This is a big milestone in my life. I just received the airworthiness certificate for the airplane I have been building since 2003. The first picture shows the DAR presenting me with the certificate after the inspection. 4516W passed with flying colors. Usually the DAR will have to come back to confirm that major defects had been fixed, but there were only about seven very minor sqawks that we could easily fix on the spot. In that picture the airplane is all opened up and partially disassembled for the inspection, so I attached the second picture taken before we opened it up.
Of course it still needs to be painted, but it is now flyable, which will soon happen after we close it up again. It has been run and taxied with no problems. Now all I have to do is convince the FAA to clear me medically to fly it. If they do that, I intend to put it in a modified Naval Training Command paint scheme (white with candy apple red trim instead of the orange) with "MARINES" and stars & bars on the fuselage.
BTW, the first 40 hours has to be flown by a single pilot with nobody else in the airplane within a 75 mile radius of where it was inspected (Paris, TX). I will not be doing that. Probably no more than 15 of my 2000 or so hours was in a tail dragger and even those were a long time ago. The pilot will be the friend who helped me finish it. He has many hours in his own identical airplane. After he flies off the first 40 hours, I will fly it from the back seat (has everything but brakes) until I feel comfortable flying it by myself in the front seat.
For those interested, it has two GPSs (one w/ a moving map and the other w/ a CDI), a Dynon Engine monitor, a Tru Trak auto pilot w/ altitude hold, electric elevator trim and flaps (both controlled on the stick), manual aileron trim, and a new constant speed prop on a new IO -360 engine; plus a complete set of steam gauges. No EFIS for me! Too old a dog for that.
Very best regards,
Marine Colonel, Retired
Vietnam Vet, Attorney, Author, and now Airplane Builder