There are certain kids that are just naturally fascinated with any sort of contraption that is somehow able to hold itself up in the air. I suppose I was one of these kids, as illustrated by the following picture:
An early (and unsuccessful) attempt to receive dual instruction.
This photograph was taken on a United flight when I was 5 years old. As far as I can tell, it's the earliest photographic evidence I can find of my tendency to try to get inside of and fly airplanes. To date, I have not been able to shake those tendencies, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to even if I could. The love of flying airplanes is perhaps the most enjoyable of all mental disorders.
I poked around at flying while in high school, but flight lessons are expensive and a teenager's pockets are none too deep - at least mine weren't, anyway. It took getting through college and getting a real job before the fascination with airplanes could safely come to the surface.
I started taking flying lessons again in the spring of 2003 at Pryor Field in Decatur, Alabama. Decatur, as fate would have it, was home to quite a few shiny sporty-looking (and fast!) airplanes that I couldn't help but notice when I was preflighting the airport's faithful Cessna 150. My flight instructor at the time thought (and I imagine still thinks) very highly of RVs, and after he told me about racing one to Oshkosh in summer of 2003, I got up the courage to contact some local RV builders. On 11 October 2003, I got a ride in Bob Butler's RV-6A (and, later in the same day, Sam Buchanan's RV-6), which resulted in the predictable catastrophic effect on my financial situation.In real life (such as it is) I work as a computer weenie (for lack of a better term) for Integrated Mangement Systems, a small company that's a subsidiary of Dynetics. Working in computer science involves a somewhat different mindset than building an airplane -- with computers, the goal is to build something that will last at long as it takes for you to finish building it. With an airplane, it has to last long enough for you to get it back down on the ground -- and this next part is important -- with you still inside it.
With what's left of my free time, I putter around on a various guitars, read whatever I can get my hands on, and lose at tennis. In addition, I'm part of a Sojourn, a church downtown which meets in a brewery. I'm an unabashed fan of Celtic music, J.R.R. Tolkien, Sierra Nevada pale ale, Macintoshes, and naming my computers after World War II-era fighter planes.
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