WATCH: Air Force Veteran Flies in Plane He Spent 19 Years Building

by Jon D. B.

“There is no way I’d get on an aircraft I built,” smiles Air Force veteran Mike Beasley. But that’s exactly what he’s doing.

“I was in the Air Force 20 years as an aircraft maintenance officer,” details aircraft maintenance officer Beasley. He’s spent nearly that same amount of time, too – 19 years – building his own experimental plane. And now it’s ready to take flight once more for a public audience.

This Saturday, aviation enthusiasts will gather at Georgia’s Canard Air Show. Around 40 airplanes are set to take off via Perry-Houston County Airport, with veteran Mike on the roster. His two-decade labor of love is among a growing roster of experimental aircraft that make up for half of the show’s flight plan. “Experimental” tends to spark fanciful ideas of rockets and cockamamie contraptions, but in this context, the term simply denotes an aircraft “built at home.”

Which, for some, is even more concerning. Including Beasley.

“I distinctly remember saying, ‘there is no way I’d get on an aircraft I built,'” he tells local 13 WMAZ. Yet once the idea took hold, there was no stopping the veteran.

The project began two decades ago in his living room. Photos of Beasley starting the incredible project from scratch in his Germany-based home, which you can see in WMAZ’s coverage below, show how quaint (and remarkable) the origins of his plane are. It’s an incredible feat, and one that has Beasley all smiles.

“I say it’s about 200 miles an hour on cruise, it scoots,” he cites of his creation. “It is by far the largest thing I’ve taken on in my life.”

Veteran’s ‘Persistence’ is Stuff of Aviation Legend

As for how he went about the massive undertaking, “Perfect is the way to build it, and anybody can do that, it just takes learning and persistence,” he adds. Humble words from a gifted man.

The Air Force vet didn’t think it would take 19 years to build, either. But hope was never lost, and by 2020, “Scooter” was ready to take to the air.

“I pushed the throttle up in excitement, and when the wheels lifted up off the runway it was everything I had dreamed about for almost 19 years, and it was surreal looking out thinking, ‘Wow I built this, and we’re in the air and it took this long but we’re up here,'” he smiles during his local interview.

Through Mike “learning every inch” of the aircraft, then learning how to fly it, his wife Sherry wasn’t fully on board. The thought of a loved one thousands of feet in the air via homemade aircraft isn’t the most comforting of thoughts. Neither is the insane financial commitment it takes to build one. WMAZ says now, however, Sherry is fully on board.

And Air Force veteran Mike Beasley couldn’t be happier with the results. He’s looking forward to showing off his creation for the public.

Local Georgians (or anyone willing to make the trek) can catch the Canard Air Show this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4pm. The show will take place near Macon, at the Perry-Houston County Airport.