For as long as I have been building I was always motivated by the thought of flying this awesome airplane. There was never a moment when I was bucking a rivet that I thought to myself that I was building an award winner. The end goal was to experience the recreation and education that the EAA is all about. I always said during the build that I would have it judged the first time I flew it into AirVenture so that I could get the banner you hang on the propellor. That showed proof you flew it in and had the judges initials after they viewed it.
I had a sandwich board made to show all the specs and details of the RV-8. I also took a small table so that I could display a couple binders of photos as well as my POH and checklists.
I found it fun yet stressful to have the judges looking over your work to find all of the good things you did but all of the flaws too!
When it’s all said and done I spent Monday through noon on Friday, when the judging ended, sitting by the RV. I got to visit with all of the judges, I had 18 in total, but more importantly I got to visit with dozens of fellow builders or people who have already built an RV. That was the most fun… discussing parts of my build, how I did things and passing along the information that I have learned from other builders.
Friday afternoon after walking around AirVenture to see some of the sights we returned back to the plane to put the covers on and close it all up. That is when I found a letter attached to the canopy inviting us to the awards ceremony indicating that I had won an award!
Our plans all along were to fly the plane back home on Friday morning and drive back up so that we can close camp up either on Sunday or Monday. Now I had to be back Friday evening so that we could attend the ceremony!
As they announced all of the winners one by one starting at the lowest award, which is an awesome achievement, I patiently awaited a photo of my airplane and my name to be called. They whittled down all of the awards that were a plaques without calling my name and started in on the three levels of Lindy awards. These were broken down into 14 bronze, 2 silver for Reserve Grand Champion kit built and plans built and 2 gold for Grand Champion kit built and plans built. They called one by one the bronze Lindy winners to present them their trophies but I was still missing! Then it happened! There was my aircraft pictured on the large screen as they discussed the Reserve Grand Champion and how the last two airplanes were so close…they don’t always award a reserve. I was shocked as they read my name to come up and be presented with the silver Lindy award!
I’m very humbled to be the recipient of this award! It is an honor to be recognized for your blood, sweat and tears by your fellow builders who are the judges!
Thank you to T for starting this whole process wayback when with the gift of the preview plans for the RV-8, to Glenn Vokac for always being my mentor, best buddy and a hell of a builder and all the others who have helped me along the way!!