Updated story, B.H. Pietenpol – Thanksgiving 2013


I took a few minutes today to update a story I wrote last year on the influence of B.H. Pietenpol. It would be very hard for me to overstate how much I respect the life of this man. To me, he is on the same plateau in aviation as Armstrong and Lindbergh. He didn’t fly to the moon or even across the Atlantic, but he made an enormous contribution to the ability of working Americans to claim their rightful place in the sky. That is something to remain very thankful for.

Below the picture is an excerpt from the story. Click on this link to read the whole story:

B.H. Pietenpol, Patron Saint of Homebuilding

“10 years ago, after a particularly trying week at Oshkosh, Grace had the wisdom to understand that we had to go find something we had misplaced, something that our industry had long forgotten. The drive from Oshkosh to Cherry Grove is about 250 miles, but it takes about 60 years to get there, in the sense that you need to go back in time to get “there.”  We spent a few hours in Cherry Grove. Dave Mensink, Grace and myself were the only living people there, but it didn’t feel lonely.  We stood on the field where Bernard had 70 years before, laid claim on his right to a piece of the sky. For the next 3 or 4 decades that followed, nearly every guy in homebuilding was a working class guy, and damn proud of it. Along the way, homebuilding got careless and allowed some new people to suggest that the people who invented this were no longer what it was about. If you are a working guy, and you’re struggling to imagine how you are going to build a plane, have no worries. You have a lot in common with the Patron Saint of Homebuilding, and in this arena, that is the only currency that counts. -ww”

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