Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A couple affordaplane videos.
That's an Affordaplane with all the bells and whistles.. and a VW on the front.  That's probably a 450-500lb plane. 

Looks like Mr Harris is still flying his 0-84 powered Affordaplane too.  Someone should tell the camera owner to polish, or just clean his camera lens..

Friday, December 6, 2013

Another Affordaplane flys.

Well, I had this pointed out to me today. 

It looks like a decent build.  I'd have some worries about the wheels.  Those look like tadpole trike/wheel chair hubs with bike rims.  That plane is at least 400lbs, and then pilot, and fuel...   I wonder if the wheels will hold up.  That was a problem for early ultralights that were doing essentially the same thing. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Well, Mr1rapid claims his plane is under 254lbs!  We might have "someone" who did it.  Congratulations. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Affordaplane is NOT an ultralight. 

I've tried, at length, to keep my personal thoughts on this plane out of it.  But, it certainly seems that this plane, in it's to plans form, will not fly as a US legal Ultralight. 

I'm open to other evidence, you can leave comments, or e-mail, and I"ll happily edit this post and put your material up instead. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Roy brings us the fuselage weight!

For anyone who wants to know the weight of the fuselage MINUS the wheel assembly, all of it bolted and the wood insers in place, I ma speaking of plans up to drawing three, I weighed it on my calibrated scales as 69 lbs. This should be a good place to work from, I have not included the tail wheel, seats, floor boarding or anything except what you see on drawing three of the plans. (And built in strict accordance to the plans.)


Monday, December 5, 2011

Affordaplane Crash Report: Terry Warren

The second one was Terry Warren. His aircraft is the second picture down on the
group homepage (His photo is no longer posted on the group homepage). He stalled
from about 50 feet up, pancaked onto the runway squashing the entire fuselage.
Once again... pilot error, aircraft totaled, and the pilot unhurt.

Affordaplane Crash Report: Larry Hrometz

Well, now I'll report on Affordaplane accident #3. Again... Pilot error,
aircraft totaled, pilot unhurt.

Larry Hrometz, the pilot, asked me to share details with the groups so that
hopefully we can all learn from his accident. I will create a PHOTO folder of
the accident photo's that I took.

[there are more pictures on the yahoo group]

The series of events that led up to last evenings accident (7-16-09) actually
started last fall.

He finished the aircraft and took it to a local airstrip for initial testing
(not the airport where last nights accident happened). Taxi tests went well, and
he started making short crow-hops. He was having an issue with the aircraft
wanting to veer to the left. He ended up nipping a wingtip on a tree. Only very
minor damage to the wingtip. He discovered that a brake was mis-adjusted causing
it to drag. He trailered the aircraft home for the winter and to make repairs.

This past spring, he brought the aircraft to my local strip, Barber Airport
(2D1). I helped him assemble the aircraft and, at his request, performed as
thorough a pre-flight as I am capable of.

The only issue I found was that the rudder was capable of hitting the elevator.
He showed me that full rudder input placed the rudder about one inch shy of the
elevator, but I noted that while he was holding full rudder, I could move the
rudder until it contacted the the elevator.

Since full rudder input kept the the rudder away from the elevator, we decided
that all should be fine until he can install rudder stops. Neither one of us
realized what was actually happening.

Again he started taxi testing, progressing to short crow hops. About a month ago
(I don't remember the exact date) he was headed north on the N-S runway, about 5
feet up at about 50 mph, when the aircraft started veering to the right. He
started gentile left rudder inputs and the aircraft continued moving to the
right. Realizing that the aircraft was in trouble and heading off of the runway,
he chopped the throttle and tried to ease the plane back to the ground. The
right main caught a berm off the east side of the runway, causing the aircraft
to start into a groundloop. Unfortunately, right where the groundloop started is
a pond just off the runway edge. The aircraft ended up in the water, standing on
it's nose, tail straight up in the air.

