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Thread: Don't say "Airplane"

  1. #11
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    We have a local gas supplier I have an ongoing relationship for CO2 (for my soda dispensor) and Nitrogen (for the wine bar) and they sell oxygen for Medical and Welding. Originally they had offered to one day turn around filling my tank by sending it over to their facility across town (the place I pick up my other tanks near Dulles airport doesn't actually fill things there they just distribute them). Subsequently, they decided that they didn't want to do even that.

    On the other hand, I've gone the other way. We were doing welding on the fire engine and the guy I'm working with curses that his O2 tank has run out. I point out we have all kinds of oxygen on the ambulance and went and grabbed the thumper bottle.


    When I had my aircraft step that needed chroming I took it to the local motorcycle shop who referred me to the machine shop next door who referred me to a metal plating place up in Baltimore. With great trepidation I told them what this thing was I was giving them, but they didn't seem to care. Came back looking beautiful.

  2. #12
    cub builder's Avatar
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    Most folks not involved with aviation imagine huge lawsuits with little benefit to them, so don't want to deal with aviation. Face it, we are a very small sector of the population and building a plane is going to have little financial impact on the lumber yard. And, as your lumber dealer correctly points out, they do not hand select lumber and more importantly, the handling of lumber for aviation use is significantly different from the Doug Fir you're going to find at the lumber yard. That starts with the way the drop the tree which gets special "kid glove" handling from there on. That is not to say you can't get decent Doug Fir by digging through the lumber at the yard, but you have no idea how much abuse it has seen on it's way to the lumber yard. If you want to hand pick lumber, make sure you tell them you are building bunk beds for your kids or cabinets, or something other than an aircraft. As soon as you mention aviation, all they see is liability.

    I ran into the same thing when buying seat/shoulder harnesses for my project. The more popular on line race shops carry hundreds of different types of harnesses and will sell to anyone building any type of off road race car, no matter how dangerous. But as soon as you mention aviation, they will refuse to talk to you. So you hang up and order on line. The legal system in this country has people so afraid of being sued that if they don't understand your use, they suddenly view doing business with you as a liability. You can try to explain to them that aviation is significantly safer than racing sprint cars and off road buggies, but they have no interest in understanding your argument.

    -Cub Builder

  3. #13
    Byron J. Covey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris In Marshfield View Post
    He asked what I was using it for, and like a dummy I said, "for an airplane".

    I asked him if I could take a look at what he had, to which he repeated, "My supplier doesn't hand-pick lumber of this quality. Sorry, I can't help you." He wouldn't even allow me to look at his stock.

    So, lesson learned. If you're looking for Doug Fir, you're not building an airplane, you're building doors. Or a boat. Or a shed.

    ~Chris
    Except for Aircraft Spruce, Wicks, et al, I have never purchased anything for an airplane. I've purchased lots of stuff for science projects, boats, go-carts, dune buggies, farms, and motorcycles, to name a few.

  4. #14

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    Too funny....but true - one has to be careful using the "A" word in stores and with vendors.

    I was at an off road place looking at harnesses, having told them I was building a dune buggy from scratch and would have to make my own mounts for it. We're all getting along famously when the wife, who was being more than patient, wandered back over from looking at motorcycles and let the airplane cat out of the bag.

    Suddenly all the crap they said about the merits of different harnesses went out the window and none of them were acceptable for use.

    The flip side is the guy working at Home Depot that saw the collection of odd stuff I was buying, including some aluminum sheet, and laughingly remarked "what kind of airplane are you building?" to which I responded "Nieuport 11." Turns out he had built an RV and we had a nice builder's meeting right there in the aisle.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #15
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron J. Covey View Post
    Except for Aircraft Spruce, Wicks, et al, I have never purchased anything for an airplane. I've purchased lots of stuff for science projects, boats, go-carts, dune buggies, farms, and motorcycles, to name a few.
    I like to use the term, "Off-Road Vehicle." They can't even accuse you of lying....

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #16

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    Add public storage units to the list. I had a two year waiting list for a hangar and my Beech was tied down on the line. I also had a tube and fabric project on the gear. No engine. no fuel tank. No fabric. Just welded tubes. When asked, I told the manager that it was going to be an airplane. He said "No way. It may explode."


    Bob

  7. #17
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dingley View Post
    Add public storage units to the list. I had a two year waiting list for a hangar and my Beech was tied down on the line. I also had a tube and fabric project on the gear. No engine. no fuel tank. No fabric. Just welded tubes. When asked, I told the manager that it was going to be an airplane. He said "No way. It may explode."


    Bob
    Bob, it was an art project. You are a modernistic tube artist. Ask him if he is willing to give you a discount to support the arts! :-)
    Jim Hann
    EAA 276294 Lifetime
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  8. #18

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    Good one Jim. I just wasn't thinking fast enough. I told the next place that it was farm machinery.

  9. #19
    Byron J. Covey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dingley View Post
    When asked, I told the manager that it was going to be an airplane. He said "No way. It may explode."Bob
    Happens all the time ....

  10. #20
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Dingley View Post
    Good one Jim. I just wasn't thinking fast enough. I told the next place that it was farm machinery.
    Jim Hann
    EAA 276294 Lifetime
    Vintage 722607
    1957 Piper PA-22/20 "Super Pacer"
    Chapter 32 member www.eaa32.org
    www.mykitlog.com/LinerDrivr
    Fly Baby/Hevle Classic Tandem


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