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Highest Time Homebuilt?

Posted By:
Tom Poberezny
IAC MemberVintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America Member
#1 Posted: 9/23/2009 13:10:24


I received a nice note from EAA member Paul A. Rosales #477610 from EAA Chapter 49, Lancaster, CA:

“….I wanted to let you know that on August 16th, we proudly surpassed our 3,000th hour on our RV-6A since my first flight on July 4th, 2000.  When we built our plane, we never thought that we’d be traveling as much as we have, and we are very thankful that the EAA has been there for us (since 1994).  We truly have a HUGE EAA “Family of Friends” located all around the country, all because we took the time to build an airplane!”



Wow!  That is a lot of flying! Congratulations to Paul and Victoria on  this amazing  milestone.

Paul’s note really got us thinking …  So let’s hear it: 

Who has the highest time homebuilt still flown by the original owner?


P.S.  If you want to learn more about Paul Rosales’ trips, check out his website at http://www.PaulRosales.com



Brad Kramer
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#2 Posted: 9/27/2009 22:05:15

Someone should check in with Ron White in Cedar Rapids, IA.  He's been flying Long-EZ N38AR for over 25 years  (and as recently as last month was still designing mods that give more speed & efficiency).  I'd guess that plane is at 3,000 hours or more.  Ron's also a long-time volunteer in the emergency repair barn at AirVenture.

Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 10/1/2009 21:41:07

I was talking to Mike Melvill on Tuesday evening and he's got 4,200 hours on the Long-EZ that he built in 1980, and it's still flying.   This is the airplane that he flew around the world with Dick Rutan on the "Spirit of EAA Friendship World Tour" in 1997.  Mike thought that Dick's Long-EZ "Old Blue" probably had more hours, but it's been decommissioned and is no longer flying.

So, any advance on 4,200 hours?


Thomas Staggs
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#4 Posted: 11/14/2009 17:10:18



After i came across this post from you and the resulting string of other candidates, i think we may have found a clear winner: Gerry Gardner of Sheridan, WY has a VeriEze (N999EZ) with over 4,500 hours on it since its first flight in 1978. Even more interesting, he trailers the plane to/from the airport for every flight.

This achievement is surely worth some kind of article in SportAviation.


Tom Staggs

EAA Flight Advisor #1387

Long-EZ N13YV “Invictus”

1,900 hours since 1990 (<- Feeling like an underachiever in this category)

Based at Paine Field, Everett, WA (KPAE)





Rob Riggen
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#5 Posted: 11/23/2009 09:28:45

What an inspiration!  From a builder who is very early in the build process it is an interesting thing to hear about these high time home builts.  As the tail kit sits in its unfinished state it is fun to imagine all that will happen between now and when my hobbs meter reads in the thousands.

I would enjoy seeing a series in the magazine on high time home builts.  Or if this has already been done I would love to know what issue to look for.

Rob Riggen

Rob Riggen Founder, ExperCraft Simple Log http://www.expercraft.com
Zack Baughman
#6 Posted: 11/23/2009 11:29:24

I'd be curious to know how many hours Eric "Dr. Diesel" Clutton's "F.R.E.D." has on it - I believe he is still flying his original, built in the 1960s. 


EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"