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From the Archives - August 1963: The Homebuilder Goes Shopping

By Ian Brown, Editor - Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

We normally try to pull out some Canadian content for the issue from 50 years ago this month, but this piece of advice just jumped out at me from an article about "shopping". The sentence that caught my eye said, "Firstly, if your intent is the economical acquisition of an airplane, forget the do-it-yourself route. A respectable used ship can probably be acquired for less than the cost of the materials alone for a homebuilt."

How true this is. If you buy an aircraft, you don't have to pay shipping charges on all those crates. You don't have to pay taxes other than those demanded at the moment of the transaction. If you buy an already built kit aircraft, you can be your own mechanic and avoid the annual inspection costs. You even get the chance to inspect the future aircraft before buying, choosing the configuration that pleases you.

The full article can be read here.

The author concludes that you have to be a confirmed "piddler" to want to build an aircraft. I think that means something different these days, but it is surely true that amateur aircraft builders are a special breed. How many people could be convinced to spend almost every spare hour in the basement or hangar? Evidently, the amateur aircraft builder is blessed with a unique nature, and that is why there are so many repeat offenders among us.


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