October 2012

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/84816

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Page 1 of 47

Homebui lder's Corner Checking In Flying new-to-you airplanes By Chad Jensen I've had the opportunity to fl y a number of airplanes since I've been on staff at EAA, and I'm quite pleased with the amount of fl ying that I'm able to do here. When new-to-me airplanes become available to fl y, I use the checkout training system to transition to that airplane. The term "checking out" should really be "checking in." I've checked in to six different experimental airplanes over the last year—the two Glastars at Pioneer, Sonex tri-gear, Onex tri-gear, RV-6A, and the Wag Aero Cuby. Checking in to an experimental amateur-built (E-AB) airplane (airplane-AB) is something no one should take lightly. Even if you have previous time in a similar type (I built and fl ew my RV-7 but still took instruction in the RV-6A), they all fl y a little differently, and they all have different panels and systems. I did my tailwheel endorsement in 2007 in a J-3. The Cuby is the experimental version of the J-3, so it's no big deal, right? Well, the J-3 had a 65-hp engine; the Cuby has an 85-hp engine on it. Not a big difference, but they are different, and the Cuby does fl y a little differently than the J-3. I was pleased with my training in the Cuby to get me ready to fl y it regularly; it's the airplane of choice for me! A check-in at Pioneer Airport has On the cover: Bill Keyes' turbine-powered S-51, Lil Stinker. (EAA photo by Jim Koepnick.) 2 NO. 2/OCTOBER 2012 as much to do with the airport environment as it does the airplane. I went through the ground school and then started training at the airport in the tri-gear Glastar. While I was signed off to fly the tailwheel Glastar solo, I did not complete my training to fly Young Eagles from the airport in that airplane. Why one Glastar, and not the other? They are different. Not just in the case of where the little wheel resides on the airplane, but they fly differently. The pitot-static system is slightly different in each airplane, the speeds are different in the pattern, and the list goes on. So close, yet different. The folks at Sonex have allowed me to fl y a couple of their airplanes, and it has been a wonderful experience. Flying the tri-gear airplanes fi rst allowed me to learn to fl y the airplanes without having to worry much about winds during the takeoff and landing phases of fl ight. I haven't yet fl own the taildragger Sonex or Onex, but I wouldn't even think of doing so without training. My challenge to all of you who check in to new-to-you airplanes is to get the proper transition training from a qualifi ed instructor. A focus at EAA is safety of the E-AB segment of aviation. We are under the gun from the NTSB to improve our record. EAA's Safety Initiative is a big part of that, but the biggest part of improving the record is you. Check in before you give yourself a chance to check out.

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