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DonFromTX 10-04-2017 04:04 PM

Crying in My Beer (Long and Sad Post)
It has been 10 months today since I got my airworthiness certificate on the 12 I built. It is still sitting forlornly in the corner of the hangar, anxiously awaiting a pilot to fly her!
I felt my story was enough the same as others, so will share my sad tale. I turn 80 this month, it has been 25 years since I last flew, 5 of those years were building. My physical condition makes me one of those old time private pilots that can now fly on a drivers license, in other words exercise the privileges of a Sport Pilot. As I finished my build, I started looking for an instructor that could bring me up to date and give me a Flight Review. The closest was Jetguy, 600 miles away and a full time professional pilot. Booking some time between his schedule, my schedule, and the weather, I did manage to get in 17 1/2 hours and 47 landings, and those were some valuable learning sessions, but at that time I sort of gave up, it seemed so slow I would never get there. There were no options down here in the lower tip of Texas, so I finally just bought an ELSA for the sole purpose of polishing off my skills in an RV12 and getting a flight review. That is harder than I thought as well, seems the insurance companies want an instructor t has a few hours in a 12! I finally thought I had found an instructor, but after thinking about it, flying with an old guy in an experimental was just too much risk for them to take, my risk was of course no insurance! I still have no flight review!
So what is my point? I wish I had used my building time to do some flying, but there being no Light Sport planes around, that did not happen. THINK about a path to flying your plane while you are building! Most people are located in an area where they can accomplish what I did not.

JonJay 10-04-2017 04:18 PM

Invaluable information Don. I do hope things get worked out.

RVbySDI 10-04-2017 04:19 PM

I don't think age is your problem. LaFeria, TX

Flying again! 10-04-2017 04:43 PM

Try the IPs at Harlingen that are associated with marine Military Academy. They taught my son to fly while he was there and are close being in Harlingen.

Contact them at


David-aviator 10-04-2017 04:51 PM

Don, if you can swing it financially, make arrangements to fly to Oregon and connect with the RV-12 program out there.

I do not know all the details but my hangar neighbor was in similar situation, did that, and is flying his RV-12, in fact flew it to OSH.

Someone out there is giving 12 instruction, you've got to go for it having spent so much time building the airplane.

rv7charlie 10-04-2017 04:52 PM

There might be, well, other options. Can you get liability-only coverage? That's sometimes easier to get than full coverage. Would the financial loss be catastrophic, if the plane is damaged?

I wouldn't want to fly without liability coverage (to protect my family's interests), but I haven't had hull coverage on any of my planes since I got rid of the last a/c financing note (and an a/c partner) over 20 year ago. I probably have roughly the value of another plane in savings and investments, from the money I saved on hull insurance. I wouldn't *enjoy* the financial loss of the plane, but it wouldn't have any effect on my ability to pay the bills.

If you or your family can't take the financial hit, then obviously, don't do it. But you're already 80. Even if insurance pays off on a 'bent' a/c, will you get it repaired in time to fly again?

Get 'current' (BFR) in a Cessna, or whatever is available in your area. Then you can be PIC, assuming the financial risk. At that point, there should be more instructors that could get you checked out in the -12. (Unless there are just no instructors in your area you trust; that's a different problem.)

Harvey rv12 10-04-2017 04:54 PM

Mike Seager, Vernonia OR is a good start. He is highly recommended through Van's. You can find his contact info on Van's website.
Do not give up yet. If you can afford 2 new RV-12's, you can afford to fly with Mike.

DaleB 10-04-2017 04:57 PM

Rv7charlie makes some good points. I agree that your location -- or rather the lack of resources near it -- seems to be a major part of your trouble. Surely there's somewhere you could go, spend a week or so and get trained and reviewed in an RV-12.

Like here, or here, or here.

Question: After 17-1/2 hours and 47 landings (what were those hours in? RV-12 or something else?) how do YOU feel about your flying ability?

TS Flightlines 10-04-2017 05:10 PM

Don---dont give up ---it will happen for you--

mike newall 10-04-2017 05:28 PM


Emailed you.

Let's chat - there is a way :D

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