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January 16, 2016.   Issue No. 4,288.
  This weekend North Texas was misty, overcast and very Pacific Northwest like in the winter (screen grab from the N. 52F WebCam Sunday morning).  So I spent the weekend continuing to trying to catch up with accounting and email.  Fat chance ;^).  I'll get there eventually!
  It slipped my mind to remind you in the Friday edition that Saturday night my Internet provider would be doing updates on some hardware and there could be some time between Saturday night and Sunday morning where you would not be able to access the site.  My apologies if you tried to get on around 10 PM Saturday night and couldn't.
  Hope you have a nice week, and that you got the day off.


ZU-IIS First RV14A to fly in Africa ...Jan Hanekom

Somehow I became involved doing the inspections on this project. My friend Larry Beamish did the maiden flight and I have done some of the other test flights. Below is the RV in front of my house/hangar.  ...


Article.  "On Wings of Waste: RV-9A fuelled partially by plastic waste completes trailblazing flight"  

British-born pilot and environmentalist Jeremy Rowsell has made history this week by flying a light aircraft across Australia using a conventional fuel blended with fuel derived from plastic waste. 


First Engine Run ...j-red text and video

This post is almost a duplicate of the one in my builders log forum, but I thought I'd post it here given the many who responded to the engine build video who might be curious but who might not lurk there often.  ...


Alternative to Alton Bay Found ...Vlad

Year 2017. A very unique opportunity has opened on Raquette Lake in Upstate NY it won't last long. For several years I was observing the ice condition there and I wasn't able to land. Ski planes and bush wheelers go there on regular basis. There was a lot of snow in the beginning but then a couple of warm days came and the snow melted. Then the deep freeze made it solid. Couple phone calls and couple emails answered and I am airborne.  ...


Found oil on the floor, grounded ...Steve Melton

I had been weeping some oil at the front end and had contacted Superior with pictures but it was inconclusive until today. I walked into the hangar and found oil on the floor and more on the cowl. I am grounded.  ...


Missing Rivets ...DonFromTX

Looking back from the baggage bulkhead into the tailcone for a final check before covering up that hole - look what I spotted. I dread getting my old body folded up and back in there to do a couple of rivets. How did I ever miss them? (the photo is sideways, that is the center bottom of the tailcone.)



January 13, 2016.   Issue No. 4,287.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  

Magic of Flight ...Jeremy video

I took my nephew for his first flight about a year ago. My brother put together this video. Enjoy!


Mo's Ottawa River Fly-In Cancelled (for this year) ...Mark Briggs

This just arrived in my in-box. I'm very disappointed to hear this news as Mo's has traditionally been a fantastic opportunity for brave aviation souls to gather and share terrific camaraderie, not to mention some darned good chili, around the warmth of the fire. It is my sincere hope this is merely a one-time cancellation - my best wishes go out to Mo for a speedy return to full health.

Mo's 28th Fly-in cancelled

By Patrick Gilligan, COPA
Maurice Prud'Homme has been organizing his ice fly-in on the Ottawa River since 1989, at that time my daughter was 5 years old and I was rebuilding turbine engines at Rolls Royce Canada.

Mo has never missed a beat every year doing his annual runs for sponsors, picking up banners, inviting celebrities to attend, printing and distributing his posters, scheduling volunteers and snow plowing, also cooking and serving enormous batches of his famous Chilli to hundreds of fly-in pilots (Maurice was master Chef at the Parliamentary dining room). Unfortunately his famous fly-in is cancelled this year because he will be undergoing heart surgery and will be required to rest for a month or so.

Our thoughts are wishing Maurice "Mo" a speedy recovery, COPA National.


My new Wingman here in SC! ...Jim Lechleiter

Meet my new wingman here in Charleston:

From me trying to fly up alongside my friends with slow Mooney’s, Bonanza’s, Swift’s and other quote “fast” aircraft down here in Chuck Town, I’ve finally found a single engine that can keep up with me in formation flight other than my good RV buddies; it is a bit noisy though unless I’m in the Lead!

Also, Slot really sucks big time too, plus I have to un-soot my tail after every flight as well which is starting to become a pain besides my noticeable hearing loss.

Enjoy and Blue Skies to all my flying buddies in 2017!

Lech N702PL
Jim Lechleiter
787 Design Engineering
Boeing South Carolina


T-Hangar NW Regional 52F For Rent ...Sid Mayeux

Please PM me or email SidMayeux -at- JEEMAIL-dot-com.


January 12, 2016.   Issue No. 4,286.

RV-10 Panel Design ...Justin in OKC

I started my panel design on a plan piece of paper with a pencil. After awhile I moved to MS Paint where I would cut and paste things together in a Frankenstein manner trying to get something that made sense. Yesterday I decided to step it up to Visio and include it in my Electrical plans book.

This allowed me to show a bit more detail and move things around without trying to cut and paste a JPEG. I'm at a point now I thought I would share it out and solicit any feedback. Visio allows me to show quite a bit of detail that I wasn't able to do in paint. Should note this isn't to scale per se.  continue


Mag timing - alignment ...Drippy

So I went to time my right mag and can't get it to the proper spot. As I try to rotate the mag to the left CCW as part of the timing process the mag hits the attachment foot. I chamfered the foot but still need to go a bit further.  ...


Various iPhone Mount Ideas



January 11, 2016.   Issue No. 4,285.

From the factory... FB page


Static Electricity - Pro Tip

Do not vacuum up micro/epoxy dust with your plastic bodied shopvac while standing on a vinyl floor wearing tennis shoes. Particularly during a period of low humidity.

Unless you need a jolt or three to correct your Atrial Fibrillation, bring Frankenstein's monster to life, or something like that...

Kyle Boatright
Atlanta, GA


Periodic Status Report ...David Paul RV-3B


A Few Cars/Restaurants Added to the Courtesy Cars & Food List


Status Report ...ZazooRV-9A

We fabricated an engine stand for the O-320 we're about to start overhauling. And the Fuse is in the paint booth for some preliminary interior painting.



January 10, 2016.   Issue No. 4,284.

San Angelo...and Houston Unexpectedly  ...tcard Pilots 'n Paws mission

The last pilot for the day asked that we get started as early as possible, and since I don't fly at night, it was a 15 minute before sunrise departure. I picked up husky Mesquite in San Angelo (KSJT) at 8:30, and headed for Taylor (T74). As I arrived in Taylor, I thought something was amiss. I hadn't heard the other pilot on common traffic, nor did I see her sitting on the ramp. Sure enough, when I got to my phone there was a message that she couldn't get her plane started.

I fueled up, and headed for the terminal building where it was out of the wind and at least above freezing. I touched base with the coordinator and pilot of the 3rd leg. He and I agreed to each go a bit further, basically splitting the second leg.

I offered to return my co-pilot to his car, but he was in for the entire adventure, so off we went. I had a huge head start since I had already finished my original leg and the other pilot was coming in from New Orleans, so my co-pilot and I took our time and did some meandering on our way in to Houston.  ...

All cozy in the back of the 9A. He wasn't so sure he wanted to get out.

tcard's APRS tracks... (Jan 8th entries)


Spanky and Tims Double Missing Man ...Smokey Ray

Today in Texas was Spanky and Tims memorial at 1st UMC near Plano. After a very emotional and inspiring celebration of life, 4 T-6"s performed a double MM.  Burial at USAFA Thursday.


Garmin G3X Touch v5.1 Update

related: VAF thread


IFR Current ...me

1/9 I went out to Bridgeport (KXBP) for gas ($3.39), and while there I shot the VOR approach five times.  Three times when I arrived (tan lines), then landed to fill the plane's tanks and empty mine, then two more times after take off before departing to Decatur (KLUD) for their VOR approach on the way back to 52F.  That was one impressive run on sentence...

Bump city and tired.  Winds in N. Texas Monday were 180* gusting to 25 (runway heading) so it actually ended up being sort of a nice, easy landing.  The winds at 2,000' were 42kts from 200*...the flight path indicator was nearly off the screen on the inbound course (fun math).

I owe Gary P. a steak dinner, and maybe a bottle of whiskey also.  Lotta bumps.  Logged 1.6hrs.....that's a lot for me.

(click for tracks)



January 9, 2016.   Issue No. 4,283.
  The garage door opener gear finally gave up on my side this past weekend - worn enough to start skipping.  At least it wasn't the morning when it was 13*F....waited until Sunday when it was little warmer.  Replaced the gear on the wife's side about six months ago.  I'm glad I ordered (2) when I got her replacement.  The shipping was more than the gear - might as well order two.
  Hoping to fly some practice VOR/ILS approaches this week in VFR for currency.  The Jepp DB is expired in the 430W (Yoda voice) "and the thrift force is strong with this one right now it is, so /A you will do."  There are (7) VOR and/or ILS approaches in the local area, all with cheaper gas than my home field (Sherman 55¢/gal cheaper and Bridgeport 36¢).  A mission:  Gas and approaches!


Springfield & Mothers Brewing Companies ...crabandy trip report

I finally convinced the wife to take another day trip in the airplane, she's tolerated several flights in the RV but hasn't ever been exactly comfortable with it. I'm hoping more flight time and other destination incentives will build her tolerance enough to enjoy it.
A tad warmer today than it's been, 18*F-blue skies and mostly smooth skies for our late morning departure. My wife is definitely not tolerant of cold, ski bibs and a Columbia parka help....   more


Do we have another build in us at 59 ...people around 59 chime in!

Greetings everyone, it's been years since I posted but now I have the bug again. Building my –6 20 years ago kicked my butt, I remember the long nights for years, tennis elbow, aches and pains in my shoulders etc. in the end it was all worth it and I loved that airplane.  Now at 59 I'm feeling very well but not sure I have what it takes to spend another three or four years in the workshop or whether or not my elbows and wrists can take it.  My days of getting a second wind at 10 PM and staying in the shop till two in the morning are over…

Are there many other builders my page with the same concerns? ...


It Begins (again) ...Bob Collins

2001 RV-7A start ........ 2017 RV-12 start


Winter Soldiers ...Vlad installment

Sport Island Pub is couple yards away from airplane parking.


Year 10 Performance Numbers ...Pete Howell

In the process of finishing the 10 yr annual on 9er-Pop-Hotel and had a nice cold day to do some performance runs. The old girl still scoots pretty well!

Same config since day one: ECI O-320, carb, Pmags, Hartzell. I am running 92 Mogas, LOP. 1750hrs. She has some scuffs and scratches now, but I am still thrilled!


Ep. 7 of the Australian Adventure ...haydnc


All pics of the panel upgrade ...Tony T

Descriptions on nearly all of them...


Another hard to reach rivet (rudder) ...Reflex -14

I must have done something wrong or missed an instruction. Last night I dry fitted (haven't riveted the skins together yet) my rudder skins. I wanted to see how everything fit before I put adhesive on the trailing edge.


I be smokin :^) ...Brantel

I received most of one of Marvin's kits (Smoke System Helper) for Christmas and promptly ordered the rest of the parts that Santa did not bring me. Marvin was a joy to work with and sent my remaining parts right away.  more


Article on RV-6 'Bigfoot' ...Jan Sport Aviation (Pg 72)



January 6, 2016.   Issue No. 4,282.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Milestone: Flipped the Canoe! ...Z-EDD (Harare, Zimbabwe)

Well, today was the biggest and most satisfying day in the project since unpacking the kit. I started riveting the "canoe" together around 8 weeks ago. In that time I have managed only 4 sessions, but 2 of those were marathons. It has been frustrating at times, but in the end it is well worth waiting for a highly competent riveting partner. Most of these rivets were shot by my buddy Kev whilst here on layover from his airline job. Kev worked on the hangar floor for a few years before becoming a pilot, so he knows his stuff. If we had to drill out one of his rivets it was probably my fault. My father in law Alistair helped with the final session and today we finally "flipped the canoe". What a moment!  more pics


One Less On My Bucket List ...DonFromTX RV-12

Well for those that have grown used to me in the 6 years on this board, a milestone was passed today with the official change of my pile of parts into an AIRCRAFT! Only thing left in the bucket is "Test Pilot", coming soon! It better come soon, I turn 80 years old this year.


HS ON ...Gil Brice RV-7 McKinney, TX

Last night I got my horizontal stabilizer drilled and attached to the fuselage. This is definitely one of those measure twice / cut once operations. My HS tips are within 1/16" measured to the same spot of the firewall. That took a lot of time and interrupting my spouse from catching up on Top Chef.


A Few Restaurants Added to the Courtesy Cars & Food List

Bishop, CA.  Miller, MO.  Hastings, NE.  Urbana, OH.  Honesdale, PA.  etc...


EFIS Reliability Survey - Tell me your gripes ...KatieB

Hey Y'all... As part of an application to grad school, I'm looking for an overall opinion from 100 RV owners about the reliability of their EFIS systems.

If you own or fly an RV regularly that has an EFIS system installed as a Primary Flight Display, I'd really appreciate your input. I'll publish the results in a week or so. Actually, if you own any Experimental aircraft with an EFIS, that will do just fine. It doesn't have to be an RV. You can tell me the type in the comments box at the end of the survey.



January 5, 2016.   Issue No. 4,281.

Back in the Saddle

APRS track...click for my history
related: RV APRS tracking

It's been over a month since I took the RV-6 up (condition inspection, Christmas, ELT that failed the shake test, etc).  Tue I finally got her all buttoned back up, so Wed 0800 I headed out to 52F for a 31*F flight to see how things looked (29*F in the air).  Colder Wx rolling in later Wed, and we don't do cold very well here in Dallas, so I opted to go out and fly before it went to the low 20's.  Drove around the area in heading mode watching the engine gauges and traffic screen.  The oil didn't get as hot as I would have liked in flight, the mains need a little air (hard to push in the hangar - it was warmer when we put on the new tubes), and I tightened the nut on the tailwheel fork too much.  Little nits that I can address.

Felt swell to RVate again in the phenomenally nimble RV-6.  I felt a little rusty, but checklists and a minute or two shook that off.  Rolling onto final in that cold, thick, smooth air, on donut and trimmed with the field to myself...a little smile formed.  Good to be back...


New builder ...Bob Collins


He obviously ran out of fuel because the President's speech ran long, right?

Do you remember back in June of 2016 when one of the Thunderbirds crashed after an overflight at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony? Speculation on the Internet was that he ran out of fuel because POTUS was running late and the T-birds were kept in a hold. Here are some Google links if you don't believe me.

Well it turns out he didn't run out of fuel.  It was a hardware failure.  In actuality, they had to offload 900 pounds of fuel from the aircraft before they could put it on the trailer.  Another data point in my belief that speculation is almost always counterproductive.  Here is a link to the 41 page United States Air Force Aircraft Accident Investigation Board report.  It'll take you all morning to read, and I promise you'll learn stuff.

Yours in safety,

PS: And here is a link to over 600 probable cause documents published by the NTSB over the last 30 years in regards to RV aircraft.  Talk all you want about these reports...PLEASE!  There is a dedicated section in the forums for it.


RV-10 #41741 Colorado ...tims88

On January 1st I started work on the empennage kit for my RV-10! After nearly a year and a half of research, planning, preparing, and dreaming it's an incredible feeling for my wife and I to finally be able to say that "we are building an airplane" instead of "we are going to build an airplane".

A huge thanks to Mike (ppilotmike) who showed us how to build our first practice kit, and Justin (J Twilbeck) and Myles (met through EAA chapter 43) who took us for rides in their RV-10's.  ...


The Amazing Ubiquitous Diaphragm Fuel Pump ...15min vid.

Have you ever wondered how an aircraft fuel pump works? This short video by Aero Accessories, the manufacturers of Tempest brand diaphragm fuel pumps, breaks it down in easy to understand terms.


January/February Issue Now Online ...36 pages.



January 4, 2016.   Issue No. 4,280. 

20 Years Ago This Week ...work started on RV-6 N617AR <g>

Page (1) of my builder log - click to enlarge.  The 'small empennage box' was full of wood - tail feather jigs.  I have a video somewhere of me opening the box, thinking there would be little aluminum pieces.  I was green enough to log it as .25hr instead of .2 or .3.  And I changed the column headings to 'time in' and 'time out' starting on the 2nd entry.

Upon reflection, I think this sums up the hobby nicely.  It's rarely going to be what you think, and you might have to change the plan often.

And, it will be worth it...


Flying Year 2016 Finished With 752 hours ...Vlad

2016 was a great year of flying. Probably the best I've ever had since I started flying my RV9A five years ago. 752 hobbs hours logged in 2016 with total over 3K on engine/airframe. Many interesting places visited.  ...


2016 In Review ...Jay Pratt

Logged 211.2. Hours in all planes. Mine and customers.  Home base is Hicks Airfield, T67. Fort Worth, Texas

Flying Trips:

Super Cub 'Shooter' to Big Bend Area of Texas, 19.2 hours of pure eye candy! Flying canyons, camping, and visiting local folks.

C180J 'Paul Revere' to Florida and Key West. Fun, fun, fun!

Exp Super Cub to Oshkosh. 64.8 hours. We landed Every North Dakota Public Use airport all 79. ND has a passport book and a stamp for each airport. We landed most before heading to Oshkosh. After OSH we flew back to get the 7 we missed on the first try. ND gives prizes for different levels of accomplishment in their pass port book. Fill the book! Land every airstrip, and you get a Cap, a Flight Bag, and a Leather Flight Jacket. I told Carol, this will be the most expensive Leather Jacket ever. We have to go back up to get it! The rewards are given out March, 5th.. burrrr

C180J to Port Aransas, Texas for a stay at Amelia's Landing. Always, a fun time!

RV8 'Borrowed Horse' took us to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a river rafting adventure, then to Colorado to visit friends. It did lots of Lunch runs. And short trips to Oklahoma, to visit friends.

We attended the Texas STOL competition. In Llano, TX.

Can't believe we only went to Port Aransas, once in 2016? Usually get a few trips down there.. perfect trip for an RV for us.

We were at Reklaw Fly-In. Always fun!

My shop saw 2 new RV8s fly in 2016. Hope to see more than 2 in the coming year.

All in all a successful year.

The C180J got a new engine. I dropped the deposit check off in person on the way to Florida. The salesman was surprised!  My log book ticked over the 5000 hour mark. A personal milestone. Now it has 5123.8.

Did not fly to Idaho, first time to miss since DR and I went so long ago, 12 years? Plan to go back this year.

Let's here about your adventures from 2016. Wishing all of you a healthy, happy 2017!  Hope for tailwinds and clear skies.


Turbo Subaru RV8 Flies in Australia ...Geoff Braddock's RV-8


New Year's Weekend ...j-red

Having done pretty much everything that could be done in the shed behind the house, it was time to call the tow truck. This is the same driver who came to haul N601DR almost exactly two years ago. I don't know whether he was surprised to see me still alive or not, but his wild-eyed expressions that seemed to say "You're kidding, right?" were gone this time. Great guy to deal with. Came at a moments notice and only charged $150 for the trip which, considering the time and effort required to rig up some type of support system on a typical pull-behind trailer, was well worth it.  ...


December Construction Time Lapse Video ...gfb



January 3, 2016.   Issue No. 4,279. 

Courtesy Cars & Food

Cupp's Drive Inn (Waco, TX).  Serving since 1929.

Added a food column.  I've been thinking about doing this for quite some time.  Combining courtesy cars with the heavy patina, character-filled eatery in a smaller town might motivate someone to fly to a nearby city for the first time.  I started with Texas because that's where I grew up, live and fly.  As others email me with their favorite dive near a runway I'll add/edit the entries.  Explore the page a bit, and I hope you click on the links for Cupp's Drive In in Waco, TX in the upper right.  One of those touchstone places that to me always represents 'home'. 


C-FDTQ has a Cofa ...Champ

Had final inspection a month ago and got the C of A from Transport Canada in the mail today - Wooohooo!

Two things that were done to plans needed changing - vertically mounted fuel filter changed to horizontal (to eliminate a potential vapour lock in the 180deg loop above it) and flap bottom rod end bearings from Vans "unibody" to Aurora with bolt & safety washer.

