Sunday, October 28, 2012

Never Give Up!

Part of RV Nation's mission is about going back to the grass roots of flying. Our mission statement says:

RV-Nation is an organization formed for the purpose of serving those who enjoy the sport of building experimental RV Aircraft, to revive the grass roots of flying, and to generate aviation interest in our youth so as to preserve the sport of experimental flight for generations to come.

A very important part of the mission statement is "to revive the grass roots of flying," something I have spent the last 25 years doing and believe in whole heartedly. Part of that, I think, is to tell the stories of those that have battled the wars of life, and through shear commitment to self, have carried the tattered flag on relentlessly towards fulfilling their dreams of building their own plane, learning to fly in it, and becoming that weekend warrior flying into the sunset with his best girl.....ok, so that last part was for my female readers who desire romance instead of nuts, bolts, and riveting. :^)

Bruce Swayze is one of those guys. The dream that someday his own plane would be sitting in his hangar sometimes felt like a pinball game, the ball bouncing erratically from one direction to another, never going the desired way. But after raising four kids, and all the footballs, soccer balls, baseballs, and tu-tu skirts that goes along with that, time slipped by really quickly. Soon all the kids were leaving the nest and starting lives of their own, and Bruce was looking at a still empty hangar.

But like a man on a mission, Bruce decided that it was now his time ... and building commenced. He decided to build an RV-7A from Van's Aircraft. A sleek, fast, and very popular plane, the RV-7A brought Bruce back to the grass roots of flying, back to his early days when building a plane was a powerful dream that was put on hold for half a lifetime.

The empennage was purchased and the dream began. Successes would be small along the way. So, Bruce logged his accomplishments on a website he created, where he kept meticulous records and pictures so that when he felt that he just wasn't getting anywhere, he could look back at his site, and realize how far he had actually come. 

Bruce with his RV-7A tail completed!

Jumping forward a few years and Bruce is sitting is the fuselage of his RV-7A, almost completed. The empennage and wings are done and the craftsmanship is that of a professional. Custom ideas that Bruce would think of over the years have been implemented into his craft and documented for all to see. The engine has been purchased, and Bruce is now deciding what part to work on next.

Along the way, Bruce joined ranks with other experimental aircraft builders and formed friendships that will last a life time.  Yes, folks, Bruce Swayze is living the dream! And the cool part about it is that the dream is just beginning. Within a few short months, maybe just a year, Bruce's RV-7A will be finsihed, a life long dream.....completed! And those flights into the sunset with his best girl can begin.....uuuummm, ahem, I mean, the Weekend Warrior can conquer the next $100 hamburger with the Flight of Seven RVs from the 391st RV Fighter Wing.... yeah, that's better!

For one of the best builder's logs I have seen, visit Bruce's website at Here is the latest picture of Bruce with his beautiful wife, flying into the sunset together. :o)

I have never met Bruce in person as he lives on the other side of the country from me. However, he is a member of RV Nation, and for that I am grateful, as it has afforded me a very good friend. His building story has inspired me to never give up in all the endeavors that I am undertaking! I hope that when we get our planes built, we can meet in the middle for that REALLY EXPENSIVE hamburger someday. Until then, keep riveting.....and never give up!

-- Buzz -- RV Nation

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