Randy Sweet’s RV 12iS build

Written by Stephanie McClellan

In an unassuming hangar at Galt airport, Randy Sweet works daily building his RV 12iS.

 I recently had the pleasure of meeting Randy and talking to him about his project.  He is currently well under way building his RV.  I first met Randy as I was driving past his open hangar and noticed his bright aluminum wings.   Which prompted me to stop and ask “Whatcha working on?”  That was around June of 2021.  He was hoping to have the fuselage kit soon so he needed to finish up on the wings to make room. We chatted a bit and I left him to his work. Fast forward to a couple days ago, I stepped in to say hi and I find an entire fuselage assembled, wings done, engine mounted, avionics wired up and canopy just installed!  Needless to say Randy has been very busy.

Being a retired project manager, he has time to take on a project like his RV but also enjoys the complexity and satisfaction building his own plane will bring.  It’s been a labor of love and a family affair.    As a side note, his plane has the tail number of N924SF … the SF reflecting “Sweet Family”.  His two sons both come out and help on various days, while his wife shares in enthusiasm but maintains the finances!  When I asked Randy why the RV he had numerous reasons but one that sticks out for me was the visibility.  “You have a big canopy that you can see all around in, and you sit farther forward of the wing so you can also see below you too.”  He had just finished fiberglassing the canopy and it was installed, I can only imagine that the view will indeed be incredible!

I asked him the dreaded (an this may be only me) “What’s your timeline?” question.  And he responded optimistically “end of May”.  He has to wrap up some wiring and finish up some fabrications and inspections and he should be on track.  Randy has said multiple times that he is “90% done with 70% to go and the last 10% seems like it’s never going to get done!”  I think anyone who has ever taken on a project similar to the scale and complexity as this can definitely relate!  I look forward to checking in with him again soon, or better yet see him taxiing by!