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Some newbie questions on GA Flying

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Some newbie questions on GA Flying

Old 18th Feb 2019, 08:00
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: India
Age: 30
Posts: 2
Some newbie questions on GA Flying

Hello Everyone!
I have some questions that have been in my head for quite some time now.
A brief intro about myself, I'm an Indian residing here in the state of Qatar. It was my dream from when I can remember to own and fly my airplane (Im in love with those bonanzas ) and I'm going to take the baby step and start with the PPL in the coming months of this year and build hours to move into a high performance single. Below are my questions.
1) My prospective Bonanza A36 will be needing maintenance which is scarce to find here in the middle east, I will be looking forward to doing the same as well as some vacationing somewhere in Europe. Is this a feasible option? what will be the route plan like taking into account that Qatari registered aircrafts cannot overfly some GCC countries and those war and conflict zones? for example a flight plan for my A36 from Doha to Paris?
2) What will be the safe route from Qatar to the nearest airport in India keeping in mind that I will be flying a single piston?
3) Can I register my aircraft in India and base my plane in the state of Qatar? The advantage being that I wont be having any restrictions to fly into GCC neighboring countries.

Hope I can get some light on the above. Thank you guys.
nawafshrf is offline  
Old 18th Feb 2019, 09:19
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: France
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Well, that's ambitious.

So I assume you already have the aircraft, which may or may not be fit to fly at this point.
Have you already started lessons? There aren't many people on the forum in your area, so I don't know if anyone here can help you.
I suggest you find an instructor and put your questions to him or her. In the interim, you could start getting some basic textbooks and an aeronautical map.
I also assume money isn't a problem. It's going to be a while before you can do what you want on your own, so you will need a good budget. Oh, and get your medical before you pay out any more.
Piper.Classique is offline  
Old 18th Feb 2019, 09:45
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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If you are looking for a Bonanza I would advice to put it on US N-registration. You can do your PPL and should be able to let validate the FAA it as a US pilots license (look up FAA 'piggyback' license and '61.75 based on foreign license'). An US registration will enable you to get the best maintenance coverage if you fly log distance with a Bonanza. For flying Qatar to India I suspect instrument rating IR will be mandatory to do that in a feasible manner. You also may most probably require tip tanks on your Bonanza to extend range to safe 1,000+nm. Flying Pakistani airspace is almost a NoGo area. One route frequently flown by GA aircraft is OOMS Muscat, Oman, to VAAH Ahmedabad, a whopping 990nm leg, which is about 7 to 8 flying hours leg in a Bonanza. Ahmedabad has become quite nice as an airport, but generally speaking flying to Gujarat can be depressing, not many airfields, strong bureaucracy, expensive, most of the times you will have trouble getting Avgas for the Bonanza and pay outrageous prices.
ChickenHouse is offline  
Old 18th Feb 2019, 11:14
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Don't expect that it's going to be feasible to fly the aircraft to a maintenance base that's more than a handful of hours away. Typical GA aircraft require at least a 50-hour check, which means it needs to go to a maintenance facility every 50 flying hours. If you spend 20 of those flying hours just flying back and forth to the maintenance facility, it's going to be very costly. And that's not counting fuel or the value of your own time.

I could not find a great circle calculator quickly enough but by road Qatar-Paris is 6000+ kilometers. Say 3500 nm by air, which means 35 hours flight time at 100 knots - a fairly typical cruise speed for a GA aircraft. Fly faster and you can maybe reduce it to 25 hours. Which means just Qatar-Paris and back for maintenance will require 50 flight hours at least. It will be more cost-effective to find an engineer in Paris and fly him to Qatar, all expenses paid, to perform the maintenance on your aircraft.

As far as aircraft and pilot licenses is concerned, the general idea is that you need a license issued by the country that registered the aircraft, and then you can fly worldwide. So for an N-reg (US registered) aircraft you need an FAA license, for a Qatar-registered aircraft you need a Qatar-issued license and so forth. You can essentially pick whatever combination works best for you, and I agree that an N-reg plus FAA license would be the most sensible in your case.

Can you base a non-Qatar registered aircraft in Qatar? I don't know, but generally I know that if you base an aircraft in a certain country, there are requirements and limitations. For instance, even though you can base an N-reg in Europe without having to re-register it, you still need to pay VAT (or be exempt), and EASA is also continuing to make noises about requiring pilots to hold an EU-license in addition to their FAA one.
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Old 18th Feb 2019, 16:21
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BackPacker,

Great Circle Mapper is the place to go:



India Four Two is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2019, 06:35
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Welcome Nawafshrf,

Many hundred or multi thousand mile flights in single piston power airplanes, though entirely possible, should be considered big adventures, rather than routine, even for experienced pilots. For new PPL's such flights are a big deal. That's not to say that they cannot be done, but they're a lot of effort, and tiring. Many factors can combine to alter the planned outcome. If a flight is undertaken for routine maintenance, that's one thing, though still a big effort and expense, but if the maintenance reason is a simple snag, that minor defect, which could be okay for a hundred mile day flight may be entirely in appropriate for an extended flight.

