Non Pilot needs a Flying Relationship

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10 years 11 months

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I live in the southern tip of Spain but need to be back in the UK for business reasons maybe twice a month for a couple of days each time. Obviously, if I were really wealthy as opposed to comfortably well off I would buy a jet and hire a couple of pilots! But I ain't, so ... I guess that the ideal would be somebody who has a decent plane and just loves to fly who could pick me up at a small airfield in southern Spain, fly me to maybe Speke or Norwich then maybe to Glasgow or London and then fly me back to Spain maybe 48 hours later. The distance is about 1200 miles so probably needs to re-fuel on the way. I would, of course, make a financial contribution that meant that the plane owner (or partner or whatever) would be glad of the relationship as he gets to fly plenty with somebody else paying and from my point of view I have an air-taxi a damn site cheaper than a commercial outfit. My question is: Is this do-able? What are the pitfalls? What is the best way to find such a relationship? What kind of plane? I do not have a Pilot's Licence and am probably too old and slow to get one so that is not really an option
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Profile picture for user Kenneth

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19 years 9 months

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What are the pitfalls?
You have to be absolutely sure about the pilot's credentials, if your life means anything to you. Anyone with valid PPL and 3 take-offs and landings within the last 90 days can "help" you. In fact, such offers tempt many wannabe airline captains out of their holes when they smell free/sponsored flying hours. Would you fly with such a person? Can you judge whether he is a safe pilot? Moreover, to complete such a long journey reasonably reliably, an instrument rating (IR) and correspondingly equipped aircraft is definitely necessary, and IR/IMC currency and skills compound the above-mentioned qualification issue even further.... Ever since getting my licence 15 years ago I haven't flown in a light aircraft as a passenger with somebody (pilot) I didn't know well. You'd be much better off by using airlines or getting the necessary qualifications/equipment yourself.

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10 years 11 months

Posts: 8

Funnily enough, I had a one off relationship before. We took off and after an hour or so I could see a dot right in front and getting bigger. After a minute or so I said to the pilot "What is that dot?" He replied "Where?" I pointed and he took violent avoiding action. "That", he declared "was a plane flying straight at us on the same altitude". Now, given that my eyesight is pretty average (I wear glasses), that was not re-assuring. Having said that, there must be competent people out there? As for learning to fly, is that possible? I am 65 and having just had a heart test am told i am in excellent condition "very disappointing" to quote the consultant "I'm not going to get rich from you". I still drive but unlike most old farts, my problem is that I like to drive very, very fast. Probably the wrong attitude. The problem with airlines is the delay and also because I can only be in the UK for 90 days pa. Ideally, I would like to be able ring somebody up and say i need to be in Norwich at mid-day for a couple of hours, then go onto Speke and then Glasgow and then be out of the UK by midnight (the magic deadline) If I decide to learn to fly, what kind of plane to cross the channel? A twin or maybe a Cirrus with a parachute? Do they float? I am serious about this - any suggestions valued
Profile picture for user Kenneth

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19 years 9 months

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Competent and safe pilots exist, you just have to find them and that is not necessarily easy. As regards the alleged age issue, why not book a trial lesson at a flying school and see how you fell? If I were to fly such a long distance safely and reliably, then I'd want a single-engined turbine (> very reliable engine type) with a pressurized cabin (> to be able to go over weather and mountains) and deicing capabilities (> essential in colder European seasons). That means a Piper Meridian as minimum equipment (but I admit that I am very conservative and probably overly cautious), alternatively a (more expensive) TBM700/850 I believe I read somewhere recently that in case of ditching on water the BRS (parachute) in a Cirrus must not be released, as the undercarriage is a part of the energy absorbing structure of the aircraft enabling a safe arrival beneath the parachute and it won't fulfil this function when alighting on water.
Profile picture for user Newforest

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Anyone with valid PPL and 3 take-offs and landings within the last 90 days can "help" you. In fact, such offers tempt many wannabe airline captains out of their holes when they smell free/sponsored flying hours. Would you fly with such a person? Can you judge whether he is a safe pilot? Ever since getting my licence 15 years ago I haven't flown in a light aircraft as a passenger with somebody (pilot) I didn't know well.
I recall having a furloughed Captain (Laker) along as a check pilot and him dropping my plane onto the runway at Luxembourg from a height of about twenty feet as that was the distance from the runway he was familiar with!:D
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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What you are suggesting is bound to fall foul of the CAA / EASA rules on flying for hire and reward unless your pilot has a full commercial licence. A vanilla PPL will not hack it. The Cirrus would be an excellent choice of aircraft for this 'mission profile' Moggy

