Stephen R. Smith
  • Male
  • Malin, OR
  • United States
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Latest Activity

Stephen R. Smith posted a status
"Changed the oil in 601 yesterday. Notice that the Hobbs shows 2,634 hours. Wow what an adventure machine my 601 has been since it first flew"
Jan 1, 2022
Stephen R. Smith posted a status
"One hour and 48 minute flight in the 601 with average ground speed of 150 MPH. Top ground speed of 195 MPH. Nice tail wind at 12,500!"
Feb 5, 2020
Kevin Powell left a comment for Stephen R. Smith
" Hi Steve:   I read your blog entries about your original Jabiru 3300 engine, and the rebuild process, with great interest.  I then noticed that it appears you swapped out that engine and put in a newer CAMIT built version of…"
Apr 16, 2019

Profile Information

Aircraft Model
Project Status
Building From
Partial kit
Engine installed (or plan to install)
Building Experience
Have already built an airplane
Flying Experience
Private Pilot
Building and Flying Info / Your Profession / Other Background Info
Self Employed. Software developer. Retired
Home Airport (ie. KMYJ)

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Stephen R. Smith's Blog

Massive River Trip

Posted on May 22, 2018 at 7:30am 12 Comments

So it has started, day two of my massive river trip. I am looking at the Grand Tetons out my motel window here in Driggs Idaho getting ready for the first day of the Missouri River.

Yesterday I left Santa Rosa California and flew here more or less in a straight line, having seen that country go by before. Today should be more interesting.…


Volcano Run!

Posted on May 10, 2017 at 11:30pm 11 Comments

I finally got the opportunity to do an adventure I had often thought of; a flight past the many volcanic mountain peaks on the west coast.

I had flown to Washington to visit my brother, who also owns a 601XLB. After a week in the rainy northwest it was time to return home to Santa Rosa, CA. When planning the flight home, I noticed the weather would be…


6,600 mile trip to Central America proves to be big adventure

Posted on February 4, 2017 at 12:00am 17 Comments

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Since I started flying my 601 back in 2007 I have found it to be a fantastic machine for exploring and adventure. I have enjoyed expanding my view of the world by flying over the country side, looking out at the great sights below and taking pictures from time to time; actually thousands of them.

In the past few years I have had in mind to fly all the way to the tip of South America. I…


My 2016 Oshkosh Adventure

Posted on August 23, 2016 at 10:00am 5 Comments

I flew my CAMit-powered (RIP) 601 to AirVenture 2016. This was its third trip to OSH.  It’s just over 1,800 statute miles each way from Santa Rosa California.

I usually try to work some sightseeing into my trips. I love to fly in the mountains and along rivers. I have spent many hours doing so in the west. This year my idea was to follow the Missouri River from…


Travels of N601WF

Posted on November 16, 2015 at 9:00am 17 Comments

With two more big trips accomplished this year I compiled some simple statistics for my flights in my 601XLB.  Some numbers are approximate.

  • 8 years and 5 months of operation
  • 760 flights
  • 161,700 statue miles
  • 1,800 hours
  • 6,840 gallons of fuel
  • 23.6 statue miles per gallon (average)
  • 90 statue miles per hour (average)
  • 3 countries operated in
  • 19,800 max altitude reached

Its been a great…


Comment Wall (57 comments)

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At 7:42pm on February 9, 2024, Kestas Sliupas said…

Hi Steve - Yes, Brad Demeo was the builder. I bought it from Glenn Bashforth in San Rafael. Very nice to learn that you were the original test pilot.

At 4:44am on June 18, 2021, Michael Mccarthy said…


My name is Mr. Michael Mccarthy, I have contacted you before without any response from you. Please replied if you receive this message. I have something very important to discuss with you, I have a vital information to give you. Could you please get back to me on ( ) for full details.

Michael Mccarthy.

