The End of an Era - Shutting Down Cloud Nine

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    Everything has a beginning and an end. To be honest I've thought about shutting down for some time, but not had the courage to pull that trigger. It's a one-way ticket in many ways. But now I am ready, and it's my decision. If I waited until some $50k component failed on the MU-2 and it wasn't my decision, well, I don't think I'd feel as good about it. This is the better way to go.

    Well the balloon is kinda a twin engine because it has two burners. :)

    I am pretty sure we won't be buying a twin of any sort in the immediate future. My aviation goals are to get away from the "mission oriented" aircraft I've been flying basically my entire career and get back to the basics, doing the fun kind of flying that most people on here do and I've wanted to for years, but never been able to because of Cloud Nine.

    We have no personal need for a family transport aircraft, especially with the advent of the RV. Maybe in a few years we'll change our mind as life changes.

    I am really, really on the fence of whether or not I want to bother with a powered aircraft. Let's face it - there is a lot of BS that goes along with it. I've never had problems getting a medical but I don't want to deal with it anymore. I don't want to build a plane but I also don't want to deal with needing an A&P to do an annual, and I don't want to deal with renting a hangar, dealing with airport authorities.

    So with the Cobra to finish, wanting to get the balloon rating, wanting to finish the runway and end up with the Cub here... the only thing that really comes to mind that makes any sense is getting a J-3 and keeping it at an airport so I can get experience flying a taildragger before moving it to our house (which seems like a good idea). However I don't have a tailwheel endorsement and learning a new airplane is more work, so it really seems like it doesn't make sense for me to do until I get some more items checked off the list (that is, after all, the whole point of what we're doing).

    Me neither. :)
     
  2. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    There's always this version of a family RV...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    That's a fair point and I can see where you're going with that. You could look at buying an experimental light sport to keep at your house too. Stan and a few others have them and they sound like a nice way to have a fun, capable plane and not be beholden to the whole hassle of MX/etc.

    I agree that if I can't get the plane before I'm past the kids phase, it'd probably shift what I'd buy a lot. I agree that you have a huge list, and life is yours to live, but I think you'll always have a huge "list" as you keep adding new, interesting stuff to it!
     
  4. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    I do really like the idea of something that qualifies as light sport so that I can not have to mess with medicals. I also like the idea of being qualified as builder and having a repairman's certificate so I don't need an A&P to work on a plane. But I don't think those two things mesh with the time aspect, unless the kids want to help build a plane (and I mean really help).

    And yes, always new projects. :)
     
  5. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sorry to see this chapter come to an end, but I don't blame you. 11 years is plenty. On to the next chapter! Have fun.
     
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  6. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Basic Med would seem to suit your needs, and would let you fly the family, unlike a light sport. Since you already have a valid medical anyway, why not just go the Basic route?

    And after 11 years of this, you must be dog tired..... :D
     
  7. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    I still can't believe I have an endorsement that @Ted DuPuis doesn't have. :cool: I really wanted a ride in the MU-2. But all things come to end. You are a busy guy and you can only do so many things. Here's to a quick sale to someone who will appreciate Mitzi. I'll try to start taking extra dogs to fill in for Cloud Nine. :)
     
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  8. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    No arguments here...you had a good run with saving animals, but your priority has to be your family.
     
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  9. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Well, I can only imagine how tough this decision has been for you, and I know that whatever you do instead will be of equivalent or greater value to you and the rest of the world. Saving puppies is good. Raising a well grounded, sane, self sufficient, and productive family is even better.
    Just remember, you don't have to build it (or have the repairman certificate) to work on any Experimental. The only thing the repairman certificate allows you to do that you can't do otherwise is the condition inspection. And with Experimental Light Sport, even that isn't an obstacle... a two day course gets you the cert that allows you to do that, too.

    Of course one should never do anything one is not qualified to do... but that's why we have EAA chapters chock full of builders, tech counselors, and A&Ps. What you don't know, you can certainly learn.
     
  10. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Thanks Dale, that's what I was trying to say. @Stan Cooper reportedly did the same thing, I believe
     
  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    Because if I'm going to do that, may as well get a normal medical. The point is just not having to mess around with it. And I have no desire to fly the family anywhere right now - we've proven that we don't do that regularly, at least not now.

    Given that I'm building the Cobra, I'm not too worried about anything I could do. The bigger thing is that Laurie doesn't trust an experimental aircraft that I didn't build, and I don't want to build.
     
  12. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ted, as a fellow animal lover, I say you done good. No regrets, move on with your hat cocked at a jaunty angle!!
     
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  13. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Well done, Ted, and best of luck in your new adventure.
    You convinced me to get my first ever dog, a rescue, during the first days of the pandemic.
    No one wanted people from NY, turning up anywhere, and we had to fly into Gettysburg, PA to pick up the dog.
    Interesting reception: They wouldn't let us use the restroom, but it all turned out OK.

    PS: We love the dog to pieces.
     
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  14. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Whatever makes you happy is best. Have fun!
     
  15. EvilEagle

    EvilEagle Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well done Ted! Time for a change; you've earned it. The animals all say thank you!
     
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  16. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Except the cats. They just give you the stink eye no matter what.
     
