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KD Hardlander

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About KD Hardlander

  • Rank
    Prototypist

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  • Location
    Victoria in about a month
  1. Part 2 Thirdly, GA, unlike Ultralighting, has a huge span of aircraft ages and the quality of their maintenance and conditions. I usually get an argument from someone when I say that aircraft DO become unsafe from both time and use. The contrarian generally alludes to the "fact" that the proper maintenance, on the proper schedule, means the plane can fly "forever" or will be considered unrepairable and permanently grounded. They often say there there is no "middle-ground"(wink, wink, nudge, nudge) . This is actually horse pucky (hmmm...will that get bleeped? Pucky refers to the final, "puck" form of the animal's meadow shoe magnets). Additionally, ultralights, in their relative simplicity, make it pretty easy to see a pending failure during pre-flight. Not so for GA pre-flights. There are several time/use related failure areas that can easily sneak past a pre-flight as well as an annual. The list goes on (as do I, sorry ). There are a lot more reasons why I support "no license or registration required" for ULs. However, that being said, there are an equal number of valid reasons for requiring it. And, I think that Australia is far more rational regarding weight restrictions and allowed equipment than is the US. I guess it is not possible to have it both ways. I do wonder what the point is of getting a Recreational Pilot's certificate and then restricting oneself to single-place ultralights. The need for licensing (read as cost, the hassle of being here or there, at this or that time, fill out this form etc.) makes me think that I may as well start off with greater complexity and gradually add endorsements. Such an attitude could be lethal to ultralighting. One of the primary drivers in UL advancement has been the maniacal quest for ever lighter and stronger materials. Such is critical to advancing Ultralights and high performance aerospace vehicles (I reckon it is not all that important for the average GA aircraft though). Finally, I stand to gain quite a bit if I can test-change-retest-change-etc. without the need to register each iteration, having to request new operational exemptions for each and/or being held to a written operational standard. The time saved is not linear, it is logarithmic! And, without all of the hoops to jump through, I can actually compete with the big aircraft companies in getting an invention/design to patent and/or market. Without it, I just have to be satisfied with my part-time aviation hobby and my full-time job. Fortunately, I do love this stuff so I can deal with it and be grateful for all of its other benefits. No more 4:00am tests of a "brilliant" idea I had at 2:00am (actually, my neighbors might find that as a "+"). First, I need a few days to re-register, re-exempt the now modified craft. Not very conducive to the unfortunate souls that "think" like me. But I suppose there are worse things. Don't get me wrong, I think that both types of ultralight systems are supportable by the "facts" that were considered while implementing them. Australia is going to be a challenge for me but I also think that I will happily assimilate. For me it is a great opportunity to be allowed into your amazing country. I intend to give back to you something that will help "pay" for that privilege, even if I have to change my ways a bit to do so. As you will see, I have already mastered your language and it's only a matter of time until I do the same with your customs, rules and regulations . G'day (see!). Regards, KD
  2. Hello All, ***Excessive Verbiage Alert*** (Before I begin, I have to warn you that, I will frequently write huge emails/postings. I am exquisitely skilled at writing in 10,000 words what could/should have been said in 3 or 4 . This is the complete opposite of how I am in person. I can only speculate that it is because I rarely get the chance to communicate with so many people that know so much more than I do about aviation. I have a gross of ignorance at my disposal and I would gladly trade it for any knowledge that you can see your way fit to spare me. Most of my learning comes from books, online data, limited experience and my occasional research success or blunder. This is truly a luxury for me. Generally, nothing I have to ask or say is particularly earth-shaking. As such, there is no reason for wading through this {or pretty much any of my postings} if they inconvenience, annoy or burden you. Please don't read any further if my postings are not acceptable. I apologize to anyone who actually did, or does so, and finds it was a complete waste of time. If you all think I am in the wrong place, for politeness sake, please tell me and I will leave quietly, no hard feelings. Thank you!) Thanks for the welcomes and the lexical guidance. Well, since I wrote yesterday, I was able to complete a reading of the full CASA site's relevant materials as well as the RAA-Aus's. On the question of licensing, I have concluded the following (I am drawing this conclusion from the items I have read over the last 24-36 hrs. Some of those items are quite old, promise updates or issue resolutions and then never publish a follow-thru. So, please feel free to tell me if I am wrong about something. As far as my future in Australia is concerned; it is very important for me to get the facts. Designing and building aeronautical things is all well and good, but I need to know if it will be a hobby here or a potential vocation--thanks). Anyway, as far as I can tell, if it flies, and you are able to fly in, on or because of it as the PIC, or should have been the PIC to do it, one must have at least a recreational "Pilot's Certificate" issued by the appropriate agency. I did not find any sort of standard exemption though there were several means of requesting special consideration regarding most of the requirements. I think it would be very unlikely that, other than in the case