Welcome to the Future Flyers Ultralight Club. This is the first central Ohio ultralight club listed with the United States Ultralight Association (USUA).
The Future Flyers ultralight club is dedicated to improving communication, group support, social and ultralight activities, safety, public awareness and that grass roots spirit of aviation that most people often dream of.
The primary focus of the Future Flyers revolves around that vast and exciting variety of flying vehicles that are called ultralights as defined by Federal Aviation Regulation part 103 and Advisory Circular 103-7.
It is believed that these types of flying vehicles offer:
1) The absolute most exciting and versatile flying experience
2) At the lowest possible price ranges
3) With the least amount of training and regulation
4) From a vastly greater number of more varied and convenient locations and
5) Will capture the hearts of a vast new generation of aviators and become the only and best choice in personal recreational aviation
Everyone is equal and is invited to the Future Flyers meetings even if you never flew before and want to learn more or just want to be closer to the action.
The Future Flyers Ultralight Club generally meets once a month usually the first Thursday at common or sometimes different locations as most recommended by those members expressing any preferences and usually at 6:30 PM as notified by phone calls and later to be posted in upcoming Future Flyers Newsletters. These dates and times currently reflect a compromise that is under review as expressed by those concerned members. We note that there is not any one good day of the week or time that everybody can make it to the meetings but we make effort to let them know what is happening. We are considering changing the meetings to Sunday, however there are some other members who cannot make it then. If anyone wants to call for any meeting at any other locations or times, then no doubt most of us who can make it will likely show up. Two meetings a month at two different weekdays might be a subject to be discussed
The meetings should allow some time for anyone to speak to the group about things relating to flight. People can also speak about any other things too. Of course no one will be able to stop the White Barron from swooping in to bomb us with one or his infamous jokes (real bombs). Some very interesting topics will come up too as some members are involved in all sorts of interesting things such as alternative energy projects. No doubt the meetings often break into a variety of loud splinter meetings that each member will gravitate toward. This system works very well too as people can focus on the things that interest them the most.
Generally the meetings will involve no rules or dues. This seems to be working very well.
These meetings will be based in the spirit of those meetings that were held until recently at the Duke Family Restaurant, the Flying J, as well as the ongoing occasional gatherings at Jimmy Lee’s Dogpatch Airport and Junior and Helen's airport.
If agreed to, some meetings might run in concurrence with some of the fly-ins that occurs.
Some meetings may also involve observance of actual flying activities of some of the members at any such flying locations which might change on very short notice for reasons such as weather issues. Smaller sub gatherings may also be arranged for any more specialized purposes too, or for time or location sensitive things or projects.
If meetings occur in restaurants, then each member will pay for their own food.
Pot luck meetings may be arranged too especially when they involve Helen’s peanut butter fudge.
The meetings ending times will generally be when the last person leaves or the location hosting the event has a closing time.
This website can also serve to post and notify of other events or activities.
This website will be expanded to discuss the urgent situation dealing with the 01-31-08 FAA elimination of ultralight flight instruction, and the elimination of two seat counterpart ultralight training aircraft, and the obvious FAA failure to provide any realistic ultralight flight instruction program to replace the one that was working for so many years. This addition is due to numerous requests that were directed to the website www.sneddenm7.com from people all across the United States who are interested in the future of ultralight aviation. In support of restoring critical ultralight flight instruction and the critically important two seat counterpart ultralight training aircraft, this website www.theultralightclub.org will be upgraded with an ultralight forum and several affidavit/petitions as well as some other resourses and tools. I would like the forum to be similar to www.homebuiltairplanes.com and will give ultralighteers and other interested parties the chance to present their positions and views. Otherwise I do not think I should print any of the great letters that I receive unless the writer explicitly requests for us to do so.
The Future Flyers currently has no leader and this website is merely a means of communication between those who expressed interest in such gatherings and corrective actions. This website or anybody involved with it assumes no liabilities for any personal injury or property damage.
Be aware that ultralight flight is potentially dangerous and that pilot error (as in other types of aviation and driving) is the leading cause of accidents. Maximum safety involves and requires maximum learning and alertness to all factors and conditions.
