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aviator - sailor overlap


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From my personal experience as a pilot and a sailor I've noticed that this seems to be a fairly common phenomenon (at least from what I've seen.) Perhaps it is the romantic/adventure view of travelling through different mediums to do things which few others can. Perhaps it is the joy of doing something a more rewarding than driving cars. Or maybe it is the pure pleasure derived from setting sail or taking to the skies. Lastly I suppose it could be the sheer addictiveness of expensive hobbies. I wanted to see if there were other pilot/sailors hanging around here and if so what their thoughts on the overlaps and possible reasons.

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you've got many more ratings than I, however, I'm quite a fan of "real flying" in rag and tube taildraggers (pa-18, pa-12, j-3). what do you fly most often? I too have turned to the sailing to save some money. So long as I am busy constructing a boat I don't have time to spend my money doing the flying. Its good that I'm doing the lesser of the expensive hobbies now since law school is bleeding me dry. are there more of us hanging around here?

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Not a licensed pilot, but I do a LOT of flying here at work. We do flight testing for commercial and business/regional avionics in every type of situation that anyone can think of including some that would never occur in real life. Yes, I do get stick time but don't tell my boss that. Someday I'll have to spend the money and get the ticket so I can be legal.

Most of our flying is in a Cessna 206 but some is in the Sabreliner. We love to show folks our (almost) all glass cockpit in the 206. We've got stuff onboard that a lot of Lears, Westwinds and Gulfstreams don't have.

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Another pilot here. Only Private SEL but I've got time in Cessnas 150,152,172,172RG,172HP,210, GC-1A and GC-1B Swifts, Beech Staggerwing, J3, PA-11, Bellanca Super Viking and Cruiseair, and the only Spartan Model 12 Executive (NX21962) ever built.

21962.jpg

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dave,

sounds like you have some time is some great aircraft. I'd be interested in talking to you about the swift. are they as squirely on the ground as has been represented? One of the more fun aircraft that I have flown is a comanche 400 a pretty rare fast bird. a shame piper didn't make more like that. I'm sure that the staggerwing beech was also amazing.

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I earned my PP SEL last June but the torential rain in Charleston has kept me out of the sky. I think there is a certain personality trait that draws us to both of these pursuits. :twisted: I am hoping to begin instrument training this winter.

Regards

They say money talks. The only thing it ever said to me is "goodbye."

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fe056c5f.jpg

rrb, I worked part time at the FBO where I was taking lessons to help pay for them. I enjoyed hanging out at the airport so I continued for quite some time after I got my ticket.

The Swift, being a rather short taildragger with higher landing speeds requires a little more rapid correction than say a Cub. I've heard the stories of people saying they automatically ground loop and stuff like that. I don't think any of it is true. Like any taildragger you aren't done flying it until it is tied down.

The stories about Swifts being notorious ground loopers reminds me a the reason the Beech V-tails got the nickname "Forky-Tailed-Doctor Killers". They were so named because at the time they came out, they were being purchased by people who had money but were moving up from planes like the J-3 Cub. They weren't used to the higher performance, retractable gear and higher operating speeds. These pilots were used to flying something that only cruised at 80 MPH, landed at maybe 35 or 40, no flaps and no gear to worry about. They were moving into a plane that lands at almost the cruise speed of the J3. They'd get low and slow--maybe forget the gear (remember the automatic gear on the old Bellanca's?) and flaps. Stall about 50 feet above the threshold and put it down on the spinner. Or they'd come in hot and strain it through the fence at the other end. Or they'd roll out of the pattern due to an accelerated stall on the turn from base to final.

Anyway, the Swift is a great airplane. It just has to be flown to its own numbers. They are light on the controls so you can just about think your way through rolls. Actually, I expect, considering most were produced between 1946 and 1949, a lot of Cub pilots transitioned into them and got stung which might be where the rumors came from.

By the way, if the picture shows up, I'm not flying the Swift. I shot the picture (with a 50mm lens and there's no cropping).

