This note, sent to me by a Mustang II builder, epitomizes what homebuilding is all about and I thought was worth sharing with everyone else.

Chris Tieman


"The Mustang List has been a help to many builders, to avoid pitfalls and to get questions, well, at least debated if not answered. One more wonderful aspect of the list is that is has opened up an opportunity to make a host of new friends.

I met Rick Henry the first time in 1997 at the Mustang Dinner at Oshkosh. We were at about the same state of completion on our projects and struck up a friendship at the table that night. I got to visit with Rick again at Osh 1998. He had just flown off his hours and had his beautiful bird at Oshkosh that year. He beat me! I have kept a fairly steady correspondence with him with email and have enjoyed his perspective and helpfulness on the list. Rick is a very accomplished pilot and I listen carefully to what he has to say.

I struck up a friendship with Larry Lukehart. Larry, much that same as me, is completing a project that was purchased in a partially completed status. We correspond regularly and have become quite good friends. We give each other encouragement and Larry keeps me posted on progress on his project, while I share with him my experience and give him some of the details from my flights.

It was fun to follow along with Kurt Rommel and Gale Derosier as they progressed through the transition of building to flying, and I really enjoyed getting to know Gale at Oshkosh this year.

Mike Hurst came to town during the summer and we went up in N22YR. I enjoyed his visit very much and we became quick friends. Won't meet a finer guy and it's good to know he will be a part of the Mustang family and will look forward to each time we will be at the same fly-in or event.

Dean Olson came to town for an "inspirational ride", as he calls it. Dean is currently finishing up the tailfeathers and will move on to wings to finish up his project. Dean is very well versed in Avionics installation and has been a real source of help for me. Dean's son Mike is a 727 driver and also came over for a chance to sample the flight characteristics of the Mustang. He gave it high marks, and I REALLY enjoyed the ride HE gave ME in it. YeeHaw!

Then there is Micheal Fox. Here is a guy who hit the list one time. Looking for a way to start. No pilots license. Not knowing exactly how to get started, but dreaming big of having his own piece of the sky. Isn't he just like the rest of us? Dreaming and not letting anyone steal it from him. Yes, I'll help him. He is less than an hour drive from me. Less than 20 minutes in the bird to the airport closest to him. He came to town and we looked the MII over, and then went for a long ride. We talked about the fun and freedom of flight, navigation, FAR's. Micheal took the controls. I took him a while to realize that HE was flying the plane. It would respond to his inputs, to his wishes. I could see the realization come over him.

This bird has been so much more than a toy or a project. It has proven to be a practical and economical means of real transportation for me of late. But much more than that, it has been a source of inspiration and encouragement for others and an avenue through which I have made many very nice new friends.

I have also enjoyed getting to know you, too. Thank you so much for keeping these fine designs going. I know you have your good days and your bad days. I know it must be hard to keep a creative bunch of tinkerers pointed in the same direction. But thanks. Thanks for doing it. We all make a pretty good family."

Kirk Harrell