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"Cowboy Up" is up


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As you might be able to guess..... I flew my plane for the first time today.....










I have to thank everyone who wrote with advise. I didn't take any of it but thanks anyway:keen:keen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gifkeen.gif.7777ed0d05dcd20861d93166f822038e.gifkeen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gifkeen.gif.7777ed0d05dcd20861d93166f822038e.gifkeen.gif.9802fd8e381488e125cd8e26767cabb8.gif.






So here's the story:


The weather report says absolutely awful weather for today, so I ignore that, I get the plane to the airport (Moruya) this morning at about 8:30. (ever seen a plane hung from a Hi-ab, with the pilot dangling from the tail to balance it, very funny:laugh:)




So the weather is s**t so I put her together trying to ignore the fact that my hat is blowing off, takes about 1/2 an hour since I was doing it carefully and slowly.




The weather is 7-17kts across the main strip, and almost along the cross, I go to taxi on the cross strip.


Sounds easy, until I realise that the brakes need to bed in, there is a lot of wind, and not much experience on castoring nose gear is a bad combination. Was running all over the place, pulled the throttle back and the B***d stopped on me. Tried to restart, not enough kick left in the battery. D**M. So I took the battery out, hooked it to the car and ran that for 1/4 hr to charge it. Then I started her up and tried a few turn on the taxiway, and then back onto the cross strip.


First really slow, just to be sure I could steer it, the faster to steer with rudder, THEN FASTER TO FEEL ELEVATOR, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN;








worked it back down OK.


Did that twice, was happy with it but wanted to use the long strip before taking off. Wind was too bad. Waited until the afternoon. 3 taxis and I was happy (and so was the airport manager who happens to be my first instructor)


So it was time to cowboy up, say a prayer, and full throttle and farewell Terra Firma.


Climbs well, was at 500 by the end of a 1.5km strip, easily. Didn't try for speed. she flys hands off within reason.


Did 2 circuits until the rain came and forced me down for the day.


Forgot to pull carb heat and had the prop stop on downwind<edit>base<edit>:confused:. Started immediately, not that I needed it, it refuses to leave the air and had to be slipped from 500 feet anyway.






So there you have it.


More tomorrow.


PS Spoke to Garry, he says if it is balanced straight off, I did a good build job, and I told him he did a excellent design job.




SO BUY MORE CHEETAHS, I'll help you build them, it was the most fun thing I have done that wasn't flying itself.




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Awesome Joshua. Well done.


You must have built it right.


If the engine restarted after stopping on downwind, carb heat wouldn't have helped - it wasn't icing. Probably need to adjust the idle. Same thing happened to me when I got back to Goulburn on the ferry flight. 50 feet off the ground on final I pulled the throttle right back and it stopped. Restarted easily and put it down with nary an adjustment.


Where's the photos?


Sorry I couldn't make it today - work. See you soon.





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Congratulations. You must be very happy with it. I havn't got the Corby to fly hands off after 5 years, just too lazy to do it, but that first flight of your own built plane is so good.


No doubt we will get regular updates as you fly off the time.



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Fantastic stuff Joshua.


Congratulations on the first flight of "Cowboy Up". It has been a pleasure following your build progress and I now look forward to reading about your many adventures to come.


I bet it will be hard to get to sleep tonight! Once again, well done.;)


All the best,





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Hi carumba dude - as Bart might say, ;) congratulations you must be tickled pink to have built and flown your own aircraft - you now join the ranks of a very exclusive group of aviators - started by Orville and Wilbur......018_hug.gif.8f44196246785568c4ba31412287795a.gif





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Thanks for comments,


I still think it was ice, idle is out, but it stopped at too high revs for that, and when I pulled the right knob, it got better. Still would die at full back throttle, but now would run at speeds below 1000rpm.


Besides, it was practically raining at the time, it was to be expected. Come to think of it it was also thundering and lighning-ing as well. I didn't want to go back down to dreary old earth.


