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Q-talk 45 - May/Jun 1994 - index

MAY/JUN 1994



by Jim Masal

The most recent Dragonfly newsletter arrived here carrying photos and reports of two accidents. I am moved to add my two cents worth to the lessons these two builders learned because, once again, there were some stupid decisions involved over and above the mechanical malfunctions. I used to be a bit more diplomatic in my criticism, but the continuous reappearance of boneheaded thinking over a 12 year period of my life drives me to impatience.

Along with the assorted gauges and switches you check on your pre-takeoff checklist please add an ammeter that assures you are not temporarily operating brain dead. I have danced around and through this issue before. Emotionally induced pilot error MUST cause at least as many accidents as mechanical factors in experimental aircraft. These two Dragonfly accidents prove the case.Accident #1: First flight after 5.5 years of building. Engine quits at 2000'; guy glides into a muddy field flipping the plane, snapping the canard, smashing the canopy and etc. Guy walks away. Forget the gascolator blocked with tank junk for a minute. What the HELL was a first flighter doing charging off into the distance where a glide back to the field from 2000' wasn't an option ??? Along with a new gascolator, sell this guy a Plexiglas stomach so he can see out next time he has his head up his butt. And don't be so fast to chuckle until you see how quick your own cock-suredness causes you to throw caution to the wind when your first flight approaches. Put a head check item on your checklist and require a minimum of 5 minutes of concentrated thinking about your emotional condition and rational planning. And, oh yeah, check ALL fuel filters each and every flight, preferably not after. I've said this before, flox and other fibers unseen in your tank tend to leach out for the first few hours. This belly-button lint needs to be spotted and cleaned out frequently. And I don't care how many times you've flushed the tank beforehand.

Accident #2: 5th flight, a half hour into it and slowly climbing over rising terrain engine starts missing at low altitude then quits. Pilot reports "... less than a mile from where I live." Forget for a minute my speculation that his low altitude might be somehow connected to the proximity of his house. At flight 5 he still has an unproven airplane and what the HELL is he doing stooging around at low altitude, "testing some modifications to cure an oil temp problem." Guy lines up on a cornfield for which some unexpected last second gyrations are required to miss trees, flips it over, drive his head through the panel, fractures vertebrae in his back and neck and assorted etc. requiring 19 days hospitalization. Did I see anybody raise his hand to ask "Where the HELL was his shoulder harness all this time"??? He couldn't reach all his switches and radios with the harness on and I guess he thought he'd risk being a paraplegic the rest of his life. He damn near got it too, which is probably worse than our boy in Maryland who got his ass killed a few years back from taking the same risk. Wanna know what happened? The FAA found the fuel filter between the main tank and header clogged with fiberglass. Imagine that! Duhhhhhhh ....

One more cottonpickin' time. The FAA requires you to placard your airplane in large letters that read EXPERIMENTAL. EXPERIMENTAL, get it? There's a REASON for it. If you stupidly decide to act like Dilbert Dipshitz and fly your plane as a fully tested article after only a handful of hours then you are asking for a tombstone, hospitalization or a long walk home with a bunch of fiberglass parts tucked under your arm.

For all his feats of daring-do, Chuck Yeager, never conducted a flight test program over the center of Los Angeles or smack in the middle of the Sierra Nevada's. He always had an "out" that he didn't have to think very hard about. Likewise, if you are at 2000' within gliding distance of an airport, a whole host of otherwise dangerous mechanical glitches can be safely solved by a simple glide to a smooth surface.

You are not an emotional ape. You have been given the brainpower to reason, plan and control those emotions. Think about it. Think about it REAL hard.



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Ottawa Municipal Airport, Ottawa, Kansas

Labor Day Weekend

Bill Spornitz

(913) 764-5118 M-F 7:00 to 11 PM CST & anytime on weekends.



Lest you think I write this segment for lack of anything better to do, let me explain how you are supposed to use this. Buried in here are good little tidbits of information that may be quite helpful to you from time to time. Somebody may be at a stage of progress where you are too, and if you have a roster you can look him up and call for a consult. Don't ask me who's mounting a Subaru, or an O-235, or inboard gear or etc. until you look here for a name. And don't fail to note that a bona fide tip might be hidden in here among the platitudes and wry comments ... or even a plea for your help. - Editor



I have acquired an O-200 engine. The only problem is it has a pull start not electric. Has anybody in the QBA experienced this type of application? I'd appreciate any information. (ED. NOTE: Some of this was already printed with photos in a back issue.) Jack Moritz *** Quickie N14TC will fly this year. It would also seem that Q-TALK will still be around to talk about it. Sounds like 2 miracles. - Terry Crouch, IA *** Lots of work has to be done, but it is on its wheels now and interior work has been started. Northern winters sure slow things down, especially when they get down to -37 deg. F. - Gene Bowen, OH *** Another year has gone by with only about a dozen hours added to the tach, but every one is still great fun. Onan still works fine, especially this time of year. I was out a couple weeks ago on a 16-degree day and the canopy fogged up and frosted... but only in the front!! - Charlie Lipke, WI *** Between the earthquake, additional commute, a new wife (who will not be a problem about the plane), several worksite relocations (our hangar took a major hit during the shaker), and a major excess workload, the kit is holding down the garage floor and providing a convenient place to stack the dust. - Bill Wylie, CA *** Sorry I don't have anything to offer except "praise" for your determination to continue to work on Q-TALK. - Les Craft, AL *** I heard you did make it to Oshkosh, but I didn't find you. My Q-bird is flying quite well now, but I spent 4.5 months in WI and now very busy at Lake Placid. Tough to get old and too busy. - Dick Pratt, FL *** Drove to OK and picked up my Q-2 kit that I left there when I moved to MO in 1989. Q-2 SN 2625. Got a job working on computers with MO Dept. of Conservation, so I now have an income and can continue suffering from delusions that I might get to build an airplane. - Farris Wooton, MO *** I sold my Quickie project to a friend. I started a Dragonfly (for the 2 seats) and am about 25% along. Didn't mean to jump ship, however, my wife wanted to be a part of the project. Besides, Dragonflys are like pretty cousins, a little kiss is great, you just don't want to tell anyone! - Jerry Little, MI *** No progress on my Rotorway powered Q-2 this past year. Your newsletter and the efforts it represents are very much appreciated. - Bob David, CA *** My Q-2 and my data for formatting material for publication are in icy Pennsylvania while I am in sunny (some days) Florida. (ED. NOTE: I'm weeping for yew.) Therefore just a note and check so I can keep a grip on your Quick Talk lifeline. Without it many of our Q projects would come to a slow death. I am rebuilding the canard and going to Tri-Q IF Scott Swing gets the parts for me. Expect to hear more when I get back into gear. - Jerry Barker, FL/PA ***



