Archive for the ‘The Beginning’ Category

Where it all began

This is the little beast sitting on the ramp at Stellar Airpark in Phoenix, Arizona. It looked decent and it was reasonably fast. I planned to fly the heck out of it while I was building my RV-8.

There were a few cosmetic problems, but I convinced myself that I could live with things as they were. The plane was relatively inexpensive and seemed to be a good bang for the buck so I bought it.

The original panel was simple, but adequate. There was no electrical system, so a transponder wasn’t required. It had an external comm antenna that I could plug my Icom handheld transceiver into. It actually worked very well.

The canopy installation left a little to be desired. It had been sprung repeatedly and had damage on the right side at the front and rear edges of the canopy skirt. No biggie. I can fix that. It’s just cosmetic after all…

Again, the engine installation was no showpiece, but it was adequate. Heck, the plane had flown 220 hours since certification. I figured if things were going to break or not work in the first place, 220 hours would have been enough to expose any weaknesses.

I must have misplaced my rose-colored sunglasses approximately 3 months after I purchased this airplane. I think it was a combination of a bunch of things that caused me to disassemble the airplane and start rebuilding. First, I had a new job and more income. A month or two later, a friend of mine died in an aircraft accident and I was a little lukewarm on flying in general. Not long after that, I was approached to instruct a young girl in a Cessna 421. The thing was a deathtrap and I refused to fly it. I guess saying those words out loud made me consider my own aircraft. I knew there were things wrong with it and I felt like a hypocrite for refusing to fly someone else’s marginal airplane while continuing to fly my own.

The time had come. I planned to just have the engine rebuilt over the winter months. One thing led to another and I ended up completely disassembling the entire airplane.