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All:

Good evening . . 

My name is Jay, I am 58 yrs old and have been putting off learning to fly for way too long.

 

Over the last 8 months, I have been getting familiar with various pilots on YouTube and watching and reading a lot about pilot training.  I have thought about going the Private Pilot License (PPL) route, then found out I would fail the 3rd class medical.

See I have a desk job and for over 30+ year's I have sat too much and got that first pandemic disease, type II diabetes.  The issue I have is that I am on Insulin and Jardiance and from reading the FAA's medical info check sheet for diabetic drugs,

that would fail me. 

 

I then thought of going the other route and do Sport Pilot training, that sounded just great.  No medical needed, less fligth training, couldn't fly at night, but would have to use a light sport aircraft.  There are a lot of videos about light sport aircraft and also changes coming in 2022 or 2023 with the planes that one can use to be a Sport Pilot.  But I don't want to wait another year or two.  I feel I have waited too long as it is.

 

However when people talk about the light sport aircraft, no one really talks about the useful load and those limitations.  A lot of folks just talk about the cheaper operating expenses and show usually only one person flying, not two.  Being a big guy 6'1 and 275 lbs, the Light Sport Aircraft useful load kills me.  When you add in fuel at 6 lbs a gallon, an instructor and mself, we are over the useful load limit, at least for a Cessna 162 I did find for training.  At this location, about 1.5 hours away from me in Massachusettes.  However, they have a plane they can use, but don't have insurance on the plane for students to solo in.  Seems the plane is owned by one of the airport members.  So was a mis-leading visit.   The general issue, I can't find anyone in the Albany NY area that offers Sport Pilot training.  

 

So my first thing I need to do next month when I see my doctor for my quarterly visit, tell my doctor I need to get off Jardiance and then I should be able to pass the 3rd class medical.  However reading about getting off medications, is there a 90 day grace period I have to wait after stop taking a medication, before I should think about going for my 3rd class medical exam?

 

In my research, I talked to another instuctor who had lost a ton of weight and got off medication that was causing him issues to pass his 3rd class medical.   In our discussion, he said once you get your 3rd class, you don't neet to get again, he said you can go to your regular doctor and get a physical and have your doctor fill out something new called basic med?  Is that correct?

 

Sorry to have to ask, but I have been doing so much reading and finding the medication show stopper, I want to make sure I understand this other medical options for later.


What has me re-thinking about becoming a pilot, is we have one child in college.  He is about 3 hours away and I hate the 6 hour over and back drive all the time when I take him.  There is also an airport about 5 minutes from college and if did my research correct, it is an hour and fifteen flight each way.  No more traffic and a lot more fun I would think.

 

Sorry to have rambled on, but I would love to hear from someone of you on your thoughts with my initial medication challenge for the 3rd class medical and then the basic med thing.   My wife told me 18 yrs ago, happy birthday, go learn to fly.  But being a responsibel dad, I thought of daycare payments, not flight school ones.

 

Thanks again for reading.  I look forward in receiving some feedback.

 

Jay

 

 

 

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Jay, Welcome to the website and hope you get useful information from it. However, in case you are not aware, although we have members from around the world, this is predominantly an Australian website, run from Australia, but with a server in the US, hence the dot-com. Hopefully one of our American members can assist you with your enquiries, pertaining to the rules and regulations in the US.

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No need to be sorry, you are very welcome to be part of this site, it has a lot to offer folks from all over. We have members from the US, UK, Africa, Europe, etc., so don't feel intimidated about asking questions, someone will chip in to assist.

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Never a problem.

 

LSA weight is going to be an issue for you in training and there is no avoiding that one.

You are correct about getting your 3rd class then doctor - I got my 3rd  class about 15 years ago and I maintained it with the option of own dr or avmed dr on renewals ... but it may not be asy for you to get the first 3rd cleared.

 

Have fun and keep looking - the skycatcher was/is very limited on useful load and maybe if you can find something a bit more useful to do the training in you may then lok at single seat flying of a two seater - depends on what works for you in terms of motiation ... but at over 250lb ou are not ever really going to be taking a passenger very far if that is what will be your motivation.

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Jay;
I am an American living in Australia, but I travel quite a lot in the US and did a little research on flying there. This is what I discovered after just a little research.
There are places that teach Recreational pilots, but not very many. I think the reason for that is the amount of controlled airspace in the US, certainly compared with Oz.

In Oz, (currently) class G airspace extends to 8,500’ and then class E starts. That means that aircraft that don't have a transponder can fly up to 8500 in a larger portion of Australian airspace. In the US on the other hand, class E starts at 1,200 AGL in most places so that means you have to have a transponder. That pushes the price of an aircraft up. Not prohibitive, but still affects the rec aircraft market. Also, around 85-90% of Oz airspace is class G currently, but CASA is trying to Americanize our regs, (eg class E at 1200’ agl) which is being resisted.

Secondly, a good percentage of American airports have towers and so are controlled. That means sport pilots aren't allowed there (under Australian rules and I'm assuming US rules are similar) so again this limits the sport flying market.

But something the US has that we don't have here in Oz is the (I forget what category it is) that allows you to fly without a license. The aircraft would fall into the very light microlight category and I think they may be limited altitudes wise, but still that may be something to look into. But even if you can fly them without a license, you should still seek proper flight training before attempting to fly. These aircraft are exclusively single seaters, so you better know what you're doing before you go up in one, or your first flight might be your last.