Late again. This year the newsletter got buried when we moved things around for our kitchen remodeling. Don't even think about buying a 100-year-old farmhouse. We've been remodeling for 16 years. Our almost half done Q2 is still sitting in boxes scattered in various farm buildings waiting for the shop building to be finished. Made more progress on the shop this year, decided three kids was enough and cut back about 1/4 of our sheep so we're getting closer to starting again. Really. - Kirk Yarina, MI *** I had hoped to have some pictures of the progress being made on the Subaru EA-81 conversion for my Q-2, but they are still in the camera. I have a friend who's Subaru KR-2 is almost ready for flight. The EA-81 is a great little power source. We are using the NSI power reduction unit with a 1.69 to 1 ration coupled with a Warp Drive 3 blade ground adjustable prop. - Marion Brown, FL *** I enjoyed the Ottawa fly-in immensely. Thanks for signing on for another year. Probably will put off building a while since I'm building a house now. - Steve Ahler, WA *** Amazing! It's time to renew again. I just missed getting my airplane running in 1993. I went away for Christmas with just a few details left until start up. The "smoke test" of my electrical system went well (no smoke) so now I'm trouble-shooting some minor squawks prior to taxi testing. I'm going to have to truck it to another airport ... we don't have enough paved runway at Schellville. - Bill Dillon *** We are finally out from under the early January snowstorm. Time to think about making holes in the sky! - Art Jewett, KY *** No progress on Tri-Q SN 2435. My partner and I are completing a ground-up restoration of a C-140 (lots of riveting - composite is easier). We read Q-TALK cover to cover soon as it arrives. Your coverage of the now THREE big events (Sun 'n Fun, Oshkosh and now Ottawa) is outstanding. We Q builders will be ever indebted to you for continuing Q-TALK. Communication is the heart and soul of any successful organization. - Frank Wilcox, GA *** I enjoy the articles and feel I can receive help by referring back to them as I continue building my Q-200. I'm retiring and will be getting more work done on it. I'm going to put the O-200 together next. I'm an A&P so the engine will be easy. - Bill Landrum, OK *** Doing my taxes today: when I got to "Charitable Giving" I thought about you. See you at Sun 'n Fun so you can rib me. Eh? - Marv Getten, MI *** No change here. N3QK is still sitting on its trailer in my garage mainly for $$$ and health reasons. - Adrian Weigart, CA *** As for my Q-2, I'm still at it. I had a setback, breaking the canard during load testing, but I haven't given up with another one in progress. - James Bates, CA *** Thanks to Q-TALK I have finished my Quickie serial no. 1039, registered C-FOKQ (ED. NOTE: Hmmmmm, interesting registration, eh?) I spent 13 years putting it together. I lost my medical shortly after I started on it, but kept on plugging. It weighs 302 lbs, the restrictions are lifted and it has 40 hours on it. It has the 18 hp Onan with 20 HP heads and has flown to 12,000' with premium auto fuel. - William Fisher, Manitoba, Canada *** Q-200 inches toward completion. All I need now is some carb parts (metal float, one-piece venturi) and then all will be done. I modified the lower cowl to accept a C-150 air intake and filter as a few of the other builders have done (careful inspection of Q-TALK photos). I can't see taxiing around at El Paso (dust) without some sort of true filter protection. I have contemplated the battery location problems. It seems that O-200 Quickies are locating it around FS 120 or so. I'd like to make a permanent seat for it somewhere, any ideas? (ED. NOTE: Sure, how about following the recommendations in the plans? It's a CG thing, ain't it?) Also, I loaned my Q-2 owners book to someone ... bye, bye!! I wonder if I may borrow someone's Q-200 book for a short time? I will duplicate it then PROMPTLY send it back. J. H. Schenk, 8200 Tonto, El Paso, TX 79904 *** We have Q-200 N8242K, (originally built by Ken Oberdorf) and 4 partners. This provides enough people to work on routine maintenance (with our FAA mechanic) and enough pilots the plane gets flown a couple times a month. Thanks for the newsletter!! It is particularly helpful since we did not build a Q-2 or Quickie. Leslie Benner, TX


Other Articles In This Issue

LETTERS - by Jim Masal
EPOXY UPDATE - by Jim Masal
ODDS and ENDS - by Jim Masal
CLASSIFIEDS - by Jim Masal


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