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Below is a copy and paste of a letter I sent to a friend of mine that doesn't know anything about planes so that is why I explain things that everyone on here already knows.




Last Saturday I flew to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to meet a man selling a long-EZ. I had a mechanic inspect it and everything was as advertised so I bought it! Actually, because of bank problems I wasn't able to get the money wired until Monday and I had to drive to Texas to do that since there are no Bank of America locations in Louisiana. It was a three hour drive each way but it was worth it.

Tuesday morning I took a taxi ride out to the airport and loaded up my new plane. I really like the sound of that -- "my new plane". There was a light rain but by the time I finished loading up the plane... MY plane... the rain had stopped. I was very nervous when I taxied the plane out to the runway. I had never taken off before. The seller had given me 5 hours of time in the back seat but it is not the same as actually taking off on your own. Taxiing was a little tricky but I got out to the runway without difficulty. It was a little cold but my blood was hot and my hands were sweaty. I called on the radio and announced I was taking off. There was no control tower at the small airport so you just announce what you are doing. I gave the engine full throttle and felt the plane come alive as it roared down the runway. Soon the nose wheel lifted off and I held it in that position as I built up speed. (You want to get the nose wheel off the ground as soon as you can because it is not designed to take a lot of weight like the main gear). Within seconds the plane lifted off the runway and I was flying!!

I had my course plotted into my little handheld GPS and I turned into my heading, which was due east into the rising sun. I climbed to 5,500 feet and all I could think was that the long wait had been worth it. It was beautiful to see the world below me.

As I flew eastward I passed over a Military base. An F-18 (fighter plane) came up on my left side and slowly passed in front of me. He was close enough that I could see the pilot's helmet.

I passed Mississippi and Alabama and reached Florida. I saw Tallahassee on my left and saw a small plane doing a touch and go there. I plan to fly up to Tallahassee and revisit some of the places I went to back in college and see how much things have changed. I didn’t stop on this trip though. I just kept on flying.

My next waypoint was a small field called Cross City. I have been plotting flight plans there for years because I always said I’d stop there when ever I fly my Long-EZ up North because the gas there is cheaper. So, I began my decent into Cross City. When I arrived I was nervous. It would be my first time landing the plane. There was a cross wind which makes landing a little more difficult. As I approached the runway I realized I was too high and too fast and I wasn’t going to make it so I aborted the landing and went around for another try. On the second time I made the runway. It certainly wasn’t one of my best landings but I got the plane down without hitting anything or causing any damage to the plane.

I taxied in to the parking area and got out of the plane. I was so elated. I had just made my first landing. In my mind I had expected lots of people to come out and ask me about the plane but it turned out that there were only two people there who had ridden in on their motorcycles. It was kind of anti-climatic.

I got 15 gallons of fuel at $3.39 a gallon. I rearranged the luggage in the back seat. Previously it had been covering up the visual fuel gages, which are in the back seat. I moved things around so that I could see how much fuel I had. At that point though I knew I’d have plenty of fuel to fly home.

I hopped into the plane and took off headed for Homestead. There were a lot of clouds ahead and clouds can mean turbulence and rough air. I didn’t want any of that so I took an option that I wouldn’t have in a Cessna—I went OVER them. I climbed the plane to 11,500 feet and passed over all of the clouds. I didn’t have a nice view of anything on the ground because it was all clouds below me but I’ll trade the view any day for nice smooth air.

When I was about 40 miles out I had to start my decent. I found a break in the clouds and went down through it. Once below the clouds the air got bumpy. In bumpy air you have to slow the airplane down to what is called “maneuvering speed” so that the abrupt bouncing around doesn’t cause structural damage to the plane. For the Long-EZ maneuvering speed is 120 knots (about 135 miles per hour. That is slower than I had been going so it made the last 40 miles seem to take forever.

Once I had Homestead regional airport in sight I put my GPS away and called to announce my landing. Homestead also doesn’t have a control tower so you just call and tell anyone who’s listening what you intend to do. This landing wasn’t as good as the one at Cross City. In retrospect, I should have aborted but I tried to make it anyway. The plane bounced on the main gear and it looked like the next bounce would land me off the side of the runway, which would be very bad. So, in mid-bounce I applied full power and the engine roared to life. I climbed up and went around for another try. The second try was better. I still floated a little high and I was not happy with the landing but at least I got it down without any damage.

Once at Homestead I tied down the plane and went inside to tell the FBO operator that I wanted to get an account to keep my plane there. The manager was out so they took down my info and said the manager would call me when he got back in town—probably this weekend.

This weekend I will do some more flying and practice the landings. Each time I will get better and better, I’m sure. The seller said that I shouldn’t take any passengers for the first 25 hours or so of flying until I get more comfortable with the plane. I think that is good advice.



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I will never forget when I lined up my brand new Longeze for its and mine first flight. Pushing full throttle and accelerating to rotation speed then the mind boggling exsperience of flight. It is one my fondest memories. I cant wait to do the same thing in this Cozy I am presently building. STeve build on

Steve Harmon

Lovin Life in Idaho

Cozy IV Plans #1466 N232CZ


Working on Chapter 19,21

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Nicely written! & Congratulations!

I live in my own little world! but its OK, they know me here!

Chris Van Hoof, Johannesburg, South Africa operate from FASY (Baragwanath)

Cozy Mk IV, ZU-CZZ, IO-360 (200hp) 70x80 prop

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Any pics of your new ride?

Not yet. Hopefully this weekend.


I flew again last evening (before dark). This time I made a landing that I felt much better about, although still taking the entire 3000 foot runway. At least there was no bouncing this time.


Believe it or not, there is not much to see when flying in South Florida. Most people think of South Florida as being scenic but that's just along the beach. You can't do much flying there unless you want to be surface-skimming since MIA's class B airspace and FLL's C airspace keeps you down low. That's not where I like to be, espicially when learning a new plane. So, that pretty much leaves the everglades. If you've seen one swamp, you've seen them all. I am so glad I have a plane that can actually take me somewhere because the first 150-200 miles out of Miami has nothing good to look at.

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Just a couple of questions. I am getting the flying bug again and am somewhat interested in a Longeze. I have owned a Mooney and few Pipers and actually a Varieze at one time. I never finished the varieze and sold it. Anyway, what engine does your bird have and what is the actual cruise speed? What is the difference in landing the Long versus say a Piper or Mooney? Good luck with your Longeze and fly straight.


Milton Matthews

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