For any questions please email the Founder Andrew Snedden ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
The following is an expanded version of a letter that Andy sent to the USUA in late 2008.
Welcome back USUA!
I hope you can e-mail your really great USUA annual meeting report from www.usua.org to all of your previous e-mail recipients to get the word out. We were happy to see it in the November Ultra Flight Magazine. I very much agree with the concerns you have and could add more detail at risk of being thought of as a complainer, although one that’s doing something about it. The USUA ultralight identification system is essential for the reasons that you mention which include protecting Part 103, and I have requested one for my new ultralight. I have just talked to others about starting an ultralight club called “Future Flyers”. Interest in ultralight flying in my area is significant and I expect it may jump considerably soon due to my new type of ultralight.
The problem is all of the Ohio area ultralight flight instructors were terminated by the FAA on January 31, 2008 and no qualified CFI or “legal” two seat type specific counterpart training vehicles are to be found for Quicksilver or any other unique fixed wing ultralights. The FAA destroyed more instructors and aircraft (and the ability to rebuild and retrain) in one pass than the Japanese could have ever hoped to at Pearl Harbor. Furthermore the FAA is misinforming people in an attempt to cover up this most serious single legislated aviation growth setback/mistake in US history. I get calls from all over Ohio and some from surrounding states from people wanting real ultralight lessons. They are very disappointed and some beg for illegal lessons in which case I must decline. I intentionally reduced giving flight training way before the deadline due to the FAA gloomy future for ultralight flight instruction, my disappointment with all of the current ultralight brands and a higher demand for a new type of legal ultralight with more appeal for a larger population segment to which I am dedicated.
I am USUA member A-9041 ( ex BFI ) and have recently began test flying a very exciting revolutionary new generation of fixed wing ultralight (of my own invention, design and manufacturing) that should significantly elevate ultralights in the world of aviation and generate much interest in ultralights. It would look good on the front cover of Popular Mechanics Magazine! We are adding more information to the new website www.sneddenm7.com. The full power take off video shows its 3 second ground roll. At safe altitude it climbs with its wing at 45 degrees to the horizon. It is a got to have awesome experience. It is more exciting, more powerful (65 HP Hirth 3203), more versatile, stronger and safer than any other and incorporates many new features, a new look and a new type of control system that is easier for new students to adapt to requiring less actual flight training. The Snedden M7 is FAR Part 103 and A/C 103-7 legal. It has great low speed maneuvering and roll response and straight ahead stall characteristics with no wing drop.
I believe that this control system is very important to the future of personal recreational aviation and it is proving itself well in test flights where I self learned it on my first test flight despite the new ultralight’s differences from any other that I or anyone else ever flew, and while encountering a serious (later corrected) trim issue at the same time. This control system is so different and natural to the human experience, that students learning it would likely laugh at and never consider the traditional stick or yoke and rudder pedal system as equipped on all other fixed wing aircraft which is seriously flawed by comparison to the new system. I don’t think I will ever do stick and rudder again! It worked but it is so wrong, abstract and contrary to the human instinct and experience. Cross training would not be advised and dedicated control type specific ultralight flight instruction will be urgently needed for the final stages of actual student flight training.
The EAA/FAA has recklessly demonstrated that they are not qualified to administer any ultralight training program for ultralights. Especially not for the Snedden M7, nor could they ever produce qualified instructors or training program from any of its current limited and declining resources. The best flight instructor source would be from ultralight manufacturer training new people who never piloted before.
