This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

Mar 9, 2015

John Wilkes and His Magnificent Flying Machine




Dear friends,

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,

John Wilkes
Marine Colonel, Retired
Vietnam Vet, Attorney, Author, and now Airplane Builder


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