Sep 28, 2012. 1121z
LOE'12 raffle prizes are now over $11,000 (and climbing).
All the money raised goes to charity. More info below.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend! (contact)
First, this is to shim (prevent from wobbling) a
workbench, NOT level it. Level would be to have the bench top normal
to the gravity vector. This technique will just prevent your bench
from developing a wobble.
Background: A plane (in this case your garage floor) is defined by
three points. But three points of contact are unstable for a bench.
So, how to have 4 points of contact (stable) act as three to define
the irregular plane of your garage floor?
As you see, the two casters on the left are fixed, as well as the
two on the right. The two on the right though are free to pivot
around the bolt to "self shim" for floor irregularities. If you have
an extremely problematic floor to deal with and worry about
stability, standard screw-type levelers can be used just inboard of
the right casters as "overtravel bump stops" and you just set for
how much clearance you want
This past weekend I did my transition training with Alex De
Dominicis. And I am proud to say I one of hundreds of pilots on his
list of students. What a pleasure it was to fly with Alex. We have
all had those instructors that say just jump in and lets go fly but
I really enjoyed his way of doing things. Alex has a very relaxed
style of instructing and discusses with you first about his approach
to training and what you are going to do during the flying portion.
As a builder just getting back in to regular flying again I found
this approach worked well for me. His pre and post flight
discussions after each flight made it possible for me to make this
transition much easier.
His operation is first class in all aspects. All 3 planes look like
they are off the show room floor complete with A/C. And when doing
low level flying doing the repetitive touch n go thing I cannot
emphasize enough how much this really helps. If you are a builder
and getting ready for your first flight do yourself a favor and go
fly with Alex. The confidence you will have after will be well worth
On my drive back to Houston on Sunday I spent a lot of time thinking
about what Alex and I discussed and what I needed to work on going
forward. I really wanted to do the flight when I got back in to town
but I did not want to rush things just to get it done but I still
made up my mind I was not going to wait very long. In my case I had
a good friend with a lot of flying experience including RV's do my
actual first flight exactly 31 days prior to my day. I know many
folks dream of the day of flying the plane they built themselves but
remember your first flight is still "Yours". I decided this approach
was the best one for me and I am so glad I did. After seeing my
plane fly for 3 plus hours you can only imagine the increased
confidence I had in the plane.
So this past Tuesday Sept. 24, 2012 after work I did my first
flight. What an experience. I got a bit of a late start and didn't
want my first landing to be after dark so the total flight time was
around 40 minutes. With the time on the plane now I am seeing the
CHT temps dropping and I think breakin is just around the corner.
Anyway I wanted to share my approach with others getting close to
completion. I know as you are in the shop building you spend time
thinking about this very special day and there are many ways you can
do this first flight thing. Just give it thought about what you
think will work best for you and your situation and be safe and
don't rush it. Also many thanks to John, Jim and Alex for helping me
with this process.
As everyone says.... Keep pounding those rivets it is so worth it!!!
This past weekend I was able to combine some RV flying, two
backcountry airstrips, and mountain biking. What an awesome
combination! I've posted the full report here on my blog including a
video of the Me-Own backcountry airstrip.
On our -10 we have one door window installed with
Weld-On and all other windows installed with Lord adhesive. We've
noticed a few areas around the weld-on window where the surface is
raised at the window gap. (the Lord adhesive windows are all fine)
This gap was sanded real well before I applied the filler (no glass)
and was smooth at first flight. I have some speculation that it was
caused by a quick change from hot temps on the ground to pretty cool
temps at altitude.
I purchased an airframe from a builder in Oregon and had to get
it back to Colorado. I was going to have Tony bring it back, but I
wanted to look at it first and it gave me a chance to spend a couple
days with my son and see Vans factory.
I have a 5'x10' trailer that has 14" sides on it. I got the
measurements of the airframe parts and drew up what I thought would
work on ACAD. The wings would lay flat on each other - with padding
below and above, then a deck of 2x12 was built over the wings. The
fuselage was put on the deck, 2x4 cleats were screwed into the deck
holding the fuselage from moving. Wheels and the HS were placed on
the deck and plywood sides for wind protection were added. The wheel
pants and a few other misc parts were put into the cockpit and the
canopy was closed and taped shut. Im not sure why I thought I had to
tape the canopy shut to travel 80mph max, but I did.
The Empennage parts were put in the back of the Explorer along with
MANY boxes of other parts that came with the purchase. The landing
gear and fairings ended up on the floor of the middle seat. There
was a little rattling, but everything made the trip without any
damage or other issues. The 2 day, 1300 miles back home was a LONG
drive, but my wife and I were able to get everything unloaded this
evening once we got home. I used an eye bolt with a pulley and strap
to unload the fuselage onto a cart into the garage.
I don't think we could have carried much more, but so you know, an
entire RV-9 airframe including all parts through the finish kit -
less motor and interior finishes can be transported on a 5'x10'
trailer being pulled by an Explorer. If anyone needs more pictures
or details, PM or email me.
I really want to thank Bill for the great workmanship he put into
the building of this airplane. It was great to meet him and his wife
and I am looking forward to finishing this project! Have fun flying
your Kitfox Bill, it is a great airplane too!
Well - after 3 years and 5 months - TO THE DAY, N32SE is an
The grin aside - when I brought the tail up on this thing for the
first time, well, you know. Half an hour over the airport.
Some minor squawks, but all the numbers are good and transition
training by Jan Bussell made the first flight a non-event.
Those of you banging rivets - keep banging. Like childbirth, you
will forget those rivets, the fiberglass, the cooling plenum the
moment the wheels break free. There are a bunch of you - and
you don't even know who you are, who have contributed to this
airplane in the way that these forums do. I hope to thank you
personally once this time machine leaves phase I.
After KP duty at the monthly EAA105 breakfast at Twin Oaks back
in April, I had the opportunity to hop in the back of Dan Miller's
RV8 for my first formation flying experience. Thanks to Joe Blank
for inviting me to join in, and, of course, to Dan for having me as
a passenger. Here's a quick compilation of my iPhone clips for your
Wendover Airshow GoPro Pics ....sent to me by Joe Blank
"Pics are of the West Coast Ravens from the
Historic Wendover Airshow, Wendover UT last Saturday. Flights lead by Bob
Mills and Tim Redden. Wingies Steve Payne, Sean Farrell, Scott Randolph,
Tommy Ishii, Randy McFarland, and myself. More good stuff when I have time
to edit it."
(Pat Hatch) "Like many of you, I have the standard electric flaps
on my RV-6. I’ve been testing a prototype kit for stopping the flaps when
they get fully up. There are three basic elements to this kit. One is a
limit switch to stop the flap motor when the flaps reach the full-up
position. Next, you need a couple of reversing relays to control the flap
motor up and down (the standard DPDT switch won’t work with the limit
switch). And finally you need a control switch that spring loads to the down
position but remains up in the UP position. This is known as an
(ON-OFF-(ON)) switch where the parenthesis indicates the spring-loaded
Most of things went well, but 2 things that are puzzling me:
1. The indicated oil pressure was only 20PSI. The rpm's I ran then engine at
was in between 800 and 1400.
2. This might not be so puzzling, but the machanical fuel pump did not work
at all. I will remove it today and order a new one.
The electrical fuel pump was able to produce 9 PSI, and if I left it on it
would flood the card and the engine would stop. That doesnt seem normal to
me..or? Shouldnt the need valve be able to prevent more fuel getting into
I have the Dynon Skyview system with all the sensors that came with it. I
would appreciate some input regarding the oil pressure issue. Next weekend
we will try to hook on a mechanical gage, to see if there is any difference.