Paint is DIY SW Acryglo. Scheme is sons design.  We have a professional test pilot lined up for the first flight, and my & sons training. Test pilot owns & flys a RV-3.  Working on the POH and flight test cards. Weather permitting hope to have air under the tires and the RV grin before to long


2016 Trip Report - Schmidts - N104XP

Cheers! I hope it was a great year for you and your family. We will miss those we lost, are thankful for the new additions and look forward to more adventures and memories in the near future.  continue


Dad's Snap-On Ratchet

Last week Jake Lewis sent me this date code graphic after I mentioned my late Dad's 40+ year old Snap-On ratchet.  The symbol appears between 'On' and 'Off' on the ratchet head.  Jake, thanks to you I've identified it as produced in 1968.  Turns out it's closer to 50.  I was three when it was made, and used it again Monday to tighten those front six screws on the cowl that are hard to get at.

Of special note is my Dad's signature with an engraver.

(click to enlarge)



December 30-January 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,278. 
  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 2017! 

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.  Dangit.

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 of course!


Charity Cap Sighting ...ILikePike in Paris

related: 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 No. 4,277. 

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 live. dr]


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."

(from Bob 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 in February


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 drawing OP-34.  ...


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. HELP? Please?


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 Coast Guard 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 good.

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 No. 4,276. 

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 morning.  multiple pictures


"Your best or most awesome picture of your RV sitting on the ground" ...titanhank entry



December 27, 2016.   Issue No. 4,275. 
  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 Johnson 9A

[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 Lexan

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 Penticton...



December 23-26, 2016.   Issue No. 4,274. 
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. dr

...from Gary.


The Yearly Inspection Wrapping Up...N617AR RV-6

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 amazing moment!

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 simultaneously.

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 be considered.

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: rianj@vansaircraft.com. No phone calls please.



December 22, 2016.   Issue No. 4,273. 

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 better.  ...


From AX-O

Per requests, updating fastback document and picture links.



December 21, 2016.   Issue No. 4,272. 

Honoring John Marsh ...9A builder awarded Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award

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 F-1046-L/R) ...jwbruce

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 camera.)

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.  continue



December 20, 2016.   Issue No. 4,271. 

Mothership cap sighting.
Adam Burch photo...somewhere in Colorado.

RV-8QB Center Section Bolts

Service Bulletin: Applies to RV-8QB only.  Before further flight.

"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?

Answers (possible):

  • 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 stop event.
  • 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 John Juergens:

"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>. 


Christmas Card



December 19, 2016.   Issue No. 4,270. 

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."  continue

[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 others.


The 14th Condition Inspection ...

Doing 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 and information.


Couple of VAF Courtesy Car Edits/Updates

...simple list.  Easy peezy.


RV Hotel Updated

...free places to stay when flying your RV around.  PDF document.




December 16, 2016.   Issue No. 4,269. 
  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 opposite side.

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 durability.


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.


From Dynon



December 15, 2016.   Issue No. 4,268. 

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 lose pressure.

Now I want to install the CPI electronic ignition, and want to put the coil packs inside the plenum. However one plug boot interferes with scat.

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 No. 4,267. 

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 overlooked something.  ...


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 Zone.

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 January.  ...


RV-10K (Keg)

(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 No. 4,266. 

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 discussion.

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 and Polished"

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 significant factor?


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.  continue/video


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 No. 4,265. 

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 anything.

fmi: 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 No. 4,264. 
  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 one.


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 out there.


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 Determination.

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:  continue


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 No. 4,263. 
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 them:
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 fun!

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 top skin.


Dynon D2 Pocket Panel $100 Holiday Mail-in Rebate Offer



December 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,262. 
  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


Painted ...Lyle

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.  continue


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 of.

I'll 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 No. 4,261. 

"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 White Pages'.  Years down the road, that chrysalis transformed into the site that you're enjoying today.  And that's enough Entomology references for now...

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.

 ;^)  dr


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 aircraft.


News Video Story on 'Tango Flight' ...Georgetown, TX

related: Tango Flight FB page


Milestone: Paint Job Done

...Gerry and Della Clabots


Emailed from a reader....



December 5, 2016.   Issue No. 4,260. 

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:
Placerville, CA.  
Plainview, TX.  
Lubbock, TX.


4th Annual VAF ski trip ...John Morgan event coordinator

The 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 pin otherwise.

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 all happening.

(let me fill in the blanks for the first three answers)
  • get transition training…
  • get a buddy to let you fly their RV-9a?
  • read all of Van's articles, AC90-89, etc.
  • ?
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?


Panel Pic ...Joe

Yes, you can get 2 G3X 10" screens in an RV-8



December 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,259. 
 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

(click for more)


(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" thick.
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 (1.986).  continue


Panel Upgrade Status ...Tony T

Working on final tasks. Adding wire ties in tunnels and instrument deck, reinstalling controls that had to be taken out for access.

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.  more


Hard to reach rivets - rudder ...various pictures/techniques


Tore out the old, in w/the new ...Seadog

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 No. 4,258. 

December Calendar Wallpaper

Ed Hicks photo.


Need Suggestions- Drilling holes in a plate to match existing platenut locations

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.

Short Version:

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:  continue


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.


No Power!

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?


(update later)
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 device. 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 engine


RV7 Horizontal Stabilizer Assembly Video Part#1 ...Andrew Atalla in Whistler, BC.


Mothership First Flight Stats



November 30, 2016.   Issue No. 4,257. 

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 spins.

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 experience.

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 rudder input.

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 maybe).

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 No. 4,256. 

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 like that.

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 be appreciated.
Thanks Mike


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 ends.  many pics


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 limitations -

Actual Age of NEXRAD Data Can Differ Significantly From Age Indicated on Display
The problem
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 service providers.

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. continue


From the mothership FB page:



November 28, 2016.   Issue No. 4,255. 

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 background.

related: About the cap...


Multiple Picture Status Report ...Ed Fleming RV-7 Harare, Zimbabwe


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 No. 4,254.
  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 my home.

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 years.

Looking forward to posting updates as we go,

Andy C.


New area in the forums: ADS-B

Per the request of a few individuals, this new area is located down in the avionics section.



November 23, 2016.   Issue No. 4,253.

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

Well 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

"We 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!"

Charles Newman
Flight Data Systems.  224 7th Street.  Petaluma, CA 94952



November 22, 2016.   Issue No. 4,252.
  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 down 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 trigger (page 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 quickly.


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 it later.

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 questions!

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 Joe's family.
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.

Thank you.


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 No. 4,251.

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

- https://dougreeves.smugmug.com/Joe/
(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).  more


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.  continue


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 No. 4,250.
  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 receiver.
-Garmin 695
- 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.  continue


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 this link.

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 stick.

So, I wheel land it all the time. That's easy once you figure out where the runway is.


Welcome Trig Avionics Limited

"Van's 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.

Growing 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 the best support in the industry. To find you nearest Trig dealer go to www.trig-avionics.com."


Garmin Pilot v8.5 Released

Videos RE: New Features:
· Overview of new features
· Weight and Balance
· Freehand
· Checklist
· Advanced Performance
· Overview of Garmin Pilot 8.5 within Europe




November 17, 2016.   Issue No. 4,249.

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 dated 1949). 

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 HERE.  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.

To the 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...


Welcome Home "Inspiration"!

...Hong Kong's first homebuilt completes 3-month round the world journey.


Treat that Prop with Respect

...more stories.

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.
Allen Blackwell
Very slow build RV7A

And another...

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.

George Meketa


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 license!

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 pilots.

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 to do?".

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’ lives.


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.  continue


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 6061-T6.

In both pictures, the top one is the new one and the bottom one is what I'm replacing.  more


My Home Field ...update.

Construction continues on improving drainage at the south end.  Some pics from Tuesday.

fmi: fly52f.org (the P.O.A.)


Welcome https://x-schemes.com

"Hello 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.

I 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 aircraft.

I designed the paint scheme for Tom Powers' RV-8 Fastback painted by GLO Customs:

I also designed the paint scheme for Hank Moody's RV-8:

I 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 pricing!"


(ad lives in the Previous Day's News section).



November 16, 2016.   Issue No. 4,248.
  Please excuse the Wed. issue being pushed out a little earlier than usual.  Family thing conflicting with the normal push time...  dr

New Runway Progress

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.

The 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 would be.
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 aircraft.


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 help?

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 beautiful panel!



November 15, 2016.   Issue No. 4,247.

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 music...

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 product.

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!

Communication 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 No. 4,246.

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. see 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.  video


Q: 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.


Milestone: 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

After 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 experience this?



November 11, 2016.   Issue No. 4,245.
  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 turned into 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...  more


Welcome www.L-3LYNX.com

...TrafficTransponderWeather.  Lynx now available direct for Van's RV owners/builders.



2017 EAA Sweepstakes...



November 10, 2016.   Issue No. 4,244.

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 ...Vlad's entry

...Alaska Highway.



November 9, 2016.   Issue No. 4,243.
  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 sump.

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 email.

(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 been examined.

(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 advertising.

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 weekend?"

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 FSALE111)
- The FreeReel Pro Package (promo code FSALE222)
- The FreeReel System + Wall Storage Mount (promo code FSALE333)



November 8, 2016.   Issue No. 4,242.

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 here!

Now to get down to Houston and let Bruce Bohannon get ME ready for the first flight....


Ground Shots


Dawn Patrol, southern Saskatchewan ...gerrychuck



November 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,241.

Joe Blank. 

Husband.  Father.  Friend.

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 coordinated push.

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.

Some pictures 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 No. 4,240.
  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.

Mosaic courtesy Van's Aircraft, Inc.
(click to enlarge)


AVIATION COURTESY. …Richard VanGrunsven

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 victims.

Here lies a pilot called "Ace"
Who did loops with such ease and grace.
One day, to his woe, he entered too low.
Unable to recover, he was shocked to discover,
that the ground was now in the wrong place.

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.   


DUMB STUNTS.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 pilot. 

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 of showboating.


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 help.

Gliderport example.

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 work! 

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 effective remedy.


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 tactic.


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 offences.


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 flying behavior.

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 the runway.

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 ride!

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 Support@vansaircraft.com

...or see this thread in the VAF Forums.

The URL 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 No. 4,239.

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 I installed.

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 knowledge.


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. 


FAA Safety Briefing ...Nov/Dec issue (40 pages)



November 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,238.

Eagle's Nest Projects - Granbury High School (TX) - Meet the Student-Builders

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 arrived.

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 Morning! 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 though)?
Round off the edge of the nut?


Dave Ambrose


Kansas trip ...Steve Melton



November 1, 2016.   Issue No. 4,237.

An RVator 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 break.

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 the kids.

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!

-Dan Weyant


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 progress.

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.  continue


November Calendar Wallpaper Online...Adam Burch photo


From Dynon...



October 31, 2016.   Issue No. 4,236.

John Wilhite visits the Van Cave Friday.
dr photo.


Thanks to Mr. Steve Ingraham ...Tony

I posted a few days ago trying to decide between a RV-7/7A or RV-14/14A and received a lot of great feedback. One who responded to the post noticed that we lived close and graciously offered me a ride in his RV-9A. This was to be my first in any RV. I had a great time and learned many things. Steve has a beautiful aircraft and I am very grateful for the experience.

Many thanks to Steve and Mary Ingraham.


First video ...'trackdom' in France

Here is my first hero4 video over south alpes in France.


1700 hours ... Pete Howell

Just completed the 1700 hr oil change with compression check and borescope pics of the exhaust valves. - Thanks to Alex P for letting me try out his new scope!

Oil filter media and screen were examined and were clean

Compression check with cold cylinders:


DIY Spark Plug Tray ...Dave


A couple of recent RV-12 pictures from Jim Stricker


Mothership Comedy ....courtesy Adam I think



October 28, 2016.   Issue No. 4,235.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Eagle's Nest Projects: Wings Over Houston '16 ...Ernie

PLTW Aerospace Engineering Students, Mentors, and Teachers from Clear Springs High School in League City, TX displayed three completed Eagle's Nest Projects at Wings Over Houston. Clear skies and cool temps set the stage for record attendance and an opportunity for hundreds of families to experience first hand the outstanding accomplishment of local high school students.

Most adults just couldn't believe that high school students built these beautiful aircraft. After a few minutes however in conversation with one of the student-builders, disbelief generally turned into absolute amazement.


Ugh!! Back Riveting mistake!! ...Jeff

I just KNOW that I am the only one to do this, but just in case I'm wrong, here's what I did. I am in the process of backriveting the stiffeners onto the aileron skin. Everything was going well when I started riveting this rivet and discovered that the back plate had shifted and I had nothing for the rivet head to rest on for the flush finish. Wound up with a slight but unsightly divit in the surface of the skin.

I've already redimpled the hole but the entire thing still has this divit.. Wondering what magic procedure will help flatten this area around a new rivet... perhaps setting it back in the backing plate and then slightly hammering either with slow rivet gun or manual hammer, over a small socket that would surround the dimple, but drive down on the skin. Also has to the stiffener to help in the process.. I was hoping to send a few pics, but I can't seem to be able to do that, which is also very frustrating!!


Making the EFIS Look More 'Boeing Like'

The 'goal' was to have the MFD show me the things that might hit me, and the basic nav points...and not much else.  De-clutter a bit by playing around some in Setup and Map Display settings.  Zooming in beyond the 3nm level shows all the private and unpaved strips for an emergency (I could also hit the 'NRST' button of course).  Force it to stay in 'night mode' to turn the background dark.  Turn off topography.  Moved the engine stats strip along the top over to the PFD.  You get the idea...

Still fiddling with it, and until they add a 'Boeing mode' for the nav screen I think I can make due just fine with this.  Less is more (for me and nav).

The role model: Boeing nav screen...
Photographer anon. (I owe him lunch though).

My RV-6 PDF and MFD on a fuel run.
RNAV 17 active and approaching glide slope capture.
click to enlarge)


RV Over French Enclave ...Vlad pics


DIY Field Notes ...a.k.a. How I queue up content for the site

I have a very non-standard career, as you already know. The workflow requires being around a computer of some sort pretty much 24/7. And since I'm always looking for content for the next day's edition, I'm forever searching for the perfect way to remember tiny bits of information for later.  You can probably relate.

It could be a reminder to promote something that's coming up this weekend (and maybe I remembered that while I was eating lunch at Wendy's). It could be the thread number of a particularly interesting topic in the forums I saw using my phone, somebody I met at the fuel pump at a nearby airport inspires a few paragraphs of copy, etc. Grocery lists.  After a flight I put 5-10 words and the time flown (#deer, approaches flown, etc)...I'll put it in the logbook when I get home.  Multiple input sources....one struggling brain that wasn't trained as a writer (but is trying).

I've tried capturing this information into a pocket digital recorder, into 3-4 apps on my phone over the years, on little pieces of paper in my back pocket and a dozen other methods all in the name of efficiency. I keep coming back to something similar to the 'Field Notes' pocket-sized notebook.  But those are too thick for my pocket.

Of course, being a pilot, the idea of spending $10 for three little paper books....well, you know how that's gonna go.  I love the DIY internet sites, and they didn't let me down.

A piece of cardboard folded that was on the back of something we got in the mail, five sheets of printer paper folded over, cut and stapled down the spine and I am in business. Trimmed to the exact size for the side pocket in my shorts with gardening sheers. If I have $.10 invested in this thing I'd be surprised. And I can build another one in about 60 seconds when I fill this one up over the course of about 2-3 weeks.  Keeping the page count small keeps it thin enough to not get on your pocket's nerves.

If you go to the actual Field Notes site, you'll see each "model" has a back story associated with it, I guess to connect to the hipster crowd maybe?  I remember Cabbage Patch kids, and that's what that reminded me of. ;^)

I'm a pilot, and an RV builder, and that means I'm thrifty by default.....so of course I'm perfectly fine with a notepad I made out of junk mail ;^).

Seriously, these things are nice to have in your pocket. It's faster to get the information down with a short series of words and symbols than it is to type it in some 'improved app', IMHO.  The cardboard is industrial this time around and should hold out over its short life.  Also, if I drop it in the toilet it won't stop working and cost $500 to replace.  A good mechanical pencil, or a cheap fountain pen with a medium nib that slops out a ton of cheap ink, and Baby, you got a stew going!  I hope you clicked on that link and laughed...

I wrote this 'article' as a matter of fact using little one word topics that I assembled over a couple days in the corner of one of the pages.

So here's the latest 'VAF Field Notes' pad, complete with doodling on the cover.  Its life will be brief, but productive.

Yours in thrift...



October 27, 2016.   Issue No. 4,234.
  Odd request.  Might someone have a 1970-1980 DFW sectional showing 52F labeled as 'Aero Valley'?  A picture from your cell emailed to me would suffice just fine.  I have a sectional from 1967 (below), but the airport wasn't there yet.  Tanx,
[ed. Update a couple hours later....thank you Troy Stegemoeller for sending me the exact pic I needed!  v/r,dr]


2 1/2 Year Old son's first flight in my RV-7 ...Trevor Conroy

Yesterday evening I took my 2 1/2 year old son, Charlie, up in my RV-7 for the first time! As a father and professional pilot, there was nothing more rewarding than seeing the smile on his face! He has ridden with my wife and I in his car seat in the back of a C-182 on a few previous occasions but this was a completely different experience for both of us. My father and I spent 5 long years building the -7 and to now fly my son in an airplane I built is sure a special experience. <g>

Over the course of the last several months, I've brought Charlie out to the hangar with me to tinker on the airplane so he could get familiar with it and identify it as ours. Then I started putting him in the right seat and securing the harness and turning on the panel so he could see it light up. Being only 2 1/2, I didn't want him to be able to play with the control stick so had to add an electrical connector where the right stick break is so that it could be completely removed. I also made some cushions to raise him up and forward in the seat. Last week I strapped him in and we taxi'd around the airport a little bit so I could gauge how well he would do. He loved it and said he wanted to go fly! I made him wait a couple more days just to be sure. Last night I strapped him in and skyward we went! I had planned to take-off and fly the pattern to an immediate landing but once we were on downwind I asked him if he wanted to keep going and he said YES so we ventured out a couple miles before heading back. On the drive home all he could talk about was flying in "dadda's airplane". Truly a special day for both of us!

Now I won't feel as bad leaving my wife and two kids at home when I want to go flying on the weekends. My wife will be thrilled for me to take Charlie to burn some 100LL with me <g>.


Texas Fastback 2.0 ...Arlie Conner

124TT has made it safely to its new home in Germany. I hope the new owners enjoy the heck out of it. We decided to build another fastback, this time starting with a somewhat blank canvas with a partially completed kit. We thought we looked it over pretty good but I guess not good enough. I'm not going to mention any names or where I got it, but we have already run into a major screw up that requires major surgery. It requires removing and replacing the top and lower longerons and the firewall weldments that they attach to. Hopefully after this is done we can actually go forward with this build instead of going backwards. I would like to know how others have solved this problem of getting the correct edge distance and fit?


New to the 8 forum ...Arlie Conner again!

We have been flying our "new to us" RV-8 for a little over a month now and it is everything we wanted in a plane. Aerobatic, great cross country machine, and best of all, I can finally carry a passenger that weighs more than 180lbs. Don't get me wrong, our RV-4 was all of the above plus a blast to fly, but just quite didn't fit our needs as far as the back seater goes. I'm 250lbs and ride comfortably in the back.


EUREKA!! Probable Hot #3 Cylinder Reason Found ...Galin

I have been fighting an intermittent hot #3 cylinder on my Lycoming O360 for years and nothing seemed to work. When the problem arose I had to run the engine quite rich to bring the #3 CHT to just under 400F but at the same time the the other cylinders were at least 50 degrees cooler. Worst still on many flight the CHT's were fine and all 4 cylinders were very close to each other. I tried changing the CHT probe with no luck and my baffling was perfect, or so I thought. Pardon the pun, but this was baffling.

