The following history of Keith's building process was received by ISPA December 1, 2002:
Dear ISPA members,
I went to SNA in Kimberton PA. and helped with the building of the quick kit #92 in Nov./Dec. 1995. I had an 18 ft. trailer, loaded it up, took it home, and started that long building process that so many of us know about.
I had built a hanger, which gave me a neat place to build the seawind. It had gas heat, restroom, 100 amp electrical Service, city water etc. I was set.
The building process, along with my ongoing general contracting business was a real load.
In the winter of 1997 I visited Ron Greely in Marathon Florida and Roger Creelman was doing almost all the work on Ronís seawind. I got to know Roger quite well and he was looking for work in the fall of 1998 and 1999. It worked out well as Roger came to Illinois and helped on my plane for 10 weeks each of the 2 years.
Roger Creelman is indeed a true composite craftsman and artist. If you want to know how the Seawind got its beautiful lines, it was from the mind and sketch pads of Roger Creelman!
Then in the winter of 1999 I got all of the painting completed and the plane was ready for the electrical, engine, cowling, panel, etc. Well let me tell you, I wasnít getting younger and I had developed the highest admiration for Mike Bowes and his shop. The result was I spent a year working on my plane in Mike's shop with the help of his craftsman and Mike himself.
On April 4th 2001 N80CC made its first flight with Mike piloting and I was copiloting. The plane flew beautifully. We had a transponder glitch and we had to address that problem before the next flight. Antenna wire shorted out. Let me say this to all of you Seawind builders, N80CC was the 9th Seawind completed out of Mikeís shop. As of this writing, 11 of the 54 Seawinds that have flown are out of Bowes Aviation. That number will be 12 in the next few months as George Osbornís Seawind is nearing completion.
On May 1st 2001, exactly one year to the day of my arrival at Mike's shop, I departed the Sarasota airport heading north along the coast for home in Illinois, confident that I was flying one of the finest experimental aircraft in the world. Well here it is 105 hrs. later and I know that I am flying one of the finest in the world.