As far as I remember I should have been able to see around 55PSI at those
I have a parallel valve Superior IO-360 in my RV-7. Vertical draft P/A
Silverhawk fuel injection, 8.5:1 (180HP) pistons, dual Light Speed Plasma
III ignitions, auto plugs (currently NGK BR8EIX), roller cam. Delivered new
to me with 1 hour of dyno time in January, 2007. Sat pickled until first
start in early June, this year.
The engine has always started easily, idles smoothly, with no signs of
roughness on the ground other than the initial 1-2 seconds after it catches.
Has only been run on 100LL. About 50 hours TTSN as of yesterday, oil changed
regularly, burning about 1 quart in 25 hours now.
At about 5 hours of flight time, I was cruising at 6500', approximately 24
squared, leaned somewhat, when suddenly the engine started missing badly.
After the initial panic and 180° turn back towards the airport (I was maybe
15 nm away at that point, airport is at sealevel) I noticed that CHT and EGT
on #2 cylinder were dropping way off- it had gone completely cold. It was
obvious that I was going to make the field, so I continued. Suddenly the
cylinder came to life, as if nothing had ever happened. The symptoms
reappeared as I was on downwind, but disappeared again by the time I was
halfway through a 180 to final. Ran fine on the ground. My first thought was
clogged injector, so I removed the line and the injector, checked for
contamination. Found nothing. Reassembled, test flew, everything seemed
A few hours of flight time later the problem reappeared, #2 cylinder again,
once again it was only after I'd been flying for at least 15 minutes. Warm
day, probably 80 degrees at altitude, but not scorching hot. That time it
was intermittently less severe, but the cylinder eventually dropped off.
During a beeline back to the airport it once again cured itself. Maddening,
the worst type of problem to troubleshoot. This time I removed all the
injectors, and, after calling Precision Airmotive, disassembled the flow
divider to check for contamination. Found nothing. Ran fuel through the
system with nozzles in glass jars which confirmed even flow. Swapped
injector nozzles between #2 & #4 just in case, to rule that out.
Reassembled, test-flew, everything was fine.
Yesterday, 35 hours after the last incident, the problem reappeared,
intermittent in the air as always. Once again I returned to the airport and
landed, only this time the problem continued intermittently on the ground. I
ran it up to about 1500 rpm and watched the engine monitor. #2 would
intermittently cut out (every few seconds) and when it did the EGT would
drop precipitously. Once again I disassembled the fuel system from the flow
divider on, but once again found nothing. I buttoned it up and test-ran it
last night but didn't fly- it started and ran fine, all temps came up
Now I'm thinking about morning sickness, but I'm not sure what the symptoms
are. It never happens at first start or when the engine is cold, but maybe
that doesn't matter. What would one expect to see on an engine monitor? For
what it's worth, I've checked compression, it's consistently 80/77 all
around with a warm engine. Checked plugs, they looked fine everywhere
yesterday. If an exhaust valve is sticking open, wouldn't EGTs go up instead
I've spoken to a few local mechanics, but they don't have any ideas. I'm new
to aircraft engines, but I've been working on ground-based engines my entire
life, so I'm comfortable turning wrenches. I've read the description of the
"rope trick" and I'm happy to do that if it makes sense.
My O-320-D3G is used. It has some sort of probe on the intake pipe of
cylinder number 3. Here's a picture of it. Do you know what this is? Maybe
it was where they were taking the manifold pressure from. The primer port on
cylinder number 3 had a plug in it. I'm now taking my manifold pressure from
there per the Vans manifold pressure gauge instructions. This is ugly
and I'd like to remove it. How's the best way to plug it? I'm thinking of
plugging it just like they have attached the probe.
RVators like to do a lot of things--use their speed to fly long
distances and see things, fly formation, do aerobatics, land at
challenging strips, and just enjoy flying. I've flown plenty of
cross countries, but always wanted to do something bigger. Instead
of just flying to one place, I wanted to do a trip that was just as
much about the journey itself. In my old squadron big cross
countries always got named "the cross country of justice". I read
Stephen Coonts's "Cannibal Queen", Richard Bach, and about the
Rinker Brothers doing simliar things when I was growing up and had
always wanted to do the same. Life never gets less busy and it's
always so easy to just keep putting it off. No more. Today was day
one of a two-week trip around the US; coast to coast, from highest
(airport) to lowest.
Aussie and his RV-8 will be joining me tomorrow, but today I kicked
off the trip by flying to Kitty Hawk with my brother and fellow
pilot. Being in North Carolina I've been to Kitty Hawk many times,
but I figured there's no better way to start the journey than with
my brother, at the site of another two brothers over a hundred years
ago; first flight of this airplane trip at the site of the first
airplane flight in history.
With all the fairings nearly complete, my boss getting on my case about
needing to take vacation, the Wife going out of town for the week, and the
WX outlook looking good, what else to do but to spread the wings a bit.
The original plan was to depart Taylor, TX (close to Austin) explore the
southwest, camp out at Kern Valley, CA, head north towards OR and WA then
make my way back down the east side of the Rockies back home camping along
the way. That was "the plan", anyway.
Given the remote,and sometimes hostile, country I was going to be flying
over, a lot of priority was given to survival and ability to repair things.
So much priority was given to these tasks that I essentially forgot to "plan
the fun parts of the trip", per se.
So I thought I'd contribute a small trip report. Last weekend we went on a
four day "wiking" trip along the Rogue River in Oregon. I really enjoy
hiking/camping but this trip was appealing for the following reasons:
My wife is not a big fan of camping - this trip has us in lodges each
The full hike is 40 miles, but you can bail out and take a raft if you
want to skip a portion (good for my so-so knee).
The boats carry all your stuff - you only need a day pack (water +
The guide company will pick-up and drop-off at the Grants Pass airport
(3S8) (so a perfect RV destination). Just get the plane tied
down in time for an 8am pickup.
A vintner goes along on the trip and hosts nice wine tasting every
Nice swimming holes.
Fly out of 3S8 at 5pm the last day. If weather is bad or you are tired,
they can also drop-off at local hotels. Decent dining in town.
I'm just beginning work routing and securing wires
forward of the firewall. One of the first wires I secured was the
starter cable from the starter contactor to the starter. I wanted to
get some feedback on whether the way I've secured and routed it is
appropriate. Here are some pictures.
Last Thursday I checked my email late in the afternoon and found
a message from Mr. VanGrunsven inviting me to ride along with him
and his wife for the EAA chapter 105's annual Poker Run. Being
hardly able to turn down that sort of offer, I responded that I was
available. There were seven airports on the fly-in list this year:
Dietz Airpark, Lebanon, Independence, Scappoose, Seaside, Tillamook,
and Twin Oaks. Saturday morning dawned clear in the Willamette
Valley with promising conditions along the coast. We arrived at
Dietz around 10am for breakfast and for our first gambling card.
continue Part I
I just finished my RV-7 and wanted to share some pics. First
flight is still some weeks away - now waiting for the permit to fly.
I worked very hard the last 16 months, used all my free time and was
kind of addicted building this thing. I surely have stolen time from
my family. I logged over 1600 hours actual building time and I
probably spent the same time again roaming this forum and other
builder´s websites. And I must say this forum is really great, most
arising questions can be solved by just using the search function.
And when this doesn´t help usually one will get answers when asking
within one day!
Here are some details: Aerosport-Power IO-375, AE-400 Fuel
Injection, Raven Inverted oil system, right tank flop tubed,
Hartzell Blended Airfoil CS-Prop, dual 7" Skyview System, Classic
Aero Interior, empty weight 1148 lbs.
snip......I do have a few pictures of the RVs and Rockets
that raced. I hope others will post more. And if anyone has pics
from the R3 BBQ, please post them. It was great to meet everyone
there, and I kinda wish we'd put our VAF call signs on our name
tags...I'm just beginning to connect more of the dots after reading
some of these posts. It was great seeing Paul and Louise again, and
spending some great time with Ernie Butcher. Good to meet Pete Hunt
and others from here...wish we had more time...it really blew by!