After reading a completely un unrelated thread here on inexpensive borescopes, I bought a Vividia VA-400 Borescope. Out of curiosity I used the borescope and looked into the firewall with the cowl on. I found that, when installed, the top cowl was folding part of the baffling down and almost completely blocking air only to, you guessed it, the #3 cylinder head.  more


SERFI '16 RV Champs

Tom Goddard RV-8
Chris Sells RV-8
Randy Pflanzer RV-12
Scott Millhouse RV-12



October 26, 2016.   Issue No. 4,233.

More pics from the 3rd Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in ...joe rainbolt

It was nice to meet you all. I'm sorry I missed a few because I had to leave so early, perhaps next year.  It was a scenic trip over the mountains from Grass Valley that passes Lake Tahoe to my left:


jcaplins pics...

I was a bit apprehensive because this was my first flight out of my phase 1 box. The Saturday weather was perfect in the morning, winds calm in the California central valley and forecasted to be increasing at bit in the afternoon. Worried about the increasing winds I was hoping for an early departure as a flight of 2. Wingman (Lars) was running late, everything else was a ‘go,’ so I opted to head out 1st.


Rest in Peace Mr. Bob Hoover


High Sierra Fly In 2016 ...Bluelabel


A 'commercial' from the mothership ;^) ...Adam Burch

"Van's Aircraft recently visited the Petit Jean, Arkansas fly-in, and we were reminded again of what a fantastic community the 9,500 strong RV builders have formed all over the world!"


52F Update ...where I'm based.

Majority in ALL sectors
"Every property owner under either the AVDCO or Hyde restrictions is now governed under a single document: the Integrated Deed Restrictions.  The POA’s elected board of directors are now the airport’s sole governing authority.  As far as our immediate objectives are concerned, Tim will have dirt moving on the east side of the runway within the next couple of weeks. We will begin the rest of the work ASAP.  The property owners at NW Regional Aero Valley Airport have 'knocked down the Berlin Wall'.  Test holes to determine if work can begin on the drainage improvement project were dug this past weekend.  Looked good.  The new runway is coming.  More to follow... 

As of 10/23/2016...

10/25/2016 photos by doug reeves.


Panel Update Pics/Report ...Tony T



October 25, 2016.   Issue No. 4,232.

3rd Annual Primitive Camping PIREPs Coming In ...Scott and Lars


Petit Jean Shortfall - In Case You Want to Chip In ...Tanya Card

The gathering on the mountain was fantastic but had one giant snag this year, about 36 hours of not a soul being able to land at Petit Jean due to low ceilings and poor visibility. Fortunately, everyone stayed safe, whether it be at alternate airports or by staying home. Nicely done everyone!

However, all the shenanigans put the EAA group hosting the event in the hole by about a couple grand. Actually, I'm amazed the loss wasn't a whole lot larger considering a little more than half of the planned attendees arrived. That was due to generous folks paying the full-weekend registration fee even if they only made it in Saturday afternoon, others adding random amounts to their registration fee, people buying more raffle tickets than they would have otherwise, and other creative ways to help contribute to the kitty. To these folks, THANK YOU MUCH!

Many others have expressed interest in trying to help offset the deficit. If you want to chip in, anything you might care to part with would be appreciated by EAA 165, the volunteers who work their tails off, and those that have gotten to enjoy the event or will in the future. Bill has already said this isn't going to stop Petit Jean 2017, but I think we should give them all the reasons to not pause a single moment in continuing to put in the exceptional effort that they do every year even while knowing Mother Nature may choose to not cooperate and throw them deep into the red.

For those so inclined, checks should be made payable to EAA 165 and mailed to:
Bill Schlatterer
43 Masters Place Drive
Maumelle, AR. 72113

Thanks for being a part of this fantastic group of aviators and friends.


(from Dan Horton)
Last year Ms. Patti was laying in a hospital bed, still partially paralyzed after a stroke. I went home to get a shower and some clothes, and found an email from Bill, announcing the date for PJ 2015. Ms. P wasn't yet speaking well enough to answer the phone, so I sent her a text..."Just got the date for PJ, you want to go?". She propped her phone in her lap and one-fingered with her left hand, "**** yes", and it was what she worked towards the rest of the year.

Last week was our sixth time at PJ...and I doubt I could drag Patti to Oshkosh with a Learjet. Yeah Tanya, we're in.

Dinner for 200+ at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute isn't free, nor are the transport vans, the big tent, the catered BBQ, or anything else. To make it work, it's my understanding that the Arkansas gang has to guarantee around $16,000, with the knowledge that a shortfall has to come from their own pockets.

Hey, let's be real. The PJ guys don't need our money. They are uniformly bright, successful people, and getting stuck with the tab won't break them. On the other hand, I'd be seriously ashamed to stick 'em with it after they've hosted me and mine so graciously all these years...and if you're a PJ regular, I suspect you feel the same way.

So, here's the deal. Let's think high, and kick in $100 each. Forty or fifty hard-core PJ fans can fix last week's weather disaster, and start a little nest egg for next year so our friends don't have to worry. It's just doing something nice in return for all they've done for us.

How about it? Will you match me?


3D printed washer wrench ...dwranda

I bought my wife a 3d printer for mothers day to have fun with making things for her craft hobby. Yesterday I gave her a useful project idea(not that her crafty things aren't useful). I had her design and print a washer wrench. I tried it out and it works pretty well. I'll just have her change it a little when I need different sizes. Technology is amazing!


Vac's Transition Training Syllabus PIREP ...bruceinuse

Just completed a dual check-out in my newly acquired RV-4 with Vac over the weekend using this syllabus as our reference. I would thoroughly recommend this document, which Vac must have spent years perfecting, as the gold standard for those aspiring to fly an RV, as well as an invaluable reference source for experienced RV drivers.

Bruce Macdonald.
(Airbus test pilot, formerly airline pilot and F-16 test pilot, and now an RV-4 owner/pilot with that Vans RV grin from ear to ear)

download: HERE





October 24, 2016.   Issue No. 4,231.

Adam Burch iPhone photo in the RV-14 demonstrator
returning from Petit Jean.  Columbia River Gorge.
(click to enlarge)


Pecan Plantation Fly-in Pics ...opens new window.

Susie and I flew down to 0TX1 Saturday to catch up with folks we don't visit enough - couldn't have asked for better weather (track).  Had a couple of hot dogs, caught up with RV friends and flew back home to go to the grocery store.  Everyone there at Pecan is very nice, and they put on a very enjoyable gathering.

Sorry for the small number of pics....the camera battery was on fumes and I didn't plan well enough ;^).  One RV had interesting cowl access doors, and I did get (3) pics of that.  The builder mentioned the top flap minimized hot start issues with fuel injection.  Said the engine would cool off much faster...


HDX Builder Notification Letter ...mothership

"Van's is working on integrating this new panel into the RV-12, but this will not be available as an ASTM approved avionics kit for some months. The panel cut out needs to change for a different size and mounting holes (or a blanking plate will need to be installed). In addition, we need to design and test the new screen layout and software configuration files specific to the RV-12.This will take a couple of months after we receive a beta test HDX screen, which should be in late October 2016. So we anticipate HDX screens being available for the RV-12 early in 2017."


Sedona ...rightrudder video


1st Attempt at Vinyl Wrapping ...RGLives


Engineer Wanted ...mothership

"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 simultaneously."


Panel Upgrade Update / Pics ...Tony T



October 21, 2016.   Issue No. 4,230.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Deer and a zoom lens...via RV-6.  dr

Ep6. Touring Adelaide & Homemade Flying World Records ...haydnc (Australia)

We head out into Adelaide and find the South Australian Aircraft Museum. Inside we found this famous RV-4, that belonged to Jon Johanson. The aircraft has made multiple trips around the world and to the south pole.  continue


Dealing with the anxiety of the flight test phase

I am 6 hours into my flight test phase and am definitely struggling with the anxiety of everything that could go wrong.

For background - I have been flying for 25 years, have a little over 500 hours in Cessnas and have an instrument rating (though not current).

So far nothing really scary has happened with possible exception of finding a small engine compartment fuel leak AFTER a recent flight test.

Yesterday I flew for about an hour - at 5000 feet agl, right over top of my airport. Yet even with the altitude and proximity to home, my anxiety level continued to grow the longer I was up.

I did distract myself by doing the CAS tests but as soon as they were done I did a "how am I doing check?". I decided that my anxiety level was reaching my limit.

I wanted to stay up longer to get the 40 hours down, and the weather was beautiful, but I had just reached my stress limit. So, i reduced power and managed a decent landing.

I don't think I ever really considered how the flight test phase would affect me. I was so busy building and besides, not many people talk about this subject.

I presume the more I fly the easier this will get, but that doesn't really help me right now.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for dealing with the anxiety of flight testing?



Coldfoot Alaska ...Vlad

Early August 2016. Temperatures in high thirties winds from the North 15 knots peak gusts 21.


1st attempt at video ...Gene Mohr

Today I took the GoPro Hero 3 Black that I have had, well since it came out.  1st time editing and creating this little vid. Just a 1.5 hr flight to pick up a couple of the SCAA Ambassador Passport program stamps. Let me know what you experts think


Jacumba!  ....Vlad

Balmy 100F in California on early August morning. I am still frozen from Alaska and need to warm up.


David Paule -3B Update



October 20, 2016.   Issue No. 4,229.

Hump Day Hop: $8.50

The tracker data called it 18 minutes (included taxiing), but my stopwatch showed 14 min 32 sec from runway ON to runway OFF.  Wednesday I got in a short flight over to see our friend who waves from the porch, then the final segment of the KAFW ILS 16L practice approach - WIGZU to missed.  Watching the screen after T/O I saw a few diamonds on final for KAFW, so I went and waved to our friend on the porch first, while monitoring tower/ATIS.  After waving a good morning, I called up KAFW and asked for the practice approach.  Granted.  VFR and CAVU....no visor and safety pilot...just practicing buttons and knobs and trims.

On GS, the tower amended my landing clearance, raising the missed approach altitude from 200' AGL to 500' AGL.  Curveball that involves math!

Barely got the engine hot, but 1) time was spent off the surface, 2) oil was moved about and 3) skills were worked on for about what I'd estimate was $8.50 in avgas.  Kay was on the run up ramp in his 8A when I was turning base to final, so I knew the landing would be graded and no mercy given if I pooched it.  "8 out of 10" was his call over the radio <grin>.  He needs his eyes checked - that hop was barely a hop.

Back on the computer climbing Mt. Email and other grown up tasks three minutes out of the plane - the day had peaked.  Thank you again Van's Aircraft, for the best therapy there is.  Alumitherapy.


Greetings! ...Jeff Goostree of Rogers, AR

Joining the RV world and dropping a note to say hello.  My wife and I were able to attend the Petit Jean gathering this past weekend for our 1st RV fly in and had a great experience for the short time we were there. We are from NW Arkansas and I'm in the market for an RV-8, welcome any and all suggestions.

Again hello, thanks for the warm welcome this past weekend and glad to be aboard.

Best regards!!



RV-8 Status Report Pics ...Martin Filiatrault

There have been a few more updates on my Blogspot RV-8 Blog; click on the blogspot link by my signature to check it out. Topics include attending the Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings Training Program and further progress on the shop heater and paint booth. I'll have to share this highlight: Today I took my tail feathers for a walk. For the very first time, the empennage has left the nest. I'm making room for the big crates, which should arrive in a couple months.


3rd Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in at Alpine County - Oct 22-23  ...Paul

Although I am sitting in central Florida right now, I just checked the weather for home this weekend, and it is looking marvelous for a fall fly-out! Lo's of 44 (perfect sleeping temps) and a high on Saturday of 71.....doesn't get much better for hiking than that! (OK, those are for our home base....Alpine County is about 1500' higher, so subtract a little - still well above freezing at night - perfect for a campfire.)

If you didn't have this on your list, but you're looking for a nice destination this weekend, come and join us - no reservations, no fees, no nothin'....except good company and a hopefully clear sky for the night.


RV-12 Upgrade Pics / Status ...Tony T


Courtesy Car List Updated


Mothership Totals



October 19, 2016.   Issue No. 4,228.

Sid Mayeux and Rob Reece discussing
Rob's RV-8 build at the Van Cave.

How I Met Gayle ...Roger Kellogg

Chasing the setting sun toward the west, the prairie glides past beneath my silver wing. The heat of the autumn day fades seamlessly to the chill of night. Farm buildings, small rural villages, a pickup truck on a dusty road, a combine harvesting corn in the lengthening autumn shadows, all are oblivious as I sail overhead. They fade behind me without protest as more blossom into view ahead.

Glancing down I see a silver twisting path of trains, stretching off to the far horizon. The steel rails glow bright orange in the reflected light of the setting sun. I follow them until a speeding Amtrak creeps slowly into view. It is half-filled with passengers, travelers, strangers, each anticipating a new day, a new place, and a new view.

Slowing, turning, I descend toward the fields, paralleling the silver rails. The lights in the coaches create halos around passenger’s faces. A woman leans against a window, long brown hair, gentle brown eyes; she reads a paperback novel to the rhythm of the clicking rails. It’s a tale about a man who travels, always travels, longing for a companion to share a view of the world that slides beneath him. He looks down on those around him, not because he feels superior in any way, but rather he just has a different point of view. She understands why he travels. She travels, too. She dreams of a different place, a fresh perspective, a new point of view.

She lowers the paperback to her lap, and thoughtfully glances out the window, seeking a different perspective. Initially she sees her own reflection in the window, and then shifts her focus to the shiny metal plane, silhouetted against the glowing western sky. She smiles. I pull alongside and return her smile. I reach out my hand to touch hers, and she is in the seat beside me. Pulling back on the stick we climb, up, away from the clutter of the surface, climbing into the soft, cool, creamy dark of the night.

A full moon peeks above the horizon beyond my left shoulder, climbing to take its place to watch over the night. We travel on, watching time go by. Together. Us. We. Sharing a new point of view.

FWIW, haven't written much lately, but this was inspired by a line from a recent epic post, note the plagiarized line, thanks, Vlad!

- Roger


RV-8 Inflight Photos...SuperCubDriver in Germany

Last Sunday I went up together with a Mooney to take some pics during formation flying, I thought I share some here. I should work on the background though, there were very nice photos in the past from other RV´s. Enjoy


RV Probable Cause List Updated

(617) probable cause documents going back 38.3 years. 

Research.  Discuss.  Reflect.  Learn. 



PJ Words and Pics ...crabandy

The Petit Jean Fly-In really is a Gathering, a mixture of like minded people from across the US (ahem...and possibly the UK) with the same interests sharing stories and experiences around food, airplanes, campfires and hiking trails.

Being my second trip to Petit Jean I recognized a lot of faces and hope I was a little better with names, I also met a lot of new RV'ers. It was my second oldest daughter Mya's first trip to PJ, our second daddy daughter date in the airplane. She does get a little bored flying but was really looking forward to the dinners, especially the dessert table. She took a picture of every dessert on the table and txt'd them to the Homefront, she settled on the chocolate cake and wasn't disappointed!  continue


Panel Upgrade ...Tony T begins

Started on a SV upgrade for my RV12 .  There are two ways to go on this, you can use the conversion harnesses or better but more expensive and time consuming is to pull all the old harnesses and install the latest. I am going the latter way.


Charity Cap Sighting

...courtesy Gary Sobek at the Smithsonian Air&Space Museum [ed. Thank you Gary! dr]

fmi: About the cap...



October 18, 2016.   Issue No. 4,227.
  In yesterday's edition I mentioned I had an 'old' computer at the hangar that was giving me some grief. It was locked into Microsoft Vista and I couldn't install a more modern browser past Internet Explorer version 7.  No modern browser site will let you download their browser on a Vista-running box (I tried I.E., Chrome and Firefox).  Reader Alex Bell e-mailed me and suggested I save a copy of the new Firefox install executable to a memory stick using an updated computer, then run the install from the stick on the old computer.
  It worked like a charm. Thank you very much Alex! You saved me from having to go spend a couple hundred dollars buying a 'new and improved' computer. I can access my cloud-based accounting software and some flight tracking and Wx sites running javascript right there in the hangar now - if I only run one thing at a time :-).
  Thank you again Alex!


A leisurely flight with a friend ...Brad Benson

A friend and I joined up and went for a nice leisurely flight this summer. It was a nice relaxing sortie that lasted about 1.3hrs.

Note parachute...


PJ Recap ...Bill Schlatterer

It's amazing to me when folks like something so much they offer to pay for it ...even when they got none of it Wow.... you just have to think about that a little bit! Thanks to everyone for the offers and we'll let you know how it goes when the dust settles but more important, here is a short story about the weekend. This is the short one but know that there are lots of short and long stories about the journey and new friends found in odd places

Petit Jean Airport and Campground was in better shape than it has ever been. Lots more grass parking on really solid (when dry) ground. Great menus, fun stuff, the waterfalls were spectacular ... and so on. But then Friday happened. Forecasts were for rain Thursday night, blowing through and VFR mid morning. Not a big deal ....and they blew through all right but it left a lot of moisture in the air. All around the mountain, we had pretty good marginal VFR if there is such a thing with 1,000 -1,400 OVC viz 6+ but the trees on the airport are at 1,1,00 MSL and that meant KPMJ was like 300 ovc with vis obsured in the morning. It was supposed to lift after lunch and occasionally hinted at it but nothing really changed for more than minutes at a time.  continue


My 'New' (to me) RV-4 ...mbuehler

Here's a few shots of my "new to me" 2004 RV4 SN#142.  Made my first flight a few days ago, absolutely love it!


N410CT first flight ...Claudio Tonnini RV-14

Claudio Tonnini's RV-14 had it's maiden flight today. All went well.  Claudio is located at Old Bridge, NJ (3N6).


Status Report ...rv6builder

Here's a hybrid- Couldn't do away with the old round engine gauges!


From the mothership FB page...

"We've finally made the big time! Arrowhead Stadium 49 ship RV flyover commemorated on a McDonalds cup. Photo courtesy of Cathy White Page."


PJ PIREP ...MikeyDale

PJ 2016 was a great "weather" learning experience for my lovely Co-pilot and I! We flew from our farm in West Texas 300 miles to Sherman. The first half of that leg was MVFR but lifting all the way. Stopped for some gas in Sherman, Tx and checked the weather again for PJ and central and North Arkansas but we already knew from looking at Mr Dynon on the first leg, it was not lifting there like the forecast predicted. At 5:30, we declared a "No Go". But, we spent the night with my son and his family who live near Sherman. 3 little grandkids were sure surprised so that made up for the disappointment. But, I was sure thinking about that dinner spread at the lodge waiting for us! As soon as we saw some breaks in the clouds in Sherman next morning we headed to the airport but waited till 10:00am to take off because clouds just wasn't lifting over those mountains between us an PJ very fast! We still flip flopped from on top of clouds to beneath the clouds most the way and diverted a little north to follow the Arkansas River east for the last twenty miles before landing at PJ amidst a swarm of RV's at about 11:30 am!....We have been flying with our new ADSB weather for 18 months now and it takes the cake!.....  continue


Fall Colors ...Pete Howell

Just past peak here in the Twin Cities.....It was a great day to fly!!


RV-8 Air-to-Air Photo Shoot ...colojo

Hired a professional aerial photographer to take some air-to-air shots of me flying my RV-8 a couple weeks ago. Here are some of the better shots that came back. These were taken over downtown Denver, Boulder and the Front Range.



October 17, 2016.   Issue No. 4,226.
  You know that surplus 2008 Dell PC running Vista I wiped back to factory defaults and took out to the hangar so I'd have a *real* computer to work with there?  QuickBooks online, webmail, etc.  Nothing too crazy - work the to-do list a little easier than on the smart phone.  Well, it only works on about 1 out of 5 web pages running that OS with I.E. v7.  Can't upgrade I.E..  Can't upgrade to Win10.  Won't install Chrome or Firefox.  Just too old...too slow.  Vista has left the building....   I'm a 1965 model....what hope is there for me?  Anyone need a boat anchor <grin>.
  OK, on to the Monday edition of VAF News.  Hope you enjoy it and hope that you had a nice weekend.

