The Tiger

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1977 Grumman AA5-B Tiger

Featured in August 2002 AOPA Pilot!

Winner, "Best Equipped Four-Place", AYA '99 at Minden Nevada

Specs as of October 2012, before we sold it*


  • ~5300 hours total time, airframe and engine
  • ~1500 hours since January 1997 Penn Yann overhaul
  • Sensenich prop (76EM8, 62" pitch)
  • Sky-Tec lightweight starter
  • “M-20 Turbos” air/oil separator
  • Concorde RG-25 battery
  • Zeftronics solid-state voltage regulator with overvoltage protection




  • Owner designed and installed interior
  • 1978 Tiger front seats
  • Custom-fabricated seat back foams
  • Custom seat upholstery using automotive fabrics (legally!)
  • Two sets of matching Oregon Aero SoftSeat bottoms and lumbar: 2" thick for summer (when they get soft and compress easily) and 1" thick for winter (when they stay firm)
  • Custom side panels (look at those pockets!) using Airtex corrugated plastic and the same automotive fabrics
  • Airtex carpets
  • Headliner and window plastic covered using standard Airtex materials
  • Schroth safety harnesses, inertial-reel front and fixed-belt rear
  • AuCountry fiberglass replacement glare shield
  • Lightspeed ANR headsets, both front seat positions
  • York “Gust Lok”

Frequently Asked Questions about Tiger N81140


Personal aviation is one of the neatest ways of getting around, of seeing the country. Remember, it's not the speed of the airliner that's important, it's all the time before, after, and in between... Thea and I have flown Tiger N81140 all over the United States and into Canada. Tiger 140 was based at Bridgeport Connecticut and has flown hundreds of hours with us coast to coast.

"Have instrument rating, will travel!"

Various Flying Ramblings

"That's the craziest sonuvabitch I've ever seen; I wonder how many more of 'em are up there?" - Gen. Stillwell, "1941"

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*12/30/2019 Update: Someone recently asked me, "Do you currently have a Grumman ? Just curious."

Sadly, I do not. It's a long, sad story. Short version is after 10 years and 1300+ hours of flying N81140 (and completely resto-modding the airplane and earning my IFR certification in it) I got re-involved in auto racing and flying took a back seat.

While she was down for an engine overhaul at KBDR, N81140 got to meet Tropical Storm Sandy as it rolled into town and its storm surge partially submerged the airplane just up to, but not quite at, the belly. So we pulled her apart and trailered her to close-friend Bob Steward in Alabama for total overhaul. Unfortunately, Bob passed away soon after, so N81140 was stranded. Garner Rice recovered her from Gadsden and took her to Texas.

Once all there and faced with the total costs of making her whole, coupled to the fact that I'm still deeply involved in sports car racing, I instead chose to take the insurance money (from the flooding) and sold N81140 to a super fellow in the Atlanta area. Last I heard it traded hands again to someone in Alabama.

I do miss that airplane. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears in it, as well as wonderful memories (wife and I flew to our honeymoon in it, and we traveled all over the country.)

Once I get done with this racing fetish I'll be looking for another airplane, very likely a Grumman (or an RV-10**). In the meantime, I just need to keep convincing my buddy that I'm good enough for his Musketeer and Bonanza.

**1995 or so Oshkosh, I walk over to the Van's display, and catch the attention of Richard VanGrunsven. I ask him, "when are you going to build a 4-seater? It would make a nice replacment for my Grumman Tiger." His response was, paraphrased, "when I can beat the performance of the Tiger." Thus, the RV-10.