Hobbies: An Airplane in the Basement

Jimmie Shewmaker's daughters try to keep the garage doors closed. They do not like people to see what is going on in there and say, "Look — some nut's building an airplane in his garage." But Jim Shewmaker, 39, a salesman for a chemical firm who lives in a quiet suburb of St. Louis, knows he is no nut. He is a practitioner of one of the fastest-growing hobbies in the US.

They call themselves members of the Experimental Aircraft Association, but they are really simply makers of home made airplanes. In the eleven...

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