I find assimilation into the EAA/FAA LSA CFI program inadequately related to ultralight specific flight training, the new ultralight philosophy, and especially unrelated to any non geriatric growth in personal recreational aviation. Far too much stuff that pertains to airplanes is taught that is pretty well useless to an ultralight instructor. Ultralight instructors are ultralight instructors and definitely not SP/LSA flight instructors. There are far too many things that the ultralight instructor needs to know that is not being taught because his/her time is being wasted on irrelevant garbage pertaining to airplanes. The teaching of Zulu time and such things tends to deemphasize and bypass the real safety things that ultralight instructors and ultralighteers need to focus specifically on, and nothing else should detract from that in any way. People do not have the money and time to waste on the many things that are not actually related to the safety of their specific type of flying, and such so called training programs which are more like dummification programs should not be tolerated especially when the ultralight programs that existed before 01-31-08 were superior. Specific instances can be shown that reflect SP’s much lower flight testing standards practiced and far broader variation of flight testing standards practed. Ultralight flight instructor training must be specifically tailored to that specific purpose. Ultralight flight instructor training shall not be converted into a weapon to eliminate ultralight aviation and force assimilation into the unaffordable failing general aviation system. This theory is pretty well supported by many facts and admissions. My favorite is that the EAA/FAA did not make a Certified Ultralight Flight Instructor (CUFI) category. Instead they were hell bent on destroying the competing and future winning ultralight industry by destroying its safety training base of all absurd things. What complete and total morons would do this terrible, outragous thing and deny it in boldfaced manner? This EFAA lying business must end now. It seems clear to me what the EAA/FAA are planning to do next if the ultralight community and industry fails to point out that SP/LSA has failed and ultralight flight instruction must be restored ASAP. This reminds me of the American automobile industries elimination of small fuel interest cars because of smaller profit margins, which resulted in all of our countries wealth being given to the radical religious nations.
I believe that personal recreational flight will be dominated by the new generation of Part 103, A/C 103-7 ultralights which will have visibly superior performance, fun and affordability for a vast new generation of ultralighteers. I envision and will promote and elevate ultralight aviation to become the people’s best and only choice in experiencing personal recreational aviation. The M7 offers the most thrilling type of flight for the most people. It marks a departing at the cross roads and elevation of ultralight aviation well above and separate from obsolete GA and LSA which have a toxic future.
I have been considering many new training options for the Snedden M7. I may build ten completed ultralights, all with cog belt reduction, Magnum chutes, some with floats and over 100 HP. All FAR 103 and A/C 103-7 legal. More flight testing, experimentation and minor improvements which will continue into the spring.
I would expect that such ultralights be operated away from all hard surface airports and below and away from all GA and LSA airplanes (which are becoming extinct here). This will reduce the chance for conflicts and concerns. Likewise I would tailor ultralight flight training programs and criteria to be strictly limited and focused (for maximum safety preparedness) to only ultralight specific considerations (no Zulu time garbage). This would include the two seat counterpart ultralight trainer as used in turbulent, low altitude, rough, remote ultralight flight area environments which are far more varied and available than the long smooth level strip airport environment favored by CFI’s. This is consistent with Part 103 and there are many, many, many good reasons for this approach.
When the time is right, I will petition and take other steps to reinstate the Ultralight Flight Instructor Exemption or equivalent and perhaps restore some of the fleet of available specialized ultralight training aircraft.
The USUA exclusively should reclaim the ultralight specific flight instruction business and more specifically the ultralight two seat counterpart type specific flight training business which is critically essential to the safest possible ultralight flight instruction.
The FAA has destroyed ultralight flight instruction, it’s two seat counterpart training aircraft and has failed miserably to provide any replacement ultralight specific training program or anything adequate in various type specific, quantity/availability, affordability or quality. It is bazaar that the EAA/FAA could eliminate ultralight specific flight instructors and so profoundly compromise safety and so wrongfully delude that flight training in say a Challenger or some other LSA airplane at some airport will suffice for a student to first time solo in a Quicksilver Sprint that looks profoundly different (so clear to anybody with eyes) and flies profoundly different (so clear to real ultralight flight instructors who have flown in both and watched their students solo). This makes no sense and should be looked at as a setup precursor to another Pearl Harbor attack directly against part 103. The case is solid against what the FAA did for and in collusion with that other GA organization (who is out of touch with the real needs of personal recreational aviation and whose GA ultralight puppet segment seems out of touch with the needs of ultralight aviation). I may become very vocal about it as I compile more data.
