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Bits and Pieces

Building Your Own Aeroplane

By Jack Dueck, EAA Canadian Council – for Bits and Pieces

Spencer's F-1 Rocket
Homebuilt aircraft are unique.

Amateur-built aircraft now comprise the larger number of light recreational aircraft seen at fly-ins, aviation conventions, and air shows. Not surprising then that one kit manufacturer alone has some 11 new aircraft completing a first flight somewhere in the world every single week. A large industry has developed serving the needs of these aircraft builders. And although critics will continue to argue the pros and cons of building one’s own aircraft, amateur-built aircraft are here to stay. Read more

So what is the attraction to this entity? Having personally built or restored four aircraft to date and currently working on a fifth amateur-built aircraft, I can readily relate to the many advantages offered: costs, both initial lower capital costs (that can be less than one-half of a competitive type-certified aircraft) as well as the benefit of the ongoing airworthiness costs when the maintenance is done by the builder/owner. Also, perhaps an increased sense of quality control by the owner in the whole process.

Electrics/Avionics Workshop
EAA Electrics/Avionics Workshop

But perhaps the greatest benefit is the pure joy in the construction and building itself. Here one can develop new skills, hone existing skills, and learn so much related to this world of freedom in flight. And this brings me to the subject of this column.

EAA has always championed the aircraft homebuilder. And this spring, EAA Canada is again offering several two-day intensive hands-on workshops to help the builder perfect his skills and to increase the confidence needed to embark on an aircraft-building project.

RV Assembly/Sheet Metal Workshop
EAA RV Assembly / Sheet Metal Workshop

EAA Chapter 1410, High River, Alberta, is licenced to offer these courses to our Canadian enthusiasts. Courses slated to be held at the High River Regional Airport (CEN4) this spring are:

RV Assembly / Sheet Metal - April 21 and 22, 2012
Electrics/Avionics - April 21 and 22, 2012

Composite Construction - May 5 and 6, 2012
Fabric Covering - May 5 and 6, 2012

Annual Inspection of Your Homebuilt - May 12 and 13, 2012
Test-Flying Your Homebuilt
and Developing Your POH - May 12 and 13, 2012

All tools and materials are provided. The fee for each course is $300 (Canadian) for EAA members or $350 (Canadian) for nonmembers.

The skills that you will learn, the confidence you will develop, the comradeship and networking that will occur, and the pure fun you will have will vastly outvalue your time and investment.

To learn more, contact EAA SportAir Workshops at www.EAA.org, or e-mail your interest to eaasportaircanada2012@yahoo.com.

You’ll be glad you did.

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