A few years back, before I took over the helm of Kitplanes, I wrote a series of articles that stemmed from a talk I was giving around the country entitled “Lessons from Mission Control.” The gist of the material is that we learned many things about flying humans in space in experimental machines in my years (and my predecessors years) in NASA’s human spaceflight program, and many of those lessons are directly applicable to what we do in Experimental aviation. Building a bridge and cross-pollinating those lessons can save time, money—and most importantly, lives.
The collection of fifteen articles is listed below as a single source for tips and ideas from the world of aerospace operations that might very well make a difference in how you build and operate your homebuilt aircraft.
The thirty-two-page booklet is available as a bonus for new subscribers at this time, so if you aren’t a subscriber, or are a lapsed subscriber, this is a great time to pick up a little extra information that we hope you can use!
Paul Dye debuts his new series on the myriad considerations that go into building and flying Experimental aircraft.
Risk management, and how you can decrease the chances of having an aviation mishap.
The word “redundancy” is often heard in aviation, and with good reason. But a well-thought-out backup plan involves more than just having two of everything.
How to achieve unlike (or dissimilar) redundancy on the various systems in your homebuilt.
Countless modifications for homebuilts are available, but does that mean they’re right for our projects? The value of keeping things simple.
How can you give yourself that margin of safety that you hope you’ll never need?
Don’t believe everything you hear when making an important building or maintenance decision—do your homework.
There’s no substitute for real-world testing—something homebuilders should keep in mind when moving from the theoretical to the actual application.
How do you reconcile a discrepancy between two gauges in your aircraft, say, a float-gauge reading and fuel-totalizer data? It helps to have a deep understanding of your systems.
It can be tough to keep a homebuilt project from ballooning out of control when so many tempting innovations and extras catch your eye along the way. Having a specific vision from the outset can help keep things on track.
Everything we know about aviation comes from the experience of designers, builders and pilots who came before us. Understanding their successes and failures can help us fly and build more safely.
Some rules are made for you, and some rules are made by you. Those personal rules create a higher level of safety for you and your passengers, and they are the mark of professionalism in a pilot.
In aviation, one pin out of place can result in disaster. Details matter.
Sometimes working alone in your hangar is exactly what you want. But other times a helping hand is called for, and then it helps to know you’re part of a worldwide homebuilding community.
There are always unknowns in any human endeavor, but in aviation, we must think about the ways we can minimize them.