Corvair College #24……Last Call, Reg. Closing 10-29 at midnight


We are getting down to the wire on registration for Corvair College #24 in Barnwell SC.

The link to the registration is:

Our previous posts on College #24 contain all the detailed information on the event. you can read these posts by clicking on the title block “Events” in the header above.

If this is going to be your first College, I highly recommend that you read about all the previous ones at this link to our main Web page: 

Special note on registrations: The College has a required $79 fee to register. 100% of this money goes to our local host and is spent directly on the event to cover the meals, drinks and direct expenses like benches and lighting. All of P.F’s crew are volunteers, none of the money pays for anyones time. The learning and technical support at the College are “free”, as None of the tech staff, myself, Grace, Dan, Rachel, Vern, or Terry see any of the registration money. In fact we pay the same fee to register otherwise covering the food we eat and direct expenses would fall on our host. The only people we have traditionally exempted from the fee are the pilots of the Corvair powered planes flying in. (and some of them pay anyway)  95% of the people who attend colleges understand this system and are happy to comply.This is the 3rd College at Barnwell, P.F., who is the epitome of a fine Southern gentleman, would never make a public issue of the 5% of the people who compulsively must evade carrying their own share. I may have lived in the south for 27 years, but I am permanently excluded from Southern gentleman status by virtue of being raised in New Jersey, thus I have no problem giving the 5% a hard time on this. My father was born in Passaic NJ in ’25, my mother in Irvington NJ in ’27. One of them dislikes their governor the other is entertained by him. Here is what they agree on: Their Governor always acts like someone from NJ. Although I have had 27 years of trying not to be like that, I will channel my inner NJ on people who try to ‘beat the system’ on registering.

Above, Ray Fuenzalita at CC#23 holds the sign of the three rules of Colleges. My talented and beautiful wife Grace painted the sign above. We have few rules at the Colleges, but we always abide by them. We lay off the top two subjects of conversation (as they rarely bring people together) and the third is that we teach builders to avoid products from totalitarian police states noted for poor quality.

Since #24 will follow a national election by 72 hours, I am going to forewarn people, no kidding, I am going to have a zero tolerance for breaking rule #1. I have actually thrown two people out of colleges one from#8 and one from #11 for breaking this rule after two friendly warnings. Grace and I live in one of the few ‘battleground’ states. For the last months you can’t turn on a TV or radio, open your mailbox nor drive down the road without being bombarded by the most inane advertisements, all funded by PAC’s. I have had enough, and I am headed to the college to go have a good time with friends and be free of political trash.

601 builder/flyer Phil Maxson pointed out that he has never seen two people in a political discussion where one person suddenly says “You know, I have never thought of it that way, you sir have changed my mind.” It is the best commentary on this I have ever heard. For people who compulsively need to talk politics, take heart, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you can again fulfill the role of  curmudgeon uncle/old hippy for the rest of your family, but you will not get a chance at CC#24.


Blasts from Colleges past:

Above, Andrew Pietenpol, Grandson of Bernard, attends Corvair College #4 with and Grace and myself at Sun ‘N Fun 2003.  


Above, a bonfire at Corvair College #17 in Florida 2009, complete with 6 bad cases being smelted.


Above, 601XL builder Larry Winger, left, with his one minute old 2700cc/Dan bearing engine at Corvair College #18 in Livermore CA. 2010. Today,Larry’s plans built plane is almost done.


Above, Corvair College #5 Hanford CA., 2004. Hardcore builders who stayed the last full day. Can you identify Host Pat Panzera, Prolific writer Dan Branstrom and a very young Dan Weseman?-ww

Patrick Hoyt, new Zenith 601XL, now flying, N-63PZ


 We heard last night that one of the best liked and most respected builders in the Corvair movement, Patrick Hoyt, changed his status from ‘builder’ to ‘builder & flyer’. Patrick has been hard at building for a number of years, but has always rounded out his aviation seasons by heading to events like Brodhead, Oshkosh and a College. His easy-going nature and travels made has made him one of the movements better known builders, and many people were glad to spread the news that Patrick had passed the milestone of his first flight.