Put-in-Bay ...Steve Melton

A hop to the island in Ohio?  Yes, Ohio has islands.... in Lake Erie!  continue


Pennsylvania Flying Farmers ...Vlad

Less then an RV hour north of my base I've discovered several uncharted airstrips. They all belong to farmers. This past weekend there was a flyin on one of them and I was invited. Beautiful day.


More RV wins at aerobatic contests

The results of the Mason-Dixon Aerobatic contest in VA are posted, and our Ron Schreck won all three sequences (gold medals), and the first place plaque.  Oliver Spatscheck in his RV8 and first contest placed 2nd in Primary. There are only three more contests this year- Keene, NH, Sebring, FL, and Marana, Arizona. Two RVs are preregistered for Sebring, but expect a couple more will compete.  Our aerobatic consultant/mentor/ and RV advocate placed 1st in the Unlimited. Way to Go, Eric.  This has definitely been the year of the RVs in aerobatics. Next year should be even better


Thank You AFS ...LARCO

"Today is Saturday so here I am messing with the AFS EFIS and I goofed it up somehow and thinking that just maybe there would be someone at the factory, I called, left a message and within a short time Rob is on the phone. He took the time on the weekend to help and with a great attitude. I really like this Company and everyone that works there! Thanks Rob, I really appreciated the help. Larry"


From Sid Mayeaux at the Alliance Airshow (Fort Worth, TX)


Three Frontiers ...Vlad


Shop Update Pics ...scard

(Friday) As I have a little time waiting on the weather at Petit Jean this evening, how about a shop update. We have Power! Wow, what a difference to be able to put away the long extension cord from the house. After paint and being able to terminate all of the branch circuits I hooked up the service entry from the pole. I'm happy to report that I released no blue smoke.


Thanks from Jesse

...for all the kind words on the new kiddo.


PSA for my RV Buddy Jim Pappas

  "We have a new website for folks that might be interested in the Charleston, SC area.  The company name is Kiawah Seabrook Properties.  We provide Residential Real Estate, Vacation Rentals and Property Management Services on Kiawah, Seabrook, Wadmalaw and Johns Islands. Depending on where you stay on them you are never more than 15 miles from Downtown Charleston, SC.
  The local airport here on Johns Island is called Charleston Executive and is known as KJZI.  We can pick anybody up at the airport it’s 5 minutes from our house Kiawahseabrookproperties.com 
Jim and Beata"


APRS iGate Now Online at the Van Cave (sorta)

For the benefit of the APRS crowd around my neck of the woods.  This would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the help of Glen Salmon of AirPRS.com fame. He was kind enough to configure a $35 Raspberry Pi for me. "Just plug it into your router and power it up and it should work."  It did.  Within 60 seconds of power-up the icon appeared online.  Go to www.aprs.fi and search for KG5PRB-1 in the top search box if you want to see for yourself.

I built found a 'case' for it by using the to go container from my breakfast Saturday morning - Berry Almond Swiss Oatmeal from Corner Bakery with added walnuts and bananas. 10 seconds under the running water in the bathroom sink followed by 15 seconds under the leaf blower and I had something to work with :-).

I still have to run the long antennae cable up to the roof of the hangar and install a proper antenna for it to work as intended, but everything works currently if the hangar door is open and I'm nearby.  Thanks again to Glen and the other self-professed nerds of the world that make the zeros and ones hum!



October 14, 2016.   Issue No. 4,225.

Sometimes the weather just doesn't cooperate

...RV-14 visit to the Van Cave scrubbed due to Wx.

Adam and Sterling were on their way to my hangar Thursday afternoon and weather got between them and me. I got a call from Adam saying they landed in Joplin, Missouri and the new plan was to spend the night in a hotel there.   They will push on to Petit Jean Friday.  So, if you were hoping to see the RV-14 demonstrator at my hangar Friday morning, I'm sorry to say it won't be there.

You can see a screen grab of the weather here. The numbers are cloud ceilings in hundreds of feet.  The storms were moving West to East.

Adam texted me to tell everyone that he is a "meteorologist with a keen sense of preservation - and Sterling was flying with a healthy dose of caution and prudence". Comedy aside those are actually good words to fly by.

It wasn't a complete loss. I washed the sheets in the guest rooms and even cleaned the bathroom.  I still get to enjoy that… :-)   It needed cleaning.

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!


Warning - Suction cup mounts may damage your canopy during prolonged uses ...AX-O

Please be careful with your canopy and video camera suction mounts. Or any other suction mounts. Prolonged use without removing the suction mount may warp your canopy.

My aircraft spent about a week outside in 80 degree temps during the Reno races. Our crew was very diligent about only removing the canopy cover (Bruce custom) during races and recovering the canopy (Todd clear canopy) once I got out. The canopy was uncovered probably less than 2 hours total the whole week.

My guess is that the heat over the week in combination with the fact that we never removed the camera mounts allowed the canopy to become somewhat malleable. The suction cup on the mount ended up sucking the portion of the canopy where the mount was attached. I did not notice it until I got home. I now have 2 suction cup size indentions on my canopy.


Final Update: Petit Jean '16 ...Bill

Man, are we ever excited! Our group slipped off early from work today to sort out last minute issues like raffle prizes, food confirmations, clearing room reservations, and updating email lists with the very last latest registrations. At the airport, we immediately started the final checking, organizing, and loading of all of the gear, golf carts, food trucks, ice chests, and cold drinks. All that plus another trailer load of stuff that it takes to handle 130 registered airplanes on RV Mountain. We’ve mowed the grass, swept the ramp, and all it lacks is 100+ RVs :--) ... That’s where you come in !

It’s going to be a great weekend and here are the last few things you need to know:  continue


Welcome South Florida Sport Aviation

"We are pleased to announce the latest installation we’ve had at South Florida Sport Aviation. Charlie Nugent’s beautiful RV-10 came in with the bare bones for a full interior upgrade package and Air Conditioning. Some minor alterations were made on the panel with two tone paint and repositioning of the throttle cables. The remote auto pilot panel was installed on the Throttle Console for optimized ergonomics but pictures speak for themselves."



Painted ...Dbro172

Well it's no longer mine but the new Owner sent be pics of her in her new dress. I guess I can call it finished now. She now lives at Spruce Creek:



October 13, 2016.   Issue No. 4,224.
Saddleback in SoCal ...rightrudder 9A

I wanted to go to Sedona today, but far too much turbulence and gusty conditions at the destination. So I did my normal lunch run to French Valley, but this time via the coastal side of Saddleback, two peaks at about 5500' that form a backdrop for South Orange County. I wish the marine layer had come all the way to the mountains...would have looked cooler.

Climb-out from French Valley was awesome. Cooler temps (mid 80s) allowed for a really aggressive climb...1900 fpm with me and about a half load of fuel aboard! Fun! The performance of our planes makes it so easy to climb and pop over Class C airspace. If I had gone the low route, it would have been a lot bumpier.

Not on the video, but I went over March AFB on the way back and saw a couple of B-52s on the ramp.


Final Update: Petit Jean '16 ...Bill

Man, are we ever excited! Our group slipped off early from work today to sort out last minute issues like raffle prizes, food confirmations, clearing room reservations, and updating email lists with the very last latest registrations. At the airport, we immediately started the final checking, organizing, and loading of all of the gear, golf carts, food trucks, ice chests, and cold drinks. All that plus another trailer load of stuff that it takes to handle 130 registered airplanes on RV Mountain. We’ve mowed the grass, swept the ramp, and all it lacks is 100+ RVs :--) ... That’s where you come in !

It’s going to be a great weekend and here are the last few things you need to know:  continue


E-MAG Service Note:

(from Brad Dement)  "We've learned that a small percentage of units handled by our shop in the last couple of years (during select periods) may have suffered a process defect during assembly. In certain instances the four internal bolts that secure the case (square section) to the nose (round section) were installed without thread-lock. We estimate this may have occurred in a dozen or so units - out of 359 handled in the review window. To date, we have seen two instances of nose/case loosening, both in the first 30 hours of operation.  For more information go to "Case Bolts"

We regret any inconvenience, but safety is or primary concern. Please feel free to call or email if you have specific questions."

Brad Dement
E-MAG Ignitions
817 444 5310


RV Team Chile Air Display ...Hernan

During these week end we make our first season presentation in Ovalle, Chile.

Our presentation meets all the local regulations.


The Tracker She Is A Working

I've sort of busted the avgas budget for the next week or so, so this is probably the last flight longer than about 12 min. for a bit. Anyway, now that I have the APRS tracker installed I thought I would go out to nearby Decatur and fly and honest-to-goodness RNAV approach to missed on autopilot and see how it tracked.  D> IAF at ZUMKI and then as published. Direct RTB at missed.  38min 18sec runway to runway.

I guess I'll just go ahead and declare the tracker "works exactly as advertised". Can't ask for more than that!


From the mothership FB...




October 12, 2016.   Issue No. 4,223.
Congratulations 1st place Sportsman

Congratulations to Patric Coggins for his first place finish out 9 in the IAC sportsman category at the Rocky Mountain Oyster Invitation in Lamar, CO in his RV-4. If he used the same free style he used at the Nationals, it would have included both an inverted and upright spin. There are only a couple more contests left this year to show the RVs (with lots of practice) can bring home the goodies.
Cheers, and thumbs up Patric,
Bill McLean
RV-4 slider

Patric beat out three Pitts, four Super Decathlons and a Skybolt.  Bill McLean and Patric at the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships studying routine and peeling an orange respectively.


It's time for Glass ...Philip 6A

When I started to build my RV-6A back in 1997 I decided that a good 6-pack of steam gauges were relatively inexpensive, reliable, easy to install, and companies had been around since the Wright Brothers. Glass was new, no clear indications the companies would be around for service, and as a aero/mechanical engineer, glass had way too much electrical stuff to learn about (I shy away from electronics like other do fiberglass). My flying is VFR with limited cross country so I have never needed anything fancy. With the advent of the iPad, I added glass on my knee with all the great charts and ADS-B weather and traffic. Now after 8 years of building and 10 years of flying I have seen the light of glass.

Below is a picture of my panel. I still like it and would not even be thinking of changing except items have begun to fail and maybe instead of repairing/replacing, it is finaly time to upgrade.  continue


1 day of transition training ...Gene Mohr 6A

I can't stop grinning. 1.2hrs of transition training. Stalls, steep turns, approaches and landings. Man this airplane flies sooo nice. I actually found it easier to land than the Cessna 172 I trained in for my PPL. Very stable at all attitudes, stall was non eventful. Buffet and then then nose drops and powers away. I am loving it


New Certificate Issued ...Jesse

Birth certificate, that is.   Madalyn Faith Saint was born this morning at 5:53.


Fuel Run Track ...adjusting to life w/an APRS tracker.

KDTO (Denton, TX) is 5 minutes North of my home field by RV and avgas is always cheaper.  I never buy fuel at my home field - ALWAYS cheaper elsewhere.  Usually a lot cheaper.  Airborne at 0822 and back 30 minutes later.  Logged 16 minutes.  Smooth air and some practice interacting with a tower swamped with training students from other countries.  Worked me in just fine.  The tracker showed a flight of a half hour, but I was really only flying 13 minutes or so, and 3 more taxiing.  I even turned the tracker off at DTO while refueling - it stitched the two flights together I guess.  Maybe it has a smallest time interval or some logic that guesses.  Still playing with things and learning what to expect.

Tate called from school with a migraine about the time I was climbing in the car for home.  Had him tucked in shortly after and was on Mr. Mom detail.  Better now.  Spent the rest of the day on the computer and phone working.

I got to fly, I got gas, I got to parent.  Win win win.

DTO has good APRS coverage I'm guessing.
It found me at the pump after I filled up (lower right).


Tailwheel Fairing Re-do ...Lucaperazzolli

After a lot of sanding and bonding process I decided that 3D Printer could be a better (and modern) idea. So I jump into the learning process to 3D design with a cheap software (Devfus); here first results, the general idea is to create a negative model with a 3D Printer.

Stay tuned, I'll keep you updated.


Grove Gear Upper Brake Line Plumbing Pictures ...multiple sources



October 11, 2016.   Issue No. 4,222. 

Primer Test ...from the factory

(click to enlarge).  photo by Van's Aircraft, Inc.

"Back in 2002, we put a test piece of 2024-T3 alclad aluminum outside under our back stairway to see what level of corrosion protection we are actually getting with the use of the P60-G2 type wash primer. We use P60-G2 on all our company aircraft, and it is also applied to our Quick Build kit sub-assemblies.

The test location was covered overhead and shaded from direct sun, but otherwise exposed to the typical outside air that we experience year around (approximately 60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean coastline).

The test consisted of:

An area scuffed with Scotchbrite™, cleaned, then sprayed with primer (left side).

An area with primer sprayed directly on clean bare material (center).

An area left untreated (right side),

A small portion of the sample was exposed (using lacquer thinner) in 2006 and again in 2010. On both occasions the material underneath the primer was the same as the day the primer was sprayed, but the exposed/unprimed area has developed visible signs of surface corrosion.

We just recently exposed another area and found the same result. Underneath the primer the material looks the same as when it was originally coated. The coated areas that were previously exposed have begun to develop surface corrosion.

Clearly an application of the P60-G2 does provide some level of corrosion protection even without top coating (as recommended by Sherwin Williams). We continue to feel it is an economical and simple to apply option beyond just the bare alclad aluminum.

Not a precisely controlled scientific experiment, to be sure, but a long duration one!"


Condition inspection find

I just completed the condition inspection on my RV8 and thought I would pass on an interesting find. Everything with the aircraft was found to be just fine during the inspection except for the aft bolts that hold the mounting blocks for the flap torque tube. The aft bolts on both sides of the aircraft were backed out between 1/4 and 3/8th's of an inch!


Spaceport America Trip ...Guy Prevost

I’m at least as much of a rocket nut as an airplane nut. For that reason, the opportunity to fly my RV into Spaceport America and land at an airport with a rocket symbol was a big deal for me.  continue


Colorado Fall ...mchargmg words and pics

The weather was great this weekend in Colorado, with almost no turbulence. A perfect day to visit Eagle Colorado.

It is a fairly short flight from KFLY to KEGE, however there are some mountains to deal with. We went the easy way; first to Leadville, then over Tennessee pass, to Avon, and down the valley to Eagle. For the reverse flight, we came back via Weston pass, see below.  continue


1000 hours on plane 700 hours flying it ...Bubblehead

It was a great day for me in Texas Saturday. Beautiful blue Texas skies were calling, and I flew about 4.5 hours over West Texas and New Mexico. Stopped for gas at Lubbock Executive Airport and met some nice people including a Texas Tech Mechanical Engineering student working as a line boy. It was a great day for many reasons but most of all I had no where to be and no time to be there. I flew the direction I wanted, at the altitude I wanted (consistent with FARs of course) and took extra time circling anything interesting.

After flying back to Fort Worth I caught my logbook up. Here are the totals. Not bad for a guy who never flew for pay.

My RV-8 passed 1000 flying hours on Saturday. I am the 4th owner but I now have 700 hours in the plane, 1600 total hours, 900 tail wheel hours, and over 1200 cross country hours since starting training in Galesburg, IL in 1985.

There were a couple of periods since 1985 when I could not fly due to lack of funds or because there was just too much going on in my life, but there has never been a day in my life where I did not love airplanes and dream of flying.

Quite a day, which was beautifully capped off by a Cubs playoff win! Close enough to perfect for me.



October 10, 2016.   Issue No. 4,221.
   Milestone:  Happy Birthday Tate Reeves!!!!!  16 years!!!

Jagger's RV Ride / Hello (APRS) World!

My former coworker and good friend Melanie Emmel has a son named Mason. Mason's best friend is Jagger.  Jagger would like to be a pilot, and Melanie asked me if it would be possible to give him a ride in our RV. Sunday morning I had the pleasure of doing just that. It also gave me an opportunity to use my 'just came in the mail' Micro-Trak AIO APRS tracker (I passed my ham test two weeks ago and received my call sign just a few days back: KG5PRB). The tracker arrived in the mail on Saturday preconfigured. I bought some batteries on the way to the airport Sunday morning and turned it on before we took off. After the flight I looked online and there was our flight right there... About as painless as you could ask for.  Very convenient for passenger debrief!

My first APRS track...(click for the track)

Now that I know it works I'll show the person(s) waiting at the hangar the link on their smartphone - they can follow along.

Jagger did wonderfully. Before takeoff we discussed how I would hand control of the aircraft to him, and how he would hand control back. We took off to the south and made a climbing left turn to downwind. After that we made a sorta-show pass down the runway for Melanie at about 500 feet AGL and then proceeded out to the Northwest to hopefully see our friend who stands on the porch and waves at us. She was there and there were smiles all around.

Then North, and Jagger concentrated on holding an altitude and heading.  He commented more than once on how sensitive it was.  I reminded him each time it would get easier the longer we flew.  I enjoyed seeing the gears mesh in his technique - he got it after just a few moments. After he had that down pretty good I asked for a turn to 090 maintaining 2500 feet. He did fine. Then a turn to 120 - then to 180. Finally, I entered the D> waypoint for the return back to our home field and let him fly "through the boxes" on the EFIS. The last 10 min. of the flight he had really smoothed up and was really starting to enjoy himself.  Talked about Class B airspace on the way and watched airliners above us.  He liked that quite a bit.  Viz was nice and temps were a pleasant 60*F.  Fall in Texas - perfect for a small plane intro flight.

Rob Reece photo.

Had him follow along on the controls (lightly) during the pattern arrival and landing. Smiles all around. The picture of us sitting in the cockpit is right after we landed and was taken by Rob Reece (there in the hangar working on his RV-8). You can see that I have my right headset cup lifted up so I can hear what Melanie is saying, and of course I look like a dork as usual.  A dork wearing Nomex, with a PLB on his shoulder strap, and both wearing Nomex gloves.  And a new APRS tracker.  Teaching safety front and center as lesson #1.  By example.  Safety always.  Safety always!  Safety always!!!

You can also see that I painted the canopy strut brace bright yellow in the last few days (issue #4217 f.m.i.).

Today gave me an opportunity to reflect once again on just how much of an honor it is to help shape someone's initial impression in regards to these wonderful planes.  And, how just a little planning followed with responsible execution can pay off huge dividends on the future of a young adult.  Jagger left both exited about aviation, his future options, and you couldn't help but notice the eagerness to learn and improve.  What an honor to witness that!

When I got home the kids were still asleep <g>.  Audrey is home for the weekend.  Later I added my APRS tracking link to the APRS page.  Progress made.

Hope you have a nice Monday,


Groovy becomes Zeus ...paul330 in South Africa

Not too often you get to "finish" your aircraft twice! G-RVVY has been moved and re-registered as ZU-IIZ. I'll say one thing - the weather in South Africa is a bit better than UK......


It's the field, it's the field!! ...MrNomad

Flying home from Coolidge AZ I got a low current warning. Given that there was no smoke and the engine was happy, I decided to fly to my destination which was 20 min away. I switched EFIS & EMS & GPS to internal battery backup so there was enough juice for flaps and radio.

On the ground, we looked for voltage on the green wire that goes inside the ES 50-12159 connector. Nada!  continue


Little "Oktoberfest" ...SuperCubDriver in Germany

Today I did a fun flight with my new -8 and when I came back I saw "our" girls doing a photoshooting in front of my SuperCub. I said "hey, now we do the same in front of the RV-8". The girls - in fact lady pilots - organized a liitle Oktoberfest at our club airfield today so they all wore traditional Bavarian dress. Funny thing is I have never been to the real Oktoberfest in Munich but enjoyed the small edition very much, especially being in the middle of the crowd.  continue


Selfie ...Tami and Mike

Somewhere between KCCB and KIZA.




RV-8 Flight Along the Foothills ...colojo pics

We've had gorgeous weather here in Denver this weekend, so I fired up my RV-8 this morning for a leisurely 1.5 hour cruise alongside the foothills west of town. Got a few nice pix, but my iPhone is focusing weirdly since the latest iOS update. I'll need to look into that.


