The Letter


You’ve spent many hours lost in your workshop and brought your homebuilt to fruition. You spent many enjoyable hours testing it in Phase 1. You’ve flown the airplane to homebuilding’s Mecca, AirVenture – and decided to place a “judge me” sticker on its prop tag – just to see how things would go. You’ve seen so many outstanding and unbelievably perfect airplanes at the show in previous years – there’s no way anything will come of it. But its fun to try just in case!

Then on Friday afternoon, you walk up to the airplane and find an envelope with your registration number and parking location typed on the front, slipped into the canopy to windshield gap. You open it up and find…The Letter! The letter is a very brief and somewhat vague congratulation note, informing you that your aircraft is an Award Winner, and you are invited to attend a ceremony on Saturday night to receive your recognition. Of course, half the fun is that it doesn’t tell you which of the many awards you have won!

We’ll keep tabs on the announcement, and share the award winners with our readers as soon as we get them. In the meantime, you can share the suspense with a number of nervous builder and pilots currently sitting in their tents, campers, and hotel rooms around the field and the city of Oshkosh. Get some popcorn – this is as fun as going to the state fair!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


  1. Some people get to build their dreams. I can only imagine the surprise, excitement and joy of finding such a letter.


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