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From the Dominican Republic to Oshkosh
Duo of Lancairs flown thousands of miles for aviation celebration
By Ti Windisch, EAA Staff Writer
July 22, 2018 - A pair of Lancairs arrived in Oshkosh Friday after making the trek from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and are now proudly on display right beside the Brown Arch.
The two airplanes are owned by Oscar Imbert, EAA 554054, who said it was his dream since childhood to be able to own an airplane and fly it.
“I am very grateful to EAA because 20 years ago I came with the dream of building an airplane, and EAA always has been our support, for homebuilders,” Oscar said. “So it’s incredible for me, who was born in the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, and as a child I always dreamed of flying. The years came and came, and finally I decided to build a plane in the D.R.”
The airplanes, named El Pollito and Pollo 2, are a Lancair IV and Lancair Evolution, respectively. Both airplanes had been to Oshkosh separately, as this is the fifth AirVenture for Pollo 2 and the seventh for El Pollito, but this was the first time Oscar had them both in Oshkosh simultaneously.
Pollo 2 was built in Bend, Oregon, but Oscar’s first airplane, El Pollito, was the one he constructed with help in Punta Cana. Oscar said the great thing about the homebuilding community is that it’s introduced him to people he never would’ve otherwise met, as well as its helpful spirit.
“In the homebuilders, there is a community,” Oscar said. “When you have a problem, you just have to say, ‘I have a problem.’ And somebody will help you.”
In addition to El Pollito being a rarity because of its construction in the Dominican Republic, both Lancairs have a unique twist to them — their identifying numbers are not painted on, but rather are exposed carbon fiber.
Oscar said that although it’s unconventional, the method has held up just fine for both of his airplanes, which have nearly 2,000 hours on them combined.
“As [far as] I know, these are the only two planes to have real carbon fiber numbers exposed,” Oscar said. “You are not supposed to do that because the carbon fiber can get de-laminated. So what we did is we did three extra layers of carbon fiber where the numbers are. It’s very unique.”
While he may have left an airport far different than many U.S. pilots are used to, Oscar’s final approach to Oshkosh fell right in line with a common experience for everybody — he had to find a way through some rainy weather into Wittman Regional Airport.
The Lancairs departed La Isabela International Airport (MDJB) in Santo Domingo and entered the United States at Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF). They then headed north to Crossville Memorial Airport (CSV) before stopping in Illinois Valley Regional Airport (VYS) on their way to Oshkosh.
“We found a hole and we squeezed by, and thank god we are here, no problem,” Oscar said. “Now we are expecting good weather and to have a nice week here. … Those planes are really amazing. You can come all the way from Santo Domingo to here in one-and-a-half days.”