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Hey Bruce you made it on, welcome. Can’t wait to do some local breakfast runs in a flight of 3 SportCruisers. :D

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§ 91.303 Aerobatic flight.

No person may operate an aircraft in aerobatic flight -

(a) Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement;

(b) Over an open air assembly of persons;

(c) Within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport;

(d) Within 4 nautical miles of the center line of any Federal airway;

(e) Below an altitude of 1,500 feet above the surface; or

(f) When flight visibility is less than 3 statute miles.

For the purposes of this section, aerobatic flight means an intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration, not necessary for normal flight.
 
[Doc. No. 18834, 54 FR 34308, Aug. 18, 1989, as amended by Amdt. 91-227, 56 FR 65661, Dec. 17, 1991]

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Welcome Bruce! Beautiful aircraft. Can you tell us about the planning for the Arizona to Florida flight? I’ve been Itching to fly West, but don’t have much insight as to flight planning and weather concerns that the territory brings.

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15 hours ago, ShawnM said:

Hey Bruce you made it on, welcome. Can’t wait to do some local breakfast runs in a flight of 3 SportCruisers. :D

Welcome  Bruce it was nice to meet you. If any of you are so inclined I’m available most of the time to share a ride and expenses  for lunch. 

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In regards to the question asked on my flight planning of my trip, flying my plane home from Arizona to Florida. First off as a recently licensed sport pilot with 95 hours total time at the start of the trip I took considerable time and detail to plan my journey and big adventure. I first planned my trip on the AOPA flight planner to get a rough idea of the total distance, terrain elevations, longest legs necessary for stops for available fuel and airports along my route, that could serve as stops or alternates if necessary. Once I had an initial plan I bought the necessary sectionals that would cover my proposed routes and laid them out on my kitchen counter and took a pencil and drew my routes.These sectionals turned out to be very useful at the hotel at night making necessary changes to my plans for the next day due to ever changing conditions. After assembling my initial plan I arranged a formal meeting with my former instructor who happens to be forum member Deltafox to review my plan with me. After a few small tweaks and suggestions he felt I had a pretty solid plan and I felt pretty confident with it. At his suggestion I did watch the six training videos on the Skyview Touch EFIS system my plane is equipped with, as all of my time has been in his PiperSport which has the legacy Dynon system. This training was invaluable to me for my trip because I learned much of the new and very useful capabilities that were now going to be available to me.

Some of my biggest concerns I knew I would face on my first few legs of my journey because I would be required to fly over some 8000 ft mountains and take off and land at some airports at over 6000 foot elevation. Almost all of my previous experience has been in Florida and on my first half of my journey I would have a passenger and need enough fuel to complete some 200 nautical mile legs so weight and performance were of concern to me. I flew my first leg on Friday afternoon after taking delivery of my plane that morning. The airport I was taking off from on Saturday morning, the second leg of my journey was in New Mexico and over 6000 foot in elevation. When I arrived to the airport that morning the skies were crystal clear and the temperature was 22 degrees but substantial ice had formed on my wings overnight, so I went and bought some rubbing alcohol to quickly remove the ice from the wings. The plane preformed very well in these elevations with the very cold conditions and I faced no performance problems at all. Saturday was the only day which weather conditions allowed me to fly the entire day on this trip, I made it across New Mexico and much of Texas stopping the final time for the day just past Austin, Texas.

Sunday thru Wednesday (which was Christmas Day) were very different. If the weather was good I had planned for a three day trip,  but starting Sunday morning the weather did not cooperate very well. I had a weather front moving slowly out ahead of me so for the next 4 days I had to take off in the early afternoon and could only fly 2 to 3 hours per day before I caught up to the weather. On Sunday evening we were at my passenger's home in Louisiana. I stayed at his home Sunday night and over the next 3 days I flew solo on to Hammond, LA and then a slightly more than 300 nautical mile leg on Christmas Eve from Hammond to Marianna, FL and Christmas Morning on to Tampa.