I would like to chart the growth and decline of ultralight pilots, ultralight flight instructors and match it against the LSA introduction timetable, deadlines and the EAA/FAA replacement CFI who actually instruct in type specific ultralight trainers. From those few qualifying CFI, I would draw a one hour access radius or boarder and ratio it to land area that was cleansed of possible real ultralight flight instruction which would be the entire FAA claimed jurisdiction area. Of course all of the other ultralight brands that they don’t provide instruction in would have to be factored in too. The decline of other types of aviation activity should be charted too. I would predict that the FAA eliminated available ultralight flight instruction, ultralight flight instructors or two seat ultralight counterpart training aircraft permanently for well over 90 percent of the country and its people without first replacing it with the same level of support. This is much more than just reckless.
I gave type specific ultralight flight instruction in several types of Quicksilvers and a Skyboy for roughly a one hour student travel radius. A very welcomed Challenger EAA ultralight instructor overlapped my radius. The FAA eliminated all practicing ultralight instructors in this area. There is a CFI list claiming that there is another practicing CFI Challenger ultralight brand instructor in the area which is not true information. If this were true, the FAA at most might have terminated the EAA Challenger ultralight BFI Instructor’s right to provide flight instruction for any portion of his chosen radius that the new CFI radius took over (if the CFI actually had a Challenger and did not loose his CFI medical too). The USUA Quicksilver ultralight flight instructor would be unaffected until the FAA produced an actual practicing Quicksilver replacement CFI with a QS Sprint LSA. I would welcome him and send him lots of business.
Ultralight specific flight instruction is the most noble and critically important type of flight instruction. Ultralight flying is tremendously life enhancing. Introducing new people to it is like seeing or helping a new life born. Seeing someone denied access to the sky in an ultralight is like seeing them loose a major limb or being wrongfully imprisoned. Flying an airplane is more like a ride in an elevator by comparison.
The FAA has failed miserably to provide viable ultralight flight training options which it falsely claims to. There are some lists of SP/CFI’s out there, but very few of them have any two seat counterpart ultralight training aircraft or are properly qualified or experienced to, or actually give any ultralight lessons. Therefore it is past time for the EAA/FAA to acknowledge that its plan did not and will not work for obvious reasons and thus return ultralight flight instruction back to the people who know ultralights and know the future of personal recreational flight for the people. This excludes the EAA/FAA whose elite thinking members with only their own special concerns in mind, destroyed the working ultralight safety training system and thus massacred ultralight aviations growth potential to force ultralight community assimilation into the DOA (dead on arrival) SP/LSA (sport pilot/light sport aviation) system. They wanted to limit and funnel people into this newly concocted entry level of their unobtainable, brand of wannabe airplane aviation (and also bait and switch people into the declining upper levels of general aviation). This is no secret agenda here. For example EAA Sport Pilot & Light-Sport Aircraft magazine February 2009 page 64 in bold print states “ The goal of SP/LSA breathing new life into general aviation, by making that first step into flying less burdensome, continues to hold promise. ” What a sick joke! They created a new classification for overpriced, overweight and underpowered, boring geriatric wannabe airplanes (light sport). They also created a new classification for older medically unfit or medically questionable pilots to give uninformed passengers rides without the critically important intent to provide flight instruction and without ballistic recovery parachutes. These new categories all really had nothing to do with ultralights and ultralight flight instruction as it existed. However the EAA/FAA thought that if they dealt a death blow to the growth of ultralight aviation, that they could force new members into their traditional failed brand of aviation. I call it the “extortion forced bait, lie and switch EAA/FAA bailout with the dead end twist” and it has its own little Wall Street too! Furthermore the EAA who openly boasts of bringing (forcing) the extensive LSA legislation to us, competed for profit on several levels against the USUA, the ultralight community and its superior potential for growth. They made it the business of the ultralight community and the potential ultralight community by reaching out and sucking away our life force. If we don’t make their wrongdoing our business, then the future of personal recreational flight is history. When change is truly bad, change is truly bad. Ultralighteers are no bullshit people who are not impressed with people who capitulate with special interests who force bad changes for the personal gain of the elite thinking few, at the expense of so much that is so important for the many.