I haven't sealed the canopy either, so I was getting a fair bit of spray in, which was nice on a hot day;). I could just seal it with door seal like Garry says, but I had some other ideas, probably will end up with door seal.


Here are some pics, it doesn't shine quite like Slarti's, but it is nicer in the sun.







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Well Done but reading your post sounded a bit like a cowboy,[or is it exuberance] so be cautious and enjoy a long lasting experience Cheers T87

Yes, I have the talent for acting like that, but just like my building story sounded a bit hit and miss and yet she still flies well,


flying is similar.



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Well done mate, you must be on a real "high" after all the hard work you put into it. So many out here will be envious, including me.


Kermit Green, you'd surely expect it to leap off the ground.


Don't worry if Slarti's shines a bit more. Rumour has it that he used a bit of slave labour during Boy Scouts "bob a job week" to polish his. After all said and done, it will be drooled all over, when the non-achievers check it out at your first fly-in 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


I've really enjoyed reading the posts and following your progress.


Instead of working on it half the night, you'll now be able to walk into the bedroom and say, "Hello, do you remember me"?


Stay safe, and enjoy it to the max.







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Day 2


Has 6.8hrs on the clock now, still have to fix the oil cooler because it was getting hot, and the muffler is trying to burn a hole in the cowl, but they had to wait until it was home again.


Was flying all this morning, practising short field, then came to home strip (1hr by car, 17mins at 2500rpm in plane) did a few runs there, thought I could get it down but wasn't sure I could stop.


So flew back to Moruya, had to wait until the airport reopened (was closed for 2.5hrs today) then rang home and asked Lex if he could kindly remove some trees.


He said he would, so I waited a bit and headed back. He hadn't finished by the time I got back so I did a few low passes, climbing to clear the tractor he was driving at the time.


But the problem was the the wind had come up to about 10kts, that was ok, but there are trees on the approach side, and it is hard enough to clear them and land a slippery plane on a short strip, let alone add some turbulence:black_eye:.


So once the trees were clear, I came as low as I could, first time too fast, went around,


2nd time in at about 40kts, just cleared the trees, slipped her again, and there was the ground, didn't have time to straighten her up fully, got rid of the roll, but touched at about 15 degrees to the right, not to worry, strip has a bump there, was back in the air and turned straight before I bumped down again.


Wasn't too hard on the undercarriage, (very nice undercarriage it is too, very forgiving) and I only used minimal brakes and would have made it trees and all.


Then I noticed the down side of paddock strips: Cowsh*t sprayed up under both wings and one side.


Oh well, you can't have it all.


Then I had to hitchhike up to Moruya to get my car back, a 17 minute plane trip took me a couple of hours. did it in 4 lifts. There is still some good in people.


PS Garry told me I would take about 6 months to learn to fly it good enough to get it home, which was wrong;


and when I told him it needs larger ailerons, he told me I shouldn't be doing steep turns on a go round at low speed. which is probably right, come to think of it.









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Joshua - I am concerned


You are tied up in an exciting moment and know we are all with you - please listen and fly by the book - the book was written based on the lives of people that are no longer here today



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Congradulations Joshua,


What you have achieved is no less than an amazing feat , build your own machine, fly it and all within only a few months. Good on you well done! Most people only dream of what you have achieved. I witnessed a maiden flight of a Pitts Special here in SA yesterday, it’s original owner had commenced building it 16 years before you were born. 36 years from build commencment to its maiden flight. That’s a marathon.


You have done a sprint!


Just a few thought’s for others reading who have made comments as to what you have achieved.


How many incidents have involved young owner builders? Does someone have the stats?


I would feel that a young pilot with some ability and agility, is in far better stead than an older pilot who has some hours and a attitude which is not as it ought to be.


e.g. a pilot who say’s this is how he does things , yet can’t seem to demonstrate them successfully or consistently. Then commences to shift the focus of their ability to some other outside factors. Meaning they are not able to learn from what they are being taught, because they already feel they know it all!


