Born in South Dakota
Raised on a farm in South Dakota
I graduated from Vocational-Technical school for electronics, spent 6 years in the USN in avionics, then became a service tech in office equipment, and am presently working as a test technician.
I have a private pilotís license, Single Engine Land. I have only logged 1 flight with Greg Gremminger in gyros, but got most of my training from Joe Swanton. I was checked out in Cessna 152s (many years & 100lbs ago!) and 172s, Piper Warrior, and Diamond DA20. I donít have a current medical and I am not current in any of those.
INTEREST IN GYROPLANES
As a youngster in a country grade school in South Dakota, I saw the Popular Mechanics article for the Benson Gyrocopter, I wanted to be high enough to see what was over the horizon.
I started taking flying lessons in the Navy, but stopped when I transferred, then I stopped again when I went on a cruise, then just ran out of money and gave up until later.
I saw the ad for the basket case KB2 that I now own. I happened to have some money at the time and grabbed it. After a few years I finally got it put back together as best as I thought it should be. I had never seen a gyro, except in pictures, until this one. Even when I stopped by Ernieís to get the Dragon Wings for it, he didnít have one together to show me except for the GyRhino that Dick DeGraw demoíd for me. I was impressed with the takeoff, and tried to listen to ďmostĒ of the advice they gave me.
I still planned to learn to fly myself. When I got it together, I taxied around my brotherís farm and found out that 90hp Mac would get going fast very quickly. I quit that, and had an opportunity to go to Benson Days. After seeing one fly, I discovered they didnít fly anything like I thought they did. I was glad I never got in the air!
I got my first ride from Dofin Fritz in his RAF, and I was amazed! I got some training from Joe Swanton in Clinton, IA. And following his (and othersí) advice, as well as using what Iíd learned, I was balancing on the mains when the Mac seized. I bought a Subaru EA82 from Bob Kopp, in Florida, and rebuilt it. However, with the heavier engine, it was not the same machine. Realizing I didnít know what I was doing when I redesigned it and didnít know how to fly, I thought it would be best to get one that already flew to learn with. So I got the single seat Air Command and have been having a blast flying it. There is a lot to learn.
I want to become proficient flying gyroplanes, then once I become good enough, I want to be able to share the experience with others in a 2 place. I want to take my mother for a ride. I want to go back to SD with my gyro this summer and fly over our old farm.