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when asked how much money it takes to fly its an easy answer and i suspect its the same simple answer as with sailing. All of it. Congratulations on the private, you'll love it. too bad about the weather. I spent last weeked at a fly-in in thomasville which consisted of no flying because we spent the whole time socked in. you made it down to st. simon's yet. I've flown in there several times. It could make for a fun flying and sailing trip if possible to rent a boat out there.

The swift is a beautiful aircraft. I seem to recall an article in flying magazine which compared them to a fighter plane for civilian general aviation. I too am familiar with the nickname for those bonanzas. you left out one sector of the population that they also tend to kill, lawyers. Luckily by the time I get out of law school, I'll be so broke that I won't face the problem of buying more plane than i can handle.

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I thought about lawyers while I was writing that. :lol:

As I recall the semi-elliptical wing of the Swift was done by the same engineer(s) as the wing on the P-40 Warhawk. There's a slot in the wing in front of the ailerons that was intended to diect air over them at higher angles of attack. Pretty high tech stuff for the mid-40s.

Again, if the picture shows up, you can see the slot on the near wing in the shadow of the wing of the Hawk XP I was riding in when I made this shot. Also done with a 50mm and there's no cropping.

fe056cb0.jpg

Actually you can see light coming through the slot in the first shot of the upside down Swift.

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what do you fly most often?

It's been a few years since I flew anything, but most of my time was in the Piper Seneca, and a lot in single engine Cessnas, of course. I was also fond of the Piper Cherokees. Were I to own my own plane, it would likely be a Cherokee, maybe the Archer.

One hour in a full motion Cheyenne simulator, too! That was incredible.

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many people think airplane pilot's are crazy. and even many airplane pilot's think helicopter pilot's are crazy. I suppose this means you are really doing a good job of slipping the surly bonds. I suppose helicopters are more different as a transition from fixed wings than to start from scratch. are they really as difficult as many would lead those of us that must keep moving while in the air?

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When I went from fixed wing to choppers it was a bitch. Going from keeping airspeed up on final to decreasing airspeed down to zero at the end of runway was different to say the least. I did do it finally but took a while. Going from one to the other takes real thought. Spent 23 years in the Air Force but not all flying. Not interested in flying much lately. More interested in sailing. Seems to be closer to the ground, although I know theres a lot of water between me and solid ground. I have over 15 thousand hrs in fixed wing and 4600 in choppers, mostly H16 and H21's.

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When I came back from Vietnam I was assigned as an IP at the Primary Helicopter Training Center where we'd take kids off the street, straight from Basic Infantry Training, aka Boot Camp, and put 'em behind the controls of a helicopter. If they didn't learn to hover in 10 hours or solo in 20, they got to go to Advanced Infantry Training.

Flight School was intensive training - ground school for 6 hours a day - flight training for another 6, with harassment and extra duty every step of the way. Lots of guys quit. Quit to become grunts! Amazing! Yea, it was tough training.

The only students I ever thought might not make it were, you guessed it, guys who had a "fixed rotor" license that they'd picked up before their time with Uncle Sam. The fixed wing guys were universally afraid of stalling on approach, just as their training had taught them. Helicopters, of course, transition from forward flight to a hover and things happen quickly during that transition - add collective pitch, add throttle, add left pedal, slight forward cyclic (everything's happening at once) and the vibrations and noise pick up dramatically for a few seconds then settle back down as you come to hover. It feels a bit like a stall in an airplane.

I had one fella who was an Instrument Flight Examiner with 1500 hrs who could barely make it around the pattern. I thought he was going into cardiac arrest every time we got within 100' of the ground and autorotations (engine out landings) were his worst nightmare come true. It took a real serious talk about the Infantry Experience to get him over what turned out to be a fear of the vibrations peculiar to the type of helicopter we were flying.

Transitioning from airplanes to helicopters can be done, you just have to put your airplane habits on hold while you do it. It

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Well, the reason I built a boat is because I can SWIM if the boat fails. I briefly thought about building an airplane and learning to fly, but decided the stakes are much, much higher. And much more expensive.

But my hat's off to you guys. The only flying I do is the commercial sort, and I don't think I'd ever get into something without fixed wings on it. I'm the fat guy on the aisle in coach who is completely bored with flying. And that's only because its so safe now that you don't even think about any danger. And that's the way I like it!

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