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Thread: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

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    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    Kitfox N703KA – Texas Bound

    Friday, Jan 15, 2010, I officially took ownership of N703KA, the S-LSA Kitfox that is soon to be called "Kick Ass" by my loving wife!

    Paul Z and 703KA.jpg

    I struggled with the idea of finishing the Dragonfly I had started, versus buying a flying Kitfox Series 5, 6, or 7, or buying a kit. Having partially built a Dragonfly over a 15+ year period, I wasn't sold on the prospect of another project! I knew I wanted a Light Sport AC. I found a really nice looking Series 5 Tail Dragger, which was registered as a Light Sport, but its cruise speed was 85 to 90 MPH. Not knowing what was the cause of the slow cruise speed, I couldn't bring myself to buying it! There were a lot of owners who were trying to convince me to buy their planes, and said that even though their plane registered at 1550 lbs, it could flown as a light sport, if I just flew it within the 1320 weight limit. I checked with my local Designee and the FAA, and found that isn't true! After looking at several planes all that needed quite a bit of work, I finally made the decision that not only did I want a Light Sport, but I also wanted a Tri-Gear, one that I could convert to a tail dragger when I get a little more proficient. That immediately ruled out the Series 5! I found an extremely nice Series 7, that was flying, that could be converted, but by the time I called on it had been sold! Looking at the TeamKitfox Forum, the Series 7 is currently getting a new upgraded instrument panel. I looked from West coast to East coast looking at Series 5s & 7s, I never found a Series 6. Most of what I found were partially completed. I also found 3 planes, which had damage history, 2 of which sustained significant damage. After looking at a few partially completed kits, I realized that although when you build a Kitfox you are primarily assembling the plane, there are some good and there are definitely some bad builders and I had definitely found both.

    I finally decided it was time to call up John & Debra McBean at Kitfox. I made arrangements to fly up two weeks before Christmas. December 13th I flew up to Idaho, on Southwest Airlines, to look at the Series 7 Super Sport. I was contemplating
    buying a Series 7 SS kit with quick build wings, pre-rigged, along with the head start program which gets you through the point of covering. That sounded a little more palatable to me. It would get me to the point of final assembly & paint. John and Debra were great. They gave me a tour of the fabrication and assembly areas, showed me their planes and I got to see some of the new things planned for the 2010 season. He offered a demo ride. However it was so foggy the first day you could not see across the runway. John said if I came back Friday he would be glad to get me a ride then. I told him I had a flight home scheduled Friday morning, and that Dorothy wanted me home. The next morning I went to Boise International to fly out at the crack of dawn. As the sun came up it was sunny and clear. I checked in at the gate and the plane was over booked due to the prior days fog. I asked if I could get on a Saturday flight. Southwest could get me on the next day and it would save me $60. I called Dorothy then went down and got a rental car and drove back to the Kitfox factory. As I got to Homedale, the fog started again. Another foggy day! However, later that day it lifted enough that John was able to give me a tree top flight. John's plane N102YB, cruises at 120, and flies GREAT! John showed me N703KA and man that is one nice Kitfox. I definitely liked the S-LSA . It definitely Kicked Ass. While there I also had the pleasure of meeting Steve Kellander, the TeamKitfox Administrator, who was visiting the factory. After talking with John and Steve I called Dorothy and I told her I finally got a flight in the Super Sport. I also told her about the S-LSA N703KA. While there, John diligently tried to get me to put down a deposit on a kit to reserve the last April build slot. John said that if I decided to purchase the S-LSA, he would move the deposit to that. I told him I needed to talk to the BOSS before I spent that kind of money. I flew home Saturday. I told Dorothy I wanted to buy the kit with pre-built wings, pre-rigged, and go through the builder assist program. She said she thought I was going to come home as the new owner of the S-LSA. We discussed it over the weekend. I rolled up the cost of the kits, builder assist, paint, engine, instruments, gauges, & my time, and I made the decision. I called John and said I wanted the S-LSA. Man, spending money for a tight wad like myself is HARD!

