"Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glider Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by choppergirl, Feb 4, 2016. Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating: Thread Status: Not open for further replies. 1. Feb 15, 2016 Angusnofangus Angusnofangus Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 29, 2015 Messages: 329 Likes Received: 143 Location: Victoria, Canada Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

Like StarJar, I am not a social person and sympathize with CG and her visit to the 'Old Boys' club. I've had similar experiences and prefer to go my own way. That not withstanding, CG needs proper instruction so she doesn't become a statistic.

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2. Feb 15, 2016

TFF

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From the photos, I believe, that this beaten and worn out Ultralight is worth 38$but it is not worth to rebuild it and trust your life on. Who know what stress already went trough the structure by use and if some cracks are already hidden in the material, and how worn out are the bolted and riveted joints. This structure should be dismantled and cleaned well and inspected by person who have experience, prior deciding if it is worth to restore it. But, it is just my opinion. Joe Fisher likes this. 4. Feb 15, 2016 StarJar StarJar Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 6, 2011 Messages: 1,723 Likes Received: 402 Location: El Centro, California, USA Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

I told her to inspect all the engine mount parts with magnifying glass detail. The rest of the airframe is aged of course like any other aluminum airplane, but easier than most to check for corrosion or dammage, IMO.
Dye Penetrant as shown in this video, would be good to use.

Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
5. Feb 15, 2016

Topaz

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide Unfortunately, completely antithetical to teenagers. There are certainly exceptions, but most would rather die than "ask for help" from an adult about anything. If you sit around waiting for them to come by and "ask for help," you'll be waiting a very, very long time. You have to actively shove the opportunity in their face. That's not a criticism of young people - they are what they are - but simply an acknowledgement of reality. Any parent here who has survived their own children's adolescence will understand. 6. Feb 15, 2016 Victor Bravo Victor Bravo Well-Known Member Joined: Jul 30, 2014 Messages: 6,081 Likes Received: 4,860 Location: KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

How about this way to look at it: If I walked my 54 year old self into a meeting of 23 year old computer gaming geeks, and wanted to learn something about writing gaming code, all of their activities and rituals would look and sound pretty darn strange to me. Their conversations about the latest phone app, or their sitting around smoking weed before the meeting, or their disregarding 60 years of hard data on how tobacco companies kill people for fun and profit, or their throwing back 3 cans of Red Bull and then laughing at each others' brief convulsions, or their cheerfully discussing some low class POS jailbird thug's latest album is now being "dropped"... all that junk would turn me off to their whole scene.

But if I mentioned this bad experience to my friend's 20 year old kids, they would tell me "Sorry obsolete old dude, those are the people how know how to write game code. Find a way to put up with the stuff you don't like, because they can help you (survive, get rich, not get laughed at) in the gaming world".

A lot of younger people are only too happy to remind me that my beliefs and values are not relevant to them, or relevant to anyone any more, and that I can just sit there and poop in my Depends if I don't like it.

Now there is a young lady who is really interested in airplanes, and rebuilding an ultralight, and flying. Rather than discriminating against her, or making her un-welcome, the obsolete old guys at a local EAA chapter are offering to find some way to help. All that has to happen is that she has to sit through the (genuinely and abhorrently boring) Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure stuff long enough, until she can gain access to the specific advice or assistance she needs.

Granted that the archaic procedure BS is boring and un-necessary (I wouldn't tolerate it in my EAA chapter). But it is a small price to pay for an open door to get the knowledge and help she needs. Sorry but fair is fair.

The funniest part about all this to me is our ridiculous human nature... all of us, 15 years old to 115 years old. If an alien spaceship landed in your back yard, any of us would make an enormous effort to learn how to communicate, express friendship, and somehow bridge the gap between the languages of two distant planets. We'd go to the ends of the earth to communicate, with patience and determination, in order to make friends with our interstellar visitors.

But we won't lift a finger to communicate with other humans across only a 20 or 40 year age gap, or across a liberal/conservative ideology gap, or a religious belief gap. We will make tremendous effort to show love and kindness to our pets, but not our neighbors from a different culture.

As for me, I have no need or interest to learn about computer game code. I'm lucky enough to fly on actual air molecules instead of electrons. If I did need to learn gaming, I'd have to make a decision to put up with behaviors and attitudes that I might not agree with, in order to live among those aliens long enough to learn from them. Being older and perhaps wiser, and really wanting there to be a next generation of pilots, if one of those strange alien beings wanted to learn about airplanes, I like to think that I would be welcoming, and force them to endure as little suffering through my boring parts as possible.

