Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Yesterday I left Santa Rosa California and flew here more or less in a straight line, having seen that country go by before. Today should be more interesting.…Continue
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, CA. When planning the flight home, I noticed the weather would be…Continue
"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…
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 try to work some sightseeing into my trips. I love to fly in…Continue
With two more big trips accomplished this year I compiled some simple statistics for my flights in my 601XLB. Some numbers are approximate.
Its been a great…Continue
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…Continue
The other day I decided go through my collection of over 20,000 airplane-related pictures and selected some of my favorites to put on one of my digital picture frames. I chose about 900 pictures for the picture frame than, having gone to all that effort, wondered what else to do with the collection. I decided to upload them to my Microsoft OneDrive for the enjoyment of my extended family, flying partners and anyone else with a…Continue
On May 3rd, Doug and Lorri Dugger held the Quality Sport Planes spring open house. As usual, it was a good time for all and well attended.
Roger came out from the Zenith factory and he and Doug gave numerous demo rides in 601, 701 and 750 aircraft.
My brother Bracken Smith flew…Continue
In October of 2012 my friend Bob and I flew our airplanes through 7 western states. During our 12 day adventure we covered a total of 4,053 statute miles. Along the way we flew through high mountains, valleys and canyons. This was low-slow flying at its best. Often we were below 500 feet AGL. The average AGL for the entire trip was only 1,003…Continue
This year was my 4th trip to Copperstate, the annual fly-in held at the Casa Grande Arizona airport (KCGZ). The fly-in is fine, but for me the trip is the main event.
The flight this year was a total of 1,926 miles. We spent two days flying each way. I say we. On the trip down I flew my Zodiac, keeping Doug Dugger of …Continue
Several of the members of EAA chapter 1230 (based @ Nut Tree - KVCB) planned a trip to the tourist town of Solvang in southern California. I was invited to join in.
The town of Solvang does not have an airport, however the town of Santa Ynez near by does have a nice one (KIZA). You can rent a car at the airport by prior arrangement.
We flew in to Santa Ynez on Friday. On Saturday we went wine tasting at a few of the many nearby wineries. Saturday evening we…Continue
Les Goldner (701 builder/pilot) and his wife planned a two week flying trip into the Idaho back country. Les and I belong to both the Petaluma EAA chapter and the Santa Rosa, CA EAA chapter. We fly together from time to time.
Even though it was "his trip", Les let me plan the route from Santa Rosa, CA to Boise, ID. I chose a little low-level desert flying in Nevada from Carson City (CXP) to Battle…Continue
I spent the last week in Shelton WA, visiting my brother and his wife and helping with the re-assembly of their Jabiru motor. (Early top-end because of stuck piston rings with only about 300 hours on the Hobbs. My engine had the same problem but I did not understand what was going on soon enough so the cylinders…Continue
Today I taxied out with the intent to fly to Petaluma where I was scheduled to present pictures from my recent OSH trip to the Petaluma EAA chapter.
I performed my run-up, got clearance to take off, pulled out onto the runway, pushed in the throttle and started the takeoff roll. Fifty feet down the runway the engine quit and would not start again. I rolled off at bravo contacted ground and…
Today’s pilot has powerful weather tools to help fly safely and sometimes more efficiently. Now if your only going up…Continue
A week ago my Zodiac had an oil cooler failure which caused me to do an off-field landing. I wrote about the event in this blog post. That mishap turned out well enough with a bit of skill, luck and significant help from friends.
It has taken a week but I now know what went wrong and feel compelled to share the information. The short story is “builder error”. The longer story…Continue
Saturday I decided to fly to Quincy via the Feather River canyon. I had just dropped into the start of the canyon above an arm of Lake Oroville when I smelled hot oil which was soon followed by smoke in the cockpit. I was 500 AGL over water and below the ridgelines, miles from landable terrain.
I knew I was losing oil and had limited time. I did a quick U-turn back toward landable terrain and started a full throttle climb out of the canyon while monitoring oil pressure.…Continue
I love to fly and have logged 892 hours in 3 and a half years. That’s a lot of fuel.
I have never liked the lead in aviation fuel. It trashes the spark plugs and the engine oil and of course it’s bad for the environment. My 601’s Jabiru 3300 engine does not need the lead.
A few months ago I started burning premium automotive fuel. I bought two plastic 14 gallon fuel tanks from Costco for about $80…Continue
This blog is not a how-to. There have been plenty of well done how-to blogs. It’s just some pictures with a few words attached.
Three years ago my brother Alan and I (with lots of help) built a pair of 601s…Continue