Off duty: Tal Holloway

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photograph by Travis Long

“Most people aren’t aware that you can build your own airplane. It’s a very intensive project; it’s a lot of time and it’s a lot of detailed work. It’s kind of like flying.” – Tal Holloway, pilot, American Airlines

Tal Holloway, 55, has always known he wanted to fly planes. His father served as an Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam, which inspired Holloway to fly for the U.S. Marine Corps in the ’80s. Today he is a pilot for American Airlines. A self-proclaimed “handy guy,” Holloway says he’s long harbored a desire to build his own plane. Since last May, he’s been working to make a Van’s Aircraft RV-10 model from a kit. The project will take him 3,000 hours, which he plans to spread out over four years. Then, Holloway says, he hopes to retire. That’s when he’ll have time to use the plane as an escape vessel for getaways with his wife and their two sons, now 11 and 15. “I know one gentleman who’s been to 49 states” with his plane, Holloway says.

Tal bought his kit from Van’s Aircraft. Learn more at vansaircraft.com.