    703KA @ Kitfox Aircraft.jpg


    January 13th, I flew up to look at N703KA, to fly it, and to pay for it. Thursday was foggy. No flying that day. Friday morning the fog lifted and we got 1.5 hours of flying in and did several touch and goes at Caldwell. The winds started picking up. They were SE at 39 miles per hour. We flew back to Homedale and we closed the deal! I truly enjoyed flying the plane. On final you set your speed 65 – 70, trim the plane to reduce stick back pressure, and then use the throttle to make sure you have the altitude to make the runway. You literally fly the plane to the ground then a slight flare and your landing. When I first looked at N703KA, I was not sold on the AFS-3500 Glass Panel but the GPS, the audible alerts, the wind direction and speed, everything about the Glass Panel was awesome. In looking at the plane there are a lot of finishing touches that I would never thought of installing but they definitely add to the overall package. I couldn't have built this nice of a plane for the price and that's not taking into account the 1 ˝ years of my labor.
    Currently, Kitfox is building another S-LSA with the same paint scheme as N703KA only its BRIGHT YELLOW. I never thought I would like yellow but that is going to be one awesome looking airplane! ! Steve K. you WILL BE ENVIOUS of that one! In talking with John he has sold the new Yellow S-LSA to a local flying school, and he commented that the owner of the school had come in shortly after I committed to buy N703KA. I am really pleased I bought the first Kitfox S-LSA, before it went to a flight school. I feel I saved N703KA from a life of student abuse and hard landings. I am truly excited about getting "Kick Ass" home and I am looking forward to flying around the Great State of Texas!

    Paul Z.


    P.S. Thanks Dorothy for letting me buy N703KA and thanks John & Debra McBean, Jud Parker, and Mark Smith for building it! A special thanks to Steve Kellander for being a sounding board. I wonder what the Air Traffic Controller at McKinney Airport's going to say when I announce, “McKinney Tower this is KitFox seven zero three Kick Ass, five miles south east of the airport at 2500 feet, inbound for landing”?


    703KA waiting for it's new owner..jpg






    DesertFox4
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    Administrator DesertFox4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    Paul, Congrats to you and Dorothy. I hope you have many fun years in 703KA. It's a nice part of Kitfox history and couldn't have found a better home. Enjoy every flight.

    Here's a couple more photos of her that wouldn't fit on the KOTM post.

    703KA interior.jpg

    703KA panel.jpg


    DesertFox4
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    Senior Member SkyPirate's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    just georgous Paul ,.. I know you will be the envy of Texas

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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    Congratulations Paul. All it needs now is an ATm on the Turtle Deck Skylight to make it perfect. By the way my brother and I borrowed from 703KA a few details for the paint scheme for our RV-9A that is currently in the paint shop. Saw 703KA at Osh and loved the paint.

    Gig Em
    David E.
    Woodstock, Georgia
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    Rans S21 Helping Brother Build

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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    The ONLY way the plane could have been nicer is for it to have been Painted Maroon & White, versus Blue and White.
    I like the idea of a Block ATM on the Turtle Deck. I would bet I could make that happen .

    Your RV - 9A is going to look Awesome, especially if you got the colors right!

    Have you resolved your hanger issue?
    Quote Originally Posted by Agfoxflyer View Post
    Congratulations Paul. All it needs now is an ATm on the Turtle Deck Skylight to make it perfect. By the way my brother and I borrowed from 703KA a few details for the paint scheme for our RV-9A that is currently in the paint shop. Saw 703KA at Osh and loved the paint.

    Gig Em
    Paul Zimmermann
    LSRM-A
    Garland, Texas

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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    Paul, no the 9 will not have the right colors (maroon). My brother is paying for the paint job, so I guess he gets to pick the colors. We have a hanger in Calhoun. My Kitfox is coming home to tear down the engine. The 9 should be ready this week and go in the hanger the Kitfox is in.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    David E.
    Woodstock, Georgia
    N97DE S5 TD Flying

    N97KE RV-9A Sold
    N96KE RV10 Flying
    Rans S21 Helping Brother Build

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    Cool Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    John McBean and I did a little less than 2 hours of flight Sunday with 10 or so Touch and Goes, and one “Emergency Landing”. I had some good landings and some poor landings, but all in all, I felt pretty good. Dorothy and I dropped him off at the Hotel Sunday afternoon, and John departed Monday. John all I can say to you and Debra is THANKS!!!!!!!

