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Thread: New to EAA

  1. #1
    Gently56's Avatar
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    New to EAA

    First I should say Hello, New into the world of EAA and homebuilt aircraft, but not without skills!

    Background: I am a current private pilot with 380+ hours in a few different aircraft and owned a Cessna 175 Skylark. Most of my flying time was "cross country" from X51 (homestead Florida) to PKB (parkersburg WV.) I have, under supervision, with a great A&P, done about everything that could be done to an aircraft (my skylark) including rebuilding my GO-300-C. I have tools and a lot of knowledge of Certified aircraft. I was going to get my A&P as I have repair experience, but alas, life events prevented me doing so. Sold the 175 about 2 or 3 years ago and dropped out of flying, mostly because of the radpid increase in expense and my retirement (rapid decrease of income) and relocating from Florida to West Virginia. (I know that sounds nuts, most people retire and move TO florida, well I am different that way. Anyway lots of stories here but not in this venue, and hopefully plenty of time later to expand.

    Now that is out of the way I can say why I am getting into the EAA, First I was a member a long time ago and building my own aircraft was always a dream of mine. I happen to own a rather large piece of land with a "pasture" large enough to put a 2500' runway on to it. And I am interested in an aircraft that meets the LSA rules but expandable in the future to a Higher gross weight with 2 seats, my wife is unable to fly with me anymore due to her disability, but my Son will travel occasionally.

    I have been looking for the right aircraft to build and have seriously looked at the Zenith CH-750 and the Kitfox S7. I like these two for their "trailerability" and STOL capabilities. However I am still open to other types aircraft, I do not want a "pre-built" of finished aircraft, and the cost should be between 35 and 50 thousand dollars including an engine of 100 to 120 hp. (yeah I like power) with a cruise of 90 to 115 Knts.

    So there it is, the leap into Experimental Homebuilt Aircraft. Oh and if I want speed I could buy a Mooney or a factory built Aircraft. But I want to build this thing myself (from a kit under the "51%" rule) But have the ability to expand later to higher gross and land at unimproved fields to fish and hunt (no Amphians, I can add floats later).

    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

    Mike.

  2. #2

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    Based on the planes you mentioned you might want to consider the Just Highlander or the RANS S-7S. They are not trailerable, but would otherwise seem to meet your requirements. The trailerable feature is one that has a lot of initial appeal but is actually used by very few people, so I wouldn't place too much value on it unless you have a very specific set of needs that demands it.

    Another possibility is a GlaStar (which is trailerable). The kit is no longer in general production but there are uncompleted kits out there in the $25K range that could be completed for around $50K. It is a much more capable airplane than the 100 hp 2-seaters.

    Good luck with your search.

    Dave Prizio

  3. #3
    Gently56's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave! the reason I am looking for a folding wing design is to use my farm pasture. As of now there are no buildings but it has a good road, and is level and "pothole" free. Later I intend to put a house there and a barn and a hangar (wife does not know about the hangar yet). Our local airport (PKB) tie down and hanagar fees are more than I want to pay and both are about the same difference in distance from my house. I currently have a new 24X36 garage with a 9X20 lathe, 7hp aircompressor and numerous aircraft and auto tools, and blast cabinets and pipe benders, welders (both oxy/ace and wire feed) so building space and tools are not a problem. Of course I would love to build a 1/2 scale F4UD corsair but that injection molding for composites thing has me baffled. so I will stick to tube and cloth or metal.

    Thanks for the reply!
    Mike.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gently56 View Post
    ...Of course I would love to build a 1/2 scale F4UD corsair but that injection molding for composites thing has me baffled. so I will stick to tube and cloth or metal.
    Have you looked at the "War Aircraft Replicas" planes? They have a Corsair, which I believe is essentially a plywood box covered with foam, carved to shape and glassed over.

  5. #5
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    I happen to own a rather large piece of land with a "pasture" large enough to put a 2500' runway on to it.
    Hmmmm.....2500' x 50' x 18" (which is pretty thin, not to mention really short) = 187,500 cubic feet of concrete. Looking at $530,000 just for the concrete....this will be why I'll never have my own runway unless I hit the lottery.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  6. #6

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    Steve, we're authorized to land on grass!

