November 2012

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/90184

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Page 30 of 52

Then life intervened—marriage, dental school, family, and building a successful practice. It was not until the 1970s when life turned predictable again that Evelyn suggested he needed a hobby, and he returned to model building, fi rst with U-controlled and then radio-controlled (RC) models. A collection of these scale aircraft adorns his hangar today, along with some interesting early glow-plug engines. At the peak of his model-building days, Keith invited Evelyn to fl y them with him. She gave it a try but commented that she would rather fl y a real airplane, and she proceeded to do just that. Soon she was a private pilot, while he contin- ued to perfect the art of landing RC aircraft right at his feet so he would not have to chase after them. Evelyn is not just a partner and supporter in Keith's build- ing ventures; she is an entrepreneur and an accomplished pilot. In 1979 she purchased a Cessna 172, then stepped up to a Cardinal. The Cardinal was regularly campaigned in profi ciency events organized by the National Race Pilots of America, and she was named Pilot of the Year in 1986. The Cardinal may have been too easy to fl y, because she traded it for a vintage Taylorcraft L-2 and went taildragger for several years. In the L-2, Evelyn said she learned how to "turn right while fl ying left" and vice versa. Those old- school airplanes taught serious rudder skills. Keith avoided becoming a pilot until a friend took him up in a C-150 Aerobat. That sealed the deal, and in 1980 he earned his private ticket. By the time he started his fi rst Aſt er the RV-4 canopy departed the aircraſt , Keith re-engineered the fastenings. Shown here is a twist knob he installed to operate the port-side latch. homebuilt, he had already owned a hangar in Arkansas at the North Little Rock Municipal Airport (KORK), had fi ve airplanes, and was a fi xture around the local FBO, assist- ing with the annual inspections of his own aircraft. The RV-4 The RV-4 was certifi cated just 24 months after the kit ar- rived from Van's Aircraft. Keith fl ies daily and has put more than 1,200 hours on the airplane since it was completed, all while buying, fl ying, and selling several other aircraft and starting the RV-8 and the RV-7A projects. T is RV-4 was Keith's fi rst build project and it's still fl ying, with more than 12,00 hours logged. Keith paints his aircraſt himself, outdoors, with very good results, though he says that it takes a year or more for the "orange peel" to lay down. Photography by Larry Martin EAA EXPERIMENTER 31

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