Wed, Nov 30, 2011.  1210z   (contactThoughts on Safety


Last Day of the 2011 VAF Pledge Drive
I won't bug you again this year... 


RVs in Formation on MythBusters TV Show Tonight'll recognize a few of the folks flying as guys in the forums here.  Might even see a white VAF baseball cap. 

Discovery Channel.  'Toilet Bomb' episode. 
more: HERE

photo from the factory FB page

RV White Pages Updated

Network with 3,028 RV owners in 26 countries.

VAF Family
God Help me! ... Tom Clark (N.Carolina)

Well, I'm in! Just ordered tail and tool kit from Isham. What have I done?!?!

Well There's Your Problem
From Phil Perry (RV-10)

I just received a phone call from Dave Syverton....

"Turn your door brackets around dummy!!!!"

Problem solved.

Look Mom.... No broomsticks!

Louvers and CHT ...RV-10 Forum Thread

Like so many others I am having problems with high CHTs. My engine is broken in and I've confirmed minimal baffling leakage. Interestingly oil temps are doing fine (185 to 205F). I've read of others using louvers with great success but have not heard much about them lately. Anyone with a similar problem find them helpful; or another idea?

(later)  I'm getting above 400 until I hit cruise and power back to 23.5" and 2450rpm, then get 390 or so. I usually climb at 26" and 2500rpm but often back off as CHTs climb. By "front plates" do you mean the metal baffle at the bottom of the air intakes?

  Some Replies:

We opened the cowl exit 5/8 inch

Ever tried LOP. I am never over 350 running LOP 65% or less

That's 380F on Cyl 2 which is now my hot cylinder.

I first sealed up everything I could with hi temp silicone. The baffle holes for the engine mount bolts are sealed with cups (big gaps there).

Then, noticing that Cylinder 1 and 2 were my hot cylinders, I cut down the dams at the air intakes. An improvement was noted but #1 was still hottest so I removed the entire dam. Now #2 is the hottest so I'm going to completely remove that dam as well (as others have suggested). If everything else stays the same, I'll be running 365 to 376 during the climb. It may be hotter in summer - these temps were seen on a 55F day.

I wish my oil access door didn't leak so much cooling air

I removed the dams as well, we regulary get 300F in winter to 335 in summer with all temps within 17F spread.

Climbs are never above 380 and usually 365 +/- the spread of the day.

We have the 5 slot I think louvres on the underside of the cowl

you tried putting a gasket seal on that door? You can just put a bead of RTV or similar on one side, clear tape on the matching flange, close it and let it dry. Should seal it right up. Course, I haven't done it to mine yet, on the list of finishing items

My temps started really high during flight test (400+) in cruise. I did the following in order of effectiveness.

1. Installed wheel pants and fairings
2. Cut down the blocker plates in front of cylinders 1 and 2
3. Added a fiberglass baffle to the top cover that provides a close fit around the prop governor
4. Sealed every little baffle leak i could find with rtv

After all of this, my hottest runs around 360 in cruise on an 80 degree day. Climbs on this same day are around 400 at Vy but i like to climb out at 125 knots where temps stay around 180. When i go lean of peak the 360 cruise temp on the hottest drops to around 320, with the coldest around 295.

My next step would have been to add baffles, but with the temps above, i didn't see the need

My #5 is my hottest cylinder. I cut my front plates down by half before I started and now I want them back. My engine ran high for the first 10 hours then came down substantially

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.
More Goodies, avionics and stuff for sale! ....SteinAir

Hi All, Because we were too busy yesterday to list these things we'll just call it our "Cyber Tuesday Wednesday" listing. Again we have a variety of things that need to find new homes. Here's what we've got....

List edited throughout day...

Totally Off Topic

Tue, Nov 29, 2011.  1210z
  I'm too cheap to upgrade to the iPhone 4S just to get access to the Siri voice assistant.  A few days back I discovered Vlingo, which gives a lot of the Siri functionality for free.  Yesterday late morning, waiting for the oil to warm at the run up area, I didn't want to take my gloves off to send a text to a friend about lunch.  Tapped the Vlingo app with the tip of my nose, then the big 'Begin Speaking' button (again nose), then said TEXT JERRY MESSAGE YOU GOT LUNCH PLANS IN THIRTY MINUTES OR SO?  GET BACK TO ME IF ABLE.  A nice 12 minute flight followed - cut short due to the battery in the ANR headset deciding to give up the ghost in the air.  All the comm sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher after that, so I just did a few TnG's and called it a day.
The Vlingo app works perfect for hands free texting (and more).  They have apps for Android, Blackberry and a few more.  Consider this your staying thrifty tip of the day, and have a nice Tuesday.
  There are two more days in the 2011 VAF Pledge Drive.  Thanks to those that help keep VAF going (roughly 1 out of every 10 registered forum users).
   (contactThoughts on Safety

T/O and Landing Video ...Finley Atherton 9A

My first attempt at making a video. T/O and landing on my short home strip on a lovely spring afternoon.

9A with an 0-320 and Hartzell C/S prop.  Anti-Splat brace and leg fairing installed although I have done hundreds of landing here before the Anti Splat.  Reshaped nose cone fairing to give extra ground clearance.  Full stall touchdown. For normal ops. I carry a bit more speed in the flare and do not stall at touchdown.

Baja Trip 2011 ...Don McMullen

Hello Bob & I just returned from Baja. we went for 5 days & had a great time. We visited Loreto, Bahia Asuncion, Alfonsinas, San Felipe, Calexico & Return home.

In The Shop....
Flyer Indústria Aeronáutica in Sumaré ...Andrew at TruTrak photo.


I am tired this evening ...David Domeier

...but the feeling is good.

The mission is to deliver a sold airplane from Missouri to Oregon. The northern route was rule out due to winter weather so it was off to California this morning from Missouri. Launch at 7 am, arrived in Fallbrook, California some 9.5 hours of flying later. (staying with a son this evening.)

This was the first time across high terrain in a small airplane for this pilot so the planning was intense. Fuel stops were in Wichita, Tucumcari, and Sedona. Sedona is very interesting, the place is beautiful with the airport on a ridge looking down on everything. I came in from the east quite high descending into the setting, a rather surreal experience.

There are two elements of making such a flight successfully - planning and weather. The weather today was perfect except for having to run under a cloud deck in Missouri for about an hour in 32-33F weather. Actually picked up a bit of ice on the wind screen but not much. After that it was sever clear and even had a tail wind part of the route. The segment from TCC to SEZ was at 10,500" and with flight following was a piece of cake. The rest of the trip was at 8500'. The RV is a great airplane for such traveling, TAS was 165-170 knots all day burning 10 gph. Fuel stop planning requires an advance phone call to make sure the place is alive and breathing. I dropped in at Wichita Riverside and the place was like an abandoned ghost town, that after reading all the services available in a flight guide. I had enough gas to fly on to another airport but it was irritating.

