December 30, 2016-January 2, 2017. Issue
One of the great pleasures of my life
is the occasional note of encouragement attached to a donation or a 'Thank
you for doing the site' from a well wisher who stops by the hangar
while in town. I have a pile of notes next to my desk where I keep
them all - saved for over 15 years. If you're having a bad day,
let me tell you this; one minute spent thumbing through that pile can
lift anyone's spirits <g>. Those notes are 1) appreciated and 2)
held on to.
I was watching a YouTube video around 2am Thursday morning (my brain
won't shut off at times) and came across one on
why most zippers have "YKK' stamped on them. YKK makes 90% of
the zippers in the world - their largest factory in Georgia makes 7
million each day. It mentioned the success of the company was due
to their practicing what they call the 'Cycle of Goodness'. Worded
another way, "No one prospers unless they render benefit to others."
And that got me to thinking again why I'm glad this site has no 'members
only' area, and doesn't restrict content from readers if they haven't
sent in a donation. I feel VAF 'renders benefit to others'
as the YKK founder stated, and that if I keep on doing it I'll prosper
(or at least be able to eek out a living). It benefits the
mothership (I think) and builders and pilots alike. Everyone wins,
and if enough like it I should be able to stay in business.
Thank you for putting up with my 'pledge drive' this last month - I tried
to not make it very intrusive. If you donated, thank you for
helping me and my family continue to run this American small business.
If you didn't, I hope you enjoy the site also, and that you pick up some
nugget of information that makes the hobby more enjoyable and safe.
Our outlook is positive and I don't have any reason to believe that the
hobby and this site won't continue their 'Cycle of Goodness'. It
is an honor to call the many people I've met online here friend.
An absolute honor.
God Bless you all and wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled
Doug, Susie, Audrey, Tate Reeves (and Moondog)
Your grateful hosts.
Condition Inspection Hiccup: N617AR
Work continues reassembling the RV-6 after its yearly inspection.
I had hoped to get it all back together and flown this week, but
there is a hiccup. The Ameri-King Part No 450001 ELT has given
up the ghost - failed the 'G' switch test. Since there are ADs
pointing at Ameri-King (link)
along with the FAA Cease and Desist (link),
I'm looking for a new ELT obviously. Two steps forward, one
step back ;^).
If anyone has a cheaper idea/solution, I'd love to
hear from you. If nobody chimes in over the next day or
so, I'll go ahead and order an ACK E-04 online for $439.
Using my late father's tools to put in those hard-to-install
screws in the floorboard over on the far side.
Three extensions and a socket for a bit driver.
All tools here 40+ years old <g>.
Mothership (and me) Closed Next Monday
"We will be closed on Monday January 2, 2017 for New Year's
holiday. Phone, Fax, e-mail and Web Orders placed after 12PM
noon (Pacific Time) on Friday, December 30th 2016 will be processed
on Tuesday January 3rd, 2017"
I'm taking Monday off also.
I hope to sleep all day (and watch TV).
Milestone: Gear ON ...pazmanyflyer
What’s a builder to do while waiting for an A&P to answer his
call for assistance in building his engine? Install the landing gear
Charity Cap Sighting ...ILikePike in Paris
About the cap
Welcome RV6grin (David Nicholas from Callahan, FL)
"..Hello fellow RVer's, I have been lurking long enough so it is
time to jump in...am posting a pic of my pic of my first RV
purchased this year."
Bulging Oil Doors ...Herman in Germany
After reading about bulging oil doors I decided to make mine out
of .063 aluminum sheet. I massaged it to fit in the curvature of the
cowling. The flange on the cowl are made with several layers of
glass. One single Hartwell latch in the center. The glass flange got
an aluminum insert where the Hartwell latch locks to avoid vibrating
it through (picture is still without the insert). It might be on the
heavy side but is very robust.
Progress pics of my cowl "speed" work ...rzbill
As with many of us on VAF, I am indebted to those that have gone
before. Especially to the folks that are flying the speedier birds.
These are pics of my work in trying to catch up.
Most recently, I installed a ring gear seal. Yet to fly it (waiting
on weather) but it is all fitted and sanded into shape (sticky
sandpaper on the ring gear for 2 minutes at 1000 rpm).
December 29, 2016. Issue
One of those flights ...Steve Melton 9A
"There was nothing significant about this flight. avg 50 kt
tailwind, 600 miles, 21 gallons. the controller asks how the ride, I
answered, smooth with chocolate cake. it was cool outside with a
breeze at our destination and after shutdown my daughter said "let's
sit here to warm", so we did."
[ed. St. Louis...where the VAF servers
First Flights: Jay Pratt Reporting
"We got two new ones in the air in 2016. 01/02/2016. Jeff
Reins RV8 N37HR. And Bob Vosburgh N990BV."
Vosburgh) On November 23, 2016 N990BV flew .3 hours for the first
time. Nice and square, trimmed hands off with no issues. After six
years of off-and-on work I upped the effort this past year and am
very happy with the airplane.
The Superior XP IO-360 burned only a quarter quart of oil in the
5-hour break in, the Whirlwind 200RV functions smoothly. The panel
is the nicest I've ever flown with G3X touch, GTN 625, GRT Mini for
backup, AP as well as Grove Gear, EarthX battery, Aero LED lights
and seats by DJ Lauritsen. Empty weight came in at 1066 lbs.
This panel blows away what we had in the F-111, AT-38 or F-16...
although those were a bit more functional in a combat situation! I
have more study and work to do to understand all the functionality.
My thanks to Jay Pratt, RV Central, Mike Gleason of Stein Aircraft
and my friends Woody Hopler, Charlie Precourt, Don Shearer, Larry
Kline and Don Johnson for their counsel.
With 10 hours on the airplane I'm starting a 20-card flight test
program and look forward to a thorough shake down and POH. I still
have some work to do on the fiberglas before she goes in for paint
Heat Box Cable ...cdeerinck
Hoping someone can help me out here. I contacted the mothership,
but didn't get any joy, and they suggested I search VAF, which I
did, but again no answer.
Here is the situation: QB RV-8, with In-flight adjustable pedals,
with a planned IO-360 layout. The heat valve vent hole in the
firewall came pre-cut from Vans, and I am following the plans per
Little trouble with the hand squeezer ...RV7ForMe
I have been setting some rivets and the flush head rivets with
the gun seem to turn out ok but the universal head with the squeezer
suck! -4 and -5 seem to bend over. I understand this happens when I
don't hold the squeezer straight. but I cant really figure them out.
they pass the rivet checker in terms of with and height but they
don't look very pretty.
How do I know when I need to drill out or not? Depending on the
angle of the pictures some look terrible or just a little bend.
Leap Second this NYE
Saw a notice on PPrune today about an upcoming "leap second" that
will be introduced at 23:59:59Z this New Years Eve, and did a little
looking into it.
While GPS reception should be unaffected during the event, the US
is recommending that you have GPS receivers powered on for at
least 30 minutes from 19/07/16 to 31/12/16 to ensure the almanac
has been updated to account for the leap second. Apparently the GPS
receivers are smart enough to account for it, but it needs to be
told it is coming.
At least we now have an excuse to go flying! But honey, I
have to fly, Homeland Security said so!
Ground Shot ...Md11av8r
Winter Flying the 8 is Good ...David-aviator
Flew twice recently and have the cabin heat situation nailed down
The final task was to seal the cabin air at the NACA inlet. Even
with the eye ball thingies closed they leak cold air. Thought about
a plug of sorts at the inlet but could not figure a way to keep it
in place, so just taped the inlet closed with duct tape. Will remove
when it warms up. Cabin now stays toasty warm.
Also noticed pulling airplane from hangar was difficult, I was
either getting weak or something else was amiss.
Something was amiss - tire pressure.
Cold air really causes air molecules to contract. Even with stop
leak tubes, pressure was down to 20 psi both tires.
Inflated to 45, my long time favorite pressure, and all was much
better. Airplane came out of hangar easy.
Landing is getting routine, fly it down to 1 inch AGL, relax back
pressure a tiny bit and its there. Have not had an embarrassing
bounce in a long time, knock on wood. <g>
December 28, 2016. Issue
Holiday flight ...Dvalcik video
Holiday flight before the snow storm in Maine today. I got out
for an hour with temps 19 degrees overcast waiting for the snow. 4
layers; long sleeve, sweatshirt, flight suite, and jacket, (Toasty,
but i dressed too much, half heater). Lakes are frozen and
thickening up and should get some snow tonight.
"Your best or most awesome picture of your RV sitting on the ground"
...Dwight Frye entry
Shot shortly after coming home from the paint shop. The
picture was taken from the deck in front of the Wings of Carolina
Flying Club at KTTA.
Milestone: Shop DONE ...scard
Well, it had to happen eventually. This build is Done! A
few weeks ago, Tanya proclaimed "I just want this thing to be done!
How will we ever know when it is finally finished?" Hmm, I can fix
that. Here is a picture of her Christmas gift that she got Christmas
"Your best or most awesome picture of your RV sitting on the ground"
December 27, 2016. Issue
Hope you had a very
Merry Christmas and enjoyed time with family and friends! Our
Audrey got a monster bout of the flu four days ago, and she has bad
asthma, so of course our plans adjusted accordingly and we rolled with
the punches this year. Christmas dinner? Spaghetti and a Mr.
Pibb <g>. She's doing much better now. Did you know you can
buy a new nebulizer to replace your 15 yr old one at Walgreens at
midnight on Christmas Eve? I didn't know either.
Thank you to those wonderful souls who decided on respiratory therapy as
a career. You are very much appreciated. dr
First Flight: Scott Flandermeyer RV-10!
Thursday! That has been my answer for the last two years to
anyone who has asked the question "When is it going to fly?"
Well, Thursday Dec. 22nd, it took to the skies above Falcon Field in
Peachtree City, GA. Airborne in typical RV fashion, it quickly
climbed out behind the power of the CD-230. This engine is very
smooth running in flight.
Video Of My Last Flight with My Friend Darryl Hulsey ...Kelly
[ed. Thank you for
sharing this with us, Kelly. Darryl seemed to be a really
great person. dr]
First engine start ...Ray Eaker via Tom Swearengen
Just wanted to give a shout out to Ray Eaker of the Ridgeland
(3J1) builders group (Raymo on VAF) for the first engine start on
his RV7A. Converted IO-360, 180HP, AirFlow, 1 PMag (right now but
plumbed for the second one), Vetterman Trombone exhaust, Catto prop.
Ray's 7A was a previously started kit that he acquired a couple of
years ago. Very minor issues getting ready for engine start, but
overall its great. Lot of long hours recently to get ready.
Proud of you my friend!
My Dad - Julio Esquenazi ...Jerry Esquenazi
Hello. It is with great sadness that I am reporting the sudden
and unexpected passing of my father Julio Esquenazi. He was 80 years
old. He died peacefully in his sleep.
A little about him and then you'll see why this is posted here. He
emigrated from Cuba to New York as a 20 year old in 1957, met my mom
(also from Cuba), joined the Army to attain his citizenship, and
went to trade school at night to learn the textile industry, and
worked in the garment district in Manhattan. Various factories,
various moves, lived the American Dream owning his own home, and
sent two kids to college.
It Begins: Todd Rader RV-14A
I bought myself an early Christmas present today. The sale of my
PA-32-300 closed this morning and the money was wired into my
account. I wasted no time in contacting Van's and ordered my RV-14A
QB kit today. Now I'm anxiously waiting for my shipping date and kit
to arrive so I can start working towards getting back into the air.
Pics of Keith Brown's Remote Boxes ...complete with test cut in
For those interested in mounting remote boxes between the panel
and subpanel, here are some additional pics of my installation.
Dawn Patrol ...Ron Townson
Shot "through the fence", thanks to Linda at Demel Aviation in
December 23-26, 2016. Issue
The mothership will be closed Monday for Christmas. Same
here (I may push something out if I get a chance). Tuesday for
sure. Wishing everyone a happy, safe, RV-filled Merry Christmas.
The Yearly Inspection Wrapping Up...N617AR
Randy gave it the long stare and compression check, then gave me
the OK yesterday to start putting panels back on and floorboards in.
No surprises and everything looked good. It usually takes me a
few days to put the plane back together - I don't feel particularly
interested in rushing.
What comes off each year...
One habit that I fell into a few
years ago is to throw all of the removed screws into the same cup,
then sort them later, looking for stripped ones to replace.
It's interesting that every year I find one or two that are
completely unique. Find the two bolts that hold the wheel pant
bracket onto the nut - two different lengths. How? Five
to ten a little stripped and replaced. New bit on the
screwdriver. The zen of maintenance...less stressful than last
minute Christmas shopping, which was terrifying BTW.
Two completely non-important
pictures here which might only serve to put a spotlight on some anal
retentive issues that could use addressing. I know I'm flawed.
I'm trying to embrace it. ;^)
Vlad Tours the Mack Truck Museum
Some museums are hard to get into in December. Even if their
website says open it could be closed. I visited almost all
aviation museums at airports nearby. This time I was targeting Mack
Truck historical museum which is conveniently located near KXLL
Queen City airport in PA. It's only 15 RV minutes straight flight
but I managed to stretch it to 1.2 hours.
The Tool that Almost Made Me Cry ...Ben
I was getting ready for an airworthiness inspection this past
weekend. As I was removing the inspection plates, one screw on the
last plate stripped and would not budge. I spent 30 minutes
attempting to remove the screw only to strip it beyond hope. I
mentioned my problem to the mechanic in the hangar next to mine and
he gave me the tool in the picture. Set either electric screwdriver
or drill to spin slow speed and counter clockwise. Load the tool
with the drill bit side out. Stick the tool into the wallowed out
screw head and drill for two or three seconds. Flip the tool in the
drill with the spiraled side out. Keep motor in counter clockwise
position and this sucker grabs the screw and spins it out
effortlessly! The inspection plate screw removal took two minutes
tops! Here I am at the end of my project and I found a tool I can't
live without! Tears welled up and (violin music please) it was an
This one came from Ace hardware and was less than $10. I just
purchased one on Amazon for $5. Worth every penny. Just wish I would
have known about it since the tail kit.
Opening at the mothership...
December 22, 2016
Van's Aircraft has a new position for an engineer. We are looking
for an applicant with a passionate interest in the kit aircraft
industry. This position requires a broad mechanical/engineering
background and the ability to work on multiple projects
This position will require creative problem solving and innovative
thinking. Qualified applicant will possess an aeronautical or
mechanical engineering degree. Applicant must work well in a group,
individually and as a team leader. Project management skills are
desirable. Applicant must possess excellent technical writing and
communication skills. It is preferable that the applicant is
currently building or has completed construction of an aircraft
(experience with RV aircraft is desirable). Proficiency with CAD
software is required; ideally SolidWorks and AutoCAD. While not
required, a pilot's license, experience with structures and FEA will
Van’s Aircraft is a small company. As such, the successful applicant
will be expected to be very flexible in their role and participate,
at times, in all aspects of the design process including design,
drafting, technical writing, hands on fabrication/assembly, testing,
troubleshooting and any other duties necessary to get the job done.
Sometimes more of one than the other...
Compensation commensurate with experience level.
Interested candidates can e-mail resume with "Engineering Candidate"
in the subject line to: email@example.com. No phone calls
December 22, 2016. Issue
N705BC is Now an Airplane! ...Ben
Today Mel Asberry and wife Ann came out and inspected my RV-7A
and issued an airworthiness certificate. For those of you who will
need an airworthiness inspection, I'd highly recommend Mel. He dove
in and checked the entire airplane out very thoroughly. Much like
knowing you have a good engine, having a good set of eyes inspect
your airplane that are familiar with the design and what to look for
is just as important and worth the money. Prior to the inspection, I
had several others stop by and look for issues that I should
address. I thought I had all issues covered and Mel found five lock
nuts that I had failed to tighten! He also found a couple of minor
issues in the engine compartment. Overall, I'm very pleased with his
work and feel that I've got an airplane that is ready to fly!
Now it's time to get the pilot ready! If anyone knows of a good
transition trainer for a 7A, let me know.
Much thanks for the tips and advice that I've received from all of
the good folks in this forum!
Johnson Creek trip video ...NovaBandit RV-10
Back in August, we made our first trip to the mountains, and our
first trip to a backcountry strip... Johnson Creek!
I'm already itching to go back as soon as possible!
N314C Get's a Panel ...KeithB.
Today, I completed installation of my avionics in my airframe
(previously powered up on the bench in my wiring jig). It has what's
becoming a common look - all Garmin with dual G3X Touches, GTN 650
and a G5 (GTR 20 radio and GTX 23ES transponder are remote, forward
of the panel). The panel cutting, painting and labeling are by
Aerotronics, but the design and all wiring I did myself. I'm quite
proud of this accomplishment as I've never done anything like it
before. (For the curious, the canopy is done but in the house for
safekeeping, and the empty throttle cable hole is waiting for a
custom cable later this week).
Finally Got One! ...Skifreejason
My buddy and I are excited to have finally purchased an RV-6. We
looked for a -8 initially but after evaluating our mission and
understanding that I'd be flying with my kids (need to be beside me)
and he'd be doing long cross-country, we decided that the -6 fit us
Per requests, updating fastback document and picture links.
December 21, 2016. Issue
Honoring John Marsh ...9A builder awarded Wright Brothers Master
Sent to me by Gary Sobek.
Engine installed, panel complete ...Paul Straub RV-12 pictures
I don't have a blog, but I wanted to share. I so appreciate this
VAF community and all the wisdom and help I have received this past
year. Still a long way to go but it's getting exciting. I got a new
Rotax 912 for Christmas (OK, my wife let me buy a Rotax 912 for
Christmas). Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very
Happy New Year! Paul.
