This was my dream - to fly home to Oregon over the Three Sisters that I have hiked and admired from the ground for so many years growing up. I wanted to bring home more than a college education - I wanted to bring home an airplane. I spent two thousand hours finishing my VariEze in between classes, homework, and ROTC. I missed out on some incredible frat parties, and video gaming for sure! Grand Forks is an incredible place, home of the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, the Army ROTC Helicopter Flight Training Program, and -50ºF winters.
I can't explain the emotion that I felt when I was giving my family and long time friends rides all over the Pacific Northwest - flying over 55 hours in 11 days including the 1200NM Legs from Grand Forks to the Pacific Ocean. I was pretty intimidated by the sheer distance, let alone the fact that I would be crossing the Northern Rockies twice with only the training I had from the flattest area of the Country! This trip began 46 hours since the aircraft's birth, April 26, 2010. This photo was taken by me flying with the right hand and taking photos with the left on July 12, 2010 using a fish eye lens on a basic point and shoot digital camera.
I have approximately 125 hours on the airplane now, and I recently gave my first young eagle a ride down in sweet home Alabama! I appreciate the help and support from the people through EAA, and am overwhelmed giving back the excitement of flight to others! More than that, I hope this photo might help people like me set mountians for their goals and eventually soar over them while grinning ear to ear
Winner, Benjamin 2LT AV
Bco 1-145 Aviation Training Regiment
Ft. Rucker AL