hen the Congress was trying to encourage the pioneers to settle the great west, it passed the Homestead Act. Anyone could take up a parcel of land in the public domain, fence it, build a house, and raise crops for a period of time. When this had been done, the settler went down to the county seat and "proved up" his claim, whereupon he was given a deed to the land for a nominal sum.
This inspired our own "homestead" program. Occasionally some one gives us an airplane in need of work. Some of these go to our affiliate Build a Plane
. Others are reserved for our Flabob kids to rebuild. But this leaves an occasional ship which is not suitable for either use. These airplanes are "homesteaded." It works like this. Anyone can sign an agreement to take possession of the airplane. The "homesteader" agrees to
- restore the airplane at Flabob, inviting the public to come, watch and learn;
- work diligently, and without undue delay; and
- use Flabob kids for help wherever feasible.
The restoration helps to educate the public and our Flabob kids in the art and science of airplane construction and repair. When the airplane is ready to be signed off for flight, the homesteader gives us a buck and we give him or her title to the airplane, which has been earned by sweat equity.
Right now we have four airplanes on "homestead:"
- A Luscombe with corrosion and missing bits;
- A Fairchild PT-19 which rotted in a hangar here for decades;
- A Navion which had a fuel problem and a forced landing near the airport, with some damage; and
- A partially completed Pietenpol, started by a WWII B-17 pilot and POW. This one is homesteaded to two of our Flabob kids.