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EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter EAA Homebuilders
OCT 2010 | VOLUME 2 | NUMBER 10
 
Someone's been looking out for me
Accident investigation; why did the winglet fail?

Accident investigation; why did the winglet fail?
June 13, 2009. Placerville, California. Aircraft: Long-EZ. Registration: N7999H. Injuries: 1 Uninjured. The pilot reported that he applied light pressure to both the left and right brakes following an uneventful landing. The left brake and rudder were inoperative, and the airplane began to veer to the right. Unable to apply brakes or left rudder, the airplane exited the runway and impacted an unoccupied passenger van which resulted in structural damage to the right wing, and fuselage, with substantial damage to the front of the van. Examination of the brake system by an FAA inspector revealed that the probable cause(s) of this accident was the pilot's inability to maintain directional control during the landing roll due to a jammed brake/rudder cable. But why?
Read more

Hints for Homebuilders
Spark Plug Maintenance
Joe Norris demonstrates how to clean, gap and rotate your spark plugs. Joe is the EAA Homebuilders Community Manager as well as a DAR, A&P aircraft mechanic with Inspection Authorization (IA), and an EAA Technical Counselor.
Watch the video
 
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SURVEY
Please review and rate this issue of Experimenter and its articles.

EDITORIAL
This issue may seem to have a canard theme, but it's not intentional. Experimenter is dependent on reader submissions, and for the most part, articles are published as we receive them. We're not sitting on a stockpile of articles from which we can pick and choose, but that would be real nice; it would make my job much easier. In many cases, I find article fodder by monitoring e-mail groups. Oftentimes I'll find some gem written by an enthusiastic homebuilder who writes a wonderful e-mail to all his buddies, not realizing there's a greater audience who might also be interested. That's when I step in and ask if we can publish it in Experimenter.

The best stories come from you, and we implore you to share your building experiences with your fellow readers. We need your help in providing content for each issue of Experimenter. Please consider submitting an article, especially the next time you feel compelled to write a report to your e-mail group, type newsletter, or EAA chapter newsletter. Help us build up that stockpile so we can do a better job bringing you Experimenter each month. And please remember to take our survey when you are done with this issue of Experimenter.

Pat Panzera

PAUL'S PICK
EAA Members Have Loudest Voice with Congress

In the United States, citizens will soon go to the polls to participate in mid-term elections. EAA, by virtue of its tax status, is forbidden to endorse a particular candidate, participate in general campaigning, or contribute to political campaigns. EAA as an organization does communicate with representatives in Washington, D.C., on matters affecting aviation. Paul notes in a column from March 1970 that while the stature of EAA does open doors, the interests of aviation are most effectively heard when EAA members across the country contact their own congressional representatives to express their views on matter of policy. Read Paul's column

Paul Poberezny


TALES FROM THE DAR SIDE
E-LSA or Amateur-Built?
I've been getting a number of calls lately asking about the difference between an experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) and an experimental amateur-built aircraft. These calls are mostly from EAA members who are considering an RV-12 project and wondering whether they should certificate the aircraft as E-LSA or amateur-built. There are potential benefits and pitfalls to both options, so in this month's column I'll try to shine some light on the subject. Read more

Joe Norris

VW-Powered Single Seat, All-Metal Aircraft at AirVenture 2010
Rob Wyland paid a visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 this past summer, with his eyes open for single-place, VW-powered aircraft that utilized aluminum monocoque construction. As a larger fellow, he was most interested in how he would fit and how well the planes could perform with a full payload. What he found was four different planes, all of which were designed in this century. Read more

VW-Powered Single Seat

Do You Use Your Checklists?
Those who have been properly trained to handle guns were taught that the most important rule is to always treat every gun as if it's loaded. Far too many people have been shot by "unloaded guns." In that same respect, we should treat every propeller as if the mags are always on, the engine is primed, the mixture is full rich, and even looking at it will cause the engine to start. In other words, treat it like a loaded gun.

In this article, Lee Taylor recounts an avoidable accident that could have been thwarted by following that simple rule, but could also have been avoided by following the aircraft checklist. Read more

Propping

Central States Association, Rough River Canard Fly-In 
A nice trip with Xtra-EZ
The Central States Association (CSA) is an organization of builders and flyers of Rutan-type aircraft, consisting of approximately 1,000 canard enthusiasts largely from the United States and Canada. CSA hosts an annual fall gathering, one of the oldest ongoing canard events in existence. It was started in 1986, the first year the CSA was in operation, and has been growing ever since. A record for attendance was set in 2000 when 65 canards flew in, which surpassed any other single fly-in event in the world.
Rough River
This year's event didn't quite make the record books, but attendance was outstanding. Scott Carter, featured in the July and August 2010 issues of Experimenter, and his wife Lynn Canatella flew their freshly hatched Xtra-EZ to the event this year and offer this report. Read more

WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE BUILDING
Building a Berkut
Or what did we get ourselves into?

Ric and Shari Lee embarked on a 30-year adventure that began with flying hang gliders and has brought them to the point of a nearly complete Berkut. When their landing gear (legs) started to wear out from foot-launched flight, they began to look around to see what their next flying thing would be. This month's featured project is their journey toward high-performance flight that was discovered by way of a visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Read more
Berkut

MYSTERY PLANE
We need your help to identify an antique homebuilt glider.

Jon Aldridge came across an old photograph of an interesting glider that has piqued his curiosity. Nothing seems to be known about the glider, but it appears to have possibly been built by Tony Schwamm of Anchorage, Alaska. He was a fairly prominent pilot in Alaska during the late 1930s and 1940s. As with so much of Alaskan history, it appears that Schwamm also had a Seattle tie.

