Getting old and depressed...

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saki2fifty

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Joined
May 13, 2022
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4
Location
Tx
Yes, I'm new to the forums... well, new to actually creating an account for the first time. I've been reading through HBA for years now, as I've pretty much got everything i've ever needed just by reading.

I am 51, have a beautiful wife along with 4 kids (13-27yo)... and do not have my license and of course, do not have a plane. Since as early as I can remember, I've always looked up in the sky watching every plane that would fly by, trying to identify the type and just simply imagining the day that I too would fly my own plane. At 51, I still do this. Since childhood, I got every book and magazine that had anything to do with planes, specifically homebuilts. My first true homebuilt book when I was a teen was this book called How to Build an Airplane, and it was of the Evans Volksplane VP1. I carried that thinge verywhere, and it was my bible. I still have it to this day. My walls were covered with pics of the VP-1's, Teenie Twos, Aircampers, the KR's, etc., etc.

Because I've had no real fortune or luck on my side over the years, things didn't materialize like I had hoped. At 18, I started taking lessons, but soon after that my older brother (19) got a brain tumor. My dad sent the both of us to Mexico, and for the next several months, I was shoving a wooden spoon into his mouth... every 5 minutes, for months... in an old dilapidated hotel room in Mexico, just the 2 of us. Seizure upon Seizure. He died soon after that, and after, I just could not function.

Got married at 24 (27 years now and counting!!)
Dad got run over by his own tractor and died.
Mom got cancer, and died.
My daughter is 23 and is Bipolar, schizophrenia, and is non-functional. She has been in non-stop treatment for 15 years, but will now be in a more permanent residence in the next week or two.

My 17yo son has an interest in Flying of which I'm really happy about. He knows how much I love planes, and he knows that I never really got to live out my passion. I've explained to him that I'm getting older now, and I can no longer build a plane, and because of that I've also lost hope of even getting my license. I've explained to him that I've pretty much given up on planes and that it's just simply too late for me. I've encouraged him to chase his dreams and if it's Flying, then go for it and to not let anything get in the way, as I have done.

He then goes on to tell me "Dad, dad... listen. If this is your passion, which I know it is, do it! If building a plane is your passion, build it! You're only 51!". (lol) He then goes on to say that if I go and get my license, the he will join me and get his too.

Well, I'm still depressed but, because of his words I've busted out my books, magazines and plans that I've bought over the years. He has given me some hope, even at this late stage.

Long story short, the plans that I have are for the Hummelbird, Dragonfly, Vision Aircraft, and am about to purchase plans for the Thorp T18. I have every tool you can imagine, mechanically inclined, and regardless of construction type (Metal, Composite, Wood), I believe I can do it. (That's just me trying to be optimistic).

The 2 that I'm really debating on are the Vision, and the Thorp T18. The Thorp... my god, I love the design. Just not sure if a new Pilot can handle it. The goal, is a cross country plane that wife and I could travel in.

If I could snap my fingers for the ultimate homebuilt... Osprey GP-4. The most beautiful plane ever built. Ever.
 

Vigilant1

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Jan 24, 2011
Messages
8,132
Location
US
Welcome to the board.
In many ways, dreams can sustain us. They offer hope and even excitement where daily life may be bleak or mundane. It's amazing, really, that we can see a picture of a KR2 speeding through the clouds and our mind can imagine we are actually doing it. For a moment we can enjoy the idea, getting all the excitement of the real thing (or better than the real thing) without spending the money or years of work to do the real thing. There's nothing wrong with dreams.
If you build a plane of the type you are describing, you'll need have a license to fly it. Have you taken a lesson yet, or a "discovery flight"? Just an introductory lesson or two will give you something to chew on, to think about.
 

Daleandee

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,849
Location
SC
From where I'm sitting you're still a young man. I was 53 when I started the build on the airplane I'm flying now.

Build a light sport compliant airplane and go get a light sport certificate. No medical needed and they are fairly fast (120 knots), take two people, and if you build it you can do all the maintenance and condition inspection.

You've had a rough road but you can believe that everyone here has true stories of being brought through difficult times. They don't like us talking about religion here but I know where my strength is found. Having said that I was in the mountains last week with the wife and spotted a sign that said, "What does not kill you makes you stronger ... except for bears, bears will kill you!"

Where are you located? Might be someone near you that can assist you with your journey.

Welcome to the forum!

PS: Stay away from the bears ... ;)
 

TFF

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
17,613
Location
Memphis, TN
First off, you have plenty of time.

Choices of plane is tough. On the one hand, build your dream. If a GP4 is what you want, then go for it. That will win the shop war. This is really a two hobby hobby. One is building and one is flying, and in reality they have nothing to do with each other except airplanes in general. What would you do with a GP4 right out of the garage? Unless you know how to fly a high performance plane, which is really lots of practice in a high performance plane, it’s going to sit and look pretty.

You have a pilot path and an airplane path, and they need to meet. You really want to build an airplane that’s not too far above the flying skill of the day you finish. Why? Because you want to fly it. You don’t want someone else to be only able to fly it. Add to it, will the wife get into a plane like this? Most won’t. If they do, it takes years. Don’t bank on this being a travel solution. It needs to be a you solution. I would change the type a plane back to those early dreams. My personal pick would be a parasol. Pietenpol, Baking Duce, and my personal pick Acey Ducey. Sporty but tame.

If you are going to dive into pilot lessons and complete licenses and fly a bunch while you build, go for the travel planes. That’s not how it usually goes. Most end up concentrating on one or the other. I recommend getting the pilots license if you have to pick one or the other. First, the fun. Second, once you can fly, you can take people for rides and see if they like it. That can change the choice of what plane you really should build. One that does many things or one just for you.
 
