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EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
   
 
November 2009
  EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
Inside this Issue
Homebuilt Safety in the Spotlight
Dan Card’s Amphibious E-LSA
Engines and Insurability
Prop Balancing
Missouri Double Eagle
 
 
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WELCOME!
Joe NorrisHomebuilt Safety in the Spotlight
In last month's issue of Experimenter, we reported the release of the FAA's revised amateur-built certification policy, commonly known as the 51 percent rule. Since then we've had time to dig a little deeper into the new documents and also have had some input from EAA members who are completing their projects. So far it doesn't seem that the new policy has had a negative effect on builders getting their aircraft certificated. I've performed two certifications since the new policy came into effect and for the most part these two inspections have been identical to those I performed under the previous policy. We still have some things to learn as we go forward and as more applications are submitted from builders who used commercial assistance. I suspect there may be some growing pains involved in those cases. If you have a project that you are concerned may have difficulties with the new rule, please contact us so that we may be of assistance. Read more
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Paul's Pick
Paul PobereznyThe moratorium on new airworthiness certificates for Zenith Zodiac models of aircraft highlight the need for the homebuilding community to remain ahead of regulators when it comes to safety practices. This concept is not new; Paul Poberezny wrote about this very subject in August, 1983.
Read Paul's article
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Unprecedented Action
FAA grounds AMD/Zodiac CH 601 XL and CH 650 S-LSA until compliance with AMD Safety Alert

For the first time in history, the FAA has suspended issuance of any new airworthiness certificates for an entire fleet of special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) - the AMD/Zodiac CH 601 XL and CH 650 - and the FAA will not issue airworthiness certificates to experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) and amateur built versions of Zenith, Zodiac or Zenair CH 601 XL and CH 650 aircraft until modified in a manner consistent with the manufacturer’s safety alert is performed. The CH 601 HD, HDS and UL are unaffected. Read more
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A Word From Zenith Aircraft
CH 601 XL retrofit
By Sebastien Heintz, president, Zenith Aircraft Company (Mexico, MO.)

On November 7, 2009, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin SAIB #CE-10-08, the same day that AMD, the manufacturer of the special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) version of the CH 601 XL and CH 650 aircraft, released a Safety Alert on these aircraft. The FAA Bulletin and AMD's Safety Alert were released after a series of accidents over the past several years involving this aircraft type, and prescribe that a number of upgrades be performed to the aircraft before further flight. Our own findings mirror the FAA's determination that these accidents do not have a "single root cause," instead implicating "the potential coupling of design and operational aspects of the aircraft."
Read more
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Dan Card’s Amphibious E-LSA
First Flights
MermaidDan Card knew he wanted to build a light-sport aircraft (LSA); he just needed to find the right one. With so many different aircraft out there it was just a matter of searching his heart and picking the best one for him. Deciding on an LSA and stepping down from private pilot to sport pilot was easy for Dan. Ten plus years of managing his home airport at Fresno Chandler Executive Airport (KFCH), and he was tired of seeing friends make “the long walk” to the lunch counter in the diner on the field. Not wanting to give up flying someday (losing his medical) and looking to his future as a sport pilot was all the motivation he would need. Read more
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Engines and Insurability
Experimental amateur-built means you can build an airplane for your own enjoyment and education. Experimental amateur-built (EAB) doesn't always mean that you will be able to obtain airplane insurance.

The FAA has its rules on building your own airplane, and aviation insurance companies have their own underwriting guidelines when it comes to what they will and will not insure and if they do insure, what condition or limitation they may apply. Read more

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A Day with John Dyke and the Delta Flyers
Dyke DeltaWhile interviewing John Dyke for an article on his Dyke Delta, it became apparent that there was more to the story than just a unique airplane; it was about John’s inventive spirit and the creative spirit of Dyke Delta builders that struck me. As John noted with regard to his years associated with both his aircraft and plans sales, “A lot of human interest stories goes into this stuff.” He also revealed that this spirit, and its roots, goes back to his childhood. Read more
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How to...
Prop Balancing

Prop BalancingHere’s the incredibly sensitive prop static balance device that Jeff Jeter designed and made for me. When correctly adjusted, it will show an out-of-balance indication when a No. 4 washer is placed at the tip of a 63-inch diameter prop. Read more
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What Our Members Are Building
Missouri Double Eagle

Missouri Double EagleThe Double Eagle is a high-wing taildragger with a steel-tube fuselage and built-up wooden wings, covered in fabric and motivated by a four-cylinder Volkswagen powerplant. While there are many fine low-and-slow designs out there, this bird has a feature that my daughter, Danielle, feels is very important; side-by-side seating. Read more
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From the EAA Homebuilding Community
Oshkosh 365The Homebuilders Corner message forum at Oshkosh365 is as active as ever. Have a look at the list below and follow the links to read the actual questions and discussion topics.

Can You Help?
 :
Any tips on installing a vacuum regulator?
 : Have you seen this Windecker prop?
 : An aluminum cowl: How thick?
 : Who can make a custom fiberglass cowling?
 : Can you identify this starter?