The 30 Cent Longeron Bending Device (for parts F-1013-L/R and
Someone else may have come up with this before, but I didn't see
it anywhere in my web searches. I will drop this here for anyone
interested. (Sorry for the poor photos. My phone has a lousy
The first thing required in Section 29 (Fuselage Side Skins) is to
curve/bend four pieces of 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/8" thick aluminum angle to
make four side wall longerons -- parts F-1013-L, F-1013-R, F-1046-L,
and F-1046-R. The whole point of angle is that it does not bend
easily, so this is a hard, sweaty job. Vans instructions tells you
to secure the angle in a vice, pre-load the angle sideways, and bang
the angle with a rubber mallet. You repeat this every inch along the
angle and monitor your progress with a template piece of aluminum
F-1046. I tried this approach for pieces F-1046-L&R. It was hard
work, the results were not the best. Either the angle didn't bend at
all, or it bent too much. Then, you had to pull the bend back out of
the angle. After about 6 (YES, SIX) hours of beating angle, I
finally had two of my four curved longerons.
December 20, 2016. Issue
Mothership cap sighting.
Adam Burch photo...somewhere in Colorado.
RV-8QB Center Section Bolts
Service Bulletin: Applies to RV-8QB only. Before further
"Several reports from the field indicate that some RV-8
QuickBuild Kits have been completed and flown without certain center
section hardware being installed. There are specific steps called
out in the assembly instructions to install this hardware. See RV-8,
Dwg 64 and page 8-10 of the assembly manual. This hardware is NOT
installed during the QB assembly process at the factory."
What is this Bump on Tail of my RV-7?
Looks like a hard landing to me. The crease goes through the
inspection plate so it can't be a manufacturing error. It
could possibly have changed the incidence of the stabilizer
slightly to negative thus requiring a little foreward trim
in level flight.
Looks like there was some excessive tail wheel loads beyond
the design capabilities
I agree with the other posters that it looks like your tail
area took some kind of a hit. I notice that the leading edge
to the tailwheel fork at the bottom shows a lot a wear,
possibly may even have taken a blow of some kind--like
falling into a pothole or something.
If it were me, I would pull everything apart, remove your
tailwheel spring, remove the horizontal stab/vertical stab
and rudder because you are going to need access to assess
the damage and do the repair.
To me it looks like a classic case of side-loading the
tailwheel - it falls off the pavement and gets caught on an
edge, or the two bolts that hold the socket to teh spring
shear as the tail is being swung around and it falls off an
edge. Either way, the tailwheel itself comes to a sudden
stop while the fuselage is still trying to swing, and you
put a slight kink in the fuselage structure. I've seen it on
a couple airplane's, and both have had a sudden tailwheel
Look at the bottom of the rudder fairing. If there is not
indication of contact damage from the tail wheel, then the
scenario Paul described above is likely the cause.
N477RV (the RV-7 owned by Van's and used by Mike Seager for
transition training) has spent its entire life based on a
grass runway airport. It is just a few hrs shy of 4800 hrs
T.T. and has had nothing like this occur (not to mention all
of the plopped in landings it has endured during training).
The inertia of the induced by the tail swinging can induce
huge twisting loads on the tail spring mount if the tail
wheel comes to a stop suddenly.
I agree with Paul's theory that the tail wheel was abruptly
side loaded. Looking at that skin, I'd check further for
possible internal damage.
The things I would check is; bolt holes in F711 & F712
bulkheads are not stretched, WD409 tail spring weldment
wasn't cracked, F711 & F712 bulkhead rivet flanges were not
stretched out, lower J strip not buckled.
The ripple in the skin has taken a lot of rigidity away from
that section of the fuselage, stiffeners (more than one)
might restore most but not all to that area.
First off- I'd be phoning the mothership for their
suggested course of action
This Community Rocks
I mentioned my BFR was out yesterday (my logbook's
last BFR entry was dated Nov '14). I've been
thinking for two weeks while my plane is down for annual
that I couldn't fly as PIC. Enter an email from
"Doug - I seem to remember that you got
your instrument rating recently
[ed. Oct 13, 2015]. Today you mentioned
that you were going to get a BFR. According to 14 CFR
61.56 (d) (1) the instrument rating check ride
essentially counts as a Flight Review, so you are good
for 2 years from that date."
John, I had completely
forgotten about that. I know my check airman (John
McLaughlin) mentioned that...but I forgot. Thanks
for reminding me.
I'm legal to fly, and I owe John
Juergens lunch <g>.
December 19, 2016. Issue
The Last Flight ...Bob Collins RV-7A
"More than a month after agreeing to selling ye olde RV-7A --
N614EF -- I finally saw an opening to ferry it over to its new
owner, Chris Moseley of Grand Rapids, MI.
It wasn't particularly emotional because I've had a month to get
over it, and I was happy to be done with the frustration of trying
to find a period where the lake-effect snow of Michigan, and the
regular old sucky winter of Minnesota would ease enough ferry it."
[ed. If you only read a couple of things
today, make it these. Read what Bob wrote in his
VAF post, as it is geared more for the
pilot. But MAKE SURE to read every word in the original 'News
Cut' article - the one he
publishes for work. IMHO, it would be hard to find someone
more skilled at conveying a life lived with an RV in the mix.
It looks like an RV-12 is Bob's next goal, and I very much look
forward to those updates.
A Good Soul ...Bobby Knox post
This will be a touch of a rant, a touch of a confession and a bit
of praise for one good soul.
About three weeks ago, I advertised 6 tool boxes for sale here. I
stated I would deliver within 200 miles for gas and food. I received
several responses, including some within the specified distance, but
the first one was just about 20 miles further than 200 miles away.
Ranting, I absolutely cant stand it when forum etiquette order is
discarded in the name of a convenient, easy sale of a posted item.
So here I am with two people, one 75 miles away(second respondent)
and one 225 miles away(first respondent), both wanting all 6 tool
boxes. So the temptation is to do easy and 6 years ago I WOULD do
easy, but now as a Christian, I have help resisting and despite some
initial difficulty in scheduling delivery, commit to deliver them to
the first respondent, Jesse Saint. The days leading up to the
Saturday 4AM departure out of Hazlehurst, GA for Dunellion, FL were
brutal. Little sleep and too much to do. At midnight Friday, alone,
I loaded the tool boxes. Four hours later, I departed for the
delivery. Jesse and his son were on schedule and the delivery was
completed in time for me to return to Hazlehurst and then to work.
The end, right? WRONG! a couple of days later, I get a photo from
Jesse via text of over $700 of aviation specific tools I LEFT IN A
TOOL BOX DRAWER. As I sink like a WWII convoy ship into stupid, I
thank God for Jesse and his integrity, honesty and character. After
we talk and I offer to return to pick them up, he offers to ship
them back to me.
USPS delivered my tools today. Jesse picked up the shipping. THANK
YOU Jesse Saint!
But this is not the first time Jesse had done me a good turn. This
is A GOOD SOUL. He is trustworthy and deserves your business.
Spruce Creek Annual Toy Parade Fly-by ...Ted Chang RV-9A
49 airplanes participated in this year's fly-by before Toy
Parade. It includes 16 RVs, 4 rockets, a P-51 and two T-6s amount
The 14th Condition Inspection ...
the yearly inspection now, and finished getting the RV-6 ready
Saturday morning for A&P/IA Randy Richmond (card)
to give it a good looking over and test the compression. Lower
back spasms a couple weeks ago slowed the process, but good progress
is again being made. Oil change and oil filter, new tubes and
tires on, air filter, brake pads inspected and re-safety wired, all
panels off, interior out and floorboards up. Around lunch the
cold Wx arrived in the DFW area, and work slowed until the propane
heater was found, serviced and cranked up. 17*F Sunday morning
here - hats off again to the folks up north who live with this cold
more than I do. You're tougher than me!
Hoping to get back in the air next week for a few minutes, but with
Christmas stuff in full swing that may or may not happen. BFR
after that, and maybe work in a practice approach during said BFR.
Someone told me staying current would be harder than getting the IFR
rating. That person is wise.
Need to run a rag under those floorboards....14 year old airplanes
get grungy under there. I started the build when I was 31.
I'm 51 now. Two decades of RV satisfaction and counting.
Thanks again, Van.
Pics taken during the inspection ...nothing special. Grime
and patina - evidence of a hobby being enjoyed.
Aerobatic Clinic Planning ...Ron Schreck
Mark Fullerton, president of IAC Chapter 3 has graciously
volunteered to host an aerobatic clinic for RV pilots. While
preparations are slowly taking shape I can tell you that the
tentative date will be the weekend of 22-23 April, 2017. The venue
will be Rome, Georgia (KRMG).
Unlike formation clinics, this will be a rather small gathering due
to the intense one-on-one instruction that is anticipated. We can
accommodate a good size group for the ground school but the flying
portion will necessarily be limited to pilots who have a solid
experience with unusual attitude/spin recovery through either
military or civilian training. They will be required to follow up
the clinic with a commitment to compete in IAC competition during
the 2017 season.
If you have the determination to become a competitive aerobatic
pilot but lack the requisite basic training I urge you to contact an
instructor who can give you basic recovery training. Sources are
listed on the IAC web site:
Training at the clinic will be by experienced competition pilots who
will coach you from the ground. Ground school will include
preparation of your aircraft for competition, understanding Aresti
notation, what to expect at your first contest and the finer points
of flying competition figures in your RV.
Subscribe to this thread so you don't miss upcoming announcements
Couple of VAF Courtesy
...simple list. Easy peezy.
RV Hotel Updated
...free places to stay when flying your RV around. PDF
December 16, 2016. Issue
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. dr
Tommy taxiing out...
DuPont Variprime 615S ...Sam Bovington
I am on my second project and I have become a fan of using a
sponge brush to apply variprime 615S metal etch primer that is mixed
very thin. I find it quick and easy, inexpensive and effective. If I
have just a few parts that need primer, I don't have take time to
set up for spray, or mix a large amount. I can mix a thimbleful and
sponge brush it on. It dries very quickly, and when mixed thin, does
not leave brush marks.
After deburring and using scotch bright pad, I clean the parts with
a degreaser type detergent in a spray bottle, then dry with clean
rag as I mix up the variprime. You don't have to keep the parts
super clean because the metal etch properties will cut through small
amounts of contamination like finger prints.
I can be back to riveting together primed parts in 30 minutes or
less. It seems to save me a ton of time, and minimize wasted
material which makes it inexpensive. The 615S that I buy at the
local auto paint store says it has chromate in it, so I think it has
sacrificial anode properties to reduce dissimilar metal corrosion.
I don't scotch bright external skins prior to sponge brushing
primer, in case anyone wants to go to a polished aluminum surface
later. I also sponge brush prime skins before I do any dimple
countersinking. If you dimple before priming, the dimples will
squeeze out extra primer from the sponge and can cause a drip on the
I mix it about 2 parts accelerator to 1 part
primer. And will thin a bit more if it thickens in the pot during
application, or if I need to stretch it a bit to complete whatever I
am priming. For me it seems like the important thing is that it be
thin enough to flow out well after the sponge brush stroke, so you
don't get any brush marks. Yes, it is a 2 part epoxy, but I have
found that over thinning doesn't seem to interfere with curing or
Mothership Totals To Date....
Also from the mothership...
Updated the Weather Page
...new top right animated map. Link to previous map stopped
working, so I found something better.
December 15, 2016. Issue
RV-10 Panel Tour ...Ed Kranz
Dipstick access when using a plenum
When building my Rocket I made a plenum to assist with cooling.
To provide access to the dipstick I put a cone around it, and then
attached some scat to the plenum directly above the cone. When
installing the plenum the scat is compressed down around the cone -
this maintains the seal around the dipstick so the plenum does not
Now I want to install the CPI electronic ignition, and want to put
the coil packs inside the plenum. However one plug boot interferes
My question is: Regardless of the electronic ignition, is there a
better way to provide access to the dipstick when using a plenum?
How have others done this?
Here is the top of my engine with the plenum off - the CPI coilpack
is roughly in position:
Throttle linkage bracket
I have bought several mounts for throttle cable linkage (once you
bolt between carb/ fuel servo and engines sump) however none of this
fit/work as I am installing EFII system. Question, can
throttle cable be attached to the engine mount frame instead of the
bracket mounted to the engine? Or will mounting to the engine mount
adversely affect throttle responds or consistency of the throttle
setting etc. Picture below shows idea, made bracket will be
used at the clamps location.
James Cowl downdraft carb box install
I am trying to get my carb box installed on my James cowl. I am
stumped. My only other idea is to go to a muffler shop and have them
fabricate a bend to make it work or try glassing something up.
Glassing may be easier in the long run.
Here are a couple pictures showing the issue. The front of the air
filter is at the height where it needs to be to meet the front of
the cowl. If you have pictures or ideas, I would sure love to know
what you did to solve this. I know I am not the first person to have
the James cowl and this exhaust system. Thanks for the help.
Vans cowl thin area (photo)
The above photo shows the inside of my IO-360 RV-7 top cowl from
my finish kit. The bright pink areas around the edges have no
honeycomb between fiberglass layers. This is expected. Also, the
rectangle on the upper left is for the oil door. However, what is
the purpose of the thin (no honeycomb) rectangular area on the upper
right? Can anyone say?
December 14, 2016. Issue
RV14 Canopy Install ...Tom Martin pictures
The 14 canopy is a rather large item and needs to be handled
carefully. Holding the unit for trimming and fitting requires a
steady but flexible work surface. Typically I use chunks of
foam for this job they all seem to have gone missing. When I
unpacked the finish kit I filled four garbage bags with packing
paper and set them aside in anticipation of fitting the canopy. Here
they are with one wrap of duct tape to hold them loosely together.
Try our new website feature (Classic Aero)
It's not technically new, but we just updated a feature on our
website with current information. We also made it way easier to
update in the future, and added some new features, so that part is
new. It's what we call our "Build An Interior" page.
We need some more eyes to beat it up a little, and see if you notice
any bugs that we missed. I do this kind of thing in my spare time,
so it's always a bit of a rush job and there's a good chance I
The Re-birth of N94CR ...j-red
It really is nice to have (fingers crossed) all of the purchases
behind me. Aside from the odd clamp and paint to cover the "scars",
everything is in hand to finish this project. The firewall forward
has gone together relatively quickly since it's a matter of
re-assembling things that have largely been together before.
The ring gear was modified for the CPI ignition sensor magnets. They
included in the kit a machined drilling template, the drill bit,
tap, magnets and threaded plugs. I was initially nervous about the
right placement of these critical magnets, but the SDS kit made it
very easy. The mounting points for the hall sensor and coil packs
are very nicely made and easy to install.
The original FAB was crushed in the accident, so a new one was made
and fitted. Doing so allowed me to measure, order and install the
control cables for throttle, mixture and carb heat. On my previous
build, each of these was an agonizing experiment of how and where to
route them. Not so here. The original builder did a good job with
the brackets and such, and I can't say enough about the online help
I received by looking at pictures from others' builds.
A starter came with the engine, but an alternator did not, so a
Nippon Denso 55amp unit was obtained from the aviation isle of Auto
I relocated the oil cooler to the left rear baffle and did some
beefing up of the area in the process. The last time this flew was
2009, so at the very least, the hoses were 7-8 years old, and so all
new fuel and oil hoses were made from stainless braided line.
As of this morning, all of the FWF sensors (except EGT and CHT) are
wired and done. The EGT/CHT are next to run and hook into the EIS,
followed by exhaust hangers, then the final primer runs and most of
the engine work will be done. The cowling still has to be fit to the
air box and then there will be plenty of clamping/cleanup work to be
done, but I'm hoping to be able to take it to the airport in
(Andrew at TruTrak) It has been requested that we share the
development of one of our latest experimental creations. I am sure
that many know we are working with EAA on an STC for the Vizion
autopilot, but that is not what we are here to talk about today.
Today we announce the greatest modification ever to the Van’s RV-10.
We have designed, built, and thoroughly tested this new item. So
without further ado, I give you the RV-10 Keg Tap.
December 13, 2016. Issue
Another RV-10 Ready to Fly ...Scott Flandermeyer
After 8 years and 8 months of building, N104ST RV-10#40816 is
officially an airplane. DAR Vern Darley did my inspection on
Dec. 8th. It is powered by a Continental Motors CD-230 Diesel
Cycle engine. I am hoping the Wx and my work schedule will
permit a first flight soon. Information about the installation and
performance data (facts) will be posted as I can.
How Polished is your Paint? - Skin Fricktion Drag ...a
When I took my car into the Autobody shop to get the bumper
re-painted. I got on to the discussion of paint with the Shop
Foreman. He says that at a professional level, a painter can get the
paint too perfect when applying it to car to match the factory paint
job. He said that factory paint jobs have a very slight orange peel
to them and when painting a body panel to match, if the paint is
applied they same way, it can look very different even if the color
is matched near perfectly. Taking a very close look at a factory
paint job on a car, I would agree that the paint does have a very
slight orange peel to it. But compared to an restored show car where
the paint is like a mirror. Wow there is a difference, but you have
to look close!
With that said, the boundary layer over a wing can be as small as
1/100th of an inch, or 0.25mm thick. At this level one could assume
that this sort of difference between a very slight orange peel as
your would get on a factory car finish or home/shop painted finish,
can produce more Skin Friction Drag then if the paint was "Perfect
With the large amount of builders who have painted their own wings,
has anyone noticed an increase in cruise just by having their plane
repainted professionally with a "Perfect and Polished" paint job?
