Don Wall BD-5J


BD-5J N575J started life in 1986 as N110BH. Built by Allen Thompson in Kenosha, WI, and initially flown by John Duncan of Miami, FL, the airplane was subsequently sold to a gentleman in Opa Locka, FL, who suffered an off-airport landing resulting in substantial damage to the airplane but minimal injuries to the pilot. In 1997, Don Wall of Omaha, NE, purchased the airplane and began a 7-year rebuild project that culminated in successfully returning to flight in 2004 as N575J. The little jet was a regular fixture at the Bede Aero booth at Oshkosh but never flew again.

In 2021, Don donated the airplane to the Bede Family Foundation, a charitable 501 (c)(3) organization that was established in 2016 with the purpose of supporting youth in aviation. The donation carried with it a caveat that we bring the airplane back to flying status. After a two-year process of working through the FAA requirements for both aircraft inspection and pilot qualifications/licensing, in July 2023 I took the airplane back into the air to complete the Phase 1 flight testing.

Since that time it has been displayed and flown at airshows and fly-ins including the Stuart (FL) Airshow, Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport Fly-In and the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo 2024. It will also be displayed and flown at EAA’s AirVenture Oshkosh 2024.

Special thanks go to Don Wall and Richard Olson for their beautiful rebuild work, Fred Wilcoxon for his assistance with aircraft maintenance and inspection following the jet’s 20-year hiatus from flight, BD-5J pilot and instructor Justin Lewis for his dedication to helping me reach the highest level of flight performance and to Experimental Aircraft Examiner Zach McNeill for the Letters of Authorization and final check ride.

—Brian Ingraham

Brian’s aviation career has spanned over 50 years and has been involved with the amateur-built industry since high school. He is a Commercial pilot with MEL/SEL/Helicopter/Instrument ratings and is one of very few pilots to have the BD-5J endorsement. He is also an A&P and DAR with no limitations.



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