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  #1  
Old 03-06-2012, 07:43 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,894
Default How old is too old, to build?

Stuff happens and today, I received a phone call telling me that Mr. Bobby had died at 2:00 a.m. this morning.

Bobby started building his slow-build -7A in his seventies and in those 5 years, I got to know him well since he had started it in Ray Lawrence's hangar and builder-assist facility, when he wasn't flying a corporate Navajo for a local business, IFR!!

When it came time for transition training, he was my first student and a pretty fair crosswind was blowing that day. He had learned in Stearmans and the like, as a young man, so as we approached the airport, I asked him how good his crosswind skills were and he replied, "Pretty good, actually!"....and I figured that I'd soon find out.

He made the prettiest one-wheel landing in my totally-new-to-him RV-6 that I'd ever seen!

I was proud to fly chase for his maiden flight, with his son riding with me and photographing his Dad. Bobby landed and couldn't stop the tears of joy!

At 82, he still loved and enjoyed his beautiful creation:



R.I.P. Mr. Bobby Moore....blue skies and tailwinds,

....and to all you old fogies on the fence...follow this example and get going!

Best,
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Rv10 Sold
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Air Tractor 502/PT-6
Building RV-12, Wings, fuse, emp complete. FWF in progress.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2012, 07:59 AM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is online now
 
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Default Excellent Advice!

As far as I know, we only go around this merry-go-round once. Might as well enjoy the ride.
My wife and I, and many friends of ours, play this card game called "Kuhl Handel" (roughly translated from German = Horse Trading). In the game, you try to buy animal sets using auction style interactions and blind bids using the money you receive every so often. The game was designed to teach eastern european kids (farm) business strategies and bartering. At the end of the game, the animal sets amount to points which help you "win the game", and the money you have left over is.... meaningless...! That is IMHO the best lesson the game teaches. In the end, the money is meaningless! Enjoy life as much as possible. R.I.P. Mr. Bobby.. Thanks for the lessons!
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EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
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RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:44 AM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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Location: Austinville, Alabama
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Default

Pierre, I am sorry to hear about Mr. Moore. I didn't know him, but I do applaud his accomplishments.

Just yesterday I logged on to the AOPA Air Safety Institute web site and took one of their courses..."Aging Gracefully, Flying Safely."

Although it obviously doesn't address building an airplane, it does present several points that most of us older pilots have not considered. I'd recommend it to any pilot over 60.

Again, my sympathies to the Moore family.
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Don Hull
RV-7 Wings
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?Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2012, 11:56 AM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
Posts: 1,332
Default

How old was Steve Wittman when he built his last airplane? 90?

From Wikipedia " Wittman remained active in aviation his entire life. For Wittman's 90th birthday a celebration, Wittman demonstrated aerobatic maneuvers in his V-Witt and Oldsmobile powered Tailwind."

He's still my hero.

Locally, we had a gent who kept telling me that he was too old to waste time and had to finish building soon. He was about 70 at the time. He's 88 now and still going strong.

Age is no excuse, condition might be, but age isn't. Keep building! Fly safely!

My condolences to Mr. Bobby's family. He sounds like a great guy.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2012, 12:15 PM
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pierre smith pierre smith is online now
 
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Default

Yep, he loved life and his exuberant, positive outlook was infectious...always a glass half-full.

Best,
__________________
Rv10 Sold
46 years ag pilot/CFI
Air Tractor 502/PT-6
Building RV-12, Wings, fuse, emp complete. FWF in progress.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2012, 04:46 PM
Smilin' Jack Smilin' Jack is offline
 
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Sorry for the friend loss, Pierre,
We never know what the Lord has in store for us. But friends ships last for ever in our mind.

Smilin' jack
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2012, 12:40 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
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Default

Interesting question, Pierre. It can not be answered easily as we are all wired differently.

In my case (age 73) it is a matter of doing something that's been on the back burner or bucket list for some time - build and fly the -8.

The project is invigorating. I may not finish it sure am planning on doing so.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2012, 12:54 PM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
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Posts: 5,685
Default You're the MAN!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David-aviator View Post
Interesting question, Pierre. It can not be answered easily as we are all wired differently.

In my case (age 73) it is a matter of doing something that's been on the back burner or bucket list for some time - build and fly the -8.

