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  #1  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:57 AM
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SkyFlorida SkyFlorida is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 74
Default Just read a discouraging statistic

I read that only 1 out of 15 people who order kits actually finish their planes. I knew it was a challenging project, but that was surprising.

I'm getting ready to order my empennage kit this week and I would love to hear from you about the reasons people quit. From the collective wisdom here, what can I do to make sure I stay on the good side of that number?

I'd like to be proactive in preventing a problem.
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:01 AM
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hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
 
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You may not get a accurate response, as I would guess the majority of those who do not finish are not reding this forum.

But my guess is life and money are at the top of the list
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:03 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Location: North Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyFlorida View Post
I read that only 1 out of 15 people who order kits actually finish their planes. I knew it was a challenging project, but that was surprising.

I'm getting ready to order my empennage kit this week and I would love to hear from you about the reasons people quit. From the collective wisdom here, what can I do to make sure I stay on the good side of that number?

I'd like to be proactive in preventing a problem.
The 1 out of 15 stat probably needs to be qualified. Does this include all manufacturers of kits, and over what period of time? The newest kits from Vans are far more refined than kits produced 15 years ago. And Vans support community is second to none.

Having said that, there are indeed reasons why even new projects are abandoned. Your query may prompt an interesting discussion. Yes, building an airplane is a challenging project, and some builders are not up to the time and emotional commitment necessary.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 03-12-2013 at 08:05 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:08 AM
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Jim P Jim P is offline
 
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That number seems a little low to me. As I recall years ago, the general accepted figure was about 10% of project starts ever flew, and that was back when plans-built were the most common. I'm sure someone at Van's knows better, but I'd bet that Van's completions are 40-50% if not higher. But that's just my guess.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:10 AM
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rleffler rleffler is offline
 
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My speculation is that there are three reasons, there may be more.
  1. Financial - Lost job, didn't forecast how to pay for subsequent kits, divorce, unexpected life events, etc.
  2. Time Commitment - Jumped without understanding that most the RVs are going to take multiple years if you can put in 20 hours per week. Like #1, unexpected life events get in the way.
  3. Medical - lost their medical during the build
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:14 AM
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Geico266 Geico266 is offline
 
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Why not concentrate on the reasons people finish? Concentrating on the negative seems self defeating to me.

An accomplished builder told me to make a trip to the shop every day weather you work on anything or not. Read the plans, clean up, put things away, sharpen tools, organize stuff if only for 10 mins. Have a routine, turn the radio or TV on, bring in a cup of coffee or can of Monster.

The building of an airplane is the accomplishment of 1,000 small projects. Looking at the entire project can be overwhelming. Looking at a deburring project (as an example) doable in half an hour breaks it down into small bites.
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Last edited by Geico266 : 03-12-2013 at 08:35 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:16 AM
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SkyFlorida SkyFlorida is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim P View Post
That number seems a little low to me. As I recall years ago, the general accepted figure was about 10% of project starts ever flew, and that was back when plans-built were the most common. I'm sure someone at Van's knows better, but I'd bet that Van's completions are 40-50% if not higher. But that's just my guess.
I found the number in one of the articles here on VansAirForce. It was undated so perhaps its changed.
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:20 AM
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RV7Ron RV7Ron is offline
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleffler View Post
My speculation is that there are three reasons, there may be more.
  1. Financial - Lost job, didn't forecast how to pay for subsequent kits, divorce, unexpected life events, etc.
  2. Time Commitment - Jumped without understanding that most the RVs are going to take multiple years if you can put in 20 hours per week. Like #1, unexpected life events get in the way.
  3. Medical - lost their medical during the build
As I turn down the homestretch of a 4 yr build...I think this list is pretty spot on. For me personally...two things stood out that I wasnt entirely prepared for. #1, the 'extra' add on costs outside of the kit and the major components...shipping/registration/items that you overlooked/hardware/wiring supplies/FWF stuff/the high cost of aviation grade parts/etc. And #2, the time and effort it takes...it will alter your life, be prepared to give up most of your free time for several years, you have to have a lot of determination to get through the trying days of a long build.

Although it is a grind, its not all bad, it has changed who I am...and has quickly become the one thing in my life I am most proud of. Good luck with your journey.
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Last edited by RV7Ron : 03-12-2013 at 08:21 AM. Reason: typo
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:22 AM
BPoletti BPoletti is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: St. Louis, MO area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleffler View Post
My speculation is that there are three reasons, there may be more.
  1. Financial - Lost job, didn't forecast how to pay for subsequent kits, divorce, unexpected life events, etc.
  2. Time Commitment - Jumped without understanding that most the RVs are going to take multiple years if you can put in 20 hours per week. Like #1, unexpected life events get in the way.
  3. Medical - lost their medical during the build

That's probably pretty close. The first two are probably quite related to just getting in over the builder's head in a project that ended up being much more complex than expected. (BTW, that's my fear.)
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2013, 08:31 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
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Location: USA
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I am a buyer not a builder but I am finishing a panel upgrade. An interesting and unexpected thing occurred in the project. I started to procrastinate because things were not going as well as I had planned. My "vision" was being compromised by my execution.

I suspect there are builders who find themselves in the same boat. The project looks doable but once they get into it, they find it is not all that they hoped it would be.

Unless the builder is able to truly forgive and forget, then all the little compromises will add up to defeat.
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