Great scenes along the route including the crater and a lot of very colored rock in Arizona.

Tomorrow is rest and recuperation and more planning for a launch to Oregon on Wednesday morning.

Fast, Slow and fun ...Kent Byerley

Thursday morning (Turkey day) I check with my wife about any task that I needed to do and after being told that she had it all in hand (I love that woman), I headed to the airport.
This was the first day in about three weeks that I had some spare time and the weather was OK for VFR flight.

Winds were light and the overcast was about 3500 feet.

Up I go into the wild gray yonder.

Leveled off at 2500 ft and decided that I would head West. I reduced power to 20" 2300 RPM, leaned out. After all I wasn't going anywhere, so might as well save some gas.

I was cursing at about 130 kts and started to notice that I was not going where the nose was pointed. I glance down at the winds information on my AFS 3500 and the winds were out of the South at about 50 kts.

That got me to thinking about the 'how fast can you go' thread that was start this last year.

So I turned South and reduced power, pulled into a steep climb and was soon seeing 40 kts GS.

I put the nose back down and turned to the North, I was soon up to 175 kts.
That is not enough, so I brought my power back up to 25" and 2690 RPM.

I quickly was making 201 kts GS.

I love this plane almost as much as my wife, but don't tell her, as I want to get some of that good food she is making right now.

Good argument for a run up ...Tom Valenzia (RV-8) happened to me yesterday. As I ran up the power during a run-up check, my forward baggage compartment door lifted open. I did do a pre-flight walkaround and checked the door. Usually, with just light hand pressure if the door is not locked it will easily open. Next time, I'll stick the key in the door and use the key as a lift handle to check that the door is closed and locked.

I lucked out. The airport bums just installed two field cameras on top of a hangar wired to a 42 inch LCD TV located in our designated libation area. No one was saved me from refrig re-stocking duties. Note: "Libation Area"....a designated area utilized for therapeutic treatment of arthritic elbows.

Totally Off Topic


Mon, Nov 28, 2011.  1214z
  Good morning!  Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  Didn't get to do any flying the past four days (driving back and forth to the Moms and too windy Sat/Sun), so I'm looking at the weather for a lunch flight this week!  Been on the surface too long for my tastes.
  We're in the last few days of the 2011 pledge drive - currently sitting at 76% of what was donated last year.  I think my family might be the only one on the planet that depends solely on the financial success of an RV-only website, so a very special thanks to those who honor our yearly donation request.  I do know I try my best to create a pleasing, civil atmosphere - not the easiest of tasks with nearly 15,000 pilots in the same room!  Opinionated pilots?!?!  Shocking!!! ;^)
  I made a promise to myself years ago to never put a single email in one inbox or card in one mailbox asking for money.  Ever.  Just a short, tasteful note up here each November.  Those that support this small business, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
  I am truly, truly thankful.
   (contactThoughts on Safety

From World Airshow News ...nov/dec edition

Racing Speeds: 2007-2011: posts by Bob Axsom

RV-3  RV-4  RV-6A  RV-7A  RV-8A  RV-9A  RV-10

In The Shop....

VAF Family
I'm coming back!

Well, after almost 3 years of flying the A-10 in Germany (and Afghanistan and Libya), I'll be heading back to the States in April. About 4 years ago, I sold my partially completed RV-8 wing kit prior to moving to Germany. Well, I've decided I am going to start building again once I get re-established in Tucson.

Since I have been out of the loop for the past few years, what has changed? Anything new out there that has been a game changer since 2008 (barring the economy!)?

Thanks and I can't wait to get my hands dirty again!

Jay Fredricksen N469JF
RV-8 Wings!!!! #82561
Tucson, AZ

Outstanding Young Eagle Video

Check out this great video George Ford from the Kelso, WA EAA 1111 group put together. It looks like this group of Young Eagles had a blast and had something cool to show their classmates.


Flight Around Mt. Baker ...Steve Rush

As Mike Rhodes has already pointed out, a couple of weeks ago (11/19/11 to be exact) saw perfect conditions for flying right up to the mountains of the Northwest. Here is another video a little further north around Mt. Baker.


Play date with an RV-7 ...Darren Scarlett

I recently bought a Drift Stealth HD 170 camera. I've seen some beautiful videos that were filmed with this camera. I then attempted to teach myself video editing on iMovies.

Here's my first attempt. Constructive criticisms welcomed...

[ed. Wouldn't let me embed it due to music restrictions.  You'll have to click on the link. dr]

Flight around Mt. Hood ...Mike Rhodes

It is unusual to get a beautiful day with calm conditions around our big mountains in the PNW. Friday was one of them. Check it out here...

[ed. Wouldn't let me embed it due to music restrictions.  You'll have to click on the link. dr]

VAF Forum Milestone:  Half A Million Posts
           ...yesterday around 10am.  Less than a day later it's 300 more!

A movement from the bowels of my shop

Starting to relocate to the hangar. Over the last few weeks, I took the flaps and fuel tanks to the hangar. With those items removed from the wing assemblies, I could fit the wing panels into my truck. It took two trips but it was a non event. Help from SWMBO was crucial.

Crossing my fingers to move the fuselage before the end of 2011.
Bill Pendergrass
RV-7A: SB 90% done 90% to go

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.
Have you seen SteinAir's Revamped Website?

Totally Off Topic

10 minutes of your workday ...Stephen Humphrey find.


Wed, Nov 23, 2011.  1242z
  Happy Wednesday!  There is a slight chance I will push out a Thursday edition, but please don't hold me to it.  Same thing on Friday.  I would imagine a lot of you are traveling or visiting with family most of those days.
  Wishing you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
   (contactThoughts on Safety


"Woof, meow and gobble gobble.  You got Wi-Fi out here?"

N713DR 1st Flight ...Dennis Roberts

After 6 years of building from a slow build kit, RV Super-7 N713DR Made it's 1st flight Friday, Nov 18, 2011. Flight went absolutely perfect! Made the best landing I have EVER made in ANY airplane! She's equipped with a Lycoming IO 540. Dynon Skyview 10" PFD, Auto Pilot w/ Alt Hold, Mode S Transponder with Traffic Displayed on PFD, Garmin SL40 com, Garmin GMA 240 Audio Panel, Prewired for Future Garmin 430W Nav/Com, Custom Interior from Classic Aero Designs. (pictures and videos)

First Flight ...Rick Morse

N514ST, RV12 kit number 110 flew today. No issues and I think I'm really going to enjoy this plane. Builders, keep on building!

● Welcome

Parafield to Murray Bridge with a new Contour underwing mount ...Mark Newton  720pHD and full screen looks sweet

I built an underwing tiedown hardpoint mount for a Contour-GPS camera out of a scrap of rectangular-section steel, some 3/8" threaded rod, various nuts, and a few squirts of loctite.

I took it out for a spin on Sunday to see how it'd go.

