Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation
A type club to promote safety and education
in building and operating Sonex aircraft.



The Foundation would like to help grow the Sonex community - if you have news to share, a first flight, some exciting update, please share it with the rest of the Sonex community!

Send your news here!

AKIA Elects Jeremy Monnett as President and FAA Reports About Upcoming Changes to Transition Training.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
Jeremy Monnett, CEO of Sonex Aircraft, was recently elected as President of the Aircraft Kit Industry Association. Click this link to view EAA's news article. In addition to Jeremy's election, the FAA reported on the work it is doing to improve transition training.  According to the EAA, the FAA would be "simplifying the LODA process that allows for training in homebuilt aircraft. The change would allow builders an opportunity to purchase instruction in an aircraft that is identical or similar to the one they are building."  
Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation 2nd Annual Membership Meeting is in the books!

Monday August 4th, 2014
The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation held its second annual meeting of the membership at AirVenture Oshkosh 2014. Vice President Michael Farley was elected to another term.

We've posted photos of the event on our photo sharing site, along with photos from the Sonex Aircraft, LLC open house and mass taxi.

Thanks to all those who attended the 2nd annual membership meeting and to many people that made lasting friendships. We look forward to seeing many of you at ASA's gathering in October in Crossville, TN!

We also added the 6th Annual Northeast Sonex Fly-in at Keene (EEN) Municipal (Dillant-Hopkins) Airport on Saturday, September 6, 2014 to the Calendar and Events page.

Loren Sievila, Onex 33, sent us some information on his challenges during the assembly of his AeroVee engine. See the tips and tricks files page for his submission.
The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation will hold its 1st Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, July 29th at AirVenture, on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth.

Thursday, July 3, 2014
Greetings Fellow Sonex Enthusiasts, 

Now that we've reached July, your board members at the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation are hard at work preparing the Oshkosh AirVenture 2014 airshow. We're pleased to announce that this year's annual Membership Meeting will once again be held at Oshkosh on Monday, July 28th, the opening day of the show.  

Here are the details:
- 2014 SBPF Annual Membership Meeting
- Located at the Oshkosh flight line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display
- Monday, July 28th, 2014.
- 11:00 a.m. Local time

We hope that anyone who is a member of the SBPF, has an interest in joining, or has an interest in Sonex aircraft is able to attend.  We plan on offering updates to our current status, offer insights on future events, and if you're a voting member, this year will be an election of Michael Farley to a three-year term as a director of SBPF. Please plan on attending this important event!

One important item on the agenda we'd like to bring to your attention is the possibility of the SBPF establishing affiliations with other dedicated Sonex clubs.  In recent months, the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation board members have received several requests from various regional and local Sonex associations with regards to the possibility of forming an affiliation between the SBPF and these independent groups.

In response to these requests, the board members reviewed the original bylaws and realized they do not address the proposed affiliation of independent groups, so we are asking for member input.

The question we'd like to ask our members is, do we want to expand our official affiliations to share resources, membership, and information with regional organizations that have Sonex-related events?  Overall, the board members are generally in favor of the prospect of clubs joining together because of the increase in participation of the community, as well as the ability for owners and pilots to more easily share stories and information.  The ability for the Sonex community to expand even farther is a very exciting idea!

As we considered our possible options, we took a few moments to review our mission goals when the Foundation was first created.  As we already stated, one very important goal, decided on upon the establishment of the Foundation, was that we did not want to take over, compete with, or in any way direct any established group, regional organization, or association such as the American Sonex Association (ASA), Florida Sonex Association, etc.  As such, one aspect of consideration is that the board of directors has already decided that we do not want to get involved in exchanging money or administering the activities of these organizations.

Ultimately, we are requesting our members determine whether or not the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation expand our official affiliations to address these requests.

We welcome comments as well as any points of discussion our members wish to address during this year's membership meeting.  If you’re unable to attend Oshkosh but have input about the affiliation discussion, please comment on the thread posted to or by contacting one of the SBPF officers.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to visiting with you at Oshkosh 2014!
Robbie Culver, President
Michael Farley, Vice President
Eric Seber, Secretary
Carl Orton, Treasurer
Daily Email Digest Feature on -  Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our forum partner, now offers a daily email digest for those interested.  The email is compiled of posts from the past 24 hours and will be sent out daily at 8AM.  To sign up for this feature, scroll to the bottom of the main page and enter your email address. A verification email will be sent to your email address. This email will contain an activation link which will need to be clicked on to activate your subscription.
Five New NTSB Safety Alerts Issued - January 12, 2014

The NTSB recently posted five safety alerts for general aviation in an attempt to stem several repetitive accident scenarios from the past year. These safety alerts are all relevant to experimental aviation and sport pilot flying. We've added a new page, Safety Alerts, under the Safety & Education tab. Click on each link to view the alert document. 
Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation Update - January 2014
Hello Sonex builders/pilots/fans!

The Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation continues to grow and add content to our website. If you have any technical content, hints, tips, tricks, or information to share, please pass it along to or or contact me via PM here.

The foundation was formed to promote and educate Sonex builders, pilots, and enthusiasts - we have a community that is unique and growing rapidly. Founded in May 2013, the group is made up of a small core of Directors, a Treasurer, a Membership chairperson, and our members. Membership is available in two forms - free for those wishing to sign up, and a voting membership is available for those wishing to assist the foundation in growing and participate in electing the Directors that run the Foundation.

We currently have 265 members. 

Membership details may be found at

We continue to wait on the IRS regarding our 501(c)(3) status and will update everyone when we know the final disposition. We do not anticipate any issues in being given this status.

A HUGE thank you to one (anonymous) member who sent us a $500 donation at the end of 2013 - THANK YOU! 

Recent updates and additions to our website

Thursday, January 2, 2014
Dana Baker, Sonex 1534, shared at tip with us about how he used a brake hone to ream the holes of phenolic material used in the Sonex airframe kit.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Jim Hicke, Waiex 162 builder, shared several video links with us about his Waiex project, first flight and trip to AirVenture 2013.

Friday, December 13, 2013
Mike Smith, Sonex 439 scratch builder, shared a well-drawn wiring diagram for his aircraft as well as two how-to videos now located in our section of the site.

Sunday, December 8, 2013
Dana Baker, Sonex 1534 builder, shared a tip for securing the wing spar build-up when drilling the assembly. The title of his article is "Wing Spar Saddle" and can be found in the the section of the Tips & Tricks page

Thank you for the contributions!

There have been some conversations about Angle of Attack and Lift Reserve Indicators lately - we have a web page for this topic at and I summarized this in an article that is at

blue skies!

Robbie Culver
Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation
Accident Information

The Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation is dedicated to helping reduce accident and incident rates in the experimental-amateur built (EAB) aircraft category. Incident and accident information availability is a key ingredient in the quest to reduce these rates. A page was created to list reported Sonex-type aircraft incidents and accidents which have been investigated or logged by the FAA/NTSB where public information is available. We have included a simple listing of accidents and incidents by aircraft type and date. You can find this information on the page titled Accident Information under Safety & Education.

We will eventually expand the information posted in this section to add more value. 
Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation Update - November 2013

Greetings Sonex/Waiex/Onex/Xenos pilots, owners, enthusiasts, and builders!

Just an update from your Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation. 

The entire Board of Directors for the foundation was at the 10th annual ASA fly in Held at the Crossville, TN airport and ASA was gracious enough to allow us to do a presentation at the event - if you missed the event, we posted photos here.

We'd like to congratulate ASA on having 40 aircraft at the event (41 if you count the Onex under construction that was on display). That represents nearly 10% of the flying Sonex fleet, and is a huge milestone.

What surprised me personally was the number of builders and pilots who had not heard of us. We're trying not to overdo the updates on the forums, but we also want to make sure folks know we are here.

Some of our most recent updates include:

- Joe Norris, Chief Flight Instructor at Sonex Aircraft, LLC, sent us an article about his thoughts regarding transition training in Sonex type aircraft. You can find his article on our Transition Training page. 

- Doug Raby, Sonex 1189 builder, shared an article with us about his recent trek from Ontario, Canada to the ASA fly in.

- Dana Baker, Sonex 1534 builder, shared a tip for grinding the side of a microstop countersink cage to allow access to holes next to structure that require countersinking. Visit the Files section of the Tips & Tricks page. 

- Sonex 1230 owner, Mark Waldron, sent us an article about his setup for turning on his engine heater remotely during cold weather to warm his AeroVee engine. His article is posted in the Files section of our Tip & Tricks page. 

Also, we've added a new page. Dana Baker offered to make some of his tools available for loan. Visit the Tool Loan Program page to find out more information. 

For those that listened in to the EAA Webinar that Sonex did on flight data recording, we are going to begin a project to gather flight data for specific engine, prop, and airframe combinations so anyone interested in real world data can see numbers from actual flights. As part of this project, we are going to ask pilots to submit their data and aircraft specifics (configuration, engine, propeller, etc) for publication on our web site, and to schedule the first "data day" in 2014 where we ask pilots to fly a specific set of data sets and submit the results.

