My IMAC Airplane Odyssey

I know. I haven’t posted in a long while. Been a lot going on. I’m still fly IMAC, but I’ve changed jobs, moved, and crashed my main contest plane. It’s the crash that started the odyssey to a new contest plane. I’m writing this post to force me to ensure my new plane is ready for the 2023 season.

It was a dumb mistake to crash my previous plane. Back in May 2020, coming in for landing on a windy day early after my first practice session of the season, and I didn’t feel comfortable turning on final really low. Unfortunately, I came in high and misjudged the trees off the end of the runway. I hit the top of a very tall tree. It was a total loss.

The end result was a pile of parts.

I salvaged what I could and thought about ways to get a new plane. I decided on a KAM Aero, but I didn’t have the room to build it myself. I ended up talking to the owner of the company to discuss options, and he offered to build it for me. Score!

The build process was scheduled to be complete before the 2021 season, but several hurdles got in the way. First, there were issues getting balsa wood during COVID. Then, covering material was not available. I ended up calling hobby shops all over the world trying to find it. Finally, the builder’s painter decided he was done painting planes. It ended up taking far longer than expected to complete.

I figured I’ll paint it. How hard could it be? So, my oldest son and I hooked up the trailer and drove to Michigan to pick up the plane. 29 hours and 1800 miles later, and I had my new plane in my basement. This is late April 2021, about a year after crashing my Dalton. Finally!

Then things got complicated. I got a new job, and my family was moving to Virginia. Due to selling the house and the preparing to move, I lost my space to build and paint, so work had to be put on hold. Not only did I not make progress on the plane, but I only competed in one contest in 2021.

The family and I arrived in VA in August 2021, just in time for my kids to start school. With no place to paint or work on the plane, I put the project on hold until 2022. There was a lot of work to be done on the house first, including adding a door to basement so I can get the plane into the basement workshop. She spent time in an empty bedroom. I made progress where I could, but I couldn’t make a mess or paint. I had issues getting painting gear, and some of my primer and paint didn’t do well with the move. It was not usable.

She spent a second season not flying.

So here we are in January 2023. It’s too cold to paint, but the plane is pretty much ready to go. Only things left to do are:

  • Color and clear on the top cowl
  • Color and clear on the canopy
  • Clean up some mistakes with clear on the cowl bottom and wheel pants
  • Install the landing gear wheels
  • Set all the throws
  • Fly the thing!

Now, it’s time to wait till I can get two straight days of 75°F or better without rain for two days.







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