Real ultralight specific flight instruction, jobs and American ultralight manufacturing must be restored. And therefore huge budget cuts in the FAA are critically needed to force the FAA out of the ultralight personal recreational aviation business and its extremely varied specific training requirements where the FAA so badly failed. This is needed to prevent further damage to Part 103 aviation, our grass roots economy and to prevent further cultural cleansing of the sky and the condemning of people, flight instructors and training vehicles to the ground as they did on 01-31-08. Real ultralight flight instruction (not SP/LSA/CFI) is needed in order to jump start personal recreational aviation which is one of the more visible signs of a country’s creativity, people useable technology, a people’s ability to excel and rise above hardship, and achieve a visibly higher quality of life that the whole world could clearly see and marvel at.
Our economy is rapidly approaching a situation where budget cuts for any reasons will be considered seriously, especially when it leads to such visibly exciting business and recreational growth without harm to the public. In presenting the correct data and case arguments to the correct politicians, we can end the moronic activity from that little group in Oklahoma City and possibly save Part 103 from possible direct attack. This isn’t just about ultralights. It’s about saving the only viable future for personal recreational flight except for PPG where the FAA did recently grant a two place training exemption. I am truly very excited for them as there will be at least three PPG pilots in our new UL club. There are no other affordable or exciting opportunities for our vast population of real people to achieve their dream of flight as pilot in command at grass top level.
Those who want to and those who actually use the sky are the majority and priority owners of the sky, especially from the salvage rights perspective. Those who do not fly, deserve little say over the sky and should not attempt to ruin it for those who actually use the sky. When I speak about aviation, I feel that I speak for the real people who want to fly, with their majority support behind me. I feel that my work is directed to support their dream. I am definitely not building a heavily funded wannabe spaceship to make a few rich elite thinking people think that they are astronauts for a few munites. I see little useful or noble in that.
I expect that the next generation of ultralights and ultralighteers will steal the imagination of real people across the country. I believe that the USUA is by far the best organization to belong to and would urge all people interested in personal recreational aviation to join and raise your voice, no matter what they think of my bold and intrusive approach to reinventing ultralight aviation. With a bold new visibility and comprehensive plan, such second attack could be discouraged. The year 2008 marks the deepest FAA cultural cleansing of the people’s access to the sky. It is a national regulatory, economic and technical embarrassment that after 100 years of aviation, the sky has been declared off limits by denial of flight instruction, despite a hundred years of technical improvements which include ballistic recovery parachutes for example.
I can’t think of any business that is so deeply failed as is personal recreational aviation. It is clear who is responsible and clear who needs fired and excluded from participation in such business. Number one on that list is the FAA. Here in Ohio the sky is so unused, abandoned and empty that I and others have flown for hours and never saw the first airplane. People out there in uncongested areas are thrilled to see ultralights and young and old run out into their yards cheering for they know that it is the only kind of flight that they could access and love. It is like a great new life born. On the other hand they know that traditional aviation is far removed from their real world and hardly take notice of any airplane that might rarely pass by with their pilot hidden in the can. Nobody cares who is teaching who how to fly ultralights out there far from those little airport spots on the map where airplanes are limited to (so long as the participants understand the risks). Nor should the FAA care especially since Part 103 does not require any flight training, although everybody agrees that specific training is the safest way. USUA ultralight specific flight training was perfectly suited for part 103 aviation and the exemptions for such must be restored as it was before.
The FAA must now explain what it expects to gain by their all (unobtainable, unrelated to ultralights) or nothing (no ultralight training permitted) approach to ultralight specific flight instruction. Why would the FAA take away a minimally available but effective ultralight training program that was considered effective for over 20 years by those involved in all aspects ultralight aviation? Why would the FAA do this with nothing except a list of SP/CFI that has little to do with real ultralight flight training?
The sky now deserves to be salvaged and returned to the free spirited people who are the first priority owners which are those at the grass roots level (where airplanes are unobtainable and useless). The sky belongs to those who have the courage to enjoy it, inspire, entertain others and restore the pioneering spirit of aviation that once existed on a bicycle shop budget. This spirit was contaminated and crushed by overreacting regulation promulgated by opportunistic people with self interest concerns, wanting SUV profits, having few talents and acting with disdain toward people with talent, creativity and courage. I want to know specifically who and on what organizations and committees were responsible for and who failed to object to and protest the ending of ultralight specific flight instruction when such flight training was already in short supply. They deserve to be in the Ultralight Hall of Shame. A story needs to be written about this.
