I am a retired orthopaedic surgeon and have been involved in things aviation all my life. I first designed and built a biplane glider as a sophomore in high school out of broomsticks and brown wrapping paper (that was doped), held together by bailing wire and flew in it towed behind a pickup truck on an asphalt road lined by high tension powerlines – having never had any flying lessons. That was my safe introduction to flight.
As a senior in high school, I got school credits for building an airplane of Spruce and chrome molly with a Volkswagen engine (that my parents would not let me fly – after a somewhat late realization that I might possibly get hurt). I then started hang gliding with bamboo and plastic gliders progressing to aluminum and Dacron and started WillsWing Inc. hang gliding manufacturing company. I have built several ultralight type experimental aircraft, a GlaStar, and now a Sportsman that I fly regularly. (My parents never did figure out how to stop my aviation drive.)