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Merry Christmas

Joe Cygan

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'Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,

Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.

The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care,

In hopes that come morning, they all would be there.



The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in their spots,

With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.

I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,

And settled down comfortably, resting my butt.



When the radio lit up with noise and with chatter,

I turned up the scanner to see what was the matter.

A voice clearly heard over static and snow,

Called for clearance to land at the airport below.



He barked his transmission so lively and quick,

I'd have sworn that the call sign he used was "St. Nick".

I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,

The better to welcome this magical flight.



He called his position, no room for denial,

"St. Nicholas One, turnin' left onto final."

And what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!



With vectors to final, down the glideslope he came,

As he passed all fixes, he called them by name:

"Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!

On Comet! On Cupid!" What pills was he takin'?



While controllers were sittin', and scratchin' their head,

They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,

The message they left was both urgent and dour:

"When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower."



He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,

Then I heard "Left at Charlie," and "Taxi to parking."

He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh

And stopped on the ramp with a "Ho, ho-ho-ho..."



He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,

I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.

His red helmet and goggles were covered with frost

And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer exhaust.



His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale,

And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn't inhale.

His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,

His boots were as black as a cropduster's belly.



He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,

And he asked me to "fill it, with hundred low-lead."

He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,

I knew he was anxious for drainin' the sump.



I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,

And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.

He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,

Then he picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.



And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,

These reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.

He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the rear,

Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell, "Clear!"



And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,

He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.

"Take taxiway Charlie, the southbound direction,

Turn right three-two-zero at pilot's discretion"



He sped down the runway, the best of the best,

"Your traffic's a Cozy, inbound from the west."

Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed thru the night,

"Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight."


Best Wishes,Cygan Family

Joe Cygan

Cozy MKIV #1022

Southern California

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I did!


Actually, I talked to Nat about buying the plans on the 31st, ran into some bank trouble (I discovered I had a daily "purchasing limit" on my debit card the hard way), and saw the transaction go through on the 1st. Don't know what the plans numbers are yet but it's pretty exciting to get going with this first step, even if it's an easy one.


I was taking vacation in Tucson, so I used the opportunity to contact Nat and drive up to Mesa on the 21st, to see the plane first hand and meet him in person. I wasn't prepared to fly and visibility seemed lousy (there was FOG in Arizona-- who would have believed it!),so we didn't go up, but the meeting was informative.


I was mostly concerned about whether I would comfortably fit in the aircraft, and aside from the pilot's side rudder pedals being set up for Nat, I fit just fine into his plane. 6'4" really does fit comfortably! We talked about raising the canopy and moving the seat back, and decided that lifting the canopy wasn't really necessary, based upon how well I fit. I had plenty of room and I liked the way it felt, and the visibility was impressive. I didn't get into the back seats, but from the looks of it I think that even I could squeeze in back there, though it might be a tight fit in the hips if there were two of me.


I think I'll have to get inventive with the stick, since I have really long arms, and his was about four to six inches short from what I consider "comfortable." The panel was within easy reach, I could touch everything on the entire panel without having to stretch, and didn't feel cramped at all. The fact that there's so much visibility out the bubble canopy if probably the prime reason for the sense of space. With so much to see it's hard to feel cramped. Also, as I mentioned, I couldn't even reach the rudder pedals, becasue they were four inches up my shin from my toes, but there was plenty of room beyond the pedals for my size 15 workboots. What with moving the seat back, moving the pedals forward, and adding the adjustable pedals option (or even just making some to fit my length and feet), I think I'll be fine.


The best thing to come out of the trip involved getting my wife in a face-to-face with THE Cozy (the "as advertised" model), and a fortunate coincidence on the ramp. We got there an hour early to eliminate any chance of being late and to use the time to walk around and see some of the other aircraft tied down around the field. There were several homebuilts, and quite a few very beautiful aircraft, but none looked as good as the Cozy. Seeing the Cozy after getting her used to the look of all the Cessnas and Mooneys had a dramatic impact. She was suitably impressed, and began to feel much more comfortable about the plane. Then, on the way out, we came across what I think was a Velocity that we hadn't seen earlier. It didn't look half as good as the Cozy. I don't know whether it was a finished product or not, but the difference in appearance was dramatic, and my wife was sold. She was supportive and showed some enthusiasm before, but now she's truly excited.


In all, I'm very happy. I feel confident now I made the right choice. My reccomendation to anyone debating whether or not to go for the Cozy; GO SEE A FLYING EXAMPLE and then compare it to everything else you see on the ramp. The difference really is dramatic.


Now I gotta figure out where I'll find the space to build the damn thing. :)

Evan Kisbey

Cozy Mk IV plans # 1114

"There may not be any stupid questions, but I've seen LOTS of curious idiots..."

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That's Great Evan! Congratulations!

You're going to have more fun than a Texan should be allowed to have.


Step 2 - order the materials for chapters 4 - 8.

Step 3 - find somewhere to build the bulkheads (kitchen will work)


Feel free to ask questions as you get started.


John Slade

I can be reached on the "other" forum http://canardaviationforum.dmt.net

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