The glider is a complete unknown, but based on other photos of Tony Schwamm, it appears to be him sitting in the unfinished craft. The gull wings and twin tail are completely unique in what appears to be a single-seat glider design. It's not known if he designed or built it or was just posing in it in front of his hangar in Petersburg, Alaska. Read more

Mystery plane
 

PlaneDriven's Test Version of Roadable Sportsman
PlaneDriven has revealed a new test version of the Roadable Sportsman that delighted so many at AirVenture 2010. PlaneDriven's Wally Anderson says the major change is that the center pod located underneath the fuselage on the PD-1 has been moved. "The new design uses two pods with a lot less drag," he said.

Roadable Sportsman

EAA Provides Simple Guide for Aircraft Re-Registration
The FAA notice of "Expiration of Aircraft Registration" forms have started to arrive in mailboxes - EAA has received a batch for several of its 200-some museum aircraft - and to help guide aircraft owners through the process, EAA has developed a simple guide based on a sample re-registration form. Feedback we've received thus far has reinforced our experience that the re-registration process can be accomplished in as little as 5-10 minutes. Read more

Kenyan Homebuilder Has Spirit of Aviation...But Will it Fly?
Gabriel Nderitu hardly lacks enthusiasm and ingenuity, and he will need all of that if his scratchbuilt aircraft is to become the first homebuilt to fly in Kenya. The aircraft is indeed "homebuilt" as it looks like it was assembled from parts of other vehicles and machinery. Nderitu says he has had a passion for aviation since he was a boy; with no prior training in engineering or aviation, he built his own design after six months of intensive research on the Internet. Read more | Watch Gabriel’s first takeoff attempt
Kenyan scratchbuilt
Q&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.

Q. I'm thinking of purchasing an already flying homebuilt, and I was wondering what kind of restrictions are placed on experimental aircraft. I've been reading FAA regulations, specifically § 91.319, which spells out operating limitations for aircraft with experimental certificates. That regulation seems awfully restrictive, yet I see homebuilts flying all over the place, even using instrument flight rules (IFR). What's the deal?

A. Yes, § 91.319 is quite restrictive on the face of it, but there's more to the story. Section (c) of the regulation holds the key in its first sentence: "Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator in special operating limitations…" Read more | Read more Q&As


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

VORTILONS - Small fencelike surfaces extending in front of the wing and attached to the undersurface. They are particularly useful in preventing spanwise flow at high angles of attack, by shedding a vortex, similar to that of a wing fence. Vortilons generate a vortex over the upper surface at high angles of attack.  More glossary terms


FROM THE ARCHIVES
Sport Aviation, July 1975
Rutan VariEze to Be Available to Homebuilders
By Burt Rutan

In recognition of SpaceShipTwo's successful first glide test earlier this month, we thought it would be appropriate to feature the man, the company, and the plane that started it all. With this month's featured article from July 1975, Burt Rutan announces the upcoming availability of the VariEze to the homebuilt community. Read the article

From the Archives
AROUND THE WEB
Sport Air Racing League! Cockpit View During the RaceSport Air Racing League! Cockpit View During the Race
Russell Sherwood (Race 84) recently posted a video shot during the Grace Flight Race across north Texas and south Oklahoma which took place October 3, 2010. The video has been edited to just 3.5 minutes. The camera is mounted inside his Subaru EG33-powered Glasair's cabin, so it only shows what was directly in front of the plane. Grace Flight Race was a 144-mile event, and the Glasair had an average speed of 227.54 mph.

The Sport Air Racing League holds several events throughout the United States and in Canada every year. Aircraft are classed by engine size, landing gear type, and if they're factory built or experimental. Watch the video

What a Great Sound; LS1 Breathes Life Into a P-51What a Great Sound; LS1 Breathes Life Into a P-51
The Geared Drives firewall-forward engine package for a P-51 is shown at idle and run up very conservatively since ignition was being tested only and there was no prop installed. Watch the video
One-Third of a Six-Cylinder Engine Makes the Airbike FlyOne-Third of a Six-Cylinder Engine Makes the Airbike Fly
Cutting the six-cylinder down to two cylinders produces an affordable alternative to the one-half Volkswagen conversion. Watch the cockpit view of flying this engine on an Airbike, dubbed CorvAirbike. Watch the video

HOMEBUILDER GALLERY OF THE MONTH
Idaho Curtiss Pusher Project

Two Idaho homebuilding enthusiasts recently completed and flew a replica of a 1909 Herring-Curtiss Pusher Model D, which was the first aircraft flown in Idaho. The Idaho Centennial of Flight takes place in October of this year (2010) and Jim Otey, EAA 26863, of Lewiston, Idaho, and his project partner Dean Wilson, of nearby Clarkston, Washington, spent two years building the aircraft with the assistance of a set of drawings an area elder found in a family home he was helping clean out.
View the gallery
Curtiss Pusher

FEATURED WEBINAR
Wondering About the Future of AvGas? Watch This Webinar!
In talking about the future of sport aviation, it's impossible to ignore the topic of fuel and the search for a 100LL replacement. On October 27, you'll have the chance to hear from someone with 20 years of experience in the move toward unleaded aviation gasoline: EAA's Doug Macnair. This webinar will give you the latest information on alternative fuels research, the status of the recently formed avgas coalition, and the future of unleaded fuel for general aviation.
Sign up!
FROM THE EAA HOMEBUILDING COMMUNITY
The 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.
Oshkosh 365

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