About a month ago I was flying high with the first wing almost done and now I've not touched it for 3 weeks and feeling quite depressed about the whole endeavour. So many forum posts with people who clearly know what they are doing struggling with things - how to mate the fuse parts together, how to route a fuel line..... what chance do I have as a complete beginner and no one around me who knows more than I do?

I'm sure most everyone goes through the same, hopefully I can get the wing closed up soon though if I find there was something I shoulda done first I'm gonna just die :)

Just venting. Feel free to give me a virtual slap.

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Comment by Paul Sanders on February 22, 2012 at 9:31am

Thanks for all your responses. I think my biggest downer is not that I'm bound to make mistakes but that there seems to be that you just "have to know", that are obvious to a non-beginner. For example I was going to leave the fuel return hole plugged with the plastic stopper it came with. In retrospect that's bloody stupid but if someone hadn't mentioned it in the forums just as I was about to close the wing, who knows what I would have had to do later.

I figured I was already in Caleb's "idiot" box with the number of tech support emails I've sent but sounds like everyone else is doing the same. :)

Comment by Jim B Belcher on February 22, 2012 at 9:16am

Part of building your own airplane is learning.You'll know more about your airplane, and be a better pilot for the experience.

I'm hesitant to admit how many parts I've messed up so far. None of us have all the answers - when we have a question, we get on the forum and ask.

I've recently had to ask some questions about the Continental engine, yet I've been flying for 44 years. I've also been a certificated mechanic for 24, and an IA for 13. I just never happened to work on a Continental. There are areas where I definitely know what I'm doing, and areas where I need help.

Don't give up! I don't think anyone on the forum has all the answers; I certainly don't.  If you don't believe me, just ask my wife!

Comment by Chris Aysen on February 22, 2012 at 7:53am

Paul - You're probably feeling so frustrated because you want to succeed so badly. Just step back for a minute and solve ONE problem at a time. You have the necessary drive that's why your feeling that way. Whenever you get to the point where you don't care it's probably over. So don't let yourself get to that point. Mistakes are inevitable; just correct them. Hang in there!!!

Comment by Tim Smart on February 22, 2012 at 4:30am
Hang in there Paul, I'm in a similar situation, no one locally that I can lean on but many people on this site are great at helping based on thier experiences. To support what Caleb told you, for me the factory and Caleb have been VERY HELPFULL when I have a stumper or more often when I have done something stupid.
Comment by Caleb Gebhardt on February 21, 2012 at 3:27pm

Everyone has to start somewhere. You will make mistakes just like everyone else who is or has built an aircraft (including me, although I don't admit it often). The important thing is to realize that you can fix anything you make a mistake on. If you need to drill out a few rivets to run a forgotten wire ect, it isn't a big deal to put new rivets back in those holes once you've run the wire.


If you mess up something that you aren't sure how to fix, there is the Construction Standards that you can reference as well as the FAA's AC 4313. You are also welcome to call, email, fax, or write a letter to us for advice. Roger or myself can answer any question about how to correctly repair any mistake you might make. It is unlikely that you will be the first to make any particular mistake and we can tell you what to do to get you going again.

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