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Real "Average Joe" Builders

Steve Davies

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I'm just wondering how many Average Joe's are out there, in that average income is 25 grand a year and have the grey matter but maybe not the benefit of the best occupation.


Yes, I'm looking for inspiration. I've got the infection, now I'm working on the cure... Just let me know there's at least one other dreamer like me out there, and I'll be happy, lol.



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Many folks who make 25k a year have hobbies, hunting, fishing, boating, racing cars etc. Look at the build as another hobby. You can pace the pricing over years. Your co-workers go boating, you go to your garage and build.


As to average, I think most those who set goals like building an airplane are far from average (In my humble and very biased opinion)


AND here is the good part, in a few years you can have a plane that you can fly for pennies on the dollar from what most other aviation types spend. Good economy in my opinion.


Hell, I can't afford the build, but if I waited 'till I could afford it I would never do anyting <g>.


All the best,



Christopher Barber

Velocity SE/FG w/yoke. Zoom, zoom, zoom.



Live with Passion...

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I echo Chris in this regard, it is kind of like having kids. If you wait for the perfect time you might never do it. The Cozy is the perfect plane for this and it is cool to boot. You start asap, just spend as you go along. Start a little savings plan for the avionics and the engine, and by the time you get to them you will have a tidy sum piled up.


Ready or not- Into the Breech my brothers and sisters


For the option is to be old and out of medical wondering what could have been.


Shudder and perish the thought,



ps. Down 21 pounds, thanks Dust

The plane that travels thousands of miles begins with a few small steps.


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I fit your profile. It took me 7 years to build. I figure the money I dident spend in the bar, and the DUI I dident get. The plane cost me nutten. I still went hunten. The deer would wonder in front of the hanger when I was building. They herd the compressor and thought it was safe.

If the phone don't ring. It's me

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Well, I can't afford to build but my wife says that she still wants to get the plans for my Feb. birthday. I've got a mortgage, car payment, a 1.5 year old daughter, and nowhere to build (really). My wife won't be working for at least 3 or 4 more years, but we're starting anyway! Its to important to me not to start. Any time I get a few extra bucks I pick up a piece of wood for the shop. I get free materials when friends remodel. Its progress, and I no longer feel like I'm spinning my tires and going backwards. Most likely we'll be ordering one chapter at a time.... but its progress. We both realize this could take 5 - 7 yrs., but its a great hobby so whats the hurry? I also anticipate that time management will be just as important (or more) than the money management.

Andrew Anunson

I work underground and I play in the sky... no problem

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YOU CAN DO IT, *IF* you take time to consider where your money is going prior to building the aircraft, and how important the airplane is going to rank on your budget once you start. I'm in the military so I can use myself as an example without worrying about privacy (our pay scales are no secret :) )


My projected income (sans combat pay and the like) for this year ('04) will top out somewhere around 35k after allowances. My taxable income is somewhere in the mid twenties. My wife is a full time housewife and mother, so there's no additional income. We live quite comfortably on those numbers, though admittedly Uncle Sam saves us a lot on healthcare and travel expenses. Nevertheless, we don't have a lot of excess. By those numbers, I don't make much more than you do.


When I first decided to build, a couple of years ago, I made quite a bit less money than I do now. My wife and I sat down and figured out that if we eliminated some (very few) of our luxuries and planned ahead for the more expensive items, we could pay for everything (the basics, anyhow) in about five to seven years. And that was all assuming I made the same amount anually as I did when I started, not more, which was a tempting assumption to make.


What I ended up doing was opening a new bank account to be used exclusively as an airplane fund. I set up a monthly transfer from my other accounts, and I've never missed a payment since. Any additional monies or unexpected funds (like the child tax I recieved last year) go into that account as available, and it's grown far faster than my original (conservative) estimates called for. Unexpected delays, or long breaks in construction, have the side effect of leaving more money available in the account when you finally do return to building.


In my case, I've had a very busy year of numerous short military deployments, such as a few weeks in Montana fighting wildfires, and several short training deployments. This year I'll be heading overseas. By the time I'm ready to resume building, I'll have enough money in the account to pay for the airframe outright, plus much of the avionics, or perhaps a good deal on an engine.


In the end, it all boils down to how much you want the airplane, and how you justify spending the money. For guys in our income bracket it takes a bit more planning and self-control than those who are better off financially, but there's absolutely nothing keeping you from building the plane. We'll just build a bit slower. ;)


However long it takes me, and however many delays my profession causes me, eventually, as long as I keep plugging away at it, I will finish the aircraft. I will be a man who has built an airplane, owns an airplane, and I will fly that airplane. I will be anything but an "average Joe."


Build it. In the garage. In your yard. In the neighbor's empty barn. In the kitchen. In the attic. On the balcony. In the spare bedroom. On a budget. In your spare time. On your lunch break. While you're waiting on your laundry. When you can't sleep. When you find yourself sitting in front of the TV. The list goes on forever.


Just build it, and don't worry about the what-ifs. Think of it as a hobby, and let the satisfaction of the building process come from conquering the obstacles that conspire to keep you from finishing the plane.


Build it.

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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