Australian Campaign Phase One. Planning ...Vlad

I had a visitor from Down Under the other day. To him I relayed my dream plan and we had a great talk over the beer. We didn't talk much details but rather about strategy. If I bring my RV to the land of Oz in a shipping container how difficult would it be for N-registered airplane to fly around the continent VFR? I've read a lot of travel stories with beautiful pictures and I am fascinated with Australia. If you hit a lottery and the winning prize would be fuel for 100 hours and lodging for it how would you burn it? Where would you go?



October 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,220.
   Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Selfie ...Martin Rousseau 7A

Inbound for Radisson (North of Québec) with my lovely wife!


Wooden Prop Static Balancing Stands ...snopercod

In order to determine the source of some excessive vibration in my wooden prop, I built myself a couple of stands so I could re-check the static balance and tracking. This was supposedly done when I had this Aymar-Demuth prop refurbished, but I just wanted to check it myself. I built these stands in two halves for easy storage, and to allow spreading them apart or pushing them closer together as desired.

I made each stand out of 2x4s with both the base and height roughly 4 ft.  continue


From Stein at SteinAir....


Vlad's Top 20 ...2016 update

Here is my updated list as of end 2016. Finally I had a guest from Down Under bold enough to ride with me.

1. Canada.
2. Ecuador
3. India
4. Russia
5. SAR
6. Germany
7. Honduras
8. Morocco
9. China
10. Trinidad
11. DR
12. Lithuania
13. Ukraine
14. Salvador
15. GB
16. Israel
17. Pakistan
18. Bangladesh
19. Algeria
20. Australia


Hurricane Inland Bases List

....if you need to relocate your pink hide (and your RV).


Petit Jean Update

UPDATE 10/3/2016 ... 12 days out and everything is looking great on the Mountain. Airport campground and trails should be in perfect condition.

We have had two cancellations this week from the Glamper side .....that would be Campers at the RCC , so there may be two rooms available. Not sure but you should call the RCC if you have been waiting for this chance. Otherwise, the Presidents Lodge, the Meadows, and the four houses are full.

Big switch in the menu for the Friday Night Bash at the Lodge. Switched from our Northern Italian spread to a way overdone Tex-Mex Fajita Bar backed up with some pretty amazing side dishes from the gourmet Kitchen at the RCC.... and I'm not kidding about the gourmet kitchen Someone also said something about a complementary Tequila Shooter. I'm not sure what kind of weapon that is but I understand it can give you a headache

On the subject of food (one of my favorites) ... you might not know this but the RCC (Rockefeller Conference Center) does specialty weekend gourmet cooking classes in the fall and it's a great weekend fly in all by itself. Check out the website for the RCC for details.

It's all good on the Mountain! See you there


Garmin G3X v4.80 is out ...Oct 5 push.

related: Get alerts when updates come out by signing up HERE.

Change History
Changes made from version 4.70 to 4.80:
Add AGL height data field
Add support for Bluetooth interface to Virb Ultra
Improve display of GDL 39 pressure altitude on datalink info page
Improve GEA 24 RPM signal processing
Improve support for pre-programmed supplemental map cards
Improve display of road labels on map
Improve GSU 73 software update process
General improvements to system operation
Includes update to GEA24 software version 2.80
Includes update to GSU 73 IGRF database version 1.03 (Base Year 2015)
Includes G5 software version 2.40
Includes GAD27 software version 2.20
Includes GAD29 software version 2.30
Includes GDL39 software version 4.70
Includes GI260 software version 2.70
Includes GMA245 audio software version 2.20
Includes GMA245 Bluetooth software version 2.00
Includes GMA245 software version 2.20
Includes GPS20A software version 2.20
Includes GSA28 software version 3.20
Includes GSU25 software version 3.60
Includes GSU73 software version 3.60
Includes GTR20/200 software version 2.80



October 6, 2016.   Issue No. 4,219.
   I got my FCC license call letters in the inbox today.  I'm KG5PRB.  The ball is rolling on getting an APRS tracker configured and installing an iGate at my hangar.  Searching for some old ham gear now that will receive 144.390 to tie into an old computer.  Fun 'back burner' project.
   I have to say (again) how good it makes me feel to see folks offering up hangar/ramp/home space for people needing to get out of the way of Hurricane Matthew.  This is really a wonderful bunch of people, and I'm honored to call so many of you friend.


October 08, 2016 Dedication KVVS

"Saturday, Oct 8, 2016, 10:30 AM EDT the Connellsville airport (KVVS) terminal will be dedicated to WASP Shutsy Reynolds.   Many of the local RV'ers will be present."


HELP--#%-$ Baggage Door ...Steve Riffe RV-8

Ok guys, about to admit the baggage door has beaten me . This is the second door I've built and it is only marginally better than the first. I've read every thread on the board regarding the door and just can't find a magic potion. The fit is quite good everywhere except in the tight curve, both the fore and aft edge stick up about 1/32". I marked the areas in blue--I can push the aft portion of the door down flush. The forward portion can be pushed down almost flush. I'm thinking I need to shrink the skin in these areas but not really sure. Is there anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I could get some help fitting this door? Thanks in advance.


3rd Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in at Alpine County - October 22-23, 2016

"I spoke with Paul and Louise at the Reno Air Races RV BBQ and we settled on a date for the third annual fly-in campout at Alpine County on October 22nd and 23rd.  As before, the plan is to meet there about 10am on Saturday and stay until we get bored on Sunday. Those who've gone the past two years have had a great time. I hope to see many of you there this year!"


From the mothership FB page...

Team page


SERVICE BULLETIN 13-12-19 Fuel Tank Attach Modification ...RV-12

In my original post I stated that I tried to use a single-edge safety razor blade to slice thru the Pro-Seal on the tank lid. I liked the idea of using the thin blade so as not to distort any aluminum, so rather than slicing I now lightly tap the razor blade with a hammer straight through the Pro-Seal joint. The razor blade spans 1-1/2 rivets on the tank lid, which makes it easy to index the razor to the next position. The blade is taped in until the back safety edge meets the tank lid. A pliers is used to pull the razor back out. No twisting or prying is required.


Considerations for the Mixer Mount ...David Paule RV-3B


First Flight Stats:



October 5, 2016.   Issue No. 4,218.

Acro Clinic? ...ronschreck

I was talking with Mark Fullerton while at the Nationals. Mark is with IAC Chapter 3 and they host contests at Rome, Georgia. He would like to hold a clinic for aerobatic competition beginners sometime in the near future. It would probably would be a weekend affair that would include a ground school and lots of coaching from the "experts". I would like to solicit suggestions/comments from those of you who have been following this thread. What would you like to see or hear? When is the best time to hold the event, etc? Once we sort out the details I'll start a new thread and gauge the level of interest from RV pilots.


An overnight trip to Indianapolis from Florida ...Ted Chang

Two weeks ago we made an overnight trip to Indianapolis to attend our daughter-in-law's baby shower (will be our first grand daughter). Since we had other commitments at home we decided to leave in the morning, attend the baby shower in the afternoon, then return the next day. A quick 700 nm each way trip made possible by our RV9A. Weather forecast was not good, a cold front was on the west side of Appalachian Mountains crossing our route, low clouds and rain in a wide area along our route. We filed IFR for a quick fuel/rest stop at the mid-point east of Atlanta. ...


From the mothership FB page...

...a blast from the past (link).


Fly Often! ...jesse

I have an engine in my RV-6A that came off a damaged RV-9A, sat for about two years before running in my plane, then started flying at least once a week and often more. The first sample in this report was from the oil that was in the sump while the engine was sitting, so no corrosion from sitting I said in it. It was, however, not flown very often before it was damaged. We out new oil in and flew the first 20 hours or so. That oil had all the corrosion/wear from running after sitting for 2 years. You can see from the sample dates that it has been flown very regularly ever since, and you can see the wear metals decreasing. This proves, IMHO, that the absolute best thing for the engine is to fly. I am using Phillips 20W-50 oil in all except the second to last sample, where I think I used Aeroshell 15W-50. I have also used Camguard in all except the first sample.


Low Pass at the Space Shuttle Landing Facility - Shuttle below my RV9A ...Ted Chang 9A

A month ago when Gary Baker and his wife Mary came to visit we went to VAC Warbird Museum for breakfast then we did a formation low pass over the shuttle runway. The passenger (Marco Pretoriani) in the lead Bonanza took the following photo. The space shuttle is a mock-up that used to be at the visitor center.


ADSB worked just like it should ...Paul 5r4

We had an interesting experience yesterday on a trip from the Birmingham area south to our home along the Gulf Coast of Alabama. We were about halfway when the ifly 720 alerted me to traffic 1 o'clock 12 miles +200 feet relative to us. We were cruising at 4500 feet, the proper VFR altitude for our heading. Thinking he was on his way up or down, we observed him for a minute. With the target now only 6 miles out and the +200 ft relative altitude not changing it was time to disengage the autopilot and descend. I dropped 400 feet as the Aircraft passed overhead right where the Navworx ADSB said it would be. Climbing back to 4500 feet and with "George" again flying, we were on our merry way.  ...



October 4, 2016.   Issue No. 4,217.

$4 Tip Up Canopy Strut Brace

This might have been hashed out 15 years ago, but I didn't learn about it until about a month ago. A gentleman at our airport who prefers to remain anonymous (let's call him Mr. X) saw a YouTube clip where they were doing something similar to hold up the rear doors of old hatchback cars.  He made one for his RV, and I copied his design.

It involves about a dollar's worth of PVC pipe and about three dollars worth of O-rings. I splurged and bought a can of yellow spray paint, but have yet to actually do the painting. I settled on yellow because it would be the same color as the chocks under the wheels, and in my mind I thought along the lines of "move the yellow things out of the way before flight".

In 'braced' position...

Okay, about the O-rings. I took one of my old struts up to Lowes and went through the O-ring section (they actually do have an O-ring section) and tried several of them until I found what would fit snugly around the main body of the strut. It is the #41 package.

Next I took the strut over to the PVC aisle and found one with an inside diameter that would accommodate both the main shaft with O-ring, and the molded plastic bottom.

As for installation, slide two or three O-rings up on the main body of the strut, measure and cut the PVC pipe to the length that you need, and install. Paint if desired.  The O-rings roll a little as you slide the PVC in the stowed position, but not much.  The PVC doesn't rattle in flight - elegant and simple.

I have nearly 9 feet of PVC pipe left if you want to come over to my hangar and get some for yourself. I think the length of my braces measured out to be 6 3/8 inches if memory serves.  This is what worked on my RV-6.  I have no idea if it will work on different models.

Anywho, there may be some downside to doing this, but it hasn't occurred to me yet what that might be. They stow away wonderfully in flight, and in the hangar when I'm trying to get a passenger in or out they perform swimmingly.  One less thing to worry about (canopy falling).  In the hot summer months I like to put the passenger in the airplane inside the shaded hangar, then roll them out onto the ramp where I get in. With these strut braces, in no wind situations, I can now leave the canopy up with more confidence while rolling the passenger and airplane out onto the ramp.

In 'stowed' position...

You'll notice in the top picture that there is a small gap between the top of the PVC and the bottom of the main strut body. That is not an accident. My logic in doing that is if the strut is working properly it will never touch the PVC. Only if/when the strut starts to get a little long in the tooth will it ever touch the PVC. Strut touching PVC? Time to replace strut...

The thought did occur to me to not only paint them yellow, but also wrap them with some sort of transparent label with emergency checklist information. Avery label and MS Word.  Maybe on the passenger side it could have information relevant to them. On the pilot side stuff relevant to the pilot (emergency transponder codes, best engine out glide speeds, the 'Five T's' of IFR flying, etc.)

Wrapping up, a special thanks to Mr. X for the idea.  You can see the rest of the pictures in their full resolution glory at this link (opens new window).

Yours in slightly more canopy confidence,


Three Oceans ...Vlad

My RV officially has been to three ocean beaches. How about yours?





Weekly Update ...j-red pics/words

I actually like the idea of the removeable scoop and for a time hoped to replicate it, but there were some filler and delamination issues going on in this particular installation that made grinding out the old and glassing in the new the best route.

Continuing on with cowl-related work, I cut the nose-gear slot in the center of the cowl scoop, then put together the assembly that stabilizes and covers the gap behind the nose gear leg.  ...



October 3, 2016.   Issue No. 4,216.
   Really nice Wx here in N. Texas this weekend (peak heat finally passed).  Took my son flying for the first time in over two years.  Where in the world does the time go?!?  Wow have his flying skills improved!  I can only guess that since he's grown about a foot and a half since that last flight, it's down to being able to finally reach the pedals and properly see over the panel <g>.  He *is* taller than me now (sigh).  Highlight of the weekend as you might expect.  Got the October wallpaper calendar up on Saturday (the 1st).
  Bumped into RV-8 builder Jim 'izzybear' Novak at Mass Sunday.  "RVs be with you."  ;^)   Finished out the weekend doing accounting (thanks again to those who help keep it afloat).
  Hope you had a nice weekend as well and that your week goes swell.


Family Portrait ...Scott Martin family RV-10


Mostly unedited video of my first race in Reno 2016 ...AX-O

This is a video of my first race. It is mostly unedited so those of you that want to see the environment can see it real time. That being said, it is approx. 13 minutes long. In the video I point out the pylons and some of the things going through my brain at the moment.

You will also see a nice race from my point of view. I was going at it with#26 and #38.


Qwest for Cow ...Pete Howell 9A

I think it is illegal in Minnesota.......too strong, too tasty, dare I say it.....too Udderly delicious!

On a beautiful fall evening, Andi declared her desire to go on a Quest for Cow, so we loaded up the machine and headed east to the Beer State, Wisconsin. Along the way, there were amber waves of grain and long shadows - it was quite the golden hour...

Andi has a Cow, I get to fly. Quiet twilight trip home and a nice night landing. Pretty good for a Thursday!  (more pics)


New SB Issued Over the Weekend ...RV-12


Bill and Ron's bling...


Heliograph ...Vlad

For couple years I was puzzled how my brand new glare shield got a burnt spot. I didn't solder anything in the cockpit and my passengers usually don't smoke. Then I got another a bigger one. Then one day I returned to my aircraft to see a touch of smoke coming out of the cockpit. Now I know why. Ever heard of a heliograph or sunshine recorder? Your RV bubble canopy can be one of these.


Getting Close! ...Jeff Green -8



September 30, 2016.   Issue No. 4,215.
   Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!  v/r,

Zimbabwe RV-7 Status Report ...Z-EDD

This was an awesome RV building day! As soon as we finished riveting the centre section, I put the longerons in place, and arranged the sawhorses. Then we lifted the centre section into place. the clecos are tough to get in at first, but then it all starts to line up and comes together.


Pirep on Trutrak Gemini Autopilot ...Larryskydives

Thought I would do a pirep on purchase and installation of Trutrak Gemini Autopilot. I have a RV6 purchased from the original builder. No autopilot intalled, so starting from scratch. In a search for and AP, I looked at various models and mfg. in reviewing online information, I liked the installations of the servos in the RV6's by Trutrak. Not wanting to cut any new holes, the I liked the idea of the Gemini control head to replace my artificial horizon. This is not to say the Trutrak is any better or worse than any other mfg, this is my experience with this unit only.

1 - While looking I had several conversations with Zack and Lucas at Trutrak. They answered all of my questions and gave clear answers and the website had very good information and downloads for manuals and installation drawings and info. Afterwards found the operating manuals to be an older version, but installation drawings were still current for the pitch and roll servos as well as the auto trim module.

2 - Upon making the decision to purchase the Gemini unit, I found Aircraft Spruce to have a discounted price. I spoke with Trutrak about meeting that price. They would not meet the price but said that no matter where I bought it from they would back it as if I purchased it directly from Trutrak. I mentioned that I was looking at buying parts and pieces from SteinAir to build my harnesses. Was told that SteinAir was a dealer. Called Steinair and spoke with them and although they discounted the price, it was not as low as Aircraft Spruce. To make up the difference, they said they would discount the harnesses if I would buy the premade harnesses. That is what I did. Purchased from SteinAir the Gemini and harnesses. I recieved the harnesses in a weeks time. And it was three weeks to recieve the Gemini AP Package. Time frame was acceptable and packaging was very good.  continue

Three Years ...Tim Blake RV-10

I'm so grateful to have my RV and the ability to make memories like this, I thought this made for a neat set of pictures.  First picture is from .... when we were on our way to TX State to visit my middle child. In the 2nd picture 2016, the only difference is the child in the rear left seat is the one we were visiting in 2013 and she is now with us to go visit my youngest (left rear seat 2013) that is now attending at TX State.

After seeing this I think it might be time for me to spring for a new hat.




Using Elevator Trim Indicator to Full Advantage ...Piper J3

Until recently I have been using the elevator trim indicator on the D-180 to set and verify only takeoff trim position. Once airborne I would make trim adjustment for cruise and decent strictly by feel, which required many small, step adjustments to reach hands-off pitch stability.

I have made mental note of where trim indicator needs to be to satisfy cruise and power-off glide with full flaps deployed. Now when I change from climb to cruise and from cruise to decent I can quickly attain stabilized flight in pitch by setting the elevator trim by visual reference to the trim indicator. By roughing-in the trim setting visually I can attain desired pitch stability quickly with just a few small step adjustments and thus minimize workload.

So for what its worth (and maybe I’m just late to the party as usual) I thought I’d pass along this revelation as I gracefully age in my love of flying…


RV-14 Status Report ...Nova RV

Mated the fuselage halves and had a visit from my EAA tech counselor to check things out. He said everything looked good and I was ok to start covering things up with the baggage floor installation.


Our Trip part#12 ...bhester


Our Trip part#13 ...bhester



September 29, 2016.   Issue No. 4,214.
   Pics below of Tommy 'GenTom' Williams and Randy Richmond in their RV-8s at my home field Wednesday.  The rest can be found in their full rez glory HERE.  If you have the time, go to YouTube and search for 'Tommy Williams P-51' and 'Tommy Williams F-86'.  He flies other stuff, too.
  The nice thing about having the wind from the north around here is that I can get pics of RVs without having to walk too far (that's my open hangar door under Tommy's wing).


Bowling Greens and Nashville trip ...SmilingJack

Made a quick trip to Bowling Greens and Nashville. Landed in KBWG and used Co-Mar - NO Ramp Fee! NO Overnight Fee! And the guys behind the desk couldn't have been more help!

Rented a Hertz car and first drove to Nashville (Fees to high to land there, so we just drove the 50 miles).


Ready for its closeup ...John Walker RV-10

Well.... I can finally post in this thread... I guess that's the goal right?   So here she is... Truth is, she's been done for a while. We flew to KOSH, but the graphics weren't 100% complete. And we finally had a chance to take some real pictures.  She has affectionately become know as "Miss Whiskey Delta"...


US Nationals ...sandifer

Bill McLean......on the podium!!!!


Selfie ...jcaplins


Dynon Announcement- Limited time trade-in rebate offer


Status Report ...crabandy pics

A little more shaping tonight, using the 14 inch cutoff wheel to cut radius guide marks into the foam worked pretty well for shaping the lower cowl exit. Pretty easy to eyeball a center for the cut and then measure from the cut off wheel to the cowling to keep things concentric. Kinda odd that I actually had a 14 inch concrete cutoff wheel laying around the shop from a totally different project.



September 28, 2016.   Issue No. 4,213.

A Quick Visit w/Ron and Bill at the US Nationals Championship ...photo album.

I haven't flown my RV-6 for one whole hour in over a month. Because of that, and the majority of my flights being .2 or .3, a tank of gas lasts me upwards of a month :-).  I finally needed gas, and it is $.65 per gallon cheaper at nearby Sherman (KSWI). By coincidence the US Nationals Championship is being held next door to where I was getting said avgas. Ron Schreck has been kind enough to journal about his and Bill McLean's time there in a thread in the forums, and I thought it was appropriate for me to stop in, since I was so close, and thank him personally if possible.