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7. Feb 16, 2016

Little Scrapper

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide Victor Bravo, dam that made me laugh. When I joined the local EAA chapter years back i was the youngest in the chapter of about 15 main people. I think I was in my late 20's. They were excited by my presence, some of why probably was my welding but mostly because I was full of energy and a bit immature.....which I still am. Over the years life changed and with a family and business of my own I ultimately ended up just not going to meetings. Lack of time. I'm still very good friends with a bunch of them, all over 75 now. I visit and call them, and they do as well, and it always makes my day. I personally love the older generation but I suppose that's a rare thing. One of the members is my closest of friends, I think about 80 now. When we visit we always hug and laugh upon meeting. Looking back, the EAA and its chapters have been the best part of aviation for me. Which reminds me, I should probably go visit the rusty zipper club soon. Joe Fisher likes this. 8. Feb 16, 2016 bmcj bmcj Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Apr 10, 2007 Messages: 12,918 Likes Received: 4,867 Location: Fresno, California Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

First, not all EAA Chapters are created alike. Although the charter is the same, the "character" of the chapters vary. On the surface, some chapters are nothing but a social club, some are mostly active builders, some are mostly ultralight pilots, some are mostly interested in antique restoration, aerobatics, etc. Some have large groups of active pilots while others have "retired" pilots that just talk about when they used to fly. However, the character of the chapter does not necessarily mean that all of the members are that way. Often, there is a mix types in the chapter that are not immediately obvious. Often, you have to spend some time getting to know the members to find the true gems you are looking for. Once you find them, opportunities will open up for you. If you don't find them, then look to the next chapter.

Oh, and regarding Robert's Rules, yes they are boring but some chapters feel the need to strictly follow them... so what? Business meetings are a necessary evil to a structured organization. It doesn't mean you need to participate; after all, you are looking for connections with individuals in the chapter, not trying to connect with the chapter itself. The chapter acts as gathering point for the people and will be your conduit to reach and get to know those people.

Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
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9. Feb 16, 2016

TFF

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide Don't let the adventure scare you away. It happens to all of us too much. If it feels uncomfortable, it is probably something you want. Turning away means you cant have it. All sounds too Freudian, but if it is not hard, its not worth it. 10. Feb 16, 2016 blane.c blane.c Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Jun 27, 2015 Messages: 3,266 Likes Received: 559 Location: capital district NY Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

If you have been to a lodge meeting you know there is the same problem with youth involvement as is being discussed here some about EAA. The structure is slow and methodic and it loses the young fast.

As far as the EAA goes there are many different parts to it, including ultralight, so at the airport were the EAA chapter is down the road, you could organize for a ultralight chapter (in a respectful way) and I imagine you would find help to do it. Then attract people of a like mind, you would have the best of it then, the experience available to help and fresh blood to keep it from becoming stale. It would of course take time and effort but you seem not to be lacking for that. In the long run it would be good for you and aviation as a whole and something I am sure you would not regret, in fact it would be a source of tremendous pride.

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11. Feb 16, 2016

TahoeTim

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide I think she checked out... 12. Feb 17, 2016 bmcj bmcj Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Apr 10, 2007 Messages: 12,918 Likes Received: 4,867 Location: Fresno, California Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

Possibly, but she's only been MIA for one day... maybe just out on a three day pass.

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13. Feb 17, 2016

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide Seems she went dark as soon as the conversation turned from talking about airplanes to talking about people. Derswede likes this. 14. Feb 17, 2016 Little Scrapper Little Scrapper Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Jan 3, 2014 Messages: 5,352 Likes Received: 3,279 Location: Wisconsin Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

She seems tougher than that, besides, nobody said anything wrong.