Iam sure Joshua has learnt lots in his years of flying and am also sure he would not deliberately do something beyond his ability, which may either harm self, machine or anyone else to that matter.


Joshua I wish you many years of flying enjoyment, and look forward to hearing about your adventures in your machine, no doubt this is the first of many. And do enjoy laying on your back cleaning of the COW POOP, it happens to the best of us!


Cheers Guy, PS fly in and hangar dinner @ Jamestown SA April 19 2008



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<edit> thanks Blueshed, I didn't see that while I was writing, Good Luck to you <edit>


OK ok ok OK Ok oK and more to that effect.


Her I was thinking that readers had finally realised that behind most of my seemingly crazy actions is actually a lot of common sense.


For starters, I had been up to 3000 feet and practised stalls of all types, steep turns of varied speeds, slow flying etc. I can fly Cowboy Up at 35kts straight and level, and even slower as soon as I add power, but then I am climbing. Same with just about everything on her, as soon as power is on, everything works again quickly.


Stall is a very gentle wing drop, by the time it is noticeably down, I have long since recovered. I can recover from a power off stall by simply adding power will give me another about 20 seconds before it turns into a power on stall.


When I landed in such a strange sounding way, I said to Lex, "hope you weren't watching" knowing full well he was, and he said it didn't look too bad.


And it wasn't really; I could have picked it back off at any time if I wasn't happy that I could make it make sense. Although I will say if I had a passenger, he/she would have been praying hard. But they do that when I drive dirt roads as well, and despite comments from many people, I have yet to hurt my ute. (My sister ran it into the fence stay about the first time I lent it to her, though:black_eye:).


So really I am not all that dangerous, I just act that way.


Just like when I first flew her; read all the nay-sayers and yet, it all went sweet in not the best conditions. Simply because (Gods grace mainly) and the fact that I have a pretty good idea of what I am capable of.


so yeah, right, well,


I hear you loud and clear, but since you are talking about me, and none of you know me; it could be said that you............... I won't finish that since it might be offensive. But you get what I mean.


Oh well,


Keep the tone high, life is better than.


Love, light and peace





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Joshua - I have a responsibility to ensure these forums do NOT send the wrong message to other people because what you have done and the way you have done it may well be ok for you but when someone else reads this and thinks that they can do it they may injure themselves and I wouldn't like to hear that someone has come to grief doing something that they have read here in these forums.


I very much join you in your great excitement and so much with what you have achieved and I would like others to also join in with your excitement and achievements BUT we have a responsibility to help and guide others who are also learning a great deal from these forums as I hope you have done when building your aircraft.


Me personally, I would never have tested a newly kit built aircraft, even just taxiing, when there was any wind. I would like to ensure I have everything going for me if something went wrong and that the wind doesn't play a part in making anything unfortunate happening made worse.


I would not go to another airstrip if until I knew that everything was alright first.


I personally would fly the first 10 to 15hrs of any new kit built aircraft just doing circuits and tight ones at that - it can take a little while for any manufacturing dust etc in the fuel lines to kill any engine.


And on it goes - many more things I could say but above all that I would always listen to what my fellow aviators have told me - they are the ones that are still alive to teach me properly!


I received many comments and even an SMS message on my phone from a forum member with all concerned that you are an accident waiting to happen and I most sincerely do not wish to hear that of ever happening.


Please, and with all good intentions, refrain from posting things in the manner that you have done - we want to hear about your great times and enjoy them with you but we also want those that are embarking on what you and others here have already done for them to do it properly and not the way that they have read one other person doing it - we are obligated to them!


To all others please, do not take this example as the right way to test fly an aircraft - ask questions of the many members of these forums - listen to their advice - and let's all enjoy flying in a very SAFE and PROFESSIONAL manner!



