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Real Ultralight Owner forums

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Hi there,Just wondering, does anyone know of a busy set of forums for general ultralight enthusiasts and owners? I would like to research the topic and I love reading forums. I can't afford to get into full size aircraft flying at any point in the near future or far future for that matter. Unfortunately my job(as much as I like it) doesn't pay that much but someday I figure I might be able to at least get into Ultralight flying with the lower cost.I'd just like to find busy forums specifically for real life ultralights if anyone knows any.

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>Hi there,>>Just wondering, does anyone know of a busy set of forums for>general ultralight enthusiasts and owners? I would like to>research the topic and I love reading forums. I can't afford>to get into full size aircraft flying at any point in the near>future or far future for that matter. Unfortunately my job(as>much as I like it) doesn't pay that much but someday I figure>I might be able to at least get into Ultralight flying with>the lower cost.>>I'd just like to find busy forums specifically for real life>ultralights if anyone knows any.Hi, just wondering if I can offer some advice. I hung around Madison airport alot over the last several years until it closed Jan 1st this year. It was an ultralight/powered parachute haven. Dozens of guys. I spent alot of time talking to them. Bottom line is this: You get what you pay for. The powered parachute guys probably have the cheapest cost, and it's very safe too. The downside: 1) They are slow 2) No passengers 3) No real trips away from the airfield. All of them say the small engine on your back WILL quit at some point. Don't do anything stupid.The ultralight guys are a mixed bag. First, you can only fly in VERY good weather with light winds. They are noisy, can't go too far, and you still have to hanger them. Some have cockpits and full instruments, and carry passengers. However, you will find those ones are almost as much as a 152.I used to think I wanted an ultralight, but I think you will be much happier if you can save up the money to get your PPL and rent a plane every few weekends. Remember, you can't rent ultralights- you have keep them somewhere, and maintain them. At the point I am at in my training, I can now solo around, so to go up and fly around for 45 minutes and pretty much tear up the skies over CT, it only costs me about $75. Once a week is only $300 a month which you could definately afford if you were willing to give up some other things. I believe you can pretty much do whatever you want if you want it bad enough. And if I were you, I would get a ride in an ultralight, and then get an introductory ride in a real plane before you decide. Some people love ultralights, but don't go that route just because of money- you owe it to yourself to explore all your possibilities.

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"Once a week is only $300 a month which you could definately afford if you were willing to give up some other things."I think that's the biggest falsehood, although not intentional on your part. $300 a month is a lot vs. no flying at all. I took lessons in the early 80's, and resumed last year. If I am lucky I can book one, maybe two hours a month as planes are hard to come by outside of winter here in the desert.I work for a living, so weekends are the only time I can fly. I am lucky if I can squeeze in time Saturdays as the rentals are booked sometimes months in advance. $300 a month is a lot. I work in IT--senior position. High income.But also high expenses, most recently a mother with cancer. If I want to fly, I have to lower my expectations, which includes flying UL's if that's all the budget allows for. Recently I had to make a choice--flying a UL vs. not flying at all. My wife and I have to buy a new home so my Mom can live with us. $300 a mo. is the difference between her being cast off to a home or our buying a home she can share with us. I would rather tell all pilots to go to Hades than give up my Mom--she's my last connection with my youth.Sorry I reacted this way, but money is relative. Never take it lightly. That's why some of us with 20+ years in IT fly Microlights and Ultralights. I think the original question was where such groups could be found, not a sales pitch for PPL. We're all pilots just the same.-John Edit: Christian -- this is by no means against you--you're a respected voice in my book. But often I find myself in the FBO after a Sport Pilot lesson and I see the wizened old pilots browbeating me and my CFI--flying a Microlight isn't "real" flying in their book. But surprisingly we have ailerons, we have a rudder, we have the same flight controls and the same risk of death. A good Rotax will run forever if maintained. I've flown the 582 and 912 and even the two stroke will purr along if I treat it with the same love I treat my wife :)

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Actually, there is no rental facilities even near my home base. I've moved far North in Alberta, Canada and the closest place I believe is about 3 hours south if they even have rentals there(maybe even 5). We have an airport though but not much going there. Thing is, I know there are ultralights out there that easily do 300 miles on a tank without flinching and can go 70+ knots. That's not bad all things considered. I always use to think, yeah I want an airplane to take me where I need to go but I thought about it long and hard and the truth is, all I want is the ability to experience flying. And to be quite honest, the fact that ultralights are so free and open(trikes or whatever) makes me really like the idea of someday getting something around 10 or 20k down the road.Anyways, that's all besides the point. The reason I was looking up forums for ultralights is because I just love reading forums and learning a whole lot on subjects I am interested in. Second, I had one question about useful weight. I'm a big guy. I mean really big. Been working on loosing weight but I am just a tad over 300... I was looking into weather or not there are options for that kind of weight for single place ultralights with the rules in Canada... and second if 2 place ultralights would fit me and another person over 250lbs or around that weight. I know it's probably a long shot but there must be at least a few ultralights out there that will do it.

