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QuickTalk 19 - LETTERS

Letter from Robert Morse to Gene Sheehan:

I received your "LAST NEWSLETTER?" and there are some things you should know. I have sent a check to your attorneys BUT it is not because of you and QAC.

Long ago I purchased a Quickie kit. It is clear that the canard airfoil has critical laminar separation problems when contaminated at low Reynolds numbers. I know enough to know that this is a serious problem in real world flying away from Mojave. You did not pursue a solution with much vigor. Now this, or a similar problem has come back to bite you.

Product liability law is a shambles, true. But you did not position your company to minimize the risk. To minimize the risk, you recognize problems when they come in from the field and you work to minimize or eliminate them. You could have "grounded" the fleet of Q-1's and Q-2's as problems arose. You seem to have been concerned with sales rather than product excellence. I have forwarded $25 to Ascough, Marar and Parke for the sake of General Aviation, not for the past record of Gene Sheehan/QAC.

I hope the legal judgment against you is overturned AND you solve the product problems you DO have. To this end, you have my best wishes.

The following are excerpts from letters of our members with opinions on the suit lost by QAC:

I am personally horrified by the letter, which I received from QAC today. I certainly hope that QAC wins its appeal; considering the substantial investment we have all made, few of us can afford to be without factory support before we get our birds flying. Many of us have had our gripes with QAC in the past, but with 10 or 20,000 dollars on the line a $25 check seems like a small price to pay to help with the appeal. GOOD LUCK QAC.---Richard Kautz #2850

The copy of my letter of contribution to QAC's appeal is included so that you may be aware of my support for them in their hour of need even though we generally never received such support from them when we were in dire need. Although QAC may little notice nor long remember what we have done for them, it is important that it be done, if for no other reason than to support the purveyors of a superb aircraft.---Harold Little #147

I was not surprised to receive their letter requesting dollar assistance. Adding up my gripes, delays, construction changes, etc. against total benefit of their assistance and future existence - I sent the $25 - gladly.---$2408

I think it's important for us to stick together during QAC's current financial problem. The dealers and builders responses now will either mean the end of QAC or help it emerge as a much stronger and more workable organization. I trust calm heads and realistic outlooks will prevail. (P.S. Does anyone know if Lee Iacocca would be remotely interested in airplane building?---Bruce Luedeman #396

...Sure, I've had some problems, but none like I believe we will have if this case isn't reversed!!! I AM sending $50 to AM&P to support the attempted reversal of this major blow to the home built aircraft...If you want a complete, certified, no hassle plane, go buy a Cessna etc. From report in AVIATION SAFETY, AVIATION CONSUMER and LIGHT PLANE MAINTANENCE,...QAC prices, response time, delivery time, approachability, etc., seem to be as good as anybody in the industry, if not better - at least you could talk to the boss at times.---Henry Hurd

...I've donated to the cause, not necessarily to help QAC or myself (I'd just be minus one belly board), but if the appeal is not won, it could have a very serious effect on the whole sport plane industry.---Ken Oberdorf #2750

...how do we help QAC, which is the real victim. Perhaps the EAA itself should assist QAC in a higher court. We all, and a future generation of others, could remain indefinitely with a very harmful precedent.---T.L. Cline #2733

...We have all had trouble with QAC, but I know other outfits that sell plans and parts treat their customer the same way...I am sending my check to the lawyers today...---J.Y. Dempsey #2802

...I think we have to pool together and support QAC because of the implications that could follow and how it would affect General Aviation.---Len Padios #2589

...I just received the newsletter from QAC regarding their (our?) problems...I would hope that if this lawsuit that QAC has lost...is as described by Gene Sheehan, that the QBA will get involved and perhaps give us some direction. I guess that I have a very personal reason in hoping that QAC will resume operations as they still owe me a turbo cowling and a couple of instruments.---Chuck Grazier #2765

OK, OK! Here's the hints I said I would send...And the admission that I sent off $25 to the QAC defense fund. Just hoping to protect my $7,500. (a paid for turbo engine. ED.) And I confess that QAC has not made this the most secure holiday season...Bob Lane #2592

Some responses were not so supportive:

...On the lighter side, I just received a letter from QAC stating they lost one of their court battles and would now like me to send money to their attorneys. I find this attempt appalling; QAC has turned its back on Quickie builders and our problems and has made no attempt toward solving the design problems associated with the Quickie. By asking builders to send them money in this manner is just rubbing salt into an old, sore wound.---Steve Hickam #518

...So far as I'm concerned they have been acting as though they have been out of business for years! I'm not surprised. Maybe someone else will buy them out and make a real company out of the ashes. I wish I had the guts to do it...---Art Dalke N2432T

...there's something fishy about that "LAST NEWSLETTER". If the facts are as (Sheehan) presents them it just isn't possible that a jury would rule against QAC. Wasn't QAC insured? And how come the appeal didn't come from the insurance company? There's always two sides to these things. And if only Sheehan hadn't been such a (expletive deleted) to practically all of us, we'd send him all kinds of money for his lawyers pockets...---"Spike" Knapp #2776