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I personally would fly the first 10 to 15hrs of any new kit built aircraft just doing circuits and tight ones at that - it can take a little while for any manufacturing dust etc in the fuel lines to kill any engine.

Funny you should say that Ian. Exactly what happened to me yesterday. At 13.2 hours, the engine failed on take-off. Looks like a blocked fuel filter from crud in the tank. I'm still working through it methodically - fuel flow test before and after, drain, replace, etc. - but that's my working hypothesis.


Had enough height to make it to the next runway in circuit direction, so no dramas. Restarted on the ground, but then I found I had no right brake and had to drag it down the taxiway anyway. The walk of shame. Teething troubles. That's why local testing is important.


I'd be out there now fixing it, but my wife is sick.


Hi-Jacking the thread, but hey - he did it to me 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif (where's the tongue poking out emoticon?)



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Glad you are ok Ross - and even more happier that you flew with wisdom and caution until many of the unknowns are sorted out as with any new aircraft - even more with kits 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif 011_clap.gif.8adfe837b4189ee6622bf4917d6a88c0.gif 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif - good luck with all the teething problems and take care!



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Sorry to have caused you any trouble Ian,


I will admit there are a few things which sort of bug my conscience.


Lots of people were depending on me in a way, Garry didn't need any story of one of his planes crashing, my last instructor who checked me out before I left would have had a bad conscience if I got injured, and more more like that, so while I wasn't too concerned about risking my life for my own sake, I was more worried for the sake of others.


Also there are those who read these forums and might be tempted to copy what they mistakenly think I acted like.


Also I should not have made a low level, slow steep turn. I got out of it fine, but I called myself a few names for bad airmanship.


But as for your points


Listening to others:


I had a simulated test fly where the instructor did all he could to make it hard on me and simulate all the possible problems he could think of. He passed me as fine pilot-wise, even though he thought I should get some type experience. The inspector has test flown many planes and rebuilds, and having seen me and my plane thought there should be no problem. The instructor who I got my RAA licence with has built and test flown a number of planes, he had nothing but incouragement and procedural advice for me, the airport manager at Moruya taught my to fly to solo standard when I was 14-15 and still too young to go solo, and he has built planes, not sure of him test flying them, and he gave me some pointers and thought it OK.


So I think I was listening to experts there, who knew both me and new planes.


As for wind, again I asked other's opinion, and only went because it was close to straight down, and not gusting, just slowly changing, and in the end I parked her for a couple of hours until it died down. (Just before a storm wasn't too smart, but I know local weather pretty well, there was only danger of water)


Leaving area. OK you have a point but the airport was closed for 2.5 hours anyway, so I either had to wait it out, or leave, and that was a calculated risk, and I don't think it too bad, motors can fail at any time, higher risk yes, but on the other hand, how many people don't check filters anyway, and they might have an accumulation of dirt in them. Manufactures scrap, well I was the manufacturer and have seen this too often to leave enough dirt to clog up the filter. (I might have to eat my words there)


Also, others fly a plane home just to make it more accessible during test flying: I had to take the plane back to base where I could get to it with a real arsenal of tools to fix problems, and store it until parts get here, which is about the same thing.


Right now she is packed away and grounded until I get some heat insulation to stop the muffler burning a hole in the cowl, today I also modified the oil cooler, but wasn't game to test it since it was a hot day, and if it wasn't working as good as it should, I would overheat the motor, also with the singed cowl I didn't want to go any further.


So really, I would like to know what others would have done differently, and the feasibility and cost.


As for Safe and Professional: Safe I think I have demonstrated a certain amount of safety even if it was not immediately apparent, and professional, well, I abbreviate that to GA. Recreational is as the name says, the fun side; or will I have to take up Base Jumping if I want to enjoy myself 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif


I regret that anything that happens to me might be linked to others, and I would sincerely hope that no-one comes to any harm through what I might write or do.


