Philip Smith's Zenith CH 701

Started building in February of 1997 - finally signed off after three years, eight months and 20 days. Lost track of the hours but I'm a perfectionist.

Ran out of parts and excuses November 5th and took her up for the first flight of fifteen minutes. The picture is of taxi in after first flight, and the guy with the grin is yours truly. No squawks. Now I have over three hours on the plane and am waiting on this darn Idaho weather (17 days after this picture there is about six inches of snow on the ground with blizzard conditions forecast).

Advice: if you are in the throes of a build keep working at it ... the rewards of flying your own plane are well worth the troubles.

Zenith CH 701
Rotax 912 ULS

Philip Smith,  ATP,  A&P, USAF Retired

Location: Buhl ID (U03)

e-mail address:

Lory Ghertner's Glasair

After too many years of my wife's putting up with the odor of resin and thousands of parts, N494U is now a cross-country machine. The Glasair Super IIFT was built with the support of many people including family, friends, Ray Chapin of BAC services and Bill Middlebrook of Penn Yan Aero. Powered by an engine built up with ECI cylinders, the original Aerosance FADEC and MT prop, it runs "like a deer," cruising at 190 TAS down low and climbing at over 100 mph at 400 fpm at 16,000 feet MSL. Covered in House of Kolor Kandy paints and clear-coated with Imron, it is a flash of fire in the sun and just a joy to fly.

Sodus, New York


Bob Carson’s Sonex

Sonex N754TA took 2.5 years to complete, and it first flew in September 2009. This is my first build and the construction went smoothly due to the design and great kit offered by Sonex. Special thanks to my wife, Lourdes, for her patience and support during this great adventure.

N754TA is propelled along nicely by a 120-hp Jabiru 3300 engine. The instrumentation includes a Stratomaster Enigma EFIS for flight information and engine monitoring, XCOM radio, Becker transponder, AOA indicator and Trio Avionics two-axis autopilot. It also has LED landing and position lighting.

I started this project during my Sport Pilot flight training and finished it just after getting my tailwheel endorsement. I flew the test flight with a total of about 50 hours of flight training, which included only about 2 minutes of Sonex stick time. The test flight was also the first time I had a chance to solo a tailwheel aircraft. The first flight was exhilarating, but all went well and I think that first landing has been my best so far as I was really focused.

Location: Highland Village, Texas

e-mail address:

Kurt Klewin’s Van’s RV-6A

N85KC was started in 1999 and completed in 2004. It is powered by an Aerosport Power O-360 and Sensenich prop. Built a bit prior to all of the latest glass, the panel is “old school” with a Centry 2000 attitude indicator, HSI and autopilot. I also have an RMI encoder and micromonitor, Garmin GNS 430, and WX 950 StormScope. We have taken the plane on several trips to Montana, North Dakota and the Bahamas. The paint was done by Calvin Gillis of Tuttle, Oklahoma. Thank you, Van, for a great design, and thanks to my wife, Carol, for putting up with the “garage plane” all those years.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Marin Streeter’s BushCaddy

I started my project on December 28, 2006, and N620MP received its ELSA airworthiness certificate on August 24, 2009, after 735 hours build time in 2.5 years. First flight was on September 10. The engine is a Jabiru 3300 turning a ground-adjustable Whirlwind prop. There’s a Grand Rapids Technologies Sport for glass panel and EIS, Microair radio and transponder, Alpha RLI, and the paint is Stewart Systems two-part waterborne system. The BushCaddy is an all metal airplane. I received my Sport Pilot certificate in 2006, and it is the new rule that got me started flying.

I have 11.5 hours on the BushCaddy, and it has turned out to be a great flying machine. Thanks to my wife for her support and to all the friends I have met through this project and their help, including John Morrisey, Ron Shannon and Jim Scott. I even talked with a great man, Stan Shannon from Texas, who was building a BushCaddy ELSA. Every day you meet great people as you take on this kind of project, and that is something you do not expect. See the whole build log at

Location: Silvana, Washington

e-mail address:


John “Snaps” Knapp’s Micro Mong Rocket Seaplane

Flying in my 1984 Avid Seaplane for 2600 hours, the first one on floats, I always loved the nostalgia of biplanes, especially biplanes on floats. Consequently, four years ago I talked with Gerald Olenik of GreenSky Adventures, Inc., about a Micro Mong and got his advice about building one on floats. His only problem was how to exit to the front of the floats without getting wet. I would have to be a contortionist crawling through cables and struts. So I set to work welding, doping and scratchbuilding floats and attachments and two engine mounts. The original engine was a 440 Kawasaki, which was underpowered, so I installed a Rotax 582 with the C gearbox (3:1 ratio) and an RK 400 clutch. Now it’s overpowered with 5000 rpm providing 90 mph. I have to watch the Vne of 110. Performance is spectacular to say the least.

The newest mods include a Warp Drive 72-inch, three-blade prop with polished aluminum spinner, and a smoke system. I’m having so much fun, it’s time to build a two-seat Tiger Moth on floats so others can enjoy open air seaplane flying.

Location: Bath, North Carolina

e-mail address: