With so many kids becoming "latch key" kids, and families stretched to the limit, how about a dad who took his son's interest in aviation to a new high? John Thelan, a Costco senior vice president literally “went the extra mile” to parent his son, Chris, a 2006 High School graduate. Although they did many things together like climbing, diving and biking they took on the extraordinary project of building a kit airplane. <p> Together they built an entire airplane from scratch and then flew it to AirVenture in Osh Kosh, Wis. Chris Thelan has been in love with aviation since he was a small boy. When the time came both son and father took flying lessons, bought a Van's Aircraft Kit and built it in a rented hangar at Boeing field.
<p> Chris says that “This plane is not your hobby store variety; rather it is a full scale, two-passenger, fully aerobatic, high-performance airplane with a cruising speed of 175 knots.” Over a period of two years the pair built the aircraft, took it on several cross country flights and tooled around the Northwest in their kit built aircraft. <p> Young Chris now attends Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ and on May 10th of this year he and his team mates on the Golden Eagle Flight Team won the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s SAFECON 2008 flight competition at Nashville, Tenn. <p> So all of you pilot fathers out there take note: if you want to build a strong relationship with your child and foster a love for aviation take John Thelan's advise and build a kit airplane together. <p> Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! <p> JetAviator7