RE: How many here fly full-scale?
I fly just about anything. Natural progression, I guess. This is my first post here, so let me introduce myself.
I'm Jason, live in southeast Georgia. My father is a pilot, and my first memory as a child is sitting in his lap while doing lazy 8's in his Cessna 140. I have always been interested with, to the point of obsession, anything that flies.
My short story (very condensed):
When I was about 7, my father showed me how to build a built up balsa model(Guillows super cub) and cover it with tissue and dope....the model still is in flying condition today.....plastic models, paper airplanes, and sub18" balsa gliders dominated my childhood until I was 11....introduced to control line. Magazines at that time featured plans that were large enough to see detail, enough detail that I would reverse engineer and build my own design based on their concept. Built at least 20 C/L designs from 11-14.
At the age of 12, I figured out that it was legal to solo at age 14 in a sailplane. My father agreed to match, dollar for dollar, anything I could earn towards sailplane lessons. I took him up on it and soloed a few days after my 14'th B'day(due to weather) in an ASK-21.
My R/C years started around 13. Slow progression....all own designs because kits were too expensive. Eventually ended up with a 4 channel system and an OS 20 FP that I switched from airplane to airplane when I was 15. Full scale soaring and powerd airplane flying consumed most of my income. I mowed many acres of grass for flying money!!!
Fast forward a few years.....Got my commercial airplane/glider rating, then CFI glider at 18. Decided at 19 that I wanted to be a cropduster. At 19, I bought a Piper Pawnee that I used to fly as a glider towplane, and rebuilt it from the ground up as an ag-plane. Sprayed for a year up in NW GA. Rebuilt another Pawnee for a man down here in SE GA, and the day I brought it to him, he put me to work in it.....been here ever since. I still had my own pawnee, so when after 2 seasons with him, things didn't work out, I started my own thing here.
Ended up as Airport Manager here at 23. Who in their right mind lets a 23 year old take over an airport?! I'm glad they did. I now run a full service maintenance shop(I also am A&P/IA) that specializes in antique restorations along with all the normal stuff. My spraying business is alive and well, though I have teamed up with a man in the next county so that we both can stay busy. Also have a 172 that I do rental and instruction in. Yes, my plate is full! I own along with a friend of mine, a Bellanca Cruisemaster, the 172, and of course, my ol' Pawnee. Have about 6100 hours total....not exceptional for a 29 year old, but not too bad. I have been lucky enough to fly as PIC/solo in 81 different types of airplanes/gliders/ultralights so far.....was hoping for 100 by age 30 but will fall short. Currently looking for a Pitts to buy. S1S, S1T. Looking forward to fun with competition aerobatics.
Hope I haven't bored everyone to death! Just wanted to give a little background. I still fly R/C. My current interests include electric models, the high powered stuff like F5D and F5B along with pure sailplanes, e-sailplanes, and large gas burning models like my Cap231. Have yet to try turbine, but I know it's coming!
In short, I like just about anything that can become airborn.....I work too much, but love what I do. I'm so addicted to flying, I had to create a career just to support my habit!
I'd love to hear from others. Ag-pilots, Airport Managers, Mechanics.