Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
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.
Too many times. It's not as funny as "You'll shoot your eye out!" from the movie a Christmas Story. I just change the subject immediately and tell them I have flown 400 hours in airplanes I've built and had less problems and issues than when I flew in spam cans.
Well, you might explain to them that according to the EAA, fatalities attributed to homebuilts decreased 57% between 2007 and 2017. In 2007, there were 6.4 fatal accidents per 100,000 hours flown. In 2017 there were 2.63. Apparently this was a result of EAA emphasis on promoting safety and helping pilots and builders become better trained and educated.
Full disclosure: I'm no expert on homebuilding, although I helped my dad fully restore a Champion 7FC when I was a kid. I'm salivating over the CH 750 and now have shop space to build one. My family has the same anti-homebuilt bias and it's been an issue. They're convinced I am safer on the interstate.
Maybe you could set up a simple simulator using X-Plane and give them a little stick time so they can experience some of the elements and get more comfortable. Just don't argue. Let them experience a local EAA activity. There is a wealth of experience there and a supportive community behind every build.
There's always hope! A friend and CFI once told me, "I would never fly in an experimental aircraft!" Later, I helped him a bit on restoring a Stinson and I think he realized I was much more particular than he was about the repairs/restoration - it didn't hurt that we got to do a lot of "hangar flying," too. It also didn't hurt that his best friend, an A&P IA, looked at my plane and said he'd like to have one, too ... if I was the one who built it.
Guess which CFI flew with me in my STOL 750 on my last BFR??? ;>)