15. Feb 17, 2016

lurker

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide ChopperGirl: i posted this in another thread a year or so ago, but i think it's relevant: ***************** "believe me, i've been where you are. you want to build a flying machine cheaply, and don't see the need to become an aeronautical engineer in the process. you want to fly, not spend the day in the library. but a little reading goes a long way, and much of what you need is right here on HBA. some of the guys here are off-putting. most of them are far ahead of us, their wants are different, and they've been through the process. they've seen and answered these questions many times in the past, and tend to give short answers which appear either too technical, or dismissive. don't let them deter you. look for the nugget of truth, think about it a while, and ask the next question. ... be VERY careful about modifying an existing design! with airplanes, everything depends on everything else. changing one thing without understanding the consequences can make a perfectly sound design into something completely unworkable. you *don't* need to become an aeronautical engineer, but there are things you need to know about, both before you begin and as you go. keep dreaming, ask questions, learn. plan it, build it. have fun and be safe." ************ i envy your enthusiasm. in some ways you're ahead of me. (you have an airframe. but i have an engine and prop, nyah, nyah, nyah. if i lived closer....) but i think my old post is still relevant. many of these old hands will advocate caution, and rightfully so. you can kill yourself with these things. i just scrapped my first build, and i'm glad i did, because it wasn't as strong in places as i want. but the next one will be better. it would be a very good idea to get *some* flying experience before you take off and realize you've never actually landed a real airplane. simulator does not count. consider soaring. hang in there. patience, determination and an open attitude will get you there, not as soon as you'd like, but it will come. ultralajt and Little Scrapper like this. 16. Feb 17, 2016 bmcj bmcj Well-Known MemberHBA Supporter Joined: Apr 10, 2007 Messages: 12,918 Likes Received: 4,867 Location: Fresno, California Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

I agree.

17. Feb 17, 2016

StarJar

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide I agree with Lurker except there may be something to be said about simulator time. IT DEPENDS I think on some things. But like I told her, a good instructor will be very honest with her with where she stands. He will note her reactions and comfort level with increasingly advanved manuevers and proceedures untill she has it wired. He/she can tell. He can check her judgement about what is safe and what isnt. Some things she may be very strong in, because of her simulator time, and some things may need to be relearned. But still, that is not too connected to rebuilding a plane, otherwise A&P's would be required to fly. Last edited: Feb 17, 2016 18. Feb 22, 2016 Armilite Armilite Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 6, 2011 Messages: 3,022 Likes Received: 244 Location: AMES, IA USA Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

Chopper Girl:

You sound like a bright intelligent young woman. Gotta luv ya, for just putting your plane parts in the Kitchen/House!

A few observations. You need Cash to build your plane of your dreams. You mention living on a farm with lot's of Pecan Tree's. You say you have lot's of Time. Do you gather, and package, and sell them Pecans? Maybe list them on your web site. A 16oz Bag alone, of Pecans $8.38.$8.38 x 100 Bags = $838.00,$8.38 x 500 Bags = $4190.00, etc! A farm with many Tree's, can also harvest the Tree's not needed, or wanted! Some types of tree's are just good for firewood, but others, may go for much higher dollars, to make things. One good Tree can bring in$500-$2000 if you know what you got. Another way to make money easy, is pickup junk cars, and trucks, tractors, farm equipment, etc. Some People, just give them away to get them off their property. My retired buddy did that one year in the summer, just part time, a couple days a week, he just drove around his area, stopped and asked, if they wanted to get rid of the stuff, that he would haul it off for free. He made over$8500 that summer, with very little Time, put into it. He never paid a dime for any of it. A lot of Junk Cars, and Trucks, etc., may be worth more than their Scrap price.

I once traded a Pistol I had $250 in it, for an old 1956 Ford F100 Pickup that needed restored. I washed, and vacuumed it good, put 5 gallons of Gas in it, changed both Battery Cables, charged the battery up, got it to run, and Sold it for$2500, 5 days later.

I traded a cheap .22 Revolver Pistol, I got for free from a friend, that needed a few small parts to work, for a good Rotax 277UL(26hp) motor, with a Gear Drive, off a Scat Hover Craft. There is many Free stuff on Craigslist, that can also be Re-Sold, or Traded, for other things you may need. Put a Free Ad on Craigslist of things you need for your plane, you might get lucky.

Your a Computer Person, who can also Program, it sounds like. What about some Flying Aps for Computers, Smart Phones, Tablets?

Something like this one.

or design a Simple Cad Program for Building, Designing, or Copying, Old Ultralight Plans, Gliders, specific program like maybe using PVC type parts. Like you mocked up the air frame with old erector set parts, only use a computer. Boy that old erector set brought back a lot of memories. Best Xmas present I ever got! I use PVC today, to mock something up.

A Free, 2D Cad program I use, is at Custom Online CNC Machine Shop | Free CAD Software it will let you also view the part in 3D. Document all your Planes Parts in CAD.

Any Airframe/Engine can be improved upon. As Time goes by, new Materials, Products, are developed. Most People, can't Think out side of the Box, the rest of the world put's them self in! Old Timers don't like to change, much.

IF, you have a Salvage Yard, or Junk Yard close, there is lot's of cheap, pennies on the dollar parts, metals to be had, if your a good scrounger, also look for local Companies that may use some of the materials you use, or want. You be surprised what People/Companies throw away, that might give it to you for free.