I recently had the opportunity to organize a formation ferry flight that
primarily was a photo op for a C-47 that had been ramped at Hillsboro OR for
many years. Planned to undergo restoration in the near future, this aircraft
was built for the RCAF in 1941, she crossed the Atlantic at least twice
before the end of the war. She spent the next 35 years working almost
continually in the far northern reaches of the Canadian arctic. Sold into
civilian ownership in the late 1970s, this aircraft has worked for a living
until very recently.
Rather than just a photo ship and the subject aircraft, the restoration
business and I agreed that, since she was a former warbird, that a formation
flight around her might be a interesting and fitting thing to do. It's not
everyday that you get to fly formation with a 70 year old piece of flying
history... So we organized the flight, six RV's and one C-47. The flight
yesterday was well briefed and was very successful in all regards. The
flight was conducted at sunset for best photography, the smoke from the
wildfires in the region added additional color to the scene. More info and
pics later on as this project as the restoration continues.
It's been quite a while since I visited or posted on VAF, but I thought
maybe I'd post my trip report from my recent x-country adventure. Perhaps it
will be motivating to some of the builders still pounding rivets. Here it is
- pasted from an email I sent to friends and family after the trip. I'll
have to do it in two consecutive posts as the forums is limiting me to 8000
characters per post...
It’s still surreal to me that I flew the airplane I built in my garage to
Calgary and back. Here’s the story of my 5-day Moose Jaw adventure, covering
over 6000km and 25 hours in the cockpit.
You've been building your RV for awhile and you could use a little shot
of motivation? Good. I'm looking for builders who need a little ride in an
RV-7A. If you're in Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin, let's take care of that.
Post here or PM me.
George Ford, known as Cipher on Vansairforce, flew his wife Lori
and their RV-4 from Washington State to Oshkosh AirVenture in hopes
of doing some video work with the RV-1 Arrival. Not only was he able
to get video of the RV-1. He was allowed to install cameras in the
cockpit when Van flew it for the final flight into the airport where
thousands of people were waiting. Joe Blank was instrumental in
making this all happen. While at OSH - Joe introduced George to Paul
Dye for an interview of how the RV-1 story began. Then George and
his wife Lori - stumbled upon two others to interview - Jay Pratt
and Bob Avery of all people at the booth in the convention area. In
this video you will see some behind the scenes footage and some of
the true-grit it took to fly the RV-1, Falcon flight of 40 aircraft
and the selected Van's aircraft in the 100 degree weather. Look
through some of the other Video's on his YouTube page as he was able
to capture many other events at Airventure pertaining to Vans
I don’t know if I can write a trip up to Vlad’s standards, but here goes:
This weekend I planned to take the wife camping for the first time ever in
her life. And like any good RV pilot, I said “why don’t we fly and camp!” It
always amazes me how we can work flying into just about any plan.
So the plan was to take off out of Providence, RI (KPVD) and head over to
Salmon River Fly-In to meet up with Turbo and some of his ‘rotor’ friends,
but after a late start we decided to just press up to Newport, NH to Parlin
Field (2B3). It is such different flying on the east coast.
continue Part I
I have an old Lyc O-360-A1A of uncertain provenance that I've been
flying for about 500 hours in my E-AB GlaStar with great performance
and reliability until now. I hope you don't mine me posting here to
get the benefit of this huge community -- I am helping a friend
build his RV-8A! :-)
Recently on engine start, Cyl #4 wouldn't fire -- very rough engine,
no CHT or EGT rise on Cyl #4. The first couple of flights, it
cleared up after a minute or two and run-up was normal. The
situation progressed so now neither Cyl #3 or #4 will fire -- engine
very rough & shaking like a dog. CHT's & EGT's rise on Cyl #1 & #2
but not on #3 & #4. I have to shut it down after a couple of
Here is what I have done to isolate the problem and the results:
1. Compression check: All Cyls at 75 PSI or higher.
2. Timing: Correct on both mags at 25 degrees BTDC.
3. Spark Plugs: Cyl #1 & #2 look good -- nice tan color. Cyl #3 & #4
have carbon build-up, but not too bad. (Swabbed exhaust stack with
finger -- some carbon soot but nothing I think is abnormal. No
noticeable black smoke from exhaust.) I cleaned/blasted and checked
the gaps on the plugs and tried another ground run. Same results. I
don't have a spark plug tester so I wasn't able to test the plugs
themselves. Next ground run, I'll switch plugs from rear cylinders
to front cylinders to see if problem follows them.
4. Ignition leads: Will test those tomorrow with borrowed lead
tester. They are about 4 1/2 years old and 500 hours since new
5. Mags: Older Bendix, again of unknown provenance. Impulse coupled
mag on left and shower-of-sparks on right (shower-of-sparks not
6. Carb: Marvel Shebler (sp?): New/overhauled 500 hours (and about
ten years) ago. Mixture and throttle linkages and throws are fine.
On one ground run, I got a slight backfire. On another, as I pulled
the mixture to idle cut-off, as Cyls #1 & #2 started to die, Cyls #3
& #4 seemed to fire up for a few engine revs before the whole engine
7. Intake manifold tubes. Inspected rubber hose connectors between
intake tubes and oil sump. They look OK. Inspected attach points of
intake tubes to cylinders for any evidence of air leaks (which would
lean mixture). No evidence of air leaks found.
I lean aggressively while on the ground but don't lean in flight
until at 5,000' MSL or above.
My first hypothesis (which was wrong): I have a Van's primer system
with the solenoid valve on Cyls #3 & #4 only. Since it seemed like
the engine (at least Cyls #3 & #4) was running rich, I thought the
solenoid valve had failed and additional fuel was being sucked into
Cyls #3 & #4. (I also confirmed that the solenoid was installed
correctly re "in" and "out" ports.) I completely disconnected the
primer system and blocked the primer inlets in the intake manifold.
No change in behavior during subsequent ground runs.
So, other than spark plugs and ignition leads (which I'll test
tomorrow), it looks like I'm running out of "cheap parts" as the
root cause of this behavior. It seems to me that it is coming down
to either the mags or the carb.
My question to you experienced hands out there: Are there any
diagnostic procedures that I can run that will definitively point me
to whether it is the mags or the carb? I don't want to just start
replacing or overhauling them willy nilly to see if that fixes the
problem ($$$). A neighbor A&P/IA suggested pulling all plugs and
looking for sparks by grounding each plug in turn to the cylinder
while motoring the engine with the starter. Could this be a
Or it is something else entirely that might be causing this? The
consistent, but mystifying, behavior I see is that neither Cyl #3
nor Cyl #4 appears to be firing at all based on lack of CHT and EGT
rise. But that implies the failure of two mags, two sets of ignition
harnesses and four spark plugs (or some combination of them), or a
carb/intake manifold that is feeding a too-rich mixture to two
cylinders and the correct mixture to the other two.
Thanks for any help or suggestions you have for me.
Happy to pronounce that newly registered 385TE put air under her and
runway behind her yesterday. Wheels up on First Flight at 9:30CDT on a cool
day at a very busy BMI. As planned, a short first flight of 0.7 hrs …
everything went as expected . She flew as billed and climbed like the
proverbial homesick angel. Climb-out was 100kts at 900 to 1000fpm. Wow. In
no time I was at 4000MSL and orbiting BMI. Landing was OK … not bad, not
great …. but happy to be back on the ground safe and “unbent.” All engine
temps were on the money … one minor annoyance with low voltage alarms ; not
sure if it’s really LV or maybe a loose connector. A BIG big day for this
guy …and wife Kris … who was videographer.
