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A Lifelong Love Affair With Flying

Though a barber and radiologic technologist by trade, Dennis Satterfield of Payson, Ariz., says that flying has been his passion for more than 60 years,and he has had a pilot's license since 1967 and has been building planes as a hobby since 1986. "My parents would take us to a little grass strip in Polo, Ill., used by crop dusters and small planes. I've been hooked since I was 5." Satterfield is currently working on his third plane, a Van's RV-9A, praising the performance of hand-built planes. "No airplane that is currently being factory built performs like these. When it's finished it will be well worth more than I put into it," says Satterfield, who expects to have the plane in the air by the middle of May. The first plane built by Satterfield was a 1959 Cessna 172, built from three damaged planes. He later completed a Kitfox Speedster that he flew for three years. He has been assisted in building the planes by a few friends with specialized expertise and has support from his wife Barbara. Satterfield is looking forward to using his new plane for a vacation this summer, with stops to include a class reunion near Chicago, a fishing trip in Michigan, and visits to family and friends in Boston, West Virginia, and Virginia.

April 17, 2009

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