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The humble--and humbling--aircraft checkout

If at first you don't succeed at buying, go rent something instead. Having tried and failed multiple times to settle on the right airplane to buy, I have contented myself to renting for the foreseeable future. Still, owing to our unenviable geography in South Texas there isn't anything to rent at our local airport, and even if it was a generic 172 I don't think I'd go for it anyway. Why rent something you wouldn't buy and doesn't meet your mission requirements? When I enjoy flying at work as much as I do, beggars can be choosers.

My mission is primarily fun flying, must be a taildragger, aerobatic capable, and big enough to fit my tall self. If the door can come off for kicks and giggles, even better. If you are picturing a Citabria as you read this, we're on the same wavelength. Thankfully, there is just such a plane at my not-so-local airport to rent (it even has the STC for flying with the door off).

But even with the litany of acronyms that appear on m…

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