North American’s final triumph for general aviation
"Follow your heart.” We’ve heard that advice time and time again, but sometimes, life just gets in the way. Such was the case for Richard Buchanan.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been an airport nut. I flew models, and I was absolutely crazy about anything airplane from World War II and Korea. A buddy and I tried to go into the U.S. Air Force when we were 16. My mom wouldn’t sign me up, and my buddy went without me. I got married and then went to engineering school at night. Before long, we had kids and, well, I guess I put flying on the back burner,” he explains of his diverted path.
That doesn’t mean Buchanan isn’t a determined, goal-oriented type. After a successful career using his engineering skills, Buchanan decided to give flying a second chance.
He recalls, “One day, when I was 56 years old, I told my wife I was going to Florida to get my pilot’s license and asked her if she wanted to go with me. ‘Of course,’ she said. ‘Sure!’