Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

Just got back from a great weekend in Bright/Porepunka area. We had cause to be there for other reasons but fluked it because the Bright Rod Run hot rod show was on:thumb_up:. Ive never seen so many in one place. As a consequence we couldn't get accommodation except for a caravan site so couldn't tow the trike over. We hired one over there though and had a great couple of hours taking the extended family for rides over the chalet on Buffalo on Saturday evening in great conditions.

 

O.K I'll get to the point of the post now. I was talking to a bloke out at Porepunka this morning and it turned out he used to import Pegasus trikes, he doesn't anymore because he says the triking scene has fallen away dramatically. He flew in that morning and there was an Allegro 3 axis came in to pick him up and no one else there. He said 10 years ago there would have been 8 or 10 trikes there and several ultralights and the place would be abuzz with activity both schools would be training people flat out etc.. I was thinking about this and remember my TIF several years ago over there ( it was a while between that and when I got my license last year ), there where people everywhere and the school had to shoe horn my TIF in with everything else that was happening as I was only in town for the day.

 

So what happened ?

 

You can't tell me peoples spending power has been curtailed over the last decade (except maybe a little over the last 12/18 months). The boats, 4wd's, houses etc. just keep on getting bigger and fancier. Trike flying is a great sport with trikes getting better all the time as well.

 

Is trike flying becoming more or less popular around you airfield ?

 

Regards Bill

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill

 

I haven't been around ( in triking) that long but I have heard the same good old times boom stories here to. On a nice Saturday here things seem to be on the improve with lots of activity happening. We have (that I know of) at least 6 trikes that fly every week weather willing, and probably another 6 that fly fairly regularly.

 

I think it may depend on the drive the local school has ie how hard they work to get new people into the sport, and how proactive the existing trikers are in promoting their sport.

 

We are fortunate here that Airborne Upper Hunter is working hard to promote the sport. As an example they ( yes I was there helping) had a static trike display at the recent Catalina flying boat festival at Rathmines (X catalina base). We also had Tubby our local Ramphos amphibous trike fly in, water land, then come ashore up the ramp, as well as a number of other trikes do a group fly over during the day.

 

On the ground the public interest of both static and trike fly over was intense and considerable especially considering the large number of other ac fly overs done by sea planes, war birds, 3 axis through out the day.

 

As an aside I recently attended a trailer yacht club 30th anniversary where it was stated that member numbers now are > 50% down on 5 - 10 years ago even though the club is still very active so I guess it's not just trikes.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi:

 

My guess is three factors:

 

1)Every day you see another article in the media about how many hours people are working. I'm thinking that a lot of people are stressed and just not interested in something as intense as learning to fly.

 

2)The population with the $$$ is getting older.

 

3)People seem to be more oriented towards instant gratification these days. Learning to fly takes time and given this, and item (1) above, they're not prepared to invest the time.

 

I'm a late baby boomer and I'm just learning to fly. I was fortunate enough to retire early and own my house outright. That allowed me the time AND the money to go into this. But from what I read, a lot of people have lost a lot of savings in the GFC and/or are paying off huge mortgages. So what I'm saying is that while people look affluent, they're up to their necks in debt.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

I cant say for other areas but us down here at West Sale it has improved dramatically since I first started flying trikes 5 years back, I was the first trike at WSL and now we have 5 in the hanger and one base at East Sale and all fly regulary.

 

I will be honest though that I think trikes are getting alittle to expensive these days to buy new.

 

If I was just starting out flying now I would probable spend 15 grand more and buy a new J160 jabby with an efis panel as I would have 100kts, cabin heat and a 1000 odd nm range.

 

I really cant see nearly 70 grand in a 912 trike even if it has a strutted wing now.

 

I absolutley love flying the trike and dont think many other aircraft match the feeling you get flying one other than maybe an open cockpit banger like a tiger moth or similar aircraft.

 

Me i will keep hold of 912-001 for a long time yet with the only update in the forseeable future is 13 odd grand for a new strutted wing and a new mast to suit.