Or are the planes too slow for skin friction at this level to play a
Greg Hughes Status Report ...many pictures
Almost done with my own little prime war
Hey.... So for the better part of 6 weeks I have been pretty busy
fighting my own little prime war!
So this is just what the result of all that time and money is.
1: I tried Auto Dupi Color Rattpe can (grey) non etching - easy to
use, cheap, scratches easy, dont like the color
2: I tried waterborne Aviation primer (non toxic) with HVLP gun -
Looked good, expensive, did not stick well at all. Came of with duck
tape and scratched easier than rattle can. Was a real pain to get to
spray right. either to runny or to coarse. PITA INMO.
Panel Update Status ...and cost breakout (Tony T.)
I should include in this thread some discussion of cost. The
factory avionics kit is not inexpensive! I bought the SV Touch, ADSB
in and out and the knobs modules for $17,040. I reused the autopilot
servos already installed. I spent an additional $900 for all new
harnesses and misc small parts to complete the installation
according to the latest plans. The total was $17,940. To offset
this, I sold the old panel components for $6,226. That includes
returning the D180 and AP74 to Dynon for the rebate. The net
difference was $11,714.
December 12, 2016. Issue
First Flight RV-8 ...Jeff Green RV-8
First flight went well. Shouldn't take much to get it dialed in
perfect. Cool temperatures made for some great performance. Wow!
A New Panel Coming to Life ...Steve Eberhard
Jules Mominee and Phil Dawes' panel and plane are finally in the
same room, getting to know each other. The panel is being built up
using a prototype of a molded carbon fiber RV-7 panel being
developed by a VAF advertizer. Everything for a complete IFR Garmin
panel mounts between the panel and the first bulkhead. Installation
pictures will follow over the next couple of weeks.
Charity Cap Sighting ...Kyle Lee post
Pictured here is Capt. Alan Searle (RV-8 & RV-12 builder) flying
a C47 on his way over the "Hump Route".
In Aug 2016, Alan and crew piloted VH-XUX (1944 C47) from Australia
to China. The flight was conducted to honour those men who helped
bring victory and peace by flying supplies over the Himalayas to the
Chinese while Japan controlled their borders during WWII.
Follow link for full details on the flight including background,
aircraft details and overcoming two engine failures.
I'm proud as heck of this guy to call him my father-in-law, airshow
buddy, RV-12 build partner and go-to-guy for advice on just about
About the charity cap
My panel ...Hans Labruyere (Netherlands) RV-12
I wanted to share these pics with you. Screens aren't fixed yet,
and the wiring isn't tied up yet, but you get the picture, I hope.
We're building our '12 with MGL iEFIS 10" Lites, V6 radio, Trig 21
(to be hung in one of the holes, not remote), MGL extender, RDAC XF,
and dual MGL ECB. The other two holes are for a HSI and
altimeter (obliged, here). Took some thinking and drawing, and
some sweat, but since a few days I do have power on the mains
including he ECB's. After that nothing works as it should, but isn't
that the fun of building an experimental? Will keep y'all
posted how things get along. Apart from that I might have some
questions, because I am no electrician.
December 9, 2016. Issue
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
Ready for its closeup ...Frank Dombroski RV-10
Shortly after completing my last -10, I had an offer I could not
refuse, so I sold it. I picked up a quick build kit someone else had
started and completed the project in 10 months. Build speed really
accelerates after a couple of the same projects. This one has the
full complement of Garmin G3X touch avionics. I used the same paint
scheme, as I never had the chance to get tired of it on the last
Done Lurking! ...Carl
I have a RV-12 kit that I got to the fuselage mostly finished
stage. I had been a sport pilot who went on to get my private
ticket. I own a S-LSA and had started building the RV-12 before I
bought the Gobosh. I went to the factory and did the demo flight in
the -14. Having lurked in the forum here for a bit, I finally
ordered my -14 kit. I can't wait to get started with the new build.
I race in the Airventure Cup race every year in my LSA. I am looking
forward to the increased speed of running the race in the -14!
My serial number is 140356 for those keeping track of how many are
RV Training Guide Powerpoint Briefings ...Vac
I'm developing powerpoint briefings for instructional or
reference use during transition training as a first step to
improving the resources available for folks either teaching in or
learning to fly RV's. The basic transition/instructor upgrade
syllabus contains four RV-specific briefings as well as basic risk
and error management briefings. The flying briefings include RV-type
Aerodynamics; Performance; Weight and Balance and Airworthiness
The first step is to develop the basic slides for each brief and
then, enhance them with appropriate hyperlinks, video, graphics,
etc. to improve them over time.
I've finished up Version 1.0 of the Aerodynamics Briefing:
FlyboyKelly Tow Bar Install
Here is the forward pulling towbar that I finished yesterday!.
Family Milestone: Tate Reeves Passes His Driving Test
Passed on first try. Susie heard the girl in front of him
in line say "Third time's a charm" (she had just passed on her third
try). Tate didn't hear the girl, and he's glad he didn't (was
about to start his checkride). Did I mention he has straight
A's. Very, VERY proud of this kid!
December 8, 2016. Issue
A quick status report on the back spasms I was having a couple of days
ago. Four people emailed with their experience at what helped, and a
book recommendation, etc. Thank you for that! Filed away in
the 'Personal Health' email folder.
I'm happy to report that the pain has subsided substantially. Most of the
day Wednesday I had no pain at all and even got in a little bit of work
on the RV. It's currently down for its yearly inspection, and today I
was feeling good enough to take off the cowling, spinner, wheel pants
and empennage fairing. I've contracted with my son to take out the
seats, floor panels and rear baggage compartment wall this weekend at
$10 per hour :-). He takes his driving checkride on Thursday and if he
passes he's cleared to go solo (after a call to State Farm). Obviously
he wants gas money :-).
By the time today's edition goes live, that Arctic front should have
arrived in the Dallas area. We are wrapping the outside pipes and I'm
running up to Home Depot this evening to get a new propane tank for the
heater out at the hangar. "Real" winter has apparently arrived…
Yesterday while I was out at the airport for a couple of hours
some of the usual suspects were doing a quick formation practice.
They made two passes down the centerline, and since I was out on the
ramp standing there anyway I thought I would pull out the iPhone and
shoot some video. No fancy editing, no intro or credits. Just the
two clips uploaded at 1080HD. The entire clip runs 44 seconds.
Sounds good with headphones...
Wiring Baja Design Squadron Pro
Q: I'm in the process of installing the Baja Designs Squadron Pro
LED lights into the Duckworks leading edge kit for my RV-10.
For those who have gone before me - a couple questions on wiring
1) Did you ground locally or back at the firewall? For those flying
- any evidence of noise for either method?
2) Did you use the included connector or cut/ splice the wires?
Thank you for your help!
BTW - the finish kit arrives tomorrow!! Time for more fiberglass
A: ...courtesy Ed Kranz
A: ...courtesy Bruce Hill
Forgotten mistake - opinions needed
I vaguely remember botching a rivet on the aileron a long time
ago. While re-installing them after doing the bottom skins, I saw it
and now need to fix it. Question is, what's the best way? It is the
last rivet on the inboard side closest to the trailing edge on the
Dynon D2 Pocket Panel $100 Holiday Mail-in Rebate Offer
December 7, 2016. Issue
I'm on the mending side of the curve for some lower back spasms that
have had me mostly sitting still and making Popeye faces for the past
two days. Ibuprofen, ice, heat, light stretching and that massage
thing that looks like E.T.'s head that we've owned for a quarter century
is helping. Getting pain free movement back, but not making any
fast moves too quick. I can sleep, which is good. It hurts
to do pretty much everything else, so email and work is suffering, of
course. Getting better by the hour...I'll get there. I miss
my younger body ;^)
75 Years Ago. Remember.
First Pilots N Paws Mission ...Dan Landry
I've been signed up for years, but never had the opportunity for a
mission until last weekend. My mission was to escort Dixie &
the Dixie Cups from Quincy, FL to Seminole, FL (225sm).
Dixie has one bad eye, heartworm & was living under a shed with
her 6 puppies. I delivered her to a rescue. Dixie is a good
mother, but an escape artist. I placed the puppies on the right seat
& Dixie in the kennel in the rear baggage area. I went into
the FBO before departure. When I returned, Dixie had escaped the RV.
I placed her back in & secured the kennel better.
Well, 20 minutes into the 75 minute flight, out comes Dixie.
She was a good girl & came out to check on her pups & then went back
to rest on the top of her kennel to enjoy the view.
I delivered them all to their final destination without issues.
It was very rewarding & I'm looking forward to the next mission
Finished painting all the parts. 3 months of work, big job. Now
off to the airport, hope to do first flight on January 17.
John Calkins Retires From Van's Aicraft, Inc.
The Incredible Shrinking/Expanding Canopy Skirt
I recently trimmed, glassed and made fit against the fuselage
skin (pretty nicely) my RV-8 canopy skirt. As is typically the case,
the "make it fit" effort was focused mostly along the sides toward
the rear of the canopy. I got a nice, clean and relatively tight
fit. That was in about the September/October time frame.
Then, a week or two ago I went to slide the canopy closed on the
fuse in a cold-ish hangar, in which the propane heater had been on
and running for about 25 minutes. When it closed, I saw there was
about a 1/8 to 3/16 gap along the sides, basically from the rear
seat-back area back a couple feet, in the area where the skirt
curves up toward the rear. The right was slightly prouder than the
left side. I opened and closed it a few times, thinking maybe it
just wasn't seating right. I cussed and stamped my feet and whatnot
for a bit. Then I just took a deep breath and started pushing on the
skirt sides, and determined that if the "crossbow" portion of the
canopy where the slider block attached had just a slightly smaller
radius, it would almost certainly fit just right.
Tip on Going Big (on images)...
I've been using a website called SmugMug.com lately for uploading
very large photographs. Specifically, I've been using it to
document drainage improvements (and the new runway installation
down the road) at my home airport. I wanted to take a moment and
share one aspect of this website that you may or may not be aware
use an example to describe: go click on
this picture, and when the image comes up move your mouse over
the picture and you'll see some choices pop up in the lower right
corner of your screen. Click on
then select 'Original' to see the image at its maximum resolution.
The picture used in this example was created using the 'Pano'
feature on the iPhone and the uploaded image comes in at a whopping
5654 x 1852 pixels. That's big enough to stretch across two
large monitors, easy. Would work nice for a fly-in.
Anywho, I just wanted to make sure you knew about that feature.
KazooRV-9A's Taco Cart
...the padding is a nice touch on the corners. Me thinks.
December 6, 2016. Issue
"It was 20 years ago today..."
On Dec 6, 1996 I went live with the "North Texas Wing of Van's
Air Force". The list of builder/pilot phone numbers on that
site grew, and morphed into what is now the 'RV
Years down the road, that chrysalis transformed into the site that
you're enjoying today. And that's enough Entomology references
Useless trivia that probably nobody cares about, but maybe it's a
nice opportunity to get
Sgt. Pepper stuck in your head for an hour or so.
Oct '16 to Present ...gfb 9A time lapse videos
You can see the build all the way through the miserable canopy
cut/glue, and just starting on avionics and electrical. Fuselage is
now mostly complete, finish kit mostly done. November videos will
include most of the installation of the G3X system, and December
should include engine mounting.
[ed. Vids #33-36 were uploaded
Dec 4 and 5. Newest vids at the bottom. v/r,dr]
RV White Pages Updated
3,402 listings in 26 countries. Courtesy Mr. Tate Reeves.
From Mothership FB ...link
Panel Status Report ...rgodsy
I was wiring and testing my avionics today, here is a picture.
I'm coming up on 3 years into my build and I cannot wait to fly my
RV-7A. Experimental aviation has revolutionized avionics in
News Video Story on 'Tango Flight' ...Georgetown, TX
Tango Flight FB page
Milestone: Paint Job Done
...Gerry and Della Clabots
Emailed from a reader....
December 5, 2016. Issue
The RV Grin - First Flight N194HW 12-2-2016 ...Jim Buechler 9A
Today at noon at Marion County Airport (X35) in Dunnellon
Florida, the Terrific RV9A N194HW took flight after a 12 year build
with me as the test pilot! I now have joined the ranks of the many
builders who have experienced this! Incredible aircraft doesn’t
begin to do this plane justice!
I have much to be thankful for, so please bear with me.
I have myself a new airplane! ...Jeff Green RV-8
What a strange feeling. After 2700hrs and almost 7 1/2 year I
have built an airworthy airplane. Thanks to everyone who helped and
provided valuable advice. VAF was invaluable please support this
marvelous source of information.
VAF Courtesy Car List Updated
New entries for:
4th Annual VAF ski trip ...John Morgan event coordinator
4 th annual RV ski trip to the Beaver Creek Colorado area is Jan 14
th to Jan 21 st. We have 2 of the 6 bedrooms still available at this
time. Please contact John Morgan @ 770-823-1713 for details. Rooms
will be given on a first come first serve basis and women are always
welcome to join in just no kids under 21.
Still looking for skiers to fill the last 2 rooms. Fantastic
accommodations, dirt cheap price, fair company if you wanna talk
airplanes a lot after skiing!
Broken Cowl Pin ...Bud K
I was pulling the cowl off to perform maintenance when the end of
piano hinge pin holding the upper cowl to the bottom broke off. I
have to twist hinge pin from the stowed position in order to pull it
out. It broke off just as the pin enters the hinge. Fortunately, the
end of the pin extends beyond the hinge at the firewall. I was able
to reach around and push it out enough to grab the broken end and
pull it out. Dodged a bullet. I wasn't sure how I would remove the
Anyone else have this type of problem?
How to get ready for that first flight…
So, lets suppose that you have hundreds of hours of accumulated time
in C-172 and PA28-180’s. Lets also suppose that due to building and
bad weather, your flying skills are rusty (but still FAA current).
What do you do for practicing proficiency in order to get ready for
the first flight in an RV-9a? I'm primarily interested in the first
10 hours while new engine break in, new aircraft glitches, etc are
(let me fill in the blanks for the first three answers)
What else do you guys do in a C-172 or PA28-180 to prepare? What
skills? What proficiency tests do you practice? When do you know
that you are ready?
get transition training…
get a buddy to let you fly their RV-9a?
read all of Van's articles, AC90-89, etc.
Panel Pic ...Joe
Yes, you can get 2 G3X 10" screens in an RV-8
December 2, 2016. Issue
Some pics from Thursday's 'usual suspects' occasional
formation practice. I'm down for annual, so it was camera duty.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. dr
(RV-7A) Brake Upgrade ...Roy Thoma
This applies to Parker brakes that were supplied in my RV-7A kit.
I think newer kits may have Matco wheels and brakes.
My brake disks were past the wear limits with about 1100 hours on my
RV-7A. I use the brakes to make turn-offs rather than coast on a
runway to a subsequent turnoff. I taxi a short distance for take off
and landing at my home airport, KHIO. My nose wheel break-out force
is high. Reading posts from DanH and other's I decided to install
thicker disk's to get higher kinetic energy rating (search VAF for
"kinetic energy rating" for more discussion).
My worn brake rotor weighed 1.313lbs and were just under 0.15"
A disk from a friend with about 100 hours on his similar plane
weighed 1.449lbs and measured 0.178" thick. I've read on VAF that
new stock rotors are 0.187". I did not find spec's for the weight of
new rotors, I'd guess new weight at 1.5lbs. The new Rapco rotors are
about 0.300" thick (I measured 0.294") and weigh just under 2lbs
Panel Upgrade Status
Working on final tasks. Adding wire ties in tunnels and
instrument deck, reinstalling controls that had to be taken out for
The wire bundle in the forward tunnel is somewhat fatter than
before. Still, things clean up nicely. That big adel clamp will be
replaced, I just used a big one to aid organizing the new harnesses.
Hard to reach rivets - rudder ...various pictures/techniques
Tore out the old, in w/the new
Here's what I have on order and should be delivered in 2 weeks
from AFS / Dynon. Quick Build was the only way I could ever
accomplish this as I have ZERO patience and have the need to fly
often! This is the newest 10" HDX touch screens with the full
autopilot, ADSB, autotrim, all the goodies! Panel comes powder
coated and labelled with all the cables going and plugging into the
AFS control Module for simplicity.
Trig announces new TN72 GPS Receiver - certified for ADS-B Out
December 1, 2016. Issue
Ed Hicks photo.
Need Suggestions- Drilling holes in a plate to match existing
I've run into a problem which I am willing to bet is a
well-solved problem on the VAF. So I need some suggestions.
I have a set of 6 plate nuts in two rows of three already installed
- 3 holes on each of two flanges (RV-8 battery support structure)..
I need to figure out a way to drill holes in a piece of 2024T3, 0.63
aluminum to precisely match those holes so I can screw this plate
down onto the plate nuts.
You cannot get a drill up from the platenut side. Here's a picture
of the holes on the flanges:
Blast Tubes ...Ernst Freitag data point
Blast tubes on mag, fuel pump and PP alternator. Not easily
visible but my blast tube to the mag is directly connected to the
housing. Cool air blowing right where it needs to be. Been
flying in some very heavy rain and I don't see an issue.
I have no credible evidence of the effect of these blast tubes
except a sense that pumping cool air into a cavity will cool the
affected accessories. What I do have is a very cool running
engine and engine compartment with measured temperatures at the
firewall averaging 140F on cooler days and 160F on the hottest days.
The tube connects to the stub on the left.
