Thursday, November 12, 2009

Training: Oh where, oh where?

It is 1:33 in the morning right now and I'm unable get myself to sleep. You would think that 17 years of experience (18 on the 18th of this month) would make me very good at it but obviously not. A lot is going through my head right now and my mind is unable to slow down to stop analyzing for the night.

Redrive washers, aviation instructors, and tomorrow's government test is what's keeping my mind from relaxing. I don't see any three of these topics to be a problem any more, yet my mind keeps on whirling.

The biggest thing that I've been thinking about is the flight instruction that I'll be getting so I can fly my Pterodactyl safely. The word safely is key. My plans to get proper ultralight training have been dramatically altered after learning the horrifying truth about certain things. I value my life and would like to live longer so I can spend more time flying. Therefore my plans have been altered to reflect just that.


Jack Fleetwood said...

Happy Birthday

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark! I've joined the Pterodactyl "Brotherhood" by buying a used Ascender last weekend. It hasn't flown in 8 years, needs a new sail and to be completely taken apart for inspection, but with my A&P license and over 30 years in aircraft, I'm excited to dive in!

Do you having any contacts for a budget, good quality sail? I already checked with GSLS in Utah and I don't quite have the budget yet for what they want.

As for Flight training, check out Dennis Pangan's booklet, Ultralight aircraft flight manual. It has every step along the way. Tom Dewalt

Mark Zinkel said...

Thank you Jack! It's actually November 18th, but I'll credit you for the right day.

I'm now of legal age to vote!

Mark Zinkel said...


The two most expensive parts on an ultralight is the engine and the sails.

The airframe and engine are parts I'm sure you would be really good at taking care of. You A&P experience will be a big help.

Building sails like the ones on our Pterodactyls is an art to say the least. There are a lot of tricks and skill involved in building them, so be sure to get one made from someone with outstanding reputation and years of experience. I've heard a horror story where someone decided to save a few hundred dollars and get their sails from someone that is less known. When the guy put the sail on his plane (it was a Quicksilver I believe), it wasn't tensioned enough and couldn't be flown. The guy later figured out that there was another problem: the sails were stiched together with cotton which stretches and frays very quickly. The man had to throw his slightly less expensive sail in the trash and bought one from someone else.

I personally wouldn't fly a Pterodactyl that had their sails built somewhere other than Great Salt Lake Sails. With that in mind, I haven't done much research for alternative places.

If you're willing to buy a used one, let me know as I might know someone with something you would be interested in. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and invest in a GSLS sail. You might not be off the ground as quickly (trust me, I know how that feels) but when you do get off the ground you will be very happy.

Good Luck and keep in touch,
Mark Zinkel

Jack Fleetwood said...

LOL, I wanted to be exactly one month late!

Mark Zinkel said...

It happens to the best of us sometimes.