The hayfield that started it all...as would be viewed from the starting point of the takeoff roll.
 

Living the Dream
For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated with all things that dwell above the horizon. I've been blessed throughout life by continually stumbling upon people who were eager to help foster that fascination. From the pilot in my hometown who would land on our family farm unannounced and take me flying, to relatives who flew and on to EAA Chapters in towns where my career has taken me that greeted me with open arms when I first darkened their hangar door. All had an impact.

It was likely that last group who most fostered my desire to build my own airplane. Admittedly, I daydreamed about this project from a very early age...one of my most embarassing incidents when I was a kid occurred when I had convinced another kid on the school bus that dad and I were building an airplane of our own design in secrecy behind dad's shop door. He apparently took the bait. His parents eventually called to inquire about the odd project and I was busted.

Fast forward 25 years: Now I have at least a marginal ability to finance such a project and a family who supports it! I knew that anything I built had to be roomy (I'm 6' 3") and have a decent useful load (260 lb corn fed Arkansas boy + wife, daughter and luggage). It also needed to be excellent getting in-and-out of short, soft fields so I can fly home to that same farm that I hitched rides out of as a child. Lastly, it had to be simple and fun to fly.

All of these decision points combined with the relatively close proximity of the Zenith Aircraft factory in Mexico, MO made the Zenair CH801 a no-brainer.

All my life I've waited for this. This build log will represent many high points in my life...but the low points will be here too. My entire aircraft building experience is less than one week old as of this writing. The mistakes will come. However, the solutions will soon follow. I hope you enjoy the site and follow along!

Best,

Shane

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