 

If I was in the future to spend 70 g's it wont be on a new trike but i cant see that happening anyway.

 

Cheers

 

Alf

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

I must say I too have seen a decline in numbers and it is sad to see once active aircraft just sitting, sadder still when ground staff have to move them to cut the very long grass under and around them.

 

On a good Saturday there was at least four or five in the circuit and four or five buzzing off somewhere, now you are lucky to see three flying.

 

The other issue i do not understand, offer the owners a free BBQ at the strip and none turn up, beats me????

 

Bob.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bill, when I was learning it was more an issue for me to find a instructor. started learning in Point cook, then found an instructor near Geelong, but as everyone has busy lives, I could only train on weekends when the weather was good and my instructor was available, so it took a long time.. but I stuck with it. Both my past instructors I think are not doing much training anymore due to other commitments these days, so maybe it's getting harder for people to train or even find instructors near them?

 

I agree with Scott, maybe people want instant gratification more quickly, maybe they want the best and fastest thing out there, which ends up costing too much to justify... but I fear people just don't have the time, we work longer and longer with less time for ourself's... I look forward to a local flight as my way to unwind, challenge myself and learn new things not related to my daily income source.

 

There are about 5-6 trikes flying from Barwon Heads airport, including mine... I also think microlights are not well known to the general public, even though sites like this or trike pilot, Youtube videos, etc have widened the audience globally, I think generally when I speak to people they have no idea what we fly (or just think it's a hangglider with lawn mower motor strapped on), nearly everyone I speak to are amazed I needed a licence to fly one :)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Flyingflea:

 

You have a very good point about the scarcity of instructors. My instructor is two hours drive from where I live. I've since found one closer, thanks to this forum, but I'll stay with the first guy as he's a good bloke and I trust him. When I was thinking of buying a trike, I was surprised how few instructors there were. Maybe that's something that the HGFA and the RAA could look into.

 

I think the scarcity of instructors may stem from the fact that the trike is neither fish nor fowl. We don't fit comfortably in with the hang-glider crowd, nor with the three-axis crowd. But it is exactly that crossover that attracted me to the trike. My ambition is to put it on a trailer and take it on vacations with us. My wife likes to travel as much as we can and with the trike on a trailer, we can have a scenic joy flight wherever we go. Better yet, we can have the flight together.

 

I've designed a trailer for the purpose, which should be ready to have the decking installed next week. If anyone is interested in the design, let me know. All up, I think the trailer will cost me about $4,000.00.

 

PS. The graphic doesn't show the rack to hold the wing, nor does it show the capture trays for the wheels to sit in.

 

Trike_Trailer.thumb.jpg.31b1e01d82f01e1031cec1c8234bb079.jpg

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scarcity of instructors

 

Hi all,

 

I disagree about the need for more instructors. Most professional trike operations are in a popular tourist destination so you can book a couple of weeks holiday there and knock over most of the training while there.

 

Everybody has to make a living and to do that a professional instructor has to train quite a few students every year. I spoke to an instructor recently who used to train up to 12 per year, last year it was 2.... His reason for this is that there are now a lot more instructors than there used to be. The same bloke is currently looking for a part time job.

 

If we want good training, then instructors need to be able to earn a good living without the distraction of needing to find alternative ways to pay the mortgage.

 

Also practice makes perfect i.e. the ability to know when a person is ready to solo etc. has to get better the more often you need to make the judgment.

 

Regards Bill

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Thanks Bill, glad you added a comment on trailers, now I don't feel like I am helping hijack your thread :)

 

If you intend to do a lot of touring, are you enclosing your trailer Scott?