Real ultralighteers should not belong to organizations that manipulate government to assimilate and dissolve the ultralight community and its superior flying spirit and culture for the purpose of bolstering their obsolete and failing brand of traditional aviation. That organization is nothing about or for ultralights. Their ultralight members are just puppets as you should clearly see in this months extended length solicitation for and requirements for a new ultralight committee member for that GA organization. Truly outrageous! Their ultralight members need to wake up and talk to each other and issue a group letter of resignation and protest direct to that person who hand picks the puppet.
There was a 21% decline of piston engine powered aircraft sales in 2008 compared to 2007. Based on what I am hearing from other pilots who observe flying activity, a much more rapid emptying of the sky is occurring such that there was likely 30-40 % fewer hours flown in 2008 by such aircraft especially considering the FAA mass destruction of ultralight flight instruction and training aircraft on 01-31-08. When American business are failing at alarming rates, why does the FAA step up its freedom and business crushing activity to wipe people out of the sky. There is plenty of room in the sky for any imaginable amount of ultralights. Ultralights are not bottlenecking into airports or need airports and typically fly over uncongested areas and at lower altitudes where other air traffic could never venture. There is room for over a thousand ultralights to every one airplane. What is happening here? The FAA should submit to budget cuts proportionate to the decline of hours flown plus lost sales and jobs. The FAA SP/LSA CFI legslation costs perhaps 1000 American jobs although many were part time but were jobs none the less. This rapid decline began as a result of the previously announced FAA action well ahead of the economic down turn This did create some new jobs but most are overseas and the long term survival of these new jobs is highly doubtful, based false ideologies and current trends.
Current trends in government regulation would project 100 opps change that to 10 years from now into a picture where only military/law enforcement flights will be allowed. Not a pretty picture. I can make a difference and so can you. We must not be sitting ducks. The pendulum has been unjustly pushed hard against us and it can now justly swing the other way. The FAA needs to explain why they shouldn’t restore ultralight specific flight training to where it was, since what they have offered now is just a sick joke. Now when the FAA has demonstrated its total failure and abuse of our nations grass roots aviation base and future, it is the perfect time for the ultralight community to be on the offensive and compel the FAA to start admitting the truth and reverse their mistake simply by restoring the two seat counterpart aircraft and instructor exemptions at least to the USUA and perhaps the ASC who demonstrates knowledge and commitment to the ultralight community. This is no longer anything to be patient or passive about. I have succeeded far too many times in technical achievements and in affecting government on different levels in protecting people’s rights. I see the restoration of ultralight specific flight instruction as it was before and truly and clearly needs to be, simply as a matter of doing it.
The FAA must recognize its succumbing to a failed ideology, recognize its tragic mistake and stand down on its special interest sponsored attack on ultralight flight instruction as it properly existed. The FAA must restore real ultralight specific flight instruction and two seat counterpart ultralight training aircraft exemptions so that once again safe ultralight training can be available to the many people who want it so that they can properly learn to fly their specific ultralight types. Any existing sport plane type designs that were not designed or altered as a two seat counterpart for a known legal ultralight design, could be excluded from any such exemption and could remain subject to the SP/LSA regulations which have little to do with real ultralight flight instruction. This is not an impossible matter and needs to be addressed ASAP. Why would anybody think that this would be impossible? I would like to hear the excuses if any.
That USUA ultralight “circle of life” as defined in the USUA 2008 annual meeting report, needs to be reinvented and rebuilt into something more vocal, visible, exciting, and stronger than it was before, with better, more powerful, more exciting, stronger, safer and irresistible equipment offerings being the leading strong link of that circle.
The following things are other observations and comments.