Just My 2 Cents
Rich

19. Feb 22, 2016

choppergirl

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's $38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide Still here Thanks everybody for your comments. No I have not disappeared for good. I just haven't been following my own thread lately. Avoiding the blowback from my boyscout comment ;-) The EAA people were nice, as individuals, but I am always suspicious of groups, turning against the individual. I've had it happen to me plenty in school, having to stand my ground alone and dig my heels into the dirt like a wildcat, defending what was right, against what was popular. I've done that plenty. Always glad afterwards I did, and fiercely proud of it (I actually can't see any other way), but I am very leery of joining groups now. Sitting there listening to their meeting, of all those good people, I could imagine myself 500 years ago, and those same folks voting in a town hall meeting, to burn all witches at the stake, as the source of everybody's failed crops and troubles, with me being singled out as the worst witch of the lot and head heretic for my vocal opinions and headstrong ways. The mob ganging up upon the individual, so to speak, to do violence against them. So no, it had nothing to do with anybody's age or generation. I'm just leery of groups and won't join them. THE GOOD I bought a Cuyuna ULII-02 September 19th for$250, plus $10 for CHT gauge + hour meter. Special thanks to DerSwede for post a link to it in this thread. I jumped on it! I made an epic 160 mile / 360 round trip journey on my motorbike to pick it up. Pictures of the trip here... Cuyuna ULII-02 Engine (430cc / 30-35hp) has 180 hours on it since last rebuild/serviced (or uh, more cynically, since hour meter was bought and put on it), and was running when it was stored. (We'll return to "that" little point later)... Engine was supposedly on a Kolb Firefly, and the owner let his friend, a GA pilot, taxi it around, but told him not to take off. He took off, flew around, and tried to land it but it wouldn't land and ended up catching a fence before he could set it down/stop it and totaling the FireFly. My sloppy measurements of outside diameter of redrive measures 10 inches circumference small pully, 20.5 inches circumference large pully (or perhaps more accurately, 1.5 inch radius Small Pulley, 3 inch radius large pulley). So I am guessing, 2:1 reduction I have a Cuyuna ULII-02 service manual I download online. I am going to pick up a Cuyuna CD someone made up off of ebay that might some more info, and read it before I even think about mounting it to something and firing it up. I'll probably actually wait until I get a prop so it will have a load on it when I make a real stand for it. Motor mounts on my VJ-24W will more than likely need to be shortened backwards to offset change in CG of using a heavier engine, but not a problem, I have 43 inches of clearance, so up to a 80 inch prop. Now that's where some math will come in. Original motor was probably (guessing) a Yamaha KT-100 and redrive, with a 1 gallon gas tank (10 pounds?) directly behind it on motor mount. I plan to mount a larger gas tank further rearward, directly over the CG if I can. Not thrilled about idea of having a couple of gallons of highly explosive flamable gasoline premix directly above me, but. Weight, as pictured, according to my bathroom scale is 85 pounds, with exhaust, carb, redrive, belt, pull starter, bolts, etc (everything but prop) Not sure what pitch and length prop was used in former configuration, will ask fellow I bought it from. Probably something typical for a Kolb FireFly with this type engine. Original intact prop was given away to some other "friend" who wanted it as wall art. Engine was originally in pusher configuration, and carb was inverted. I've flipped it over since pictures. Inside carb bowl I found some greenish orange residue I assume from premix evaporating, so I put some carb cleaner in and I am letting it sit a bit before I swab it out. I haven't tested compression on it yet. Watching videos of them on ebay, they sound nice. Smooth, and I like that high pitch whine the fan makes at high revs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgY356I4sNk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qplciDGb-c Flight of the Phoenix: Engine Start ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IACjOvyx5hs So with the$38 airframe, not counting travel gas and misc. expenditures (trailer hitch, tie down straps, citristrip, etc), I'm at $300 for an engine, redrive, and almost complete aluminum airframe and everything. Well under my$999 target, but work hasn't begun. Next major pieces of puzzle will be correct sized prop, dacron, about 20 missing alluminum wing ribs for one wing, and a big box of rivets. The Saga of my build of the World's Cheapest Bare Minimum Airplane (3 axis controlled wheeled pilot seated), continues.

Before posting this message, I decided to test out the compression so I could include the numbers.

Taking off the spark plugs, the front one was dry as a bone, with gunk on it, and the rear spark plug was covered in oil. That's not good, I thought immediately to myself.

