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  • Ryszard Zadow

Living the Dream

Spring is here in West Tennessee and what a great week for the Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience Canard Flight Academy.

David Long came all the way from Portland Oregon. He bought a very nice LongEZ last fall and his insurance required him to acquire some dual instruction. He came to RAFE because nowhere else can anyone get the experience of flying in the front seat of a tandem seat canard pusher that is Standard Category and fully FAR 91.109 compliant. Dave patiently waited until weather and my schedule coincided and finally got his checkout. For three days we spent considerable time going over Rutan design details through our canard ground school and flew five times, getting 36 landings. By the end of his visit Dave felt confident that he could go home to Oregon and safely fly his beautiful LongEZ.

While Dave and I were flying another traveler arrived. Ivan Briggs touched down in Covington in his Aeronca Chief. At 17 years old Ivan is on journey across America living out a dream many of us many years his senior still have. He departed New Hampshire a few days prior on his way to California and back. His first stop was RAFE and the Canard Flight Academy. Ivan is the son of RAFE member “Izzy” Briggs. At AirVenture 2019, Izzy donated his Varieze, built by Steve Wright, to RAFE right in the middle of Boeing Square just prior to the Rutan Reunion flight in the Airventure airshow. Izzy is building a Cozy IV he hopes to fly around the world and now his son Ivan is getting qualified to fly Rutan Canards.

Growing up around airplanes and Canards, Ivan quickly grasped the nuances of canard flight. This morning he departed for points west. It brought back memories of when while on active duty with the Navy, I took 30 days leave and had my own great adventure flying my Varieze from Virginia Beach to San Diego and back. I look forward to doing that again one day because it’s all about Living the Dream!

Ryszard Zadow

President, RAFE

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