Well, this evening I went out to the plane to put some fuel in
for tomorrow's flight. I removed the fuel pump fuse (as I normally
do) and turned on the master switch..........no power! I checked the
Master Bus fuse and that is good. I cycled the switch a couple of
times but to no avail.
I haven't taken anything apart yet. I wanted to get some ideas from
you guys at what you think it might be.
I last flew on Saturday 11/25 and everything was fine. My battery is
the original and is 5yrs 5mos old. I have been thinking of
replacing, but I expected to get some warning of the battery going
bad. Do they normally just die this sudden?
I found the problem on my second visit to the airplane. I have added
a 12 volt port in the back of the airplane for use by my ADS-B
It's controlled by a simple on/off switch located by the standard 12
volt outlet in the plane. Last flight my passenger was last to get
out and he must have hit the switch to the "on" position therefore
draining my battery.
My battery was discharged down to 11.8 volts. I now have it on a
charger and hopefully in the early morning it will turn over the
RV7 Horizontal Stabilizer Assembly Video Part#1 ...Andrew Atalla
in Whistler, BC.
Mothership First Flight Stats
November 30, 2016. Issue
Thinking of wrapping your exhaust pipes?
I received this handwritten letter in the PO Box the other day.
Weld failure. Fire.
(click to enlarge)
Exiting Spins on Heading & Pitch in an RV
Q: This is a question for you competition aerobatics guys.
Exiting spins is one thing, and exiting spins properly in
competition is another. In competition, you must (a) exit on the
proper heading, and (b) draw a straight vertical down line (before
recovering from the dive). The 2017 IAC Sportsman Sequence is
calling for a 1 and 1/4 turn spin.
What exact sequence of controls are you using to accomplish both
objectives in an RV? In particular, how far in advance of your exit
heading are you applying opposite rudder, and when and how are you
applying forward stick?
Currently I'm playing a guessing game in my -4 as to how much in
advance of the desired exit heading to apply opposite rudder and
it's not always working out. Obviously, it takes longer to stop a 2
or 3 rotation spin than a one rotation spin, and I get the
impression RVs may not be as quick to respond to anti-spin inputs as
pure competition aircraft, possibly due to smaller rudder size. I'm
playing with using abrupt forward stick to lessen the rudder
guessing game and force the aircraft to stop on the desired exit
heading ... ?
Also, my -4 is still rather upright when it stops spinning, so to
get a vertical down line I have to push hard into negative G. I
spoke to an aerobatic competitor (non-RV guy) who said some
competitors let the stick forward somewhat during the spin so they
don't have to push so hard when the spin stops to get their vertical
down line. Thoughts?
A: Never spun an RV but in the popular aerobatic airplanes
from the Pitts to the Sukhoi and many others: intentionally
accelerate the spin almost immediately with forward stick, a bit of
power, and a lot of inspin aileron. Almost on the desired
recovery point aggressive opposite rudder and more forward stick.
After about 100 of these you should be able to blend the down line
smoothly with the recovery. the pitch attitude on recovery
will be much closer to vertical. Regarding outspin aileron,
that is counterproductive and flattens the spin so the transition
from recovery to vertical downline is a much greater pitch change.
This usually looks really bad to the judges. For a left rudder
upright spin, right stick is outspin aileron, left stick is inspin
aileron. Inverted spin stick position is opposite. Upright
spin: inspin aileron will usually pitch the nose down slightly and
will always enhance the recovery.
Caution: this requires a LOT of practice. If you are uncertain of
what the airplane is doing close the throttle and put the stick in
neutral, full rudder opposite the rotation. This takes a lot of
practice. The rate of rotation will increase dramatically depending
on the amount of forward stick. I learned this from a
student after struggling with competition spin recovery for many
years. Student could not land a Pitts but sure did nice competition
A: Jim well described the elevator/aileron technique which
can clean up competition spins. The high performance monoplanes
especially require this type of technique to get spins to look
decent. Also useful in the Pitts, depending on a number of factors.
I did not get far enough along with aerobatics as an RV pilot to
provide info on how this works in RVs. Something to try as you gain
Regarding the sequence of inputs and timing, I did a bunch of spins
in my old RV-3 and an RV-6 w/ 7 fin, and never needed more than 1/4
turn to stop a spin in either direction, up to 3 turns. Those RVs I
mentioned recovered a spin pretty much the same as my Pitts and most
other aerobatic planes I've flown - full opposite rudder followed a
fraction of a second later by a forward stick movement. I've never
flown anything remotely aerobatic that required more than 1/4 turn
to recover a competition style spin.
You'll need to figure out the amount of forward stick that works
best for you, but slightly forward of neutral is pretty standard.
Don't overdo the forward stick input. If you really overdo it, you
can crossover which can be bad news for pilots who haven't received
adequate training. Don't apply rudder and sit there waiting for any
perceptible change in rotation rate before moving the stick forward.
That will delay recovery. Move the stick very quickly behind the
I never tried this in the RV, but most acro planes also recover more
quickly and crisply if you apply full power simultaneously with the
opposite rudder input. But first learn to stop the spin on heading
with a precise vertical pitch/yaw attitude, then worry about power.
In any case, be sure to get in the habit of applying full power ASAP
as the spin stops to avoid wasting altitude. I know the RV is clean,
but this still applies.
Regarding the hard push after a 1-turn spin, you can either blend
the push into the recovery, or push vertical immediately after
stopping the spin as long as you don't draw a perceptible line
before pushing over. Some airplanes require care with the blended
recovery to avoid the appearance of the airplane ceasing to
autorotate (spin) about all 3-axes, which causes the judges to
suspect the pilot is finishing on pure aileron. That will invite
deductions. Also be aware that if you overdo the elevator and
aileron technique for tightening/accelerating the spin, that the
yaw/pitch moments become diminished. Be sure it still looks like a
spin and not a spiral. Anyone familiar with the aileron roll rate of
RVs will know the difference between an accelerated spin and a
spiral, but some judges like to play dumb. They are looking for
auto-rotation about all 3-axes. This last point is more related to
snap rolls than spins, but worth noting IMO. Ground
critiquing/coaching is required.
And remember that the 1-1/4 turn spin produces a natural yaw error
that must be corrected simultaneously with the pitch error as the
spin stops. You will need to re-apply a little rudder pressure in
the direction you originally spun with. Just like the pitch
correction, be sure to make the yaw correction before you draw a
perceptible line upon stopping the spin or the judges will say
you're "dragging a wing" (not perfectly vertical in yaw). Learn
where your wingtip sits on the horizon when you're perfectly
vertical in yaw, and always look to the side and check your attitude
after each spin, as soon as it stops.
Practice is good, but practicing after getting some knowledgeable
ground critiquing/coaching is much better. Good luck.
Panel Upgrade Status Report ...Tony T.
Finally got to the hangar after the long weekend and switched
that pin, which was in position 8, to position 6. The LED's,
autopilot disconnect light, and eyeball light now illuminate
properly and the intensity is controlled by the dimmer pot.
This picture shows the D25 from the wire side and the two dimmer
wires are in positions 7 & 8 when you count from the left (or are
able to see the little numbers). Moved the wire in 8 over to 6 and
everything now works as it should.
Surprise Pitch Trim Excursion
Last Thursday, Thanksgiving, I was cruising at 6500 feet in my
RV-10 with the A/P on and everything dialed in. Headed west, VFR on
top with better air confirmed ahead.
I asked my 14 year old son, sitting in the copilot seat, to hand me
something from the pocket, which he does.
About 4 seconds later, the airplane pitches up so quickly that we
squish into our seats and enter a very high angle climb (>45 deg
We went from 160kt to 90kt (gained a lot of altitude...not sure how
much) by the time I pushed the nose over and turned off everything
that I thought could be related.
Then, I saw it.
He has the large iPad (the 12 inch) and it had been laying on the
pitch trim since he had reached into the pocket for me.
Eventually the A/P reached its torque limit and disengaged, sending
us into a sudden extreme pitch up.
I was holding the stick nose down against the trim while crushing
the trim button back to neutral.
All of this takes place in about 15 seconds.
No one barfed...that's the good part. Besides my 12 year old
daughter in the back seat thinking it was awesome.
November 29, 2016. Issue
Never has a picture of water running into a drain looked so nice…
52F property owner Steve Trotter took this photograph Monday
morning at 6:10 AM (my home field). For those not aware, this
is the first use of our newly installed drain, 100% brought to you
by the 52F
Property Owners Association. It keeps water from running
across the taxiway at the far south end of our airport. Often
times after a rain in the past you would have to taxi through 3 to 4
inches of running water to get to the runway. Brakes don't
Work starts on the west side this week. Our P.O.A. rocks.
(click to enlarge)
Cowl Fit ...RepmikeBrown
I fit my top and bottom cowl this weekend. The cowl wouldn't lay
on the firewall without pushing it down in the center. It was really
tough pushing down, marking, cutting filing, re-filing 1001 times to
get that just right fit. Afterwards I pulled the pins across the top
of the firewall and down the sides on the bottom cowl, removed the
cowls, filed the corners of the hinges. I cut a small door to access
the hinge pins on the top. It's impossible for me to install by
myself, I can get the hinges started together on the lower ends but
the top bulges up where I need to start the pins. Pushing down in
the center makes the ends pop out. I'm ready to run a 1/4" saw blade
down the middle and relieve some pressure and reglass. Has anyone
else done this or will the fit I have now relax itself and finally
conform over time? I've searched the archives but failed to find an
answer. Any help here on previous builders solutions would greatly
Cracked vent line on mechanical fuel pump? ...mbuehler
While chasing some oil leaks, I came across a copper line coming
out of the top of the mechanical fuel pump (O-320-E2A in an RV4). It
looks like the previous owner attempted a JBWeld fix that has since
failed (looks like removing it is some work). It just runs into
those blue fittings then out the bottom of the aircraft and vents
near the breather hose.
Can somebody tell me what that is? Same diameter copper tubing that
the old priming system used. He mentioned that had broken somewhere
and they had capped it rather than fix it.
TiP- Counterweights - "remove hatched area" ...mturnerb
I struggled to do this without making a huge mess. Tried hacksaw,
file, scoring with bandsaw, etc. etc. Finally got out an old
(very good) putty knife and a hammer. Worked like a charm. I
scored the edges of the removal area first, then went at it from the
NTSB Safety Alert - XM and ADS-B Weather
Fellow pilot Doug Ranz forwarded the following alert after a
morning discussion on the value and limitations of XM and ADS-B
weather. Everyone using this service should be aware of its
Actual Age of NEXRAD Data Can Differ Significantly From Age
Indicated on Display
Weather radar “mosaic” imagery created from Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD)
data is available to pilots in the cockpit via the flight
information service-broadcast (FIS-B) and private satellite weather
A mosaic image presents radar data from multiple radar ground sites
on a single image on the cockpit display. When a mosaic image is
updated, it may not contain new information from each ground site.
The age indicator associated with the mosaic image on the cockpit
display does not show the age of the actual weather conditions as
detected by the NEXRAD network. Instead, the age indicator displays
the age of the mosaic image created by the service provider. Weather
conditions depicted on the mosaic image will ALWAYS be older than
the age indicated on the display.
Due to latencies inherent in processes used to detect and deliver
the NEXRAD data from the ground site to the service provider, as
well as the time intervals used for the mosaic-creation process set
by the service provider, NEXRAD data can age significantly by the
time the mosaic image is created.
From the mothership FB page:
November 28, 2016. Issue
Cincy to Waukesha ...Steve Melton Trip Write-up
Thanksgiving Gratitude ...Myron Nelson
I have been involved in aviation at some level for over 40 years
both as an occupation and as an avocation. It took a recent
unfortunate AOG experience to cause me to realize something that
I've always known in the back of my mind but never really focused
directly upon. The blessing of the curse of this passion for
aviation isn't about the machines ... it's about people. The
machines are merely instruments of shared interest that bring about
the blessed associations with wonderful people and lifelong friends.
We all have much to be grateful for.
(later in the thread)
A couple of years ago my octogenarian mother came with me to the
airport to see our project taking shape. Over the span of an
hour-long visit we were interrupted multiple times by folks
spontaneously dropping in for a chat. All the invitation they needed
was seeing the door to the hangar open.
On the way home my sage mother said some of the truest words I've
ever heard about the aviation community. "You've got a lot of
good friends at the airport."
Status Report ...David Paule RV-3B
Mountain Wave ...Rdwrv4
Thought I would share this recent experience cuz it may save
someone's life. Of course I have heard of mountain waves ,saw the
pictures in the pilots manual, Since I live in the mid-west it was
not on the top of my list of flying concerns. OK Monday flying from
C77 to Winchester VA. A tail wind like none other so I climbed to
10500 and smiled 50 to 60 knots on average ,yahoo!!! off to
Grandma's house we go. Smooth flying! As I approached Winchester I
could see the city so I started a let down. crossed the last ridge
at 6500, at least 3000 ft above the ridge. Well, all **** broke
loose just as I crossed it. Bang bang 45° roll, right, left airspeed
fluctuations of 50 knts. I had the runway in sight but not sure I
would get there. It settled down a bit as I got further from the
ridge, but far from comfortable. I landed, even experiencing wind
shear on short final. I will never forget to consider the
possibility of mountain waves ever again nor should you. On self
debrief and do over possibilities I would have carried full altitude
to short final and come down like a helicopter in the 50 knot
headwind. Just something to consider.
Shirt Sighting ...Mike C.
I took this photo for another forum, then realized I decked
myself out in VAF gear by chance: Cancer therapy with my Dobson,
power walking around the base of
former sub communication towers, USNA boat basin in the
About the cap...
Multiple Picture Status Report ...Ed Fleming RV-7 Harare,
Beefed Up Steps ...TJCF16
They are pictures of the new beefed up steps from Vans...
RV-12 Major Milestone - - 1,000 hrs ...John Bender RV-12
Thanksgiving, 2016. Issue
I'm thankful for more things than I can list.
I'll have the laptop closed Thursday and Friday...planning on being too
full to move. ;^) Wishing you and yours a happy, safe
and RV-filled Thanksgiving, also.
Did the Deed ...Shane Barker
Well we finally ordered the first two kits (RV-14A-empennage and
wings) on November 8, 2016. I initially said I would wait and just
have the wings and empennage sent at the same time in January. That
thought lasted until my first contact saying they could send the
empennage right out. Well the empennage is here and so are the tools
from Cleveland Tool.
Inventory has began and continues, along with transforming a wood
shop into an airplane factory. Timeline is to have the air frame
done in time for retirement (1072 days-yes I have a count down
timer) and then buy the 390 and avionics.
Hello World ...Andy C. RV-9A
Hello and just beginning a thread on an RV-9A project that I am
working on in Kalamazoo Mi.
I found this plane not far from me, it was an unfinished kit that
another builder began in 2000, the build number is 90072. The
picture is the project as I found it, in a garage about 8 miles from
This is my first Van's build and I am excited with the project! I
currently fly a 1946 Cessna 120 that I restored over the last 3-1/2
Looking forward to posting updates as we go,
New area in the forums:
Per the request of a few individuals, this new area is located
down in the
November 23, 2016. Issue
Cedar Key (KCDK) ...John Mastro RV-8
Beautiful day in Florida today! Flew up to KCDK for lunch at "83
West" - very friendly place. Fyi - Keylime Cake was awesome!
RV-8 Winter Ops ...David Domeier
Flew yesterday with OAT 38F, really cold in cabin with full heat
on from double muff around 2 pipes, no fun at all.
I knew the problem, air leak at canopy skirt. Same thing a year ago,
so envolked same solution, spent $3.79 for weather stripping and
installed same on inside of canopy skirt.
Flew today and cabin was toasty warm.
Like last year, when summer returns will remove it fir max air flow
when temps hit 100F.
Great take off performance today, was flying before reaching first
mark on IFR runway. <g>
Here we go ...unitink72 RV-10 begins
I pulled the trigger. Am beyond excited and have been chipping away
at the vertical stab every night since I got inventory done.
Inventory took a couple hours and there were a few little pieces of
hardware missing, and the VS spar doubler plate that I think was
added in a service bulletin, which is naturally needed on like page
1 of the instructions.
My builder number is 41750, so I assume that means I have the 1750th
RV-10 kit right?
Wondering how much time people spend edge deburring each rib. Not
sure if I'm in overkill mode, but its taking me 45 minutes or so.
Mostly because I use little 1cm strips of 400 grit to "floss" the
flanges. Getting the innermost part of the flange is pretty
difficult too. The accessible parts I have a pretty good process
for, vixen file, debur tool, scotchbrite wheel.
I've been lurking on this site for a couple years now. Thanks
everybody for putting great info on here.
File Under Motivation:
Flight Data Systems Product Update
have two announcements:
1) Pathfinder ADS-B Receivers are now compatible with ForeFlight
2) We are having a sale on the Pathfinder Remote ADS-B Receiver for
$399 ($150) off!"
Flight Data Systems. 224 7th Street. Petaluma, CA 94952
November 22, 2016. Issue
For a few minutes at the top of yesterday's
edition I threw out a trotline requesting help with my heating unit in
the attic, and I was lucky enough to receive several e-mails from folks.
Thank you for all of the wonderful help and suggestions. Cary,
John, James, Jerald, Dennis, Dave, Ron and Glen....thank you!
Marc Whisman of Long Beach, CA emailed me also, and
included his phone number with a 'call me' offer. Marc owns and
flies a RV-10 on weekends, but Monday through Friday he works on
plumbing, heating and drains. Picture of his business card at
right and Mr.&Mrs.Whisman below.
