Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Did I get my very own ultralight?

In between the two flights I had with Dennis, somthing else was going on that's important to the whole picture. It's somthing that I will remember for the rest of my life. Somthing I'll share with my grandkids when I'm older. Every once and a while the story will gnaw at my brain and start teasing me. My gosh!, writing up this one will be hard.


Ebay is theplace where you can buy anything and everything. From used socks, to boats, to airplanes, ebay has it. There are normally a couple of ultralights on ebay, but they normally sell for $1,800 and up (non dammages ones). I try to watch for patterns and stratagies that could be usefull for me in the future.

Normally watching these ultralights sell is painful. They sell at very low prices for the quality aircraft that they are. Yeah, prices are low, yet not low enough for me. Comparing the amount of money I have to the amount that's being sold, I realise that I have a long way to go, yet I try to ignore the truth and tell myslelf that a miricle could happen.


Miricles do happen. And they happen at very suprising times. I love composite airplanes (fiberglass), and I also love the canard configuration (where the tail is in the front) in airplanes. During the milddle of the week, an ultralight with these same charachteristics popped up. It was a Eurowing Goldwing.

Doing more research on the Goldwing, I found that it was a beautiful airplane that doesn't have the popularity that it should. The composite construction made the aircraft much more durable than fabric covered aircraft, yet the weight stays within the legal FAR 103 limit. No need to purchase expensive sails every six, or seven years. It cruises at 55 mph, and stalls at a slow 25 mph.

It was a kit, which means that I'd have to assemble the aircraft. The average construction time to put one of these together is 400 hours. I figured that it would take a little longer with me because I'd have to learn proper building methods such as fiberglassing, dealing with epoxy, etc. I'm also a perfectionest, which is a good thing when it comes to building an airplane. Every edge would be sanded smooth, every bolt would be properly tightened, wireing would be cleenly organised, etc. It would probably take me at least 800 hours to build, but that's fine with me, as my life would rely on the airplane when I finally got to fly it.

What was really nice was that it was located very close to my house. Even closer to my families vacation cabin. Soo close to the cabin, I could walk to the airport from the cabin, and still have hours of daylight left. Just about 10 miles away. No need to trailer the aircraft across states. Just right to the cabin. Geting it home wouldn't be a problem either, as it's only about 100 miles. That's 100 miles that we drive regularly. It was soo close, it was killing me.

A Eurowing Goldwing on the Ground

This was an aircraft for me. I felt like it allready belonged to me, as it had (and still does) a special place in my heart.
Although I figured that bids would quickly go over my budget, I dreamed that a miricle. There was nothing else in the world that I wanted more. Just a miricle, just a miricle...my fingers were crossed.

As days, went by my fingers remained crossed. Strangely enough, and to my suprise, there had been very little bidding action going on. The last day of ebay auctions are allways the most intense and the bid price also has the greatest spike during that time. I was leaving to go to the delta that same day (when I just happened to fly with Dennis), so my mom decided to take the responcibility of bidding for me. She asked me what was the highest price that I was willing to bid and I told her $450 (told you it was a miricle). It was a rough guess. I knew I had a little more, but I didn't want to give her a number that was higher than what I actually had, so to be safe, $450 was the magic number.

A couple hours after flying with Dennis for the first time, I called my mom to see what was happening. We were the highest bidder at that time, although there had been some rough competitors. The bid was at $417. Later, my mom called me and said that one of the sellers put in a bid for $431. He must have had an automatic bid thing going on because the next bid my mom made was $450.......the magic number. It was dark when my mom called me again. She informed me that my agressive competitor had made a bid $5 over the magic number. I knew I had $5 more, so told my mom to put in a bid for $460. She refused and did not bid. My friends around me all said that they would pitch in some money so I could get this aircraft, but my mom was still stiff.

To this day, I don't understand why my mom did not put in that extra $10. I would have that debt payed off within a week, probably before she even collected my money. If I ask her if she's afraid of me flying, she says no, but maybe deep down inside she doen't want me flying and is afraid. The real answer remains out there.

The final bid was $455. I had lost the plane by five dollars. That's less that what it probably costs you to drive to the grocery store. Less than a good burger. Less than a cheep, flimsy, plastic cup. Less than a large pack of paper plates.

What is the moral of the story? Do what you have to do. If you can recover quickly, make small risks. Give yourself a little bit of slack, but not too much. If I were allready following the moral of this story before it happened, I wouldn't be talking about what a loss this was, I would be talking about what a good deal it was and how great it is to be flying.

"If you got to do it, do it!"
-Ben- high school band leader

Goodbye my lover,
Goodbye my friend,
You have been the one,
You have been the one for me.

My eyes turned skywards,
Mark Zinkel

Monday, October 09, 2006

Youtube Video


I recenly made a video just for this blog, so I hope you enjoy it.

Ultralight Flight Dream

Stay tuned, great stuff is just around the corner!

Mark Z.