I grew up in eastern North Carolina, graduated from the University of North Carolina and have worked my “day job” in the software and networking industry since graduating. I have twin children, a son and a daughter, who are grown and out on their own now. I have lived in the state my entire life, and love calling it home and pride myself on familiarity with the state, yet am always looking for those things I have yet to see, either on the ground, or from the air.
I started aviation and obtained my private certificate at age 17, as a result from an unexpected birthday gift of flying lessons at the local airport from my Mom and Dad. I began my lessons as soon as my junior year of high school was over in June, passing my check ride that December. My love for aviation was ignited by flying at an early age with a friend of the family, who would “buzz” my house when he was flying. Then I would ride my bicycle a short distance to his private grass strip and wait for him to pick me up and take me flying in his vintage Taylorcraft.
Flying took a back seat to college, job and family for about 18 years, until a good friend of mine convinced me to buy an airplane with him as a partner in 2017, which Is when we bought N2880G, a Champion 7ECA Citabria. That brought me back into flying in a big way, and along with now owning an aircraft, I obtained my instrument rating and completed commercial ground school, and flew a variety of airplanes besides my Citabria, including Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Cherokee Warrior, Mooney M20C, Cirrus SR-22, Super Cub, American Champion Decathalon and a Pitts Special. I also explored the limits of flying by taking an intensive spin training and upset recovery course with Bill Finagin, and a weekend acrobatics course with Greg Koonce.
Along the way I also became very familiar with the inner workings of my airplane, which was determined to require re-covering in 2014 (the Citabria is a steel tube frame with wood formers and is covered with fabric). My partners and I took the job upon ourselves, learning covering from a well-known aircraft restoration expert and teacher. That re-covering turned into a complete restoration, supervised by our excellent A&P/IA, resulting in a practically new, 50 year old airplane. Every part of the airframe was removed, and either restored or replaced, and reinstalled. A new interior was installed, and a new instrument panel fabricated with modern equipment added. And of course, new fabric and paint, which was all completed in 2019.
Since then, my partners and I (I now own the aircraft outright) have put over 500 hours on the airplane, and I have flown it to Vermont, Florida, and to Wisconson for AirVenture for three straight years.
I am now looking forward to putting my experience and myairplane to use for the good of our state and the environment.