It's in 720p. There's substantially less wing in the shot in the 1080p narrower-angle view, but the scenery on that flight was nowhere near as attractive ;-)


Camera Mount for above video

In The Shop....
Come on Folks... Attaching the Elevator correctly is NOT that difficult!
Walt Aronow (A&P)

Why is it that so many folks can't seem to get this right, it's so simple but I find it incorrect so often its amazing

Today during a condition inspection, on a nicely built 8, I find all the elevator attach bolts loose (rod end to hinge), as soon as I find this I know what's coming... no or incorrect spacing on the center support bearing. Sure enough when I tightened all the bolts down so the rod end bearings can actually act like bearings rather than bushings, the elevator is locked up tight. Loosen the center bearing and voila the elevator comes back to life (actually because the bearings had not been acting as bearings for so long it took lots of lube and working them back an forth to free them up).

Then I check to see what was used for spacers and guess what, none there, nata, zippo... no spacers at all, not even a single lowly washer!

So now I am tasked with making the correct size spacers for the center bearing, not an easy task at this point unless I also want to remove the rudder (which by the way all those bolts were loose too and same situation with frozen bearings).

The process is simple when installing the elevator:
1) Tighten up all the elevator attach points except the center bearing, Hinge bolts SHALL NOT be loose! Elevators should move freely.
2) Make the correct (exact) size spacers out of tubing or whatever you prefer for both sides of the center bearing (they will be different sizes).
3) Install spacers made in step 2 and tighten down center bolt, elevators should remain free just like they were in step 1.
If the elevator binds up return to step 2. Do not loosen hinge bolts in order to free up elevator!

I literally find this condition on 75% or more of the aircraft I inspect.

It seems that when folks find things binding their answer is to just loosen up the bolts

Rod end bolt SHALL be tight (torqued) so that the bearing can actually work as a bearing.

Thanks for your cooperation ;^)

Building (planes) is bad for your lawn ...Brian Unrein

I have been putting off doing some yard work for awhile now because I'm always building. When I finally got around to raking some leaves from the front yard I was amazed how bad I let it get. I pulled away 4 huge piles and could have got 1 more but I had some fairings that needed attention

Gotta finish the plane quick while the neighbors are still impressed that we're building a plane

Just thought I would share for a laugh since I'm sure many of you find yourself in the same position.

Totally Off Topic

William Doxfords and Sons...these engines eat our RV engines for breakfast.
    ....Matt Burch sent me this

Tue, Nov 22, 2011.  1213z    (contactThoughts on Safety

N810VK flies from the nest! ...Kent Stitt

On Sat, 19 Nov 11 at 0948 at KPHF in Virginia, N810VK took flight on its maiden flight with me at the controls. She flew great with no squawks! It took 8.5 years to get here but I wouldn't trade the building experience for anything. I enjoyed almost every minute of it. My face still hurts from the "RV Grin!"

Thanks to everyone who helped me realize my dream, especially my family and the support of EAA Chapter 339 and Chapter 156 and of course this outstanding website! Now to finish the testing and get it painted!


N619KB takes flight! ...Kevin Behrent

After 13+ years of on/off building, N619KB took off for it's first flight on Sunday, November 20th @ 9am. The flight lasted for about 28 minutes and everything functioned as expected with no issues to report. It was was a joy to fly, smooth, and appears not to pull to either side. Landing was a breeze.

I want to specially thank my friend Marv Scott (Tech counselor, Tech Advisor, all around guru) for his help and encouragement to finish the project and all the members of EAA chapter 326 with their support and harassment to motivate me on.

Special thanks to my wife and kids who supported me all these years.

I'll post more specifics on the flight later today. The entire flight was well documented. I had a Drift HD camera in the cockpit recording video/audio (you get to hear me talk to myself ), inflight video from the chase plane, and video from the ground on the takeoff and landing. I'll post a mix of those later after I've had a chance to process them and figure out how to put them up on youtube.
Kevin Behrent
Puget Sound, WA
RV-9A (Flying!)

From the Factory...

RV-10 Rudder Gust Lock ...Greg Hale

I had a problem concerning the need for a sturdy rudder control lock for my airplane when parked over night. I have seen a lot of ideas and had even incorporated them on my airplane, but I still wasn't satisfied. I thought I would share a simple control lock that should secure the rudder in strong winds.  more (RV-10 Forum)

What are these two baffling holes used for? nothing? (RV-7)

Q: We're almost done with the baffles now, and like on our first -7, we again where "baffled by the baffles". I'm glad we have that behind us!

But I'm wondering what the two holes (on on each side) of the baffles are for?  I can't recall those where on the first bafflekit we installed.  That kit was bought from Vans in 2006 and had no holes like these I think?

Anyone know what these are for?  If nothing, guess we can rivet a cover over them?

A:  They make it easy to pass a ratchet extension through the baffles so you can easily get a socket on the spark plugs without having to distort the baffles or use a U-joint adapter.

If you got the baffle kit from Vans, you should have a couple of bolts with large washer to close them up. That way you can easily remove them to do the plugs. I seem to recall it being shown either on the plans or in the instructions, maybe some of the B&W photos.

The screw and washer didn't completely seal the hole on my baffles and I used the screw, washer and locknut that the plans stated. I took some scrap and made some shims to seal the hole better. I made one piece fit inside the hole and made an oversize piece to fit inside the baffles to seal the hole completely.

I don't fly an rv but do have a lycoming engine and adapted vans O320 baffle kit for my O235. In regard to the access holes for the socket wrench I installed a small piece of .032 aluminum, wide enough to cover the hole and approx 1.5 times the height of the hole and I attached it with a pulled rivet at the bottom. It seals the hole and the single rivet acts as a hinge, so I can push it aside to slip the socket in. Works great.

In The Shop....
How do I fix this?

VAF Family
A Reply in the 'Relationships Between Buyers and Builders' Thread ...I thought it spoke highly of this community.

I am the third owner of the RV6 I purchased. The original builder was beyond helpful in my decision to purchase the aircraft. He had planned on keeping the aircraft forever but circumstances changed and he sold it to a pilot in Virginia who flew it for 2 years until he sadly passed away. I purchased it from his widow and have kept in contact with the original builder. It may yet also end up back with him when he retires again and I find a perfect RV8 or Rocket. He has spent many hours on the phone helping me understand the aircraft when he had no obligation at all to do so. He will certainly get the first chance to purchase the aircraft if the time comes to sell it and I will reduce the purchase price for him by the value of the time he has given me and I expect will continue to give.


...sent in my RV7 tail kit order form today.

Considering I've been lurking here for years, it's been long enough.

Rick Greer

Ongoing Maintenance Issues
Broken Alternator Shroud ...DanH

Has anyone seen this before? Plane Power fine but the cooling shroud appears to have vibrated to death.

I'll check the ring gear sheave for out-of-round. Beyond that thought I am at this moment clueless.

Totally Off Topic

F-35B Ship Suitability Testing it at 720pHD and full screen

The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant completed ship suitability testing aboard the USS WASP (LHD-1) off the coast of Virginia in October 2011. Combined, F-35B test aircraft BF-2 and BF-4 accomplished 72 short takeoffs and 72 vertical landings during the three-week testing period


Mon, Nov 21, 2011.  1230z
Good morning!  Please excuse this ex-BU grad smiling online a bit.  You might wonder why I'm leading with a photo of my TV screen taken Saturday night.  It took 21 tries, but my Bears finally beat OU, denying them their shot at the national title in the process.  Won it with 8 seconds on the clock.  RG3 is somewhere there in the middle.  One of the best games in Baylor history, if not the best.  I was getting phone calls at 11pm, and my voice still hurts from yelling it up.  Game recap w/video.
  Go Bears!  Hope you had a great weekend, too! 
 (contactThoughts on Safety

Challenge Accepted!

Weather is just too good ...Simon Paul (the Netherlands)

Central European weather has been under the influence of high pressure for weeks, great flying weather. We try to have as much fun as legally possible...

These pictures were taken somewhere over Germany on our way back home to Maastricht...

Welcome Trio Avionics ...their ad on front page and in forums.

Done but not finished ...Wayne Moyer (Dayton, OH)

Assuming that no homebuilt is ever finished. 120241/143WM has been painted with .. See the modifications sticky for stab tips, chart box, and additional instrumentation photos.  more


Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
Panel Update
...John 'Bubblehead' Dalman

Here's the original panel as built in 2001 and still in the plane when I bought it in September 2007. A pretty standard 6-pack of flight instruments and Vans engine instruments.

I upgraded it to a GRT EIS 4000 in late 2008 and have been flying it about 100 hours per year since then.

In June 2011 my vacuum pump went out, the T&B was flakey and the DG was precessing badly so I had plenty of excuses to upgrade the panel. (Guess what dear, I'm going to save us $1500 by spending $8000 (or $9000)! Great deal!

Of course, the electrical wiring was not all that well done by the original builder, so I thought I'd tackle that too. If I'm going to straighten up some wires maybe I should rewire to AeroElectric drawing Z11. And that old tubing from the pitot-static system needs to get replaced because it is getting brittle. Perhaps I should install the SafeAir1 system!

And of course I need an access panel in the forward baggage compartment. And I want to get all the switches up where I can see them instead of down on the right hand sub-panel.

Can you say "Mission Creep?"

Of course, all those days over 100F in Texas this summer and fall put the whole thing on hold for 3 months. Lots of missed flying but man it was just too hot to tackle something this big.

But now it's almost done. I need to wire up the sensors forward of the firewall, and get a new W&B and pitot-static check. Everything electrical is working fine though including the beautiful Skyview!

Oh - did I mention we installed pitch and roll autopilot servos! Talk about being in tall cotton!

IFR Proficiency
One for you, One for me, ... ifr ...Scott/Tanya Card

Today the weather wasn't perfect for the aviator looking for clear blue skies, however it was perfect for us. We were in search of actual IMC and a pocket full of approaches to reinforce our absolute sharpness. We found just that with an added fun factor of plenty of turbulence. Nothing major, just enough to keep you very honest since if you let go of the airplane for a second, it definitely gets tossed. After fueling, we don't leave any fuel behind even on this kind of little hop, we got a local IFR out of our home airport; "Georgetown ground, 4822C would like a local IFR round-robin via Temple for multiple approaches. We are type RV9/G, two souls, 4hrs. fuel with information india ready to taxi from the pumps." ... "4822C is cleared to the Georgetown airport via radar vectors, direct Temple, direct. Climb maintain 3000', expect 5000' in 10 minutes, departure on 119.0, squawk 1234." and off we went. more

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.
● From Tina's Pilot Shop ...$49 with free shipping (usa)

From Trio Avionics

The gang at Trio sent me this...

Totally Off Topic

Rockwell Collins Head-up Guidance (HGS) with Synthetic Vision ...someday in our RVs.  Betcha.  720pHD and full screen looks best.


Fri, Nov 18, 2011.  1206z
  TGIF!  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!
   (contactThoughts on Safety

An RV-8 + a photo + an aviation museum = a story to share ...Luke in Trento, Italy.

[ed. One of the best charity hat sightings I've ever seen, Luke!  dr]

From the Factory FB page...

New Food in N. Texas ...airport restaurant at Hicks (T67) now open for breakfast and lunch!  Sat image of location.

Hicks is now back in the rotation!  Taxi to the restaurant.  Christie and Gene in the photo below.  Great friends and wonderful food.  Today is the official opening - might turn into a mini fly-in if the weather is good Saturday.

How far is your airport

Work Shmork.  VAF on...

From 'papamike'...

In The Shop....
Two-part Urethane Foam

I'm a recent convert to two-part urethane foam. Found I can get a far more accurate male form, more quickly, by sanding with shaped tools.

Unlike clay, the foam doesn't always need to be removed if it's not convenient to do so. For these wheel pants only the leg got a release tape. The fairing glass was laid up over the foam without a release layer, bonding directly to the wheel pant skin in a single step. Most of the foam was removed later, from the inside.

VAF Family
Roger Aspegren, RV-9A Subie Powered  ...Rest in Peace.

(from Larry Geiger)
Roger Aspegren passed away today, peacefully, after a short battle with cancer. Roger built an exceptional RV- 9a with a Subaru engine. It ran perfectly and is a testimate to his skills as a builder. Roger was also building an RV-12 at the time of his diagnosis.

Roger worked tirelessly for the EAA Chapter 569 and helped with and organized the once a month breakfast at Crete Airport, Nebraska the 3rd Sat of the month for years, where he would make omelets to order and always had a smile on his face. At 6'6" he was hard to miss. He served all of the EAA chapter offices several times and was the "go to guy" to get things organized. He attended OSH and SnF many times. Just an all around good guy to know.

Roger will be missed by a lot of people both in aviation and with the local Kiwanis chapter.
He was one of a kind and died way too young.

Blue skies and tail winds, as you head west Roger. Your work is just starting.

A good argument for tiedowns.


Planning Weight and Balance Now Available for Piston Aircraft (free) ...
no RV yet, but I'm working on 'em.

We're happy to announce that now offers a Weight and Balance program for piston aircraft. You can set your default information and then quickly and accurately determine your aircraft's weight and balance information for your flight. We currently have a limited number of popular aircraft available but will rapidly be expanding to include most piston single and multi-engine aircraft.

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.

From Lightspeed...

Totally Off Topic

Miles Away - Earth from space
Watch this full screen and at 1080pHD.  Thanks to Don Hull for sending me the link.  Great use of 10min!

Thu, Nov 17, 2011.  1200z     (contactThoughts on Safety

4,000 Hours ...Ed DArcy

RV-12 Status ...Mark Fabiano (Gulfport, MS)

"We started our RV-12 project May 12th, 2011."