of the military or other gov't. agency, they would ever waive the Pilot Certificate option. As far as I am concerned, this does affect me both financially and temporally. As some of you may already know, the US does not require anything other than compliance with the published rules and regulations for Ultralight aircraft. In some ways, this has worked really well because most of the idiots have long since killed themselves off and their sacrifice for the sport has acted as an effective warning against flight without training. In fact (I have not verified this statistically yet) our ultralight category has been alleged to have less, per capita, aviation "incidents" and/or fatalities over the last few years than our GA category. Actually, this possibly counter-intuitive statistic might make sense if one considers just a few of the factors likely responsible for it, to wit: The first is that when a UL pilot "lawn darts" his aircraft, he generally only kills or injures one person (himself). Secondly, the knowledge behind the materials and construction methods has advanced far enough that structural failures are all but non-existent now. Even a boneheaded individual has easy access to all sorts of build and fly data. Plus, ultralight dealers do a good job of self-policing and offering discounted/free training if you buy your machines from them. As a private seller, I won't sell anything to someone who has a target painted on their foreheads. I have refused to sell motorcycles and firearms for this same reason. It definitely makes them angry but I think I would much rather blow the sale. I find that way better than explaining to a spouse, close relative and/or their friends why I did sell a given machine to an obviously clueless and/or moronic, individual. End Part 1
  3. Thanks much...but it didn't take me very long to get bleeped. I will be working on that. Regards, KD
  4. Oops...I have already triggered the "bad word" filter. Honestly, even our G-rated Disney movies use the "cr**" word. Anyway, I apologize for the faux pas. So, in the future, I will be more cautious about what I write (by the way, is there a list of "prohibited" words I can reference? I'd rather not get myself bleeped in the future). Regards, KD
  5. Hello All, I just signed-up so please bear with me in case I say something really dumb, violate the "unwritten" rules of this board or anything else I screw-up that I can get away with by blaming it on being a newbie. Thanks in advance. Now on to the titular question. If all goes well, I will be some kind of a resident in Victoria, six weeks from now (and would eventually like a permanent resident visa). Once it is all legally sorted, My first order of business (after the ship with my stuff gets there....bleh) will be to re-assemble my lab and miniature AC machine shop. I already have a commitment for the building. All it needs is a little re-wiring, a little plumbing, a little insulation, a little floor and a few other inconsequential things like that. Once it is up and running, I would (as usual) like to resume designing AC prototypes (and even one or two that don't self-destruct). My reason for asking if there are any other prototypers out there is that I would like to learn all I can about designing and building in Australia. So, if at the end of this post, if you are interested in answering a lot of questions (I have been known to chum the waters with an occasional beer or two), and you like messing with new materials (or old materials in new ways), please let me know. For the record, I am an extraordinarily mediocre flier and a really horrid lander. So, I also have a strong interest in designing landing systems/add-ons as well as designing the planes themselves. For the last couple of weeks I have been looking for clearly-stated Australian government aviation rules, regulations and legal definitions and how they apply to what we Americans call "ultralights" (FAR part 103). After reading everything I could find, I actually now know less than I did when I started. At this rate, I won't even be able to spell "aviation" by the end of next week. So, ANY assistance you may be willing to offer on the following questions, would be greatly appreciated: 1) While tinkering in the air and/or crow-hopping my latest prototypes, their modifications and/or their materials, can I legally do so on my fiancee's property without a license and without registering the prototype AC ? 2) If it is legal for me to do that, is it legal for me to do it elsewhere as long as I stay out of controlled and/or prohibited airspace? 3) Are there specific weight limits, equipment types, and/or other factors required to be met in order to fly without some sort of license? 4) Are there any other legal or government "gotchas" out there that will prevent me from flying my protos? OK, if you are still awake, that's about it for starters. For anyone who cares, my current design fixation is titanium (Ti-6Al-4V), preventing catastrophic failures in carbon composites and, as always, beating the **** out of UV. Thanks for reading. Regards, KD
  6. Oh, one other thing. I will be marrying my Australian fiancee in the not too distant future. So, if all goes well, we will be living in Australia for quite a long time. That means I have to start all over again in a new aviation community (actually, I'm looking forward to it except for your lack of inexpensive titanium. I am bringing in some of my shop machines though, so I won't be totally worthless). Regards, KD
  7. Hi, Thanks to Glenn for making this website available. I look forward to learning about Australian aviation and communicating with the people behind it. I will be landing in Melbourne, from Kansas, USA, in the first week of December. If my Rotax 477 doesn't seize much more than a few times along the way, I may be landing there even earlier. Anyway, I intend to find a section on this board to discuss some Australia-specific aviation questions as well as one to discuss my eternal obsession with prototyping. Thanks again for letting me through the door. Regards, KD
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