Guest Murray Scott Posted August 14, 2008 Share Posted August 14, 2008 Hi all, as requested by the webmaster I suppose I should sign in despite having just deserted the power-flight scene. I got my "ultralight" licence (no RAA then) in 1996 and have just over 200 hours mostly on Jabirus. After a lifetime's dreaming about aircraft I really appreciate the opportunity presented by the AUF/RAA and Ultralight Aviators at The Oaks (NSW) to fulfil that ambition at age 52. I proved to be a slow student and, as I am reminded by recent over-the-shoulder videos of practice sessions, a rather sloppy pilot (no crashes thank goodness). For the last few years I have been a part owner of a J160 at Warnervale, NSW but living 100km away at Heathcote I found it inconvenient to fly regularly and was forever catching up on airskills. Given the geographic, weather and airspace restrictions on VFR aviation near east coast cities, I found it impractical to substitute flying for any business or social car trip. Inland the potential is better but still thwarted by the need for luggage and transport from an airfield to real destinations. I was interested to receive that email ".. future of Recreational Flying (.com.au)", thinking it might relate to a piece I had written under a similar title which appeared in the March 2008 RAA Magazine. Disappointingly, I am still waiting to find any kindred spirits to engage in that discussion. Briefly, I am concerned that private aviation of any kind, especially recreational, is becoming steadily less viable due to damages litigation, airfield closures, lack of public support and the looming crisis of fuel costs and global warming constraints. A sober look at the problems facing the world convinces me that purely recreational flying in $50,000+ playthings is unsupportable unless we can thereby expolore and demonstrate practical, efficient roles for pilot-yourself aviation in a sustainable future. Many ideas, possibilities and challenges are out there, including flying cars and unravelling the mysteries of bird flight (how do they so exquisitiely control pitch for tailless, strongly cambered wings?). I now want to focus my aviation interest into pursuing such challenges in theory and experiment. Anyone interested in a technical forum on unconventional aerodynamics, structures and designs? Reluctantly abandoning my dream of exploring Australia by air I have just sold my share in the J160, turned in my RAA licence and commenced hang-glider training at Stanwell Park. No pretence of practical transport but a relatively economical, educational and rewarding challenge a short train ride from home. Murray Scott Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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