Anyway, through the beauty of modern technology I was able to send him a
couple of pictures of the inside of my heater, and he gave me a few
troubleshooting suggestions to rule out 'the expensive stuff'.
Long story short, the house is warm again and I now have a better
understanding of what's involved when I move the thermostat lever up and
in my house. It's actually pretty fascinating, and brimming with
safety features. For those interested, the inducer motor, pressure
switch, igniter, gas valve, main burners and flame sensor all checked
out just fine. I was so excited about learning all this terminology I
took the cover off after it was fixed and made Tate watch me explain it.
I timed the seconds it takes all the different start-up events to
33) and nerded out watching them later work.
The background wallpaper on my home computer right now is the schematic
of my HVAC system. I kinda enjoyed this to be honest...
The RV community comes through again! The purpose of all this
rambling is to publicly thank Marc for helping this Luddite crawl out
from under four blankets. If you are anywhere near the Long Beach area
and your heater is INOP, please consider giving Marc your business.
He certainly helped me out!
PS: I blew off a LOT of emails in the last 48 hours fiddling
with this heater. Apologies in advance for not getting back
Well Finally....First Flight! ...Mark Dickens
After 17+ years, RV-8 N678MT finally took to the air on November
20, 2016. Two flights. No surprises, no leaks. Flies just like an
airplane should. Lots to learn and probably some tweaking to do, but
we've started! I have some video that I need to edit and I'll post
To paraphrase a recently unsuccessful candidate for President, it
does take a village to build an RV, and that village is here on VAF.
Thanks for Doug for hosting and maintaining VAF! And I surely would
not have finished this without the support of so many stalwart
members. Thank you very much for responding to my many stupid
More to come...
Joe Blank Celebration of Life: A Thank You ...Scott McDaniels
I want to send out a big thank you to those in the RV community
that attended the Celebration of Life service for Joe on Saturday.
I know it was a huge encouragement to Tricia, Jamie, and the rest of
It was a great day of reminiscing and story telling... it just
further reinforced how huge of an impact Joe had on so many people.
I would estimate that at the peak point there was ~250 people there,
which is likely no surprise to anyone that new him.
I know some of you traveled a long way to attend, and there was
likely hundreds more that would have liked too.
I know Joe would have been totally humbled and blown away.
Snow Storm In Minnesota so I left ...Robin Mckee
The day after the snow storm the runway was cleared so I flew to
APA in Colorado to see my son and grandson.. A very nice way to
escape the cold for a day or so.
Measuring Wing Incidence Positions ...tgmillso
I'm finally plugging my wings in today and will be drilling the
rear spar, but had some questions first about where to take the wing
incidence measurements. In the diagram on drawing 38, it mentions
that the forward end of your level should be even with the forward
surface of the main spar web, however it doesn't specify a position
for the rear. Just to confuse the matter, on the RV-8 assembly DVD
RV Builder Basics, it shows them measuring the forward end between
the two skins, and the aft end at the rivet line.
Does anyone know where specifically this aft measurement should be
taken for the RV-7?
November 21, 2016. Issue
Re-Birth of N94CR: Status Report ...j-red
Busy week! I built and hung my engine this week which really
opens up a whole new range of tasks that can be completed.
Pics from Joe Blank Celebration of Life
Matt Burch photo
Gary Sobek photos
(I added some pics AX-O and Gary Sobek sent me)
Got to love holidays ...mbishop
....and family members banging stuff into edges in the garage....
This is on the end of a horizontal stabilizer. I would love some
advice on getting this out.
RV-10 C-GNCX Panel Ops Check ...CDN (Cold Lake, AB)
C-GNCX (Gina's -n- Colin's Ten) has completed the 25 hour test
phase and everything is functioning as it should.
The panel is built using mostly Advanced Flight Systems/Dynon
products. It contains 2x af-5600 displays, remote com radio,
autopilot panel (was installed mainly for the auto trim functions it
offers) remote sv261 mode S transponder, and an iPad mini in a
guardian avionics dock running foreflight, audio panel is the new
remote unit from AFS/PS-Engineering, PDA360EX-R. The CPI ignition
box is mounted behind the iPad so it's accessible but not a
prominent feature. The electrical system is controlled by a VPX Pro
that made the wiring pretty simple since it incorporates many of the
features that would have required multiple separate modules (flap
controller, wig/wag, etc).
Video of my engine assembly ...j-red
My engine, an o-360A1A was born back in about 1993 and first run
in 1999. It flew about 500 hours until a noseover accident in 2009
resulting in a prop strike. I completely tore down the engine and
had the crank and cam sent out for inspection. The case was sent to
be professionally cleaned. The cylinders were "freshened up" by
Columbia aircraft services (they now look like new, but were not
technically overhauled because of the low time). New rings and
pistons were purchased for the rebuild.
Status Report ...AdamB RV-10
My elevators have been mostly done for awhile. It took me 3
attempts at getting the trim tabs to where I wanted them. Mostly had
trouble bending the tabs, when I finally decided to fabricate
riblets. So I finally finished my elevators 100%.
In the meantime, I've made significant progress on the tailcone.
It's all torn apart, and ready to prime and start final assembly
November 18, 2016. Issue
Susie, Audrey, Tate and I would like to wish you
and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
RV-7 I-NLCM Lucio Castrogiovanni ...Milano, Italy
Yesterday , the 16th November , here in Italy at Trento airport
LIDT in late morning on runway 36, the standard and GREAT kit serial
# 71804 took off becoming an amazing RV-7 , the I-NLCM.
The baby is equipped :
-Engine Lyco IO 360 A1A angle valve 200 hp overhauled
-Three bladed CATTO prop
-Dual P-Mag + ECI
-Dynon : SV1000 , Knob Control panel , full AP with control panel,
VHF Com (2) Radio, EMS , Transponder Mode "S", AOA Pitot, GPS
- Becker AR-6201 Com (1) @ 8.33
- Winter ALT and ASI
- ELT Artex
- Power Flarm
First of all, my biggest thanks to Cinzia , patient and caring wife
, pillar of encouragement ; and to Camy, brightly and essential shop
helper, our always smiling daughter.
My RV-14 Demo w/Mitch Lock ...Todd Rader
I was fortunate to be able to meet with Mitch Lock this morning
for a demo flight in the RV-14. The weather was a perfect 60 degree
day, CAVU with light winds out of the west and I was psyched to
experience the legendary performance of an RV for the 1st time.
Mitch and the RV-14 far exceeded any expectations I had formed from
reading about it, cruising this forum and talking with others. Vans
has chosen very wisely regarding their choice for East Coast Rep.
I'm a retired Naval Aviator, current corporate pilot and have flown
my fair share of high performance aircraft throughout my career. A
few things have prevented me from taking the plunge to build in the
past which included finding an aerobatic aircraft that would
comfortably fit my 6' 3" frame while still being a capable cross
country aircraft. I sat in the RV-14 at Oshkosh this year and talked
with Mitch about the airplane and he was VERY patient in answering
all my questions. Today, I got to fly it and the final key questions
I had were emphatically answered in the affirmative for me. The
RV-14 handles as well as any aircraft I have ever flown and it is
the aircraft I will be building!
G3X Touch Software Update - v5.00
On Tuesday we released a major software update for the G3X Touch
system. As usual, software updates are free to download from
our website. To get all the details and download the latest, follow
One major new feature is the addition of airspace altitude labels
on our dynamic moving map. This has been a big customer request
and we are excited to deliver. In the example below, you'll see the
altitude ceiling labeled on the Class D airspace as well as the
restricted airspace floor and ceiling.
385 landings ...David Domeier RV-8
...and still working at it.
It's getting easier but still manage to screw one up now and then.
The best condition is 10 knots of headwind, the worst is 5 knots of
tail wind. Cross winds are in between.
I cannot three point this airplane, it relaunches every time unless
the wing is unloaded with forward stick as it touches down. To get
it slowed to just above 51 knots (stall), the tail wheel will touch
first and it will do a pogo dance with mains.
A touch down on mains is above stall every time, the aircraft will
relaunch easily unless the wing is unloaded with a bit of forward
So, I wheel land it all the time. That's easy once you figure out
where the runway is.
Welcome Trig Avionics Limited
Air Force pilots know their airplanes are amongst the most capable
and fun ways to fly. For those still building with the dream of
flight or those looking to update their avionics, Trig Avionics, is
the perfect match for any Vans airframe.
Trig, offers innovative and
highly compact certified transponders and VHF radios, that save
space and look great in any panel. Pilots looking to get ADS-B Out
equipped and meet the 2020 mandate should install Trig’s TT22 – this
is a class 1, compact transponder, certified to FAA TSO C166b, the
latest FAA standard. The TT22’s small size and weight (0.8lbs)
allows other instrumentation or avionics to be accommodated,
providing a genuine benefit in any installation.
For ADS-B Out, a transponder needs to be matched
with a suitable compliant GPS. A recent price reduction to Trig’s
C145 WAAS GPS and antenna kit, called the TN70 now means a fully
compliant Trig system costs only $3,763 (list price / excluding
tax). The TN70 is very simple to install, requires no panel space
and provides a cost-effective way to add a 2020 certified WAAS GPS
receiver to complete your ADS-B installation.
numbers of Vans owners have also installed Trig’s popular TY91
radio. Like the TT22 the TY91 is highly compact, the use of a
control head and separate hardware unit provides more installation
options. A built in two place intercom and clear bright display is
complimented by a superior user interface for faster tuning.
Integration with Garmin hand held GPS navigators (SL40 protocol) is
also possible to display on-route frequencies. A dual control TY91
option is available, ideal for tandem Vans aircraft where radio
functionality is duplicated in each cockpit, it’s intuitive and
simple to use.
Trig has an extensive dealer
network in North America and dedicated technical support facilities
at Mid Continent Instruments and Avionics. All Trig products ship
with a two-year warranty that commences from the date of
installation, great for those who are building!
Trig products are ‘better by
design’ offering you the best mix of quality and value - backed by
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Garmin Pilot v8.5 Released
Videos RE: New Features:
· Overview of
Weight and Balance
Overview of Garmin Pilot 8.5 within Europe
November 17, 2016. Issue
Milestone: Phi Beta Kappa's Newest Member (history)
Ms. Audrey G. Reeves. Pictured here yesterday evening after
signing 'the book' at SMU's Dallas Hall (first ΦΒΚ signature in it
It's looking like her focus will soon be a PhD program (Chemical
Biology with a specialty in imaging). Some of the research
she's helping with can be viewed
I call what she is working on 'making cancer cells glow in the dark
so you can find all of them during surgery'. She calls it 'A
Targeted, Near-IR Probe for use in Fluorescence-Guided Excision of
Cancerous Tumors'. Poe-Tate-Oh, Pah-Tah-Dah.
advertisers and folks who donate, keeping our small family business
going...you helped provide this opportunity for her. Audrey is
taking your support very seriously, and hopefully you approve of the
results. Susie and I are so very proud of her. How we
were Blessed with such a wonderful child is beyond me.
I went for
a short .3hr flight around the local area Wednesday morning - before
the cold Wx and possible storms arrive Friday. The visibility
was unusually good, and I could see downtown Dallas and Fort Worth
in sharp relief. A little north of downtown Dallas, 29.7 miles
away, the SMU campus was inter-mixed in a clump of shapes. My
thoughts turned to our daughter somewhere down there, the 'AR' in
N617AR, and her work focused on the betterment of the world. I
said a short prayer of heartfelt thanks out loud.
Very heartfelt thanks...
Sixteen and a half years ago...
...Hong Kong's first homebuilt completes 3-month round the world
Treat that Prop with Respect
Several years ago, a couple friends of mine
went to look at a Chief one of them was wanting to buy. The plane
was in a hangar full of planes with its doors locked. While waiting
for the owner to arrive, they looked in the plane windows, saw that
the mag switch was off, and decided to turn over the prop to check
to relative compression of the motor. They got the surprise of their
life when the motor cranked. They had to hold the plane for quite a
while till the owner arrived. They were very lucky that no one got
hurt or plane got damaged. The owner was not a happy camper when he
arrived. Stuff happens so don't play around with a prop.
Very slow build RV7A
Another story, from personal experience.
Several years ago I tying to isolate an intermittent performance
problem on my 8. After a flight with the engine very warm I
pulled the prop thru to feel the compression and it spun thru 5
or so blades. Got my attention.
No hot mag, just a HOT engine.
Eagle's Nest Projects - Declan Steinke 1st Solo (Central HS WI)
If it's a VFR day in Wisconsin, chances are you'll find one or
more of the Eagle's Nest Projects build-students at Westosha Central
High School in their student-built RV-12 receiving flight
instruction under the watchful eye of certified flight instructor,
John Putra. Mr. Putra volunteers is time and together with a
dedicated team of mentors and community support, Central High School
is quickly building their very own Air Force of high school private
pilots; some receiving their ticket before they even have a drivers
Eagle's Nest builder Declan Steinke is the latest addition to
Central's growing number of teen pilots, having successfully
completed his first solo flight today, Thurs 11/15/16. Please
welcome Declan to the VAF community of RV enthusiasts, builders, and
Aside: When Declan was asked if he had his Eagle's Nest T-shirt,
he said he remembered it half way to the airport and didn't have
time to go back. Quote from Jim Senft; "Oh well, what are you going
Declan is also the youngest independent Rotax Maintenance Technician
(iRMT). Not bad for only being a Junior in High School. The
whole Eagle’s Nest program is making a difference in many students’
Service Letter 16-11-04: Tip-Up Canopies
While rare, in-flight canopy and door openings have been reported
in all models of RVs. Field reports of aircraft flight
characteristics both during and after an in-flight opening vary
significantly. The most pronounced changes in flight characteristics
reported have been related to canopy openings on RVs with tip-up
(forward opening) type canopies, as used on the RV-6/7/9/12/and 14
models. In most cases these incidents have been minor, but some have
had serious consequences.
Field reports indicate that if the canopy does become unlatched
in flight, the aircraft will most likely pitch nose down abruptly.
The severity of the pitching moment can depend on speed, attitude
and weight and balance. While the noise and attitude change may be
very distracting, it is paramount that the pilot maintains control
of the aircraft at all times. If at a safe altitude, slowing the
airplane may allow the canopy to be closed and latched. Otherwise,
the aircraft should be landed as soon as possible to determine the
cause and ensure the canopy is secured prior to further flight.
RV-3B Update ...David Paule
The new seat angles are fabricated. They went relatively
smoothly. I had to work on the flanges to remove most of the
roughness from the shrinker/stretcher, which does leave a mark in
In both pictures, the top one is the new one and the bottom one is
what I'm replacing.
My Home Field ...update.
Construction continues on improving drainage at the south end.
Some pics from Tuesday.
fmi: fly52f.org (the P.O.A.)
VAF Members! I'm Nate O'Quinn, here with a new service I'd like to
offer, X-Schemes. X-Schemes is an Experimental focused paint scheme
design service that can offer designs for complete paint schemes,
nose and tail art, or any other aircraft graphic.
got my start here on VAF actually. After learning about RVs, I
quickly imagined myself in a -7 or -8, and thought about how I would
like to paint a personal aircraft. I threw together a couple of
renders for community feedback. The feedback was very encouraging,
and then a few folks started to ask me to design schemes for their
I designed the paint scheme for Tom Powers' RV-8 Fastback painted by
I also designed the paint scheme for Hank Moody's RV-8:
have a good grasp on military, classic, and modern schemes and am
familiar with all RV models. I can also work with any mods your
aircraft has. Contact me here on VAF under the username "Notorious
Nate", or through my website X-Schemes.com for special introductory
(ad lives in the Previous Day's News
November 16, 2016. Issue
Please excuse the Wed. issue
being pushed out a little earlier than usual. Family thing
conflicting with the normal push time... dr
How exciting! A short 13min
flight Tue morning resulted in pics of six deer and one taxiway
being worked on. This is big news for the pilots using my home
field. The work being done now relates to fixing the drainage
issues that have been there for decades. Once that is complete
the new runway goes in. Obviously, if you're using 52F expect
to back taxi if landing long on 17. You can't get off at the
end. Good stuff!
fmi: fly52f.org (the P.O.A.)
Snorkel success ...Simon Hitchen
Having read about so much grief concerning the snorkel
installation I got stuck in. Im really pleased to say that the
snorkel fits beautifully. This is the VA 132-2 snorkel 7/8.
only cutting required was around the top to fit with the baffles. I
didn't get away Scott free, the mixture cable rod end bearing
touches the rear of the snorkel in full rich. Ah well.
So for anyone moving into this stage, I'm thinking Vans have
modified the design and it's not nearly as bad as I believed it
I've got a Titan IO-360, superior cold air induction sump, sky tech
SL starter and plane power 60 amp alternator. It all fits.
Close Call ...Mike Hillger
This thread hits home! I was leaving an uncontrolled airport
Saturday after a Young Eagle Event. I had just flown 5 Young Eagles
and was headed home. The field had been very busy that morning and I
noticed a Piper Colt that had a very weak radio transmission but I
heard him while I was in the air flying. He had been doing touch and
goes most of the morning. My Dynon com radio has the squelch set on
the default setting. I finished my run up and looked both ways on
runway 35 and didn't see anything. My friend had just taken off and
I listened to his radio transmission but didn't hear anyone else in
the pattern. I announce that In was taking 35 for a North departure
and started rolling toward the threshold. Just before turning onto
the runway, I looked back again and saw the Colt on short final! At
that very moment, my friend (Airguy) radioed me that the colt was on
short final. I acknowledged as I was doing a 180 to get farther away
from the threshold. The Colt was probably shouting at me but since
his weak radio was not breaking my squelch, and I was on the ground
so my radio was not in the best receiving position, I couldn't hear
him!........ Close call for sure and my friend could have saved my
life if I hadn't seen the Colt the second time and the Colt, for
some reason, wouldn't have gone around.......I have adjusted the
squelch now and will click the squelch over ride from now on taxiing
to the runway. Of coarse, I accept full responsibility for the near
miss as it is my responsibility to visually clear any approaching
From Bruce's ...10% off
Hot Prop Happened to Me ...Boyd Birchler
I had this happen to me! I had a Decathlon that would
occasionally have a valve stick on the first take off of the day. So
I thought I would check the engine by turning it over, while cold in
the hangar, to see If I could locate the abhorrent valve. My back
was up against the door I had verified the mag switches were off.
