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My Greatest Hour!
There is probably no one interested in “My Greatest Hour” because most every pilot has had one, but this one is mine so it is very important to me!

My wife, Nita, has flown with me since shortly after I got my private license in 1961. Throughout the sixties flying was pretty much out of the question as there was just no money for that kind of hobby. In the early seventies I built a Mini-coupe in order to be able to fly on our budget. Nita did not like that much and called it a selfish airplane. (single place you know). To solve that I built a Q2 in 1982 so we could fly together and in a side-by-side seating arrangement. There is an article about that plane in Sport Aviation March 1982. I flew it 33 hours and never developed the confidence to consider taking a passenger.

The plane after the Q2 was a Citabria that we both liked but Nita did not particularly like being in the back seat. After that we had a Cessna 150/150 that we both adored. It was a great airplane and we continually had offers from those who wanted to buy it. I could only say no for so long and finally like the fool that I am I sold it.

About that time I began to come down with the RV disease and Dick V. offered to sell his RV4 prototype. I had it for about four years and during that time Nita flew with me several times. Then it went to the EAA museum at Oshkosh. Then I found another and Nita flew with me in that one but still did not really care for the back seat. Regardless of that she still went along.

Then in 2002 we decided that we wanted a side-by-side RV and bought a RV9A kit. Okay I took too long to build it but that is several more stories. In January of 2010 our 9A was signed off and by July 13th the time was flown off and it went into phase two. July 15th Nita climbed into the left seat (yes left seat) and we went flying. We logged one (hobbs) hour making a big circle around the Willamette Valley, down the west side and up the east side. It was a beautiful morning with the smooth air making it a wonderful flight. I continually looked over at her with her cute baseball cap and headset on and could hardly believe this was happening. Yet there we were flying our RV9A and there I was experiencing “My Greatest Hour”! July 22, 2010.

Melvin Ellis