Chris Pryce visit

Builders,

Over many years, builders have followed the exploits of 3,000cc Corvair / KR-2S builder Chris Pryce. He was just at Corvair College #39 in Barnwell, where he was PF Beck’s 300th passenger in his Corvair powered Pietenpol, but Chris’s involvement with Corvairs goes much further back.

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Chris got his Private Pilot license at age 18, just before he enlisted in the USAF. We met in person at Sun n Fun nearly 10 years ago,  where he explained his passion for experimental aircraft goes way back, as his father, a global commercial pilot, first started planning on a homebuilt about the time Chris was born. In spite of deployments, starting a family, becoming an officer, and a KC-10 tanker pilot, Chris has still made a lot of progress on his KR. He ran his Corvair at Barnwell college 18 months ago, and his airframe is now nearing completion.  It has all been a lot of hard work and well earned achievements in a life of a young American we can all be proud of.

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While on TDY in Florida, Chris rented a Cessna 152 and flew over to our little airport for a visit. I was glad to invite him as a small thank you for his returning work at the Barnwell College as a volunteer assistant. We had some fun around the airpark, went to dinner on the water in St. Augustine, and Chris got a chance to fly some hardware from a time before the USAF even existed.

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An officer in the USAF, flying 600,000 pound aircraft around the globe, but he still has a sense of humor. Here Chris at my backyard range brings the concept of the Captain Morgan photo op (“Captain Morgan” Contest at #39) to a new setting.

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Above, short 15 second film of .410 pistol in action.

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Above blast from the past, Chris at CC#24, Barnwell with Kevin and Shelley. You can see a film of Chris’s engine running three years later at Barnwell at this link: https://youtu.be/xDfX78pa6ug

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Above blast from the past #2, with Chris at CC #20. There is a very funny inside story about Chris flying a light plane this day, his first time in the cockpit in a number of years. He stayed to the very last hour of the College before driving home 1,000 miles to the Florida Panhandle. He drove the furthest distance to the College.

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Above blast from the past #3, Chris and I at Sun n Fun 2009. What kind of a guy buys a Corvair manual while wearing a VW shirt?  Evidently one with a great future ahead of him.

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Above, back to 2017: On left Pat Amble, on left, production manager at SPA/Panther got to meet Chris at CC #39. When Chris showed up at our airport, Pat took him out for a several hour flight in the family 1942 Stearman. Pat’s father is a Vietnam era USAF vet. and liked the idea of sharing the experience with a current USAF airman.

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A week after Chris left, a got a short letter in the mail, It was from Chris’s father on the west coast (Jerry Pryce was at CC #38 in Cloverdale CA in 2016, he is building a 3,000cc Corvair / Sonex. Dad is also a DC-10 pilot, a nice connection. ). It shared a few words of thanks for things we have done with his son. I sat at my kitchen table and read the note a few times.  While I think of Chris as a friend, truth be told I am a lot closer in age to his dad.  Holding that piece of paper in my hands, it was very easy to understand how immensely proud Jerry must be of his son’s efforts and achievements. It was one of the very few times in my life where I wished I had children of my own.

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About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

4 Responses to Chris Pryce visit

  1. Shupert, Timothy says:

    Nice post William it hit home with me.

    I have two children of my own but due to a divorce when they were young and a tough economy I moved away to stay employed. Long story short.
    There are times I feel left out of Raising my children since I was not around much during their school years. There is a little piece of mind knowing that I was able to keep up with child support so they at least were taken care of in that sense. Still inside me there does exist a feeling of things missed out on. Reality that Life in this day and age to keep good active employment has given me Little to no choice on the matter. The kids have seemed to turn out good through it all. Im Just not so sure how Dad has fared through it all.

    Tim Shupert
    Eau Claire, wi

    William Wynne posted: “Builders, Over many years, builders have followed the exploits of 3,000cc Corvair / KR-2S builder Chris Pryce. He was just at Corvair College #39 in Barnwell, where he was PF Beck’s 300th passenger in his Corvair powered Pietenpol, but Chris’s involvement”

  2. toomanyps says:

    Hi William, Hi Chris, On the way home from CC #39 I stopped in at Cabela’s in DE and picked up a new .410 double barrel shotgun…love it.

    There’s just something about guns and airplanes that go together.

    God bless America.

    Lou Casella

  3. jaksno says:

    That should take care of the hangar loving moccasins…(If I ever visit, I was planning on bringing the short barrel 870 pump, locked and loaded before I set foot from whatever vehicle I come in.) Good story….and you do have kids of your own….ones you’ve helped build and fly…That pistol and the ’69 GTO of the same name would be a good Florida ‘unit’… hahaha.

  4. Bob 'early builder' Dewenter says:

    Did you notice the words on the aft empnage of the Stearman….”Coast Guard”! (Yah, I was one of them) So, Pat, thank you for flying the Navy LIFER guy around in the Coast Guard plane – Semper Paratus!

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