May 15, 2013 - Cormac Siegfried, son of EAA Director Emeritus Rand Siegfried, successfully completed his first solo flight in a powered aircraft on May 5 in his grandfather Robert "Old Bob" Siegfried's Boeing Stearman PT 17, the iconic World War II trainer.
Cormac, 17, made three take-offs and landings at Clow Airport in Bolingbrook, Illinois, as his father/flight instructor observed from the ground.
"It was a beautiful day and he was ready to go," Rand said. "I climbed out of the airplane and told him to do what he knew how to do."
Cormac soloed in a glider on his 14th birthday in March 2010, and has been eager to fly his grandfather's Stearman ever since.
"I've been flying in this airplane since I was a baby and it meant a lot to me that Grandpa let me fly it for my solo," Cormac said.
The Siegfrieds are a three-generation flying family. Old Bob started flying in 1946 at the Mt.Hawley airport in Peoria, Illinois, became a flight instructor in 1949, then flew for United Airlines from 1951-1989. Today he flies his Beechcraft V-35B Bonanza and the Stearman.
Old Bob taught all five of his children to fly and three of them are active pilots today, including Rand, Robert Siegfried II, and former EAA Warbirds of America President Rick Siegfried - a 747 pilot with UAL. Rand's daughter McKinley, 21, is also a pilot, flying a Legend Cub she built with her dad.
This EAA family attends AirVenture every year, including the Bonanzas to Oshkosh mass arrival and Warbirds of America activities.