We hope this serves as a useful and long term data set for anyone interested in comparisons or analysis. If you missed the webinar, be sure to go watch the archived version - it was fantastic!

We invite interested builders and pilots to join our foundation - see Become a Member  -- membership has two levels, free membership is available for anyone, and for $25 you can become a voting member and help support the foundation and vote in our annual meetings. Details are on the web site.

blue skies
Robbie Culver
Sonex 1517
President, Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation
Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation Update - September 2013

Greetings fellow Sonex builders, pilots, and owners!

I wanted to update everyone on a few things from the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation ( -- 

First, the EAA Type Club Coalition met at Airventure. While the foundation was unable to attend, I have copied the TCC update below. The great news out of this update is that Jeremy Monnett from Sonex Aircraft LLC is now involved in the TCC leadership. We couldn't ask for a better representative for the homebuilt community from our perspective!

From the TCC:

"The TCC annual meeting took place during AirVenture. 24 members of 21 clubs and other organizations attended. Attached are the meeting minutes, attendance, and the slides used during that meeting. Several important items that were discussed:

-We welcome Jeremy Monnett of Sonex Aircraft and the Aircraft Kit Industry Association (AKIA) as the Co-Chairman of the TCC. Jeremy brings his leadership and experience in the homebuilt community to our organization and adds his firsthand experience developing a type training curriculum for Sonex. Both his passion and energy are well-known and he is a true asset to the TCC.

-We are renewing our focus on a very narrow and specific goal – create a web-based Type-Specific Training Best Practices resource center. With over 40 organizations onboard we now have the critical mass to start gathering type training and operating materials. EAA will expand the TCC website to create a section for gathering these documents.

-Beginning this fall we will begin holding quarterly teleconferences. There will be separate calls for type-certificated and experimental clubs/organizations, led by Tom Turner and Jeremy Monnett respectively."

The Foundation's thoughts:

The Foundation will continue to be involved in the TCC. I think it is worth repeating that it is the safety record of the EAB community that has led the NTSB and FAA to pay much more attention to us as a community. This could represent a huge risk to the freedoms we have with EAB aircraft if the government chooses to become more involved.

We are still actively seeking member content, photos, updates, and participation. Projects we are currently working on include a pre-buy reference aimed at Sonex models, a membership committee to grow the membership and help the foundation meet the needs and requests of the members, and - yes - shirts. (After a terrible experience with our first shirt order, we are now trying to figure out the logistics of having more made and sold)

Upcoming events include:

September 7th. The 5th Annual Northeast Sonex Fly-in will be held at the Keene (EEN) Minicipal (Dillant-Hopkins) Airport in Keene, NH.

October 11-12: 10th Annual ASA Fly-In at Crossville Crossville Memorial Airport-Whitson Field (KCSV) Crossville, TN

November 2: 11th Annual Great Southern Sonex Gathering
Coulter Field Airport (KCFD) Bryan, TX
Contact: Mike Singleton

Visit our Calendar & Events page for more information and links to these great gatherings.

The foundation will be at ASA and will be presenting a short slide show about who we are, what we are doing, and why. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones! If you've never been, you have to go to Crossville! 

Finally, a note to clarify the relationship of the foundation with The foundation does not own the forum, but has partnered with Chris, a Sonex builder who started SonexBuilders several years ago as an alternative forum.

We really believe having a separate forum from the factory-sponsored Yahoo groups is a good idea, and the forum format is a little easier to use. 

We invite everyone to check out SonexBuilders and if you have technical content, files, or photos you want to have preserved (and they may well not be on Yahoo!) please send them to us and we will post them on the foundation. Remember - the foundation is a not for profit. No one person owns it or profits from it and it essentially belongs to the community as a whole!

Membership is free, and a voting membership is available for $25 annually for those interested in being more involved or helping the foundation remain viable. Visit Become a Member to sign up today!

Blue skies and we'll see you in Crossville! Support your local Sonex events!

Robbie Culver
Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation
Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation Update - August 2013

As autumn quickly approaches, The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation wanted pass along an update about what's been going on lately. It's been a busy summer throughout the country with multiple events taking place and several more coming up. As most of you noticed in our last message, given the nearly perfect weather and large turnout of people, AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 was a big hit with Sonex Aircraft. The company once again hosted an excellent display booth with factory prototype aircraft drawing lots of attention throughout the week. As AirVenture progressed, at least 15 Sonex aircraft owners flew their own airplanes into Oshkosh to take part in the show. On Monday afternoon, the Foundation held its first initial meeting of the membership. Check out our the previous post below for that meeting update if you missed it.


