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Q-talk 138 - Reflections on the Last Q-Talk Issue

Submitted by Sam Hoskins

The official mouthpiece of the Quickie Builders Association is going the way of the nation's newspapers and we mourn its passing, but the Quickie Builders Association is all about people and the rest of us aren't going anywhere soon.

This group of lovers of a quirky looking little airplane is small, and sadly getting smaller, but we share a camaraderie that truly binds. I mean, where else can we find someone willing to talk to us about wing incidence, wheel alignment, header tanks and even to find anyone who is the slightest bit interested? Someone who will nod their head and say, "I understand"?

We are the greatest bunch at helping each other out, maybe it's because we have nowhere else to go. As for instance, I needed a throttle body for my new fuel injection system and was unable to find one. Peter Harris, in New Zealand, told me about one from a company in England. Invaluable help.

I have never met Mike Dwyer face-to-face. Yet Mike designed a circuit board for me which converts my fuel injector pulse width to a frequency. The local avionics class built the board and now it's in my plane, hooked up to my new Dynon, telling me what my fuel flow is.

I was having trouble with my oxygen sensor setup and Deems Herring, at the time a complete stranger, generously loaned me his system, for a long time! A few years ago, I put a call on the Q-list that Sandy and I were going to visit Australia. That led to us rooming with John tenHave for a couple of days, having dinner with Arthur Boyd in the outback, and getting a ride in John Cartledge's Q-200, up the Australian coastline. Fantastic.

Most recently, Lynn French let me actually swap ignition parts to troubleshoot a problem I was having. It goes like this: "Lynn, would you mind letting me borrow some parts off your functioning airplane? How about if you spend a whole Saturday helping me? Could you find us a nice hangar to work in? You mind if I stay at your place?"

I could fill an entire Q-Talk issue with these stories, like the time Paul & Roy Fisher flew down to help build a new wing. Yes, these particular tales kind of relate to the internet group, rather than the newsletter, but it all springs from the same organization and the newsletter and its editors have been the epoxy that binds us together. Robert Herd & Jim Masal, Tom Moore, Dave Richardson, Doug Humble, if it wasn't for you guys I'm sure we would have even fewer planes flying today.

On another note, it was with delightful embarrassment that Doug stuck my face somewhere in each issue of Q-Talk for the "Where's Sam" feature. It was fun, and flattering but I also felt bad for the person who often lost their head in place of mine, or stuck my face in their plane. I never knew quite what to make of all that, but I am pleased that it will die with the newsletter.

One last thing - I started to make a Thank All list of the folks who have helped or inspired me along the way. Each one is a whole story worth telling, but my list doesn't even begin to include everyone who mixed epoxy, held the other end of a ruler, or helped in hundreds of different ways and I didn't want to risk leaving anyone out. So, just let me say thanks to everyone, you know who you are, and thanks especially to Robert, Jim, Tom, Dave, & Doug.

From Our Founder

Often times when I am filling a newsletter back issue order I will pick one up and read some of it. I am usually amazed at the good information contained which I have long forgotten and at the large volume of tips and tricks that many, many builders have sent to me. I can think of a couple big handfuls of names with whom I have continually interacted over these many years both socially and intellectually in the building process. I know families. Of course I am flattered when someone attributes his successful project to some inspiration I provided to keep him on the task. I smile when I hear some of my words repeated back to me, for example: taxi, taxi, taxi...etc. And I have been tickled to hear from wives who have enjoyed one of my editorials because I said something that they themselves wanted to say to their guys, but were reluctant... usually about safety.

But doing this newsletter has taught me a BIG lesson about life that rings true to this very day. When Robert Herd and I discussed starting the QBA we had been hearing that frustrated builders had sent tips in to the QAC principals and they were ignored; several builders experienced broken tail springs and they were ignored or accused of incorrect construction. The BIG lesson is this: if a company (or government entity) can keep its customers isolated from each other it can attack customers one at a time and get away with murder. But once the QBA and Quicktalk connected builders to each other, Gene Sheehan, a principal of QAC, could no longer look upon an Oshkosh audience and say, as he once did: "Tail springs? We haven't heard of any problems with tail springs." And for all who wear it as a badge of pride that you are not a "joiner," I can tell you that as long as I operate as a lone voice in the wilderness, I can get crapped upon. But if I can join together with a compatible group of like minds I can spin the world.

I appreciate follow-on editors Moore, the Richardsons, and Humble and I give special thanks for the remarkable Dragonfly enthusiast Spud Spornitz, whose powerful vision grew our middle-American fly-in and stamped it with the name we now call it: The Field of Dreams.

And so to all of you who have joined up with me over the years in this Q endeavor, I say HOORAH and THANK YOU for all we have done with our planes and thank you for being a part of what I cherish as my aviator family.

Jim Masal

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #138 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.