Stephen R. Smith
  • Male
  • Santa Rosa, CA
  • United States
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Stephen R. Smith's Page

Latest Activity

Mark Strout left a comment for Stephen R. Smith
"Thanks Steve for the response re the spring gear.  If you happen to know the owner, would there be a way I could connect with them?"
Dec 24, 2017
Stephen R. Smith posted a status
"At Quality Sport Planes, Doug and I removed round gauges from my 701. Replacing with "old" glass from my 601. Adding transponder & ADS-B."
Dec 7, 2017
Stephen R. Smith posted a status
"Hit 206 MPH over the ground in my 601 thanks to the combination of a nice tailwind at 15,500 and a mountain wave."
Dec 3, 2017
A photo by Stephen R. Smith was featured

How we really spend our time at Copperstate

Good looking airplane; Fabulous Copperstate attendee makes it look better.
Oct 30, 2017
Stephen R. Smith posted a photo

How we really spend our time at Copperstate

Good looking airplane; Fabulous Copperstate attendee makes it look better.
Oct 27, 2017
Stephen R. Smith posted a photo

Quick stop on a dry lake bed on the way to the Copperstate Fly-in

My 601XLB and Doug Dugger's 750 Cruzer. We could not pass up the opportunity to land on this dry lake bed in Western Utah on the way to the Copperstate fly-in.
Oct 25, 2017

Profile Information

Aircraft Model
Project Status
Building From
Partial kit
Engine installed (or plan to install)
Building Experience
Have already built an airplane
Flying Experience
Sport Pilot (or Ultralight)
Building and Flying Info / Your Profession / Other Background Info
Self Employed. Software developer.
Home Airport (ie. KMYJ)

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Stephen R. Smith's Blog

Volcano Run!

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 11:30pm 11 Comments

I finally got the opportunity to do an adventure I had often thought of; a flight past the many volcanic mountain peaks on the west coast.

I had flown to Washington to visit my brother, who also owns a 601XLB. After a week in the rainy northwest it was time to return home to Santa Rosa,…


6,600 mile trip to Central America proves to be big adventure

Posted on February 4, 2017 at 12:24am 17 Comments

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Since I started flying my 601 back in 2007 I have found it to be a fantastic machine for exploring and adventure. I have enjoyed expanding my view of the world by flying over the country side, looking out at the great sights below and taking pictures from time to time; actually thousands of them.

In the past few years I have had in mind to fly all the way to the tip of South America. I…


My 2016 Oshkosh Adventure

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 10:00am 6 Comments

I flew my CAMit-powered 601 to AirVenture 2016. This was its third trip to OSH.  It’s just over 1,800 statute miles each way from Santa Rosa California.

I usually…


Travels of N601WF

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 9:00am 18 Comments

With two more big trips accomplished this year I compiled some simple statistics for my flights in my 601XLB.  Some numbers are approximate.

  • 8 years and 5 months of operation
  • 760 flights
  • 161,700 statue miles
  • 1,800 hours
  • 6,840 gallons of fuel
  • 23.6 statue miles per gallon (average)
  • 90 statue miles per hour (average)
  • 3 countries operated in
  • 19,800 max altitude reached

Its been a great…


Bob and Steve's Adventure to Canada and Alaska - August 2015

Posted on September 28, 2015 at 1:00am 11 Comments

For many years I wanted to fly my 601XLB to Alaska but I only had a light-sport pilot's license. After endless waiting and hoping for a rule change in Canada, I finally ran out of patience.  This last spring I "went back to school" and got my full pilot's license.  Shortly thereafter I started planning my biggest airplane adventure yet, a flight to Alaska.

Upon studying maps and doing a bit of measuring, it soon became…


Comment Wall (60 comments)

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At 4:48pm on December 24, 2017, Mark Strout said…

Thanks Steve for the response re the spring gear.  If you happen to know the owner, would there be a way I could connect with them?

At 12:43am on October 23, 2016, Gary Welch said…
Hey Steve; I have ten hours on her know and have had a few squawks to resolve but she is flying good. Did a trip to Lampson and Ukiah today which was pretty positive. I'm learning there is also a lot of anxiety that goes along with phase 1!
At 6:10pm on November 10, 2014, Darryl Legg said…

Hi there Steve,

We do seem to be like minded pilots. Every time I jump in my plane I make sure I go somewhere different. Long way to catch up on you tho...I also don't use a camera very often.

Australia is a great place to fly around. Huge country, great people. No where near as many airports as usa so planning requires a lot more care. Best time of year is usually June to August or so to fly around. Bit cooler and less turbulent.

You won't be able to hire a 601, but a similar factory built plane.....Technam or Sportstar etc....But yes, great place, you will be very welcome down under mate...

At 3:16pm on August 10, 2012, John Austin said…

A follow-up on the plugs, Steve. The "factory" gaps seemed to be about .030, so I left them "as-is" and installed them. They definitely helped my radio reception rf noise ... sort of! Before, I had an "ignition" noise accompanying weak receptions that definitely varied with rpm. It was equal on both mags. After installing the NGK DR9EIX plugs, the right mag was completely quiet, but the left sounded about the same! Looking closely at the mags, the right's lead says "7mm high temperature suppressive", the left says "Electra Cable ECA 7". Looks like the cables are from two different vendors - wonder if that left on is not suppressed? I put 4 ferrite beads on it and it is quieter but not completely quiet like the right. Now I'm wondering if it is possible to change out that mag lead to a quality rf suppression cable?

And so it goes ...!

At 12:42pm on August 9, 2012, John Austin said…

Thanks for the info on the Iridium plugs. I'll see what the "factory" gaps are when I get them and go from there.

By the way, how did the "reverse flow" sump cooler work out on your plane? If I understand correctly, you made an opening above your oil cooler and let the high pressure air reverse direction and flow up the sump fins towards the prop hub. I've got marginal oil temps at high rpms in my 750/3300 setup, despite a 10-row cooler. However, the engine's only got 23 hrs and still on the break-in 50w oil. I'll go to the 15-50 at 25 hrs, if things don't improve after that, I'm considering some sort of additional cooling and wondered how your idea panned out?

At 10:45am on May 28, 2011, Jake Reyna said…

Steve, I think you made the right choice with the Sonex plenums. I've never had confidence in the Jabiru version, they work in the XL, but there are better solutions. My setup is a variation of the Jabiru and Sonex plenums and I will be making some modifications once I get the airplane to Bend. Hasta la vista!

At 8:19am on May 27, 2011, Jake Reyna said…
Steve, rumor has it you installed the Sonex cooling plenum. How is that working? My XL is still in Idaho and it's looking like late June to get it to Bend. I've been saying for how may years that we would go flying ;-)
At 7:45am on February 27, 2011, Jake Reyna said…

Hey Steve, I heard that you were installing a new engine. I haven't been spending any time on the site, no airplane, no motivation.

We're looking forward to Bend, it is like Mountain Home and you would know :-) Looking forward to seeing you in the near future, hopefully Cloverdale.



At 7:19am on February 27, 2011, Bob McDonald said…


Last post I saw you were tearing down your Jabiru with the plan on rebuilding. The recent post used the term "brand new" ? Is there a reason for this change in direction or did you mean "newly rebuilt" ?


At 7:08am on November 7, 2010, Jake Reyna said…
Steve, it is good to have it flying. The videos I posted were from early October. I've been trying to get back and fly off the 40 and then move it to Astoria. I have a few more modifications to do to the FWF and have a canopy idea I want to tinker with, but that has to wait until I get it home.

I'll see you in the Spring! Maybe sooner.


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