I was just wondering how many of you out there have experienced the same thing I have.

Every time I tell my family or friends that I'm building an airplane they all get this horrified look on their face and tell me they know all kinds of people that have died in homebuilt aircraft and they're sure I will be the next one if I go ahead with this insanity. When pressed they can never give me any names or specifics though.

So I was just wondering what everyone else's response is when they get this from family and friends.

I have rigged up several 2 x 4's and some bed sheets, took a picture of it, this is what I show them when they ask what my airplane looks like. At that point they just turn several shades of white and don't have much more to say about it. Usually it's all I can do to not burst out laughing..

So what is a good answer or comeback to people like this.

Take care and appreciate the joy of building.... there's nothing better in life.

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I’m still here, but a few of my friends are not.
However, I’m considering another build.
Be careful out there folks.
The high wing zeniths are one of the safest non commercial planes out there. Every time there is a cash involving fatalities I tell my wife, "I bet it's a Piper low wing" and I don't think I have been wrong yet. I have looked up fatalities per crash on the NTSB for the ch701 and ch750 and it's something like 5%. Waaaay lower then even Cessna and lower then just about every experimental. The fact is, it's all about self awareness. An unattentive person can die on a motorcycle at anytime. An unattentive gun handler can make a fatal mistake at anytime. You get my drift?
You are correct, anything can happen at any time.
And I agree, the zenith aircraft seem very robust, I haven’t been in one as yet but will soon.
Don’t get me wrong, my friends passing likely won’t stop me from flying or building.
Have fun out there! But for goodness sake, use good judgement.

Remember Gordon, experience is obtained by surviving bad judgement!  :-)

I tell people that "flying is all about risk management. It's like driving a car. You put on your seat belt. You obey the traffic lights and laws. You watch out for other cars. Don't be stupid and run out of gas. If a warning light comes on on the dash board, deal with it right away. Just like a car. There are a few more things, but that's mostly it." -- And then I go on to address what recent incident is really at the base of their concern.

I think the important thing for us to understand is that our friends are not 'being negative'. They are genuinely concerned, and often because they do not have a comparable frame of reference. A positive parallel with driving may not end the discussion, but it gets the discussion over the "What are you, crazy?" hump. 

Fear is fear. If they truly fear for your well-being, that’s a tough one. Pointing out a (your) different view is about the only thing you can do.

For those who simply give it all a shallow, out-of-hand dismissal, show them just about any photo of EAA. Then ask them whether they might give consideration to the numbers that are involved?
Good discussion and comments!

Most of the time when I say I am building my plane they immediately turn to my wife and say, "Are you going to fly with him?"

People that really understand statistics and risk management (and science for that matter) - those people you can really talk to intelligently (and learn from!). The other HALF - You will never be able to convince them of anything. Don't even try. I usually point out that their hour commute on the highway everyday, both ways, is much more risky than me flying my "homemade" airplane. Mark
To the point I respond "I would not trust mine or my families life flying in a plane built by someone other than myself."

When i was building my 601 mostly the response was "are you really going to get in it?"  Best/funniest response was local city inspector for my new gas line.  Walking in my garage he asks what's this.  After I told him I'm building an airplane.   His response was damn, yours must be dragging the ground!  Took me a few seconds to realize what he was saying,. 

I always ask them “do you know who drove every rivet, tightened every bit and bolt on the Boeing/Airbus aircraft that you last flew in?”
They always reply “of course not”!
I then say: “Well, I know who did mine, and he did a perfect job, up to my standards, which are very high”.
It works every time.

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