How I got here
When I was a kid, the idea of flight fascinated me. As I sat bored in school, I used to daydream that about building my own airplane and spent most of the time staring outside imagining what it would be like to freely move with the clouds. My first experience flying in a small plane was on Orcas Island, Washington. I’m not sure why, but my mom scheduled a scenic flight in a Cessna 172 which departed from the Eastsound Airport. I don’t remember many details of the flight other than when it was over, I was convinced that I wanted to become a pilot. Later, my mom and I framed the the one photo of the Cessna as it was parked an running. I still have the framed photo on my wall at home.
After turning 17, I decided to revisit the possibility of flying again. After many hours of flying from Boeing field in the Microsoft Flight Simulator, I decided to research what was actually involved. As a part of a class project, I called the primary flight school the Troutdale Airport (KTTD) on the east side of Portland and scheduled a discovery flight. The flight was with my instructor Dan Geresh in a Cessna 152 and was amazing. He let me fly most of the time and even let me hang-on during the approach to base and final. After the flight he gave me his card and said I should plan to get my private rating. That summer, I rode my bike across the Columbia River to Pearson Airpark to begin my flight lessons, Dan had moved shortly after my discovery flight. I received my ticket the following fall at 17. The next summer I completed my Instrument Rating and then began college.
While I seriously considered it, I didn’t pursue a career in aviation; rather, I spent the next 8 years studying Chemistry and eventually working as an engineer at companies like Intel and Apple. I have stayed active as a pilot through rentals and a few flying clubs, but have never owned an airplane.
As I plot my next chapter, I have debated buying a used airplane, but I’m enamored with the idea of building and flying my own. I realize that I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into, but I think the idea is something that I can’t shake and I would rather start and fail than never have tried.
I spent a lot of time researching different kit aircraft options, and decided on Van’s because of the performance, cost, and support from the company and the community of builders.