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Old 03-23-2016, 08:48 AM
DBRuth DBRuth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cumming,GA
Posts: 105
Default Check one off the bucket list

Yesterday i was finally able to do something i've been wanting to do my whole life. Flew my -12 to visit my father for the first time, a 2 hour flight and my first ever overnight stay(with the plane) away from the home 'drome. My dad is 87 now and is still in good shape. He had a serious health issue at Thanksgiving and has made a good recovery. One of the reasons I built the -12 was to be able to fly with him and the speed of the assembly was a primary factor. I was able to complete my plane in about 700 hours, Van's was spot on. Dad was a Navy fighter pilot. He has over 2000 hours in F-8 Crusaders and did 3 combat tours in Viet Nam. One tour as executive officer of VF-211, one as commanding officer VF-211, and the last as CAG-5 on the USSMidway. Naturally I wanted to be a fighter pilot like him. However, when I was 12, during a routine vision screening at school, I found out I would need glasses. Knowing that the Navy does not accept pilot candidates with anything less than perfect vision my dreams were crushed. So now my -12 is my jet fighter and I have flown my father in it. The only other time I flew with Dad was a family trip from Jacksonville,Fla to Lower Alabama when I was 5. Dad also was a flight instructor at Pensacola in the late 50's. After we landed yesterday he scored the "check ride" as an "UP". So I guess that I have now passed primary flight training and will now move to jet transition training. I hope to enjoy many more flights with my father in the days to come. For all you guy's still building your fighter jets,,,,, keep pulling and pounding those rivets so that you can have a day like I did yesterday.
Kit 120797
First flight 8/21/15 what an awesome aircraft!
HOBBS @305
Dues paid 2020
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:04 AM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 2,567

Good one. My story is somewhat similar but WWII USAF B-17H. Dad and I owned a J-3 and he passed before I got my 12. He would have loved it...
Jim Stricker - EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC N86203
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub N6841H
Bought Flying RV-12 #120058 Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 750

LSRM-A Certificate 2016 for RV-12 N633CM
Special Thanks... EJ Trucks - USN Crew Chief A-4 Skyhawk
MJ Stricker (Father - CFI) - USAAF 1st Lt. Captain B-17H
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:09 AM
Chrysopelea Chrysopelea is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: santa rosa CA
Posts: 90

Great story!

My Father flew F-104's and F4's, and had a 182 when I was just a wee tot, 40 years ago.

Recently, he bought a sweet little Ercoupe (actually a '56 Forney) and I've gone flying with him, and did so until he flew back to Arizona where he winters.

It is what sparked my decision to go and buy my new RV12!

It also has helped bring us closer, as we've had a strained relationship over the years, and now we have something in common to help repair/rebuild/build our relationship.

Just like you, I dreamed of flying since forever.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:07 PM
dwranda dwranda is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Jamestown,NY
Posts: 657

Great story. I am extremely envious. My dad drove me to my flight lessons when I was 16 and I soloed. Unfortunately my vision was also bad so that's as far as I went since I wasn't going to be a career pilot. Fast forward 34 years and I am close to getting my pilots license after a lifelong love of all things aviation. I also started building a 9A last December.
One of my biggest regrets in life is not building sooner. My dad was a sheet metal worker as his occupation. He would have had a blast helping me with the build. I would have had a blast flying him in the plane WE built. I lost my dad 3 years ago. He is with me in whatever mechanical I do since I learned so much from him. He will be with me when I get her flying for that first time. Cherish your time as much as you can!!! He sounds like quite a guy!!!
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:39 AM
TomVal's Avatar
TomVal TomVal is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SC & CA
Posts: 907

Originally Posted by DBRuth View Post
...Dad was a Navy fighter pilot. He has over 2000 hours in F-8 Crusaders and did 3 combat tours in Viet Nam. One tour as executive officer of VF-211, one as commanding officer VF-211, and the last as CAG-5 on the USSMidway...

I just wanted to express my sincerest respect to your father and for his years of dedicated service on behalf of our country. It would be interesting to fill in the lines above with stories of his valor and exalted career. God Bless Him!

Has your father had the opportunity to visit the USSMidway on permanent display in San Diego? It is well presented and has been a major attraction for the city.

It is not often a civilian gets a graded landing from a are now eligible to mount a tail hook on your -12!

Attached below is a photo of the F-8 Crusader on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC. Perhaps your father has a record of having flown this one.


Tom Valenzia
RV8 (Sold)
RV12 Jabiru 2200 Powered (Sold)
Dues contributor since 2007

Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make all of them yourself...Anonymous

Last edited by TomVal : 03-24-2016 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-24-2016, 11:05 AM
ChuckC ChuckC is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Meridian, ID
Posts: 80

My hat is off to your father.

And, my hat is off to you for checking one off your bucket list.
Chuck Carlson
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:43 PM
RV3bpilot's Avatar
RV3bpilot RV3bpilot is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New Ulm, Minnesota
Posts: 283

Enjoy the time with your dad. My dad got to see my aircraft only once and 2 weeks later he went to the hospital for a bad back ache and he died one week later. He had cancer everywhere in his body.
Robin Mckee
New Ulm, MN 56073
RV3b N219BB
420 hours and counting
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:20 PM
icecreamguy icecreamguy is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 6

My father was a B-29 pilot during WW2 and flew bombing missions over Japan, survived a crash landing and was my hero. I started my RV-8 in early 1998 and dad was very supportive and interested in the project. Unfortunately he died in June of the same year and did not get to see it completed. I so wanted to be able to take him for a ride and think of him constantly. My N number was his birthdate + RV so in a way he was with me on every flight.
What a great joy you have had.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:39 PM
DBRuth DBRuth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Cumming,GA
Posts: 105
Default thanks to all

I had a feeling there were plenty of guys with similar stories and memories. A boy couldn't have a better father than I am blessed with. He was a tough teacher, and always expected the very best from me, but always with praise and love. The older I get the more I appreciate the man he turned me into. Tom, thanks for the recognition for Dad's service. He has always been very humble about that. He probably won't be interested in touring the Midway again, to him he's been there and done that, but you never know. I'll have to look through his log books next time i visit to see if the Yorktown F-8 is one he flew. I hadn't thought about the tailhook before, but I like the idea. I plan to add red and white checkers on the rudder of my -12 as an homage to his VF-211 days. That squadron had the most F-8 Mig kills during Viet Nam, most of those when he was XO. He always said he was 20 miles away from the action when 3 Migs were downed by his sqaudron at one dogfight. I realize our time together is limited and is why I just had to write up the experience. I hope that many others here can find a way to cross off a bucket list item of their own, with an RV-whatever.
Kit 120797
First flight 8/21/15 what an awesome aircraft!
HOBBS @305
Dues paid 2020
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