So I screwed on a compression gauge to the dry cylinder, and got no compression. For some reason, my SAE fitting wasn't really screwing down more than one quarter thread into it, so I tried it on the rear cylinder, and got about 60 PSI, again unable to screw more than a quarter turn thread into it... definately not making a tight seal. What the heck? The threads match the sparkplug and its the right size... ???

So anyway, I looked down the first cylinder with a flashlight, and my heart sank. There's a big old 2cm Detonation Hole in the front piston, right under the spark plug.

Sigh. So I don't mind getting all intimate with my engine and rebuilding it, but what a let down. I was hoping to get at least 500 hours out of it before I got around to that point. Now I'm going to have to do that right off the bat... and Cuyuna pistons and rings aren't easy to find. Can we say, thinks that suck for one thousand, Alex?

Are they possible to find... at all? Dunno. Hopefully other Cuyuna 430cc engine pisons/rings will work in this ULII-02 version. Cuyuna has been DOA for quite some time now, so... going to be hard to find new old stock out there.

So anyway, yeah, this engine was not running when it was stored. Oh, well, yeah, maybe, on one friggin cyclinder. So the rest of the guys story is probably suspect as well? Thing is, I took my compression tester and a socket wrench with me, to check before I buy, but it wouldn't of helped, because at the last second before I left, instead of taking both large and small sparkplug sockets, I just took the small one thinking it had to be like a motorcycle and use the smaller sparkplug socket. Turns out, it uses the large one, so I wouldn't of been able to get it off anyway. Still kicking myself.

On the plus side, at least both pistons are still traveling up and down. On the minus side, I'm going to have to fish and rattle around in the crankcase for any chunky metal piston bits lying about.... maybe with a magnet, or rolling the engine around in the air.

The redrive is probably not the ratio I want, I want to turn as big a prop as I can, and have the space to do it, so maybe I can swap out the lower pulley or trade someone, and get another one.

THE UGLY

Well, I had to borrow the $to buy this dead hunk of steel. I borrowed$140 from my parents telling them it was a once in a lifetime chance, such a deal wouldn't come around again for a long time, and they had to scrape it together from their wallets. Now I feel bad about it. I've decided its better not to tell them.

My dad gave me $60 he owed me for some ebay chainsaw part purchases I made for him, and I scraped another$100 up from the last credit I had available on my credit cards :-/ Most of the debt on my cards is not even my debt, but what I loaned to my best friend to help her homestead a trailer and some land. We kind of maxed them out to hilt to get her over the "hump". We've since got into a fight (over her just making just minimum payments) so are not currently speaking.

So crapola. Now I have to sell something asap on ebay, get a job asap, or something, to make my minimum payments. So I'm putting my project on hold for a while, and maybe going HBA AWOL. I was hoping to work on it this spring and summer, balls to the wall, but now looks like I'm going to be busting my ass to pay off this stupid credit card mess first. That makes me pretty sad.

But, I'm not giving up on my plane at all. I'm probably going to take off the rust next on the most rusty parts (the exhaust, and some frame parts) so it doesn't get worse over time. And the rest can just... sit... and wait on me.

Probably more than anybody wanted to know, but yeah, that's the point I am at now in my Volmer Jensen restoration project. Seriously though, thinking about renaming Dorothy to "Choppergirl's Folly". The absurdity is not lost on me, that the Smithsonian will probably spend half a million to restore Volmer Jensen's Star Trek Enterprise, a ship that never actually flew, but I got to tough it out alone restoring one of his aircraft that actually... did. Found behind someone's storage shed quietly rotting away. :-/

I just tell myself what I always tell myself.

Stay organized, don't panic, keep on swimming, and work the problem...

p.s.
I uploaded three new picture albums... Cuyuna ULII-02, Port Moresby, and Marlee 2... in addition to my VJ-24W album

Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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20. Feb 22, 2016

jedi

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Re: "Dorothy" - Choppergirl's \$38 Volmer Jensen VJ-24W antique ultralight motor glide

Dorthy,

Sorry about the credit card problems. Rule number one. Do not buy things you can not afford. A good lesson learned early in life is worth a lot. You could have spent thousands to learn that lesson. Rule number two. Be careful of the character of those you lend money to. That cost me more than you! Rule number Three. Do not fly until you know how. Scariest Thing I know of is to be 100 feet in the air when you discover that you do not know how to fly. You can learn via many methods, but you must learn before you are committed to flight. Mistakes in the air are expensive and a repairs of the aircraft are simple compared to extensive repairs to the pilot.

I will be happy to be a mentor when you get are ready to learn how to fly. Now is a good time to start learning. Education can be inexpensive or deadly depending on how you chose to learn.

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