Monday, August 01, 2005

Proficiency Check

DC had been wanting, ever since the crash, to get back up in the Diamond, to make sure he could still fly. The CT really got him messed up. It made him nervous about landings, about moving the controls at all. So today we finally got the chance after the weather broke open. He came by and bought lunch, then we headed up. Some maneuvers, and eight landings later, he was a happy man. There remain a few vestigial habits from the way the CT flew that manifested on his controlling this plane, but nothing unsafe, and nothing he isn't able to work out easily enough.

The original plan for buying that plane was to delve into the possibility of acquiring an aircraft dealership. From the beginning, I was not so sure that a non-pilot could ever truly get competent enough in that plane after 20 hours to make a sport license worth pursuing, so it would be hard to justify having that aircraft. It was a little on the expensive side too. But we learned plenty about what to look for in an aircraft, and the manufacturer. He learned that the better plan is to fly one for a few hours and get a feel for it, before buying.

So now we are beginning to look at several other possibilities for his next aircraft. The first, which was ordered about 8 months ago, is a Remos G3. It looks similar to the CT, except with fold-back fabric wings. It appears to have a bit more rudder surface too. I think we will just have to try it out to know. The plan is to fly up to Indiana sometime soon and get a demo flight.

Other aircraft that may be in the running are the Alarus CH2000, and a Tiger. We aren't sure what else yet. I've flown the Alarus, which is not really my favorite. Being 6' 2" is a disadvantage in small planes, and this one forces me to jam my knees right into the dash. Not so comfortable. It feels a little sluggish from my perspective too. I haven't flown a Tiger yet, but I've spoken to the dealer in Martinsburg, WV, and can get a demo flight any time I need. The benefit of that one is having 4 seats, a little bit of cargo capacity, easy access to the engine area, and the big one for summertime: ability to fly with the canopy partway open.

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