… the takeoff and landing video .....continue
I'm proud to share with you some pics of the newest Brazilian RV7...
and it's Mine!!!! Now i just waiting for the paper work from
Brazil's National Civil Aviation Agency to fly this baby to his home
So yeah, as of this morning I and pretty much the rest of my
company are out of work. At least I get a couple weeks' severance,
some people didn't even get that. I've got a number of leads going
already, but wanted to throw it out here as well...any of you
Atlanta RVators in the software field have any ideas?
I'm a web software guy with seven years experience, well-versed in
PHP/MySQL/JS with recent experience scaling big stuff with MongoDB.
I can certainly provide more details if needed.
In Italy we we have our mini 'Oshkosh' event. It's the EAA Chapter
459 Annual Meeting with the Airshow, EAA Chapter Meeting, Exhibitors,
Fly-in, Gliders, Homebuilts, Ultralights and Vintage Aircraft'. This
year it was in Reggio Emilia were we celebrate our 40th meeting
The first, most important prize is the Trophy named 'Gianfranco Rotondi',
an University Professor who was a pioneer in the experimental aircraft
Italian world. Yesterday I won that Prize, it's a great achievement
for me and I like to share here, without you, my friends, it was impossible
to reach it
I recently became the blessed recipient of a rescue dog who had to do a
lot of traveling. Is a small way, my RV-8 was part of the plan. The full
The RV made it possible for me to travel round trip from Virginia to Vermont
in a single day to spend time with "Nick". What an airplane. What a dog!
Nick has a checkered past but both he and I have an exciting future ahead of
Reno Recap ...the Bobs
Axsom: Reno 2012 Day 7
Breakfast at 0630 at the Home Town Café in Lemmon Valley behind the Shell
Station. In four days of trying to connect with the SARL racers there I
finally made it. There is a story there but I’ll just leave it hanging for
folks like Mike Thompson to stew on. Good food, large portions surrounded by
racers and fans. I sat at the end of a long table that I suspect was
arranged for the racers that eat there every morning. I was a few minutes
late and I sat at the end across from a gentleman called Ollie Crawford. He
told me only his mother called him Oliver. I learned that he lives in San
Antonio, Texas and I mentioned that I was stationed at Lackland AFB there in
February of 1954. He asked if I took Basic Training there and I said yes. He
told me that he took Basic in 1943. I asked if he was a pilot and he said
yes he was. I asked what he flew and he said P-40s. Now, younger folks that
have the insatiable love of airplanes may have a fuzzy notion of a P-40 in
shape and size but to school boys like me during WWII the Curtis P-40 was
the first fighter we ever knew and it was special. I told him I saw the
movie “God is My Copilot” and I read the book – I think it was the first one
I ever read. The Flying Tigers and Robert L. Scott were the essence of
fighter pilots and the legends that surround them. Ollie slowly pulled his
hat out of his lap and showed me the Flying Tiger identification. He asked
if I had heard of Tex Hill and I said I had. He told me of some political
situation that prevented Tex Hill from getting medals he was recommended for
and his (Ollie’s) effort to correct that situation including communicating
directly with Robert L. Scott to get his eye witness confirmation of the
heroic feats of Tex Hill. Now Ollie Crawford is working to get an Air &
Space Museum established in San Antonio. Later in the day Ollie was in the
Crew Holding Pen for the Sport Silver race right up against the rail nearest
the taxiway in the sun. I was back against the hangar wall in the shade as
our pilot Bob Mills was the alternate for the Sport Silver Race. Watching
him and his son as Alan taxied by in his Lancair Legacy with his arm
sticking out under the canopy holding a small American Flag was a touching
moment, an observation of two patriots.
2012 Reno Air Races Day 8
Today was Saturday, the next to last day of racing and Bob Mills the
magnificent in Race #43 held off Radial Rocket #105 for one more time to
finish 2nd in the Sport Bronze class for the third time in a row. Once again
Race 105 was a little high and outside as if ready to pounce on Bob but Bob
held his ground and after three laps the margin was starting to open up
again. If you were on the crew for #105 it was probably not so great but we
liked it … A LOT! When the Sport Silver class race was run, Race 43 was once
again the alternate that was not required. After we spotted the plane on the
start grid and Bob Mills taxied out to the runway and back again we were
done for the day. I sat by the Blue Bird and met a lot of nice people until
around 4 pm then I went to the hotel. I passed Radial Rocket #105 as I
walked out of the hangar, its cowl was off and serious faced experts were
gathered around. I have a hunch tomorrow’s race will be even tougher than
Reno 2012 Day 9
The Sports Bronze Class Race was run early today we positioned Race #43 in
the number two spot in the Racing grid on the ramp. When all was said and
done it was a heck of a race between Bob Mills and his RV-Super 6 and the
Radial Rocket of Peter Malone from Sikeston, Missouri for 2nd place and Tim
Cone in his RV-8 and David Casey in his RV-3 for 6th place. Bob and Tim won
those races that weren't on the program but they were oh so close. In the
four races our team of Tommy (Turbo) Ishii Crew Chief, Brian Adams & Bob
Axsom Crew and Bob Mills Pilot/owner/dedicated worker kept trying to reduce
drag anyway we could with wax and tape and Bob Mills kept flying Rocket 6 a
little faster each race. He had to because so did Peter Malone and he didn't
slowly fade in the last race. They were together to the very end running
hard and neither yielding
Mills Well Bob, I am magnificently
Well Bob, I am magnificently washing my flight suit and savoring a
magnificent time at the R3 BBQ, as well as a Stead BBQ and a SWA BBQ...all
great parties. Lots of great RV folks at the BBQ, and many came by to visit
between races heats today in the Sport Class hangar as well. We're all
hoping to see more friends tomorrow.
Early go tomorrow, for the Bronze (nice, cool, smooth air...all
good!) 4 RVs in that race! We've been having good, clean, fun racing so far,
so please wish us luck!!
There have been some fun races throughout the week. The RV-8 (Tim)
and RV-3 (Dave) dueled it out one day, and Tim and Steve (RV-S8) had a nice
duel today. Pete in the Radial Rocket is right there, and I'll tell ya
what...a Radial Rocket casts a big shadow when he's sitting over your
shoulder! Sport Silver provided perhaps the best race of the week today,
with 2 Lancairs chasing a Glassair for 6 laps to a photo finish. I think it
was the Glassair by a spinner...literally!
It's been one year since I became a -10 owner so I decided to see what it
costs to fly the 120 hours I put on it so far.
Including insurance, hanger, condition inspection, fuel, oil changes, oil
added, engine reserve (assume $20,000 at 2000 hrs) but no
"improvements/changes" I made, the cost comes to $111/hr. I've got to fly
more to get the per hour cost down!
This is less than I budgeted for and is cheaper than renting a 172 and a lot
more fun! Having your own a/c let's you do spontaneous trips like we did
during labor day to Santa Fe.
Of the 120 hours flown, 100 have been cross countries, virtually all over
420nm. I averaged 159 knots and 12 gph.
This is the first plane I have owned and was concerned if I would use it the
way I thought I would. Every well tells you to think of the mission. The
only thing I miss is no aerobatics. However, I have used it for more
X-countries than I expected and have had more flights with 3 folks or more
on board than I expected (over 80%).
This was supposed to be an off day for Race 43 but the Gods of Chance
smiled on it with a series of events that revealed problems that would have
been devastating had they occurred tomorrow during a scheduled Sport Bronze
I changed the oil and filter in the Blue Bird in Bob Mills' normal hangar so
I didn't even know there was a problem, well two actually, until well into
afternoon. Bob and his Crew Chief Tommy Ishii had replaced the starter
solenoid and were working on the replacement of the oil cooler when I showed
up for a routine check-in before going to the hotel. I stayed and offered
token help until the oil cooler was replaced. It was starting to get dark
but they still had to go back out across the "No Prop Turn Line" test run
the engine and test for leaks. From Bob Mills' post above I assume it all
All the time during the day the races and the show were going on for the
paying fans. I never saw the stands on the front side so I don't know
anything about how the show is going on or how it is being reacted to by the
public. On Sport Class Bronze race day we we get to spend time in an area
affectionately known as the race crew holding pen and get to see a race.
