Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kermit Weeks

Last week I was in Anaheim, CA for a seminar. I was talking to a guy about powered paragliders and they sound really incredible. It seems so simple to takeoff and land anywhere you like. It was exciting just talking about them.

Then he said that there was a man that I had to meet at the seminar as well. His name is Kermit Weeks. Now, I've heard of this guy before and know a few people who know him. So after a few minutes he comes over and I got a chance to talk to him for a while. What a cool guy.

Kermit has a place in Florida called Fantasy of Flight. It's an aviation museum and airport. By the way, Kermit has a significant collection of airplanes to go with his private airport. He was telling me about his airplanes and his dream for the museum. I was amazed just listening to him. This guy loves aviation and has flown and built a lot of airplanes.

By 1977, Kermit had built the "Weeks Special," an aerobatic aircraft of his own design and qualified for the United States Aerobatics Team. In 1978, he was runner-up among 61 competitors worldwide, earning three Silver medals and one Bronze medal in the World Aerobatics Championships staged in Czechoslovakia. Over the span of a dozen years, he placed in the top three in the world five times and won a total of 20 medals in World Aerobatics Championship competition. He has twice won the United States National Aerobatics Championship and has won several Invitational Masters Championships in different worldwide competitions.

I had to pinch myself to make sure it was all real by the time we were done talking. Here's the guy who's living my dream... (don't worry, I'll make it happen someday).

Kermit told me to give him a call if we were ever in his neck of the woods, and it turns out that it will be next week. I'm going to be in Florida and I'm planning on visiting his museum while we're there. I'll have to let you know how it goes. In the meantime, check out his website at Fantasy of Flight.


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