Builders share their successes.


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Pete Fields Lancair 390

I first flew my Lancair 390 on April 28, 2009. The airplane is powered by a Mattituck Lycoming TMX-IO-390 engine driving an MT three-blade, constant-speed prop. IFR avionics include Chelton displays, backed up by a Dynon EFIS-D10A, Becker transceivers, transponder and VOR with glideslope. A great deal of thanks goes to Ken Schnurbusch and Alan Humberton of St. Louis Avionics, who got it all working well. I started the kit in 1990, but really concentrated on completing it during the past four years after retirement from McDonnell Douglas. Prior to that I had spent 27 years as a Marine aviator. Special thanks goes to my loving wife, Ann, for her patience, help and encouragement over these many years. I am also the beneficiary of help from good friends Jud Reppen, Wade Wheelington, Steve Schulte, Glen Whittaker, John Marshall and, especially, from the innovative Tom Ward, the best A&P I know.

Chesterfield, Missouri

Lee Bates Thatcher CX4

I built my plansbuilt Thatcher CX4 single-seat airplane in 4 years. I worked on it every day for 3 hours a day in the heated shop next to my house. It flew for the first time on November 25, 2009, in Ellensburg, Washington. I built it as Experimental/Amateur-Built, and I can do the annuals with my Repairmans Certificate. It is 6061-T6 aluminum, and is powered by the Great Plains 76-hp VW 2180cc engine-plenty of power. I painted it myself with the Stewart Systems water-based paint. I picked this plansbuilt airplane because of its simplicity and beauty. I picked aluminum because I was an MRB Engineer at Boeing building 747s before I retired. I plan to fly it a lot this summer when the weather is better. I named it Old Slip Stick because I am an aeronautical and mechanical engineer who used to use a slide rule at Boeing. I also built a one-tenth scale model of my Thatcher (visible on the wing) that I plan to fly some day. My local EAA Chapter 492 provided support. Other builders may contact me if interested.

Ellensburg, Washington

Michael Crowders Sonex

My Sonex construction project began in October 2003. Five years and a lot of hard work later, I got my airworthiness certificate. First flight was November 26, 2008, and I now have 75 fun hours on my airplane. It is everything the Sonex factory said it would be. What a blast! The factory support was great, and they were always willing to help when I had questions. The Jabiru 3300A engine is a real performer, and it propels my little warbird though the sky quite easily. Although I may have the heaviest Sonex around, I installed everything I wanted including a two-axis TruTrak autopilot, Blue Mountain EFIS, Garmin transponder, Grand Rapids EIS, electric flaps and APRS tracking. Id like to thank everyone who has helped over the years: Ed Bodette, Peter van Schalkwyk, Robert Frost, John Davis, the ASA and many more.

Cary, North Carolina


Submissions to Completions should include a typed, double-spaced description (a few paragraphs only-250 words maximum) of the project and the finished aircraft. Also include a good color photograph (prints or 35mm slides are acceptable) of the aircraft that we may keep. Please include a daytime phone number where we can contact you if necessary. Also indicate whether we may publish your address in case other builders would like to contact you. Send submissions to: Completions, c/o KITPLANES Magazine, 203 Argonne Ave., Suite B105, Long Beach, CA 90803. Digital submissions are also acceptable. Send text and photos to with a subject line of Completions. Photos must be high-resolution-300 dpi at a 3 x 5 print size is the minimum requirement.

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