History shows many examples of large segments of society based on obsolete, false or incorrect assumptions and proportions. Traditional general aviation in the US is one such institution that has failed and has miss taught us over ten times worse than the current American dinosaur automobile industry has. It’s just that general aviation has gotten so small and insignificant that nobody notices and so few observe the impact of its multiple gross deficiencies unlike that observed in the failed auto industry or housing market. Like is there a hundred thousand cars on the road to every one small airplane actually flying in the air? If failure has a mathematical equation just look up into the empty sky to see it for yourself. Light aviation needs to be viewed and evaluated in new ways. For example the number of airplanes that exist has much less meaning than how many can be found in the air at any one time in a given airspace. The FAA would like you to believe that the sky is filled solid with jet airplanes, if you saw their giant video screen on the wall at Oshkosh Airventure 2008 that rendered all of the airplanes with 70 mile or so overlapping (colliding) wingspans! Anything to promote an overrated public concern and bureaucratic empire building. The only thing the FAA needs is big, big, big budget cuts, sufficient to get them out of a business that they know absolutely nothing of, that being the future of personal recreational aviation. It is easy for me to envision a time when there will be over 10 ultralights in the air to any airplane and LSA in the air. The FAA has done a lot lately to prevent this growth in personal recreational aviation that they would profit the least from. The FAA needs to stick only to controlling commercial aviation and do a better job of it. The FAA and likewise those responsible for concocting the SP/LSA regulation, no doubt involves groups of people working to make their mark, achieve recognition, promotion, ego profit, etc, who will push fourth their ideologies right or wrong. The rest of the group will readily jump onto the band wagon for the same reasons and to fit in and avoid being rejected. Unfortunately ones utopian visions often have serious shortcomings relating to their lack of understanding. What is presented on paper can cause greater problems such as in the case of eliminating ultralight specific flight instructors and the proper training aircraft. Beware when a small group of people band together to regulate another group. The rule that power corrupts will usually prevail. In the case of corrupt investing, banking and lending practice, the situation was different. There the regulatory groups were owned and restricted from making the proper fixes by those doing the fixing.
We are amazed at what people are doing with motorcycles, bicycles, ATVs, jet skies and such compared to 20 or 30 years ago. Today’s ultralights (and airplanes) cannot do even half of what they should be able to do after so many years of development. One reason is that fixed wing ultralight designers are of the mistaken idea that ultralights should be designed to look like airplanes. Big mistake. Just using airplane style strut wing bracing alone or using the traditional sewer pipe tail boom alone will pretty will take a ultralight design out of the competition. Ultralights due to their low speeds do not need to share the structural design and weight compromises that airplane designs have to incorporate due to the rapid onset of aerodynamic considerations. Therefore a structurally optimized ultralight design such as the M7 will always have the most exciting power to strength to weight ratio. Other reasons for current ultralight designs failing to demonstrate the superior potential of ultralight aviation are all too clear and all these reasons can be overcome, dispensed with or ignored. I am just simply not going to wait that long for more exciting ultralights especially if it is necessary to save the ultralight community and industry from the immediate hardships intentionally forced upon it for obvious special interest considerations. New ultralight flight philosophies and ultralight specific training criteria will accompany these unprecedented changes. I insist that the FAA stay out of this specific business which it has little attention span, attitude, aptitude or adaptability for, Except for the reissuance of the ultralight flight instructor and two place counterpart trainer exemptions as it worked before for so many years. This is necessary because SP/LSA has totally failed to provide the replacement ultralight flight instruction that was promised. Nor does SP/LSA have any realistic formula to make ultralight flight instruction available.
The FAA only pedals complete lies with regard to the availability of ultralight flight instruction thinking that no one will call them out on that subject. Here’s how the FAA lies. You call Jay in Oklahoma where the FAA pedals the SP/LSA mis-legslation and ask where you can get ultralight flight instruction for a Quicksilver Sprint ultralight while knowing of course that there used to be real ultralight instructors in your area for that ultralight type. Of course FAA Jay might try to tell you that suitable Quicksilver Sprint lessons can be obtained in other aircraft types, which is pure BS. The FAA will tell you to call some of the new SP/CFI that exist in the current listings and that you should be able to find one. What the FAA then counts on is that the caller after calling every SP/CFI on the list in your state and some neighboring states (obviously out of any reasonable range) will just give up on their dream of flight or pull thousands of extra dollars out of their ass to pay for boring and unaffordable airplane lessons which is really what the SP/CFI specialize in. By this time the caller is so frustrated and depressed that they rarely call the FAA back to tell them that they (FAA) are engaged in a massive bait, lie, switch and deny scam that deprived real people access to the sky, creates less safe training conditions and costs our declining economy over a thousand jobs, effectively putting the coffin lid on the future of the only successful industry that has true potential to bring the ultimate dream of flight to the largest possible segment of the American population. Of course the FAA SP/LSA con artist whose job depends on continuance of the scam will never report the tragic situation up the ladder high enough to initiate the necessary corrective action. We are now investigating the system and have been told by some very significant FAA people that those in control of the FAA should be working somewhere else. Some people in the FAA seem to be of the opinion that aircraft should be controlled by FAA computer systems and autopilot. This did not work well for those poor passengers who died in New York where the pilots as per FAA rules were not even flying the airplane and had little chance to feel the aircrafts declining flight condition. The FAA is being sued for this and rightfully so. The FAA in eliminating ultralight flight instruction is again acting illogically and irresponsibly and might get sued.