 

I recently saw an enclosed trailer that had the front wheel tray mounted on a movable track. Tilt the trailer put front wheel on tray that was located at the rear of the trailer, tie front wheel down to tray, not sure but I think there was a winch ( again at the back of the trailer) to then pull the front wheel tray to the front of the trailer with the trike engaged, ( no worry of Trike tipping back or the front wheel not steering straight up the normal center channel.) Lock the moving tray in the forward position with a rod system again operated from the rear of the trailer, , untilt trailer, tie down the rear wheels, throw remaining gear in and close rear doors. 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif

 

By far the easiest, quickest and best one man trailer loading system I have seen so far. All done without getting in or on the trailer with very little physical effort. It was only a few months ago but was not a new trailer so others may have seen or have a similar system, Sorry I cannot remember who's it was but maybe he is on here and can give more details or pics 018_hug.gif.8f44196246785568c4ba31412287795a.gif

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ray,

 

I think the trailer you are talking about belongs to Ray (another Ray) from Port Macquarie area.

 

I met him when I flew up to Byron Bay on the October long weekend. He had not completed the trailer but had some briliant ideas!

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the problem is only for trikes. Here in the Gladstone area we have a well paid population, with no apparent shortage of cash, but flying is a sport for anly a few people. About 20 at most in a population of over 30000. We don't have a flying school for RAAus or GA and I don't think we have an instructer closer than Rockhampton.

 

Don't know why, when years ago flying ws so much more popular. I don't think it can be the expense.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Ray,I think the trailer you are talking about belongs to Ray (another Ray) from Port Macquarie area.

I met him when I flew up to Byron Bay on the October long weekend. He had not completed the trailer but had some briliant ideas!

May have been, I saw it at Maitland where he had his trike to do a check flight or something. I think I was starting a lesson at the time so didn't get a lot of time to chat. If it is the same one it started as non enclosed trailer then he did the enclosing.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray:

 

At this stage I have no plans to enclose the trailer. It will have a stone deflector up the front though. I thought about enclosing it, but there's the weight issue and it restricts access to the trike while it's on the trailer.

 

099_off_topic.gif.20188a5321221476a2fad1197804b380.gif

 

I spoke to my instructor this morning about the dropoff of trike flyers and he agreed that there are fewer than there were, say, 5-10 years ago. He brought up an interesting point in that now there are a lot of other "sports" available now such as kitesurfing, paragliding etc that weren't around then. He thinks that that has diverted some of the potential flyers in other directions.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Security

 

Hi Scott,

 

If you go with an open trailer have you thought about security. If you have your trike sitting in the street somewhere or in the caravan park overnight how do you stop people tampering with, or worse thieving all or part of your trike.

 

This happened to me when mine was supposedly in a secure hangar http://www.recreationalflying.com/forum/other-rec-aircraft/9742-damaged-keel-tube-3.html

 

Regards Bill

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ar yes they do attract attention an open trailer in a parking lot. After collecting my new trike I made a quick stop to buy a Mr Funnel from a store on the way home. No good having a new trike if the tank isn't full and ready to use :thumb_up:. Came out after my purchase to a small crowd gathered around the trike. Took me more than half an hour of interest questions before I could leave :ilmostro:. Fortunately they weren't the local yobos I suppose.043_duck_for_cover.gif.77707e15ee173cd2f19de72f97e5ca3b.gif

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ray:At this stage I have no plans to enclose the trailer. It will have a stone deflector up the front though. I thought about enclosing it, but there's the weight issue and it restricts access to the trike while it's on the trailer.

 

099_off_topic.gif.20188a5321221476a2fad1197804b380.gif

 

I spoke to my instructor this morning about the dropoff of trike flyers and he agreed that there are fewer than there were, say, 5-10 years ago. He brought up an interesting point in that now there are a lot of other "sports" available now such as kitesurfing, paragliding etc that weren't around then. He thinks that that has diverted some of the potential flyers in other directions.

IMO and I have done a lot of towing with a good variety of configurations. Trailer weight is not a bad thing and may even give a better ride for the trike, so long as you have the power to tow it up hills and the vehicle weight to stop it. The bit of extra weight of the enclosure and the extra windage isn't going to make much if at all any difference to economy or towability. Subject to enclosure design and materials and tow vehicle of course.

