About Us

So, who are these crazy people who would attempt such a feat?

I (Matt) am a Mechanical engineer by trade, and I’ve been around flying my whole life.  My Dad is a pilot, and some of my very first memories are of flying with him, both in sailplanes and in Cessnas.  I have also spent a ridiculous amount of time building things for fun… from elaborate fiberglass Halloween costumes to finished basements.  I’m a halfway decent carpenter, I’m a pretty good welder, I build my own computers, I work on my own cars, and I have experience working with fiberglass.  Naturally, I love having the opportunity to build my own airplane.  Throw in the cost savings and freedom you get by being able to do your own maintenance, and building an experimental plane is an obvious choice, considering that I’m willing to put forth the effort.

Heather is my wonderful wife, without whom this would definitely not be possible.  Heather is a Physicist by trade, and she is also very much a DIY’er.  Her pet project is “Fluffy,” a 1980 Mercedes diesel station wagon, so named because after she bought it and fixed it to the point that it would run, it “purred like a 5000 pound kitten.”  Heather too has had a lifelong interest in aviation, especially the experimental sort.  Many people I have talked to in the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) have seen many cases of AIDS (Aircraft Induced Divorce Syndrome), which happens when one spouse spends too much time working on their plane.  Ahem… Heather picked out this plane, so I don’t expect we’ll have any issues there.

Very quickly after we met, we found that we both had this desire to build an airplane, and the idea has been picking up steam ever since.  As we lived a state apart, we knew that when we got married, one of us would have to move.  As it turned out, I moved to Maryland, as we could both get a job at the local nuclear power plant, and there was a lovely house on an airpark (MD50) less than 10 miles from work (Amazingly, the only established airpark within an hour of a nuclear power plant anywhere in the country, as far as I can tell).  So we bought the house, settled in, and started dreaming of building a Cozy.

Our neighborhood is great!  We have world class flight instructors who are eager to teach as neighbors, an excellent team of mechanics, and lots of people who are willing to help out!  I feel quite lucky to have stumbled upon such a great airplane building environment.

Now it’s time to build this thing!!  I setup this website so that others could follow along with our progress, and hopefully to inspire others to follow in our footsteps.  If you have an idea, suggestion, comment, or criticism, please post it.

-Matt Jackson

5 Responses to About Us

  1. David Orr says:

    Do you know all the locals with canard building experience around you ? I can usually help with lists of things – things for sale, inspectors, instructors, etc.

    Beagle, aka David Orr
    949-939-1479(Cell)

  2. Bernie says:

    You guys are off to a great start – like your web site and will check back often.
    Good luck!

  3. Don Gates says:

    *blush* — to be called a world class flight instrictur… oh, c’mon. Well, yes, I am a test pilot for Northrop Grumman, so what? Means I can write and execute a test plan. OK, so I grew up in an aviation family, Dad worked for the FAA in Alaska……. but world class? Actually, I have given about 250 hoursof flight instruction and have about 2500 hours of flight time. I think I am very much learning the CFI trade. Teaching flying is has almost NOTHING to do with knowing how to fly an airplane. It is all about setting examples, being patient, understanding people, and being practical. There is the old saying about flying, “what’s safe ain’t nessessarily legal, and what’s legal ain’t nessessarily what’s safe”. I try ans pass on the experiences I have has in my flying career, making sure to convey the circumstances where good decision making made all the difference between an “adventure” and a night in a cheap motel. I would MUCh rather be on the ground wishing I were flying than being in flight, wishing I were on the ground!

    Matt and Heather share the dream, and the lifestyle that Mary Beth and I do regarding aviation. On the whole, the folks that are involved in aviation are of a better cut of cloth than the general public. Generally educated, filled with good common sense, generous to a fault, and practical. Good folks. I cannot tell you how many times a set of (personal) car keys have been tossed at me by a person I met 10 minutes prior with the words “just put some gas in it, ok?” That’s good stuff. Gotta say, I like it…. and would do the same for a pilot that showed up on MY doorstep, with absoloutly NO worries. It’s the “code”, the brotherhood of aviation that binds us together.

    So — to teach Matt and Heather to fly? Sure, you bet. It’s an honor and a privilage, one that I do not take on lightly.

  4. Bob Forster says:

    It was a pleasure meeting you two. You have a unique story. Marriage is not an easy state to navigate, and although it seems so natural, “other things” can get in the way–money, different philosophies on raising kids–too many other things. Your commonality of interests seems like something that you can hold onto when those other things come up. I wish you the best on your upcoming journey.

  5. Peter Ryerson says:

    Congratulations. nan and I have been married for 48 years. Flying is a passion. We run a healthcare consulting business. We have had is for 22 years but are getting close to the next steps which include more pleasure flying. Time to replace the Centurion 210t and the Piper Arrow III and get a Cozy Mark IV. Eight to ten gallons per hour is far better than 20.

    Peter

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