    Juan who works for the FBO was impressed that Dorothy jumped in the plane and went flying. He commented, I was going to have to fight her to get to fly the plane. I didn't have the heart to tell him she has no flight experience, and that John McBean was giving her a ride. He always rides shot gun!

    Monday, was ugly so I didn’t get to do anything. However, today was the big day. I went in to work and it was overcast. However, later in the morning, it cleared up, it was cool, and with low winds. I decided to take a LONG lunch. I left work at 11:00am in McKinney, and drove down to the Mesquite International Airport, I removed the cabin cover, I pulled 703KA (Kick Ass) out of the Hanger, locked the door, did a pre-flight, and then taxied down to put some fuel in the tanks. By the time I got all of that done it was already 1:00 PM (Note 45 minute drive from McKinney to Mesquite on a good day!). I have a work related meeting every Tuesday at 4:00, and I knew I had at least a 1 hour drive back to McKinney. I finally decided I had enough time to fly the patch and at least get on TAKE OFF and LANDING Solo in N703KA. I was surprised how much traffic there was at 1:00, on a Tuesday afternoon. I taxied from the Fueling area, all of the way to the South end, Runway 35. Man that is a LONG Runway. I announce my intentions, and put the petal to the metal, and was airborne shortly. Man, does that thing climb SOLO. I climbed to pattern Altitude, Cross Wind, Down Wind, Base, and Final to touch down. I actually touched down on the Numbers, and made the first turn off. I was surprised how hard it was to get the plane out of the air and back on the runway, with only one fat guy on board (sorry John!)! I didn’t make the prettiest landing, but it was Solo, in my new Kitfox! After landing I taxied back to my hanger, and put Kick Ass home. Pushing a Tri Gear into a hanger, is definately a learning experience, back and forth, back and forth. . . . . ! I drove back to work and got there about 2:40 PM. Hummm that was a long lunch!

    Now that I got that out of the way, we can start flying!

    Paul Zimmermann
    Paul Zimmermann
    LSRM-A
    Garland, Texas

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    Senior Member Slyfox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    So tell us Why the Emergency landing? Now that is one nice bird. Ok, tell us, how did it make it to your home? Sound like you will be taking some lunch breaks up in the air. Have fun.
    steve
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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    Humm, "Why the Emergency Landing?" Well after doing several touch and goes, John reached over chopped the throttle, and said "You had an engine out, now what do you do?" Short Downwind, turn base, turn final, one notch of flaps then full flaps, flare, and then landed on the VERY end of the runway 17. Observation, I should have immediately turned base, with the 6000 foot runway, I had plenty to land on!

    When I went up before Christmas, and then in January, both times it was foggy, I couldn’t have flown it without an Instrument rating. Being a low time pilot, and being from South Texas, I did not feel comfortable flying from Homedale through the Rockies to the Prairies of North Texas. I have never flow in or around the Mountains, and I was concerned that if I had to go down I would never survive the COLD. Also, with as quickly as the weather changes this time of year in Idaho, John offered to fly it to Dallas, when there was a break in the weather. John had another plane that needed delivered to Florida, so John and Jud flew the planes south from Homedale to Albuquerque, Albuquerque to Mesquite, and Jud continued to Florida. Listening to John and Jud description of the trip, it was too bad the weather didn’t cooperate.




    Quote Originally Posted by Slyfox View Post
    So tell us Why the Emergency landing? Now that is one nice bird. Ok, tell us, how did it make it to your home? Sound like you will be taking some lunch breaks up in the air. Have fun.
    Paul Zimmermann
    LSRM-A
    Garland, Texas

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    Default Re: Feb. 2010 Kitfox of the Month Paul Zimmerman

    David,

    I like the paint scheme for the RV. You can never make Red, White and Blue look bad!

    Paul Z


    Quote Originally Posted by Agfoxflyer View Post
    Paul, no the 9 will not have the right colors (maroon). My brother is paying for the paint job, so I guess he gets to pick the colors. We have a hanger in Calhoun. My Kitfox is coming home to tear down the engine. The 9 should be ready this week and go in the hanger the Kitfox is in.
    Paul Zimmermann
    LSRM-A
    Garland, Texas

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