My big impression of the trip was how helpful it was using ATC flight following , it allowed me to stay on the most direct course home through controlled airspace and their cooperation helped me immensely and built my confidence. I know feel very confident and equipped to take on another long journey now. I am very glad I took on this challenge and all my detailed planning paid big dividends, The only other challenges were landing at remote unmanned airports that though self serve fuel was available there was no cell service, and even if there was service, no Uber service to get to a hotel.  Thankfully I came across some great people that just happen to be around that helped me with those difficulties.

 

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Awesome story and excellent planning for your long “trans-continental” Cross Country Adventure  in the SportCruiser ! 
 

the CRUZ LSA can be an excellent long distance cross country machine, with the proper planning.  
 

  Awesome tales of your adventure ....Do you have any pictures en-route to share ? 

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i purchased my new sportcruiser in aug 2011.  really enjoy but it has analog gauges instead of glass and saved 20k at the time. i have 1,126 hrs on engine and airframe and have the extra tall flared wingtips on my plane and have been told i lose about ten knots cruise because of that. i pay 155 a month in hanger rent in iowa but in higher rental costs in other states it makes more sense to buy into an airpark and more fun doing so.

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43 minutes ago, Lightning Pilot said:

Thankfully I came across some great people that just happen to be around that helped me

...and isn't that one of the real joys of General Aviation? Its the people.

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Thanks Bruce, Congratulations on a most successful flight and good flight planning with Deltafox.

Sounds like an amazing first journey in your beautiful new-to-you aircraft! If that isn’t one of the most awesome life experiences, I don’t know what is.

The trip doesn’t sound too dissimilar to my flights up the East Coast from Florida to Pennsylvania... except for flatter terrain and probably many more airports along the East Coast. (There is almost always an alternative every 10 miles or so, especially through the Carolinas.) Surely the Winter weather helped you with performance at altitude.

How did you address concerns of thermal turbulence over desert areas (maybe not so much of an an issue in the Winter?) and HAIL avoidance? 

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I only experienced relatively minor turbulence and picked my way through the passes as best I could that allowed my AGL clearance to be maximized. The weather was quite good through the mountainous part of my journey, so on the more eastern part of my trip I did not put myself into any bad weather situations when the weather looked marginal I chose to stay on the ground and wait it out. One reason I chose my Christmas break to make the journey was, so that I minimized time pressure on me getting back.

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Great photos! Thanks for posting Bruce. You might want to consider starting a thread of your ownership experience to inspire others. I have seen that on other forums, and have been following Deltafox’s blog from day one, when I started dreaming about SportCruiser ownership. (Thanks Dave!)

Mine was a 2011 as well, but with the legacy Dynons. I believe that it was built as a PiperSport.

6AE49597-5B0C-458F-9E72-E985490FCB05.jpeg

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Congratulations Bruce!  Beautiful bird you got!  And thanks for the great write-up on the cross country trip!  Looking forward to reading more about your flights around sunny and flight-friendly Florida! 👍🏻🙂

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10 hours ago, designrs said:

Great photos! Thanks for posting Bruce. You might want to consider starting a thread of your ownership experience to inspire others. I have seen that on other forums, and have been following Deltafox’s blog from day one, when I started dreaming about SportCruiser ownership. (Thanks Dave!)

Mine was a 2011 as well, but with the legacy Dynons. I believe that it was built as a PiperSport.

6AE49597-5B0C-458F-9E72-E985490FCB05.jpeg

Just curious ... so what happened to yours and what are you flying these days ? 

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I sold mine in 2017 after about 2.5 years of ownership and +/- 400 wonderful hours in it. Sadly, I’ve been away from flying, and have missed it more than life itself.

Looking forward to doing some flying in Bristell this month. Next plane will be Bristell or SportCruiser.

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On 1/14/2020 at 11:37 AM, Lightning Pilot said:

Just Purchased my 2011 SportCruiser in Arizona on Dec 20th and flew it back to Florida.

