About a year ago my son whittled us some traveling chocks, just bits of 2-inch aluminum angle Swiss-cheesed to save weight. We’re a performance family, so everything from boiling pasta to petting the iguana gets the treatment. Recognizing the little wedges could come in handy, I dropped two of them in the Starduster’s headrest. And […]

A Chock Talk

About a year ago my son whittled us some traveling chocks, just bits of 2-inch aluminum angle Swiss-cheesed to save weight. We’re a performance family, so everything from boiling pasta to petting the iguana gets the treatment. Recognizing the little wedges could come in handy, I dropped two of them in the Starduster’s headrest. And […]

The Lessons We Learn

It wasn’t the call I expected from the ferry pilot. Somewhere on the leg into Bloomington, Illinois, the GlaStar started running strangely. On the taxi-in to the FBO, it was definitely running rough, and when he went to shut the trusty Lycoming O-320 down with the mixture, it coughed, sputtered, and almost refused to stop […]

Maxing Out the Fun Factor

For those who have experienced it, the fun of going on a flying trip with your friends and their families in the airplanes you built comes pretty close to maxing out the fun factor for many of us. What really makes this experience enjoyable is being able to share it with a group of competent […]

Affordable! Fast! Too Hot!

Marketing departments willfully ignore the difference between objective and subjective statements, especially the marketing department claiming $3990 is an affordable monthly payment for a new general-aviation airplane. They haven’t seen the rust-perforated rocker panels on my 2008 Jeep. Or they feel my otherwise frugal lifestyle allows me an indulgence. No, thank you. I’ll keep company […]

Long-EZs and More

If there’s a chance to meet or hear an aviation celebrity speak, it’s my observation it’s worth the effort. Much of this is just feeding an interest skewed to history, and I understand my more successful friends who file such field trips in the “nice but not necessary” folder. But I always seem to learn […]

The Dream Is Alive

I don’t know if you’re like me and read magazines all random and willy-nilly, not necessarily from front to back. But if you are, there’s a chance you’ve already consumed Tom Wilson’s latest column (“Living With RVs”). If you haven’t, I won’t steal his thunder here. Only to say he takes up a subject that […]

Spare the Wait and Carry On

What began, for one homebuilder, as a cross-country odyssey to AirVenture turned into an altogether different odyssey when his airplane’s voltmeter began an un-commanded descent to the left. Charging voltage became battery voltage. Battery voltage became too weak to maintain the ship’s systems. The pilot contacted ATC, which vectored him to a remote mining airstrip. […]

Lessons From Galesburg

I’ve had a number of readers ask me if I managed to make it to the Stearman National Convention, and I’m happy to report I did! As a matter of fact, I had so much fun that I thought I would share some of the experience with you. Truth be told, in 42+ years of […]

Rag Wing Roots

These days, I seem to be associated mostly with metal airplanes, RVs in particular. Just take a look at that byline down there—I have been flying my RV-8 since 2005, the RV-3 was finished late in 2011, and it doesn’t even mention the RV-6 my wife brought to the marriage. (We fly together on trips […]

Living With RVs

For the last 20 plus years any person who’s thought of building their own airplane has had to get past one big question: “Why should I build anything other than an RV?” Well, really, why should you build anything other than an RV? It’s where all the lines cross on the chart. They’re affordable. They’re […]

In Case You Missed it

Insurance Update: Experimentals and LSAs

Despite recent economic traumas, the aviation insurance industry has continued to support Experimental and LSA aircraft. The keys for the builder/pilot? Proficiency, training, and availability of parts and service for the airplane.

The Unintimidated Builder

Builder Walter Treadwell has taken on projects that many of us would find daunting, and he keeps upping the ante. First came a Lancair 235, then a plansbuilt Jenny JN-4, followed by a P-38 and then his current project, a resized Sikorsky S-38. Some 4000 hours into the new project, Treadwell has a ways to go, but fortunately he has a mini AgCat to fly in the meantime; by Bob Fritz.

What’s New

Lancair's Piston Evolution has flown, and MGL Avionics V10 com radio debuts. Edited by Mary Bernard.

All About Avionics

Planning a major panel upgrade. By Stein Bruch.