Pilot completes record flight after cancer diagnosis

OSHKOSH, Wis. — Dave Tillema’s trip to Oshkosh was unlike any other.

The Milwaukee native currently living in Texas flew to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture. The route he took was unconventional: his journey started in Lone Star State and ended in Badger State, but not before landing in a total of 48 states en route. to Wisconsin.

“It turned out that we did this in ten and a half days, 80.3 hours,” Tillema said. “So ten and a half days of solo riding from my math, and I’m not very good at math, but it’s well worth 16 days with two riders.”

This, he says, is a new record.

Tillema said that although he loves flying more than anything, he doesn’t do it for fun. He says he flies to find the best possible practices to share with other pilots so they can enjoy their passion as effectively as he does.

“It brings me nothing but joy to show people the easiest, fastest and most reliable way to fly cheaply to get your hours or just grab a cup of coffee,” he said. he declares.

Tillema built his plane after one of the darkest times in his life. Doctors diagnosed him with kidney cancer at the age of 55.

“At that point, I decided I had to start living my dream of having my own plane and flying 48 states while I was still alive, because in my mind, once you have cancer, your life becomes very short,” he said.

He did it. Tillema realized her dream.

He said he hopes people will hear his story and be inspired to live their own dream.

“I just want everyone to enjoy what life has to offer and that doesn’t work behind a desk 24/7 for the almighty,” Tillema said.

About Theresa Burton

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