I got ready to turn the prop and thought: if I have a bad P lead/hot
mag this would be a very bad place to be, with the prop arch only a
few inches from my legs with my back touching the hangar door behind
me, should the engine start I'd be in real trouble.
I went to the other hanger and found a set of good chocks and
chocked the plane. I then got in front of the plane and pulled the
blade through.. it started on the the first slow pull!!! Just like
the one in the video, it only ran a few seconds. I had already
shimmied out side ways before it quit.
If I had not chocked it? How long would it have been before I got
Nearly 30 years later I still have great respect for props.
Panel Upgrade Status Report ...Tony T
So far, it has been an intense, but satisfying, project. There is
a certain amount of trauma to your psych when you tear out a
perfectly good panel and start a complicated replacement. But the
work keeps you busy and there is no remorse once you see tangible
progress. I found no real surprises. A lot of homework is involved
reviewing the original plans, the SV update plans (sec 42D) and the
new wiring harness plans section 31B plus the plans that come with
the Avionics kit, section 42C, section 42G for the GTR 200 radio,
section 42M for the control modules, section 44A for the autopilot
servo wiring, and section 58 AP knobs. I spend one day at home
getting getting my head around my notes and the plans between work
days at the hangar.
I have been at it for 4 weeks, 3 days a week at the hangar and have
about 72 hangar hours logged and don't know how many hours at home
reviewing and planning.
I still need to get back into the tail cone and install the ADAHRS
box. Been avoiding that task
Anyway, I am looking forward to turning on the Master very soon now
and then it will be learning the new panel and putting the flight
control hardware back together in the center tunnel.
I can hardly wait to get her going again and fly behind this
November 15, 2016. Issue
2016 Reno Air Races, a different perspective ...skylor
At this year's Reno National Championship Air Races, I enjoyed
the honor of participating in the Sport Class's first ever Slalom
Match Racing exhibition. I finally got around to making a short
video from some of my GoPro footage.
This is my first attempt at a
YouTube video, so please excuse my use of a GoPro template and
Treat every prop as live! ...Ian Warburton
Video of close call...
We've all probably been told early on in
our training to treat every prop as live. Here's why. I don't think
I have ever heard of an actual case of this happening, just been
told it's possible. The video is scary. Some great lessons here.
FlyLEDs Review ...Paul Gray video
I've built and placed the flyleds into my RV 7A with great
results. Here is a short video of my flyleds building adventure and
flight. My concern of radio noise was wasted worry.... I'm happy to
report there is no radio noise whatsoever. Highly recommend this
Walked out to the plane, and found a dent
Well, walked out to my 8 on the ramp at Kickapoo today and saw a
small dent on the top of my flap. No idea what happened..... is this
repairable? I didn't build the plane, so I haven't done sheet metal
work, and I hope it's not a "you're gonna have to just use filler."
I'm based at Ogden and there's a "aircraft restoration and paint
shop" here but haven't talked to them. Open to some pointers.
First Engine Start ...ILikePike
First engine start! Idle mixture is too rich and I have a cowl
rub on the snorkel. I only thought I was done with fiberglass. I
plan to reshape the snorkel to make a little more clearance. It's
had to measure but I think I have about 1/4" to 1/2" now. I should
be able to get another 1/4" to 1/2".
Anybody know where a can rent some scales in NE Georgia?
Check the runway, then check it again! ...nbachert
Yesterday I was returning from my weekend trip when I almost had
a head on collision at my home airport. I received the ASOS and it
said winds were calm so I was planning on landing rwy 18. I
cancelled my IFR flight with approach when I had the field in sight
which was about 8 miles out. They told me to squawk VFR and that no
traffic was in the area because I mentioned having trouble seeing
because I was flying into the setting sun. I radioed for traffic and
advisorys over the airports CTAF and got nothing. I proceeded to
make a 5 mile, 3 mile, and short final call with no response to any
of them. As I was crossing the threshold I saw a plane about 30-50ft
higher flying at me and they continued overtop of me. I keyed the
mic and said are you kidding me. I wasn't scared and didn't need to
make any crazy aircraft control inputs because he was high enough
and I was too low. I landed uneventfully and as I was taxing in he
made a call he was turning downwind. I refrained from much
conversation but I said I'm glad he is making radio calls now. He
swore he was making calls and had a passenger to prove it. After
landing I went and talked to the airport fuel operator who sits in a
shack that monitors the CTAF. He said that he had left for coffee
but he heard my short final call and my are you kidding me comment.
I said thanks, and proceeded out to the fella to explain the
importance of using the radio. I told him that the monitor heard me
and either his radio wasn't on the correct freq or it wasn't on. Him
and his passenger were a little shaken but didn't want to except any
responsibility. So I then said I will make sure in the future to do
an extensive runway check for aircraft and enter midfield downwind
which will allow for better visibility with the setting sun. I asked
that he double check his radios and left. While he wouldn't
acknowledge any problems I hope he eventually understands how close
this was and puts his ego aside. My point is that I'm happy to be
alive and there are ways to make sure I keep myself out of this
scenario again even if someone isn't talking on the radio. I know
its not a requirement so like I said above keep a look out for that
guy that might inadvertently do some airshow displays with you! I
know I learned a valuable lesson I just hope the kid flying the
other plane puts it in his tool bag as well! Be safe out there!
Breakdown ...Accident Case Study
On February 29, 2012, a Cirrus SR22 plunged to the ground just
seconds before what would have been a normal landing at Melbourne,
Florida. In this case study, we reconnect the links of the accident
chain, and search for lessons in the tragedy.
IAC Sequences for 2017 Approved
Still alive and well! ...Brantel
Some people have asked why I have not been as active on here for
the past few weeks.
Using the RV Training Guide ...VAC
Shop Update Pics ...scard
November 14, 2016. Issue
West Coast Ravens at Nellis this past weekend.
In memory of Joe. (pics via text from AX-O)
Sightseeing via RV in Utah & Colorado ...flybill7
About a month ago, I flew the RV-7 on a ten-day cross-country
to/from Baltimore to western Colorado and eastern/southern Utah. I
did most of my flying in the morning when the sun lit everything up
and the air was smooth. I was fortunate to have outstanding weather
the entire trip and was able to take some great pictures of awesome
scenery in such places as the Black Canyon NM, Arches NP,
Canyonlands NP, Lake Powell, Capital Reef, Dinosaur NM, Bryce Canyon
NP, Zion NP, and many other incredible places that aren't national
parks. In my opinion, it's the best flying from a scenery point of
view in the U.S. (although I have not flown Alaska). I put together
a web log of my trip so you can see some of the great pictures.
Freedom Flight ...hydroguy2
I don't fly enough lately for various reasons. But still make a
lap around the valley to warm up the oil and free my mind. With this
week having the Election and Veterans day, I felt the urge for a
freedom flight to put everything in proper perspective. Below is a
spliced together video from Townsend, then along the mountains
looking over the area I hunt elk. Drop down to the glassy lake and
up the river before turning it back to the barn. My friend Gerry had
flown down for coffee with the hangar bums...so I joined them.
Beautiful fall day....Life is good.
Fuel return bulkhead fitting
I am installing a duplex fuel valve in my 14. The return line is
secured in the supplied brackets, parallel to the feed line and
exits straight into the wing root. What works out the best in the
wing root when connecting to the fuel tank, a straight or elbow
bulkhead fitting. Anybody been there-done that?
A: (M McGraw)
I used a straight fitting then crossed from the fuselage to the
wing with SS braided fuel hose. I originally had a short aluminum
line that went straight across. That line is not straight and is
only about 2.5 to 3 inches long. That makes a stress free sealed
connection very difficult. I changed over to crossed flexible lines
for two reasons (1) it relieved the stress on the fittings and (2)
it allowed the top of the duplex valve to be the fuel filter
connection making maintenance easier. This also reduced the number
of AN 90 degree fittings on the suction side of the pump. Steve at
Aircraft Specialty has the dimensions as he made the lines.
P.S.- Be very careful to purchase the Andair valve that has the same
mounting top as the supplied valve. I wound up having to create a
nutplate ring to go under my valve.
First engine start of C-FUIP ...terry.mortimor video
Hi gang, check out the first engine start of C-FUIP. Lycoming
IO-320 equipped with duel EFII ignition and injection.
The Re-birth of N94CR ...j-red update
receiving the sds ignition kit, i finally had all of the pieces for
my panel. The kit came with a template which was aligned then
cleco'd in place while i rough cut the hole, then used a pattern bit
in the router to clean it up. The result was a perfectly shaped
opening for the cpi module. Everything was then uninstalled, the
panel removed, deburred, cleaned and painted, then labeled and
reinstalled. I still need the passenger warning, but otherwise it's
complete and the instruments are in for the final time. All of the
engine system wires have been run through the firewall, and there is
just a little bit of cleanup and clamping to do behind the panel.
The only significant systems that still need work are the final
sections of pitot/static tubing and the manifold pressure
connections (tying together the cpi & grt behind the firewall and
the engine in front of it.).
Any Ideas why this Broke Off
Interesting Takeoff This Morning ...todehnal
It was a cool morning as we left on our 90 nm flight heading to a
breakfast fly-in, located in central Tenn. My pre-flight began with
an hour of preheat. The start was quick, as was the warm up, and the
flight down was beautiful, and uneventful. After a 1 1/2 hour of
breakfast and hangar flying, we were ready to head home. I was
surprised at how cool the engine was. It started fine, but I held
things up a bit, getting the oil temp up to 120. As soon as it got
there, I departed. At full throttle, and at about 50 feet above the
runway, the little girl started hollering at me "Engine Speed"
Engine Speed" She got my attention! Sure enough, I'm at 5250 rpm,
and it is RED, and flashing at me!! Scared the (^@p out of me! I
finally figured it out, and it didn't last long. My guess is that
the oil was up to temp, but the water wasn't. As soon as I took off,
my oil temp must have dropped enough to set off the alarms. I was
too busy flying the airplane to notice how far the oil temp dropped,
but the alarms only lasted for 10 or 15 seconds. Wheeew! Anyone else
November 11, 2016. Issue
It's about the people you meet, and
living a full life with the curve balls thrown your way. I had the
distinct pleasure of giving my wife's friend Jean Di Carlo-Wagner a ride
in the RV Thursday morning - her first RV ride. Intended it to be
15 minutes and it
40. You can read about Jean and how she's kicking cancer's ass
at this link (more
at Google search
HERE). She is in town to go to a yoga thing with Susie this
weekend in Canton, and is staying at our house for a day or two in
advance. She's from California and has some pretty different
political beliefs from most of the folks in Texas, but she went and ate
BBQ at the Hard Eight with a few of the airport locals ('in the belly of
the beast' as she worded it <g>) and instantly became friends with all.
Everyone is looking forward to her next visit - you can't help but like
this lady. Hugs were given.
Jean and her husband have an AirBnB place in San Diego. Link
HERE. If you're going there and need a place to stay, I'll
personally vouch for her.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
Our planes inspire others ...Bob Collins
This week a card was waiting for me at my desk when I got into
work on Monday. It's unusual because, though I've been here almost
25 years, I think I've gotten a card once or twice. I'm not
everyone's cup of tea, you might have heard.
So when I opened it, I was pretty surprised. The newsroom had
heard -- somehow --that
N614EF had to go on sale.
I didn't really realize that the story of how she came to be and
the journeys she's taken over the last 335 hours had inspired some
of the non fliers around me. I only rarely wrote of the trips on my
day job blog.
But they did. I suspect people all around us are inspired by the
planes we've built and fly, and we don't quite realize it.
These are magical things, these planes...
...Traffic. Transponder. Weather.
Lynx now available direct for Van's RV owners/builders.
2017 EAA Sweepstakes...
November 10, 2016. Issue
RV-8 Around the World Status Report ...pgroell
South Pole. Today Michel Gordillo flew over the south pole
in his RV-8. The flight originated at the italian Mario
Zucchelli Station (south of Tasmania) and landed at the argentinian
Mariambo station (south of Argentina). The 4600 km (2500 NM)
was completed in 21 hours.
Wednesday I took up the RV-6 for 22min 51sec (APRS
track) - first flight in a week. Looked for some deer,
turkeys, hogs and hawks and saw nothing. Did see 'Mema on the
porch' and gave her slowish pass and a wave. The wind was from
the N at 7kts so Rwy 35. Slopes down on the south end and can
be interesting. Approached from the east and tried my best to
fly a near-circular, compensating for wind, stabilized descending
turn with the AOA centered. Flap dump somewhere in the mix.
If things felt good in the flare (they did) and all three wheels
touched at the same time with no hopping I planned to raise the
flaps with a palm slap (manual flaps) and see if I could make the
Charlie turn off with no braking. 943 feet from displaced
threshold to the turn according to GoogleEarth. Mostly full
tanks. No baggage.
Supporting data below. Ground track
top image, the red arrow in the second image shows where the tracker
was turned off (just after turning off the runway), and the third
shows the ruler measurement in G.E.. A rewarding flight, with
goals, challenges and room for improvement. Sometimes you get
close. Very enjoyable to me, but I'm guessing a few might find
it boring. Different strokes and all that....
Best Pic of your RV on the Ground
November 9, 2016. Issue
For the readers who voted, thank
you for participating in the election process.
A Celebration of Joe Blank's Life
...is currently being planned for the 19th of Nov at (KUAO)
Aurora, OR. I'll share more when I have it, but
this is the info I have now. If you're flying in commercial I
wanted you to have the date as quick as I could get it to you.
More to come...
Exhaust- how close is too close-
We planned to use an existing crossover-exhaust that was
previously fitted on another RV-4. It suits us well, because both
crossover pipes are in front of the oil sump and keeps us the space
behind the oil sump free of exhaust pipes. The todays Vetterman
crossover exghaust has one pipe in front and one behind the oil
As you can see in the pictures below the exhaust pipes have low
clearance in some places.
- Pic 1: approx. 0.12 Inch between each other and between a pipe and
the oil sump
- Pic 2: approx. 0.16 Inch between the pipe and the oil fitting
(used for inverted oil system)
For those having experience with similar installations: is this
too close? Especially the clearance between the pipe and the
fitting? There is no space to place a heat shield in between.
RV-14 Panel Status ...Bob Meyers
I went with an iPad instead of a second Garmin screen. It
interacts well with either Garmin Pilot or Foreflight. For attitude/airdata
backup I went with the G5.
In the picture, the PFD, Navigator and iPad are all sharing flight
plan info. The PFD won't pass attitude info yet, because it doesn't
know where it is and the magnetometer is not calibrated.
The 625 navigator has a built in demo mode and when in use all three
devices talk with each other with simulated data sent from the 625.
I have simulated several flights.
From the mothership FB page...
DanH's Thoughts on Selling Your Aircraft
...did I mention he sells cars and trucks for a living?
"Admitting to a methodology for sales is a bit like admitting to
witchcraft. Not everyone views it as a behavioral science. However,
there are fundamentals.
(1) The purpose of advertising is to generate a contact. An ad will
not sell the product. It can only generate a call or (these days) an
(2) When answering a call or email, the objective is to set a time
to show the product. Although you may arrive at some provisional
agreement, a sale is rarely consummated until after the product has
(3) The only purpose of showing the product is to ask for a
commitment. The most common failure in sales is self-inflicted; the
seller doesn't ask.
So how to put fundamentals into practice?
Re (1) Comfort = Familiar. The more they know, the more likely they
are to move toward a contact. So imagine everything you would ask if
you were a purchaser, and when possible, put all those things in the
Re (2) A good ad sets up a successful contact; your goal is a
commitment to come look. People are generally poor at asking
questions, digesting the answers, and making an immediate decision.
You want to be in the position of confirming details they have
already had time to consider, rather than answering new questions.
It allows you to spend the phone time asking your question,
which is something like "Want to look at it this weekend, or next
Re (3) When they arrive, take the time to really show them the
airplane. Not tell, show. Help them feel it, smell it, and
experience it. They won't buy until they are comfortable, and that
means familiar. When they are familiar, ask them to buy it. It's not
a big deal. Just ask in whatever way you find comfortable.
Even apologetic is fine; "Well, I guess I should ask if you would
like to buy it" works as well as anything. It's really just an
icebreaker, a way to put the Big Question on the table. Believe me,
they are often as hesitant to do so as you might be. Somebody just
has to go first."
Special Fall Organization FreeReel Special
Martin Product Design is currently running a special on the FreeReel
family of products until 11/12.
The FreeReel is an extremely versatile and effective reel for managing power
cords, and hoses. The FreeReel is particularly good for use in aircraft
maintenance. You can carry the FreeReel to your job with your power cord or
air hose and set it down. Pick it back up and wind it to your power source
or compressor once you’re finished.
Please click the Amazon links below to look at the FreeReel discounts. Don’t
forget to enter your promo code.