West Coast Ravens on Myth Busters

(Tim Cone)  The West Coast Ravens recently had the opportunity to do some formation flying that was more interesting than normal.

We were asked to do some flying for the television show Myth Busters. We've had to keep quiet about the show due to contractual obligations, but we can now announce that the episode airs on November 30th.

There were a bunch of VAF'ers involved in this shoot.

Tune in.

Discovery Channel November 30th. Segment title is "Flock Formation"

(Steve Smith)  I do science advising for Mythbusters on various episodes, and they came to use some of our facilities for this program. You'll see me talking with the gang at our water channel.

I've seen the rough cut - the RV formation footage is fantastic. Don't miss it.

In The Shop....
RV-3- Electric Flap Actuator ...Paul Dye

Although the stock RV-3 design has simple and effective manual flaps, we wanted to do something different with the interior that wouldn’t really leave room for the flap handle. We weren’t exactly pioneering electric flaps on a -3….that had already been done by a number of people, including Randy Lervold. Randy used a custom version of the “standard” linear actuator that Van’s sells, but when we tried to go that route, the response we got back from the supplier was “we won’t supply to aviation projects”. Hmmm….ok, I guess we’ll just go to the internet and search for “DC linear Actuators”.

Here we go – only about 100,000 hits or so. And this model seems to be pretty standard in the 12 volt world with 120 lbs capacity and whatever stroke length you want (as long as it is even inches) . The unit has internal limit switches that turn off the motor at end of travel, which is very convenient. Unfortunately, for our project, we needed a stroke distance in between an even number of inches, so we had to rig an external “up” stop micro switch – something pretty standard in many RV’s. The actuator cost about $100 – a bargain, and quite rugged.  (more)

Eagle's Nest RV-12 update ...Bob Kelly

The RV-12 is really taking shape, and everything is going along pretty much on schedule. Yesterday we attached the tailcone, so everyone wants to hop in and start making airplane noises. Not until I have had my chance! The workmanship is great, and it has been inspected by three guys from our FSDO. They were quite happy with it, and sent a very nice letter of congratulations on the project.

Friends of RV-1 are acquiring the finished product. I couldn't be happier about that! It will be used for flight instruction for other kids in building programs like ours. Speaking of that, we are actively talking to at least two other groups about starting RV-12s.

Most of you know about out website, but I am listing it again for those who may have missed it. Also, in conjunction with Friends of RV-1 and other projects, we have launched a monthly newsletter. It is just to keep everyone up on what is going on with student projects, and who is getting involved. If you would like to subscribe, PM me you e-mail address.

We were "kicked out" of our classroom last week. Seems the school realized that the growing airplane would have to move to the airport, due to the size of the classroom doors. They moved us down the hall to a room with a large overhead door. How's that for cooperation? If any of you want to stop by and see our project, you are more than welcome.

re: training in -12:  "They can (do it) if the training is being given away to kids for free by a non-profit organization that owns the airplane."

Quality Time At Work...

A new thing spotlighted on the front page - people goofing on at work on this site.  Send 'em in....I'll spotlight ya (anonymously if you prefer).  Weirder the office setting the better.

VAF.  Goof off at work.... 

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
Beringer RV-10 Wheel @ Vans Now. Wow!

Wow, I am truly surprised by this one. I just talked to Gus at Vans and they are now stocking the Beringer RV10 Nose Wheel. This is the new wheel, axle, tubeless tire. Beringer lists them at $649 and Gus is saying their price is $475 and they have a few in stock already.

Now, I just got done working up the price of our current "favorite" approach for replacing the nose wheel.

Matco Front Axle $71.40
Matco Front Wheel (WHLNW511.25) $130.50
500-5 "LEAKGUARD" BUTYL Tube $49.95
500-5 6 PLY AERO CLASSIC Tire $88.95

This is $340.83 so the Beringer is only $135 more than the Matco/Desser Option. The List value for the stock nose wheel, tube, axle/spacers is $283.46, so the beringer is only $190 more than the stock approach now too.

from The RV-10 Forum

Totally Off Topic

Well there's your problem....(Miles Bowen find).

Wed, Nov 16, 2011.  1207z
  Haven't put gas in the plane in the past three weeks since most of the recent flights were local and only .2hr or .3hr in duration - stretching them gas shekels.  Yesterday I finally needed gas, and used the opportunity to practice IFR buttonology on the RNAV 17 LPV practice approach into nearby KLUD.  Stitched 3D panorama discussed below.  Think you'll like it.
  Have a nice hump day.
   (contactThoughts on Safety

First Flight N468RV

On Sunday morning, 11/13/2011, after 7 and a half years of building N468RVand I "slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter silvered wings".  I was ready, the plane was ready and the day was ready. It all came together rather nicely.

The plane flew just like Van said it would! Simply amazing.

A few notes:

About getting ready....
Two weeks ago I flew out to Vernonia, Oregon for transition training with Mike Seager. I would consider this a must for any and all pilots. Note that Vans provides the plane below cost to make this training very affordable.

A few comments about the plane....
TMX O360 from Mattituck, Hartzel BF CS, Dual pmags, Vetterman exhaust with mufflers, Todd's canopy, Grove gear, Bell tail wheel, Dual Dynons, SL30, Trio AP, AFS AOA, AVMAP Gizmo docking station, PS Intercom, Flightline Interior seats (heated) and side panels, Hooker 5 point harness.
1120 pounds empty weight

First landing
I bought a case of bottled water that weight ~38 pounds and strapped it into the rear baggage compartment.
First landing was a three pointer, no wind condition and was a greaser.  Second landing was in a 7kt direct crosswind and was not a greaser.

Only a few minor squawks, the plane is everything I dreamed about and more.

First flight would never have happened were it not for the support of the RV community, family and good friends.

Fly safe,


Stiched 3D Panorama View From The RV

iPhone app called 'Photosynth'.  Free.  Test shot in the plane yesterday at lunch - had six minutes to kill until the next waypoint.  Click on the picture and use your mouse to pan around (hold down left button, move mouse).

Don't forget to make it full screen!

Hoping some virtual hangar and shop tours will start popping up shortly in this thread. ;^). 

Photosynth to pan around.

Supporting images:  Ground track yesterday and better quality
panel shot.  KLUD RNAV 17 LPV and back 52F

From the Factory

"Starting tomorrow morning (today), Vans is implementing a new phone system that should get callers to the correct destination more quickly than the rather elderly system we've been using.

As an added bonus, we are now able to get rid of the truly atrocious radio station that assailed those on hold. Now callers will be able to listen to targeted propaganda, read in dulcet tones by voice-over professionals (not that grumpy guy who did the old Van's video.)

Well be learning the new system, too, so please be patient with us if we seem like were fumbling around with something we don't fully understand. We are. But it will all be worth it - soon."