This is after we spot the plane (Bob Mills' RV Super 6 AKA Race 43) on the
ramp in an assigned order. We go to the pen, the racers start at a specified
time and taxi to the assigned runway. After takeoff they form up on a pace
plane and make a flying start like the Unlimited Class.
Tomorrow is race day again for the the boys in Bronze and the competition
will be tough. I will be keeping my eyes on the Radial Rocket that was
pressing Bob hard early in Heat Race 1C. I think Race #43 has a margin on
the rest of the entries but the winner of Heat 1C, Race #22 a Glasair II-S
and the Radial Rocket will be tough.
I recognized Earnie Butcher from this VAF community among many of Bob Mills
friends and other fans that stopped by to see him and his gleaming red
airplane. His crew Chief Tommy Ishii Spent many hours waxing it to add to
it's general appeal.
4:25pm yesterday at the old Griffis AFB - SAC - 416th Bomb Wing -
B-52, now just Rome NY airport at 4:25 pm N861B became the latest
RV7 flying. flew 30 min landed, the pilot today is walking around
here in a daze. i think he's still flying. we are building 3 of
them. mine will fly around spring the 3rd next fall. you talk about
motivation to finish building!!! wow.
We had a good day in the Sport Bronze group (Our Pilot Bob Mills
refers to them as the Bronze Gods). He finished 2nd in the Sport 1C
heat. To find the detail reports of the races and qualification go
In the morning the Sport Bronz5e group ran some practice racing
just to sharpen the procedures but the real thing came at 14:55. All
went well and as reported earlier Bob Mills in his RV-Super 6 did
well holding off a Radial Rocket but chasing a Glasair II-S. His
speed was 242.39 mph. We tried to refine the taping but it came
loose in a couple of places. We will try to do better in the next
Sport Bronze heat on Friday.
The outstanding performance of the day was given by Steve Senegal in
Formula 1. He flew Race # 11 Endeavour to a new race record:
Steve also flies in the Sport Bronze Class. He walked up to our
group around Mark Frederick and Bob Mills airplane and said I just
flew the fastest Formula One race ever - I'm stoked! He was so
pleased that he might have burst on the spot but I asked do you
remember when I gave you tha bottle of water the other day. He
slowly said "yes", wondering where is this going and I responded
"how about an autograph. With the tension broken he wrote in my
Fastest Formula One
in a heat race
I'm going to change the oil on our airplane tomorrow and some folks
are planning to take a look at the baffling with the cowl off. Bob
Mills, Stan Sutterfield form Port Orange, Florida and Red Hanilton
When the race day was over I had dinner with Red Hamiltom and
Marilyn where we discussed an engine rebuild.
While based at Livermore, Ca (LVK) for a work project, I
subleased a hanger next to a hanger full of nice airplanes. One day
they were cleaning the hanger floor and moved everything outside. I
could not resist the urge to get a pic with my 6A under the Beaver's
wing. You might have noticed the P-51D behind the Beaver and that
was only two of the four planes kept in that hanger. Livermore has a
lot of interesting aircraft and it is an active place. I enjoyed my
I had a good day today and had to post about it so I thought I
might make the post more worthwhile by talking about some notable
experiences of my last 50 hrs.
First, leading up to today I have been fighting with my avionics
because they would not show LOC and GS. Last weekend I finally
figured out what I had done wrong in the programming behind the
scenes. This is GRT H1 WS wide screen and 430W. The instructions
were clear, but the GRTs are very capable and as a result have MANY
settings to get right. I missed turning on the 4 annunciators fed
into aux 1 thru 4.
So, this afternoon I got a chance to start brushing up the IFR
skills in my own plane for the fist time. GRIN. I LIKE IT. I would
call my system "simplified" since it is using RS232 and not ARINC.
It won't do some things with autopilot but it is still WAY better
than steam. I shot a localizer and an ILS at different airports. I'm
rusty but it will come back quickly. My RV7 (and probably all
others) is touchy in pitch. Altitude holding while hand flying will
be the skill to regain.
I have round backup gages and realized that I had been using them
nearly 100% instead of the glass while flying VFR. The hood practice
helped me focus on the GRT. I noticed some helpful details (like the
track indicator under the DG tape) today.
In other learnings, I wrote elsewhere about my leaky canopy. I have
a tip up. I prosealed the rear window when I installed it, but the
act of getting it installed messed up the sealant beads. It leaked
badly. Since then I ran another bead on the exterior of the windor
to seal it. Untested as of yet.
Sep 12, 2012. 0542z
Pic below is 7 1/2 min into a flight to Gainesville for catfish
at lunch - first trip there since
6/1/11. Can't believe it's been that long (it's only a 16min flight for
corn's sake). 24.6mpg
and 159kts GS. The traffic paralleling me at my 9 o'clock about 4 miles is
Jay Pratt going to the same lunch. Jay gave us a nice debrief on Larry's
fly-in. It was only in the 80's at wheels up. What a nice change!
Before launching for GLE,
Kiloh landed and asked for directions to GLO Custom. Daryl and
Jim, I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer and visit, but the planning
committee called for '1100 on the ramp' at GLE....and they leave with
the courtesy car if you're late! Picture of Daryl (L) and Jim (R) below, also. (contact)
OT: Galaxy Writer
I'm leading with an off-topic item today, but it's so cool it has
to be the top story. You can type in any phrase and it will be
displayed using galaxies for letters.
Days 2 & 3
The big introductory IN-BRIEF has taken place and a Crew briefing
completed , wrist bands, head bands and yellow validation tags are
in place so that part of Sport Class Race #43 is set. I have seen
Bob Mills and Mark frederick, Alan Crawford, Ernie Sutter and Lynn
Farnsworth from SARL fly so far and all seems well. there have been
some flat tires and one mayday but nothing major. Tomorrow is
another practice and qualification day. With a lot of briefs and
tune up flying. I expect few have qualified so tomorrow will be
Our guys in the Sport Class did well today. To my knowledge everyone
qualified Mark Frederick went a little over 260 mph and Bob Mills
was a little over 245. The minimum qualification requirement
was 200 mph. A fellow flying an absolutely beautiful RV-3 made it in
the Sport class and he is going to race at Reno.
There is a little fenced off area at the north end of the first
hangar west of the ramp where all of the crews are to go to when
their planes leave the ramp for flight. This fellow's crew is his
wife. When one of the guys in the area that was timing the planes
accurately but I think unofficially, stated that #89 was over 200
mph the smile on that woman's face was not for show. There was a
deep inner pride and happiness that was for them alone. It was a
major or a small victory depending on your view but it was deeply
felt by the principles in the story and it didn't matter a whit that
they were at the bottom of the heap, they were in. I saw the smile
and it made me feel good as I too have shared such a victory in
other arenas and I understand the private joy it can bring.
There are so many stories at all levels here at the Reno Air Races
it is like a small cross section of life with an aviation and racing
Tomorrow there is still some practice time but the real racing
starts. I will be watching the SARL racers closely and pulling for
them all but maybe a little harder for Sport Class #43 (my team) and
our close associate #12.
The NTSB presented a slide and video program on the devastating
crash last year that provided far greater insight than I had ever
seen. They too want the races to continue but they are doing their
job to make them safer for everyone
It’s not uncommon for me to fly two of our airplanes in the same
day, and occasionally, maintenance requirements have me flying all
three. But the past 24 hours has been a blast – five different RV’s
on five different missions in just 24 hours – and only one of them
Over the years I've been a member hear I've seen a lot of posts about the
generosity of the RV community and what a great bunch of people they are.