- The FreeReel System (promo code
- The FreeReel Pro Package (promo
- The FreeReel System + Wall
(promo code FSALE333)
November 8, 2016. Issue
Flying with my Boy! ...crabandy
As the father of 3 older girls who have all spent their fair
share of time around airplanes with dad, my lil' dude takes the
cake. Part of it is the "engine sounds" he makes after we make the
familiar turn to the airport, not sure if it's a lycoming or the V8
in his Cozy Coupe
N33EY First Flight ...Robert Young RV-3
RV-3B N33EY flew for the first time on Nov 03. WOW! What an
experience. Reminded me of my first flight in the F-16
IAC Sebring Aerobatic PIREP ...RV8Squaz
I just returned from my very first aerobatic contest, the
Sebring Fall 2016 Aerobatic Championship in Florida and had a blast!
If you’ve ever thought about competing, DO IT! If you haven’t
thought about doing it, but maybe getting a little bored flying
around in circles within 20 miles of your home airport, DO IT! Or,
if your just looking for another avenue to express your inner self
in flight, DO IT! I can truly tell you, that you it will find it
challenging, rewarding and FUN!!! And you know what… Anyone can do
it in just about any kind of aerobatic airplane.
For Sale ...Bob Collins 7A
There I was, just sliding along ...DanH
No matter how long you've been flying, there's always another
lesson just around the corner.
My buddy has a short grass strip at his house, across the flat part
of an old cotton patch. It's about 800 feet from terrace row to
terrace row, said rows forming the "threshold" at both ends. There's
about 100 feet of good grass beyond a gentle terrace at one end, and
then it's out between the tall trees and off into a ravine full of
more trees. The other end has two gentle terraces about 30 feet
apart, followed by a mowed grass bowl probably 200 feet across.
Pink Slip ...Mark Dickens
After 17 years (7 years actually building), my pile of aluminum
parts was finally declared an airplane! Vic Syracuse did the honors,
and I was truly honored to have him there to give me a great
inspection, great advice and he was fantastic company while he was
Now to get down to Houston and let Bruce Bohannon get ME ready for
the first flight....
Dawn Patrol, southern Saskatchewan ...gerrychuck
November 7, 2016. Issue
It was cloudy and overcast
all weekend here in N. Texas, just like my mood.
I needed the weekend to
gather my thoughts on what to write. It’s not perfect, but what
really ever is? I don't pretend to know how to string words
together with any degree of skill, and with an election hours away
it’s easy to get sidetracked into thinking that it should get most
of your focus. And it just shouldn’t. Just when you think you have
a few of life’s things figured out, it has a way of reminding you
what is really important - friends.
My friend Joe Blank passed
away a few days ago. He worked at Van’s from 2006-2016, and during
that time he sort of ended up being the guy I would call if I needed
to get in touch with the ‘mothership’. I have no idea how it ended
up that way, maybe it was just luck. Often, he was the one who
would call me to get some piece of information headed my way for a
Technical support can be a
challenge and mentally exhausting. A couple of times I asked
if he was being clobbered on the phone more than usual, and if so
I’d put my phone on speaker and do other things at the desk for a
minute or two. I have this image in my head of him nodding like
he’s listening to a customer talk out some building problem, but
really he was just giving his voice and brain a rest for two
minutes. Maybe checking his email. Two guys who know what it’s
like to be in a lot of communication loops, and the value of a
couple minutes of silence. I usually signed off with something
sophomoric like, “Thump Daryl on the ear for me and say 'Hey'”, and
used his name when talking with Daryl.
I don’t go to OSH much
these days, as Susie and I are in the ‘max Q’ portion of our
financial lives. But I’ll tell you this – and it is the honest
truth. What I miss most about OSH is having a beer at the end
of the day with Joe, Daryl, Gus and the rest of the Van’s gang who
would walk over to Kelly’s for a nightcap. I’m grateful they let
this flatlander nobody poseur spend a little time in their world.
One year at OSH I needed a
place to sleep, and Joe offered up a spare bed in the dorm room he
was using. We had most likely walked over to Kelly’s for a Spotted
Cow after dinner (the usual routine), and that can make me snore. I
woke up to Joe’s dirty, rolled up sock smashing into my face at
about 60 mph from across the room, with him shouting ‘Stop
snoring!’. Head shot….right in the kisser. Smelled like feet.
I’m sure I only saw one
tiny side of Joe’s world. We talked RV stuff, so there are whole
chapters I know nothing about. I think he had a private side and
chose to guard it, which is understandable. And something rare in
today’s ‘look at me’ world.
A few times
Joe and others would stop in Dallas on the way to Sun ‘n Fun,
storing an RV or two in hangars around our airport and borrowing a
truck if needed to get to a hotel. In the pictures linked
HERE and below you can see my then 13-yr old son Tate
driving Joe over to the RV-14A that is about to be fueled by
Sterling. My home field. It was the first time Tate ever drove a
golf cart in his life, and Joe was his passenger. The picture of
Joe giving me a thumbs up after take off is, to the best to my
knowledge, the last time I saw him in person. We talked dozens of
times after that, but never face to face. I sure enjoyed those
visits. I wish I’d travelled up to Portland more often, but the
usual stupid, lame excuses about being too busy or not wanting to
spend the money stopped me. I'll always regret that.
Tate Reeves and Joe...
We had a rabbit give birth
to four babies in some tall grass in our yard a few years back, I
think after one of those RV visits on the way to SnF. It might have
been seven years back, both kids were home. The rabbit's names
were: Thumper, Smuckers, Joe and Daryl. When I told Tate about
Joe’s passing, he reminded me of the rabbits. I’d forgotten.
Audrey remembered it also.
I think as a show of
friendship, he wore a VansAirForce.net cap at times during fly-ins
and photo shoots. He wore it while working OSH as an employee of
Van’s Aircraft. He wore it in shoots that appeared in magazines
(he’d email me to ‘check out the hat’). We never really talked
about it in great detail, but I guess he wanted our family’s small
business to succeed, and this was his way of helping. Helping out a
friend – that just sounds like the Joe I was lucky enough to know.
I don’t think he realized just how much him wearing that hat
occasionally meant to me and my family. Seeing him wearing it in
some of the pictures I’ve been seeing of him online just makes me
that much more sad my friend is gone. I wish I knew what else to
say. We’re hurting, and it sucks.
Joe made a difference in
thousands of people’s lives, whether he knew it or not. Even though
we only got to hang out a few times in person, just talking over the
phone and emailing over the past decade put me squarely in the ‘Fan
of Joe’ camp. A shadow has crossed my heart, and I miss my friend
and hurt for his family.
Joe loved to fly and his
excitement was infectious. It was hard to NOT get excited about RV
airplanes with Joe as your guide. I guess you don’t realize the
impact someone can have on you until they are taken away. They come
along at the exact perfect time to make a lasting impression.
Joe made an impact on my life, and I’m a better person for it. I
know others feel the same. Trisha and Jamie, you’re not far
from my thoughts. Thank you for sharing him with us. It’s
said often, and sometimes feels cliché, but it’s true. This hobby
is not about the building or even the flying….it’s the people you
meet along the journey that's really important. Joe was the
real deal, the kind of friend you consider yourself lucky to know.
He called me ‘Duggles’,
and I smiled every time he said or wrote it.
I hope to go to Heaven
someday, and be reunited with family and friends I care so dearly
about. Until we meet again Joe, if you see someone I know up
there, give 'em a thump on the ear for me and say 'hey'. I'll
try my best down here to be a good friend to those around me.
You set the bar high.
Rest in Peace, my friend.
Thanks for being there for me, and everyone else.
of Joe I found:
If you have a memory of Joe you would like to share,
there is thread at this link.
November 4, 2016. Issue
Van and Vic penned an article that
makes up most of the Friday edition. Good stuff. Wishing you
and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
courtesy Van's Aircraft, Inc.
(click to enlarge)
It upset me to read Lauran Paine’s
column in the Oct. Sport Aviation, titled Aviation Courtesy.
The topic was errant RV pilot’s aggressive and reckless flying that
upset and endangered other GA pilots. (The Nov. SA issue included
an article by Dave Metheny titled “The Buzz Monster”, which
had a similar theme, though directed to pilots in general.)
Obviously, I am disturbed anytime
that the term “Those RV pilots” is used with a negative connotation.
I hold in high regard the thousands of you RV pilots, because of the
way you build, fly, and enjoy your RVs. The precise and professional
ceremonial formation you fly, the tens of thousands of Young Eagle
flights you have offered, your breakfast and lunch fly-out, and your
mass flights to the Bahama Isles and beyond, all provide a positive
image for RV pilots. This is my image of RV pilots, and I’d like to
think that this describes 99+% of you. But, it takes only a few
rotten apples to damage that image for all of us. I’d like to
believe that the instances mentioned in Lauran’s article were
isolated exceptions. Unfortunately, I too have occasionally heard
the “Those RV Pilots” term used disparagingly, and have also
witnessed errant RV flying behavior. I hope that you share the
regret and concern that I feel about this.
As described, the flying antics of
the RV pilot were well beyond being discourteous, they were
dangerous and definitely in violation of FARs.
Even if you view the behavior of the
RV pilot as just “good, clean fun”, the act of beating up a J-3 Cub
with an RV is hardly a badge of honor. It’s more like a high school
bully picking on a 6 year old.
One recourse not mentioned by the
offended J-3 pilot was that of FAA action. The described flying was
definitely in violation of FARs, and FARs are the LAW: we are a
civilized country. While the offending pilot may be arrogant and
unapologetic, (unopen to reason) he is nonetheless open to FAA
action. If the J-3 pilot felt endangered, he is fully within his
rights to seek a remedy through FAA action. Most pilots don’t like
to be snitches, but on the other hand they don’t need to be helpless
lies a pilot called "Ace"
Who did loops with such ease and
One day, to his woe, he entered too
Unable to recover, he was shocked to
that the ground was now in the wrong
We all know that our RVs are very
special airplanes. They are capable of doing all of the great things
for you that I mentioned above. But, you also know that “those
damned RVs” have ample performance to become a real nuisance and
even hazardous in the wrong hands. This was the motivation for the
regrettable topic of Lauran’s article. There may not be much that
any of you can individually do to bring an end to the abusive flying
habits of some of our misdirected fellow pilots. However, it’s
worth a bit of thought and discussion.
In addition to being upset by the
justified theme of the article, the topic of reckless flying has
occupied a lot of my time over the past year. Last spring I was
contacted by Vic Syracuse because of his experiences with and
concern about reckless flying antics that all too often lead to
fatal accidents. He had drafted an article which he shared with me
for the purpose of getting my opinion and support. I liked his
article, but decided to take it one step further by re-writing it as
a two-author feature with a supportive give-and-take format. The
article evolved into one of advocacy rather than just a lamentation
over regrettable pilot behavior. I later shared this draft with the
EAA Safety Committee and with the EAA Board of Directors. They were
supportive and the article was recommended for the pages of Sport
Aviation. Though I presented it to Sport Aviation many months ago,
it hasn’t been scheduled for print yet. Motivated by Lauran’s and
Dave’s articles, I am taking this opportunity to share it with you,
because it is appropriate.
As you read the concluding pages of
our article, you will see that we want to carry this topic beyond
just pleading with readers to fly right. Though both Lauran’s and
Dave’s articles have commendable themes, they are mostly “pleading
to the choir”. The offending pilots are unlikely to take heed, even
if they are literate. The position of Vic and I is that we can all
contribute through helping to change the culture of this outdated
flight behavior pattern, through peer influence. A tall order, we
admit, but not beyond the limits of feasibility if enough pilots are
tired of being branded because of the antics of some of our red-neck
compatriots. Please read it carefully, see what you think,
and let’s discuss it further.
Per the concluding position of the
article, a broad culture shift in GA would be needed to
significantly affect this problem. Our optimistic thought process
was that broad coverage of this topic would be needed in all GA
magazines and media sites. While to be effective a broad approach
must be pursued, there is no reason that our RV community can’t take
the lead. Since some of our numbers are among the targeted
offenders, maybe we need to demonstrate that “all RV pilots are
NOT like that”! Thus, I feel it important that we take seriously
the errant behavior of some of our fellow RV pilots. While there may
not be much that we can directly do, my article mentions some
possible long-term processes; some approaches that we can
collectively take. I think that you’ll agree that the overwhelming
majority of us don’t deserve the “danged RV pilots” label.
…Vic Syracuse & Dick VanGrunsven
I’ve always been fascinated by the early flying machines at the dawn
of aviation. Lucky for us there were really bold pilots that were
willing to take chances and tread while others stood by and watched.
However, if you follow some of the early pilots’ careers it becomes
very clear that longevity was not always in the cards. The old adage
of “there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots”
rings true. The pilots back then were truly pioneers, with rickety
machines and unreliable power plants. A certain amount of bravado
and devil-may-care attitude was probably required, and if it wasn’t
for them aviation progress may have been much slower.
As aviation continued, methodical
approaches to new designs and flight testing came to be, albeit not
without some dramatic loss of lives.
It’s always been so disappointing to
me to see some pilots continue to do dumb and stupid things, giving
the rest of us a bad reputation. I haven’t figured out if aviation
creates the daredevil/showboat mentality in the pilot, of if it is
just Darwinian behavior. I do know some of them should not be
allowed in an airplane, at least one with passengers. To date, two
airplanes I built have crashed performing low-level aerobatics,
killing 4 people. It’s so unnecessary, and I am not certain how we
should proactively deal with it. I have tried multiple times to
intercede, and have not been successful. We currently have another
potential one unfolding in our neighborhood, and I fear the outcome
will be the same.
Let me share with you a few examples
of careless behavior that had very tragic consequences. Way back in
1981, when I finished my RV-4, the Christen Eagles were the hottest
thing going. The kits were fantastic, the paint jobs were to die
for, and we all watched Tom Poberezny and the Eagles Aerobatic Team
perform at Oshkosh. As luck would have it, back at my home airport
in Elyria, Ohio a father and son team had just recently finished one
and wanted to share a hangar with me. The son was older than I was,
and the father had been a very successful finish carpenter, the
skills of which transferred very nicely to some parts of the Eagle’s
construction. Theirs was just as beautiful as any other that I had
seen, and I couldn’t wait to get a ride in it.
I learned that the son was a
recently minted Private Pilot with 69 hours TT, and they could not
get insurance for him until he had 100 hours. No problem, I could
wait for my ride. Then it happened. One beautiful day I helped get
the airplane out of the hangar so he could go flying and I watched
him immediately roll on takeoff and climb out inverted! Right then I
knew I would never get my ride. There’s no doubt I would love to sit
in the cockpit and view that takeoff, as long as someone qualified
like Tom Poberezny was at the controls. It must be a real rush. Come
to think of it, it would probably be an even greater rush with a low
time pilot at the controls, hoping the outcome would be the same! I
still remember coming home and telling Carol I was never going to
get my ride in the Eagle.
After watching the same performance,
including loops on takeoff, I worked up the courage to speak with
the father. Boy; that was a mistake. I was basically ostracized,
they moved out of my hangar, and the next time I saw the dad was at
the funeral for his son, caused by performing a loop on takeoff.
What a surprise! I remember hearing about it on the news one morning
on the way to work. Even though I saw it coming I was quite shocked.
It was the first personal friend in aviation that was killed in an
air crash. Unfortunately, there would be more.
What was even more shocking was
what happened next. At the funeral, before I could say anything, the
father said that there was something wrong with that airplane and
that he was going to rebuild it to figure it out. Huh??? BTW, I
forgot to mention that about a year earlier dad had run the very
same aircraft out of fuel and landed it in Lake Erie, requiring a
Coast Guard tow to shore? I was dumbfounded, but kept my mouth shut.
Not unexpectedly, he did rebuild it and proceeded to kill himself
and a passenger about a year later doing low-level aerobatics. I
still can’t fathom the unwillingness of some pilots to take a look
at themselves instead of the airplane.
I eventually sold my RV-4, thinking
I could build a Prescott pusher to solve the 4-seat family I now
had. The Prescott didn’t prove to be the airplane I wanted, so I
sold it and continued to build other aircraft.
20 years after selling my RV-4, I
received a phone call that it had crashed killing 2 people. I was
mortified, until I learned that they were headed home from an air
show and were seen doing low level rolls and loops at 250’ right up
until the crash! You’ve got to be kidding me! The owner was 70 years
old. I guess the desire to showboat sometimes never goes away.
The third accident involved another
aircraft I built, a Kitfox Speedster. Some of you may remember that
the Speedster was an aerobatic version of the Kitfox, and many of us
saw Jimmy Franklin put on quite a show at OSHKOSH with the
fluorescent green factory demonstrator. Jimmy’s show was so low that
more than once we thought he crashed in between the taxiway and
runway 18/36, but it was just an optical illusion doe to the dip in
the terrain. While I thoroughly tested mine during Phase I,
including taking it to 5.5 g’s, it was all flown way up high. After
flying it for 10 years, I sold it to build an RV-6, after having
soloed my youngest son in it. The speedster was a great fun machine.
On the day I sold it, we watched as the new owner and his flight
instructor took off and then came around in a high-banked, high
speed pass with the engine screaming like I had never heard it
before. I remarked that I hoped we wouldn’t hear about this one too.
That was February. On Christmas Eve
the same year I received a phone call from a radio station in
Colorado asking if I knew that an airplane I had built had crashed
killing 2 people? I was at a loss for words, but expressed my
condolences to the families and hung up. Within a few minutes we
learned that hunter had observed the aircraft flying low and doing
vertical pull-ups, before descending straight down and recovering.