The project is invigorating. I may not finish it sure am planning on doing so.
You are an inspiration David - I'll bet you will love the airplane. When you get it done you should consider racing with us.

Bob Axsom
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:00 PM
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N8RV N8RV is offline
 
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Location: Elkhart, Indiana
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Default Take stock before you start

Sorry for the loss of your friend, Pierre. It's inspiring any time I see an older builder with the moxy to tackle a project like building an airplane. We had a wonderful old airport bum (term of endearment) who, at 80-something, started building a Hatz. His wife had passed and he had nothing better to do but hang around the airport and work a little every day, even knowing that he might not live long enough to finish it or certainly ever fly it. And, indeed, he flew west before seeing the plane take wing.

However, your question is a valid one. In fact, I wrote a rough essay on that very subject and was hoping to see it published someday, but the essence is to take stock of yourself before beginning a project like building a plane, and age is a big part of it.

For example, when I got the big idea to build an RV-8, I was a much younger man. I had hair, was slim and didn't wear bifocals. I eventually found myself wedged up under the instrument panel one day, my feet sticking out of the cockpit like chopsticks, my glasses on upside down so I could see something near that was above my head ... and I was stuck! I thought of a lot of things in those few minutes when I thought that my remains might not be discovered for days.

If you wait until you're approaching mid-life to build an RV, honestly evaluate how long it will take you given your finances, time and help available. If it is expected to take you more than a handful of years to complete your plane, you might be a different person when you emerge a builder and pilot on the other end. Your dream plane that you envisioned at 40 might end up a nightmare at 55!

Yes, Pierre, that's a very valid question. And a good, hard look in the mirror might just prevent a very costly mistake.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:28 PM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default We started building our RV-6A when I was 60

Jeanine and I worked on it for 8 years and I continue to modify and race it with no difficulty whatsoever ~8 years later. Putting a time limit on things based on life expectancy when you have no life threatening problems and you have the time, talent, money and the desire to do them is a form of self fulfilling prophesy. Come out to any one of the SARL Air Races and I will give you a run for your money. There are two races scheduled on the same date so I can only be at one of them but I plan to fly in all of the other ones listed below plus the AirVenture Cup Race from Mitchell, SD on July 22. I have the perfect airplane for me but if I didn't I would have no hesitation to start another one as my friend Ken Knowles did a few short years ago. He had to sell his RV-6A because of his wife's illness but after she died he built a Sonex and misses his RV-6A. He is 93.

Texoma 100 Air Race
31 March, 2012
Sherman, TX (KGYI)

Taylor 150 Air Race
14 April, 2012
Taylor, TX (T74)

Hill Country Air Race
21 April, 2012
Llano, TX (KAQO)

Big Country Air Fest & Air Race
28 April, 2012
Abilene, TX (KDYS)

Lone Star Air Rally
19 May, 2012
Galveston, TX (KGLS)

Memorial Day Air Race
26 May, 2012
Terrell, TX (KTRL)

Big Muddy Air Race
9 June, 2012
Carbondale, IL (KMDH)

Great Northwest Air Race
16 June, 2012
Ephrata, WA (KEPH)

Big Sky Air Race
7 July, 2012
Three Forks, MT (9S5)

Indy Air Race
11 August, 2012
Indianapolis, IN (KTYQ)

Pappy Boyington Memorial Cup
18 August, 2012
Coeur d'Alene, ID (KCOE)

MERFI Air Race
25 August, 2012
Urbana, OH (I74)

Ozark Air Race
8 September, 2012
Cassville, MO (94K)

Pagosa Springs 150 Air Race
22 September, 2012
Pagosa Springs, CO (KPSO)

Tennessee Air Race
29 September, 2012
Tullahoma, TN (KTHA)

Northwoods Air Race
6 October, 2012
Waupaca, WI (KPCZ)

Cleveland Air Race Revival
13 October, 2012
Cleveland, TX (6R3)

Thunderbird Air Race
13 October, 2012
Wickenburg, AZ (E25)

Maryland Air Race
20 October, 2012
Maryland (TBD)

Jasper Air Race
27 October, 2012
Jasper, TX (KJAS)

Rocket 100 Air Race
17 November, 2012
Taylor, TX (T74)

Bob Axsom
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