Saturday, January 20, 2018

Audie Gill: Abilene man nears conclusion of 29-year construction project for personal plane

An Abilene man is nearing the end of a personal construction project of a plane that began in 1989.

Audie Gill, a freelance construction worker, has a passion for aviation that has led him to work on his own plane for 29 years.

"After I got my pilot's license in 1977, I decided I wanted to build an airplane," said Gill, who has been a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) since 1988. "It was several years later before I got the time and the money to be able to start such a project. I followed a set of plans on an aircraft that is proven and I think there are 1500 of these actually registered and flying."

"If people knew what Audie had gone through building all this, you can tell the craftsmanship is outstanding," said Lon Beasley, a friend of Gill and member of the EAA since 1995.

When his project is complete, Gill plans to take his plane to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

"Our goal is to get it to Oshkosh this year, which is the world's largest airshow," said Gill.

Gill said despite the time dedicated to the project, the end result will make it all worth it.

"Life kind of gets in the way," said Gill. "I never quit, it had to sit on the back burner a few years at a time to allow time or money to catch up, and that's just the way life goes."

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