Growing up, I loved my dad’s bedtime stories. They weren’t from a book – but from life. I come from a family of pilots – my parents took flying lessons together. My mom never went past her private license but my dad has flown for about 40 years now. My mom’s dad owned a fly-in fishing business up in Northwestern Ontario. And there were uncles and my brother and others who all flew. I loved all their stories. Grandpa’s plane going down and being missing for 3 days…. dad waterbombing mom’s car or the clothesline… dad flying up to Northern communities to play Santa to the native children… dad flying a beluga whale in his plane… dad’s plane going down to the bottom of the lake – but not before getting all the passengers and himself off… and so forth. I loved these stories!

Likewise, my dad loved to make things. Before he was a pilot, he was a mechanic. This love of tinkering with cars and machines is his pastime. As a 15 year old dad bought a 1930 Chev from his teacher for $50. Over 55 years later he still drives this car! As kids, dad built us a replica car to his 1930one that ran on a battery! He also built us a go-cart, and then made a fibreglass body to look like a Ferrari! He is always building something!

Well, 4 years ago in his retirement from the airline, dad started a big project combining his love of flying and love of making things. He started to build a plane. Looking at this box of parts and pieces it seemed like it would never be finished. But he would plug away at it whenever he could. He loved to be out in the workshop with his baby! Just on the fuselage alone is 13,000 rivets – this plane was so time consuming to make! He had to have it inspected every step of the way and finally – FINALLY!!!! – after four years tonight was the night.

It really is inspiring. Sometimes goals seem so overwhelming or too big. But I think about this box of bits and pieces, and now seeing dad flying in it after 4 years of hardwork… makes my goals seem more attainable! Reminds me also of my Grandpa who dreamed of flying but he was so poor. He talked about going to school in barefeet and being made fun of for being so poor. He said one day he would fly an airplane and snub his nose at his small town and all those who had made fun of him. He went on to fly, and later own a small flying business and did in fact fly over that town as he had dreamed. I love coming from a family of crazy dreamers.

I wonder if you who are reading this have dreams that seem unattainable and huge…. maybe this will encourage you to start… one step at a time.

Back to tonight….

Our family, and my dad’s good friend Russ who has been helping him, gathered out at the airport tonight for the inaugural flight. We were so excited to see it take off… but more excited to see it safely land again. So, so, so excited for dad and proud of all his work! He is working on pontoons with wheels next so he can land on the ground or water. We were the only ones at the airport which was fun and had a bit of a party… food, banners, bubbles, noisemakers, and fun! Madi insisted on dressing like a flight attendant – and the three younger girls gave us the full flight attendant routine (I guess they do listen on the plane!). Without further ado… here is my dad’s plane…

IMG 1755 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1758 2 1 4 Years in the Making

All the grandkids….

IMG 1761 2 1 4 Years in the Making

Mom and Dad – oh! The adventures these two will have now!

IMG 1774 2 1 4 Years in the Making

All of my family….

IMG 1790 2 1 4 Years in the Making

And it’s time!

IMG 1786 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1794 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1757 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1856 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1857 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1848 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1852 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1772 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1793 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1773 2 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1774 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1775 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1891 4 Years in the Making

Eden’s says “Fly Great Silver Birdy” – tried to get her to do a more simplified message but nope!

IMG 1940 3 4 Years in the Making

And the best part – it landed safely!

IMG 1788 1 4 Years in the Making

One very happy man!

IMG 1811 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1815 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1816 2 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1822 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1809 1 4 Years in the Making

And time to put the toys away…

IMG 1923 1 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1930 3 4 Years in the Making

IMG 1960 1 4 Years in the Making

Celebrating life and love,


22 Responses to “4 Years in the Making”

  1. Jim & Joan York says:

    Congratulations Bob! You have always struck me as a patient man and building this plane just goes to prove it. What an enormous job and how exciting to see the plane in the air. And what a great job, Krista on the blog so that we can all be part of the experience. Bob, we hope you have many hours of joy as you take to the skies. It will be interesting to see what other projects you accomplish – you always seem to have something on the go. Blessings, Jim & Joan

  2. Helen Knoll says:

    not sure what happened to my first comment. I guess I did something wrong. I got goose bumps just looking at the pictures. I could feel bob’s excitment!! That was one happy guy. wow congratulations. what a great family story. Krista you should write a book.