...RE: Chapter 11: One cannot file for a Chap. 11 bankruptcy unless one can show the court that with passage of time there will be a reasonable expectation of future solvency (successful appeal also). QAC - if not adequately insured - is kaput!!...'Too bad', but its a bad design, a bad kit and a bad business management. What could be expected except a bad outcome? I think QAC wants OUT! NOW!---Harvey Nack #2046

Let's hope some "new" blood takes over what's left of QAC, changes its name, operates it like a business and in a serious manner, and gets on with the program...I did not and will not send QAC lawyers $25 to bail out a defunct organization. I can't believe QAC had the guts to ask that.---Fred Wemmering #2296

...After reading Sheehan's letter, I still had many unanswered questions...If the circumstances were indeed as Sheehan claimed (incompetent pilot, modified airframe) then why did the jury decide against QAC? I can't help but wonder if the accident occurred in the rain. If QAC does disappear then there are going to be a lot of people like myself with only once source of help: each other - and that means QBA. Keep up the great work you do - even if you must raise the rates. Enclosed is my $10 renewal, it's the best $10 I've every spent.---Marc Waddelow #2873

...Quickie and Q-2/200 builders need some sort of support. If QAC does go out of business, some type of "resource headquarters" must be established. The services they could provide should include: keeping a current list of suppliers and manufacturers of kit parts, (carbon spars, canopies, pre-welded parts, etc.), a builder hot line similar to QAC's, mailing lists of kit builders nearby, local resources, etc. There are too many Quickie kit builders out there who cannot be abandoned. The obvious answer is for QBA to take over this function. But just as obvious, it would cost money to do so. I would suggest that the QBA form another category of member, called perhaps "Participating Members" for which the dues would be $50 per year (or more, if necessary) and provide the above services for them as well as QUICKTALK. It would certainly be worth it for me.

QAC's lawsuit is just another example of the inequities of the American civil legal system where the only people who really win are the lawyers. I personally belong to HALT, an organization dedicated to legal reform, e.g. to make our legal system less costly to the average person; to reduce unnecessary litigation and to make judgments more equitable. If anyone is interested in inquiring about this noble organization, their address is: 201 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002.---Saylor Milton #2484

...Sorry to hear about QAC's troubles. It sounds like they may be a victim of the current "suing society" syndrome, which is really an unfortunate trend and undoubtedly scares lots of people with good ideas out of trying for a niche in the marketplace. We have never exactly had a soft spot in our hearts for the Mojave bunch; not that they've given us a lot of trouble, but we've felt they charged a heck of a price for some support that really was owed to their clientele. I think they "froze" their designs and went to the market long before the products were ready...---Larry Weishaar #2391

...I hope QAC can stay afloat but it really won't make much difference to Quickie builders. There have not been any "factory approved" improvements to the aircraft since the Q-2 was introduced. When I stopped by the booth at Oshkosh to inquire about the status of the new canard, they couldn't tell me who had it and made some incredibly derogatory remarks. This sure wasn't the same pitch I heard when I bought my kit.---Richard Harmon #344

...I would be interested to know how those of us who purchased mods such as the belly board kit will ever recoup our payments? I've already been through one financial fiasco with Jim Bede to the tune of $900 deposit money lost on a "production" BD-5. How about asking builders out there who may have already received their belly boards for some technical specifications and dimensions on the board itself. I've got plans, but no board.---Jim Neffinger #2119

Son Scott returned from his employment with QAC and started TRI Q DEVELOPMENT CO. Our goal is to produce a retro tri gear kit with wing extensions that should provide a superior ground handling and reduced landing speed Q2/200. The main gear consists of a fiberglass molded one-piece unit that will mount just aft of the seatback bulkhead and sweep slightly forward and out to a 7.5' tread. The nose gear will be a flex steel tube with a forward sweep starting at the base of the firewall and terminating with a full swivel nosewheel. The kit will be complete with everything needed including Rosenhan toe brakes, fairings, plans, pictures, and anything else needed to keep installation time to a minimum. Price is estimated at $1,500, though enough demand could bring this down considerably.

We are doing everything possible to have the prototype at the Sun 'n Fun fly-in by mid-March for those of you who would like to see it.

Our mailing address for those interested: Box 519, Vandalia, OH 45377 - Duane Swing #2229, Vandalia, OH

Enclosed find a check for ten bucks to renew my subscription to the QBA newsletter. You are doing a great job, keep up the good work...you're all we've got now!! N80DM is not with me in GA now but is still being flown by a friend in Indiana. If anyone in the Atlanta area has some hangar space, I would appreciate them letting me share it.

Dick Menning Quickie N80DM

108 Charter Oak Ct.

Peachtree City, GA 30269

We are looking for the plans to assemble the firewall of the Onan engine, as well as sketches so as to enable having a fuselage that can be trailerable. We have built the Quickie only from the plans, and in spite of many demands to QAC, they systematically refuse to supply us with the accessories (e.g. CSA-7, CSA-8...).

