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The Pilot...Steve Ramsay
I grew up as the son of an Air Force pilot, so I was immersed in the lore of flying for as long as I can remember.  As a child I was given rides in a succession of planes that my father was a partner in, starting with a Cherokee 140, then a 180, then a Cessna 172.  I started my flight training with Tom Knoff and Doris Grove at ridge soaring glider port in Pennsylvania and soloed with only two hours in my logbook.  After getting my pilot’s license in the gliders, I did a stint in the 82nd Airborne Division in the Army.  When I got home I built my first “airplane”, an Easy Riser ultralight, which was a high performance, biplane, hang glider converted to an ultralight by the addition of an engine and landing gear.  After flying that for a while I started on a Christian Eagle, but never finished it.

I went back to school and got my B.S. in biology with a minor in chemistry, then went on to medical school and did a residency in family medicine.  It was during residency that I traded an old XJS Jaguar for a 1966 Cessna 150.  I went on to get my private, commercial and instrument ratings in that plane as well as my CFI.  It was during my student solo cross country from Mobile, AL to Philadelphia, PA and back that I met a man waiting out the same storm in his 1964 E model Mooney. I fell in love with Mooney’s for their combination of speed and efficiency.  I bought his Mooney and went on to buy another 64 E model and a 90 model TLS.  I also bought and put 800 hours on a 1962 Aerocommander 680 F, this gave me a multiengine rating to add to the complex endorsement in my log book.

In 1995 I went to Sun-N-Fun and ordered a quick build version of the Lancair IVP.  From the beginning I had plans to go after the around the world speed record, and so the 13,000 man hours that I put into building it were spent trying to reduce weight.  There were no wet layups and almost no fiberglass used, it was all vacuum bagged and carbon fiber or Kevlar was used extensively.   I also met Al Joniec and Jim Rahm and decided to use their new engine package which was designed for the IVP, this added up to a complete dry weight of only 2,070 lbs, 5-700 lbs lighter than the usual IVP.

I raced the IVP in the KIttyhawk to Oshkosh race in 2002, and even with losing the normal engine power for 3 minutes over the Appalachian mountains, I then discovered that I could continue running it the rest of the way at under 50% power.   The source of the power loss turned out to be a clogged fuel filter, but I still came in 3rd only 1 minute and 15 seconds behind the winner in the unlimited category.

I then put several hundred hours on this plane before losing a left brake on landing on a short strip in Texas and running off the end of the runway, doing extensive damage to the wings and undercarriage.  This unfortunately occurred at a time in my life that other things took precedent (new business and 3 children in school) and I placed the whole project on hold.

I have continued to fly literarily everyday commuting as an interim ER doctor to different geographically locationed hospitals around the country and as to date I have accrued:

  • Total flight time>21,000 hrs
  • Actual instrument time 3,000 hrs
  • Aircraft types flown 30
  • Experimental aircraft flown as initial test pilot 6
  • Current flight experience averaging 1,000 hrs/year
Recently a fortunate set of circumstances occurred last year with Al Joniec becoming available full time, and with a complete updated second engine package, Aeropusuit was born.

Read more about Steve's Life Here
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