.

 

3 hours ago, Desaix said:

Jcomm, consider that ULM is way less expensive. By curiosity how much does it cost in Germany to take the ULM license? I did my first lesson last year at Castelnuovo airfiled (you can check my scenery at the org) and the total cost was about 4000 euros medical exams included.

Costs are similar :)

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