Ok today's post is not about my airplane but to me its almost more fun! Today was the annual Young Eagles event that our local 326 EAA chapter hosts. During this event private pilots bring their own airplanes, burn their own fuel, on their own time and fly kids who sign up in advance around the area for about 30 minutes. I did this for the first time last year and it was a lot of fun and the kids really love it. Some kids are super excited, and some are too cool to show how excited they are. This year we had about 160 kids and 13 pilots flying which means it was a full day. A good friend and coworker of mine (Martin) joined us this year to help out so we had a lot of fun. However, that was not what is making me so excited about this day. I had two other things happen that made it even better.
First, I met a gentleman who works for the FAA and does air worthiness inspections on amateur built airplanes. He says he doesn't do them much anymore but if I needed one he would be willing to do it. He gave me his number which I thought was very nice of him.
However, the grand act for today was spectacular. There is a gentleman in our chapter that has an RV-9A very similar to the one that I am building and he was flying kids all day long. Beautiful airplane and really nice guy. Well I asked if he would take me for a ride in it someday and he offered to do it today. I jumped all over that opportunity but it gets even better....he let me fly left seat!!! That means I did the flying instead of being just a passenger!! Holy cow that is an awesome airplane! Three take-offs and three landings with some steep turns and slow flight really gave me an idea of what it will be like to fly my airplane when it is ready. I may not sleep for the next month for want of finishing my airplane. Ok, I am excited now but I know I'm not going to rush things just to get it in the air because I want make sure I build the airplane I want and I want it to be safe....but WOW that was fun! Here are a few pics from today.
|This is Harry's 150 that we use for the "ground school" portion of the experience. The kids all get a quick ground lesson on what makes and airplane fly and what the instruments do.|
|This was one of the more unusual airplanes used during the event. Its a Ercoupe...at least I think thats how it's spelled. These are interesting because they have no rudder pedals.|
|Here is one of the larger airplanes flying today. I apologize because I don't know what model this is, but it has a huge radial engine and sounds awesome!|
|This is the panel of the airplane I got to fly today. Doesn't that look great! Carbon fiber, all glass, and look at those master cylinders (red things on the pedals).|
|This is the outside of the same plane (the one I flew). Thats Doug at the controls as he prepares to leave with one of the kids.|