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Building a Kit Plane

by Patrick Borton

kit_plane_1Even though I’ve been exposed to aviation for less than two years, I have embraced multiple opportunities to further my education relating to it. From completing my private ticket to riding along for someone else’s instrument lesson, or from helping Dylan maintain our aircraft to building a kit plane, the passion and desire to learn something new burns inside me every day.

Wait… did you say building a kit plane? That’s right. Patrick Tippmann and I are building a Zenith CH750 experimental. As I am writing this, the tail feathers and both wings are completed. In building these portions of the plane, I have relearned patience. Slowing down now will make less work in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, we’re cruising through this project at a pretty good pace, but taking the time to read ahead in the plans is key.

kit_plane_2I often hear people joke and say “who needs the instructions” when putting together one of those pressboard entertainment centers. Fortunately, your entertainment center doesn’t have a pitot tube or strobe lights. These are a couple of items not in Zenith’s assembly guides, requiring those assembling the kit to plan ahead. It’s even more helpful to take some time to walk around a certified plane and take notes and/or pictures. Doing something so simple can save you from drilling out hundreds of rivets to correct your mistake, or something even more difficult if you’re working with composites.

In addition to the incredible learning experience this project is, it’s occasionally challenging and continuously fun. Find your passion and immerse yourself in it. Challenge yourself to keep learning about it, whether by reading or hands on. Take a vow to never stop learning, it may be the most rewarding thing you ever do!

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