I've experienced myself a few times, too. Last week though Vlad stopped for
a visit on his way to Triple Tree and Tennessee. He arrived early enough so
I could add to my RV-9A time as I slowly finish my plane. We had tried
flying together back in April but the weather cut our efforts short. Vlad,
being the kind of person this board likes to talk about, wanted to come back
and let me really fly his plane and see if he couldn't encourage me to
finish my plane.
Normally you'd think 30 minutes or an hour would be generous. Vlad's
comment was, lets use all the fuel in the tanks (with reserves, of course).
We departed KOFP (just north of Richmond, VA), he gave me the controls and
explored Lake Anna for a bit when I asked him if he remembered Bob Martin
from this board. I told him Bob was based nearby so he let me do a low pass
at Louisa and I was able to see Bob's hanger was open and just seconds later
Bob was greeting us on the radio. Vlad let me actually land the plane, which
revealed both generosity and trust.
After chatting with Bob and his friends for 20 minutes, Vlad talked Bob into
going flying with us (and no, it wasn't a difficult task - Bob just needed
an excuse). So we headed west, crossed the Blue Ridge, navigated between the
Blue Ridge and the Massanutten mountains for a bit. The photo below was
taken by Bob of Vlad and I as we were passing south of Charlottesville.
After we crossed the Blue Ridge we'd planned to go further north but the
weather was changing and clouds were just starting to obscure our way back
over the mountains. So we turned east with Bob pointing out sights for us.
Bob turned south for Louisa and Vlad and I kept heading east before
eventually turning generally south for a touch and go at Blackstone (BKT). I
work at the community college there and thought it would be fun to do a T&G
with a Ruskie friend on a joint use (military-civilian) airport. My second
We'd been dodging clouds most of the afternoon and Vlad suggested climbing
to 4,500' to get over the clouds, and RIC's air space. The fuel gauges were
showing that we needed to make a stop so we went off to KXSA, my home base,
for "cheaper" fuel. It was time to learn more about the 9A - on my first
approach I didn't slow down enough and we'd have landed mid field unless I
did a slip. I chose to do a go around (more flying time and more time to
learn to do it right). So this time I flew the last bit of down wind and
base at 70 kts and final at 60 kts and made a respectable landing.
We filled the tanks and headed back to KOFP (Hanover) at near gross weight.
Vlad was sure there'd be another go around as the 9A handles differently at
gross weight vs empty tanks. It wasn't my inclination to do a go around - I
wanted to show my gratitude for Vlad's great instruction on how to handle
the 9. The plane was easy to stabilize at 60 kts on final and I swear the
plane felt like it landed itself.
All told Vlad gave me 3.2 hours of RV time and 4 landings and lots of great
advice on how to fly. Priceless.
It’s been two years since I’ve been able to attend the Midwest
LSA Expo in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Last year’s event was plagued with
rainy weather and low ceilings keeping most vendors, including
Van’s, from attending. This year, despite a long line of
thunderstorms that kept pushing me ever southward, I was able to
make it to KMVN on Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning was bright, sunny, hot and very humid. Attendance
was fairly good and traffic lingering at the RV-12 was at least as
good as could be expected for a weekday. Friday was pretty much the
same with a stiff breeze all day long. Thankfully, it was straight
down the runway. With my demo ride dance card filled, I really don’t
mind demonstrating the crosswind capabilities of the airplane, but
it sure is fun showing how low a groundspeed you can have when
landing the RV-12.
This summer when I just first flew my RV8 I meet a guy with a SF-260
Marchetti. After his landing, he rolled to a neighbor hangar with his plane,
shut the engine down and jump out his plane.
At the same time I was rolling the aircraft out of the hangar to do the
third of fourth test flight. We spent a lot of time around the plane and he
really like the way the RV was built (I believe it was the first time he saw
a completed RV as there are not a lot in France).
He really liked the finish of the plane and after discussing a lot he told
me a little about himself. That he is the owner of Czech Ride ( Yak 3
modified into a Yak 11 and that had raced in Reno long time ago).
A month later and after I completed the test flight period of the airplane I
went to an airfield close to mine to do the first "navigation". When I
landed I saw his Marchetti on the apron and met him at the airfield office.
We sat on the bar and discuss a little further on the building process of my
RV8, about my studies and about him. He told me that on the airfield he is
based on, he (with others) was organizing a small airshow and invited me to
come with my plane to see it.
Without an hesitation I told him that it would be a pleasure for me to come.
I stuck this in general since it is part product review,
part vendor review, and part how-to (or at least how I did it).
So, I have been putting off painting the interior of the my RV-6A until I
had done as much as I could inside to minimize the change of me beating up
the interior paint. Well, the time finaly came for me to get it done.
A few weeks back a made a trip to the local English Color automotive paint
supply store off Avenue K in Plano. I went in expecting to get the "we only
deal with professionals" treatment. Boy was I wrong. The folks at EC were
very helpful. I told them what I wanted to do, how much I wanted to spend,
and they made some great recommendations. I decided on what paint and colors
to use and they set me up with all the activators and reducers to go along
with it. I ended up with a quart of PPG Omni Epoxy Primer in Grey and a
quart of PPG Omni MTK Urethane single-stage topcoat, plus all the othe
chemicals to go with it. I plan to buy a second helping of a darker color
for the rollbar, canopy frame, and panel so then gave me more reducer and
activator than I needed since the larger quantity now would save a couple $$
later (cheaper to buy a quart vs 2 pints...ect). Total cost was ~$160.
Last week I finished up the last few items I needed to do before painting
and started in on the prep work. I stripped everyting out of the cabin that
wasn't riveted in place. most of the parts are already primed with
rattle-can duplicolor self-etching stuff from the auto parts store. I
scuffed up the existing primer with fine sandpaper and green scotchbright
pads to smooth the finish and remove any overspray dust. The interior (and
the shop) was vaccumed and blown out with air. I wiped down the bare metal
with acetone and the primed surfaces with a paint-prep I bought years ago at
auto-zone. I masked off everything (that was lots of fun...).
continue / lotsa pics
Looking back on it, I probably should have gone through ALPA like
so many told me to do. Turns out the FAA lost ALL of my medical
records, hence the reason for the crazy denial letters. They had
missing information. My records were sent to Atlanta, then sent to
Oklahoma, then to some place in New England. Somewhere along the
way, someone didn't do their job.
Anyway, who the **** cares, I have a medical!
I basically got my start in flying at a glider airport in SC when I
was 13. I ended up working there just about every weekend until I
went off to college. It was like my 2nd home. A couple of weeks ago
I got checked out again in gliders. Words cannot describe how much I
have missed flying gliders. There's absolutely nothing like it.
Another passion of mine is towing. It is some of the most fun I have
EVER had in an airplane. I just got checked out in the Pawnee again
and started towing. Once again, words cannot describe the feeling of
being back in the air. I know that I've taken flying for granted in
the past, that will never happen again.
A couple weeks ago my wife stole started
using my laptop when hers flatlined. The one I take to/from the
airport and use as a backup in case my home office PC goes coo coo for coco
puffs. Long story short is there is a new HP Envy Spectre laptop in
the family, and I'm slowly getting it up to speed with the authoring tools I
use to churn out this site.
Picture from the hangar today with an RV-6 reflecting off the screen.
Totally Off Topic
Sep 10, 2012. 1138z.
Morning! Saturday we woke up to a wonderful 65°F here in Dallas. Yessssssss!
Graph at right... I
had intended to go to the Pecan Plantation Fly In, but when I felt that
cool 65°F morning air, I decided to
spend the day doing yard work without passing out from heat exhaustion
for the first time in about four months. The afternoon and evening
were spent doing the photo shoot for our daughter's senior portrait.
