As we prepare for Airventure 2016, we do so with a heavy heart. We’re starting to close the book on the journey we started 15 years ago. It’s been a good run, but we’re listing our beloved 44 Victor Fox for sale.

We have struggled with this choice for months, and I’ll try to explain our choice below, but at a high level we’re not flying the airplane and have decided to take it to Oshkosh once more to offer it to a new, loving home. So, if you’re in the market, look for us parked near EZ street in the Velocity area. Also, the factory has agreed to hand out flyers for us, so you can get some details there as well. They’re familiar with the plane, and we have this video where Scott Swing flew her with Elizabeth. Here is the sale page and PDF flyer.

So why are we selling? Because we’re not flying. But why not? Several reasons, to be honest – both of us are more busy at work than we had been, so there are more pressures on our time. But if I’m fair the biggest reason is Elizabeth. Ever since our incident she has struggled with post-traumatic stress. It has been variously better and worse, and she has sought treatment (with some affect), but mostly she doesn’t really enjoy being in the airplane any more. Nor, truth be told, does she like me to be in it. It is a hard thing for her to talk about, partly because she feels like it reflects on me, like she doesn’t trust me, and partly because she knows that it is an irrational fear. She knows that the airplane is well built, but she can’t help reliving our engine-out off-field landing, and worries that I will have an problem when I go without her. My buddy Andy is fond of saying flying should be fun, and to stop when it isn’t. He’s talking about weather, but it’s good advice.

So, she doesn’t enjoy flying anymore. What about me? I do occasionally fly by myself, but I don’t really care for it. I like flying, and more importantly, going places with Elizabeth (and occasionally others). I wouldn’t have built the plane by myself, for myself. It’s just my personality. And I don’t like going when I know it’s causing her to worry either. Again it comes back to the fun factor.

Finally the VFR factor. The more we would travel the more I realized that I really don’t like traveling VFR. Going flying on a beautiful day is awesome. But on those days you can get a forecast for the entire trip time and go with some confidence. I hate, hate, hate the idea of getting trapped VFR on top, and I don’t like to scud run. That means when we go somewhere any distance away, or for any length of time, I’m stressed about the return trip, or stressed about the clouds thickening. Again, not fun.

I’d been starting my IFR training. While doing so I realized I wanted (needed?) the autopilot to do it well. That required me to work on the airplane, and preferably have a copilot while I tinkered with it. Elizabeth struggled to give me that support, which made me question the wisdom of investing the time, money, and energy into becoming IFR capable with no partner to enjoy the trip with. It just didn’t make sense.

All of these forces have gradually pushed us to make the choice to offer our baby to new parents. I’m bummed, but not sad. I will miss her, no doubt, I’ve spent fully a third of my life bringing her into the world. But I have enjoyed the experience. I have learned a lot, both about myself and what I’m capable of, and real world skills – both building and flying. I have made some magnificent friends, the kind you only get through shared experiences. Those are harder to make the older you get. And we’ve made some great memories. I cherish them all. Here’s a quick history of the “Fox”.

September 1999
Texas Air Aces – my first flight experience

October 2000 – Elizabeth and I meet

July 2001 – My first flight lesson

October 2001 – My First Solo!

July 2002 – Elizabeth Delivers our kit

May 2003 – “Flipping the Bird”

September 2003 – Our N number is reserved

June 2004 – Oregon Aero seats completed

July 2004 – Blue Mountain EFIS and Catto Prop are ordered

December 2004 – Engine is dyno tested

March 2005 – We receive our “RC” velocity

April 1, 2006 – The fox goes to the airport

July 13, 2007 – Airworthiness Certificate granted

September 7, 2007 – Dave Bertram take the Fox for her first flight

April 4, 2008 – Elizabeth and I get married

August 2008 – 40 hour test period is completed (by Elizabeth)

September 27, 2008 – Our ‘off field forced landing’ incident

June 2009 – Paint scheme for 44 Victor Fox started, GRT EFIS Installed

July 2009 – Blue Mountain closes shop

October 2009 – Paint scheme for 44 Victor Fox finalized

May 25, 2010 – First flight since incident, in full paint and interior

July 2010 – the Fox flies to the Dayton Airshow!

August 2010 – Scott Swing Visits!

August 2010 – We fly to visit the Millins!

September 2010 – We apply our decals to the airplane with Bob Palo

September 2010 – Going to breakfast with friends with a “40 knot overtake”

February 2011 – We order an AeroComposites propeller

March 2012 – First flight on MT constant-speed prop

June 2012 – Brainards fly the Fox to see the Millins

July 2012 – Elizabeth flies our cousins

January 2013 – I pass my Private Pilot exam

February 2013 
– I fly the Fox for the first time

September 2013
 – Rough River

November 2013
 – Taking Professor Andrew for a ride

April 2014 – Flying to breakfast with the Stockman’s

April 2014 – Mark and Andy fly to visit

June 2014 – I attend Velocity transition training in Sebastian with Pete, my instructor

July 2014 – I take my brother and nephew for a flight for the first time

July 2014 – We fly the Fox to Airventure, the pinnacle of home built aviation accomplishments

November 2014 – Jerry and I fly to Van Wert to visit a new Velocity owner

August 2015 – Flying to MERFI

August 2015 – KMGY Runway Fest

November 2015 – We lose our good friend Carlos to cancer

Posted By: Brett Ferrell
Thursday July 7th, 2016 at 10:35 PM

Categories: Blog
Tags: Blog

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