• Monday, March 10, 2014 9:16 PM
    Message # 1515034

    I figured I'd put the forum to a little use here.  I just officially joined last week on the 2nd of March.

    Some background:
    I'm 36.  Probably like everybody here I've been fascinated with flying since a kid.  My dad was a load master in the USAF during Vietnam and would tell me stories of C-130's, F4's to seeing the SR-71 land and taxi right into the hanger saying "What in the hell is that?".

    I was reading about aircraft / military in 2nd grade, I couldn't find any good books so I checked out books well beyond a 8 year old's reading level but still managed to muttle through them.  Then the Thunderbirds came to town in 86.  I remember rattling off specs of a F-18 to the pilot standing with it.

    By 13 I had my first RC plane.  I couldn't wait to fly it and built it in 2 weekends.  Which my dad promptly helped crash on the first flight by throwing it into the air at a 45 degree AOA.  I fixed it and then introduced it to the only tree in the field, but I did manage to get some flying out of it.

    Fast forward to 2005.  I saw a RC Plane on eBay and decided to get back into it.  I went a little overboard and bought a number of planes from a Sig Sr Kadet to a Somethin' Extra.

    That same year I found out I could be my own plane.  I knew about ultralights but when I saw a Glasair III and then read it was a home built I pretty much went nuts with excitement that something like that could be built at home.  So then I started doing research and routine brought up homebuilt's in conversations with people I thought would appreciate the topic.

    My girlfriend at the time wasn't too keen on flying so I abandoned the dream since things were going serious, but after a few years and the end of that relationship I got back into it.  I had never been in a small plane before and a buddy of mine took me up to Suburban for a surprise discovery flight in August 2008.  

    I then met Jeff Hammons in November 2008 after becoming a Shriner.  A few years pass and Jeff introduced me to a couple people, one being Rick Rowland in 2011.  Rick told me there would be a pancake breakfast fly-in in a couple weeks and to stop on out.

    I did a lot of research for a couple years comparing everything I could find, I decided an RV-7 is what I'd really like to have.  I still need to get up in an RV, but I'm 99% positive no matter what, that's going to be the plane I end up building.

    I went ahead and purchased almost every tool needed for the build off a guy in Texas who just finished a RV-6.  I couldn't say now, it was too great of a deal.

    I stopped out for the first time on Saturday Nov 12 2011.  I more people than I can remember.  Mike Whitescaver, Bill Hirzel, Bill David and a few other guys.  Rick also met me for the 3rd first time.  :)

    About a month later I was given Paul Jaffray's contact information and arranged a visit to check out his RV-8 which also turned into checking out his car projects.

    I came out for the initial FAA inspection of the Minimax and a time or two afterwards while visiting Jeff's hanger for Shriner's Pilot's meetings.

    So basically, I'm not entirely a stranger, I've just been extremely busy.

    When I have spare time, I've been reading a flight manual, studying what I can find on any pilot site and I can't wait to start lessons.  I'd like to start with the Pietenpol and ultimately get my PPL.

    I'm going to try to be involved when possible, I'm still extremely busy.  I spent a year growing my business on the side and using up many vacation days on top of my career.  BTW, I was a technical advisor for FedEx for 12 years, I loved getting down to Memphis or one of our hubs and checking out our aircraft and simulators.  A lot of FedEx pilots are also in the EAA.  

    Last year I was able to leave my career and focus 100% on growing my business.  It's been great growth.  I just need 1 more employee before I think I'll have a jump in free time.  Once my time is freed up I will be wasting no time diving in and becoming a private pilot and running up as many hours in the air as I can.  So if I come and go with gaps in between, it's because I'm just overly busy and being busy is ultimately what's going to fund my hobby!  :)

    Thanks for reading!


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