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  17. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    No harm in "knowing when to fold 'em." You managed to spread a lot of happiness to people and animals across the nation, and rack up a lot of good twin time in the process. Removing the stressors (financial and otherwise) in your life like a thirsty MU-2 should help you sleep a little better each night, and maybe free up some more cash flow for creative "Thing about . . . " threads, lol. Congrats and job well done.
     
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  18. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    What an experience. Kudos to living life and giving back. Blue Skies!
     
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  19. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Good run and unless you run a small business or small non profit in this case where the sleepless nights and juggling to make thinks work takes its toll...I was given a set of circumstances earlier this year that pushed me into closing my business with the numbers vs reward did not make sense anymore...best decision I ever made. You will miss it but be proud of what you done! The worlds a little better place because of your passion.
     
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  20. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    A used LSA + a 16 hour course solves all of those issues.
     
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  21. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are there going to be any assets left after you roll up the non-profit ? Are you going to donate those to a charity that supports the same mission ?
     
  22. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    Thank you. And yes, running Cloud Nine has been every bit of running a small business without the benefit of getting paid. The access to the various twins we couldn't have otherwise afforded to operate for personal use was nice, but in the end my wife and I agree that it's been detracting from our family life and not adding to it.

    A lot of people are saddened that I'm shutting things down - I get it. But I'm not one of them. The more I get into the shutdown process the happier I am about it. It's been a good run, I wouldn't change a thing. I'm glad to be done.
     
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  23. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    The kids are only young once. Enjoy that time with them. :cool:
     
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  24. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    There is no requirement for you to build it. If its an LSA, you can take a course and get a repairmans cert for it.
     
  25. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    And you can convert a factory built over to experimental, an E-LSA. @FastEddieB did this with his Sky Arrow, in case you need more info.
     
  26. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    Congratulations on finding the answer to a difficult question.

    ending things on a high note is simply marvelous.
     
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  27. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    I’m willing to bet that, after the plane is sold and all bills settled-up, the non-profit will only owe Ted and Laurie a couple hundred thousand. Hope I’m wrong, bet I’m right.
     
  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Gave my comments elsewhere but adding to those, an end of a good run.
     
  29. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Ted - you done good! Saved a bunch of dogs, gained a ton of experience and had adventures most of us can only dream of. As you said, sometimes things (no matter how good) just have to end. Hope it all works out in the end!

    :D Assume this means the previously undisclosed corporate headquarters location will now close! :D

    Cloud 9.jpg
     
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  30. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    You should be proud of what you have accomplished. Congrats on a great run.
     
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  31. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    The MU-2 is under contract. :)
     
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  32. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just realized I’m wearing my Cloud 9 t-shirt right now. My suggestion: if you keep your website active for a while, put some links to other agencies you recommend. And, since t-shirts and I seem to get into long term relationships you might need to keep it active for another 10-12 years.
     
  33. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Dang it. I only needed you to wait 20 more years before I could afford it.

    Congrats.
     
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  34. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    The Cloud Nine website will be getting converted soon, and it will be simply a message stating that we're shut down.

    I will also be deactivating the Facebook page and have already turned off getting messages on it. My intent is that when the plane is officially sold I'll deactivate the page. However I am not going to delete it. I do intend on writing "the book" at some point, and I'll reactivate the page for that I figure.

    I needed to wait another 40 years before I could afford it! :)

    Thanks, barely 48 hours on the market. It's a good time to sell, and it was a good plane to sell. I'm confident the sale will go smoothly.
     
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  35. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I would say that you were so lucky to spend some time flying that kerosene burning hot rod, but luck had nothing to do with it. Cherish the memories, Ted, and regale us in the stories of the adversity it took to get there.

    Adventure: Adversity retold a leisure
     
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  36. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted Management Council Member

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    I know people don't buy books much anymore, but I will be writing mine. Who knows when, but now that I'm not going to be flying the mission anymore it should be more doable.

    Luck had something to do with it. So did blessings, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.
     
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  37. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Dad choose a J-5 as one can fly solo from the front seat . Back in 1945 he took his private test ride in a J-3 . The DPE was a rather large man and made Dad fly from back seat. Dad said he couldn't reach around him as he filled the cockpit side to side. DPE just said tell me what to adjust I'll do it for you.
    Memorable Day.
    Dad would haul mother my two sisters and my self in the J-5 .
    4 of us in the back seat , most likely maxed out weight but it was fun. Grass strip on the farm.
    By 1948 we had moved to "town" for school. J-5 was sold to make down payment on the town house. But dad flew and stayed current in to his later 70's Rental planes and or just the mandatory annual TO's and Landings with instructor.
     
  38. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Time passes, things change, life continues to evolve.
    You are justifiably proud of what you achieved. Time to devote effort to other important things.
    Sure hope you don't plan to abandon us here on PoA though! :cool:
     
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  39. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Did the contributions pay most/all of the costs, or aside from the time commitments, did you also sink a lot of your own money into it as well?
     
  40. Swampfox201

    Swampfox201 Line Up and Wait

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    As the owner of a rescue dog who was flown from Oklahoma to Nebraska I salute you. Thanks for all you've done and wish you the best!
     
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