Phil Smith
  • Male
  • Buhl, ID
  • United States
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Phil Smith's Discussions

Main and nose tires

Started this discussion. Last reply by Walt Snyder Mar 9. 6 Replies

Four or five point restraint

Started this discussion. Last reply by Bob Pustell Feb 22. 5 Replies

Let there be light

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jonathan Kreilich Nov 19, 2017. 6 Replies


Welcome, Phil Smith!

Latest Activity

Phil Smith posted a discussion

Main and nose tires

A while back I elected to change the mains to Aero Classic 21X8.00X6 - gotta say they look great.  However, this has made the nose lower because of the "Golf Cart" tire supplied by Zenith. I want to add a little height, uses a larger diameter tire, and level the plane. I figure that this will take two modifications: first re-do the gear fork (old style) and figure out what size tire will make it all come out. I'm lucky as the airport that I am based is really friendly with a whole lot of tires…See More
Feb 28
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Four or five point restraint

Considering putting in a 4 or 5 point seat belt system after listening to a report on a Kolb which landed in some pretty rough terrain with a three point system installed - both souls walked away but pilot had a severe laceration on his head.What systems have you guys been putting in your plane??  Why did you chose the system you installed and where did you source the product.??  A very steep difference in pricing  - what causes that??Still grinning!!Phil SmithCH - 70wonderfullSee More
Feb 16
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Let there be light

Don't ask me why but I got the wild hair to add lighting to my CH 701.  Actually I can now kind of legally fly after sunset  adding another 30 to 40 minutes to my day before dark.This is what happens when you run across a Strobe / Wig wag / Landing light kit for $39.00 at CRAZEDPILOT.COM...other good stuff there too!!!Started with the basic kit installing the LED lights inside the leading edge of my slats...that looked sooo good I purchased four more LED white bullet LEDs and a red and green…See More
Nov 18, 2017
Phil Smith posted a video
Nov 18, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Butterfly valve for oil cooler duct

Got tired of sitting on the tarmac waiting for oil temps to come up on cool days here in Idaho.Fabricated an "oil cooler Butterfly" valve to control the air flow during taxi....first trial run it worked perfectly as the oil temp was way into the green before reaching the runway.I started by using the Zenith supplied oil cooler shroud, some scraps and parts from around the shop and a choke cable from NAPA Aircraft Supply.  Very simple build. Began with a cardboard mock up and then cut out the…See More
Oct 19, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Packing fuel - again

Previously enquired about ideas on taking extra fuel for longer trips - excellent ideas in return.As I really don't want to open up the wings for another tank, add tanks to struts or internal tanks; ...has anyone thought about making - say the first section of the inboard slat - a "wet slat  tank" by using pro-seal or some other product?? Not looking for a lot of fuel and weight - just five gallons - so area from inboard end to first rib would be about 2.5 gallons ( 15 lb) per side.  Very…See More
Sep 28, 2017
Phil Smith posted a blog post

New Profile Picture

Scene from the film Dances With Wolves that ended on the cutting room a former life I was named "Leads Buffalo by Nose"...actually I worked with John Dunbar to create his character...Tatanka tatanka!!!Still grinning!Phil SmithCH 70wonderfulBuhl, IDSee More
Jun 20, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Vinyl Wrap

Been contemplating doing a vinyl wrap over my fiberglass cowl - carbon fiber should look nice - the cowl is now a multi layer - ratty looking - base.  Do I just sand it back and wrap??? Or do I have to re-prime and finish with some type of top coat.Still grinning!Phil Smith CH 70WonderfulBuhl, IDSee More
Jun 15, 2017
Phil Smith posted a blog post

Watch where you pull!!!

WHOOP WHOOP WARNING.I installed the strut on the pilots door pictured aboove and soon after tried to pull it down from the front edge about a foot outboard like I always did with the suction cup...crack...split.  The door - original fiberglass and Plexiglas bubble door supplied by Zenith - broke at the fiberglass corner and radiated out down and aft in the Plexiglas.  Quite a bit of bending torque is applied to the bad. Stop drilled the crack, sealed it with "special Plexiglas glue…See More
Jun 8, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Cooling the CH 701

OK folks,In the very high and hot summer  temperatures here in Idaho my oil and CHT temps seem to run a little warm creeping up into the yellow range as specified by Rotax.. Last summer I added an  air scoop to the NACA duct for the oil cooler - dropped the temp very slightly, but it did decrease. Also added an air scoop to the radiator (vertical ULS) which again helped slightly. Picture attached.Now am fabricating a "lip" for the bottom of the cowl to increase - maybe - air flow through the…See More
Apr 28, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Packin Fuel

Looking fwd to the summer flying in Idaho and the back country air strips. From previous flights I have found that it would be better if I could "pack" five or so gallons of extra gas - I have the std 20 gallon setup.I have seen pictures of tanks hanging on the wing struts - thought about a belly tank setup but then there IS the exhaust pipe.Don't particularly want to put it inside the cabin with me or open the wings to add aux tanks - any and all ideas please.Still grinning!!Phil SmithCH…See More
Apr 23, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Alternate method to hook up vacume for synchronizing