IMG_0290.PNG

IMG_0291.PNG


I might have posted this elsewhere, but if you want to keep your aircraft shiny new in Florida, consider spraying just about everything under the cowling, the firewall, and all exterior nuts and bolts with Corrosion X. As far as know, there is not much that isn’t safe to spray. I wish I had done it on my plane immediately, and especially before moving it to Florida with high humidity and salt air. (You will smell the Corrosion X “cooking off” the first few times that you run the plane... but it still continues to work!)

Have your mechanic clean and put Dielectric Grease on your voltage regulator connections. This connection is prime for corrosion.

You mentioned pouring alcohol over the plane to de-ice. A good wax job might be in order. Personally, I found many wax products which were fine on my cars to be a royal PITA on my aircraft. Maybe others can recommend products?

If you wash it, stay away from the cockpit air vent intakes, even if closed. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

Two other suggestions for ownership before it gets hot in sunny Florida: 1) Open the cowling oil fill access immediately after shutdown. 2) Consider wrapping the exhaust headers & pipes with Exhaust Header Heat wrap. (Apply slightly damp, but not wet.) The result is so profound that you can feel about a 65% reduction in cowling heat when you open the oil fill access after shutdown. Both of the above will hopefully help to keep your motor and very expensive ignition modules happy.

Sorry for the unsolicited ramble. These are things that I wish I knew in advance, even after having been around SportCruiser flying and maintence for two years before purchasing my aircraft.

* Disclaimer: I am not a LSRM or A&P. Check with a qualified maintence authority, or manufacturer to assure safe and legal owner maintence and regulation compliance.

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I second the Corrosion X, the stuff is amazing and really works. Our humidity can wreak havoc on anything metal. I just bathed by engine in it last month for my annual condition inspection. I spray it on a brush and coat anything I can under the cowling. As for the voltage regulator, take care of this as well. The Ducati is known to fail and fail often when it gets hot or has a loose connection. Make sure the spade connectors are crimped close tightly and use dielectric grease on the connections. Like this:

1104953356_volatgeregconnector(Medium).thumb.jpg.1633b7abc602b700b9874c3d4d3faff3.jpg 

I squeeze dielectric grease in every connector and slip it on and make sure it's snug. I do the same for my spark plug boots. Take care of your plane and it'll take care of you. :D

I also agree that opening the oil access door immediately after you land is a great idea. I unbuckle my seat belt, sit up on the canopy frame and reach around and open the oil door before I even get out of the plane. Helps release that heat that is bad for everything.

The exhaust wrap can help with heat but it is not legal on a S-LSA SportCruiser. Call down to Cruiser Aircraft for the required LOA for that mod. Damn, I was laughing just typing that. :lol:

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... I was just going to update my post. I recall seeing a LSRM applying Corrosion X with brush, instead of just spraying it all over. Most examples of exhaust wrap are fastened with hose clamps on the end to prevent unraveling in addition to the semi-adhesion of being applied slightly wet, overlap wrap was about 1/4”. However, Shawn pointed out the legalities for S-LSA.

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8 hours ago, designrs said:

... I was just going to update my post. I recall seeing a LSRM applying Corrosion X with brush, instead of just spraying it all over. Most examples of exhaust wrap are fastened with hose clamps on the end to prevent unraveling in addition to the semi-adhesion of being applied slightly wet, overlap wrap was about 1/4”. However, Shawn pointed out the legalities for S-LSA.

Even with a brush Richard the Corrosion X gets on some of the hotter items and burns off after a few minutes. Don’t forget to spray a little in all the camloc fasteners for the cowling. The worst part is after I brush it all over the prop flange and spacer it goes all over the windscreen after the first start for the test run after the plugs and oil are changed. :huh:

But I don’t worry about that too much because my mechanic gives Ginger a sponge bath AND waxes her when he’s finished. Does anybody else have a mechanic this good? :D

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