A novice builders experience with building a Jabiru J430 aeroplane.
As a bit of background on why I decided on a Jabiru.
I got the flying bug in the 1980s when I was introduced to helicopters in the army reserve. In the late 1990s I was lucky enough to get a job working on a rescue helicopter (in the back seat). Before long I got the urge to be able to sit up in the front office, even if it was only as a private helicopter pilot. At that stage I never had any interest in being a fixed wing pilot. I am an aging doctor (Specialist Anaesthetist) and I had no hope or desire to take up flying as a job. That's for young guys with no other career and no family.
So I learned to fly helicopters and managed to buy an old Robinson R22 (click here to see my helicopter webpages) which I had for 6 years before it came time to sell. I found that despite being able to afford it (just) and with a lot of stress about costs in the end I felt I was not able to justify the huge cost of maintenance. In addition the limitation of only two seats and limited range became more restriction than I wanted. So I sold the robbie with the plan to learn to fly fixed wings and hire a plank-wing or robbie, whichever was appropriate for the flight at hand.
As it happened the local aero club has plenty of planes but getting one when I wanted it became more and more difficult. The company I hired the R22 from closed down so I was left having to look around for an alternative.
I also looked back at my flying and almost all had become airport to airport. So despite the nostalgia I decided I could really cover all the flying I really needed to do in a fixed wing.
The answer I needed was:
Home built in experimental class (so I could do my own maintenance)
Low running cost
I was swayed because I had been to the Jabiru factory on one of our aeroclub trips and was impressed with the factory. Being in the same state also meant I would not have to cope with huge transport costs, contend with time zone differences to phone for advice etc. I also was good friends with a local Jabiru owner and had flown in his plane. I am also good mates with a couple of friends of Rod Stiff (the owner of Jabiru). So with some close to home evidence I decided to go with the Jabiru.
I superficially looked at a number of other models, though I don't recall if any others were four seats.