Until you are many hundreds of hours experienced with the particular plane, you should plan to have the plane's maintenance available within an hour flight, and most preferably at the airport where it's based. That may mean flying in the mechanic, if so, that's what you should do. Here in Canada, where distances are great, it is common to take the maintenance to the plane, rather than the plane to the maintenance, it's just a part of the operating cost. Bear in mind, such cost will include the need to stock a facility with parts and special tools. Also assure the simple availability of Avgas. I have certainly flown in parts of the world where availability of Avgas was a very primary planning requirement. A saw a twin Cessna (piston) sitting at Male airport in the Maldives. I was told that the pilot flew it in without preplanning Avgas, and now the plane was stuck there until fuel could be brought in (it appeared to have been sitting for a while when I saw it). The fact that you can fly a plane to a place, does not make it the best idea without planning!

If you plan to operate a plane with less experience, particularly an advanced plane like a Bonanza, you are best to start in a mentored environment, rather than far away from other general aviation operations. So, if you're just getting started, and considering this big investment, plan a month or so in another part of the world, where you can rent and learn intensely. Choose a place which will be operationally similar to what you plan. So if your primary flying will be dessert/tropics, consider the southern United States for learning, so not only are you learning to fly, but learning the operational environment as well. Many flying environments are more north, but winter environments are not what will be common to operation in your locale, so not as important to master!
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 07:28
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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I flew in Qatar from 2008 to 2010 with the Qatari Aviation College (which was actually in existence as part of Qatar Airways to train their ab initios) to maintain my currency whilst I was working on the new airport. Subject to the usual letters of approval from my employer, there were no difficulties but of course being able to do anything was time consuming, required many approvals and was treated as a big, big, favour being done to me. Airside badge was fairly easy come by, subject to the usual bureaucracy and there were other nationalities light airplanes on the College / GA ramp. An American guy kept an N reg Cessna 337 there and his "bimble" was Bahrain and back. There were restrictions on QAC aviation when the temp was above 40 C, which meant only mornings in the summer. There were frequent disruptions to booked flights due to VVVVVVVIP movements.

Aeroplanes were Archers with less than Warrior performance due to the number of horses just driving the A/C.

I got a Qatari PPL on the basis of my JAA PL but it was only valid for 6 months and (weirdly) didn't permit solo flight. Not exactly a 61.75. Qatar refused to recognize my JAR PPL for either Qatari airplanes or use in Qatari airspace unless accompanied by a Qatari licensed pilot.

If you have serious aspirations to learn to fly, stay current and base an aeroplane there which you get serviced elsewhere all I can say is best of luck. The fuel should be cheap though.
Dave Gittins is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2019, 12:14
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: The World
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I just met a friend over the weekend and he told me he keeps his Bonanza in the US while working abroad. Every time he likes to fly himself, he takes the airline to go back to the US. He told, time and money and nerves for repairs spent are in vast favor over bringing the Bonanza with him. Maybe something to think of?
ChickenHouse is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2019, 06:39
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: India
Age: 30
Posts: 2
Thanks for the comments Piper.Classique! I will be starting the lessons soon and start building hours before getting my plane.

Originally Posted by ChickenHouse View Post
If you are looking for a Bonanza I would advice to put it on US N-registration. You can do your PPL and should be able to let validate the FAA it as a US pilots license (look up FAA 'piggyback' license and '61.75 based on foreign license'). An US registration will enable you to get the best maintenance coverage if you fly log distance with a Bonanza.

For flying Qatar to India I suspect instrument rating IR will be mandatory to do that in a feasible manner. You also may most probably require tip tanks on your Bonanza to extend range to safe 1,000+nm. Flying Pakistani airspace is almost a NoGo area. One route frequently flown by GA aircraft is OOMS Muscat, Oman, to VAAH Ahmedabad, a whopping 990nm leg, which is about 7 to 8 flying hours leg in a Bonanza.

Ahmedabad has become quite nice as an airport, but generally speaking flying to Gujarat can be depressing, not many airfields, strong bureaucracy, expensive, most of the times you will have trouble getting Avgas for the Bonanza and pay outrageous prices.
Thank you for the comments. Being a non-us citizen do you think I can own an N-registered plane? OTHH-OOMS-VAAH seems like a good idea. Avoiding PAK airspace will result into a long ocean crossing right? Maybe when I get my training done along with IFR, will be in a good position to plan the routes along with alternatives.
nawafshrf is offline  
Old 25th Feb 2019, 19:04
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by nawafshrf View Post
Thank you for the comments. Being a non-us citizen do you think I can own an N-registered plane? OTHH-OOMS-VAAH seems like a good idea. Avoiding PAK airspace will result into a long ocean crossing right? Maybe when I get my training done along with IFR, will be in a good position to plan the routes along with alternatives.
The N-registered plane has to be held by an American entity, this can be your US trust, so just search on the net on 'US trust for N-registered aircraft', or search in this forum to get all the answers necessary. It is very common practice and thousands of N-reg aircraft in the world are using this legal vehicle.

Yes, avoiding PAK airspace is a long ocean crossing. There was an article in the ABS, American Bonanza Society on that route some time ago. I'll have to look up when to give the reference.
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