We bought a quarter panel in the back of the yearbook and are going with
the one labeled '2012' below. You don't have to tell me how
blessed I am. I already know.
Sunday the 0700 from-the-air animal count was (13) deer, (1) wild hog and
(3) turkeys. Four of
the deer were bucks. Total time off the surface 18 min. Rest
of the day was spent on Mt. Email, keeping the house rigged for quiet
(Audrey is writing college entrance essays), building today's issue and
watching the F1 race at Monza on the DVR. At 12:16pm, while working at the computer,
an RV-6 or -7 went over my
house west to east with the throttle on 'rabbit'. Whoever it was it sure sounded great!
Hope your weekend went great and your Monday is swell. (contact)
Our daughter - the 'AR' in N617AR (the 617 also)..
Dirk Schlichtenhorst Sets the RV Video Bar 50' Higher ...RV-4
"..after 5 years of building and another 5
years of flying my RV4 I thought it would be time for a '10 Years of RV
When the weather is right, ya' gotta make the best of it! Louise
and I left Houston at 0610 CDT and arrived at Aurora (OR) about 1830
PDT. 1630 miles - had to deviate for low clouds/mountain obscuration
in in New Mexico (went south around Santa Fe then around through
Farmington to Cortez for fuel), and made an extra stop in Clovis
when the fuel pump at Muleshoe was empty - but other than that, it
was just a long day of flying. It gets bumpy across the Basin and
Range in the afternoon, but the views of southeastern Oregon were
magnificent, and it''s nice to be out of Humid Houston!
After much typing the computer said what you have typed is not
that interesting - START OVER! ARHG! I hate when that happens! So an
abreviated second attempt:
I flew the RV-6A that my wife Jeanine and I built in our garage like
so many of you, out here from Fayetteville, Arkansas (Woo pig ...
sorry it's a local thing) Friday. Refueled at Goodland, Kansas and
Rock Springs, Wyoming. The weather was so good that I just threw a
flight plan in the 695 got a briefing and tookoff improvising on the
Sep 7, 2012. 1140z
Both the Badlands and Pecan Plantation Airpark fly-ins are this
weekend. We're supposed to catch a temperature break here in the
DFW area tonight, keeping us in the 80's on Saturday. What a
The top story of the weekend, of course, is today is my wife's birthday.
She's finally turning 35* years old.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend! (contact)
*You don't think I'd be dumb
enough to type the actual number, do you?
Been working 6 days a week lately and more to come. But wednesday
I had time available for catch up. I'm no Vlad...or any of you lucky
ones traveling around the country but I try to put the RV to good
My tour as President of the HomeOwner Association came to a close
recently. The new President wanted to discuss duties and
responsibilities. I live 4.5hrs away(by car) so she suggested a 10am
phone call to save me travel.
I woke up and the weather looked good so I called and said "I'll be
there by 0930. Climbing out I wondered what I had done the
visibility was about 8miles of smoke in the valley. Once I got above
9000' I was on top and other than a 25-30kt headwind viz was better
and smooth. Guess that's why I call my RV "Aurora" after the Roman
Goddess of the Dawn, I love morning flights.
continue (many pics)
Tracking up to Larry's fly-in. (from Scott)
The autopilot flew most of it until it got really bumpy in Colorado,
then nuttin' but me hand flying. Nice easy trip. Contrary to popular
belief, Vlad, you aren't the only one out having a ball with RV
I just noticed that ours has been 55k miles so far! Looking at
aprs, it looks like someone needs to put a radio out here in the
badlands. I promise I'm not stuck at 13k' over Nebraska
Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
● Seen on a RV-6 at 52F
Uses a cooler ice fan and this shade to lower the temps inside
during trips from Houston to Dallas during 100°F days. Says it
makes a real difference.
Totally Off Topic
Susie and I went to a college application / planning
meeting last night up at the high school. Somehow
this picture seems appropriate. Sigh....
So we have this bolt that jams up going into a long threaded tube
– it’s not like a regular nut that just has a few threads to go
through – more like a Van’s wing tie-down receptacle. The bolt goes
in about 4 turns, then binds up – torque gets higher than allowed.
Rather than damage anything further, we backed it all out and waited
a few days to think about it (always good practice) and fabricate a
few tools. The first tool was a tiny wire gun-barrel brush – we put
this in a power driver and SLOWLY ran it into the female threads,
then back out. This generated a bunch of small metal debris. Did
this a couple of times until it came out without any more FOD. We
then blew out the hole using a littel nozzle. Next came a cut-down
toothbrush with lube on it to get lubricant deep into the threads.
We followed that up with a bolt (not the one we were going to use in
final assembly – it was a sacrificial bolt) to test the (hopefully)
now cleaned threads. This was carefully driven in with a “T” Handle
and a ratchet wrench when it got harder. Frankly, this was a bit of
a “re-tapping” exercise. It got just a little tight at the same
place as before, then smoothed out – I think we found the damaged
thread area! Since the fastener isn’t going to really see a lot of
load in use, having a slightly damaged interface probably isn’t a
serious issue – so long as we could get it tightened down.
Totally Off Topic
Word of the day...
Sep 5, 2012. 1152z
"Yoink!"That's exactly what my wife said as
she took possession of my laptop.The one I take to/from
the airport and on trips, and keep loaded with backup copies of all the
VAF authoring software in case my upstairs bedroom
office computer gives up the ghost.About a week ago her
laptop finally decided to throw up on its shoes with motherboard issues.
she worded it, since it was her primary computer and my backup
computer...."the prosecution rests". She runs
her handmade jewelry
store off her laptop, and that does pay for some family food, so I guess
I'm shopping for a new laptop now.I'm amazed computers
last as long around her as they do. They get the snot knocked out
of them 18 hrs a day for years in ground zero of our house (kids,
neighbor's kids, dog, living room chaos, etc). They've been
used as doorstops.Poor guy fought hard, but I knew
something he didn't.....he never stood a chance. ;^)
HP.com, expect a visit from my I.P. address today.I've tried some of my
authoring tools on a Macbook Air using PC emulation software recently,
but building this site daily requires some tools/techniques that don't
lend themselves to the Mac environment. I'm a PC guy through and
(I do like my iPhone though). On another topic, daaaaammmmmnnnnn it got hot again here in Texas!
100°F+ all week. Ugh. One last thing. Is it just me, or are 10,000 RVators
living vicariously through Vlad's adventures? I know I am. Happy hump day. (contact)
This trip was spontaneous and on short notice. A fly in was held at
Stanley N.S. CCW4 on Labor Day and I planned to visit. I had a right seater
committed but work obligations interfered and he made other plans. So I went
to Canada alone.
To get to Canada is a walk in the park. Canadians are very friendly folks
and have border crossing procedures well explained and super simplified.
continue Part I
(from the factory FB page) The British Oshkosh equivalent is the Light
Aircraft Association's Rallye, held this year at
Congratulations to Bob Ellis - whose recently finished -- and
beautiful -- RV-8 won the awards for best Kitbuilt Aircraft and best RV at
this year's Rally. Ed Hicks caught up with Bob before he flew home with his
John Bone was Commended (the equivalent of a special mention or
craftsmanship award) for his RV-9.
I just received a phone call from one of the board members at Triple Tree
and he asked me to get the word out. They had an early evening storm today,
Tuesday, September 4th, which dumped three inches of rain on the field. Due
to this, they are going to temporarily close the field. They expect it to
drain quickly and reopen by Wednesday afternoon, September 5th.
(Having flown in there a number of times, I can attest that their runway
does drain quickly and once it opens, it will be solid.)
If you are heading to SC00 for the Triple Tree fly-in, it is suggested that
you divert 10 miles south to Laurens Count (KLUX) until the airport reopens.