At 1:06pm on April 16, 2019, Kevin Powell said…

 Hi Steve: 

 I read your blog entries about your original Jabiru 3300 engine, and the rebuild process, with great interest.  I then noticed that it appears you swapped out that engine and put in a newer CAMIT built version of the Jabiru 3300.  If so, I was curious if you’d be willing to share  what ultimately caused that change and how the newer CAMIT Jab3300 has  been performing for you?   I know that CAMIT is now defunct, regrettably; however, If you were building another aircraft similar to your 601, would you buy another current generation 4 Jabiru 3300 for it? 

At present, my top three engine choices for my 750 Cruzer are (in order):

(1) Jabiru 3300 (120 hp)

(2) AeroMomentum AM15 (137 hp version)

(3) UL Power 350i (118 hp)

I love the idea of the simplicity of the Jabiru 3300 engine, especially its independence from requiring a battery/power source for its ignition system and it’s engine driven mechanical fuel pump,    But, as  I also live in the Midwest, having a liquid cooled engine that’s an auto conversion is appealing, because it would provide effective heat for me in the cockpit, and it would be more tolerant of being started after sitting in the cold hanger overnight... plus it is content to run on 91 octane auto fuel. 

Sure appreciate any comments or insight you care to offer. Thank you very much! 


At 4:48pm on December 24, 2017, Mark Strout said…

Thanks Steve for the response re the spring gear.  If you happen to know the owner, would there be a way I could connect with them?

At 12:43am on October 23, 2016, Gary Welch said…
Hey Steve; I have ten hours on her know and have had a few squawks to resolve but she is flying good. Did a trip to Lampson and Ukiah today which was pretty positive. I'm learning there is also a lot of anxiety that goes along with phase 1!
At 6:10pm on November 10, 2014, Darryl Legg said…

Hi there Steve,

We do seem to be like minded pilots. Every time I jump in my plane I make sure I go somewhere different. Long way to catch up on you tho...I also don't use a camera very often.

Australia is a great place to fly around. Huge country, great people. No where near as many airports as usa so planning requires a lot more care. Best time of year is usually June to August or so to fly around. Bit cooler and less turbulent.

You won't be able to hire a 601, but a similar factory built plane.....Technam or Sportstar etc....But yes, great place, you will be very welcome down under mate...

At 3:16pm on August 10, 2012, John Austin said…

A follow-up on the plugs, Steve. The "factory" gaps seemed to be about .030, so I left them "as-is" and installed them. They definitely helped my radio reception rf noise ... sort of! Before, I had an "ignition" noise accompanying weak receptions that definitely varied with rpm. It was equal on both mags. After installing the NGK DR9EIX plugs, the right mag was completely quiet, but the left sounded about the same! Looking closely at the mags, the right's lead says "7mm high temperature suppressive", the left says "Electra Cable ECA 7". Looks like the cables are from two different vendors - wonder if that left on is not suppressed? I put 4 ferrite beads on it and it is quieter but not completely quiet like the right. Now I'm wondering if it is possible to change out that mag lead to a quality rf suppression cable?

And so it goes ...!

At 12:42pm on August 9, 2012, John Austin said…

Thanks for the info on the Iridium plugs. I'll see what the "factory" gaps are when I get them and go from there.

By the way, how did the "reverse flow" sump cooler work out on your plane? If I understand correctly, you made an opening above your oil cooler and let the high pressure air reverse direction and flow up the sump fins towards the prop hub. I've got marginal oil temps at high rpms in my 750/3300 setup, despite a 10-row cooler. However, the engine's only got 23 hrs and still on the break-in 50w oil. I'll go to the 15-50 at 25 hrs, if things don't improve after that, I'm considering some sort of additional cooling and wondered how your idea panned out?

At 10:45am on May 28, 2011, Jake Reyna said…

Steve, I think you made the right choice with the Sonex plenums. I've never had confidence in the Jabiru version, they work in the XL, but there are better solutions. My setup is a variation of the Jabiru and Sonex plenums and I will be making some modifications once I get the airplane to Bend. Hasta la vista!

At 8:19am on May 27, 2011, Jake Reyna said…
Steve, rumor has it you installed the Sonex cooling plenum. How is that working? My XL is still in Idaho and it's looking like late June to get it to Bend. I've been saying for how may years that we would go flying ;-)

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