VAF Family
From the Factory FB page...

Steve and Jackie Grasley came all the way from Marathon Key, Florida to visit us here at the Mother Ship this week. After taking a demo ride with Daryl Sahnow, they ended up leaving here with an RV-7A Empennage and QB kit! (Note the RV Grin...) We're sure that they are going to have a great time in the future exploring the Florida Keys from a different perspective...

Falcon Flight @ KPBF

I had the opportunity to attend the formation clinic in Pine Bluff AR put on by Falcon Flight to demo some Nflightcams. Here is the link of the performance shot from the number 4 ship with the intercom audio, thought it might be a interesting post for the website.

Jake Landis


Spar Verdict ...fifth owner of abused kit does it right.

Hello all,

A lot has happened since my last post. There has been a flurry of visits and consultations as to the current condition and prognosis for this historically abused kit. This kit has gotten a lot of attention spanning from a spotlighted article in the RVATOR to fierce condemnation on this website. As the fifth owner, yes that’s right the fifth, I decided to put the issue on the Vans Air Force alter (forum) for discussion and help deciding the fate of this project. If you remember, there was quite a heated, but mixed, debate and lots of input and opinions cast down; most notably concerning previous eyes-on testimonials, a grinded down spar inside a fully assembled wing and, the mystery of ‘why’ the spar was grinded down in the first place. This was caveat with countless red flags implying more issues not yet discovered. Needless to say it was a veritable nightmare of poor workmanship and safety violations. Many of you suggested the recycling bin, others didn’t fully agree but were not far from disagreeing. I think we all agreed that it needed to stop being passed on to naive buyers. Even the engineers at Vans were beginning to feel this kit was haunted, because it kept surfacing with a new owner and they were stuck rehashing its history . So I decided to let everyone know that the buck stops here (with me) on this kit. If it can’t be fixed safely I would bite the bullet and personally scrap the kit. But first, I said I wanted to get this thing physically inspected by proper eyes before I made the final decision. We left the conversation there with my promise to return with what I found.

As a result of the forum and ensuing contacts, a lot of people came and offered their support and advice: Below is a list of the eyes and hands that ‘physically’ inspected this kit. I haven’t used names because I didn’t ask for permission to put them here so you’ll just have to trust me on this.

Inspectors (visual/hands-on)
1 FAA Airframe inspector
1 A Colorado PE in the aerospace field who's career has been spent doing structural analysis
1 Professional RV builder and coach
4 Experienced RV builders (2 on their second kit[RV 10, 7] and 2 nearly completed first kits [RV 10, 9A]
3 Phone consults with supporting pictures with Vans engineer.  (

Ongoing Maintenance Issues
Condition Inspection Item - Radiator Hose Abrasion

Working on the Condition Inspection. See the photo. The hose from the top of the radiator to the reservoir is resting on the engine mount and abrading. You can see the rubber smudges on the mount. Maybe a mil is worn on the underside of the radiator line.

Some type of clamp will be required to hold the hose in position. Ideas?

Totally Off Topic

Tue, Nov 15, 2011.  1208z   (contactThoughts on Safety

Repainted ...Bruce Sacks RV-9

I just completed repainting most of my -9, "Catalina" after 600 hrs of flying. I used an olive drab urethane base and clear coat. There is still a bunch of polishing and buffing to do but I am pleased with the results so far.

The gray on the underside is from the original paint job I had a pro do about 5 years ago. I repainted all the olive drab myself, and the gray on the cowling and wheel pants and fairings. I removed all the parts I could and painted them in my garage, then painted the rest of the plane in my hangar.

I used an HVLP system which works very well once you get your gun dialed in. Spraying the clear can be a pain because you can't be too thin or too thick and I only spayed one coat of clear because I didn't want to add too much weight. The N-number was painted using a mask stencil and the other graphics are vinyl decals

TruTrak Auto Trim ...Ivan Kristensen RV-10 install

I recently installed the TruTrak Auto Trim module. Now after having had several flights with this new system I can report to the group that this is a well worth while feature to add to an already great Auto Pilot.

The installation and ground testing was pretty straight forward. The only thing I would caution you about is to make sure that the dip switch is set to move the elevator trim tabs in the correct direction.

from: The RV-10 Forum

Update on the Van's 2012 Calendars ...from the factory FB page

"We got a little ahead of ourselves last Friday... The calendar announcement was made a day before we entered the calendar into our parts order system. That's fixed and we can accept calendar orders through our Parts Dept now, or through the webstore beginning Tuesday 11/15. Prices remain the same.

Calendars are scheduled to arrive here about Nov. 23, give or take a day. They will start shipping the day they arrive."

In The Shop....
 Empennage finished, wings on indefinite hold ...David Sandefur

One day before ordering the wings, my 4 year old dachshund blew out her back. She's 3 hours away in Dallas recovering from a $3,500 surgery. Wings or my little buddy? It didn't take long to decide. The wings can wait!

RV-3- G3X Calibration Complete! ...Paul Dye

In hindsight, I am not sure why I have been secretly dreading the calibration process for our G3X system, but the great news is we accomplished it all without a hitch today. A few things probably contributed to my worry about this phase of the installation project. First, the instructions are incredibly detailed, hinting that the process is complex and requires lots of steps to go absolutely perfect. Well, it is true that they are long – but once you get down to actually executing them, they really aren’t all that complicated! And, in fact, you can pretty much do without the manual in the cockpit – everything you need to know is explained on screen as the software steps you through the process. The manual has lots of pages because it has screen shot after screen shot to walk you through – this is good stuff to read in advance to prepare, but once you get into it, no sweat – just read the screen and do what it says! (more)

VAF Family
Hat Sighting

Event News
RV-1 Tailwheel & Rudder Repairs / Bob Avery & Jay Pratt

Shoulder surgery

just had rotator cuff and torn ligament surgery. am i looking at a big deal reportimg this to the faa or just tell my examiner at next medical. will be in a sling for the next 7 weeks. one finger and one arm typing is not fun

  Some Replies:

I had a bone spur removed from my right shoulder 2-3 years ago and reported it on my next medical. I withheld myself from acting as PIC until I was confident I was up to the rigors of flight again.

Your surgery sounds more serious than mine - I was only in a sling for a month or so

I have had both shoulders operated on and had no issues with the examiner

Shoulder surgery is painful (unless you get an interscalene nerve block) but it would not revoke your medical. It would be reportable at your next medical. In the interim, you would just self certify return to flying status

Get a letter from your doctor, which states everything has mended fine.......after it's mended of course. Then take that in, for the next medical. It helped, when I reported my mended broken bones & operations, from a motorcycle accident

I've had back surgery, and both shoulders (rotator cuff) surgery. Just reported them when I went in for the 3rd class & never had any issues

Totally Off Topic

Well, there's your problem...