Low-effort learning

Above is a picture of Patrick’s aircraft. It has a 650 canopy arrangement, but the airframe is a 601XLB.  The photo is from an article written for the experimenter by Corvair/Wagabond builder John Schmidt. The whole article can be seen at this link: John and Patrick are good friends and the story is written with the benefit of this perspective. It also recognizes the positive support Patrick enjoys from his wife Mary. Patrick’s plane has a 2700cc Corvair with a Dan bearing and all of our Gold system parts and installation components.

We are now entering our 9th year of Corvair powered Zeniths. Patrick’s plane is the 61st 601/650 to fly on Corvair power. After our personal 601 was the first in may 2004, It took 3 more years to get another four of them flying. Builders have their own pace, commitments and priorities and to see a large positive impact, you have to be in this for the long run. Patrick’s plane follows Jim Ballew’s 601 by only 3 weeks. Lately we have had new Corvair powered Zeniths taking to the sky at 15-20 day intervals.  I regard builders as friends, not just customers, and it is very rewarding to play a role in the achievement of an ever-increasing number of builders.

We received this note from Patrick last night:

“Hi William. I took N63PZ up for the first time today, shortly after sunrise. Other than being the experience of a lifetime, the actual flight was uneventful. Wonderful that we live in a country and in a time in history when this is even imaginable. To think that I built this airplane and the engine with my own two hands, along with the generosity and inspiration of so many others. Sure it took a few years, but I did it, and today I flew it. I really appreciate everything that you’ve shared over the years. I’ve learned a lot from you.

Thanks,Patrick Hoyt


Above, Gary Boothe on the left and Patrick Hoyt on the right point to their hometowns on a map at Brodhead in 2009. The golden rule of homebuilding is persistence pays. Both of these men just started flying their Corvair powered planes, Gary his Pietenpol and Patrick his Zenith. In the experimental aircraft industry as a whole, the completion rate is a pathetic 20%. Salesmen, promoters and many journalists try to bury this statistic, because they belive it is bad publicity. If pushed, the three groups above are very quick to lay the blame on builders themselves.

Our builders have a completion rate at least twice as high as the industry average. Why? because I know that the ‘blame the builder’ line is BS. The real reason why the rate is low is because our industry is focused on getting you to sign a check and buy something. That is their measure of success. Conversely, I am focused on getting people flying. These are two very different goals, and the first is never going to improve the completion rate, in fact it hurts it because neither a salesmen in search of a buyer of a journalist in search of an exciting story are likely to accurately describe the long term commitment that is the only path to success.

Both Gary and Patrick in the above photo spent many years building their planes. The strongest indictment of ‘blame the builder’ mentality is a simple one: The average life span on a new LLC formed in our industry, often positively reviewed in our press is 36-48 months to bankruptcy. If the average successful homebuilder takes longer than this to complete his plane, it is plain to see that the majority of our industry is focused on selling things, not supporting them.  What builders are slow to learn is that these LLC’s are designed to have this short lifespan. They are not forced into it by troubled times. The goal of the people who started them was to get all the easy money of kit sales without ever having to follow through with far less profitable long-term support. the LLC format allows them to walk away without any financial responsiblity. Often they will be back with another LLC in a year or less, and journalists who are oblivious or playing along with the system don’t make the connections for new builders.

Being a successful builder like Patrick and Gary requires you to avoid the pitfalls of our industry. Deciding to only work with people who are committed to long-term success, support, and the goal of your aircraft flying. We have been working with Corvair flight engines since 1989. I have had the privilege of playing a supporting role in the successful completion and flight of several hundred homebuilts. If you have dreams and persistence, we will be glad to play a long-term supporting role in your personal aviation sucess story.-ww