The Dakota Hawk made it back into the air July 1 2016, piloted by Don Coleman.
July 1 2016 is also the official date of our hull and liability insurance certificate activation. Securing insurance has been one big problem, but is now solved until next year. All it took to get insurance was the patience and perseverance of John C our treasurer plus lots of cash. Thanks Lambert foundation, without their financial help this never would have been possible. We still cannot use the Experimental Dakota Hawk for students to solo, and it can only be flown by qualified pilots with tail dragger time. It will be used to fly young eagles and introduce them to aviation. This is a start, with enough money and time it’s amazing what can be accomplished.
John also secured insurance on the Cherokee so it can now be used for instruction, and qualified students can solo it.
Both aircraft will be flown to AirVenture this year. The Cherokee will be used by Sterling to instruct our students. Sterling is planning to have the Cherokee meet the group driving out when they camp and exchange students. Don C is flying the Dakota Hawk to AirVenture, and is currently flying it nearly every day to sort out any problems. Other than a little rigging adjustment and some minor electrical problems (elevator Trim), it is flying as it should. Now we are working to make it pretty.
HAWK had several individual aviation pros go over the Dakota Hawk for problems and give it a clean, ready to fly, bill of health.
Thanks Dave Baxter – he will be with us at AirVenture with 3 of his boys he is one of HAWK’s IA’s and CFI’s he was very thorough.
Also Steve Wood looked it over after his presentation at last month’s EAA chapter 800 meeting. (Anyone who missed the EAA 800 meeting missed a really good presentation on Harmonics and their effects on aircraft engines. Steve did some of the original structural work on the Dakota Hawk wings when fisher products first started. Steve is an accomplished aeronautical engineer and has worked as an engineer for Cessna Aircraft. (Steve designed the Sky pup years ago and plans are still available). He is also currently Director of the Grand Junction Regional Airport Board. Watch for Steve’s next airplane – it is flying and is a real piece of metal ingenuity but that is a story for another day.
Also thanks Lowell Manery and Graham of EAA chapter 1373. Lowell and Graham flew in and went over the airplane after everyone else; Seems under Graham’s sharp eye the trailing edge of the horizontal to elevator hinge line is not straight. Another problem from the original build, its minor but still needs attention. I even missed this one.
ALWAYS’S ALWAYS have a second or 3rd or 4th set of experienced eyes look and critique your Build. You may think something is correct but you are so used to looking at the stuff you go blind to problems; I learned this rebuilding Type certificated airplanes at Wegner aircraft. We always had a final inspection by someone not familiar with the rebuild. There have been numerous accidents caused by such simple items as the trim tab rigged backwards.
Lowell, as usual, came through in a real time of need. Kelly at MITCHELL instruments Donated a new fuel transmitter to the project but it would not fit through the hole in the tank and would have required removing the windshield to drill larger. Lowell just happened to have a gauge that matched our capacitance sender. As usual, he came through. Nice to have a gentleman like Lowell working with HAWK. (All our gauges are MITCHELL gauges. Kelly at MITCHELL has been extremely helpful and their products are exceptional).
I talked to SANDIA AEROSPACE last year at Oshkosh about an STX transponder. They offered to donate one to the project last year but I never got back to them. Don C really wanted a Transponder for the trip (flight following) so I called SANDIA to see if the offer still stood. Guess what – they were waiting for my call. REALLY REALLY GREAT GUYS and the transponder is awesome. I will be ordering one for my airplane. Plus, we are looking at putting one of their new ADS-B units in the Cherokee.