Mon, Nov 14, 2011.  1212z
  Good morning!  Spent the weekend on the road travelling to see family in southern Texas - early Thanksgiving.  No flying and just the iPad to monitor the site and email.  Rolled back into town late Sunday afternoon and spent the evening watching DVR-recorded football and, more importantly, F. Alonzo getting a Ferrari podium finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Formula 1) - both son and me screaming and yelling at the TV.  There for a minute or two it looked like he had a shot at the win.  One more race in the '11 season (Nov 27), then TV gets dull again until next March.  DVRs rock.
  Hope you had a nice weekend and that your Monday goes swell.
   (contactThoughts on Safety

Van's 2012 Calendar Now Available ...from the factory FB page.

"Van's 2012 Calendar is at the printers. We're taking orders at $7.00 each, $6.00 if you buy eight or more. We're printing 2500 and when they're gone, they're gone."

1000+ Hours of RV Fun ...Joe Portman

Been meaning to post this. N131RV crossed 1000 hours on the hobbs on a trip to visit my mother a few days ago. Been quite the ride, this plane and I have been from Vegas to HiltonHead and quite a few places in between.

In The Shop....
● Ray Doerr Updated RV-10 Panel

New Glass In (multiple pictures)...Geoff

from: The RV-10 Forums

VAF Family
Bill Gunn's Cake

(Stu McCurdy) Here's a pic of the cake for Bill Gunn's rehearsal dinner cake, modeled after his RV-4, in true RV fashion.

Junior Lives! ...Paul Dye

This afternoon, “Junior” (our RV-3 project) shook the airpark with his mighty voice for the first time – the Mattituck TMXIO-320 roared to life with just a few turns of the prop after sitting pickled for a year. No doubt the two P-Mags had something to do with the quick start, and the Whirlwind 151 prop was incredibly smooth. With Louise on fire watch on the left and friend Ernie on the look-out from the right, I hit the starter to end the building phase and begin the final inspection phase – the next several weeks will be a time for detailed examination of every critical part with lots of little finishing bits here and there. We took a bunch of pictures and some video, but it will take a couple of days to figure out how to get those moving pictures out of the camera and put them somewhere viewable. Here’s a post-exercise grin! (more)

Passed Checkride (Jason Smith)

On Thursday November 10th the skies got a a little busier. After a two hour oral and 1.6 flight hours I was handed my Private Pilot Certificate. My journey began after I won a scholarship from AEA (Aircraft Electronics Association) for $3000.00. It was a nice little jump start and a great program for employees of businesses that are members of AEA. I want to thank my wife for encouraging me along the way and helping me study. What a difference support makes.

I've been on the lookout for a -4 or -6 kit that's been started and abandoned. I've got more time than funds, and renting to build my experience will continue. So if you are aware of such a project let me know.

Jason Smith
Aerotronics Inc.
Experimental Division

Vibration while taxiing

Occasionally, when taxing with idle RPM there is a bad vibration in my RV-7. The airplane has 70 hours on it and has never done this before. It usually occurs after a wheel landing, and after the tail wheel is down and rolling along. And the whole plane keeps vibrating while taxiing in. An increase in speed usually increases the vibration. If I come to a stop and start taxing again, there isn’t a vibration until there’s a buildup in speed. No problems in flight at any RPM or any speed down to stall. Is this a wheel or brake issue? Please help!

  Some Replies:

Check the tires for flat spots or damage

Raise the tail with a stand (so the tailwheel has no weight on it) and check your tailwheel for wear. If all of that checks out, put the tail back on the ground and make sure that the pivot point is straight. If it is angled back from top to bottom (negative castor), that could very well be your problem. This common if the tailspring becomes weak or bent.
I have dealt with this problem with my other plane that has a Scott tailwheel.
If you can, post a photo taken from the side of the tailwheel with weight on it

I have a vibration also. I thought it was at a certain RPM and my engine was shaking badly. Turns out it is my right gear has a shimmy. A friend was taxiing behind me and noticed my right wheel pant shook badly

I would bet you have a shimmy in one or both landing gear legs. Van's recommends reinforcing each gear leg with a wood brace wrapped to the rod landing gear leg with fiberglass cloth & resin. I used some oak door trim cut down & have no shimmy at all but I have seen many other RV's without the braces that do shimmy. This could be your problem as well.

If it happens pretty consistently, the best trouble shooting procedure is to have someone watch you make a landing. If it is one of the main gear legs or the tail wheel, inducing the vibration, someone viewing from the outside will be able to see it.

If you do find that it is one of the main gear legs, do not go to this extreme until you have tried the simple things first.

I have seen severe cases of this problem totally solved just by installing new tires and balancing the wheel/tire before installing it on the airplane.
If you do discover it is one of the gear legs, and the tires still have a lot of life in them, start with checking the roundness of the tires (jack up one side and turn the tire with some type of indicator positioned next to the tire surface). The tire should be nearly perfectly round as long as the airplane hasn't been sitting unmoved for very long. If the tires are round, then check the balance. My bet is that one of these (or a combination of the two) is causing your problem. Be sure to report back what you find.

Check the bearing pre load.

Vans has used a thin walled steel spacer inboard of the bearing, and it is prone to wear.

First thing after you get the cotter pin out of the wheel mounting nut, try tightening the nut, and see if it takes up any slack.

Good luck

First check your tire inflation. If i put too much in mine (+38 psi) i get shimmy. With less pressure, no problem

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
Tail Art.....KevinH


Fri, Nov 11, 2011.  1200z
Wishing you a happy, safe, and RV filled weekend.
   Delta Romeo, LLC.  RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

U.S. Veterans...

...from a grateful citizen.
(picture credit)

Chapter Five of the 'Go West' Series

Aggressor departs for Florida and now there are three. We head for the West Coast. We originally wanted to go to Friday harbor; However, rainy weather changes our plans. We take in a tour of the Vans factory and camp at the Gold Beach airport. We continue to work our way South to arrive at Columbia, California where we tour the old Gold rush town a short walk from the airport.

Many thanks for the encouraging comments. Gerry, sorry about Dancing with the Stars, that is something my wife would never miss! Pound on that RV4 .... they are great planes.

Something I Use That You May Find Helpful ...d.reeves

You may already know about this particular software package, but in case you don't let me introduce you to ‘ScreenHunter’.  I have been using it for years to grab pictures for the front page of this website. It will let you capture images to your computer's clipboard or to a file using a name that is auto-generated. The free version will do everything that I am talking about below, but I opted to buy the Pro version so I could have a few more options (like auto-sizing and putting a 3D border around pics).  Stuff I would have to do manually using the free version.

So like I said, I've been using it every day for many years to build the daily edition of VAF, but recently I started using it to help me with the final push of studying for the IFR written test. As you may already be aware, you can find downloads on the Internet of all 900+ possible questions and answers.  A huge number of the questions refer to figures and legends in a supplement book (available online here for free).  It is a huge time suck to have to go to that supplement during the study process.  Several of the questions will have you look at more than one figure.  A few days back I got the idea to use the ScreenHunter application to insert JUST the part of the figures that were relevant to the question being asked and put them right below the question/answer.