Maybe I should have put a disclaimer in: This is a one sided account of test-flying, do not attempt to copy, unless you know the full story and even then I would not advise it for anyone other than myself.


in all due respect,





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As for Safe and Professional: Safe I think I have demonstrated a certain amount of safety even if it was not immediately apparent, and professional, well, I abbreviate that to GA. Recreational is as the name says, the fun side;

Hey Joshua,


You're right, I (and others here) don't really know you or your skill level. Obviously, having built your own aircraft says a lot about your skill 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif. That's something most of can't or don't wish to do. I don't believe anyone here is wanting to judge and condemn you ... caution you to what appears to be a needed greater level of care is more the aim.


To me, your statement above is very telling. No doubt professionalism is a must in commercial GA operations. However, for a recreational pilot, in both GA and RA-Aus, to aspire to a high degree of prefessionalism is worthy of applause and something we should all try harder for. Better attitudes, better reputations, better knowledge, better practises, better examples to follow ... makes for better airmanship, better pilots and better RA-Aus members. IMHO, this is something of real value and worth persuing.


Your suggestion that striving for higher levels of safety and professionalism is a drag on the fun factor is just plain wrong. Think about it.





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Guest Fred Bear

Joshua. I am only 29 myself so do not want to sound like grand-dad because I most certainly am not. My passion from the age of about 6 was to fly. I did so and achieved my GA licence on PA28 and 38's from age 18. I then went on to fly GFPT GA for a few years then later 'upgraded' I called it to Recreational class starting with a Jabi at Orange NSW. I then purchased and flew quite a few hrs off my Thruster operating out of my folks private farm near Hill End in NSW. They were a few hair-raising moments let me tell you! Since 18 yrs of age I had a job of contracting for the State Coroner aka Institute of Forensic Medicine (City Morgue in Sydney). I attended various scenes of deaths. These included MVA's (motor vehicle accidents), murders, suicides, plane crashes etc etc. As you may know unfortunately death has no barrier with age. I I could describe to you in words and pictures what happens to an aviator when they meet their maker you would be horrified. I used to have to pick them up and tag them limb for limb. Never put me off flying buddy so don't get me wrong. All it did was make me appreciate our time we have here on this earth and use a little more caution. I am not trying to scare you or use malice mate but I just want you to be very careful. The air and the sea (if you are into it) demand much respect. Abuse it and it may not be here too long. As someone else posted, hate to tell you but age has nothing to do with it. Unfortunately death has no barriers. If you wish to have a tour of a forensic morgue next time there is a crash, let me know. I still have 'contacts'. The images will haunt you for life I guarantee. I am not trying to scare you or act like the 'wise old man' but just be careful my friend. You know your boundaries. Sure, don't let anyone get you down because by building and flying you have achieved something I probably never will but at the same time I have seen a side of life you and many others probably never will. Take care. Safe flying and blue skies Bigglesworth.



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You don't know me and neither do I really know you apart from what I have read here. I wasn't going to comment, but I will in the hope you understand why the members of this forum have commented the way they/we have.


We are obviously mostly older than you and have a wealth of experience gained by just staying alive. It is this experience that enables us to detect risks and dangers that are often unperceived by the exuberance of youth.


Josh, many of us were wild kids and only for luck rather than good management we are still here. Your writing style is entertaining and what from what can be learned from your reports and mannerisms picked up from your build log, you are an adventurous young chap with a bit of a devil may care streak.


You very much remind me of a school friend who had the very same zest for life. Please note that I use the past tense. Tim died in an aviation accident over twenty years ago while chasing his adventures with the same zest and similar mannerisms you have.


When I saw a reply posted of "an accident waiting to happen", I felt exactly the same thing and seriously didn't think it would take too long to happen. I just hoped that it was your writing style and was just to add a bit of excitement.


Josh, I wish you well and good times with 'Cowboy Up' and look forward to reading your future reports. I really don't want to see them in the incidents section though...




Steven B.



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