raising twins,momo twins,monoamniotic,premature,identical,multiples The good, bad & the ugly...real life!: Two of a kind: Twins share love of aviation

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two of a kind: Twins share love of aviation

www.harktheherald.com  April 4, 2011
By Andrew Van Wagenen
It was a classic twin moment. Located hundreds of miles apart, two twin brothers thinking the same thing at the same time, yet completely independent of each other.
It happened 11 years ago, while Mike Patey attended an air show with his father-in-law. Mike's brother Mark, who didn't know Mike was attending an air show, called to tell Mike he found a good deal on a plane and wanted to know if Mike would be interested in learning to fly, which of course he was.
"By the time I got back, Mark was already learning to fly in it," said Mike Patey. "We both got into it and never looked back."
Since the Patey brothers bought their first plane, a Cessna 172, they have custom built five planes, flown to over 350 airports around the country and acquired just about every type of aviation license from commercial plane to sea plane to helicopter.
"We do everything aviation. If it goes up we can pretty much fly it," Mike said.
Their latest creations are two Lancair Legacy single-prop planes built from kits. Mike has a twin-turbo, 550-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine and Mark has a twin-turbo, 580-inch, six-cylinder engine.
"It's kind of stupid big," Mike says, referring to the plane's engine.
Both brothers work in pharmaceuticals and travel constantly all over the country for their business. Rather than fly on commercial jets, the twins use their personal aircraft to commute between appointments.
"This is why we've built them to be so fast," Mark explains.
Originally the goal was to build planes that would get them home from work faster, but as they got halfway through the project they realized they could break a few speed records.
In March, the twins decided to put their super planes to the test by challenging the transcontinental world air speed record for fastest single engine internal combustion aircraft.
In their separate planes the twins took off from San Diego hoping to break the record on two routes. After flying side by side to Texas, where they stopped to refuel, Mike flew the northern route to Charleston, S.C., beating the record by 19 minutes. Mark flew the southern route to Jacksonville, Fla., also setting a record.
Afterwards Mike flew down to Jacksonville to meet up with Mark and the next day turned around and broke the east to west transcontinental record flying from Jacksonville, Fla. to San Diego.
Currently the twins are designing a new, one-of-a-kind, two-seat jet from scratch.
"We want to be the first civilians to go supersonic," Mike explains with a large grin on his face. "We want to go after some military world records next."
For those who know Mark and Mike, these kind of projects come as no surprise. Jim Robinson owns an air hanger next to the Patey's at the Spanish Fork Airport.
"They are very entrepreneurial-type people," Robinson said. "They create things and they get out and do things."
Robinson, the twins, and other pilots at the airport spend a lot of time trying to solve problems by bouncing ideas off each other.
Six years ago the twins began volunteering for Utah County's search and rescue team. Mark flies a helicopter, co-owned by his brother, Mike, and their friend Dr. Bryan Trapnell, during search and rescue missions.
Lieutenant Dave Bennett, of Utah County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, flies with Mark on most of the missions as a spotter.
"There has been a number of times where someone's life was saved because of him," Bennett said.
Raised in Utah County, the twins had 11 brothers and sisters in their family.
"We grew up really, really poor," Mike said, "but my dad and mom are the greatest people on the planet. They always told us we could accomplish anything, and that we didn't need money to do it. You just had to have a drive and a willingness to go out and try."
Together, the twins started building go-karts at age 9 and rebuilding cars, boats, motorcycles and ATVs before they even had their driver's licenses. They had a small business by the time they graduated high school.
"Always having someone who is like-minded and excited with you no matter what is awesome," Mike said about having a twin brother. "I don't know how much we would consider doing something without the other one involved."

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