Part of the Crowd by Austin
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 by: "Austin" <6430@axion.net>

Hi Listers,

After 4 years, I am finally at the airport once again,
assembling my nother dream come true..resplendent in new red and white
colors, chrome intakes etc., and awaiting final inspection and engine start.
It has been a long road.

I have spent 3 days just putting in the 70 odd bolts in the spar, me wet
with sweat on hot days, resisting back flow of stomach acid as I am on my
knees for 3 hours, head upside down, peering in a mirror to fit washers and
nuts on bolts you cannot see....one or two of which take an hour each
because they slip off and won't start threading.....
From time to time, I can hear a vehicle drive up and somebody call out..."is
anybody in here " ?

I lift my head from the floor while trying to keep that washer on my finger,
and reply, " Yeah, I'm in here "....
With no shirt on and body wet, he asks,..."are you naked " ??
Only partly.

But in each case, the visitor, who never tells me his name and I have never
seen before, urges me to come by if I need any help, or a bolt, or a tool,
or anything at all, and in my weariness, I feel a smile all over and
gratitude that ..stranger that I may be, I seem now to be part of the
crowd..the airport crowd...

In nearly each case, they wax on about RVs, about how they would love to
have one but just cannot spend that much time and effort to build it, and
ask, "how did you do it, what did it cost, how long.....is this your first
one ?....would you do it again ???

There are many answers and I really want to get back to work because even
at this stage, demands of wife and family dictate that I not spend dawn to
dusk doing what I love to do...

I have to get home for errands and chores...the worst kind, like trimming
trees and 30 foot hedges .....there are better things to do in life, like
hanging around an airport....

Deep inside the cockpit, with my face on the floor and only one eye to peer
in the mirror, I hear an engine begin its' song and strong and hearty it
plays the tune...but I cannot look up, as beautiful as it sounds, because I
would never get these bolts done up if I quit everytime I hear such music.
I hear a radial, powerful as hell and wonder what it is pulling, but I can't
look....

When I get home, my groin and buttocks ache from hours in a praying position
that I feel just like I have been riding horseback without a saddle from
here to Texas.

But as my friend said, you hurt, but you are happy...it is a good hurt...
My friend George, who was about 3 months ahead of me getting his 6 airborne
goes taxiing past, all the snags taken care of, and hours to explore the
altitude above the cloud deck and into the smooth........off he goes.....
A gracious soul, to be sure, and a pleasure to call a friend, he has been
unstinting in giving me help and morale support and taken me for inspiration
rides and bid me taxi this airplane that I may get used to ground control ,
then take the stick and play a while and watch what the GPS has to say....
I am so glad to be here, and if you keep at the task, you will find this
special RV place too.

I must admit that I really like the building and would gladly do again, but
4 years is 4 years too long out of the saddle, and I am more weary now...I
think the fibreglass did it.....

The RV is such a thoroughbred that the control feel is a reinforcement of
what class and quality was always about and that holding the stick again
brings back the old friendship of another RV and the polishing of handling
skills once laid down and dormant.....

I have not held an RV in hand for 4 years and yet I would fly tomorrow
if I could....

I used to know a jockey a long time ago who could no longer ride the wind
and he was but a shell of himself because he was no longer a part of the
thrill and combat of race riding..

Being away from true flying for a long time evokes similar thoughts.....
That is why I will fly and not build...there is no comparing the
thrill....climbing above the Q and into the smooth colder air and bending
the wrist to a lovely long roll where Earth meets sky and rivers flow
overhead is a thrill that makes the long nights and days of labor worth it
all.....

A Yak and a T28 roar off my field and shake the ground with the deep rumble
of power and loud props, and they do look good, but our RVs are a smaller
thoroughbred that can run just as quick and climb faster and be rolling
before they get the wheels up, and burn less gas, that we may do it
more.....

If you think of it, we must ask why we want to go so much faster if
it means that we will land that much sooner and cut shorter the wonderful
time and view from up above ?
A man told me once that he has been flying his creation for over 10
years and yet every time he drives out to the field and opens the hangar
door, he gets a thrill..a rush of feeling good when he sees the nose of the
airplane, just waiting to be lead out....

I can believe that........

Regards,
Austin