Mitchel Flying the RV-8

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Mitchel at the controls

When you build an airplane, there are many times that you just need an extra hand. This is especially true with a metal airplane that needs to be riveted together. My son, Mitchel, was my right-hand man in that regard. Since it took almost 5 years to build it, Mitchel was just at the right age; he was 11 when I started and 16 when I finished.

So early this year when I finished flying off my required 40 hours on my new RV-8, Mitchel was my first passenger.


An 11 year old Mitchel riveting the rudder

Mom is more than a little nervous about airplanes, especially one I built in the garage, but Mitchel is 16 and she agreed he should get to fly in it after doing all that work. For me, I was really excited. Mitchel will get to go up in something he helped create – it doesn’t get any cooler than that!

I picked a smooth late afternoon for our flight. We departed my home field of Buckeye Executive and headed to my favorite sightseeing route over Columbus. The Columbus Class C is setup so you can do a nice flight right over downtown at 1000′ agl and not have to talk with anyone (read: get vectors).

Mitchel at 15 shooting rivets into the fuselage.

It was smooth as glass and we had a great time. We did a flew ‘maneuvers’ and I let him fly – I think he was amazed at how easy it is to control.

The landing back at the home aerodrome was uneventful and Mitchel had a big smile on his face.


16 year old Mitchel on the morning of the 1st flt

Hopefully this flight and many future flights, will plant the seed for him to learn to fly someday – time will tell.






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