Jean-Charles Ferry

16, rue Guyard Delalain


ED NOTE: Imagine the confidence it must take to try a scratch-built Quickie in France when we can't get good service here in the US. Wow! If you get down on one knee, say "pretty please" and send bunches of Francs, Quickie MIGHT get interested. Perhaps Garry LeGare or British dealer Don Johnson could help. Don's number in England: (020)341-3630.

From Jim Masal, Editor

I've had a couple of worthwhile phone conversations with the folks at Revmaster since the QAC "fit hit the shan". You should be aware of some facts.

Engine orders that were paid for and placed with QAC did not get automatically sent off to Revmaster for production and delivery. Revmaster could not produce an engine until they got the go ahead from QAC. In fact, they were anxious to put out some engines this fall but QAC did not release all the orders or funds. Therefore, if you wrote your check to QAC, Revmaster is in no position to help you because they don't have the $$ for the goods. In fact, like many of us, even they couldn't get a hold of Sheehan to find out what the hell was going on until about the second week in January. It appears that Sheehan just rolled up into a defensive ball about Thanksgiving and has been zip-lipped to everyone - customers, dealers, suppliers all got the same stonewall. You've probably got as much info from us as you'd get if you called your dealer.

I've been sharing my info with Dick Joh, general manager of Revmaster who says his phone have been ringing up a storm with anxious builders wanting to know about their engines. Don't bother Revmaster, guys, unless you wrote the check to them. Joh is anxious to help in some reasonable way, but cannot do so until QAC's status as an ongoing company is settled.

Another thing: in all the confusion, someone's started a rumor that Revmaster is going bankrupt. AIN'T TRUE. You can do me a favor by stamping out this rumor. Better yet, find out who started it and let me know.


It was frustrating to hear some of our foreign builders at Oshkosh tell us that Gary LeGare would not sell them the new LS(1) canard for their Q-2 projects. Having been responsible for the design and construction of the first Q-2, LeGare gave QAC the rights to see in the U.S. and he took what was left over. QAC designed the new canard and we at QBA were getting good reports on the LS(1). Why wouldn't LeGare offer it? Jealousy? A feud? SAFETY? We interviewed Gary after Oshkosh:

LeGare told us that the LS(1) canard on the QAC aircraft was constructed from all carbon fiber, from what he saw on his frequent visits to QAC. It appeared to be done with 2 layers crossing at 45 degrees followed by 4-5 spar caps - similar to the GU construction per plans. He heard the new canard came out very stiff and so was power sanded on the spar caps until the plane had some "bounce".

LeGare said that since he knew QAC was not flying a canard built per builder plans, and since QAC wouldn't supply him with any data on it (Jealousy? Feud? Safety?) he was not willing to offer it to his foreign customers. He said that as far as he knows, only a 2g load was ever put on the carbon canard and that no QAC load testing has been done on a complete LS(1) canard built as per builder plans (QAC says it does test each spar, however. ED.).

This last summer at Oshkosh, LeGare finally talked to dealer Bob McFarland and other who were building or flying the plans LS(1) and finally got enough good information to assure himself that it was a safe product for his customers. Since August, LeGare has offered the new canard for sale to his foreign customers.

As a side note, Bob McFarland crashed his aircraft last year and broke the carbon spar just inside the fuselage on one side, but was able to repair it and fly again.

At Oshkosh, a builder showed us the difference in springiness of the QAC aircraft's canard compared to a plans LS(1) by pushing down on the spinner.. Quite a difference, the problem being that landings experienced by Sheehan in his prototype won't equate to plans built canards. Hence IF any problems arise with the new canard as more fly, they can easily be refuted as "a builder problem".

LeGare commented on the Quickie (he built one of the first 4 or 5 to fly): "I had a bunch of near misses in that airplane - 10 times at least." His opinion was that the Quickie was underpowered, had virtually no brakes, was very sensitive in pitch and poor in low speed roll, and that the stick forces for pitch and roll were not well matched to each other. He also said he used to fly it in the airshow circuit around Canada.


S. W. Hanke, the N.C. Quickie dealer sent us a copy of his 5 hr. long (whew!) videotape "Template to Test Flight" to review. Hanke filmed and narrated it and he readily admits to his amateur status as an aspiring film mogul. Therefore, expect the quality to be more like a home movie rather than a Spielberg classic.

We like the wide variety of subject he filmed - fuselage jigged, hot wiring, wing layups, etc., etc., etc. We especially liked the taxi testing and in-flight shots of his and Bob McFarland's plane as well as static shots of other finished Q-2's.

At about 2 hrs, there's a camera fault that causes about 20 minutes of monochrome green scenes, but the picture is otherwise OK. The first half of the tape has some distracting panning back and forth, too little narration and the close ups are not well done, but with more experience, the last couple hours of tape get much better. We like when Hanke points out building mistakes he'd like you to avoid.

This tape is not for the perfectionist with high video standards, but there's nothing else around like it. In 5 hours of viewing, there's bound to be something for everyone, but especially for the inexperienced builder without access to much help or another project to see, this tape would be just dandy (especially the inspiring flight sequences). Hanke has dropped the price to $110 for QBA members - see the ad in classifieds.

You can order a PDF or printed copy of QuickTalk #19 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.