Worth the Wait

By Keith Rohrlick

I want to share with you my brother David’s achievement of a lifelong aviation dream. David Rohrlick, EAA 1130445, is the essence of tenacity and perseverance; I am so proud to call him my big brother.

David comes from humble beginnings and at a very young age he wanted to fly airplanes and work in aviation. At the age of 19 David started flying and became a pilot. My first flight with him was in 1985, when I was 15 years old!

David has had an exemplary 32-year career in aviation and works for American Airlines as a Quality Control Manager. He graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 1988 and immediately started in airplane maintenance. In addition to being a pilot, David is also a talented mechanic.

He’s now 55. It’s been more than 30 years since David piloted a private aircraft. My brother has battled with obesity since the age of 25. His struggle with weight has restricted his ability to fit into a cockpit of a small single engine aircraft. At his highest weight, David was nearly 400 pounds.

However he has never wavered on his dream and in 2015 he decided to build an airplane. He saved and borrowed a little from family and over a five-year period built a Van’s RV-12iS, a two-seat light-sport airplane. Driven by his love for aviation, he methodically built his extraordinary kit plane. He completed the airplane in 2019 but was too heavy to fly and has had to sit on the sideline and watch longingly as others experienced the joy of his beloved RV-12.

That is, until now….

Today, David is more than 100 pounds down from his all-time heaviest weight, and he’s back in the cockpit! On Wednesday, September 16, after more than 30 years of waiting and 5 years of painstaking step-by-step craftsmanship, David in all his glory flew his hand-built Van’s RV-12iS!

In what has felt like a hopeless time for many in our country, I thought sharing my big brother’s journey and realization of a lifelong dream might motivate and inspire others. It is in that spirit I share this story with you.

Post Comments