I wasn't able to get to the airport after the accident, so I have no photo's.
The only damage to the aircraft was a slightly bent cabane, a broken prop, and a
badly brused ego.

Post accident analysis led back to the issue with the rudder. During initial
construction, he decided to use a rudder bar instead of pedals. The proper
installation of a rudder bar relies on rudder cable tension not return springs
to maintain the proper cable tension. When he fabricated the rudder horn, he
placed it so the cable attach points were behind the rudder hinge line. This
allowed the left cable to go slack when right rudder was applied, and vice

So, when he was trying to ease in left rudder, he never actually got to the
point where the cables got tight enough to actually turn the aircraft. Trying to
ease in left rudder never got past the slack cable. We both learned something.
We knew something wasn't correct, but didn't identify exactly what it was.
Believe me I felt as bad as he did. We should have caught it !!!

He corrected the rudder geometry problem and installed a new prop. Now the
rudder cables stay tight all the time.

Yesterday afternoon I stopped at the airport. It was too windy to fly, so he was
cleaning the plane. We chatted for a while. He started telling me about
performing a static thrust pull test. He said he got 108 to 110 pounds of pull
at 4000 rpm. I told him that the aircraft would not fly on that small amount of
thrust, and that the rpm's were too high. It has a 1/2 VW, about 28 hp, and was
turning a 54-26 prop. The first prop was a 54-24. I felt that he needed more
prop in order to get the static rp's down to around 3400. He said the aircraft
performed the crow hops just fine. Again I missed something that I wouldn't
realize until later. We chatted a while longer and I went home.

The owner of the airstrip called me at 8:30 pm telling me that Larry crashed, he
was fine, but it was bad. I rushed to the accident scene.

As you will see in the photo's, I found the aircraft sitting nose up against a
truck camper, badly mangled. After the Ohio Highway Patrol and the local
Sherriff completed their investigation, and the FAA released the aircraft from
the scene (saying that the aircraft was a Ultralight so no formal investigation
was necessary), we loaded it onto a hay wagon and hauled the plane back to the

The details are...

The wind had settled down, so he decided to do some more crow hops. He was up a
few feet higher than normal, heading south on the N-S runway. He lost track of
where he was on the runway and realized he didn't have enough runway to set
down, so he applied full throttle and decided to just fly it around the pattern.
After a few seconds of climbing, the aircraft settled and stopped climbing. He
managed to make about 40-50 ft altitude. There were wires and trees directly in
front of him. He knew he couldn't clear either of then so he initiated a right

He lost airspeed in the turn and the aircraft started into a classic stall-spin
condition. He clipped the top of a power pole (visible in one of the photo's)
with the left main (this probably saved his life) spinning him down to the
right. He caught a wingtip on the edge of the house, reversing the spin but
slamming him nose first into the truck camper. He bounced back and dropped. The
photo's show it all.

The bottom line is that the engine didn't develope enough thrust to fly, bu DID
allow the aircraft to fly "In Ground Effect". Yikes... that's what I didn't
catch... ground effect... just didn't put 2 and 2 together.

Larry is sore as hell today, but he is alive and is already planning to build
again, but this time with a full VW.

The aircraft actually did very well in the crash. He had welded all of the
joints instead of bolts and gussets. Not one weld failed !!! Lots of bent and
mangled bolts and fittings. Everybody who looked at the wreckage said that it
has a very strong basic airframe.

I spent 2-1/2 hours helping him disassemble and pack the aircraft back in his

So, what can we learn from all this?? This is exactly why it is called
EXPERIMENTAL aviation. Never take anything for granted. Check, double check,
triple check, and if something don't seem right... it probably isn't.

If I missed anything, just ask...

"An update to the following information. Larry has since purchased a Quicksilver
(Tweety Bird) which he has logged alot of hours, and a Taylorcraft project, and
has started toward his Sport Pilot license. He is currently helping a local
builder repair a homebuilt biplane that was damaged during a forced landing."