I threw the semi-good camera in the passenger seat and grabbed my new 'window cling' that I ordered from Abby at Flightline Interiors about a week ago. Randy took off while I was pre-flighting my airplane, so I knew I would probably talk to him after I launched. It turns out that the air was incredibly, incredibly smooth. Smoother than I can remember it being in quite a long time. I put the plane on autopilot and was messing with my new portable shade thingy when Randy called on the radio and asked if he could join up. Absolutely! I took a few pictures of him - one of them even turned out pretty decent. In the background of that picture you can see a new car racing facility that has popped up on some private land between my house and the airport. How would you like that for a backyard?

Put the gas in the airplane at Sherman and scooted back up into the sky to talk to the tower at KGYI, where the event is being held. The friendly lady in the tower put me in a hold 2 miles east of the control tower, with three, maybe four other airplanes doing the same in different spots. Everybody was waiting on a IFR flight that had started its approach.

Once on the ground I parked and started walking to where I thought I saw a couple of RV's as I was taxiing in. It turns out both Ron and Bill were there next to their airplanes fiddling with them. They were due to fly in two or three hours, so I kept my visit fairly short, not wanting to interrupt too much. Ron was kind enough to walk me through some of the stuff they do and some of the preparation and training involved. Talking with them, it's obvious they're both very passionate about getting more RV folks involved. As I write this, Bill is currently in second place sportsman class out of 17 participants. He is doing this with an RV-4 with a wood prop and a 160 hp engine. Let that sink in for a little bit…

RVs can compete just fine.

At Ron's suggestion, after saying goodbye to them, I walked down to where the judges were. Clumped in groups of three, Ron explained that one would be a spotter who says out loud what the next maneuver is, the judge is next to that person, and a recorder is next to him or her. Taking down notes spoken by the main judge. It seemed to me like there were four groups of these and I guess they average their scores or something.

The trip back home, all 22 min. of it, allowed me to play with the new window cling some more. I had the plane on autopilot and everything was hunky-dory. I could slide my top shade over to the side a little bit and put the window cling on the bottom, leaving a little one to two inch gap where I could scan for traffic. The picture doesn't do it justice. In regular normal flight my head is only a few inches from the slit, so my field of view is quite large. But finally there is little to no glare anymore on the side of my face. Hallelujah. Why didn't I do this 10 years ago?

You can see all the pictures I took in their full resolution glory, with captions, by going to this link.

I hope you enjoy both them and your Wednesday.



This year's British Air Racing Champion is...


From the mothership FB page...


Sunday's Reno Medallion Start


Cancer Awareness T-Shirt Blue and Pink Ribbons

...available from the mothership



September 27, 2016.   Issue No. 4,212.

Jim Lechleiter at Triple Tree...

Our Trip part#5 ...bhester

While I was getting the car, Marsha took a few pics of the planes that got there before we did.

Our Trip part#6

The next day Marsha and I spent exploring Baa-Ha-Ba (Bar Harbor) and Acadia Park. It was an hour drive from the hotel; everything is an hour drive, Belfast – Bangor - Bar Harbor. I took the picture below on the way there.

Our Trip part#7

Here are a couple pic from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia Park and some pics from Bass Harbor.

Our Trip part#8

We were amazed at Young’s Lobster Pond, this place is awesome! The place is a barn, where the lobster boats come to and unload. There are holding bins lining both sides of the ground floor. The lobsters are sorted by soft shell or hard shell. The front part on one side is where you place your order and it is prepared right there. We were told that this is one of the last few places like this. Years ago there were a lot more.

Our Trip part#9

Today was the actual Fly-In day. We got there about 9am and when we walked through the gate Vlad was moving his plane in front of a Cloudhopper. A Cloudhopper is an experimental single place hot air balloon. Vlad was going to use his prop blast to inflate the balloon. They got it inflated and where going to do a tethered flight but the winds where just a little too much, so they deflated it and put it away.

Our Trip part#10

We made it to Eastport and refueled then we flew down to Baa-Ha-Ba airport and around Acadia Park-Cadillac Mountain. I wanted to fly around some of the lighthouses out on the islands but Marsha didn’t want any part of flying out over all that water. The picture below is what I wanted to tell her, but I didn't. I usually do my best to keep her happy :-)
It is right there in front of her every time I tun it on...


20yo RV-6 belly skin extensive rivet repairs...BruceMe

I purchased a damaged RV-6 project, the previous owner was getting on and losing his health to the point he was no longer able to safely pilot. He had likely repeatedly hard landed this aircraft and unfortunately the last landing was a flip-over.

Needless to say, there's a long list of repairs and I've been working on it for 6mo now. One thing I noticed early on in the pre-buy was that all the belly skin rivets where smoking. This isn't an accident issue, but a long-term ongoing maintenance and safety concern.


OT, but important to share....video

Veteran walks in hangar to see P-38 being restored.  Discovers it was his plane...


Not so fast! ...ronschreck

I'd like to say that we all flew flawless routines today but the truth is, we never turned a wheel due to crummy weather. We do have a few pictures to share but you will have to wait until tomorrow for some flying tales.



September 26, 2016.   Issue No. 4,211.
  Guess who has an amateur radio license, Technician class, as of 3:30 PM Sunday, September 25th?  Yup!
  If you're of the opinion that this is a hard test, please let me help alleviate those fears. Just go to this page, click on and print out the
Technician Study Guide - 14 pages). Study it for two hours the morning of the test, arrive an hour early and study for one more hour in your car.  Glance at this chart a couple of times.  Drink a Dr. Pepper.  Pay the $15* to take the test and score a 91.  Go to Jason's Deli afterwards and get a salad because you feel guilty about that Dr. Pepper.
  Now begins the process of researching which APRS tracker to purchase. I'll probably end up just asking Sam or Pete or one of the other RV folks already doing it, and go with whatever they tell me slash suggest.  Open to idears...
  The nice guy at the testing center said I should get something in the mail in about 10 days. I'll let you know what my call sign is when I find out. 



Sport Class Start Reno ...Tim O'Brien photo via Bob Mills


Jay Pratt's 70th Birthday Pics  

It sure is enjoyable to be able to visit with friends. Some of these folks I don't see enough, and it's just a lot of fun to get to catch up. Our entire family had the pleasure of attending Jay Pratt's 70th birthday party. A few of the usual suspects arrived in style from the air, and I was on the ground with a long lens for the arrival. Our son Tate manned the other camera and got some pictures of the birthday boy and the festivities.

Fun had by all and we all wish our friend Jay many, many more happy birthdays like this!


RV's at U.S. National Aerobatic Championships (OFFA 70+) ...ronschreck

  We have arrived! Bill "WillyEyeball" McLean and I arrived at North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI) this "afternoon. It's a "Bucket List" for both of us old geezers: a first attempt at IAC competition at the national level! Bill has been flying his RV-4 in competition for a few years longer that me and he does things with that old -4 that you wouldn't believe. And he does it with 160 horsepower and a fixed pitch prop! I have seen him wipe up the tarmac with Extras and Pitts so I'm anxious to see what he does here in Texas. Bill is an optometrist by trade and does research projects for the US Army at Fort Rucker. (Thus the WillyEyball handle.) He signed up with the Air Force early on and was denied a pilot slot because of less-than-perfect vision. Besides, they said that pilots are as comon as dirt. What they needed was an optometrist.
  We met up in Grenada, Mississippi on the way to Texas so we could spend a few days together practicing our Sportsman routines before heading to Texas. Bill lives in southern Alabama and I live in North Carolina, so Grenada was a great place to meet and they have an aerobatic box right on the field!


Tick, tick, tick -- fixed! ...Ed Wischmeyer

On the last flight in the RV-8, right after takeoff, there was an unusual sound somewhat like the electric fuel pump. I landed immediately, and then...

The pulse repetition rate seemed too slow to be engine related, but first priority was getting the plane on the ground, not debugging the problem at low altitude.

Next day, took the cowl off, and Mike, my IA, inspected the engine carefully. Nothing. Loose rubber strips flapping? Nope, but close.

On the RV-8, there is an air intake under the right wing to provide fresh air to the back seater. Mike found that the scat tubing had a tear, and perhaps that was the culprit, with the tube flapping back and forth. He managed to cut out the bad portion of the tube and then reattach it, something I'm not sure I could do.

This morning, it was time for the test flight. Tower cleared me for takeoff, maintain runway heading. Uh, no thanks... if the problem wasn't fixed, I wanted to be able to turn downwind immediately. Takeoff clearance declined. And on the takeoff, I was aware that landing on the crossing runway would have been dicey, at best.

But the good news was that the noise had gone away. Once again, reinforcing the safety adage that in a homebuilt, every flight is a test flight. And that's not a bad attitude for spam cans as well.


-14 Panel Shots Added



September 23, 2016.   Issue No. 4,210.
   Kay Frizzel RV-8A (w/pax Austin Alvord) and Gary Platner RV-8 (w/pax Tony Ryan) taxiing out for a breakfast/gas flight Thursday morning at my home field.  I don't think what was for breakfast was really important <g>.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!


RV-8 Skyrunner airborne ...Germany

Yesterday I made the maiden flight with my new RV-8. It was a QB kit and kept me busy for the last one and a half years.

The flight was uneventful and just everything worked as expected. No need to correct the flight controls and all engine parameters are in the middle of the green. Oil temp is on the low side and even CHT was only 350 F with 75% power - I expected higher CHTs!

At higher airspeeds the rear of the canopy is lifting may be 1/4 inch or so and there was quite some air rushing in from behind. After landing I found a minor oil leak on the center fitting of the inverted oil valve. Retorqued the fitting and glued some soft rubber seals inside the rear of the canopy skirts and today on flights 3 and 4 all was perfect. What a fun plane!


Jay Pratt Turns 70 Years Young ...an invitation.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Hicks Field (T67) Saturday at noon, your presence is requested at Jay's hangar to celebrate his 70th birthday. Scuttlebutt is there could be a formation flyover, barbecue, birthday cake and more. The restaurant is open on the field as a good plan B.  See you there! 


RV White Pages Updated ...courtesy the amazing Tate Reeves


GTN V6.21 Upgrade for EAB Customers

We are pleased to announce that GTN V6.21 is now available as a software download to EAB customers with non-certified aircraft.

Please note that the software images linked on this page which format and auto-create SD cards are delivered to our dealer resource center as a Windows computer self extracting .exe file and are only usable on Windows computers. We apologize up front to Mac users.

Also note that as explained in the service bulletin, GTN V6.21 begins use of a new format of the Navigation database to support additional data. The database SD card for the current cycle contains both old and new formats, so you should just need to load the new format (the GTN will recognize the correct file) after updating with the V6.21 software. If you do not have a current copy of the Navigation database (Jepp or Garmin), wait to perform this software update since the new software cannot use the old format Navigation database and will remove that database if currently installed.  continue


Mothership Stats


Another RV-7 Started

Just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Eric. I am in the final stages of getting my PPL, I have the hours just need to take the tests. I was planning on waiting until I got my PPL to start building but was in Oregon for business and visited Vans Aircraft.

I have always enjoyed building things, I have a background in machining and metal fabrication. I haven't worked with sheet metal or driven rivets but with some experience it shouldn't be a problem.

I built the tool box and two of the control surface practice kits with reasonable results. I started the horizontal stabilizer but I would like to connect with local RV builders to gain some experience and more confidence. I have a mill, lathe and welding equipment so I might be able to offer something in the way of trade for some help / guidance.

Anyway just wanted to say hello and share a few pictures of the shop and progress with the horizontal stabilizer.

Eric Fitzgerald (Dryden, MI)


Our "Lobster" Trip Part IV ...bhester

When I looked up I saw this huge Moose come running across the runway, he was coming straight for us OH NO, Marsha was screaming.

No not really, all I saw was that I had not latched the canopy. I taxied to the end of the runway latched the canopy and took off from that end of the runway. 10:27 - takeoff. The trip to Belfast was pretty bumpy under the cloud layer so I climbed to 5500’ for a smoother ride. Somewhere along the way we saw this windmill farm.  continue



September 22, 2016.   Issue No. 4,209.

Day 19. Final Day of the Big Trip ...Vlad's Alaska

It's over and I can't believe I did it. I was still 5 flight hours from home but it was nothing compare to what's flown. I walked from Atkinson Suites to Lumberton airport and was airborne immediately. I planned to scout Cape Fear on early morning with low tide but a lot of people were already enjoying the beach. I was out of luck.  ...


Ready for her closeup ...TCONROY

I am THRILLED to say our RV-7 is COMPLETE (at least mostly complete ) now that she has a paint job. The fine folks at ArtCraft paint in Santa Maria, CA did a wonderful job turning our vision into reality!  First flight was in May 2015, which gave us a little over a year to work the kinks out before painting.


RV-6 Formation Flying - Air Facts article ...Dave Gamble


Shop Update ...Scott Card

We're continuing to make progress. With all of the drywall complete, I was on a mission this weekend to get the interior painted. My current goal is to get the A/C going. It is hot out there. Working backwards from that, we need electricity done. For that we need to finish terminating all of our branch circuits. Before that, we need paint. So, that is where we're at.

I spent a bunch of quality time with a paint sprayer on my lift. On Saturday, before and after our airport fly-in, I sprayed a high-build primer on the walls and ceiling. On Sunday I popped out of bed at 6am and had the whole place painted before noon. What color you ask? WHITE! No, really, the paint was just base with no tint. The reason is for maximum light reflectivity.  ...


VAF Airport Courtesy Car List Updated


Did you Know?

There are rockets on the sectionals?   Space X facility SW of my hometown.  Lots more stuff HERE.



September 21, 2016.   Issue No. 4,208.

Gave Flash a bath (finally).
VS reflection off top wing.


Formation flight with Ken Krueger over Black Forest ...Germany

Today I was very lucky today to meet Ken Krueger. He is visiting Klaus, another RV-7A builder here in Germany who just recently finished his RV and is in the flight testing phase. The weather was a little hazy today over the Black Forest but we got airborne in both our planes and did some photo shooting and formation flying. Too much fun and the flight was too short of course.



America the Beautiful ...Scott Chastain conclusion

The Lord took me to the edge of my grave, and at the edge of my grave, I looked down. I looked down, and I was not afraid.

In Heaven I had a sister, a sister I had never met. She died of pneumonia at the age of only ten months. Exactly ten months later, my mother gave birth to me. Wendy’s death became the doorway to my life:


Belfast Lobster Fly-in Part III ...bhester

About 10 mins into the flight, and about 7,500’, we get a call from ATC and he said “Albany was asking if I still had the courtesy car key”. OH NO! Yes, I did have the key and was headed back. As I got close, I was looking at my fuel and thought that I had better get some more. I was down to about 20-22 gallons and should have enough but better to have too much. The line guy met me at the turn off and ran up to get the key. Self-serve fuel was further down the taxiway. So we got 8 gallons of fuel and we were off for the second time headed to Albany. Back up to 9,500’ and as we got a little further than the first time the clouds were getting higher and not looking real good to the west. We climbed to 11,500’ and had to let ATC know that we were going to be doing a little dodging around the clouds toward the east.  ...


Another Belfast report- Must be something good there, eh?...catmandu

As I told the 'Governor' on Saturday, he really needs to be called the 'Benevolent Dictator'! What a great fly-in, Lord knows he has a lot of help from a lot a people, but they all knew who runs the show.

We decided to come up Friday, and I decided someone really needed to get serious about her RV PIC time, since, you know, she provides most of the funds for it. I had her shed her shiny uniform, and 125K pounds of aircraft, and threw her deep into the GA world. We skipped the normal flight following to prove that one can actually fly the Northeast corridor without talking to anyone.  ...


One good. One bad.

I flew the RV for 13 min. Tuesday morning early. It turned out to be a scorcher of a day with a high near 100.  At 7:30 AM however it was only 80 and PERFECTLY smooth. Look at that nice round left hand climbing turn back over the airport post takeoff and out to the Northwest for deer spotting.  Four turkeys and one deer, and non-budget-breaking aviating. Back for the overhead break and a ground track that got more and more sloppy. The air was so still that I was hoping to make a perfect circle.  Hoping is the operative word ;^). 

GoogleEarth said the pattern was 3,000' wide runway to downwind - nice and tight with the AOA good the whole way.  Stuff to keep working on… 


Mothership News


The 'new' VanCave PC

Circa 2007. Rocking it Microsoft Vista style.

The kick@ss HP monitor is much newer, but the Dell Inspiron 531 was my mother-in-law's for a few years before she got a smart phone and discovered she was content just getting the occasional text/picture from her grandkids on that. I purchased the computer for her as an 83rd birthday present roughly a decade ago.

She's been asking me if I wanted it back, so I said yes. Reset to factory defaults with a low level format, turned off every auto update everything and locked it down as tightly as I could configuration-wise. Purchased a $22 USB Wi-Fi adapter and I'm in business baby (I have one of those MiFi pucs that I carry in my backpack for the laptop/iPad/etc).  My backup if the house internet goes down.

Anywho, it's kind of nice to have an option now right there on the workbench that doesn't require a magnifying glass :-). 



September 20, 2016.   Issue No. 4,207.

How Eagle’s Nest Project Pilots spend a weekend

What a great way to spend a weekend home from College. Two Eagle’s Nest Project pilots Nicole and Olivia spent the weekend flying together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin. Hummm, was taking selfies part of flight training….. I don’t think so!


Home ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Waking up each morning to the sadness of the gray unknown for over a week had me searching desperately for the beauty of America, for the beauty as I had known it during my absence from home. Being home suddenly seemed to remove a part of that beauty, making me feel at once lost and abandoned and very much alone. In that mad search to become united to my country---united as if by blood or by marriage, in such a way that we two should become one flesh under the banner of freedom---where was I to begin? Where was the dew-covered garden of newness and innocence for which my soul leapt at the thought of being with my beautiful America forever?  ...

Home (cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Home (cont. cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Home (cont. cont. cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'


SteinAir Overstock / Garage Sale. Radios, Autopilots, EFISes and more.

Hi All,
Since we neglected to do a spring cleaning or summer garage sale, our inventory of “Overstock, Trade-in, NOS, Refurb” and other units has grown to the point we need to sell some of it and we figured we’d list them here before it hits the auction sites! Below is a list of what we’ve got for sale right now and any associated information regarding warranties, etc.. As usual with our ‘Garage Sales’, first person with the dollars get it. We’ll update the list as items are sold or added. Price does not include shipping, and prices are listed as cash/check prices (CC’s can be used but may incur a small extra fee on these items). If you’d like more information or photos of these items, please contact us off list via email, phone, etc.. and of course you can stop by anytime to inspect these items in person. As many of you know, we are picky about taking items in on trade and only will deal with items in excellent physical and cosmetic condition. No Junk here.

Here’s what we’ve got (Note this list may change):  ...


Thanks for the RV Turnout ...Tanya Card

Had several RVers at the picnic this weekend, both local and a couple with some airtime to get here. Hope you had fun, and thanks for joining us. We raised a little over $1,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  [ed. Tanya, I watched your RV fly around the pattern via APRS on my iPad all afternoon.  I'm guessing you gave a LOT of rides!!!  v/r,dr]


ADS-B --- when eyeballs are not enough ...John-G

One sunny clear afternoon a couple of days after Memorial Day, while receiving RV-12 transition training, the instructor and I were climbing out upwind of runway 29 at Petaluma, CA (O69) and beginning a right turn to crosswind when we heard a pilot say he was entering the downwind for 29 on the 45. We couldn’t spot him after finishing the turn to crosswind, nor could we see him after turning downwind … but the ABS-B box feeding the Garmin G3X sure could. We called out to the pilot to find out what speed the aircraft was flying in the pattern, fortunately it was 15 knots faster than our speed … we could relax a little.

Both the instructor and myself were looking HARD to spot the aircraft, but we just couldn’t locate it … and we both KNEW it was less than a mile directly in front of us. The ADS-B showed we were not gaining on it, but the aircraft was lost to our vision in ground clutter and we simply could not spot it. Guess we were nearing mid-field on downwind when the pilot called his turn to base and as the aircraft’s left wing lifted for the turn, we both instantly spotted it directly in front of us and a little lower.

We commented to the pilot that although we couldn’t spot him visually until his turn to base, the ADS-B box sure knew where he was … amazing technology. His reply was that he too had ADS-B and was watching us as well.

