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05 Dec 2019, 20:10 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 15 Nov 2018, 22:12 
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Joined: 12/30/10
Posts: 328
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Location: KFGU (Collegedale TN)
Aircraft: A36
I test flew an Epic @ AirVenture in 2016. Certification was just around the corner ... and now it's just around the corner. I walked over to the Socota guys and tried to pick their brains about the "TBM Killer". They talked like the Epic was no threat .... :whistle: I'm thinking there's a little trickle of sweat flowing down the middle of their backs now.

I absolutely love it - love it - love it! I just can't understand what's holding up certification, but at my age and the well over 100 ahead of me wanting a certified Epic 1000 & maybe :doh: the $3,000,000 plus price tag will keep me "left & right deviating" for the rest of my flying life.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 00:15 
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Joined: 08/03/13
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Location: SW Colorado
Aircraft: C182
Nice paint!


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 01:37 
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The plane you have was built by a very good friend of mine who lost his battle with cancer 5 years ago this month. He had a ton of time, grief and money in it for numerous reasons including the fact that Epic went through bankruptcy the first time during the build and my friend had to pay for a lot of things 2x.

I have another friend with one built about the same time - he still has it and doesn't fly it hardly ever, won't sell it because he is afraid of the liability trail. He has had never ending grief with it. Heater has never worked right, the nose gear partially collapsed towing it into the hangar - he has built a brace he bolts on it to use when ground handling. He lost oil pressure and had to make an emergency /precautionary landing in it. Engine had to be removed and sent to an overhaul facility.

There was another one an acquaintance of mine had that quit not long after takeoff - he sucessfully landed it in a river in Oregon (this one is in the NTSB files) - oddly enough that was a manufacturing defect by Pratt and Whitney that made it through QC and out the door - I think it was determined the MORE lever may have kept it running - not sure, but nonetheless the pilot did not use it. The landing was successful in the river without injuries - he did basically what Sulley did before Sulley did it. The plane was a total loss.

The factory support was pretty much non existent. Our machine shop has had to make tooling and parts for him - there are no parts available for the landing gear his plane has - not even seals.

The one you have is probably one of - if not the nicest Epic LT's ever built - that being said it is an experimental plane and it is still an Epic.

They are beautiful to look at it but I refused to ride in it with him. The gear on Epics come from several different manufacturers - the one you have and the other one my other friend has down here do not have the same gear.

Your type gear appears to be the better of the two, but yours has been landed gear up because one of the mains wouldn't come down with the primary or the emergency system. I got the phone call from my friend when he encountered the problem airborne. I called Epic and relayed information to him by phone, but in the end there was nothing could be done. I arranged emergency equipment with the tower at KCRP and after the 2 pt landing helped recover the plane.

By that time in his life he was getting pretty sick with cancer and he asked me to handle getting it repaired. I oversaw the repairs and I think the only time it was flown after that was post maintenance test flights and in a missing man formation at his funeral. It was sold and flown away. About the time he placed his order we considered buying one, traveled to the factory in Bend - part of the arrangements were a demo flight from Bend to Portland to catch the airlines home, we took off at Bend in Epic's demo plane and the gear wouldn't retract - we landed, rented a car and I've never been in one since. The factory at the time was not impressive in a good way.

One thing in the "Con" list you didn't mention which really played heavy on my mind when my friend was burning off fuel for his gear up landing is: There is no emergency exit.

If the only door were to jam during the gear up and there were to have been a fire - there is no way out. He discussed with me (I was his primary flight instructor in addition to friend) the possibility of landing at a large nearby non towered airport and I told him - NO. I reminded him there was no emergency exit and he should land where there is fully staffed professional crash / fire crew which he did. The crash folks were briefed about no emergency exit. Thankfully there was no fire and the door opened!


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 11:33 
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Location: SW Colorado
Aircraft: C182
Actually, I believe there were 3 gear variations. I thought they all could be blown down. I worked on my brothers and the last two experimental. Those incorporate many features of the E1000. Anyhow, LTs are an incredible platform and represent a huge life accomplishment for owners and participating builders. My brother’s was first out after reorganization. It was tough having a partially completed blood/sweat/tears aircraft locked down for two years. It was tough being victimized by a crook, who was extradited from Thailand and the resultant case plea bargained into a slap on the wrist. It’s a way different company with an incredible product that’s going to get even better. While I don’t fly one, I have attended training seminars that specifically address the events you describe. The E1000 has an emergency exit hatch. Sorry for the loss of your friend.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 13:07 
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Eric - Sounds like your brothers plane was probably a close SN to this one - good chance they knew each other. It was designed to blow down and was activated as an attempt to get the gear down. Didn't work, no amount of training would have helped. The nitrogen charge blew the reservoir of the hydraulic pump apart (literally split it open). The gear pump Epic provided was a trim pump from a boat (West Marine if I remember right). Does your brother still have and fly his?


Last edited on 18 Nov 2018, 14:39, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 14:31 
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Location: SW Colorado
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Absolutely. Around the world. Across the Gulf etc. Some bugs of course all worked out.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2018, 14:39 
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Absolutely. Around the world. Across the Gulf etc. Some bugs of course all worked out.

