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Words From the Wife

Terria with fuselage in North CarolinaLet me start by introducing myself.  My name is Terria, I’m 50 years old, and I have been happily married for sixteen years.  I have followed my husband everywhere.  He is active duty in the Air Force and has served twice overseas in the War.  I’m very proud of my man.

Back to the plane.

I think that if you are comfortable with flying, or at least don’t mind traveling in a plane, you should take part in building.  Not to be a part of the adventure of building a plane would be a mistake.

I have the upmost confidence in my husband’s ability to build and fly this plane.  So I have no fear.  When I first starting flying, I admit that when climbing into the plane thoughts of not returning would enter my mind.  But that faded with time.  Flying is a safe way to travel, or just to enjoy the pleasure of being up in the big blue.  When I would get into an auto I did not think, “Will I be returning?”   I just got in and went.  It’s the same with flying.

Chris, my husband, is one of those project guys.  He started with wood working, building our bed, living room tables, pie safe/TV cabinet, old-fashioned ice chest/stereo cabinet, and much more.  All things started and, most importantly, completed.  So when he said, “I want to rebuild a '37 Chevy pickup from the frame up.”  I said go for it. She turned out beautiful, check her out.  Now, someone in San Diego, California is enjoying her.  When the plane came along I knew I had no worries it would get done.  Everything this man sets out to do will get done. 

Chris loves to fly.  I knew it would be a package deal when we met.  The first thing he showed me was plans for a full scale Fokker Tri-Plane.  Now, after his many accomplishments, I know we will have that plane built someday, and I will be learning a new technique in plane construction. 

His love of planes was evident; my love for him was too.  If it is the same for you, you needed to understand this is going to be a huge part of your life, so get used to it.  If you are married to a “plane nut”, just love him and support him.

After Chris picked out the RV-8 for his first kit, Katie bar the door, there was no looking back.  He chose the front/back cockpit style so he could get the fighter pilot feel.  At first I was a bit put-off by that because we would not be able to look at each other while traveling; I would be looking at the back of his noggin the whole time.  But I understood the effect he was trying to get out of this very special plane.  Let me just say I don’t do loops, so the thrill factor was for him. 

When the first crates arrive, just smile.  Leave him alone with his new toy.  I found the most difficult part about the plane was sharing my husband’s time.  Now, I did have a nickname for the truck, I called her “The Mistress” because he was always with her instead of me.  That name still holds with the new owner.  So you get the idea, these big projects are time consuming.  I could either complain or join in.  I think for the first few years I did complain, but I found that it was easer to join in then make a fuss. 

I found when he had a special task for me to do I really enjoyed that.  I was not just sitting around.    That was the time together that I really was looking for.  I would also bring lunch, dinner, or even a BBQ to the hanger to have meals together.  Now he may say I could have hung out more, but it’s not my hobby.  You see, planes are not my thing.  I have told my husband that many times.  I have my own interests.  So I felt that I spend as much time as I could or wanted to. 

I did learn lots however from helping build this plane: riveting, alodining, working with sheet aluminum, wiring the instruments, working on putting on the wings, etc.  I even got involved with the local EAA Chapter in the different cities we lived in and met a lot of great folks as well.  I would suggest getting into that group.   

I would advise that if you spend time in the hanger, you have a project of your own or a good book.  I did enjoy learning about the planes and how to read the plans – all good things to keep us closer.  Then on the other hand, if you would like that time away from your better half, this is a good project as well.  Keeps him out of the bars.

All in all I would say planes are not my thing but I do like the idea of getting from point A to point B quickly and without hassle.  I have enjoyed working with my husband on his plane, but will be glad when it is finished.  I trust Chris completely with his construction ability and his experience as a pilot.  I look forward to blue skies and fun trips in this plane with Chris.  I love him completely.

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