This real-time experience with ADS-B just reaffirmed my decision to install ADS-B in my RV-12 during the build is indeed, a good one. There are times when keeping eyeballs outside the cockpit is just not good enough to spot traffic … even when you know traffic is right in front of you. Without a doubt, ADS-B is a safety enhancement and a useful tool to improve situational awareness.


French Lick,IN Fly-in 9/24

I just wanted to remind everyone my wife and I are putting on a Fly-in at KFRH this coming Saturday, September 24 from 8-2.

We will have doughnuts, coffee, juice, milk, water at 8:00 and then start frying fish around 10:30. We plan on having slaw, baked beans, and chips with plenty of drinks. Nothing fancy but good times and good food.

The weather is forecasted to be gorgeous so please stop in.

Hope to see many there.


Darren & Traci Kerns
RV7 N599DT


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September 19, 2016.   Issue No. 4,206.
So much news today!  You're not going to get a thing done at work for an hour or so.  Milestone: Saturday was the 14 year anniversary of our family's RV-6 first flight.  Spend Saturday doing yard work (and watching APRS returns at various gatherings around the country during college football on TV - kinda made you feel like you sorta attended).  Sunday was planning on giving a ride, but storms at 0700 stopped that.  Next time....

From Reno (via Adam Burch via Ernie Butcher)

1 August- Merced, CA (last installment)...Scott Chastain

My last night of the trip started with a walk about a half mile down the road to a nearby Chevron station. I had a hankering for ice cream again---a big hankering. On the way out of the airport, I wondered why the rotating beacon had not come on. I could see the lenses spinning on the orange and white wrought iron tower, and I could hear the gimbal grinding away up there as I walked by, but there was no beacon. Either the bulbs were shot, they were not getting power, or they were not even installed. Either way, it didn’t matter. I knew coming back that my final night of prayer walking along the length of an American runway would be absent of its customary green-white-green-white rhythm of welcome for aviators that would probably never come anyway. I had an airport all to myself again.  ...


A little bit of "history" ...

First time to my knowledge that a University President leads a flight for a game opening.

vid 1 / vid 2

Over Clemson's "Death Valley" no less. They beat us pretty badly but at least a "Bulldog" was in the lead of (at least one) Tiger at the opening of the game.  We did come back to rule the halftime, though. :-)  There was a "press release" put out the day before referencing "Alpha Bulldog to lead Tiger Flight".  All of the aircraft were RV's.

Without the pilots coming to help their friend, this could not have happened. And without Widget's HOURS of background work and tutelage on marks and timing, I would not have made it in at the right time! :-)

related: SCSU President Leads Game Flyover


Deadstick Landings - Alvord Desert ...Joe Blank video


Could not have ask for a Better Time!...Lobster Fly-in PIREP Dave

Additional Recap ...Dave

Our trip to the Belfast EAA 1434 Mid Coast Fly-In ...bhester

Our trip to Belfast, ME began Wednesday morning. Of course there were hours of planning beforehand. I had initially planned to fly to Niagra Falls, NY and then over to Belfast but, the weather forecast up that way did not allow it. So the night before I laid out our new flight plan.  ...


Construction Update ...Tim Huneycutt RV-10

It's still in a lot of pieces, but I drove my first rivets in quite a while this week. The new house and shop is all done and I'm back on the build. I never thought I'd be so excited about deburring!

All my pictures on the blog are huge, so won't post it here, but check out the link in my signature for some pictures.


Day 17. Still Seeking Sunshine ...Vlad



September 16, 2016.   Issue No. 4,205.
Added Bruce Hill (9A) to the APRS page.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

RV-8 and RV-10 photo flight around Seattle ...Bernardo photos



This post is long overdue, I have been mega-busy preparing B-KOO for her round the world (RTW) journey, and I am finally ready.

Since her first flight in Nov 2015, we spent 6 months trying to get approval to flight test in Hong Kong but failed. We then dissembled the aircraft and air freight it to Queensland, Australia, under a new registration "VH-FSX". After 40 hours of flight test, I did a trial flight to Adelaide and met up with Jon Johanson, the man who inspired me to build my own RV and fly it around the world. The aircraft yield an amazing 23 litres/hour at 45% at 135kts, thanks to Catto. With this figure, I work out I can fly for 19 hours non-stop with bladder tank installed.  ...


Our Morning with Mitch Lock

I have been contemplating taking the dive into building my own plane for about 25+ years now. That life long dream is about to become reality. I have done a lot of researching in the past year or so, and have narrowed my choice down to two. The RV-10 or the the RV-14a. During that time I was able to reach out to Mitch Lock and ask for a demo fight. My wife and I traveled to Manassas VA for an EAA Sportair Workshop on September 10-11. I took the sheet metal course. It was well worth the expense and effort, but that is for another thread.  ...


31 July- Mountain Home, ID ...Scott Chastain

I had to sit down. I was a little overwhelmed by it all; and plus, since I knew I was approaching the Omega portion of the mission, a tiredness had caught up with me that I had not felt before. I still was not ready to head home, and there in Mountain Home---a home away from home so many years ago, and now a home away from home once again---the sweet and certain comfort of familiarity settled over me as I walked away from the Old Glories of the brick building to the railroad park I remembered so well. I lay down on the grass listening to the wind in the tall trees and the nearly indistinguishable tide of traffic going by until I dozed off.

It wasn’t long before the bells of the railroad crossing guard rang and announced the passage of a freight train only a few dozen feet from where I was sleeping. The rumble of earth and the hailing trumpets of the locomotive did not stir me from the cool comfort of my bed of grass. I was genuinely tired. It was probably another hour after the train had gone by that I decided to get up and start exploring my past again.  ...


This weekend:

Breakaway Airport Picnic, 9/17 Austin, TX

Belfast Maine Lobster 2nd Annual Fly-in


Status Pics ...Z-EDD (Harare, Zimbabwe)



September 15, 2016.   Issue No. 4,204.
Heads up: The Friday edition might be pushed out a little later than usual.  I'll be vehicleing down/back to Waco solo Thursday to attend the funeral of my Aunt Dorothy.

31 July- Mountain Home, ID ...Scott Chastain

I cooked dinner that night in Twin Bridges from my camping reserves, boiling up some water and throwing in some dehydrated chili-mac. It tasted good, and was I glad to have it. Even with all the other meals I had eaten outside of my on-board supply of food over the past five weeks, the dried reserves were getting low, so I made the most of them while they lasted.

With the lights turned on in the pilot shack, there was a massive infusion of flying insects swimming on the outside surfaces of glass and screen. The moths and gnats were particularly numerous and agitated. The rotating beacon shot laser-like across the tarmac into an insatiable darkness. Its green-white-green-white brightness bounced relentlessly off of the Dove and into the shack. The reflection itself was enough to draw a legion of moths in that direction, and they swirled around the plane like green-white-green-white sparks from a fire. The intensity of the strobe itself was almost enough to keep me awake that night as I watched it from the long black sofa, but I managed to sleep quite soundly after I dozed off. It would be the last rotating beacon experience of the trip.  ...


Strong Crosswind, not a great outcome...Steve Smith RV-8

Well, its confession time. After 400+ hrs in the RV-8, and over 500 hrs of total tailwheel time, I just groundlooped the RV-8. Fortunately nothing damaged but my ego and confidence. But...

Usually when something doesn't turn out so well, I can play back in my head and think through what I did, what I should have done differently, etc. Learn from it.

In this case, I'm not sure I could have done anything differently.

Before the story, you probably need to know I have a rocket-style steering link, which I really like. It has a nice amount of spring give but is very responsive at low speeds.

In the pattern, the ATIS reported 16 kts at 260 degrees. Runway heading 190 degrees, paved, 75 ft wide. I'll do the math for you, that's 70 degrees off runway heading. The wind turned out to be a bit stronger than 16 kts though.

On final, I transitioned from coordinated flight to a stabilized slip. (I've always used a stabilized slip on final -- you just use your feet to keep the airplane aligned with the runway, and the stick to control the lateral drift. ) Over the numbers, wow it took a LOT of slip, but speed good, right on centerline, aligned with centerline. As I floated a bit, some of the slip naturally comes out since the wind is not as strong right near the ground. Still a lot of slip. One main wheel down, then the other. Still good alignment, right on centerline. Here is one thing I **might** have done differently: I did not make much effort to hold the tail up high. It was taking a lot of rudder pressure (left rudder) to keep aligned, and I just let the tail drop slowly as I slowed down. I felt the tail wheel hit, still good alignment, still on centerline, rolling out....still taking a lot of left rudder, but all good. Stick well right of center and a bit aft of center. **another thing I might have done differently: I could have had the stick full back to really firmly plant the tail wheel. Not sure it would have mattered**

Rolling out nicely when IN AN INSTANT, I was sideways, because the swiveling tail wheel had come unlocked and just swiveled. When I processed that and made the intentional command to go full hard left rudder and left brake, my foot was already there, way ahead of my brain. All I could do was just hold that and wait, pretty much a passenger at this point. The airplane slid in a gradual arc slowly diverging more in heading and scrubbing speed until it left the pavement, then it pretty much finished the groundloop. All the corners of the airplane stayed level thank goodness. I had to get out to turn the airplane more to get the tailwheel out of the soft stuff and up onto the prepared gravel alongside the runway so I could proceed to the apron with my tail between my legs. While I was out, I assessed the actual wind. It was at least 18-20 kts (being an old sailor I'm a pretty good judge of wind speed) at pretty close to perpendicular to the runway-at least 70 degrees, maybe a bit more.

Thinking back through it, I am not sure if the tailwheel unlocked because of more sideload than the latch pin could hold (might be worn, will inspect tomorrow) or if it unlocked because I reached full left rudder while steering on the roll out and the cam-action unlocked it at full rudder. I do remember that I was steering pretty smoothly, no weaving back and forth, and I was not being buffetted by gusts. It all seemed pretty smooth to the instant the tailwheel swiveled. Given that my foot was already full left rudder at the instant I thought about it, I'm kinda thinking it got to full travel from steering on roll-out.
If that's the case, it suggests that during roll-out, one must guard against getting to full rudder travel, and instead feed in more left brake with partial rudder.
One reason I am skeptical that it unlocked because of full rudder command is that the spring in the steering link would have been stretched to its stop and so even if the rudder did get to full travel, the tail wheel would not have.

It is also possible, I suppose, that the tailwheel didn't actually swivel, but rather broke traction and skidded because of insufficient downforce. I really kind of doubt that. Although I didn't have the stick hard back, it was certainly most of the way back, which is kind of a reflex to me as soon as the tail wheel touches. It might have been instructive to walk the runway and look at the skid marks (if there were any). Presence or absence of skid mark for the tailwheel would have answered this question definitively. Unfortunately, its a tower controlled airport, with big jets and stuff, so I can't imagine being allowed to go look at the runway after I taxied to the apron.

So, at this point, I'm kind of feeling like I did the best I could and not clear I could have done better. But ...

Had I held the tail off much longer with strong forward stick pressure, I would have had perhaps better rudder control, but perhaps not ENOUGH rudder control with the whole fin sticking up in that wind. I might have ended up with the rudder on the stop and still turning right. Now what?

With the tail wheel on the ground, it should be much more willing to go straight. Had I sucked the stick back hard, maybe the added downforce would have helped the tail wheel track the airplane straight....unless the swivel unlocked.

I think the tail wheel swivel unlocked. I think at that instant, I was doomed.



RVs at Reno ...DanH

Temporary thread, just to follow all the RV's and Rockets racing in the Sport class this week. Hopefully clan members currently at Stead will post hot news for the working poor back home

From the website, unofficial qualifying speeds as of Tuesday afternoon:


Kansas to DC ...crabandy

Work was going to send me Southwest but I would rather the RV take me to DC for training.  Up bright and early for a 5:30 am wheels up to leave in front of the weather.



September 14, 2016.   Issue No. 4,203.

SS William G. Mather Update

A few weeks ago Dave Gamble wrote up a little piece where he toured the SS William G Mather. The other day out at our airport, Eldo and his father Harold were working on their RV-6A.  Harold walked up and said, "I was reading your website the other day and saw that story about the Mather.  I was an oiler on that ship 50 years ago."

Dave, I thought that would make you smile. In the picture below are Harold Elders and his son Eldo in front of their RV-6A.


30 July: Twin Bridges, MT (cont.) ...Scott Chastain

Leaving the rodeo arena, I rode the perimeter of the fairgrounds a couple of times, then went past the local school and gymnasium, through downtown again, and meandered through the neighborhoods to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Twin Bridges:  ...

Next installment: 30 July- Twin Bridges, MT (cont. cont).


17min 37sec ...practicing for canopy fogging over (on the outside) 

Yesterday there was a story about a gentleman with an RV-12 whose canopy fogged over on the outside shortly after takeoff. Since that happened just a few miles NE of me, I thought I would use a quick morning flight to practice the ILS at the airport next door.  Below is the ground track showing my takeoff to the South with a climbing left turn pointed towards Corral City. Put the plane on autopilot and started spinning in the numbers and pulling up the chart for the ILS 16L at nearby Alliance Airport. Took about 30 seconds. Got the ATIS and flew in heading mode out to the ARGUE waypoint. Loaded the approach and selected vectors to final. Called the tower asking for the practice w/option. Granted.

Monitored things, and when I came upon the glide slope coupled the autopilot to it. Just when I was about to the missed approach point the tower asked if I could sidestep over to 16R.  That explains the little dogleg there at the end. Climbing left turn to the NE and RTB.  Could I land the RV using just the synthetic runway representation (3rd pic below grabbed off web)?  At KAFW, with its 9,600' runway and having the tower call out the last couple of feet?  If I was nearly out of gas and had a fogged up canopy, I'm thinking I could...

Total time 17 min. 37 seconds.  39.4 statute miles.  .3 hrs in the logbook and a little more practice on workflow and buttonology.  What I took away from the practice most of all was how easy it is to see where the autopilot was on and where it was off (the 2nd picture) :-).  I also overshot the localizer a bit...I'll work on both.


AeroLEDs new product announcement

AeroLEDs has released a new product, the Polaris all LED position light bulb replacement. The Polaris LED Nav Light Bulb is a direct replacement for incandescent nav light bulbs in red and green forward position lights. This product uses 1/4 of the current draw of an incandescent bulb. Polaris complies with the FAR requirements for color and intensity at all angles. FAA-PMA pending (estimate approval in 2017). Available for both 12V and 24V electrical systems.  ...


Day 15. Turning North ...Vlad

It feels so good when you are well rested. The hotel transported me to the airport the only FBO guys were already busy at 7 am. They said I owe them nothing. I grabbed several bottles of water and was airborne in no time. I was in the mood to finish tracking southern border I was in the mood to land on three islands I was in the mood to clock at least 8 hours in the air all today. There is a sliver of airspace by Laughlin AFB where you don't have to talk to them while in transit. I am staying on our side of Rio Grande enjoying the views. Birds are still sleeping.  ...

Next installment: Day 15. Turning North. (cont)...Vlad



September 13, 2016.   Issue No. 4,202.
   Added (4) new names to the APRS page.   

30 July- Twin Bridges, MT ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

Next installment: 30 July- Twin Bridges, MT (continued)


Unexpected IFR ...Steve Garrett RV-12

I wanted to share my experience which happened this morning about 400' AGL right after T/O.

This morning was beautiful and a good day to go flying in N.E. Texas. The reported weather at Paris/Cox airport was Clear, Visibility 10+, Temp and Dew Point were two degrees apart. Fog crossed my mind, but I had plenty of gas in case something changed and fog showed up at my home airport.

My airplane is hangered and I had the oil heater on during the night to reduce the amount of time for engine warm up. Prior to T/O, the aircraft was outside in the elements about 10/15 minutes before takeoff. The engine run-up was normal and checklist was completed without issue. Therefore I began the T/O roll.

I was turning cross-wind when I noticed the canopy to begin to fog up. I always have a clean rag with me and I causally reached for it. I also opened up the outside vent on the pilots side. Forward visibility now was 100% gone! I still had some side visibility though. I immediately finished trimming the aircraft for climb then wiped my rag on the inside of the canopy and I expected the fogged up window to clear up.....to my amazement, the fogging was on the outside!

Now my altitude was about 600 AGL I headed in the general direction for Paris/Cox airport (much bigger airport than my home field just in case) and only about 2 miles away. I pasted 1000 AGL and the fogging effect cleared up as quickly as it appeared. I continued on my short flight plan and made several landings and T/Os in the local area without any issues.

I've been flying a pretty long time but I've never had that happen to me before. I guess it was the temp of my canopy and dew point temp but not sure. Just wanted to share and let everyone know to be prepared for the unexpected.


KatieB ...pourable foam for fiberglass fabrication


RV's Dominate IAC Apple Turnover Primary Class

The 2016 Apple Turnover is the second IAC contest in held Ephrata WA each year.  I flew my second ever contest (in Primary again) in my RV-8 placing second.  Christopher Lester flew up from the Portland area in an RV-6 and passed me in the final round, winning 1st place for the contest, Congrats Chris!  The 3rd competitor flew a Super Decathlon, making a nice 3 way contest.

Both RV's flew without inverted systems, and Chris' RV-6 is equipped with a carburetor, so anyone sitting on the fence, claiming your RV-3,4,6,7,8 isn't equipped for IAC, well, you are denying yourself one of the most intense and rewarding experiences! You also make great new friends that are as passionate about aviation as you!

PS; I never exceeded 4 Gs on the recording G meter, so the Primary routine is not hard on the airframe.


Breakaway Airport Picnic, 9/17 Austin, TX ...tcard

The annual Breakaway (40XS) picnic will be Saturday September 17 from 11-2. We are located in Cedar Park, just NW of Austin. Please come out and make some airplane noises.



"Tailwheel Transporter is having an End of Summer Sale. For a limited time you can get a TAILWHEEL TRANSPORTER ll for only $349.99. Call and mention Van's Air Force and receive an additional $10.00 off!"


Milestone: First Engine Start ...bifft

Started the engine for the first time yesterday. Won't run smooth over 1500 RPM, but still really feels like I'm getting close. Had to brag to people who'd understand.



September 12, 2016.   Issue No. 4,201. 

Surprise B-day trip ...crabandy

It's fun to get to use the RV for other purposes, like a birthday trip for my oldest daughter with a mystery destination......

Due to the forecasted wx we needed to scoot out of town before school was out, she was happy to oblige!  more


15 Year Anniversary of N66AP ...Alex Peterson RV-6A

Greetings all -

Yesterday, September 9th, 2016, was the 15th anniversary of the first flight of N66AP! It continues to be a dream come true each time I fly it. For obvious reasons, we were grounded for some time two days after this first flight, so that connection will never be lost on me.

The plane has been flying about exactly twice as many calendar years as it took to build, and at 1540 hobbs hours, it has flown about half as many hours as it took to build! For those still in the building stage, I hope this puts some perspective on the potential “enjoyment investment” you are making! 


First PnP Mission in the books! ...DarylT


29 July- Buffalo, WY ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

On Friday morning, July 29, after disassembling the mountain bike and packing up the Dove, I called Faith City Hall. A woman named Gloria answered. I asked her to send somebody out to the airport to turn on the fuel pump. About 15 minutes later, a police car came driving up the dirt road. A young officer got out and I introduced myself, thanking him for his assistance. He said his name was Matt, the Chief of Police. He told me he was fairly new to the job after having recently moved to Faith from another town. He inserted a special key into the side of the pump and turned it on. He told me that the city had sprayed the ramp with tar the day before I arrived which explained the smell of it still curing.  ...

Next installment: 29 July - Buffalo, WY (cont.)


Garmin Comes to 52F and Gives a Presentation

On Saturday morning at my home field, Brian Hupe of Garmin was kind enough come down from Kansas to display several of his company's products and meet with about 30 individuals, letting them fiddle with all the knobs and ask all the questions you would expect.

Walt Aronow of expaircraft.com hosted the event, and provided the food. Somehow Walt worked his voodoo on me and I ended up at the grill cooking about three dozen hamburgers and hotdogs. I have no idea what anybody said or did in the presentation :-).