    That's a really, really long runway for a light aircraft.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  7. #7
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    Steve, we're authorized to land on grass!
    1. Depends on your insurance. For example, you can't do it in rental aircraft around here.
    2. Depends on the airplane.
    3. I'd rather not risk talking to the FAA and/or NTSB because a gopher decides to go all Caddyshack on the runway.

    That's a really, really long runway for a light aircraft.
    It depends on your definition of "light". To me anything under 12,500 lbs is a light aircraft. Anything under 3,000 lbs MTOW is lumped in with the LSAs in my book.

    2,500 feet is OK for an LSA but not so much for most of the aircraft I either have flown or have any interest in flying. Even in a Cessna 172, I don't consider anything under 3,000 feet except as an emergency strip. I like having extra room to work and I can just as easily practice short field landings on a 3,000 or 5,000 ft strip as you can on a 900 or 1,800 foot one. The difference is that if you get into trouble on a 5,000 strip in a Cessna, you might actually have an option besides biting it in the trees at the end of the runway (speaking as someone who had to make a forced landing on the remaining portion of a 7,000+ ft runway after engine trouble as a student pilot).
    Last edited by steveinindy; 02-23-2012 at 08:14 PM.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  8. #8

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    Everyone's experience is different and the original poster gets no benefit when the least experienced participant projects their limitations on everyone else.

    The C-172 operates just fine out of 2500'. In fact, at my 1950' long airport several C-172's of various vintages seem to be able to land with runway to spare. And a local acro pilot blew the engine of his Decathlon nearby and made a dead stick emergency landing on the 1950' just fine.

    The original poster can find a number of kit airplanes that can operate from a 2500' grass strip. I believe that all of the RV series aircraft can easily handle that. If I understand correctly, Van's original airstrip was only 1500' long. We have an RV based at my airport.

    Insuring and owned aircraft to be based at a grass airport is no problem. Flight schools that rent to every pilot in town often have rules that attempt to keep the less experienced pilots from going places that might exceed their abilities. They blame those rules on the insurance company, but they usually request those rules themselves.

    Have fun choosing an airplane.

    Wes
    N78PS
    Airport NH16
    Last edited by WLIU; 02-23-2012 at 08:30 PM.

  9. #9

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    And choosing the right aircraft is the key.

    A Champ or Cub will have acres left on that length of runway! I rarely use more than 600 feet of our paved runway, including taxi to the first turn off on landing in the Champ.

    My little Nieuport 11 will take off in 500 feet and land in 250 on grass.

    Steve hits on a key point, though. When one owns a grass strip there is a whole list of things to check and maintain.

    On the FAA/NTSB, most damage is of the "incident" variety with the chuckhole - and on a private strip, right or wrong, if there isn't an ambulance or an insurance claim involved it's an entirely private matter.

    Insurance is based largely on type of airfield - they like long pavement and hangars - but if one has lots of hours and is seeking just liability insurance it's doable.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 02-23-2012 at 09:10 PM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  10. #10
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    when the least experienced participant projects their limitations on everyone else.
    I've got plenty of UL time on short fields and grass since those aircraft really don't have much business operating out of anything else. I just don't keep track of it in terms of a logbook because it's not in "real" airplanes (meaning no one counts UL time in calculating total time).

    In fact, at my 1950' long airport several C-172's of various vintages seem to be able to land with runway to spare.
    I can land in 1950 feet and have plenty of room to spare. I just choose not to. I fly like I'm landing at a short strip when I'm flying those sorts of planes but I don't feel the need to prove anything to myself or anyone else by actually doing it. To each and to their own, but if I can support the local FBOs by using their runway and give myself a little broader margin of error, I'm going to do so.

    Flight schools that rent to every pilot in town often have rules that attempt to keep the less experienced pilots from going places that might exceed their abilities. They blame those rules on the insurance company, but they usually request those rules themselves.
    ...and I can see why given how little experience most of us get on grass. Then again, I guess I lack the nostalgia or whatever it is that leads people to the love of grass strips. When you have plenty of 3,000+ hard surface runways around and zero trouble getting clearance to land on the 12,000+ foot runway nearby, why would you need to go looking for a grass strip that is likely a lot rougher than the well maintained (by someone else) hard surface runway and isn't going to be usable after rain (Hello Sloshkosh!), in the winter or in anything but severe clear VMC?

    Steve hits on a key point, though. When one owns a grass strip there is a whole list of things to check and maintain.
    Reason #1 why I don't have a private grass strip: I don't like mowing. LOL
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



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