One of the Foundations goals is to support and promote regional Sonex organizations and events.

With that goal in mind, two gatherings are being planned in the coming weeks. Feel free to take a look at our Calendar & Events page to see what's coming up in your area! If you're planning an event and don't see it listed, please feel free to send us information about your upcoming event also. The next two events are:

The 5th Annual Sonex Fly-in held in Keene, NH USA - September 7th, 2013

10th Annual American Sonex Association Fly-in held in Crossville, TN USA - October 11th & 12th, 2013

Please come out and support these events by joining fellow Sonex builders, owners, and enthusiasts. Fellow builder and Foundation President, Robbie Culver, has been invited to present about our newly established Type Club during the forum events at ASA's event in Crossville on Saturday Oct. 12th. 

The Foundation will also have a table set up at the fly-in to help answer questions as well as provide membership registration forms and information. Check out ASA's event page for more information and to register.

Current Projects

As the Sonex fleet continues to grow at a faster pace than ever before (There are now over 450 Sonex airplanes flying!) we are seeing more and more completed airplanes being offered for sale. With this in mind, members of the Foundation are currently working on a standard pre-buy/pre-purchase inspection checklist to aid prospective buyers interested in an aready flying Sonex type aircraft. The Foundation feels that this knowledge is a significant safety factor in educating those looking to purchase a completed aircraft.

Foundation members are also always working on additional content for the website. Items such as technical articles, first flight and flight testing reports, tool reviews, tips and tricks, transition training reviews, as well as other topics are always in development. If you have an idea or content you would like to share to the Sonex community, please feel free to let us know! We always welcome and encourage articles from members, so if you have a story you think could benefit the community, please share!

Membership Numbers 

As of August 20th, the Foundation now has 217 registered members! This is a great accomplishment considering it has only been 4 months since the Foundation was launched. We hope to see this number continue to grow as more people are introduced to the Sonex fleet of airplanes. If you know of someone with an interest, be sure to point them towards the Foundation's website!

IRS Not-for-Profit Status 

The Foundation has received notice from the IRS that our application for Not-for-Profit status as been accepted and is being reviewed. We'll update everyone as soon as we know more information.

Social Media

The Foundation recently launched its own Facebook page. We hope to provide a consistent way to send notices, updates, member photos/videos and anything fun through this page. Please also visit our Twitter feed to stay up-to-date with the latest info and content. 

If you would like to join the Foundation or have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us! 
RESULTS of The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation initial meeting of its members.

The Voting Members of the Sonex Builders and Pilots Foundation approved three (3) proposals at the Initial Meeting on Monday, July 29, 2013.  The following proposals were unanimously approved by those who voted:

1)  The number of directors was fixed at three (3).
2)  The Board of Directors was divided into three (3) classes.
3)  Three (3) directors were elected, as follows:
Robbie Culver, to serve a three-year term,
Eric Seber, to serve a two-year term, and
Michael Farley, to serve a one-year term.

A big thanks to all of those who voted, joined the meeting at AirVenture and became voting members! Much more to follow concerning new initiatives, projects and events that the SBPF will be working on. 

The SBPF Banner hung on the fence adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC AirVenture booth. Thanks to Sonex Aircraft, LLC for their accomodation, interest and support of the the SBPF Type Club. 

Preparing for the initial meeting of the members. Owners and builders with their aircraft in the background.

Start of the initial meeting. Pictured left to right: Mike Singleton, Michael Farley, Eric Seber and Robbie Culver.

Gathering of club, voting and interested individuals for the initial SBPF meeting. 

The SBPF passed out programs with information about the initial meeting proposals.
Update 4: The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation will hold its 1st Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, July 29th at AirVenture, on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth.

We are pleased to inform you that on Monday, July 29th, 2013, the Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation (the "Foundation"), will hold its initial Meeting of Members in Oshkosh, Wisconsin at AirVenture on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth at 11:00 a.m. CT.

We encourage all Voting and Club members to attend the meeting to be part of this developing organization.Although Club Members do not vote, we value their input and hope many will be able to attend.

For your information, at the meeting, the Voting Members shall:
  • Fix the number of directors at three;
  • Divide the Board of Directors into three (3) classes; and 
  • Elect the following three (3) directors to the terms specified below:
    • Robbie Culver, 3 years
    • Eric Seber, 2 years
    • Michael Farley, 1 year
If you are interested in becoming a Voting Member and eligible to vote at next year's meeting, please let us know. Thank you for your support of the foundation.
Update 3: The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation will hold its 1st Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, July 29th at AirVenture, on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth. 

