Pursue Your Dreams
Carl Liepold Airshows motto is "Pursue your dreams". Carl passes on that attitude to everyone he meets, especially to kids young and old at air shows.
As a kid, Carl always wanted to be a fighter pilot. He was tragically disappointed when he got glasses, and thought that was the end of his dream. Eventually he became an engineer, started flying, and was introduced to aerobatics. Ever since his first ride in a Pitts S-2B, he knew that was all he wanted to do. He competed in aerobatics for over 20 years, and won lots of trophies, prior to his air show career.
His electrical engineering background paid off when modifying his Yak-55M. He replaced the heavy Russian instruments with a Dynon DEK-180 flight deck glass panel. The Dynon DEK-180 is powered by PSOC microcontrollers that he designs today at Cypress Semiconductor. His now much lighter Yak-55M with a larger propeller performs amazing stunts across the sky. The plane now hovers on cold days near sea level. The space and weight of the original equipment have been converted to smoke and smiles.
The air traffic controllers at Chandler Muni Airport first named Carl the "Happy Pitts Driver" when he was competing in aerobatics in the early 1990s. Then "Happy Yak" when he stepped up to the Yak-55 he is flying today. Carl’s handle is "Happy Yak", and he brings passion to his flying and interactions with people. His plane dances across the sky, rolling, looping, tumbling and spinning. Life is like a dance, and Carl brings it to flying at air shows.
Carl’s Yak-55M looks and flies like a warbird in action. He flies safely yet with high energy. He is talented, and engages the crowd both in the air and on the ground. He loves signing autographs, and encouraging people to pursue their dreams of flying, or whatever else they are passionate about.