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Vic Syracuse Homebuilt Aircraft Council Chairman on His Building History


So how'd you How did you first get involved with With ea where you involve with a chapter when you were younger where that come from. No I if I think back to my first touch on was I. I started building an RV for that was something I always wanted to do. Since I was a kid and I saw. I probably a teeny two or something. On the cover of a mechanics illustrated you can build bigger airplanes. And so I think it was twenty five. I started building rb. Four and Went and visited the local chapter. It was quite a bit different back then. Quite honestly it wasn't quite as welcoming to youth. It was more of an older gentleman's club and they seem to want to sit around and talk more than they did want to build and I wanted to build so one or two visits. I just stayed at home and spent that time building as opposed to a bill chapters. And I I'm at Air Venture was One Thousand Nine hundred ninety one when I came here after I'd already started building. The RB foreign got my first ride with Dick Van. Brunson in the four wow. That's that's a great interaction. What was it led you to the RV to begin with the first of many RV's actually you'll get a kick out of this so like every person trying to build their first airplane. You're on a budget and trying to figure things out and so I'm trying to look at some of the cheaper. Airplanes were to build and The one that was out there at the time I think was a monet model and I realized I didn't have welding skills so next thing I know we're sitting at the dinner table. One night and private pilot magazine came and there was an RV. Four on the cover doing a loop. And I made a comment at dinner to my wife that I really liked to build an airplane someday and her words were well. It'd be nice if you quit talking about it. So that's all I needed to hear. Order was in the mail the next day I love that woman to. That's that is terrific just out of curiosity the RV for you. GotTa ride in from from Dick. Was that the prototype. Yes it's the one in the museum right now. Yes that was the first survey you've ever had a ride and was the one that sets the display so you do have to point out how old I am music. There's a lot of airplanes are now in in thanks. I'm well Oh my goodness so How long did it take you to build that first? Rv for? And what was that experience? Like so I kind of didn't know what I was doing. I'd been building. He's gets for a good part of my life. You start on page one page ten. You've got something and Building like radios teams up to color. Tv's okay did you ever built the weather station the beneath get weather station. I didn't do that. Dad and I did that together. Only father something projects like that hands on that we did. That was a lot of fun. Yeah I missiles heath kit days me to have my silla scope and once in a while but that's just when you look like a bond villain or something so Well BACK TO VIG. You asked me about trying to remember the question. Sorry the question is what was the how long it took out the RV here. I am this twenty five year old kid and again it was an old guys club and I I've always been one. Once you start you keep going and you get it done and So I kept calling pestering fan. Hey Winston xe kit coming so I started out as serial number. Two thirty nine ended up being the twelfth. One finished vowed I think it was about twenty two months later. Twenty four months later maybe was the first RV for Sun and fun and the first one east of the Mississippi rivers a lot of fun. What do you remember about that? First Flight? The first airplane you built. It was reminds me of here a little bit in that. It was on a New Year's Eve in Cleveland. Ohio and it was minus ten degrees. So we all know what kind of performance you are visa but when you're in an RV four with only. I think I had ten gallons of fuel in it and it was minus ten. You can imagine how that thing Klein about ten thousand minutes. You're not supposed to need oxygen during phase one remember very hilarious so we have a VHS tape. Tom You probably look that up in the library but as a kid okay. So it's funny here. It is it's minus ten degrees outside and I land in the family's all around and I'm I'm I'm on cloud nine. I'm so excited and everything and in video you can see everybody else. Kind of standing around freezing for my wife finding says getting we go inside Your Square John. Ten feet tall Having just mastered this role as test pilot. What did you fly to get ready to to get comfortable in the RV farm you had the right and the other RV but did you. Was there. Another airplane you flew to get deal skills Sharp and all that sort of thing was a lot of ratings at that time including I was doing a tail wheel instruction outer let As a good practice there was a friend on the field and he had a decathlon so that very morning I went up I with him and did three takeoff and landings just to make cert- draining back then right which is something. We're trying to change quite a bit today and no transition team and NO SECOND PILOT ADDITIONAL PILOT PROGRAM. No Load No. Ea Flight Test Manual. But but they had electricity and things. Tom I mean it wasn't it wasn't that long ago is our guest. Okay civic after the after the four. What did you go onto to build? So when I had the four for probably I think three years or so and Basically had a four place family so it got to be not a whole lot of fun having this to place airplane and about that time. Prescott pusher came into being and they came to us with a lot of splash and unfortunately I got caught up in that real splash and again I was the first one to actually finish the Prescott pusher and did manage to fly. Here Dash Gosh The first year we finished it but You know a number. A number of other people behind me Came to demise in that aircraft it was not represented very well and so we realized at that time the best thing to do for four place airplane was probably a rant or have partners and So built another place airplane Kit Fox and Most of the time you're flying by yourself anyway or with one other family member and then we We had partners in one. Eighty two. And then bonanza so that filled the four-place niece for awhile until I was could convince Dick van grunts into doing RV ten which took about ten to twelve years and so you're saying that That the RV ten exists is to shut you up. We'll tell you this alone. I came to air venture. I think it was nineteen ninety-six. After pestering van every year for however many years my wife and I were probably twenty feet from his booth and he sees us coming up and he points right at us and says all right. I'm going to do one. Excellent and you also I mean obviously in addition to the aircraft. A you've built you've you've test flown. Many aircraft done pre buys them in the aircraft also. Da are as well does this represent a free FAA signing off aircraft But one in particular that of that we all have some connection with is the one week wonder the RV twelve iso we built an adventure In in two thousand eighteen. You did the first flight on that I did. That was fun so I'm always have an emotional connection to that aircraft. Matter of fact at lunch I was just explaining that to a couple of your new hires. Here go take me take advantage of flying club you have here and then rb twelve with special. I was just flying in on Sunday. Good for you good for you. John Egan and I you're part of the the West Coast tour of the aircraft couple months ago so we got the flight from From Phoenix All the way back to Oshkosh need. That's right you picked up. After David and Serena dropped it off so that was that was terrific thing getting that airplane out there and show you off two chapters and that was literally the Monday after adventure right. It was correct. It was done on Sunday. Flown on Monday. Yes yes and now we flew Monday. Evening is a postcard

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