ABOUT US – ABOUT YOU – AND YOUR GOAT…
We mix business with pleasure with friends with weather. It’s the worst business plan ever. But there IS a formula to making it work & here’s the best way I can describe it.
In 2000, I was a development engineer for the Bayliner boat company in Seattle. I hated Seattle but I loved the mountains & outdoors and I was extremely new to big rock climbing & mountaineering. One weekend, I was roped up with a climbing guide named Jeff in hip deep snow on the west slope of the North Cascade Mountains in Washington State. I could barely afford a guide but every few climbs, I would make the investment & it was priceless. Jeff had literally been mountaineering since before the Earth cooled off & while we’d climbed together before a few times, I didn’t know him very well because we’d never really worked together “under pressure.” I did know that he would forget more about climbing than I would ever know.
In early Spring, we were preparing for a Mt Rainier climb later that summer & working on my first multi-pitch ascent. We were seriously exposed, conditions were deteriorating, weather was moving in & I was out well out of my comfort zone – which likely meant shit was worse than I thought. I asked Jeff if pushing the summit at this point was even worth the squeeze. His next words are the basis upon which I have run an engineering company and an aviation business with perfect safety records over the last 18 years.
“Den, you’re not paying me for the summit. We’re here to work together, learn some stuff & enjoy the mountain. We’re damn lucky dudes to be here today & that’s enough. We can always summit another day IF WE KEEP IT THAT WAY. The gear is pro, the plan seems spot-on & experience is good. But, buddy, my first priority is going home today & having a beer with my wife buck naked in the hot tub. And that’s what we’re going to do.”
Now, I wasn’t entirely sure if he meant that I was going to be naked in the hot tub with he & his wife – or if he just meant we were going home. I never asked to clarify but I had a lot to think about all the way down…
So here’s the moral of the story: We love what we do in our little corner of the big blue sky – but it’s not easy. And, while we’re willing to take some calculated risks to teach you to fly and help you build an expedition-quality flying machine – our real goal is to home at the end of the day. This should be your goal too. You are an extremely fortunate person to be here on this website considering this sport. And for this relationship to work, we need to work together. Please understand, if you come across as someone who might compromise our safety, or become someone we can’t work with – this relationship (regardless of money) will need to end.
We understand you need to research other aircraft & our reputations before making a decision. Before doing business, we will make a concerted effort to get to know you too. This will become apparent in our business plan if it hasn’t already. These aircraft, in the wrong hands, used without respect or absent good decision making will kill you – and worse yet, might take someone innocent with you. Our existing clientele also expects us to foster new expedition-quality pilots to join our excursions & fly-in’s. One unpredictable pilot or one improperly maintained Goat can easily ruin a once-in-a-lifetime experience for other members of the team. We promise that with a scenario-based education, conservative operation & basic mechanical understanding, this sport will provide you adventures & a lifestyle absolutely impossible to explain or even capture on film to sufficiently describe to others. It’s incredible.
The “Goat” is not another bolt-together, over-priced novelty with eccentric advertising & social media hype. Frankly, it’s a very simple machine and possibly as indifferent to attention, conditions & affection as its name. Our aircraft & business are designed to speak for themselves. We do not hurry projects. We don’t agree to delivery dates. We are not high volume. We prefer you build yours from a kit for self-reliance & expertise vs paying us to do it for you. We spent 18 years & millions of dollars flying & modifying the best brands of trikes into quasi-adventure-capable portable aircraft with no success. We spent 6 years collaborating with the most respected backcountry pilots, off-road & racing fabricators in the US – developing the Goat while abusing our concepts & designs in the most awful flying & expedition conditions you can imagine. We notch. We cope. We bend. We weld. We laser-cut brackets. We use 5-axis CNC mills for countless parts & fixtures. We use exclusively Stainless Steel or Chromoly for our fully welded airframes – and even purge the oxygen for longevity. We use adjustable nitrogen suspension on ALL landing gear. If backcountry pilots, off-road & racing pros do it – we do it. None of them told us to use aluminum tubes & bolts. Frankly, we over-built most aspects of the aircraft. In other aspects, pure simplicity & the ability to trouble-shoot & maintain it with simple tools in the field was balanced. And, in case it isn’t obvious, the Goat is not “pretty” as utility & function prevailed over aesthetics. You have many options for pretty trikes. The Goat is not one of them.
In closing, this has been a long road & we’re very proud of the aircraft and our humble approach to it. If there was a better weight shift control aircraft for our purpose, we’d absolutely be flying it & avoiding the liability & hassle of being an FAA certified aircraft manufacturer. In other words, build a better one, and I’ll be your first customer. Until then, we offer the “Goat” which stands for “Get Out And Travel.”
See you there.
Principal & Director of Engineering