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Q-talk 87 - Featured Pilot - Terry Crouch

Terry Crouch

Terry Crouch spent most of has early years in eastern Iowa. When not in school, he was a competitive swimmer and gymnast. These sports often required early morning and late day practices. He competed in many strokes but the butterfly stroke repeatedly earned him positions on relay teams. The hard work and hours of practice paid off because he set some Iowa state swimming records and he was sixth in Iowa state all around.

Terry's mother taught gymnastics for years and owned one of the most respected schools in the area. Both of Terry's sisters earned college scholarships from the sport and one of his sisters was Iowa state champ. Terry also was competitive in gymnastic disciplines including everything from floor exercises to the pummel horses. In fact, he also coached a boys gymnastic team for awhile. After developing shoulder problems, he eventually had to drop out of the sport. Terry can still do a cartwheel today, though. After some coaxing, Terry proved his skill at the Mattoon fly-in. He actually did a cartwheel on the airport grounds! The performance rated at least a ten.

In addition to his interest in sports, Terry also enjoyed building model airplanes, kites, go-carts and flying RC airplanes.

Terry has worked in the automotive industry for over twenty years. He is currently employed as a service technician for a Lexus car dealership. Some of these cars have as many as forty-three computers and three networks onboard. The systems can be quite complicated, to say the least, but his mechanical background allows him to tackle even the biggest jobs. As part of his responsibilities, in the past, he has had to build and repair dealership supported stock cars as well.

Many of Terry's male relatives are military men and fliers but Terry chose not to join the armed forces. He earned his private pilot's license in the early 1980's. He now has close to 930 hours total flying time with 475 of those hours in his single-place Quickie. He is also a glider pilot, although has not been active recently. Terry has had a chance to fly almost 30 different types of airplanes including other people's homebuilts. He had a little over 13 hours of tail dragger time before flying his Quickie. Part of this time was in a Pitts with the president of the aerobatic club. He also trained in a Cub. At first he had a difficult time controlling the planes on the ground. They felt so foreign. He soon conquered the skill.

When asked why Terry decided to build a Quickie, he laughed and said, "It's kind of a long story. A friend of mine called up and said there was a Quickie dealership that was going out of business and they had a fire sale price on a Quickie." At first he was not interested but later his wife, Deborah, asked him, "Did you ever go check that out?" He thought to himself, "Now wait a minute. My wife actually wants me to buy an airplane?" According to Terry, to this day, his wife will flat deny she was the one that promoted the purchase. Previous to this, he had been spending a lot of time helping to build EAA project planes away from home and now he would have a project of his own. He began building the Quickie in his 20X26 heated garage in 1984 and completed the plane in 1994. He redesigned the rudder peddles, toe brakes, wheel pants and tail wheel. Since some of these parts required machining, it extended the building time. A Dremel-type tool with a sanding drum and a reinforced cut off wheel was very handy during the building process. Terry is very pleased with the airplane and has found it to be relatively trouble free. He is also part owner of a Cessna 152 and has made more repairs on the Cessna than the Quickie. Someday Terry may consider adding more power to his plane, although so far has not found a good engine substitute.

Since joining the Quickie Builders Association, Terry feels he has gained many new friends, valuable building knowledge and ultimately a safer airplane. Since some of the material in the original QAC newsletters was incomplete, Terry and other builders needed the support of the association to help answer questions.

As a tribute to Burt Rutan, at the 1995 air show at Oshkosh, WI, Terry was asked to do a fly-by in his single-place Quickie as part of a group of Rutan designed planes. This was an honor. To add to his excitement, his airplane was selected for the Reserved Grand Champion Award that year. Terry was shocked when they called his name to accept the award, although anyone who has seen his plane can understand why it was chosen. This was a highlight in Terry's flying experience, bringing much satisfaction to years of work.

Terry is a very knowledgeable man and has quite a sense of humor. His attention to detail is evident in his award winning airplane. The QBA members are proud of his building and flying skills and especially proud to call him friend.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #87 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.