My son Tate was kind enough to document the event with pictures, cropping and editing as needed later on the home computer (he did this all on his own). When I say he did it on his own, I mean he did it for $20. Money well spent on my end - he got to work on his 'photographer's eye' and learned a few Photoshop skills in the process.

I got to meet a few new RV friends who are currently building or about to start building. I had two gentlemen walk up to me and say "slider or tip-up?" Made me smile...

Anyway, if you didn't get a chance to come you really did miss out. I believe one gentleman came from as far as El Paso. We'll do it again most likely next year after the new runway is put in.

And here is the link to Tate's pictures:  https://goo.gl/photos/bYSbQPbTUsvxa5sg6


Weapons of war (battling with tires) ...Michael Burbidge

I'm working on my second condition inspection. My tires needed flipping. I heard various methods for breaking the beads. It seemed like it should be easy.  continue


Teen Flight RV-12 Auction

TeenFlight Portland is a program of Airway Science for Kids, Inc., a non-profit organization in the Portland, Oregon area that provides services and opportunities to youth from the area. Airway Science for Kids, Inc. exposes youth, especially those who are socially and economically challenged, to activities that inspire their interest and growth toward higher learning and careers in aerospace, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through the process building an actual, flying RV-12 aircraft under the supervision of expert mentors and aviation professionals, participating youth are exposed to hands-on STEM experiences and gain valuable skills that truly impact their futures.

N114TF is the 4th RV-12 the program has built since its inception. Each RV-12 built by the program is auctioned and sold to fund the next aircraft project for a new cohort of youth. The TeenFlight 4 class members that built this airplane, and others before them, are moving on to even greater things, including engineering studies in college, professional flight training and other related next steps.

By purchasing this aircraft, you will support the ongoing legacy of the TeenFlight program and the incredibly positive influence it has in the lives of participants!


The RVs Using APRS Trackers

I spent a few minutes over the weekend starting a section where I could spotlight those RV pilots that are using an APRS tracker. If you fly an RV, and have an APRS tracker, and would like it listed on this page, just shoot me a note.  I'm about halfway through my test prep (it's pretty easy actually) and should be taking my amateur radio license exam in the next 2-3 weeks. They give the test every few days somewhere in the Dallas area. Then I'll start looking for tracker!

Anyway, if you're interested in seeing where some of the RV Rock Stars have been traveling, simply click on 'APRS Tracking' in the menu at the upper left corner of the front page.  Use the radio buttons next to each flight to select multiple flights and then click the 'map it' button (turn your smartphone landscape if using that).



September 11th.

Never forget...


September 9, 2016.   Issue No. 4,200.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 

Rob Reece RV-8 at the Van Cave.
(fitting cowl w/old engine case)


28 July- Faith, SD (cont.) ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

It was just after noon when I walked into King’s Drive-In. I ordered the largest burger they had on the menu with fries and a blueberry shake. I told my server, a large girl with red hair and blue jeans, to hold off on the shake until after I was through eating:


28 July- Faith, SD (cont.) ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

In a light sprinkle, I rode quickly back to the airport. It had suddenly become quite chilly. When I arrived, the worst of the weather was skirting a parallel track north of the runway:


Welcome AirPRS.com ...new advertiser.

...ad lives on the front page (FAQ/What's New).  "AirPRS is the web application for viewing and sharing your flights. With AirPRS you can review past flights, compare multiple flights, map long cross country trips – all with a familiar logbook style and using VFR and IFR maps. Whether you are a student, VFR or Instrument pilot, or CFII, we hope AirPRS helps you share the enjoyment and learning!

[ed. AirPRS is made possible by the staff at Bradán Lane Studio.  Brádan Lane Studio is headed up by RV-8 builder/pilot Glen Salmon - you know him as 'humptybump' in the forums.  Studying for the ham test now...dr.]

Glen's last ten flights...

Search for 'RV' in the 'Aircraft' link...you get some returns.

fmi: Getting Started with APRS

Test Prep


Mothership at Reno

"Going to the Reno Air Races this year? Van's Aircraft will have a booth in the Pit Area, come say hello and check out the RV-14!"


Mothership at Petit Jean ...Adam Burch

"Just wanted to let everybody know that Van's will be there (myself and Sterling) with the RV-14 this year! Looking forward to meeting everyone!"


Day Thirteen. Warming Up! ...Vlad's Alaska

Day Thirteen. Airports Below ...Vlad Alaska

Day Thirteen. On A Prowl ...Vlad Alaska

Day Thirteen. By The Pool ...Vlad Alaska



September 8, 2016.   Issue No. 4,199.

There’s this lady I’ve been seeing...

I don't know her name and she doesn't know mine, but we exchange glances for about a half second, twice a week. 

Our family’s RV-6 has been flying since 2002.  Back then, in my late 30s, I seemed to have more disposable income and flew more (two full time jobs).  Did those ‘long trips’. These days there's a kid in college and another one about to start driving, and everything seems to be more expensive insurance wise, and proper maintenance on a slightly-past-middle-age body costs more now. So, that means sticking to the budget pretty tightly. That also means my flights are of much shorter duration for the most part. Usually 12 to 18 minutes and local. Looking at my logbook shows basically several vertical columns of the number '2'.  I try to fly a couple of times a week, and that is enough now to keep the juices flowing and the skill set, while not razor-sharp, at least sharper than a butter knife.

So Tuesday, as planned, I logged 12 min. and did a VOR check over our field when I returned (the TTT VOR 133* radial centers right on our runway where the overhead break occurs – break when the needle centers).  So I’m off to meet my friend. I pick a random direction/altitude and set up a practice emergency landing on a grass runway west of my local area which has a house positioned a few hundred feet near the north end – a private residence with their own runway. Adding power at the go around point lets her know that I'm in the area and am wishing to say hello. Holding the runway centerline to the south I let the speed build back up, and after crossing the south end I begin a climbing 90° turn to the west followed by a 270° counterclockwise turn which, if I adjust properly for wind, lines me back up on the centerline for a south to north pass.

Landing lights on and holding an altitude that would be perfectly suitable for scaring deer off a runway before landing. 140 knots.  There's a small grove of trees maybe 300 feet southwest of her house - passing those I start to look.  I dip the wing just a tad right and can, on most mornings, just for a second, actually for less than a second, spot an elderly woman waving to me from her porch.  She's leaning out with one arm extended up.  About half the time I see the dog running around in the yard before I get to a spot where I can see the porch. If I see the dog, I know she'll be there.

"Good Morning!" I say out loud while gently rocking the wings.  I would like to assume she is saying the same. I've never landed to introduce myself.  I think that would spoil it.  I wonder if she sits at her table, eating breakfast and watching TV, wondering if her 'pilot friend' will visit this day.

We're coming up on the two year anniversary shortly of Mom's passing, and for the last couple of weeks I've been helping my sister square away final details for selling mom's house. Calling roofing contractors and other miscellaneous stuff interspersed with working on this website.  2016 has had its low spots, so this uplifting, life-affirming bi-weekly ritual that helps me refine muscle memory, emergency procedures and more is not taken for granted.  I miss my mom dearly, but am grateful to have this new friend. This friend that I only visit in 1-second intervals courtesy the most satisfying aircraft on the planet.

I do know if it was my mom on that porch, she would call later and ask, "Douglas, can it go any faster?"  She really dug the speedy metal.

RTB.  NAVCOMM 1 tuned to the TTT 133*.  NAVCOMM 2 GPS direct 52F for the miles-out radio call.  Dedicated traffic screen on the EFIS for the overhead to 17.  Smooth pull, on speed and altitude at the perch, respectable half-circle to short final with good AOA, (NESA) at wings level (a little not enough straight away), touchdown past the crumbly north end of our runway and flaps up for the Charlie turn.  Never perfect.  Always room for improvement.

Back on Terra I see Kay readying his 8A, giving Phil and Jackie’s dog a little pat before he climbs in.  It seems others have the same idea as me.  These planes make you smile.

I return home recharged, ready to continue the ascent of Mt. E-mail and the never-ending craziness opportunities of managing an Internet-facing business.

I'm already looking forward to the next visit.


First Flight Lessons - Nose Wheel pre load ...Aussieflyer RV-14A


28 July- Faith, SD (cont.) ...Scott Chastain

It was with joy on my heart and by the thrust of freedom that I was received in the beauty of Faith that morning. I was tickled by her signs as I entered town. They were quaintly genuine, a stark contrast to the dazzling but beautiful digital billboards of New York City. Here, America painted her face with an altogether different kind of beauty---the kind of beauty that was born of desolation, of the grit and gristle of life on the high plains:



September 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,198.
  Reminder: Free Garmin Experimental Avionics Seminar my home field this Saturday (52F near DFW). Brian Hupe is bring Garmin toys for you to play with. See you there! (more info)

Somewhere over Iowa ...petehowell

Coming home from visiting the baby and friends in Ames...[ed. Beautiful Pete!  Thank you for sharing! dr]


40 Hours DONE! ...KRviator (Sydney, Aust.)

Today I finished flying off the Phase-I testing and I thought I'd celebrate with a bit of coastal flying on the way back to Cessnock. You know, some poor buggers have to pay hard earned cash for this kind of thing!  much more


Welcome Bob Miller

Hi All,

Been in aviation a while incl USN a while back and typ brand M, C, P, and B spamcans for family and business travel. Now that the four kids are moving towards - off - and beyond college I'm looking to get more into the EAB and specifically RV world. (...dabbled in EZ land and felt I'd need several lifetimes to finish). I started a custom machine company - I enjoy making things and likely plan to build - however - had an opportunity I could not refuse to share a flying RV-6A. I have put about 70 hrs on it and really impressed.

The original builder has long moved on to other pursuits so I will have some maintenance questions for you builders!!


VAF Courtesy Car List Updated


28 July- Faith, SD ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

After surviving the tempest in Knox, Indiana a few days earlier, I figured sleeping through another thunderstorm was going to be a non-event. The storm that night in Pierre seemed fairly timid by comparison. The place where I was pitched seemed timid, too. I wasn’t in the least concerned about my safety in the company of other squatters whose transience, very much like my own, had them likewise sleeping in tents on the banks of the Missouri River. But nothing could have prepared me for the rude awakening I received that night.

The depth of my sleep could only be measured by the violence with which I was suddenly and mercilessly ripped from it. There may just as well have been a fire hose blasting the side of my tent, because that’s what it sounded like when the sprinklers came on. My pathetic little world got torn apart by water the grass probably didn’t need anyway, and it went on long enough for me to realize that any sleep I did manage to get that night would be a gift truly to be clung to and cherished.  ...


RV-3B Status Update ...David Paule

Lately I've been working on my replacements for the F-312 ribs. These run from the firewall center engine mount bolts to the main spar bulkhead, a lot like on the RV-4. The RV-3B plans calls for a rib that doesn't quite get to the spar bulkhead. It's slanted and terminates on the belly skin just forward of the wing spar splice fittings.

First I had to lay out the part and cut it to shape. You should be able to see the layout. I have a borrowed air nibbler that leaves a spiral kerf. In this case there was a narrow edge that was attached so I had a rare two-stage squiggly.  continue


Status Report ...Raymo

I spent the 3 day weekend prepping and installing the windshield so I could then do the final fit of the canopy. All went well with the Sikaflex installation.

Next weekend will be installation of the side skirts and fiberglass to cover the gaps.



September 6, 2016.   Issue No. 4,197.
  Our daughter Audrey sat for the GRE last Saturday (Graduate Record Examinations) - start of graduate school process.  Scored 161 out of 170 (huh?).  So very proud of the work this young lady has put in and just how focused she is.  All while working (3) jobs....lab tech, T.A. and nanny.  Still getting used to the pink hair, but considering how she is crushing school I've got no complaints whatsoever <g>.  Go Ace! 

27 July- Pierre, SD ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

The Dove and I ascended from Odegaard Field through a glorious breakup of bad weather and into the sunny skies that led to the southwest. In just over an hour, it was clear that I would not be able to proceed any further than the foot of the Great Plains; the rising terrain ahead was socked in with an impenetrable meringue left over from the passing cold front. Making an aggressive descent and passing over mid-field at Pierre, South Dakota (PIR), I yanked the Dove into the downwind for runway 31 and looked at the earth racing by. There were a few corporate jets parked centrally on the field, and the tarmac was torn up and barricaded right in front of the FBO. Then I noticed another area near the approach end of 31 that was set aside for crop dusters and aerial firefighters. After landing, I decided to taxi there and park next to a quonset hut-style hangar: 


27 July- Pierre, SD (cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'


27 July- Pierre, SD (cont. cont.)...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

"The hypnotic and heavenly tapping of light rain on tent fabric lulled me into a much needed sleep. Then things got ugly."


Heading to the Airport ...BruceMe

Cowl is done and fits.  Fuel tank is done.  Engine is on and mostly installed.  Canopy is fit.  Fuselage rivets are repaired.  I'd like to wrap up a number of small issue, then get it to the airport where it belongs next weekend


VANS at Sywell (UK) ...WVM

VANS was at Sywell this weekend for the 70th birthday of the Light Aircraft Association in UK. I wanted to share a few pictures with you. Enjoy.

During the presentation (same presentation as on homebuilders diner in OSH):


September/October 2016 FAA Safety Briefing ...40 pages (PDF)


Day 11. Tracking Pacific ...Vlad's Alaska


Day 11. Driving the Shore...Vlad's Alaska


Day 11. Back to USSR with Jae...Vlad's Alaska


Day 12. Город Сан Франциско!...Vlad's Alaska


First Engine Start ...Mark Dickens

If you're bored and want to watch yet another first engine start video, click here: https://youtu.be/VnitFWTo90Y

No leaks and no fire...engine misses a little at first. Got some work to do there. All temps looked good.



September 5, 2016.   LABOR DAY.  Issue No. 4,196. 
  Saturday morning just before 0705 I was laying in bed reading the news on my phone when I thought I could hear a large truck, like a cement truck, outside slamming doors and making a lot of creaking noise.  Also I thought I heard our son opening and closing cabinets downstairs. That's odd… What's he doing up?  He'll sleep until noon if you let him.  Later in the day I found out it was the earthquake up in Oklahoma, magnitude 5.6, centered 221 miles north of me. Minimal damage I later read.  RV-8 owner Gary Platner was visiting his mother in nearby Bartlesville. I gave him a call later in the day and asked if he felt it (uh, yeah). He said he rolled back over and went back to sleep. Well, there you go...
  I hope you have today off from work and that you do something fun and/or relaxing with your family and friends!

9A Painted! ...Bruce Peters

Day 9. The Areharts...Vlad's Alaska

Day 10. Stratovolcano Aerial...Vlad's Alaska

Day 10. Via Terrace to Oweekeno Nation....Vlad's Alaska

Day 10. Back to CONUS...Vlad's Alaska

Taken recently as the storm came on land ...Brian Thompson

27 July: Kindred, ND ...Scott Chastain

27 July: Kindred, ND (Cont.) ...Scott Chastain

RV-3B Flying! ...Larry DeCamp

66 Hours and lots of fun!



September 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,195. 
  Regular readers of the site already know how uncomfortable it makes me asking for yearly donations.  But if I don't do just that every now and then, I can't keep the VAF business afloat.  Donations are the difference between profit and loss each year.  2016 is now 2/3rds over and 1,206 have donated (out of 22,661 registered forum users and another 30,000+ unregistered regular 'lurkers').
  Call it one out of every fifty readers so far - roughly $20K after taxes.
  If you don't think your honor system donation matters, please let me assure you it most certainly does!!  The I.T. costs associated with maintaining a forum of this size runs in the neighborhood of buying a 2-year old Honda Accord yearly.  All I've ever asked is that if you visit the site regularly, please support it with a $25/yr donation.  That's $2.08 a month for something you might visit multiple times a day.
  If you've donated in the last nine years, your name is searchable in the following links:
2016, 2015, 2014(Cash/Check - CC), 2013 (cash/check - CC), 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 THANK YOU!!! to those individuals who help support this website with their yearly honor system donation
  I'm sorry for having this commercial up top today.  I didn't enjoy writing it probably like you didn't enjoy reading it.  I'm the breadwinner in our family and I gotta make it work.
  The mothership is closed on Monday for Labor Day, but there will be a Monday VAF edition.
  Susie, Audrey, Tate and I would like to wish you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!  

fmi: Support this site


VAF Hurricane Inland Relocation List ...don't forget it's there for you to use!

related: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/


26 July: Roseau, MN ...Scott C

"The approach of a Minnesota morning pleasantly fell upon the room, and soon I would awaken to the sound of my soul. I would awaken to the yearnings of my childhood, to the echoes of an innocence that had been calling me across the American continent for five wonderful weeks.

I would awaken to a crop duster takeoff. I would awaken to the freedom of flight"


Update on the Lobster Fly-In

It looks like 10+ plus RVs are coming in early for the Lobster get-together at Youngs lobster Sept 16th. Most everyone is stay at my house or other Belfast RVrs homes. We still have a few more places to put up anyone who wants to come early for the dinner on Friday.


Day 9. Matanushka Charm and Punches of Tazlina...Vlad's Alaska

The Tour of the Glaciers started with Matanushka. Beautiful place the ride was very smooth.


Day 9. Nabesna Grandeur and Gulkana Hospitality...Vlad's Alaska


Wondering How Popular RV's Are?

Here's a screen grab off a FAA newsletter....


Eagle's Nest Projects - Welcomes Granbury High School (TX)


Pop Rivet Art



September 1, 2016.   Issue No. 4,194. 

Jason got his first ride in an RV Wednesday at my home field. He's a pilot for Southwest Airlines and hopes to start building an RV-8 sometime in the near future. He seems pretty happy about the ride :-). 


September Wallpaper Calendar ...courtesy Ed Hicks.


26 July- Roseau, MN ...Scott Chastain's 'America the Beautiful'

After making my appointment at the Polaris factory for a 2:00 p.m. tour, I drove back to the airport to change into a pair of shoes. On the way, I stopped at the Roseau War Veterans Memorial that was located in a park along the main highway. Surrounded by engraved stones memorializing the lives of veterans of WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, the centerpiece read, “Honoring all who served, and dedicated to the noble deeds of the men and women of Roseau County who served their country, and especially to the everlasting memory of those who gave their lives to preserve the freedoms of humanity.”

I was deeply reminded of my purpose by the efficacy of the message and by the beauty of the memorial itself as it lay awash in the mid-day sun of an American small town. It fully reinstilled the aim of my mission as I ventured forth from the square and drove back onto the wheat-bordered airport. There was a harvest coming soon:


Kevin's RV-7 ...status.


Day 8. Divergent ...Vlad's Alaska

Unalakleet morning started early. I desperately needed a telephone. First person showed up at a Bering outfit around 7:30 but they are opening at 8. It appeared to be a long day. I bought couple gallons of gas to top off the gent at the counter was trying to give me more change then I paid. They don't have a knack for math in Unalakleet he was glad to get his seventy bucks back. A call to Flight Service yielded what I expected. VFR not recommended icing starts at 10,000 feet all the way down to my next planned destination Cold Bay PACD. Another lesson learned when FSS tells you something you don't want to hear you better listen. Otherwise you will end up like myself 200 NM off course and nearly 300 NM short of your destination.


Day 9. Exiting Alaska...Vlad's Alaska

... it's time to move on. Palmer, AK is a great stop for a weary traveler. Lodging and food in walking distance from the airport. $5 for overnight parking well worth it.


ADS-B and smog?

My father-in-law and I flew up to Kentucky to pick up a plane this morning. We were cruising about 5500 feet past Nashville and he says, "Hey did you check weather?" I said, "Well yeah, it's supposed to be clear til this afternoon when the thunderstorms build up." Then he shows me this on the G3X Touch radar screen and says, "What the heck!" Looked like light to moderate rain covering the Nashville area... but the other picture is the view out the window in that direction. The METARs we got in the area all showed clear below 12,000 and good visibility.

There is an Air Quality Alert today, with a defined haze layer and a fair amount of smog. Would smog show up as moderate rain on ADS-B?


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