First, a quick flashback. In the mid-1970s I stopped in Newton, Kansas, to visit the factory where Jim Bede was getting ready to turn out BD-5 kits. I was in my old homebuilt, Melmoth, which I had first flown in 1973 and had been modifying and improving ever since. Somehow or other my nosewheel doors had gotten tangled up with the gear strut-I've forgotten how this happened-and in the course of removing the damaged doors I had had to pry them open by hand. My visit having ended, I climbed into the airplane, fired up the engine, and started to taxi, only to have the right main gear collapse. Bede very generously-especially considering that he knew that I was not among his most zealous admirers-let me use his shop and equipment to make temporary repairs. I returned to Los Angeles late that night without functioning flaps or a door on the right main.