Home-built Jabiru to spread wings
JUST plane crazy, Howard Boyle is determined to do it his way.
The Hervey Bay concrete truck driver is a rev head from way back and today is building his own aeroplane and racing his 65 Mustang in between – but he has even bigger plans.
The 58-year-old and his wife Margaret bought a 120-acre Craignish property 13 years ago.
They tried cattle until someone began duffing them. They settled for miniature horses. They even did up an old house on the property and built themselves a new one – but that wasn’t enough.
“I have loved planes and the thought of flying them forever,” Mr Boyle said.
“So I got my licence and then built two air strips on our land so I take off and land at home.
“First I bought a Cessna 150 but I decided it was too expensive to operate.
“You build your own plane and they allow you to maintain it so that’s a cost cutter.
“So I thought, OK, I’m a coach and motor body builder by trade, why don’t I build myself a plane?”
In less than four months he had the plane sitting outside his house ready for take-off except for the radio and the registration, which he’s attending to this week.
“I built the Jabiru as a two-seater with lots of carry space up back and after I’ve flown 25 hours locally here I will be able to take a passenger.
“My wife doesn’t want to fly that much so I’ll take our daughter Belinda up. She’s like me, she loves planes and cars.”
The Boyles’ lifestyle sounds pretty cushy but no, Howard, has another dream.
“I want to create something in the Bay around motor sport. I can’t say much more than that because it has to go through the council but it will bring employment and money to the Bay.”
So he and Margaret are selling their unique property with its three-road frontage, 1000-metre and 650-metre air strips, hangar and two houses.
“It’s on the market for a record Craignish price – $1.3 million – and real estate salesman Cam Haag says, that with town water, fences and subdivision potential, it’s “a bargain”.
As for Howard and Margaret Boyle, they’re ready to take off to their next goal.