I have always wanted to build a light aircraft of my own, that was the whole reason for getting my pilots license. I wanted to register it so I could log the hours. I was interested in the Rans S12XL, and the summer of 96' I found two people within 60 miles that owned S12's. They both let me fly them and that sold me.

Hello, my name is Bobby Hester. I have been interested in aviation since 1980. It all started when I was a senior in high school. I had always thought that parachuting was really neat and that if I ever got a chance I would do it. I found a place about 60 miles away that offered first jump courses for about 100 dollars. That was a lot of money for a high school student working at night, but I had to do it. I made 13 jumps. The jumpmaster was a pilot also and at the end of the day he would take me up, I started becoming more and more interested with the flying.

After high school I joined the Army. I was hoping to fly helicopters, but ended up as a helicopter mechanic. I made about 15 more jumps while I was in the Army. I went to a few air shows and my interest in flying continued to grow. After serving my three years, I took my honorable discharge and went back home to Hopkinsville, Kentucky. I started working for a local factory and have been there since.

I found an airport in Clarksville, TN "Outlaw Field" that did a lot of pilot training and I started taking my Private Pilot course on June 3, 1985, 4 months later Oct. 26, 1985 I passed my Private Pilot check ride, after 38.3 hours of instruction. From 1985 through 1996 I logged 165.4 hours. I was renting Cessna 152's & 172's and could not afford to fly a lot.

In the spring of 1996 I meet Mark Farmer and Richard Lamirande. Mark was beginning to build a single seat Challenger clip wing. Richard owed a two seat Challenger. Richard and I, along with a few others, helped Mark build his Challenger. About June or July , Mark made his first flight, and has been flying strong ever since. Mark had told me that he would let me fly his Challenger when it was finished, and on July 25, 1996 he did just that.

I had flown from the passenger seat in a few other light homebuilt planes but this was the first as the pilot. It was great and I loved it. A couple weeks later Richard offered me his Challenger to fly if I wanted. IF I WANTED! Needless to say the rest of the year I got about 19 hours of flight time in Challenger aircraft.

Here's a couple pictures of my Rans S12XL. I went to Sun-n-Fun 97' in Lakeland, FL on April 6 and placed the order. I received the kit on May 30. I built the kit in 11 weeks. I could not have done this without the help from both my wife Marsha and my friend Richard, one or both of them was there almost every day. The Rans S12XL is a two seat side by side aircraft. It does not qualify as an ultralight. It is registered as an experimental aircraft.

You can run off from here, but bookmark this page so you can come back!

Other Aviation Links

Robert Comperini's - Ultralight Information And Link
This site has links to almost any fly questions that you might have

The Ultralight Home Page
This is the place to hunt for used Ultralights for sale with pictures, also has a lot of other neat Ultralight stuff

Ultralight Flyer Online
This is another site that has an Ultralight for sale area with pictures

Experimental Aircraft Association
EAA's Home Page

Garmin GPS's
If you fly anything you need one of these!

California Power Systems, Inc.
Ultralight Parts Supply Store and Great Catalog shows every part to Rotax engines and what do do with them

Lite Speed Aviation
Stanton, Kentucky

Free Charts & Directories
Where to get free or almost free State Charts And Directories

Click on the logos below to go to their web site

To send me E-Mail click here -> bobbyhester@newwavecomm.net

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