You need an airplane to fly! These Flight Guides will help you understand small aircraft, then find, buy, share, build, and/or maintain your own airplane. You'll be in the air soon!
( 3 Articles )
To be flown legally (as required by the FAA), all aircraft must be airworthy. That is, they must be build to approved standards and they must be inspected for airworthiness either annually (for non-commercial aircraft) or every 100-hours of operation (for rental aircraft). "Approved standards" means that the aircraft design was certified by the FAA, most modern aircraft, or it was built to ASTM standards, as is the case with Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA). In addition, homebuilt or "experimental" aircraft can be built and flown as airworthy if they follow specific FAA regulations. The following Flight Guides focus on FAA-certified designs. Our sister-website, www.SportFlying.aero, covers LSAs.
Finding Your Airplane
( 4 Articles )
Now that you've earned your pilot certificate you're probably anxious to get your own airplane! Not so fast. There's more you need to know.
Buying Your Airplane
( 12 Articles )
Possession is nine tenths of the fun! At least that's what many aircraft owners say. They enjoy the power of having a plane at their disposal whenever they wish. On alternate days, of course, these same owners curse the high price of ongoing expenses that go up even when their planes don't. What's the answer for the sport pilot? Should you buy your own plane or shouldn't you? For some pilots, plane ownership is a cost-effective eagle. For others, it's a very expensive albatross. Your decision to buy or not to buy must be based on facts more than feelings if you hope to join the friendly skies of sport flying. This flight guide shows you how to make the smartest decision for you.
Sharing Your Airplane
( 15 Articles )
The easiest way to own a plane is to own it by yourself. Your plane is always waiting. You don't have to worry about someone else using it—or abusing it. You don't wind up paying someone else's bills. It's simple: one plane, one pilot. The easiest way, however, is also the most expensive way to fly a plane. When you own your own plane you have no one to share with you the initial and ongoing costs of flying. In fact, you might not be able to buy the plane you want because you simply can't quite afford it—alone. Fortunately, you have options! Many thousands of pilots share their wings—and the costs—as rentals, in partnerships, co-ops, and clubs. It's really not that tough and, if you go into the arrangement with both eyes open, it can work out well for everyone. Let's take a closer look at your relationship options.
Building Your Airplane
( 16 Articles )
You say you have your heart set on a new plane, my friend, but you don't think you can afford it? You feel that purchasing a plane—new or used—is beyond the elasticity of your budget? You tell me that you don't want to rent and fly an unfamiliar airplane? You say you can't afford to pay a mechanic, who's got a fancy piece of paper on the wall, $100 to change spark plugs? You insist that you have more time than money and you'd rather do it yourself? Tell you what I'm going to do. Step this way, my friend, and I'll introduce you to the mystical, magical, money-saving world of building your own flying machine. This here's the "Right Brothers School of Do-It-Yourself Aviation"! Seriously, building your own airplane as a way to get airborne on a tight budget is rapidly growing in popularity. In fact, over 20,000 aircraft are currently registered as amateur built. Many folks have built more than one. If you have basic fix-it skills, you probably can, too. This flight guide offers an overview of how you can build your own safe and fun plane.