Joined
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Rocky Mountains
"Dad, dad... listen. If this is your passion, which I know it is, do it! If building a plane is your passion, build it! You're only 51!".

Listen to your kid. He got his wisdom from someone. ;)
51?! Got the best job I ever had at 53...........roughneck. 12 hour days week on/week off. 3 on 1 off if the next crew was short.

Quote from the Iger Sanction:
 

J.L. Frusha

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Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
1,043
Location
Luling, Texas
Welcome! I'll be 60 this year and starting my 1st plane next month. I have time, some construction skills and limited funds... (shrug)

I wish you well on your journey. Determination can overcome depression, but it sounds like what used to be called 'middle-aged crazy', to me.
 

Tom DM

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Joined
Mar 31, 2022
Messages
289
Location
EBGB Grimbergen airfield (N of Brussels, Belgium)
Well, I'm still depressed but, because of his words I've busted out my books, magazines and plans that I've bought over the years. He has given me some hope, even at this late stage.

Long story short, the plans that I have are for the Hummelbird, Dragonfly, Vision Aircraft, and am about to purchase plans for the Thorp T18. I have every tool you can imagine, mechanically inclined, and regardless of construction type (Metal, Composite, Wood), I believe I can do it. (That's just me trying to be optimistic).


There is this man going to buy shoes. He tries a few and settles for a paire two sizes too small. Asks the bill.

The man behind the counter can't retain from asking: "Why, Sir, why? These shoes are going to hurt as hell."

The client looks him in the eyes:" Sir, my wive works a hooker, my daughter is on drugs, my son had 12 jobs and 13 accidents. But when I get out of these shoes in the evening, I will feel relieved. "

The above joke sounds better in French.


I wish you a better future, I wish you laughter and that everything may fall in its right spot. Sometimes things get bleak or dark or both. When life throws lemons at you: make lemonade. No disgrace in falling but get up, try again and fight. It will become better: once you get airborne, problems will literally shrink.

Good luck !
 

Derswede

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Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
1,178
Location
Central North Carolina
Saki250, welcome to the club. 65 here, finally snagged an Ultralight...and then ended up having open heart surgery (still recovering). Might want to look for a flying club to get started...shared costs can be an advantage....tho dealing with personalities of said club may also add difficulty. I solo'd just before losing my father in a misbuilt homebuilt. Waited for too many years, finally decided that having "a project in front of me, was better than a frontal lobotomy" to massacre an old joke. Bought a CGS Hawk project, got working on it, ran out of time and space....then found another Hawk, bought it in flying condition. As I had solo'd about the time recorded history was beginning (joke), I decided that updating my flying skill set was manditory. That part has been the toughest part. Finding an instructor and plane available was not an easy challenge, esp. in that I do not have unlimited $$.

Look around, visit a couple of airports near you. Ask questions, see if you can find an instructor who will work WITH YOU. The guy I use had just finished rebuilding the engine in his 150, and I offered to pay fuel and $100 an hour. He gets cash, helps him pay off the rebuild a bit quicker, and he even said that I had not lost much of my skill set. As my little Hawk does fly similar to a 150, makes transition to it easier. Wish you well, hope you are dealt better cards in the future.

Derswede
 

Pops

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Jan 1, 2013
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11,246
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USA.
Did you say 51 yeas old. My socks are older that you :) I'm 81 and will be 82 on 8/22/22. My youngest child of 3 is 57 years old. You are just as old as you think, quit thinking old. That's an order :)
When you stop dreaming you have died. NEVER stop dreaming. Work toward that dream with all of your might. Do something towards your dream everyday, even if that something is dreaming more. The only thing that can stop you is you.
I had to memorize this poem when I was in the 8th grade and will never forget it.

It Couldn’t Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest | Poetry Foundation
 
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Bigshu

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Jun 7, 2020
Messages
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KCMO, midwestern USA
I've explained to him that I'm getting older now, and I can no longer build a plane, and because of that I've also lost hope of even getting my license. I've explained to him that I've pretty much given up on planes and that it's just simply too late for me.
You've been looking at this site for how long, and still can say these things? My story isn't a lot different from yours, just not as painful and sad. It's great that you're so well adjusted seeing all the grief you've had. Never give up your dream. There are plenty of reasonable ultra lights out there that will let you live the dream for a manageable cost. There are people out there who would be glad to partner with someone on a kit build. It happens all the time. Do yourself a favor, get a good physical from your doctor using the Basicmed questionnaire. If he says your're good to go, then get your one and only 3rd class medical (make sure you don't have medical issues to address before going to an AME). Then, get a discovery flight, to make sure you actually like to fly. Then get moving. You're still a pup at 51. I'm closing in on 64 fast, and I'm still burning with passion for aviation.
 
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Bigshu

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KCMO, midwestern USA
Build a light sport compliant airplane and go get a light sport certificate. No medical needed and they are fairly fast (120 knots), take two people, and if you build it you can do all the maintenance and condition inspection.
Good advice! If you have any concerns about your health, stay clear of designs that require a 3rd class physical. Lot's of capable planes for sport pilots, probably even more after MOSAIC comes out. Don't forget that ultralight vehicles can scratch the itch, even as a single seater.
 

kent Ashton

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Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
817
Location
Concord, NC
Learning to fly and acquiring an airplane are big hurdles. There are people who would welcome a friend to fly with who would share expenses with them. Put up a note at nearby airports, ask around at the EAA chapters. That seems a better option for you.
"According to the FAA, §61.113(c) permits pilots to share operating expenses of a flight with passengers provided the pilot pays at least his or her pro rata share of the operating expenses of the flight. Operating expenses are limited to fuel, oil, airport expenditures and rental fees."
 
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