Good luck with your flying and please keep us updated on how you get on. I for one will be very interested as I would love to do some flying in the US while we're travelling there and would like to know what other options might be open for me.

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55 minutes ago, cscotthendry said:


But something the US has that we don't have here in Oz is the (I forget what category it is) that allows you to fly without a license. The aircraft would fall into the very light microlight category and I think they may be limited altitudes wise, but still that may be something to look into. 

FAR 103 is it?

 

I second everything the others have said Jay - good luck and don't give up on your dream!

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I agree with what has been said here Jay. You are to be congratulated for worrying beforehand about weight stuff.

I flew gliders for many years then bought a kit small  Jabiru. The big Jabiru has enough weight-carrying capacity I think for you.

There is an American agent who would know your local figures etc, and I think he may be worth a call.

Best wishes, and we don't think you are too old at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Similar situation here 2-3 yrs ago.. Losing weight was the best thing I've ever done to my body. Sugars and blood pressure dropped naturally and I was granted a Class 2.

 

There were no shortcuts, and it was very hard. You will need the same "power of will" during your flight training. 

 

Is it doable? Of course it is! Good luck!

 

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Jay don't think of your little plane as practical  and able to benefit you on a 3 hr by car trip. By the time you get to the airfield and check your plane and flight plan and tying it down when you arrive and the vagaries of weather it's just better to jump in your car and get going IF you WANT to fly that's it. do it..

  I know of a few motorcyclists who started later in life and never quite become comfortable riders. SO....a bit of compensation for lost time. but it applies to anyone really....

 Your training must be good and you need an instructor who will teach you to handle the plane well not just good enough to pass the tests which is a bit minimal. The air itself is a very dynamic and changing thing that you must anticipate and be prepared for.

     I plane is like no other thing. It operates in 3 dimensions  and your wing's lift is your life. You have control in a 3 axis plane  no matter whether it's upside down or anywhere else . A car or bike only has it's wheels and grip on the road.

    I'm not wishing to scare you but point out some differences, not complicate  things but if you know what you are getting into and do the work you(like many others) will be fine.  When you are training If you don't GET some thing ask your Instructor to EXPLAIN it so as you understand what's happening not just direct you to some formula. If he/she loses patience with you remember YOU are paying and take your business somewhere else.  A lot of what you read on line is confusing  over complex and misleading.  You have to sort the grain from the straw. Nev

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Hi Jay, there are plenty of LSA that have decent useful loads, the Cessna 162 would be one of the lowest, so not a good choice for you.

Our own Evektor Sportstar has a useful load of 254kg (559lb for you) and there are aircraft out there that have more.

Don't give up on your dream, just do some research on aircraft and find a school with those aircraft.

Of course, losing a little bit of weight would be good thing, both for yourself and your flying 😃 - I've lost 8kg this year just so I can carry more fuel/baggage.

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J230/ J430 (or US equivalents) . probably the best there is for LSA carrying.


760kg in GA format . and good CG position when carrying  around bags of concrete in the rear (wing is over the rear area)

 

Depends what you want to carry./ Most LSA, particularly the low wing types,  have borderline capacity in the rear due to CG location when loaded that way

A big duffle-bag in the front seat needs to be loaded first... 

 

otherwise, GA... buy a 4 seater and pull the rear seats out (which is a J230...)

Yeah 3 hour car trip... unless the strips are close each end, or you can save alot of time because the road has to go around a mountain.

From arrival at the AD to wheels up it is for me about  1 hour.  I could probably get that down to 40min if I didnt have to fuel, and car and plane close, and I didnt have covers all over it. 
and the other end you are going to spend 20 min tying it down, mucking around.

 

glen

 

 

Edited by RFguy
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Your own health is the biggest asset you have. Driving a plane is dead easy any monkey can do it (trust me Ive seen 'em all!) Get healthy get flying, good luck:-)

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Hi. As RossK said, there are plenty of LSA's that will be fine with you weighing 275 lb. An Aeroprakt Foxbat/Valor also has good useful load.  As Facthunter said, you won't actually save time. I had a lap band and then I had gastric bypass. I weigh 220 lb. So, there are shortcuts. I admire Bosi72 that he could lose weight.

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On 02/09/2021 at 8:12 AM, Marty_d said:

FAR 103 is it?

 

I second everything the others have said Jay - good luck and don't give up on your dream!

FAR Part 103 info here……

 

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aviation-interests/ultralights/getting-started-in-ultralight-flying/about-faa-part-103-for-ultralights

 

Sure wish we had this category in Australia 🙂

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On 11/09/2021 at 7:17 PM, APenNameAndThatA said:

Hi. As RossK said, there are plenty of LSA's that will be fine with you weighing 275 lb. An Aeroprakt Foxbat/Valor also has good useful load.  As Facthunter said, you won't actually save time. I had a lap band and then I had gastric bypass. I weigh 220 lb. So, there are shortcuts. I admire Bosi72 that he could lose weight.

The Aeroprakts are good examples for you, both will have usable loads over 600lb, which means you can get you, a 200lb instructor and a reasonable amount of fuel on board. 

An idea would be to contact the Aeroproakt USA dealer and ask them if there are any schools near you using them.

 

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