There are a few rare instances in very few locations in very few states where a CFI can be found that could offer certain type ultralight flight instruction in only a few of the many different types that also deserve specific type instructors. But the supply of these guys is not likely to increase beyond the current level that can best described as extinct to 99 percent of the USA. So if you don’t live within a hour or so of one of these guys and that rare CFI does not offer flight lessons in your brand/type of ultralight or have a SP/LSA approved two seat counterpart, then you are in the difficult position that applies to 99 percent of the population. In school this would be a bad test score of (99) wrong and only one (1) right which makes your grade only a 1%. This can be best described as a failure and reflects a total lack of study, thought, attention span or consideration. In this case though the FAA is using our taxpayer money to cheat us out of life enhancing freedoms and create unsafe conditions for those who learn to fly ultralights the old way.
It takes a time and cost prohibitive excessive amount of training in a non type aircraft to give the new pilot the confidence and incompatible skills required to solo crash the ultralight on his first attempt out. USUA BFI and AFI ultralight type specific instructors in two seat counterpart training aircraft gave the students the exact specific ultralight training aligned directly to the student’s solo ultralight. Those students excelled without problem. The students were also more likely to complete the entire training program which included emergency flight training, written, oral, preflight and flight testing, all at much lower costs and time than possible with SP/LSA. SP/LSA training is jammed with so much airplane BS and non ultralight experience that the students are not properly prepared for the real ultralight environment. SP flight testing is also very inconsistent.
Under the previous successful ultralight training program, the students also become part of the ultralight inspection and maintenance team and all students and fellow pilots take part in the inspection and maintenance activities of the two seat counterpart resulting in a very successful maintenance program. Zero engine outs on self maintained two seat counterpart trainers here. The new SP/LSA rules eliminates this concept and the students are not allowed supervised hands on experience in learning to maintain their ultralight in the tradition of FAR 103. The only SP/LSA in our area suffered a total engine failure in flight with a passenger after he passed LSA inspection completed his LSA repairman course. Every aspect of the concocted SP/LSA program should not apply to any part of ultralight flight training or its necessary two seat counterpart ultralight training aircraft. It is just stupid to pay an airplane mechanic to inspect an ultralight type aircraft design that the mechanic admittedly knows nothing about, where those aircraft already get an extraordinary amount of attention by the owners and their peers who are similarly multi skilled in ultralight aviation and maintenance. There is usually quite a network of people associated with and looking at most ultralight types. LSA repairman courses offer so incredibly little to this ultralight community knowledge base. Otherwise the enforcement of the maintenance rules are more likely to detract from maintenance quality and the threat of FAA harassment adds yet another reason for disassembling and storing the aircraft as in most cases. If I ever had any FAA airplane flight training or any FAA maintenance training, then I would have not been qualified to invent, design, build and test fly the Snedden M7. Think about that. Think about why anybody with FAA training could never have done that.
Note that this is an accumulative effort in progress and as a result there is a certain amount of redundancy or variable perspective here in these writings as we want to be complete in presenting this situation.
Eventually all of these things will be condensed into effective tools to leverage change if the necessary changes are not forthcoming soon. Note that other parts of this situation are discussed in www.sneddenm7.com
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