My name is Gavin. I am happily married to my lovely wife Kylie, and the proud father of two boys, Damon and Xavier.
I’ve always been a flying nut for as long as I can remember. Life kept getting in the way of me flying though. As a teenager I had the will but not the means. After a year of working a couple of part-time jobs and clocking up about 7 hours on a Cessna 152, I decided to go to university and get myself a career. That killed the flying and it wasn’t until 20 years later that the fickle finger of fate got me into a position that I could get back into the air.
My father-in-law, Bill, arranged for the both of us to have a trial introductory flight at a local flying school in March 2010. That ignited the flying bug again. I decided that there was never going to be an absolutely perfect time to learn to be a pilot. There would always be other commitments, other expenses and unforeseen circumstances that would get in the way. I just decided to get on and do it. It didn’t always go according to plan, but you know what? A year later, both of us had our pilots’ licence and we flew Bill’s aeroplane out of Avalon Airport as part of the Geelong Sports Aviators contingent for the Australian International Air Show.
Since getting my licence, my thoughts naturally turned to getting a plane. It seemed every week I would look at a different plane and wonder if it was the right one to get. After discussing my dilemma with a rather wise CFI, he told me “Decide on what flying you want to do. Then look at what planes can do it.” After much soul searching I decided I wanted a plane that could do basic aerobatics. With this in mind, I went back to researching aeroplanes.
During more research and lots of hangar talk, the Vans RV-7 kept coming up. They looked like wonderful aircraft but flying examples were out of my price range. I knew they were built from kits but as an engineer, I had no experience in metal working, riveting, painting or anything else involved in building a plane. At Avalon 2011, I talked to those wonderful people in the Sports Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA) tent. They were very generous in their time and sharing experiences. Their enthusiasm was contagious and I walked out of there (after the third visit in as many days) thinking “You know what? I reckon I can do this“. Parked outside the SAAA tent was a gleaming, orange RV-7. After admiring this beautiful plane for 3 days, I decided I was going to build one too.
Once again, there was never going to be a perfect time to do it, especially with a family and work commitments. If life has taught me anything, it has taught me that persistence will see you through. It may take longer than what you hoped, but if you stick at it, you will eventually get there. Putting things off until later, will never get you there.
I created this blog in March 2011. I am really hoping I can get an RV-7 airborne in 3 years from when the kit arrives. Let’s see how I go.