This is a continuation of part 2 (below)
While at the UPAC fly-in, we checked out several other aircraft.
Some were very expensive, some were not unreasonable. We checked out a real nice Kitfox IV. High wing, great visibility and comfort. Could be put on floats easily. Cost might be an issue.
Some of them were obvious non-starters for what I want.
I flew Piper Cherokees while I worked on my night rating and learned to appreciate the view from high wing Cessnas even more. Low wings have their place, but are rarely put on floats (one of my future goals).
I had sat in a Challenger II at Oshkosh and was disappointed on the level of comfort for two reasons. I don't like the ergonomics - you sit with your legs fairly straight in front of you, which I imagine would get uncomfortable over a long flight. As I mentioned earlier, I want an airplane where passengers sit side by side. In a Challenger, the rear passenger sits with their legs beside the pilot in the front seat. I want to see the joy on my daughters' faces when I take them flying.
I have no interest in owning a gyrocopter or powered parachute. Don't get me wrong, their owners get lots of respect from me for what they do, but it isn't for me.
Long story short (right......) we both came away from the UPAC weekend with lots of good information and a better feel for what is available.
A few weeks went by and I continued to bounce ideas off Brenda of what might be a good way to get back into flying.
I've pondered for some time whether I want to spend a bunch of money on a complete airframe and just get flying. Unfortunately, I'm not a rich man and the thought of taking out a huge loan to pay for an airplane won't allow me to sleep at night.
I have come to the conclusion that the easiest and most economical route to get back in the air is ultralights, and that maybe the best path is to purchase a used aircraft that needs work and re-build it. I don't have a bunch of experience doing this type of work, but I feel these are skills that can be learned as I go (Google and YouTube are your friend, young Jedi). Even better, if this gets me moving in the right direction (towards flying) it provides the incentive and allows me the luxury of budgeting sections over time. This solves or at least takes some of the financial pain out of the equation. An added bonus? I can make the airplane into what I want, not just be satisfied with someone else's discarded dream....
Husband, father and 911 dispatcher. Long time pilot with a licence that burns a hole in my pocket where my student loan money used to be. First time aircraft builder. Looking to fly my own airplane.