Due to the AirVenture afternoon airshow starting at 2:30pm CDT on Monday, July 29th, the SBPF decided to move the Annual Membership Meeting time to 11am CDT in order to provide for a better meeting experience. 
Posted 6/28/2013

Update 2: The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation will hold its 1st Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, July 29th at AirVenture, on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth. 

Current voting members that are not able to attend the July 29, 2013 Annual Membership Meeting at AirVenture in person will be able to vote ahead of time by electronic proxy card. It is not a requirement that you be present at the meeting in order to cast your vote for the Directors of the Foundation. 

Voting Members will be notified prior to the Membership Meeting with instructions on how to vote. 
Posted 6/27/2013

Update 1: The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation will hold its 1st Annual Membership Meeting on Monday, July 29th at AirVenture, on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth. 

In an effort to set expectations as best as possible, the SBPF wants to clarify membership signup during AirVenture.

Those individuals interested in becoming Voting Members with the right to vote at the July 29th Annual Membership Meeting
must have signed up and have paid their dues no later than July 22, 2013.  This requirement is driven by the State of Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986.

Membership signup will still be available during AirVenture; however anyone becoming a Voting Member after July 22, 2013 will not be able to vote for Directors of the Foundation at this year's meeting.

As always, please Contact Us if you have any questions.
Posted 6/26/2013 

The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation will hold its 1st Annual Membership Meeting on Monday July 29th at AirVenture, on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth. 

We are happy to announce the details of our upcoming 1st Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting will take place during the great events of AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 and will be held on the Flight Line adjacent to the Sonex Aircraft, LLC display booth. This meeting will be called to order at 3pm on Monday, July 29th.

This Membership Meeting is an annual requirement and part of a process that the SBPF takes seriously. We will be electing the Directors that will manage the SPBF for the remainder of their terms as set forth in the SBPF bylaws. All members are encouraged to attend. Current Voting Members will vote to elect Directors. 

By timing the meeting during AirVenture, we hope to draw more members, builders, owners, and Sonex enthusiast than would otherwise be possible. We will be soliciting feedback from members and talking to those who are interested in becoming part of the SBPF. Membership sign up will be available and our hope is that all of the founding members will be able to attend, answer questions, and work to build the momentum we've already gained.

If you have questions about this upcoming meeting or would like to Become a Member, feel free to Contact Us with questions at any time.

We look forward to building and growing relationships with the many wonderful people that share our passion! See you at AirVenture!  
Posted 6/10/2013

Member and Treasurer, Carl Orton, of the Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation recently had an article published in the EAA's June edition of Sport Aviation.

Carl Orton recently wrote an article about his experience of performing high-speed taxi tests in his newly certified Sonex aircraft.

Click here to read his article in Sport Aviation! Congratulations Carl on your article being published and sharing your experience with everyone.  
Posted 5/20/2013

The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation becomes a recognized member of the EAA Type Club Coalition.

We are delighted to announce another one of our initial goals is now complete - that of becoming part of the EAA Type Club Coalition.

Please visit the following link for more information:
Posted 5/13/2013

The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation and Sonex Aircraft, LLC, on Friday, May 10th, announced the release of the joint transition training syllabus. 
The Sonex Builders & Pilots Foundation and Sonex Aircraft, LLC announced the release of the Sonex type aircraft transition training syllabus which is available to the public at no charge. This training syllabus was developed as a collaborative effort between both organizations. 

We're excited about the announcement today from Sonex Aircraft LLC about the jointly released transition training document.

Foundation vice president Mike Farley worked hard on our initial draft, and in partnership with Sonex Aircraft LLC, we were able to put together a free transition training guide for any CFI's or Sport Pilot instructors. This document is available for download at

For anyone who has not read the press release from Sonex Aircraft LLC, the link is here:

Combined with this weeks announcement that Sonex Aircraft LLC is now offering transition training, we once again see Sonex leading the way in the kit industry.

We are working hard to add meaningful, useful content to the foundation web site, including tool reviews, links to good information, and a photo album that currently has the 2012 American Sonex Association fly-in photos. The regional and local Sonex organizations (formal and informal) are where the real power of our community exists. By meeting other builders, prospective builders, and pilots, we can share the wealth of knowledge and experience gained as we build these aircraft.

We'd love to have you as a member - there is no cost involved and we want this to be a community grass-roots organization that leads the way in safety, training, and education.

If you have suggestions, content, photos, videos, or ideas, please pass them along.