That's great - glad he is having good luck with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 13:26 
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Joined: 04/20/15
Posts: 55
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Happy Friday. Standard temps are nice for a change. Here's a shallower climb up to 280. Still a decent climb rate

http://youtu.be/uO9-fJIG2ds


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 13:55 
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The plane you have was built by a very good friend of mine who lost his battle with cancer 5 years ago this month. He had a ton of time, grief and money in it for numerous reasons including the fact that Epic went through bankruptcy the first time during the build and my friend had to pay for a lot of things 2x.

I have another friend with one built about the same time - he still has it and doesn't fly it hardly ever, won't sell it because he is afraid of the liability trail. He has had never ending grief with it. Heater has never worked right, the nose gear partially collapsed towing it into the hangar - he has built a brace he bolts on it to use when ground handling. He lost oil pressure and had to make an emergency /precautionary landing in it. Engine had to be removed and sent to an overhaul facility.

There was another one an acquaintance of mine had that quit not long after takeoff - he sucessfully landed it in a river in Oregon (this one is in the NTSB files) - oddly enough that was a manufacturing defect by Pratt and Whitney that made it through QC and out the door - I think it was determined the MORE lever may have kept it running - not sure, but nonetheless the pilot did not use it. The landing was successful in the river without injuries - he did basically what Sulley did before Sulley did it. The plane was a total loss.

The factory support was pretty much non existent. Our machine shop has had to make tooling and parts for him - there are no parts available for the landing gear his plane has - not even seals.

The one you have is probably one of - if not the nicest Epic LT's ever built - that being said it is an experimental plane and it is still an Epic.

They are beautiful to look at it but I refused to ride in it with him. The gear on Epics come from several different manufacturers - the one you have and the other one my other friend has down here do not have the same gear.

Your type gear appears to be the better of the two, but yours has been landed gear up because one of the mains wouldn't come down with the primary or the emergency system. I got the phone call from my friend when he encountered the problem airborne. I called Epic and relayed information to him by phone, but in the end there was nothing could be done. I arranged emergency equipment with the tower at KCRP and after the 2 pt landing helped recover the plane.

By that time in his life he was getting pretty sick with cancer and he asked me to handle getting it repaired. I oversaw the repairs and I think the only time it was flown after that was post maintenance test flights and in a missing man formation at his funeral. It was sold and flown away. About the time he placed his order we considered buying one, traveled to the factory in Bend - part of the arrangements were a demo flight from Bend to Portland to catch the airlines home, we took off at Bend in Epic's demo plane and the gear wouldn't retract - we landed, rented a car and I've never been in one since. The factory at the time was not impressive in a good way.

One thing in the "Con" list you didn't mention which really played heavy on my mind when my friend was burning off fuel for his gear up landing is: There is no emergency exit.

If the only door were to jam during the gear up and there were to have been a fire - there is no way out. He discussed with me (I was his primary flight instructor in addition to friend) the possibility of landing at a large nearby non towered airport and I told him - NO. I reminded him there was no emergency exit and he should land where there is fully staffed professional crash / fire crew which he did. The crash folks were briefed about no emergency exit. Thankfully there was no fire and the door opened!


Doug, sorry to hear about your friend. He put together a fantastic plane and left behind quite a legacy. It's been great for the past few hundred landings/hours (since we've had it).

I think we're benefitting from the leadership/culture shift at the factory because there's pretty good support with little squawks we've had along the way. To compare, the Diamond I've flown has had worse support despite having 3 established shops all within a couple hours reach (that company also going through ownership/leadership change).

I had the same concerns with the landing gear. They test the blow down system every condition inspection and topped off nitrogen is a checklist item before you fire up. The newer gear design has been good to us and doesn't have any gotchas (faster retract/extension speed would be nice)

What you say about the door is a real concern, but its applicable to more than just one plane. Flip a Diamond? You're not getting out. They put a cute ax in the cockpit to cut your way out. Tweak the fuselage on an early Bonanza or Cherokee (or any plane with one door to get in an out of), and you're having a bad day.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 19:17 
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Joined: 08/03/13
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Location: SW Colorado
Aircraft: C182
Buddy, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 19:20 
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Username Protected wrote:
Buddy, right?


Yeah


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 20:13 
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Joined: 08/03/13
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Location: SW Colorado
Aircraft: C182
If you’d like to provide these a home, send me your address privately.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2018, 20:38 
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Username Protected wrote:
If you’d like to provide these a home, send me your address privately.


Appreciate the offer, Eric. Just finished recurrent and Epic sent us home with the same checklists/materials


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2018, 22:48 
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Joined: 08/03/13
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Location: SW Colorado
Aircraft: C182
Great! Hope the training went well.


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 Post subject: Re: Flying the Epic LT
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2019, 12:04 
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Joined: 01/30/13
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Aircraft: Bonanza J35
A beauty. Congrats. Hopefully insur rates will fall as the fleet grows & record of safe performance.


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