Interesting Discussions
 :
Two-Thirds scale P-38!
 :
Scratch-built Canard
 :
Curtiss Pusher Replica
 :
6061 vs. 2024
 :
Stretching a Tri-Pacer

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From the Editor
Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743
ppanzera@eaa.org

Pat PanzeraThe past month and a half has been very exciting for experimental aviation, and not in a good way. First, the new 51 percent rule was announced (the good part being that it's not all bad) and now the unprecedented refusal by the FAA to issue airworthiness certificates to any CH601 XL variant without a prescribed fix from the manufacturer. With all this going on, we've filled up this issue of your e-newsletter with "news" and left it rather bare of projects and the usual. Hopefully next month will be a little quieter and we can get back to writing about projects again, which means we need stories from you.

You have spoken and EAA has listened; you want articles like those from days-gone-by and that's what we're trying to do with Experimenter. But back then, people didn't have websites with which to tell their stories, they only had EAA publications. Now, anyone capable of building a plane can certainly build a website, and usually do, so they're not compelled to submit their story to EAA. We need to break ourselves of that and start submitting our stories to be published here. We are especially in need of "What Our Members Are Building" articles. This is by far one of our most read features and we just don't have a steady flow of submissions.

Joe Norris mentioned in his editorial that since the adoption of the new 51 percent rule, he's conducted (as a DAR) certification inspections on two experimentals, both of which were "grandfathered" kits so they were not affected by the new rule, as they should be. But we really won't know the depth of the issue until projects come under scrutiny of the new checklist. Joe also mentioned that the new FAA National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) conducted a practice evaluation at Sonex Aircraft as part of their training. Although the Sonex line of kit aircraft are also grandfathered in and do not require any form of reevaluation, it will be interesting to see how well they (or any other grandfathered kit manufacturer for that matter) fare when pitted against the new rule. At this writing, the final "verdict" is still in the hands of the NKET team - when the results are made public, we'll let you know.

And again from the "you asked for it, now you got it" category, we've received a good share of requests for articles on experimental, amateur-built aircraft that meet the light-sport definition. Starting with this issue, and specifically with the Mermaid article, Nicholas Wood will be doing all he can to supply us with an article of this nature in each issue. But know that we will not be featuring factory-built S-LSA or E-LSA aircraft in Experimenter. For those who are interested in S-LSA, watch your email inbox for an announcement from EAA about a new e-newsletter dedicated to sport pilots and light-sport aircraft, Light Plane World.

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Hints for Homebuilders
P Lead Fabrication
Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation Services demonstrates how to fabricate a P-Lead for a magneto. Brian is an A&P aircraft mechanic with an Inspection Authorization rating (IA), a DAR for light-sport and amateur built, a Sport Pilot Instructor Examiner, an FAA Certified Flight Instructor, and an EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor.
Watch the video
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From the Archives
Sport Aviation, March 1964 Evolution of the Dyke Delta
Read the article

Want to read more about the Dyke Delta? Check out these links to other Sport Aviation articles from 1968, 1979, and 2008. There is also a link to a video of David T. William's Dyke Delta Reborn.

: Dyke Delta JD-2
: Steve Ansley's Dyke Delta
: Dyke Delta Reborn -
Dave Williams' Dyke Delta
(See the video)

You can also search the archives by subject for a multitude of technical and how-to articles.

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Questions and AnswersQ&A
Got a question? Send it to us at Experimenter@eaa.org.
Whether you're building, restoring, or just an enthusiast. we want to know what has you stumped.

Questions About Replicas
Q:
 In a previous Q&A you talked about special rules for marking the N number on certain homebuilts. I have a few follow-up questions. First, you mentioned that a homebuilt aircraft that is at least 30 years old, or a replica of an aircraft that is at least 30 years old, can use 2 inch N numbers and can use "NX" instead of just "N." Is the 30-year time frame a rolling one, or is it 30 years from a particular date? Read the answers

Read more Q&A

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Homebuilder Gallery of the Month
Mermaid, an Amphibious E-LSA
Dan Card gets help from Dick Rutan as he flies his Mermaid for the first time. This gallery shows the test flight sequence for the first customer-built Mermaid.

View the photo gallery

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Poll Poll
Q. Should the FAA create a certification category for a non-limited (e.g. no 51% requirement) "commercial assisted" experimental aircraft kit?

Poll - Vote Now!

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Aviation Glossary
Confused by a strange aeronautical term? EAA's online Aviation Glossary can help.

ELEVON - A hinged device on the rear portion of an aircraft wing combining the functions of an elevator and an aileron. Usually found on delta-wing aircraft, it can be moved in the same direction on either side of the aircraft to obtain longitudinal control, or differentially to obtain lateral control. Also see FLAPERON.

More glossary terms

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Join EAA

The members of EAA invite YOU to become part of the EAA community.
Join
:: Renew :: Gift
Member Benefits :: About EAA

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Forum Review
Aircraft Efficiency, Plastic Spoons, and WhiteKnightTwo

Listen to two interviews with Barnaby Wainfan, aircraft engineer, researcher, author, and inventor of innovative airplanes, talks with EAA Radio during AirVenture 2009. Read more
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Around the Web
Sparky Imeson died on March 17, 2009. He left behind a family that believes his books and knowledge are valuable to the flying community. In honor of his legacy, all of Sparky's books and videos will remain available.

For more links to interesting aircraft design and building topics to read about and explore on the Internet, visit our Around The Web page, including a cool concept in flight and propulsion. It's a wing! No, it's a fan! It's a fanwing!

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