|I get a lot of email from readers who have a lot of the same questions. I really enjoy getting those emails, so, don’t stop! But, in order to provide a better and faster answer to the most common questions, I’ve put them here, on the Texas-Flyer FAQ. If there is a question you have but don’t see it below, let me know and I’ll try to put the answer here.
My answers will have a short and a long answer. The short answer is below, and there will be a link at the end of each short answer that will point to another web page containing the long, detailed answer.
If you don’t know the difference between an ultralight, an Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (E-LSA), a Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) or a General Aviation (GA) aircraft, click here first!.
Also, please note that answers provided were as accurate as possible at the time they were written. The entire ultralight and LSA category of pilots and aircraft are in transition so there may be variances that occur after the answers were written. I also need to say that, these answers are just my opinion, and I reserve the right to be wrong!
|Q: Where can I get training “around here” to fly an ultralight?
A: If you’re reading this prior to January 31, 2010, then there are still some legal 2-seat ultralight trainers out there… somwhere… but I doubt seriously you’ll find one. So, the chances are, you’ll have to be trained in a Light-Sport-Aircraft (LSA) before you can safely fly your ultralight. The rules don’t require you to get training to fly a legal ultralight, but you’d have to be pretty dumb and/or foolhardy to try it without some lessons.
The best sources for UL instructors are the EAA and USUA websites:
|Q: Where can I rent an ultralight or LSA?
A: Chances are slim and none that you’ll ever be able to rent a legal ultralight. Maybe someone does it, but I’ve never heard of it! For someone to want to rent you an ultralight, they’d have to have it insured, and getting the right kind of insurance on a UL is difficult, if not impossible. As odd as this sounds, you’ll probably have better luck befriending a UL owner/pilot and eventually convincing him/her to let you borrow it.
Renting an LSA is much more likely, but, for a while, the locations that have them will be few and far between. Five years from now, it will be much more common. But, I would use the same links shown above (instructors) to contact instructors to find out if they or their school rents LSAs. You can also simply try a Google search, something like: “LSA rental”.
|Q: Where can I buy an ultralight or LSA?
A: They are easy to find… either visit all the local turf-runway airports in your area and put the word out you’re looking for an ultralight, or simply go visit the Barnstormers web site once a week.
But the more important question is, “How do I know the UL/LSA I’m buying is worth the money and is safe, and in good condition?”
|Q: How do I know the UL/LSA I’m buying is worth the money and is safe, and in good condition?
A: Tough question! (Be sure to read the detailed answer; there’s a lot of money at stake!) Buying an LSA is more like buying a General Aviation (GA) aircraft, like a Cessna. Buying an ultralight is a bit different, partly because they are (usually) far less money, but also there’s less to go wrong, more you can see, but no certifications.
To buy an S-LSA, well, they are just smaller version of Cessna’s and Piper’s and so forth, and there will probably be one or more dealers you can visit and talk to, and the experience will be similar to buying an expensive car.
Buying an E-LSA falls somewhere between the two. There may or may not be dealers, but there will usually be a kit manufacturer that you can talk to and get advice from. Finding someone that owns the same model you’re interested in would be of paramount importance.