U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), an instrument-rated pilot, flew the AOPA 2020 Sweepstakes RV-10—his first flight ever in a Van’s Aircraft kit airplane—during a July 28 visit to AOPA headquarters in Maryland.
Budd describes himself as a “recently rusty” pilot who just passed an instrument proficiency check after stepping away from the cockpit for professional and family obligations. The second-term congressman and member of the House General Aviation Caucus said he’s looking for an airplane for travel between his family’s farm airstrip in central North Carolina and Washington, D.C.
Budd flew with AOPA Editor at Large Dave Hirschman for a little more than an hour during the visit.
“He did steep turns, a stall series, and three gorgeous takeoffs and landings in a gusty crosswind,” Hirschman said. “He’s got a nice, soft touch on the controls and flew the RV–10 like a pro.”
Budd met with AOPA leaders Jim Coon, Greg Cohen, Elizabeth Tennyson, and Tom Haines and also toured AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. Tennyson, executive director of the AOPA You Can Fly program, briefed Budd on the status of the aviation high school STEM curriculum that will be utilized by some 8,000 students in 38 states, including four schools in North Carolina.
Budd has a tailwheel endorsement and has flown an Aviat Husky and a Legend Cub from his family’s 2,700-foot turf runway near Advance, North Carolina.
“The RV–10 is such a responsive and capable airplane,” he said. “The panel, interior, and paint are exceptional. The craftsmen who restored it did an absolutely incredible job.”