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You might want to look at the Xair Standard. Most have a useful load in the 450-500# range. I flew a Standard a few month's back in Willcox with Phil Leroy, and with a Rotax 582 it had no problem taking my 220# plus my passenger's 170# up to a density alt of about 9000 feet. What's great about the Xair Standard are the gear--a bad landing can feel like a good one--the mains have a great set of shocks and my landing with my relative inexperience felt smoother than any commercial flight I've been on.-John

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>"Once a week is only $300 a month which you could definately>afford if you were willing to give up some other things.">>I think that's the biggest falsehood, although not intentional>on your part. $300 a month is a lot vs. no flying at all. I>took lessons in the early 80's, and resumed last year. If I>am lucky I can book one, maybe two hours a month as planes are>hard to come by outside of winter here in the desert.>>I work for a living, so weekends are the only time I can fly. >I am lucky if I can squeeze in time Saturdays as the rentals>are booked sometimes months in advance. $300 a month is a>lot. I work in IT--senior position. High income.>>But also high expenses, most recently a mother with cancer. >If I want to fly, I have to lower my expectations, which>includes flying UL's if that's all the budget allows for. >Recently I had to make a choice--flying a UL vs. not flying at>all. My wife and I have to buy a new home so my Mom can live>with us. $300 a mo. is the difference between her being cast>off to a home or our buying a home she can share with us. I>would rather tell all pilots to go to Hades than give up my>Mom--she's my last connection with my youth.>>Sorry I reacted this way, but money is relative. Never take>it lightly. That's why some of us with 20+ years in IT fly>Microlights and Ultralights. I think the original question>was where such groups could be found, not a sales pitch for>PPL. We're all pilots just the same.>>-John >>Edit: Christian -- this is by no means against you--you're a>respected voice in my book. But often I find myself in the>FBO after a Sport Pilot lesson and I see the wizened old>pilots browbeating me and my CFI--flying a Microlight isn't>"real" flying in their book. But surprisingly we have>ailerons, we have a rudder, we have the same flight controls>and the same risk of death. A good Rotax will run forever if>maintained. I've flown the 582 and 912 and even the two>stroke will purr along if I treat it with the same love I>treat my wife :) Hey no offense taken :)I'm not against ultralights by any means, as I ALWAYS wanted one (a quicksilver MX), but found that it would be MORE difficult for me to do that:1) No-one near me gives lessons. I'd have to go to Vermont- that was the only place people seem to be aware of.2) I would have nowhere to keep it- maybe a hangar at an airport that would allow it which is the same cost as keeping a plane there.3) Aircraft rentals are abundant near me. I could book a Warrior with zero-to-one days advance notice, or a 172 probably just by a call to the airport. So for $94 an hour, I just show up and fly. I would LOVE to own my own plane, but that is just not likely any time soon.I certainly don't think any less of ultralight pilots! They can fly! Some of the few barnstormers left- One of the guys that flies powered parachutes at Madison is in the top ten ranked in the country. He does some crazy stuff- it looks like alot of fun. They asked me if I would like to take one up one day this past summer. I realized that would probably be really stupid, so I declined. But I would certainly like to try it at some point.There is a gyrocopter that looks AMAZING. He can fly almost standing still. It's neat to see him cruising along about 100 feet over the beach on a lazy summer day.Honestly, like the original poster I found a lack of information about ultralights to be disenchanting. Nobody seems to be able to really point you in the right direction. I think the ability for me to just call the flight school 20 minutes from my house and sign up was a major selling point for me. Ultralight flying doesn't seem to be organized to the level I would feel comfortable.

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Thanks Christian,I wrote in a hurry and hoped I didn't word things too wrong. I've been riveted by your reports on your lessons having gone thru the same myself. But you've progressed much faster! I got "burned" because in the summer, I could not book the Allegro no matter how hard I tried. No one here can fly past 7-8AM in the summer. 100 degrees at 8-8:30.... So the Allegro is booked solid for the two flyable hours a day. Essentially I had to suspend flight lessons the entire summer right before solo, and I felt set back to square one after my last lesson some weeks back. Your (I mean my) reflexes seem to fade--probably doesn't happen after several hundred hours in the cockpit, but someone with twenty hours or so like myself, might as well start from scratch.If we don't buy the new house (pretty scary decision, we've lived here many years), I will either buy a Kitfox on the high end or an Xair or Rans S12 on the low end. The Kitfox is the closest in appearance to a conventional GA aircraft and can cruise around 90kts. The Xair is slower--60 kts--but can haul a ton. I used to think I had to fly at 100+ kts, but when I flew in the Xair, and saw that the world looked just as small from above, and felt the open air (the Xair isn't completely enclosed), I felt a closeness to flight I'd never felt before. Flying the Xair was like flying a fixed wing trike with elbow room--I loved it.Whatever I do I wouldn't trade my 20 hours as "pilot in command" for anything. I was blessed with two CFI's who let me do what my heart desired and coached rather than "told". If I start flying an ultralight (I was supposed to solo the Allegro but couldn't book the aircraft) I know I am better trained than most starting UL pilots. But I'll wait and see and hope for the best. -John

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I'm about 250 so that was an issue for me as well. The only two place one down at Madison had a useful load of about 300 lbs. I don't know what model it was. I think one of them was a kitfox- that sounds familiar.One thing I can definately say is that almost all of the ones down there had BRS systems on them. That is a HUGE plus in my book. And with the enclosed canopy you don't have to have the wind in your face if you don't want it. One of the most impressive things was the climb on some of those things! There was a trike, and a few other ones that look more like planes than ultralights that would take off and just point straight up. Insane.

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