Anybody know a source for the brass hose nipples to replace the M6X6 hex screw (2) on the 912 ULS intake manifold when using  the alternate method of hook up for carb synchronization.Also I've looked around and can't find reference to this method - I know I saw it somewhere.  I have the "split the balance tube" set up on a electronic meter but want to convert to the twin gauge system. I know that I can still used the "split the manifold" method with the gauges,  but thought removing the Hex…See More
Apr 10, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Oil Line on 701

I haven't researched the prints yet but does anyone know the hose spec, manufacturer and source for the "Blue" colored lines  shipped with the Zenith 701 kit in 2007.Or alternatively what have you  used - figure it's time to change there out on "five year" requirements.Phil SmithCH - 701Buhl, IDSee More
Apr 4, 2017
Phil Smith posted a status
"Changed my profile picture - don't have a stand by the plane, is hero and has been cold here."
Mar 12, 2017
Phil Smith posted a discussion

Hangar Bling

Taxied in last fall and saw the attachedSee More
Dec 29, 2016

Profile Information

Aircraft Model
Project Status
Building From
Engine installed (or plan to install)
Rotax 912
Building Experience
Have worked on airplanes before
Flying Experience
Commercial / CFI
Building and Flying Info / Your Profession / Other Background Info
Retired USAF pilot after 28 years on active duty, USAF Reserve and Michigan ANG, then flew cargo world wide for nine years in L382 Hercules and 747-200F freighters, along the way rebuilt several airplanes and got my A&P. Decided the most fun I have ever had flying was low and slow in an old J3 Cub. Didn't like the cost of a J3 vs the performance so opted for the CH 701 which used to stare me in the face on the inside back cover of "Kit Planes" magazine. Even thought that it was the uglyest airplane I had ever seen...but fell in love anyway because it fits my six foot, 280 lb frame.Took three years, eight months and 20 days start to sign off on September 20, 2010. Ran out of parts and excuses on November 5, 2010 and flew first flight of fifteen minutes. Now have a little over three hours on bird - no squawks - and am waiting for Idaho weather to alow further adventures.

Now have ten hours and about 14 landings. All is well except for the tire questions that you might look up on the matronics web site under 701801 Still grinnin - but this Idaho wx sux when you're trying to fly.

Now over 100 hours (APR 2014) and still amazed that you can have this much fun for so little cost.

Now airframe and engine time is over 148 and still running great. Look below for some of the things that I have done to clean up problem areas.

Time now is 210.6 hrs....simple maintenance throw in some mogas and have a great time.

Still Grinnin!!!
Home Airport (ie. KMYJ)

Just went over 15 hours on last Sunday.  Still no major problems.  One word of caution: if you have the "old style Black Rubber" gear mounting spacers take a good look at how yours are doing.  At thirteen hours I noticed that mine were cracking and changed them out for spacers provided by Zenith.  See my three blogs with pictures in Matronics under Zenith 801701-lists. If you have any questions drop me a note on line.  In fact if you have the old black spacers I suggest rather strongly you get down under the plane and look at them.  Take a look at what I saw at the angle bracket line and what they looked like when I pulled them out.

Still grinnin


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Phil Smith's Blog

New Profile Picture

Posted on June 20, 2017 at 6:35pm 0 Comments

Scene from the film…


Watch where you pull!!!

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 12:48pm 1 Comment


I installed the strut on the pilots door pictured aboove and soon after tried to pull it down from the front edge about a foot outboard like I always did with the suction cup...crack...split.  The door - original fiberglass and Plexiglas bubble door supplied by Zenith - broke at the fiberglass corner and radiated out down and aft in the Plexiglas.  Quite a bit of bending torque is applied to the bad. Stop drilled the crack, sealed it with "special…


Recent trim work on 701

Posted on November 17, 2013 at 11:18am 1 Comment

Just to update all of you that are tweaking your CH 701 and possibly your 750.  These mods probably don't add speed or short field capability - LOL - but were done to clean up the original construction.  First of all go to "my Photos" so you can see what I am talking about,


I never liked the bubble door to front post fit that I created in the original build it was noisy and drafty especially in winter. So the first item was to build new trim strips for the front pillar to…


701 Heater

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 6:00pm 5 Comments

Update on the Zenith supplied cabin heater for my 701.  Installed it in December and it works as advertised...actually a little bit better than advertised as I only need about 1/3 heat on days at 30 f outside. A couple of things: I went down to my aircraft supply store...Coop Plumbing section...and found a 45 elbow in black plastic that fit over the  heater firewall tube perfectly.  I then cut a slot in the elbow OD…


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At 6:39pm on January 8, 2013, Randy Boykin said…

I am curious what you put on the inside of the cabin, looks like some kind of insulation.

At 8:55am on March 15, 2009, Robert Pelland said…
Welcome to the fray Phil.

By looking at your photo , you sure got off to a good start in the engine departement.. :o)

Robert Pelland
701 & 750 Scratch

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