1) I"ll stop listening to so called "experts" sooner. Do not get me wrong,
being around other persons involved in aviation and building is vital to success. You can drastically cut the learning
curve by taking advantage of the many resources and forums on the web. However, you will be overtaken at times by people
who speak as if their way of doing a particular task is the gospel. If your last name is not Rutan or Melville, it is
not gospel. In time you will learn to tell the people who have worthwhile info to give, (like Ken Miller) from
the people who do not.
2) Keep flying. I started building and my flying budget went to zero. Just recently,
I went and got my BFR and starting running around in a spam can to stay current. Rekindled the reason why I am doing this,
my construction schedule has picked up since I started flying again.
3) Go to Sun N Fun , (for me) or Cooperstate, or Arlington, or Evergreen, or Rough
River, or Truckee, or Oshkosh, anywhere to see the completed, flying version of what you are building. Drastically
speeds up construction.
4) Join AOPA. As an organization, they do much more to enhance your flying rights than any other entity.
Their magazine is much better than Sport Pilot or Flying, and their web page, or AVWEB's contains numerous research avenues.
I have been in EAA for years but will probably not renew next year. I am still mad they charged me, a member, full price to
go to the EAA museum at Oshkosh.
5) Develop a response to your idiot friends whom think you are nuts for flying in an airplane you built
yourself. My current response, "How much do you know about the person who built the Boeing you flew on?".
6) Do not be afraid to walk away from your project. To me, I must enjoy the building process.
When I get bored, or it seems like work, I walk away and come back to it when my mind is clear and can concentrate on
the task at hand. If I am really discouraged, I'll watch my "Great Waldo Pepper" DVD and think
of my father soloing in a 38hp J-3 on skis in Missouri in the winter of 1939.
7) Recently I decided to get my rotorcraft rating. It is the most fun flying ever. Here is a picture of me
on my first helicopter solo.