Head in the clouds

Dr. Doug Wagner shares his passion for building airplanes and flying


Photo courtesy of Dr. Wagner

Dr. Wagner has worked on building his plane since 2014, spending approximately 900 hours on the project.

Emmy Glenn, Staff Writer

If you have ever had the joy of having Dr. Doug Wagner as your math teacher, you have probably heard about his love of flying. Recently, the latest buzz has been about his newly purchased hangar, which is 40 x 60 feet and can store up to four planes. 

Dr. Wagner will use this hanger to store his self-built plane. He began working on his plane in 2014, about a 900-hour project, and he plans to have it in the air by this summer. Before then, he still has some ground and flight testing to complete, as well as painting blue and gold stripes on the plane. 

After finishing this massive project, Dr. Wagner said he’s thinking about the possibility of building another plane or “continue[ing] to just build radio control airplanes.” 

Dr. Wagner’s love of planes and flight began as a child. 

My first memories as a child were looking up at airplanes flying overhead,” he said. ” Once a year my mom would take me to the airport (Baltimore/Washington) to watch the planes all day long. I always loved to look at airplane books and even lied to my mom in second grade and told her that I could read a book about airplanes when I couldn’t.  I just wanted to look at all the super cool WWII airplane pictures in it.”

Dr. Wagner said the most exhilarating part of flying is “when you rotate the nose of the plane up and the main gear first barely lifts off the ground.”

St. Pius is lucky to have Dr. Wagner, even if his head might be in the clouds. Wagner says that he would be flying for the airlines right now if only he had better vision but, “the Good Lord has blessed me with a tremendous career in education, so I have no regrets whatsoever!”