As I have gone from building to assembling, and from home to the airport, I have found myself to be at a new place in this experience. The building part of this always seemed somewhat frantic and even sometimes scary when you realize you are building something that you will eventually strap your butt into and and defy gravity with. I have flown for years, however it has always been in a "certificated" airplane from pipers to cessnas, to mooneys. The little tiny bit of trepidation has been completely replaced with " How cool is this, I am building my own airplane." I would have thought that at this point I would have become very impatient to get done, but as I work on the rigging of cables, and the brake lines, and mounting the engine, all with my hangar door wide open watching all the planes as they come and go ,I find myself actually slowing down and really enjoying the last part of this experience. I get new visitors every day coming to see the new homebuilt project, or repeats coming to check on the progress of this novice builder and I find that I am just now getting to enjoy the true airport experience that comes from belonging, rather than being the occasional visitor who rents planes. I have quickly found out that these are truly wonderful people who are quick to offer advice, help, tools, and the ever present " sure wasnt meant to be aerodynamic was she" (701) comment that we all love so much. This is what it is all about, the comradery that is attached to being part of that less than 1% of the populace that is able to fly themselves, and that even smaller percentage that has had the privelege of being able to build their own aircraft and then fly themselves is simply amazing and will truly be one of the highlights of my lifetime. As I draw closer to the ever elusive first flight, I wonder if I will go through builders withdrawal once this part is over or will I become a serial builder? My bet is on the latter, even though my lovely wife tells me that maybe my next wife will be as patient as she has been. I now truly understand what EAA is all about and am looking forward to many years of being the guy that drops in and says, "Huh ,so you think that thing will fly."

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Comment by John Ellis on April 28, 2009 at 7:51pm
Thomas, great post. Sounds like your wife deserves a few dinners for two. :-) I know my wife does! John

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