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Personal History

My name is Don Honabach and I live in Tempe, Arizona. I'm 48 years old. My wife (Sharon) and I founded PC Perfect (a computer company that specializes in small business computer support and networking) in 1993. I've always had the flying bug since college. In 1997 I completed training for my private pilot's license at Sky Harbor Int'l airport. Shortly after we purchased a 1963 Piper Cherokee (PA28). However, we sold it after determining the ongoing expenses didn't justify non-business use, and decided to look at home-built airplanes.

 

Listed below are some FAQs we get regarding building our experimental plane.

Why not just buy a certified airplane?
Why the Zodiac 601HDS?
What engine are you planning on using?

 

Why not just buy a certified airplane (Cessna, Piper, etc.)?

If you just want the plane for strictly business, don't want to be worried about maintenance / repairs, or don't like building then buying a certified airplane is probably a better choice. However, building and flying a home-built airplane is an extremely rewarding experience and a great chance to learn more about aviation.  Also, depending on your taste, building an experimental airplane CAN be less expensive to buy and maintain.

 

Why the Zodiac 601HDS?

After deciding to buy a home-built the Zodiac 601HDS quickly became the choice. I wanted a proven design, cruise speeds around 125 - 135 mph, low fuel consumption, construction that could be completed by the 1st time builder, low-wing 2-seater, low-time pilot friendly, and reliable customer support. After looking at other competing kits, the Zodiac 601HDS meet all criteria the best.

As a side note, the low estimated build time was 1st on the list of requirements. Didn't think I had the patience for a 2000 to 4000 hour long project. The Zodiac 601HDS has an estimated build time of approximately 400 hours, which even the most impatient of us should be able to handle.

What engine are you planning on using?

Decided to go with the Subaru EA81 100 HP engine. Primary reasons are 4 local builders using the same engine and the cost is right at about $7000.