“The airplane had gone away and returned a short time later,
executing the same maneuver over a frozen lake. This time the
outcome was not successful, and the Kitfox nosedived straight into
the frozen lake, killing both the pilot and the passenger. We came
to learn that on the first flight he had his younger brother on
board, and had returned to the airport to pick up his friend. His
brother sure was extremely lucky, but not so his friend. His friend
was much heavier, and we weight difference could have been a
contributing factor to the accident. The light weight and low
horsepower of the Kitfox requires careful energy management during
vertical maneuvering, a characteristic unfamiliar to an untrained
I felt really terrible about this
accident because I had come to know the father during the sales
process. He was buying it for his 26 year old son to fly, and he
planned to learn to fly in it as well. I did call him on Christmas
Day to express my condolences. Between conversations with his dad
and the NTSB inspector I came to learn that the son had some history
That’s a very sad trail of
tragedies. I’m sure that most pilots have witnessed similar
instances during their flying careers. While my own witness has not
been as close and as sad as yours, I am aware of dozens of similar
accidents in RV’s over the years. It saddens me nearly to tears
every time another such accident occurs. They are so senseless and
unnecessary. Such a waste of life in airplanes that, when flown
within limits, are very safe and enjoyable.
In addition to the specific
accidents I mentioned, it seems that a high percentage of Show
Boating accidents involve homebuilt and warbird planes. I suppose
that the high performance attributes of these planes appeal to
aggressive pilots, and bring out the worst in them. Run-a-way egos?
Pilot’s egos- Yes, that seems to be
a common thread. I think that there is a cultural connection also.
I think that this problem, at least partially, is a byproduct of
our macho male culture and our aviation history. Culturally, we seem
to have some affection for mavericks! The cowboy that could tame and
ride the wildest horse was admired, regardless his other faults. In
school, pranksters got more adulation than academic achievers. Since
the earliest days of aviation, the pilots who took (perhaps
necessary, then) risks were admired. Wartime fighter pilots returned
from the front, “beat up the aerodrome”, and did victory rolls.
That’s what “real pilots” did, and the on-lookers usually applauded,
whether or not their superiors did. Historically, airshow performers
may also have been unwitting role models for other’s questionable
flight behavior. Monkey see; monkey do!
I see what you mean. When you think
about it, we do seem to have an undertone of anti-authority in much
of our society. “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Dukes of Hazzard” are
example of loveable though mischievous hero figures. At least in a
large sub-culture, this is a prevailing mindset.
Adding a bit of perspective to this
discussion, I’ve got to admit that in my much younger years I was
prone to a bit of showboating myself. There weren’t many planes
around at the time that could perform like my homebuilts, and I was
often asked to “show us what that plane can do”. Yes, I sometimes
complied with their wishes. However, through self-examination I soon
came to some conclusions. I was admittedly indulging my ego, my
desire for attention, and my willingness to please. But I was also
taking some very real risks, both flight risks and the risk of
possible FAA action, and primarily for the benefit of the
spectators. I soon realized that I didn’t owe them that! Had there
been an accident, these same on-lookers would no doubt have been the
first to wag their heads and lament that “I was afraid that this
would happen. He was always showing off”.
Though I have long passed that
phase, I have continued to witness the same type of encouragement
from spectators. More often than not, bystanders like what they see
(reckless flying), and don’t see it as wrong or damaging to
aviation. I’m still amazed by the cluelessness of so many in
aviation. They contribute to the problem by being ego enablers, from
their safe vantage point of sideline anonymity.
Good point. If the pilot was flying
strictly for his own amusement and pleasure, he could do so out in
the hinterlands, unseen by anyone and endangering only himself.
Obviously he chooses a more visible venue. So what are the possible
remedies? I’ve tried some, to no effect. These pilot’s egos don’t
respond well to reason. Maybe this is why we don’t see much
attention paid to this otherwise obvious accident category. It’s a
tough nut to crack. Why even try! Much emphasis is currently (and
rightly so) being placed on minimizing LOC (loss of control)
accidents. Show Off accidents can also be classified as loss of
control. But rather than the usual Low Speed Stall/Spin loss of
control, these accidents result from judgment related altitude and
attitude loss of control. Challenging though it is, there must be
some way to make inroads into this problem area.
I think that it will require a
culture shift. This may be a convenient politically correct term,
but it’s a starting point.
I think that we can identify much of
what motivates Show Boat pilots, but I agree with your experience
that there is probably little that can be accomplished when dealing
directly with them.
I do feel that it is more likely
that the rest of us, those on the airport sidelines, can bring about
change. Some degree of spectator education and culture shift is
possible. We just need to realize that though we are not the actors
(aggressors), there are consequences of how we collectively react,
and that we can have a positive impact. How? We just need to quit
encouraging and enabling errant pilots. For example; if after a
pilot shows off and lands, no one offers any acknowledgment at all.
Zip, Zed, Zero! It’s bound to have an ego deflating effect, perhaps
just causing said pilot to denounce observers as unappreciative
jerks. This might only cause him to take his show elsewhere.
However, if he met the same non-reception everywhere, it might
eventually sink in. This is where I feel that a culture shift could
One day a couple of years ago I was
visiting our nearby gliderport and witness the arrival of a new club
member flying his RV-6. Said arrival consisted of a max. speed
worm-burner buzz job with a very abrupt, high G, rolling pitch out.
I was appalled and comment to one of the instructors that this guy
should be counseled. The instructor agreed, but seems powerless to
do anything, stating that this guy did this all of the time. I
witnessed his similar antics, from a distance, on a couple later
occasions. Then a few months later I learned that this pilot had
been discharged from the club and banned from the gliderport because
of his abusive flying of both gliders and his power plane. This is
one example of a positive airport safety culture in action. It can
The next step would be that of
expressing disapproval. Let the pilot know, either individually or
collectively, that his flying is endangering not only himself but
others, and that at the very least is giving aviation a bad image.
Let him know that his antics adversely affect all of us in aviation,
and that we will do everything we can to stop it. I know, this is an
application of “reason”, which may not fall on fertile soil.
However, I am still optimistic enough to feel that properly applied
peer influence can be a positive factor.
A third approach could be a
last-resort step following the disapproval/peer influence effort.
That is, the threat of FAA violation enforcement. Many, if not most,
forms of low level show-boat flying involve FAA airspace violations.
If the Show Off will not respond to any form or reasoning, he needs
to be put on notice that, for the good of all, he may soon find
himself explaining his actions to the FAA. I know, no one wants to
snitch on a fellow pilot, but it may in some instances be the only
I agree that fear of FAA action
might be get a little traction. However, the FAA has just recently
implemented a more lenient enforcement policy that might weaken that
On the contrary, the new FAA policy
specifically addresses inadvertent violations and oversights, where
a soft approach and re-education can be effectively applied. They
still maintain a firm stance against intentional and repeated
OK, but these are rather idealistic
goals, and would require universal application. However, they are
worth a try.
(Van and Vic)
We are just two concerned pilots
relating our experiences and opinions. If we are to reduce Show Off
accidents, universal cooperation and action will be needed. We want
to start a serious dialogue and engage as many as possible with
their supportive viewpoints and suggestions. What has been your
experience? Have you witnessed instances similar to those we have
described? Have you participated in any forms or corrective action?
Do you agree that bystanders and onlookers have contributed to the
problem? Are you a “reformed sinner” who can offer insights we are
not aware of. We need your input, whether or not you agree. We need
to build upon all positive means that can be brought to bear.
Agree or disagree; let’s talk. We
need to get hundreds of you involved who are willing to open this
topic at EAA meetings and other aviation venues. We truly need to
reach enough pilots to bring about a culture shift. We cannot expect
to identify problem pilots and their supportive environments from
offices in Oshkosh or Washington D.C. We need eyes and voices in
the field, far from the haunts of officialdom, where some may still
be applying their own interpretation of regulations and acceptable
With your input, we plan follow-up
articles with greater details of the nature and dangers of reckless
Show Boat flying.
Sidebar: (direct copy from a
late-February 2016 forum post on VansAirForce.net. We do
not know the details of this story, so are not offering it here for
judgement. We are including this simply because it appears to offer
a differing viewpoint than that shared by Vic and I. It includes
elements of spectator approval and encouragement of Show Boating)
He made a widow cry…..Bill R. Post.
I live on a small airpark maybe 20
homes and a smooth 2500’ grass strip down the middle.
A friend with an F1 Rocket called me
Saturday morning and as it turned out, he was in the neighborhood
topping off his tanks on the way home.
I was out helping a neighbor clean
up his hangar when we heard the sound of a high speed airplane
approaching. As we stepped outside, we could see the F1 circling
high overhead. The F1 completed the last circle, and dove for the
end of the runway, in compliance with our HOA operating procedures,
he performed a low “clearing “ pass, pulled up, dropped his flaps
and promptly landed.
We stood outside, by the F1, talking
airplanes and catching up.
Eventually, it was time to go and he
asked which way was best for his departure. After pointing to the
other end of the runway, he climbed in, fired up, and taxied down
At midfield, he turned around and
departed in spectacular F1 Rocket fashion. Meaning, he rolled about
200 feet and then went almost vertical. After doing some mild acro,
he again made a departing pass down the runway, zoomed up and
disappeared behind the trees.
As I looked down the runway, I
noticed one of the longtime residents standing by the edge of the
runway, It was BettyJane. BJ’s husband had died a year earlier and
he was an amazing guy; A26 Marine pilot in WWII, NASCAR in the 50’s,
and Pitts pilot (his neighbor in FL was Curtis Pitts)
As I approached BJ, I realized she
was crying. She looked at me and said, “This is how Cotton used to
fly! Make sure he comes back and does that again! Oh, and I want a
What a great lady!
One other thing, after he left, my
neighbors started blowing up my phone with text messages. The best
message was simply, “WOW!”
Please provide feedback to Van and
Vic by emailing
this thread in the VAF Forums.
www.vansairforce.net/articles/aviation_courtesy.pdf points to a
PDF version of this article.
Do You Have The Necessary Skills
....for when a zerk fitting on your prop hub
gets some debris in it and slings grease over your canopy
post-greasing. No forward vision. Have you practiced (on a
wide runway) what skills are needed to slip in a way on final to see
using the side of your canopy, then landing your RV by just looking
out the side?
Someday you might need to do it for real,
when you can't take a peek.
11/2/16 photo courtesy Rick
November 3, 2016. Issue
Why You Want To Attend Petit Jean 2017
...because if the Wx is good TruTrak will
fly in their RV-10 with a special mod for when the day's flying is
done. More on this later (pics and such)...
Andrew Barker photo.
2003 RV-6 For Sale (Upcoming Medical Expenses) ...$65K OBO.
...Mr. Neal Howard (Wichita Falls, TX).
Mr. Howard has over 2,100 posts on this site going back (9)
years....he is a VERY known quantity (if that's important to ya).
Fly-In Breakfast this Saturday! ...Morristown, TN
RV-7 Lynn Dixon #74286
After a few years of lurking, and reading I
finally started on my RV-7!
I have wanted to build a kit plane for a long time, even so far back
as nearly 20 years ago before I could even buy adult beverages or
cast a vote. I was saving up to buy a Challenger II. But then
college and life happened and chipped away at my Kit plane savings.
Fast forward to now and I finally have a place to build comfortably,
some disposable income and a supportive wife, who oddly enough
doesn't think I am crazy for wanting to build my own plane. Heck,
she may even fly in it with me
I bought my toolkit from a fellow on the forums, and its a complete
Isham kit with a few additions. They were essentially brand new
tools and a good price! That was my first official step and first
major purchase towards the airplane.
Shortly later, I was browsing the forums and posted a WTB in the
classifieds looking or a tail kit. To my surprise, another builder
was selling a RV-7 tail kit, that had never been started, which was
exactly what I was wanting! A few emails and a paypal later, the
tail kit was on its way to me.....where it sat in my basement for
nearly two years. I spent some time working on practice kits, taking
the EAA RV-7 course, and getting my shop organized. I am starting
the build in the basement of my house, since the backside of the
basement opens up to ground level (house is one a hill). Its
unfinished, but insulated and I setup an HVAC duct to help knock the
chill out in the winter and heat out in the summer. Its very comfy
down there, with plenty of natural light as well as some shop lights
So, lets get started with some log entries! I have spent about 3
days so far, and I'll put a few posts in here to represent those
builds. I'll also try to use this as a way to collaborate with all
the other VAF builders out there and build off their collective
Oil cooler baffle support crack ...Luca
Welcome Martin Product Design
...their ad lives in the Previous Day's News
section. They sent me a production prototype to fiddle with,
and I now have a long thin air hose that had always tangled in the
past on it. I use it often and it makes me smile when I use
it. 'No more tangles' as the shampoo kid said....
Check out the vids on their site.
Briefing ...Nov/Dec issue (40 pages)
November 2, 2016. Issue
Eagle's Nest Projects - Granbury High School (TX) - Meet the
ENP-17 is officially under construction at
Granbury High School (TX). Please take a moment to welcome these
outstanding student-builders to VAF, the exciting world of aviation,
and to the elite community of homebuilt aircraft builders.
Granbury's Eagle's Nest Project is partnered with their PLTW
Aerospace Engineering curriculum and aircraft construction will be
done in a brand new purpose-built classroom/shop facility. All
airframe kits are ordered and most of the familiar "$$" crates have
Kevin Ross and Pat Stewart of Pecan Plantation have graciously
agreed to serve as lead to the mentor team which appears to be most
of the builders at Pecan. The students have completed the mentor
guided introductory classes; shop and tool safety practices, correct
use of tools, how to read plans, parts nomenclature, and completion
of a multi-skill practice project. Construction on "real" airplane
parts begins Tuesday!
2017 Calendars Now Available!!! ...mothership
Update on PJ ...Bill S.
I just wanted to thank everyone who has
contributed both from those that attended and many from those that
did not. Your gracious help has just about got us back in the "only
lost a little" category which is pretty much where we are every
year! Counting checks still in the mail, we should cover a majority
of our fixed expenses. Way more than we thought we would on Friday
Depending on the mail, there is a remote possibility that we might
end up with a nickel to put toward next year. (never happened
before but it could
I have dropped a line to about half of the contributors and intend
to email everyone who sent a check so that they know it was received
and appreciated. In particular, thanks to Cookie(Tanya Card), Dan
Horton, Vic Syracuse, and others on the VAF who initiated,
committed, and bumped this thread. It would not have happened
without your support. I guess if you can build an airplane....well,
you can make almost anything happen
On behalf of EAA 165 and the whole Petit Jean Team ... a big thanks
and a promise to keep it all going. The gathering of RV friends, on
the Mountain and off, is what Petit Jean is all about... no worries
.... 2017 is most definitely ON!
Shop Construction Pics and Words ...scard
Cylinder #2 Stud/Nut Oil Leak
I have a Lycoming YIO-360-M1B with 125 hours
on it and have been keeping an eye on this leak or more like a seep
on the #2 cylinder, lower, forward 1/2" stud.
It appears to me the nut is riding on the cylinder wall radius
slightly not allowing it to sit down 100%. The nut has an integral
washer flat with a sharp edge. Probably not good having a sharp edge
ride the radius of a casting.
Not sure what to do with this:
Leave it and let it seep?
Goop it up with something?
Thin washer and radius the edge (only 2 thread protrude nominally
Round off the edge of the nut?
Kansas trip ...Steve Melton
November 1, 2016. Issue
Salutes Mr. Bob Hoover
(It's tea, BTW.)
After you've watched Dan's video (above),
watch this one if you
don't get what it's about.
We are making great progress with our first
year RV-12 Build!...Georgetown, TX
The kids and the mentors are doing great,
really high quality work. We have completed the rudder, the vertical
stabilizer, and are working on the stabilator.
We have received and inventoried the Empenage
and Fuselage kits, and should have the Wing kit before Thanksgiving
The class is setup so that the kids are rotating between the PLTW
Aerospace Academics, building the airplane, and interning with local
businesses at the KGTU airport. Truly an incredible experience for
We have had success raising money to pay for the first three kits,
but we need to pull the funds together to pay for the finish kit,
firewall forward, and avionics kits.
Along those lines, please take a moment and
check out the GoFundMe
site that we setup.
There is a good write-up with links to the really cool AOPA article
on our program and a link to our Facebook page with tons of pictures
(one of the students grandparents is a professional photographer!).
If you would like to make a donation on the
GoFundMe site it would be greatly appreciated. Even a few dollars,
but even if you don't, please take a few minutes to read about the
incredible work these kids are doing.
If anyone would like to make a donation and needs it to be tax
deductible we can do that as well, please PM me and I'll get you
details for that.
Thanks for taking a look!
Sid (you know him as ScrollF4 in the forums) Paints his Prop
Well actually Brandon over at GLO painted it
for him, but here is the result. After the paint dried Sid took it
down to Walt's and got the prop balanced. Looks great!
Downdraft Table ...leok
This is the downdraft table I built. It has
worked well for me. It is a 2x4 frame wrapped with a blue
tarp. The top is plastic mesh fencing. The ends have 20 inch box
fans with furnace fans duct taped over them. It has the advantage of
being easy to take down and store when not in use.
Status Update ...PilotjohnS
These last few weeks have seen great
The horizontal stabilizer is complete less the rear spar; waiting
for the rear spar to be primed before installation. The vertical
stabilizer is ready to be primed, then riveted.
I had a tech counselor visit and reviewed my work to date; all is
well. We went for a quick flight in his RV9; it flies really well
and seems to yearn to be in the sky.
Calendar Wallpaper Online...Adam Burch photo