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10 years 11 months

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The Cirrus would be an excellent choice of aircraft for this 'mission profile'Moggy
The crucial bit is, presumably, cross channel. I have just been looking at the ntsb databse which shows an amazing number of people dying in these things. By hitting the ground. Presumably either disoriented and/or did not want to operate the parachute until too late (judging by the reports i read on the database) http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp Anyway, lots of people die in cars too, not to mention hospital beds - statistically very dangerous places to be. A friend of mine said "twin engine if you are crossing the channel" but my feeling was that the safety of twin engines (ie one fails and you carry on and land) was possibly outweighed by the complication and risk of screwing up landing/takeoff but what do I know (nothing)? I would be curious to know how often an engine fails - I have done about 500,000 miles in cars without an engine failing while running. What are the stats on planes, anybody? My guess is that pilot error or low fuel is far more likely?! Back to the Cirrus - it looks like these are buyable at the c$300,000 mark which from my perspective is "doable" whereas $2-3M for a Piper Meridian or TBM700/850 is not. Any particular Cirrus? ie turbo or is there little to choose?
Profile picture for user Kenneth

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19 years 9 months

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There are a couple of thousand Cirrus aircraft flying today, and they were not built and sold for CAVOK $100,- local coffee trips but for serious long-distance IFR travelling. So I'm not surprised that you see them in the accident reports. It is however my impression that they are crashing for the same reasons as many other aircraft (crashing into an obscured mountain, not maintaining sufficient airspeed), rather than due to any fault with the design. There have however been a couple of cases where I have been wondering why the BRS was not released.
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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And many more where one wonders if the pilot had chosen to use traditional flying skill rather than the chute the aircraft would have finished up in a far better condition. A chute 'landing' writes the aircraft off and doesn't always guarantee survival of the occupants. Moggy

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10 years 11 months

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I have just been looking at the stats which show 46 fatal Cirrus crashes with 99 total deaths. There is an interesting article here re how this compares with other planes: http://diamondpilots.blogspot.com/2009/07/perhaps-its-like-falling-in-love-with.html It would seem the Cirrus is comparable. As for people whose lives have been saved by the famous parachutes I am not sure but an article i read suggested it is 4 but this may be pessimistic. Clearly, this is a very complex issue - does having the parachute make you take more risks? Is the plane used in a fundamentally more dangerous way (eg by people on deadlines who are reluctant to just cancel) But it would seem that people (eg me) who just assumed that having a parachute meant "yippee, I am indestructable" are very much in error. Sorry to be a bit miserable ...

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11 years 11 months

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From the sales Vid, the chute has to be deployed in level flight and about 50 knots! Maybe real life emergencies are not quite so simple. Did they put the chute on their little jet? .....when I saw this request thread, it reminded me of the book I'm reading. Howard Marks autobiog.

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19 years 9 months

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Clearly, this is a very complex issue - does having the parachute make you take more risks? Is the plane used in a fundamentally more dangerous way
I guess that would depend on the pilot. Anyway, a pilot with an attitude like that shouldn't be acting as a pilot-in-command, parachute or no parachute.
From the sales Vid, the chute has to be deployed in level flight and about 50 knots! Maybe real life emergencies are not quite so simple.
According to the Cirrus SR20 Pilot Operating Handbook, CAPS deployment might be appropriate after a mid-air collision, a structural failure, a loss of control (e.g. spin) etc. Deployment is necessary if the aircraft assumes an unusual attitude from which recovery is not expected. The maximum demonstrated CAPS deployment airspeed (VPD) for the Cirrus SR20 is 135 KIAS. The CAPS deployment checklist states that the airspeed should be MINIMUM POSSIBLE before deployment.

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19 years 9 months

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I have just been looking at the stats which show 46 fatal Cirrus crashes with 99 total deaths. There is an interesting article here re how this compares with other planes: http://diamondpilots.blogspot.com/2009/07/perhaps-its-like-falling-in-love-with.html It would seem the Cirrus is comparable. As for people whose lives have been saved by the famous parachutes I am not sure but an article i read suggested it is 4 but this may be pessimistic.
http://www.cirruspilots.org/Content/CAPSHistory.aspx http://www.whycirrus.com/safety/2008-ga-safety-record.aspx

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13 years 11 months

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how about you buying the aircraft and putting it down as a business tool? Then you find a competent instructor to fly you and learn enough to be a safety pilot, so although you dont take a full pilot course, you can manage the actual handling.The instructor is also your ferry pilot. When you have no requirement to be on a flight to the uk , the aircraft is leased to a local flying school and you get some revenue back. Another way is to have a shared ownership . Theree may be others in your area who also would like to commute.

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Rather amusing blog Wavering, your location in Gib makes my suggestion of leasing out the aircraft a challenge.

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15 years 7 months

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If you are 65 now, how much more business are you planning on doing ? There are good reasons for learning to fly, but this seems to be a pretty expensive and rigorous process for what is perhaps ( you know best ) a relatively short-term requirement. Flying in all weathers across Europe, winter and summer, in a small aeroplane is not relaxing, certainly not cheap, and is often rather scary, in my limited experience. Why not just check in, wind the seat back, and order another G and T ?;)

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19 years 9 months

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I'll wake up this thread in order to add to the CAPS discussion.
http://www.cirruspilots.org/Content/CAPSHistory.aspx http://www.whycirrus.com/safety/2008-ga-safety-record.aspx
Four persons survived after a Cirrus SR20 (reg. LN-BCD) went down in Sirdal, Norway yesterday. The cause of the crash may be loss of control due to aircraft icing. The CAPS was deployed. http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=74552