Laurens has a nice long (3,900’) and smooth runway with clear approaches.
They are also known for their low fuel prices and they have a courtesy car
The Triple Tree Board of Directors sincerely apologizes for the
inconvenience and wanted to let everyone know that as soon as Garmin comes
out with an X96 that can control the weather, they will buy two.
I've been having fun playing with the GoPro cameras. I made a video with
multi cameras and edited them together in one clip. It is a big learning
process to edit these things but a lot of fun. Check out the latest one,
stay tuned to the end for a different view.
Goofing Off Visualized
Poking around in the stat software yesterday to find out where people are
viewing from (holiday on Monday in U.S.). More goofing off than I
would have expected on a holiday.
Avg time on site: 8min 19sec
Totally Off Topic
Sep 4, 2012. 0627z
Yesterday it was 100°F here in north Texas, and my 11yr old son and his
a large part of the day outside running their lemonade stand.I tried more
than once to get them to go play or just goof off, but they were all business.
They ended up making $15 each, after expenses.
I can think of worse things than my son running this site someday.
I'd hire him based on his work ethic alone <g>. I took a pic
with the phone (right) while he wasn't looking...his friend was at the
street corner with a big cardboard arrow with 'LEMONADE' on it.Excuse the mailbox tilting like the Tower of Pisa. 'Straighten
mailbox' is #567 on the things to do list. ;^) I hope you got yesterday off and spent some quality time
either off the surface....or building something for the task. (contact)
Short story: 16 States - FL-NM-GA-OH-FL - 34 Flight Hours.
Long story below. Continue at your own risk….
I didn't plan it this way but this is how it happened. (Or, How about that
Late July 2012 - Ok, so we had our grand-daughter and 2 of our grand-sons in
Venice over the summer school vacation (great fun) but now we had to get
them home for school near Albuquerque, NM .
What to do? Well, I say to my lovely wife "Why don't you take the kids home
via commercial air and I'll fly the RV-6 out to get you". She bought it and
left 2 Aug. with the kids. We planned on being gone 12-14 days. Yeah, right.
of Part 1
Hurricane Isaac canceled our planes to visit my wife’s
grandmother in Oklahoma. So, the sun came up on Saturday of Labor
Day weekend with no plans. After a leisurely breakfast we decided a
trip to the beach was in order. After much discussion, we deiced to
head to W95, otherwise known as Ocracoke Island, located on North
Carolina’s Outer Banks, for lunch.
In The Shop ● Expensive Spacer....Matt
Okay, so the raw
materials cost only about a dollar, and the vertical milling
attachment for my little tabletop lathe wasn't terribly expensive
either... but the realization that I can actually make a useful part
with a milling machine has already caused me to want to move up to a
bigger and more capable (read: expensive) setup. In the meantime, my
oil pressure sender no longer hits the firewall. It's all part of
that "education and recreation" thing...
What a fiasco - I hate when this happens. It was very hot here
today - 102F and it was not a real fun day to be out at the airport
(BIG SWEAT!). However, my plan was to test plugging the hole in the
end of the aileron counterweight pipe today. I didn't want to remove
Nav antenna elements, remove the tiedown rings, and install the
fresh air vent covers and tape the various landing gear joints so I
said to myself (I talk to myself a lot these days) you need to fly
two triangular speed tests as is with WOT, max rpm, leaned for best
speed (I kind of faking it here The only thing that is sensitive at
this point is EGT and I have come to look for 1300 F - MAP is maxed,
speed seems to plateau and is very insensitive to small mixture
movements - but I try) at 6000 ft. d alt with full fuel tanks; then
plug both ends of one pipe, top off the fuel tanks and fly two more;
then plug both ends of the other pipe, top off the fuel tanks and
fly two more speed test triangles. Well I got the first two sets of
test flights in but not the third.
Well today I had the displeasure to find a mice nest just behind
my instrument panel on my RV-4.
It took the little buggers less than a day to build their little
airborne condo as I had removed the access panel on Friday and there
was nothing there..
Now the problem is how do I get ride of them. That's the
second nest that I find so far in my RV.
I fly off a farm strip so it could explain their love for flying.
Any ideas anyone?
Totally Off Topic
Sep 3, 2012. 1211z
Good morning! Hope you got the day off.
Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of my RV-6's first flight (honors
done by my friend Jay Pratt). What a great reason for a flight!
I snuck out the door at 0549 for a traffic-free drive out to the airport
in the dark. By the time I got everything squared away for flight,
you could just make out things without a light - sunrise about thirty
minutes away. Still calm on the surface, but a 37kt wind from the
SW about 1,500' up. I had noticed a nearly full moon about 45° off
the horizon, so I made sure to, in honor of one of my childhood heroes,
do a couple of barrel rolls around it. Rest in Peace, Mr.
Armstrong. Sunrise was still a few minutes away so I putted over to
where I usually see deer for a pass. There were (6) eating
breakfast, and they didn't even raise their heads. I think they
are getting used to me, or at least sick and tired <g>. The G3X
said sunrise was at 0703, but that was ten minutes away and the yard
really needed mowing...forecast called for 99°F later. I needed to
get home and knock that out early before it got too hot.
Pulled in the driveway with donuts at 0730 - everyone still asleep.It was a nice flight. (contact)
The pile of parts that's been going
together in my garage for the last 4 years, 9 months is officially a
"flying machine". The first flight on Saturday 9/1/2012 was
uneventful. The airplane flies straight and level without any need
for trimming. I'd like to thank the VAF community. Many of you
unknowingly contributed to the project through the search function
on this site.
I have to say it's a bit surreal. How long does it take for it to
sink in that the plane is flying? (Notice I didn't say finished, I
know it will never be finished).
I have previously made two "safe" attempts at addressing these
seemly draggy locations and both failed. One was to cover the top
hole with a thin aluminum plate that moved up with the aileron at
the wing tip and the other was to flush plug the recesses in the
ends of the flaps and ailerons. I have rationalized a cause for the
failures similar to holding a bottomless cup into the wind out of a
car window compared to the same cup with a bottom in it. In both
cases the inlet was unaltered but the outlet was closed or choked
down. There is rational thought that says they should have worked
but experiments and testing showed otherwise.
We have just completed the first year of flying the RV-7 - only
45 hours due to other priorities and weather.
The issues that we have encountered are listed below.
Continuous Duty Solenoid (Vans PN ES24118). Symptoms: slow
deterioration in battery performance. Recharge would recover the
volts, but eventually not enough current to turn the prop. Rapid
volt drop after battery switch on - volt/amp readings normal after
alternator on. Determined a leak of about 0.25v per day through
solenoid, batt switch off. Replaced solenoid - problem fixed.
Re-Torque of Nuts. The following nuts needed re-torquing -
they were not loose, but would have been if left much longer: both
lower outboard engine mount, removed/replaced split pins; Both gear
legs (nyloc); the two nyloc nuts on the two horizontal bolts which
secure the tail wheel to the tail-spring.
I just had the second condition inspection on my RV-8. Not being
the builder, I have an exceptional A&P who lets me help. It's very
much a teach/learning opportunity.
We found a few things that I didn't expect (but probably should
Engine continues to run well, with the timing lock solid since last
year. However the fine wire plugs were starting to look thin as the
tips. The plugs were used when they went in so I have no idea how
many total hours. I installed a new set of REM40E plugs (not fine
wire) so they went in.
The oil change with Shell 100W Plus, Tempest filter, and replaced
the crush washer on the sump screen. Cutting open the oil filter
revieled a continued improvement - less material and very few and
very small non-ferrous particles.
The tires were more worn than expected. I need to add "get down on
hands and knees to look at tire tread" as part of my pre-flight. The
tread was still safe but it warranted flipping the tires on the rims
as well as planning to ordering new tires and tubes.