House Call Bearhawk LSA; range: 6,250 miles.

Update: Sept.9, 2016

Craig’s plane has been flying since the week after Oshkosh. It has about 20 hours on it. It has required a few detail airframe adjustments, a normal expectation on a plans built plane built by a first time builder. When I inspected the plane on my trip, I made a number of small suggestions that the FAA had missed on their ‘airworthiness inspection’  (they are just looking at paperwork ) I also took a great number of digital pictures that I shared with the Designer Bob Barrows at Oshkosh. Bob, took the time to further suggest refinements to Craig. To his credit, Craig didn’t get a defensive attitude, he took the advice, and this is a significant factor in his test program advancing smoothly.-ww.

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Builders:

Continuing East, I stopped in central Iowa for a six hour house call / inspection on Craig Owen’s 2,850cc Bearhawk LSA. It received it’s airworthiness inspection directly from the FAA the day before. It is the first Corvair/Bearhawk. There are several others under construction.

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Above, Craig Owen’s Corvair Bearhawk LSA. It was built from plans, it took 39 months, and was Craig’s first plane. He is determined,  and  looks upon learning new skills as a challenge, not an obstacle. He is currently finishing his flight training in an Interstate Cadet, a good  trainer for the Bearhawk  in an excellent example of good decision making, he has an experienced pilot  to fly the test time. Although the FAA lost its mind and made it legal to bring owners as non essential passengers on test flights, no  sane person does this.

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First take away: The FAA inspection inspects the paperwork, and has absolutely  no assurance of airworthiness.  the people they send and many DARs  have missed things that killed people on first flights. A plane having an Airworthiness  certificate still needs experienced builders to look at it and an owner willing to accept suggestions of improvement.

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Second take away: on the net this week, there will be  some personality trying to sell the idea that I am just motivated by profit, and I don’t care about builders, and I am an opinionated jackass.  When reading that, ask how making free* house calls on a 7,500 mile tour ( Craig’s is mile 6,250 ) of free Corvair Colleges is evidence of being a person driven by profit who doesn’t care about builders?

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Full disclosure: the house call wasn’t really free, Craig paid for my hamburger and fries at his local diner….and I do plead guilty to being an opinionated jackass, but it happens that my 27 years of working on Corvair engines makes my opinions on them valid, even if I made fun of someone’s favorite celebrity or politicians, didn’t respond to their FB friend request, or publicly corrected them when they were saying it was Egypt that attacked the USS Liberty. I do those things just to keep my Christmas card list short.

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