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Getting ready for the day


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I still have some work to do yet, but its reasonable to say my bird will be ready within 12 months or less. I read about having an experianced pilot test it first, getting some back seat rides off other owners to familiarize myself with the plane. The thing is, I don't know anyone in my area to ask such a thing, can't imagine someone wanting to fly an EZ they didn't build, never having known me or my skills. And I've NEVER flown in any canard, let alone an EZ, nor do I know anyone to ask. Is it unreasonable to do it all myself? I see no real options but to do so. I'v had good responces to online questions, but don't feel I know anyone well enough to ask for rides or first flights.

Anyone else done this alone?

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Hundreds of builders have performed their own first flights.


Goto the FAA web site and download AC 90-89A Flight Testing Homebuilt Aircraft.




Getting an hour or two, even in the back seat is priceless. Go up to any EZ flyer, tell them your getting ready for your first flight, and I'll bet you'll get a ride. I understand there may be circumstances that a flyer may not be able to "drop everything" and do it right now, but don't let this deter you. I guarentee every EZ pilot at some point had a "first flight".


Of course, You know to buy fuel, lunch and whatever else it takes to reimburse expenses for the ride. Some pilots will accept it, some won't. If mine was flying, I'de get you checked out in the front seat within an hour.


As an EAA Flight Adviser, I would suggest that you contact one of the EAA Flight Advisor's in your area, and subject yourself to their evaluation. This is a fair and honest "Self Evaluation" of your experience, and comparing it to the expected requirements of the plane you propose to fly. Example, Wing Loading. If all your experience is in a lightly loaded wing (i.e. Cessna 150) then you move to a LongEZ, with a highly loaded wing, you probably need to be exposed to a highly loaded winged aircraft to get a feel on how it performs.


The biggest factor in first flights, is to reduce the risks. This is simply done by performing methodical, stepped test procedures.


Don't move on to the next step until the previous step has been performed and can be repeated without any surprises. There are two things happening if you follow this procedure;


a) You are testing the systems in a methodical, stepped process,


b) You are learning how the plane handles, and stepping up the level of difficulty as you progress through the steps. Start out with the baby steps, and progress through.




I've performed 30 or 40 first flights, and approach every first flight in the following manner:


1) low speed taxi 5 - 10 kts - This tests the brakes, steering, ground maneuvering, and general wheel alignment, and how the plane handles at low speeds (in the ramp area)


2) Medium speed taxi (20-30 kts)- This tests the same, but the pilot gets a feel for the higher speeds, start watch brake temperature.


3) High Speed Taxi (40 - 50 kts) - This test the brakes and higher speed handling. ALSO, the controls now start to become a little responsive. Rock the ailerons, move the rudders, carefully apply elevator. I also like to do "jabs" of the each brake individually to see how much response I'll get out of the brakes.


Pay attention to brake temperature, get a good feel for how the plane handles this speed.


Practice with the throttle to hold the test speed, (Throttle is almost at idle) This will be very important in the next step.


4) Nose Wheel lift off 50 - 60 kts) - This is the most unusual test a new "Test Pilot" will ever perform, because they have never done it before.


Bring the plane up to the test speed, start out at 50 kts. When the test speed is achieved, hold that speed, don't go any faster.


Now ease back on the stick to see if the canard will start flying.


Repeat this procedure, increase the speed by 5 kts and try again.


When you finally get the nose to come off, hold that speed.


Practice holding the canard in the take off position. When your comfortable with this, hold the nose off and practice with rudder inputs, and aileron inputs.


At this point, you may need to make trim spring adjustments.


5) First Flight - do exactly the same as you practiced in step 4, EXCEPT, don't reduce the throttle when you reach your lift off speed.


Congratulation, you just did a first flight.


Keep the first flight short, I stay within gliding distance of the airport. keep the speed below 100 kts, and just get a feel for the plane at this speed.


Come back in and land, de-cowl everything and check every nut bolt and screw before the next flight.



F16 performance on a Piper Cub budget

LongEZ, 160hp, MT CS Prop, Downdraft cooling, Full retract

visit: www.iflyez.com

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Thanks for the info. Right now I'd settle for a ride, so if there are any Florida (Tampa) EZ drivers around, I'd be interested in finding out what its really like up there. All I have now is the rental fleet of rattly Cessnas.

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Big Steve,

I think you left off a couple of sentences in your description. I assume what you meant is that you did not have a pilots license when you finished. In the mean time, you got some back seat rides in EZs as well as worked on your private pilot cert which may have included about 40 hours or so of flight instruction.


You make it sound like you flew a couple of times in the back seat of an EZ with no license then flight tested your aircraft.

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Sorry to be misleading. I wrote the other post in a big hurry. I built most of my plane without a pilots license. When I got really close to being done I went out and took lessons in a good old Cessna 152 took me about 40 hours or so. Then I flew a little here and there in renters for about a year. Just before I flew my plane a friend from bracket airfield flew down and gave me about and hour back seat time and some approaches. I flew my plane a couple of day late felt really confident and of course it flew perfectly. I had to fly out of Corona CA. and Land at Chino Ca. The reason for that is another story. My motor was running hot so it was a very short but wonderful flight. I cannot describe the feeling of putting all that time and energy into a project and then going out to the airport lining it up with the run way pushing the throttle to the wall then rolling out and at 75 miles per hour pulling back on the stick and flying for the first time it is an awesome experience after 5 years of building. I am looking forward to doing it again with my cozy IV I am building. Happy trails STeve

Steve Harmon

Lovin Life in Idaho

Cozy IV Plans #1466 N232CZ


Working on Chapter 19,21

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I liked the looks of armpit scoops so that is what the plane had on it. When I flew it for the first 20 hours or so I had High oil temps. and high cyilinder head temp. on the front two cylinders. I tried moving the oil cooler around and tightening baffling. Did not have much success. I made a ramp out of wing foam and put it right in front of the scoops that did the trick it ran cool all the time after that. When you deviate from the plans always exspect some r & d I have several plan changes for my Cozy IV and I am sure I will have lots of r & d on them also.

Steve Harmon

Lovin Life in Idaho

Cozy IV Plans #1466 N232CZ


Working on Chapter 19,21

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