 

099_off_topic.gif.20188a5321221476a2fad1197804b380.gif

 

Hasn't kitesurfing only replaced windsurfing ? seems to me about the same density when I look at the waters around here.

 

Paragliding has been around a long time too

 

I talked to one local trike owner a while ago, his trike gets little to no use as he finds with his motor bike his coffee stop choices are far more numerous and accessable, the weather for bike riding is far less critical, the pretrip requirements, planing etc is much quicker and simpler as well and the cost is less. IHO

 

While I like bikes IMO trikes rule :big_grin:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe it just makes us trike pilots a unique bunch of folk, like our trikes... maybe we are attracted to trike flying because the trike, like us, never quite fits in with traditional thinking, its a little out of the norm or square and I like that appeal...

 

I always had a keen interest in aviation, but the moment I saw a trike flying, that was it, I had to get me one of these... and I had to get over me initial fear of flying at the same time. I thought at the time, I'm 36, I don't have the time or money, maybe I could wait till I was older, before I took up flying, maybe when I retire I could give this hobby the time it requires, but after much thought I thought screw it... If I don't fly trikes now, who knows the future, or future of aviation, law, regulations and If I wait till me golden years, trikes as I remember them could not even exist... Maybe everyone in the future will be flying around in electric pods, totally controlled by Windows 50, and you have to visit a museum to see a microlight, stuff that... I enjoy this sport now and see how it unfolds :)

 

Mark

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A while back I got talking to a couple of PG pilots who were ridge soaring off the bluff at Longreef in Sydney.

 

Upon mentioning I am a Trike pilot and how portable PG's are the reply was that Trikes are about as transportable as a caravan. I have to admit there's some truth in that, though they're a bit easier to tow.

 

Having towed trikes as far as Fraser Island and Yarrawonga and with future plans for longer trips an enclosed trailer is on the cards.

 

Cheers,

 

Glen

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Scott,If you go with an open trailer have you thought about security. If you have your trike sitting in the street somewhere or in the caravan park overnight how do you stop people tampering with, or worse thieving all or part of your trike.

This happened to me when mine was supposedly in a secure hangar http://www.recreationalflying.com/forum/other-rec-aircraft/9742-damaged-keel-tube-3.html

 

Regards Bill

I did wonder about thieveing/tampering. As I don't have much experience towing something like that around the country, I don't know yet. I didn't experience anything untoward when I was bringing my trike home from Newcastle. I did get some interested enquiries, which I welcome, but no one went near it with doubtful intent as far as I saw. Having said that, the trip was mostly in daylight, although I did stop late at night at a very busy highway service centre. The trike was parked in a not too well lit area and out of my sightline when I went in for a wakeup cuppa. So maybe I was lucky, I don't know. I guess my main worry about the uncovered trailer is the weather.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ray,

 

Yes it was magic this morning!

 

At Somersby we had 5 trikes and 2 powered parachutes flying , with the trikes flying to Manly and the powered parachute over Brisbane Waters.

 

You must call in for a cup of coffee:wave:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its my opinion that the reason for the drop off in popularity is to do with the pricing of trikes. It wasn't that long a go that a new one was $30k and a good 2nd hand one for around $20 - $25k.

 

I haven't checked on what the current price is for a new Airborne but I suspect there isn't much change out of $65k and when you look at the 3 axis scene to see what you can get for $65k for me, I won't put it in a trike.

 

All that said, the comparison for the current machine vs what you used to get for $30k is also vastly different. But what you can do with it hasn't fundamentally changed. Perhaps an example would be that 10 yrs ago commodores where readily available and as a result were widely driven. GM, in their wisdom decided to do away with the commodore and took their statesman vastly upmarket. So, the question is, are all the ex commodore drivers happy to have only a statesman to choose from as a new car? Me thinks not and as a result people focus on recreational alternatives that are available for the commodore price level.

 

Andy

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...