  3. Helen Knoll says:

    wow what an accomplishment!! I got goose bumps just looking at the pictures. I could feel Bob’s excitment!! One happy looking guy. Congratulations. What a lovely family story. Krista You should write a book.

  4. Deb Thomas says:

    I too cry a bit seeing all your family brought together for this moment in history.

  5. Gordon Bucek says:

    Congratulations Bob! A senior on the fly! The plane looks great, as does the pilot, and the whole family. This had to be a pretty emotional moment. Highlights to me were Bob looking out of his cockpit at his family just before takeoff. What might you be thinking? Then the bandage, the posters, the facial expressions of all, the landing, and the party.
    And thanks Krista for sharing the experience with all of us. Good job!
    Gordon and Jeanette Bucek

  6. Carol Welsby says:

    Thank you Krista for sharing the pictures and story of your dad’s dream. It was beautiful . . . your dad is really special. May your mom and dad have many more adventures. What a wonderful family . . . so happy for you all!!

  7. edison says:

    Thank you everyone! I have passed on your words to my dad!

  8. Jack Hawkins says:

    What a great fufillment of all the work and time you invested. I rejoice with you in your great achievement. Go Billy Bishop!

  9. Tom & Betty Corsie says:

    Congratulations to Bob!!! It’s a beautiful plane. Thanks for sharing family pictures as well.

  10. Marjorie Cairns says:

    Bob, what a brainiac!!…building your own plane & thank you Krista for the pics & stories of your upbringing – what input you’ve had Bob into the lives of your kids & grandkids…you can build a plane but also sit down & tell stories to the family! Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment & I wish you & Donna many many years ahead yet to enjoy life with family & friends.

  11. Beth Goff says:

    What a great write up, Krista. Thank you for sharing. You really make the whole adventure come alive. And your photos are amazing….makes me feel like I was there….wish I was. You’re so right….my brother (your Dad) has always been interested in building something with his hands…creative. So inspiring. Great accomplishment!!!

  12. As usual, your stories leave me inspired to live life more fully. Congrats to your dad!

  13. Lorne and Mavis Graham says:

    Wonderful, wonderful everything, thanks Krista for making this extra special that we can all share.
    Congratulations Bob we are so happy for you all. How exciting is this!!

  14. RosiNa says:

    Congrats to your dad!

  15. Randy Walberg says:

    Great story. Great photos. Must’ve been a great day. Congratulations.

  16. Sharon & John says:

    These are great photos & exciting to see. What an experience for all of you, especially you, Bob.

  17. What an amazing story! That must have been an incredible day for your dad.

  18. Doug Doyle says:

    Wow, that is so cool! Congratulations Bob!!!

  19. Christina Friesen says:

    Thanks for sharing these photo’s of your dad’s first flight in his new plane! Last time I saw that plane, it didn’t have wings, or doors, or seats… :) That was a couple years ago.
    I remember when we were younger we would also pretend to be the flight attendants for my dad when he took people up for the first time. We’d show them how to buckle up, where the puke bag was and what they shouldn’t touch while flying. :)
    Now your dad just has to fly up here in it to visit!

  20. Judy Thiessen says:

    I have known your Dad and Mom since I was a little girl. He took me flying once, with my Daddy,when I was 9 years old. Your story made me cry a little also! I think the bandage on his thumb tells it all;) Congratulations Bob!

  21. You just made me cry a little! What an awesome story, and what beautiful photos! Congrats to you dad on not only building his plane but for being such an amazing man and following his dream!

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