What I did:

First I went to Mike Stewart's website and downloaded the spreadsheet with just the questions and answers.  Look for instrumenttestwronganswersremoved.xls.  You can get these in many locations online (Google "download IFR Knowledge Test questions"), I just stumbled upon Mike's site first.

Second, I threw this document into Microsoft Word - one column for questions and one column for answers.

Third, I downloaded the instrument test supplement from to my computer.  Then opened it.

Fourth, I used the ScreenHunter application to grab just the part of the figures and legends that are referenced in the various questions, then pasted those in that particular line of the Microsoft Word document.  Maybe insert an iPhone pic of the E6-B solving a problem the first time that type comes up (with notations).  Might even dictate in some solution notes using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  The red text in the first screenshot below was dictated, not typed.

Tip:  If viewing a PDF file, like the supplement document, on a PC, you can press Ctrl-Shift-+ to rotate it around to 'up' before you capture the part you want.

It is shocking just how much time I have wasted flipping back and forth in that supplement looking for a particular frequency, or intersection, or decision height, etc that a questioned pointed to.

I know I could go to a weekend cram course and walk out with a passing grade.  I've opted for plan B - slowly absorbed the material in a way where I can hopefully remember it more than 15 minutes after the test.  The whole point is to be a safer, more knowledgeable IFR pilot, right?  The passenger in the back seat that died in this crash a couple of weeks ago was a friend of mine.  I sat next to him for six years at my last job.  My age.  Two kids.  Too much at stake to 'just pass' the test.  Someday you might not get a second chance at an approach.  I want to own this test, and remember it.

Below are some sample pages of the Microsoft Word document I am building - captured using ScreenHunter.  It is currently 175 pages in length.  Questions on the left, answers on the right.

Lastly, if I can be assured that it is 100% legal by some lawyer type reading this (who owns those questions?), I will save this entire Microsoft Word document when done as a PDF file and host it on my website so anyone can use it if they want to. 

Manual Update: RV-12 ...from the factory

VAF Family
● Thanks...

Advertiser's Corner
...sent in by the advertisers of this site.
● From Tina's Pilot Shop 52F.  VAF Specials.

Totally Off Topic

Well there's your problem.

Thu, Nov 10, 2011.  1209z    Delta Romeo, LLC.    RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Videos From Fly-in at Langley Park (Australia) ....Finley Atherton

Here are some videos of the fly-in at Langley Park. Watch in full screen and at the highest resolution if possible.

Acknowledgement and appreciation to those who made these excellent videos and put them on You Tube especially to John Clements for the outstanding first video which shows his flight from Serpentine to Langley Park.

Ted Chang's Adventure Continues... 1 2 3 4

RV-6 Next to the Spruce Goose

In The Shop....
RV-10 Progress
...builder unknown

● Petit Jean Fun Facts

"Had 8 airplanes on the ground at 11:00 AM when we drove up with the cookers and trailers.  By 5:30 PM we had 36 airplanes and 70+ folks for the BBQ at the Boathouse Friday night.  They came from AR, KY, NE, KS, OK, MO, TX, LA, IN, and a couple of others. 

Had 51 airplanes on the ground around 2 o'clock Saturday and no idea how many flew through for the day.

Weather pushed about half out late Saturday but we still had 20 on the ramp camping Saturday night for the SteakOut on the Tarmac :-)

Cooked 100 hamburgers, 162 hot dogs, 49 sirloin steaks prox, 60 large baked potatoes, 3 gallons of baked beans.  Drank/gave away 187 bottles of water, couple of 30 paks of oat/barley soda, and some brown water :-)

A good time was had by all!

Bill Schlatterer

Had to try it ...Gary Palinkas

Loss of braking

Twice last summer I lost braking from the right brake on my RV6 after landing and then a long taxi. The brake returned to normal after sitting for a few hours. Reservoir level was normal and there were no leaks. ?????

This week I drained the brake line and a teaspoon of water came out before the red hydraulic fluid showed up. I have no idea how water would get into the brake system. Probably condensation or rain water got into the reservoir and finally settled all the way to the brakes were it got hot enough to turn to vapor.

Any ideas?

No matter how or where the water got in, it is heavier than the mineral oil brake fluid, so it settled into the lowest part of the brake system, your caliper. When the brakes got hot, the water boiled. Steam is a compressible gas. That's not what you want for brakes. That is why you lost braking only to have it return, after the brake fluid cooled.

Another possibility, is that your caliper O-ring is failing. Have you made landings on a wet runway or wet grass? If so, the caliper O-ring may have allowed the water to get in. Our aircraft calipers do not have an outer dust seal, as our cars and trucks have. Part of the dust seal's job is to protect the inner seal [only seal on your RV caliper] from debris and water.

I would suggest that you remove the caliper. Pop the piston out [using compressed air] and inspect the caliper bore. It may be corroded from the water [if it sat in the caliper for any length of time] Hone or polish out any corrosion you find in the caliper bore. If the piston has rust pits on it's circumference, it must be replaced. Pay attention to how the piston comes out. There is a right way [O-ring groove inboard] and a wrong way [O-ring groove outboard] to install the caliper piston in it's bore. I can supply photos of how it goes in, if needed.

Replace your caliper O-rings [size 2-218] with O-rings made of Viton. Viton has a much higher resistance to heat, than the stock Nitrile rubber O-rings.

Automotive brake fluids [except silicone DOT5] are designed to absorb any moisture which might get in the system. Wet automotive brake fluid's performance will be degraded, but will not become a "steam" engine, as your caliper did. This feature of automotive brake fluids helps protect the brake hydraulic system parts from corrosion, providing that the fluid is changed on time [every 2 years] to prevent the water build up from becoming excessive

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
Wingtip Camera Mount ...Ted Chang

Ongoing Maintenance Issues
RV-10 cabin door struts

Van's sells 2 different cabin door lift struts; the "regular" (that come with the kit) and the "heavy duty", that are an option.  The installed struts that I have are black, with no markings on them... how can I tell which I have?  These will no longer hold up the door... it is a bit heavier than normal as it is completely upholstered, including a lightweight fiberglass shell.  Anybody have a suggestion as to which strut (or any other strut, for that matter) would be correct?

  Some Replies:

The struts come with a typical vinyl label on them when new, but I took mine off for personal appearance preference.

If your current struts aren't holding the door up, I would guess that you have the standard struts.

The one caution is that if you have the heavy duty struts without the additional weight, like you do, they pop the door pretty up pretty darn quick. Don't let passengers operate the door without prior instruction. Once you add a pound or so, they'll operate like the traditional struts do

I also had the std strut which no longer hold up the doors. The heavy duty struts work well and are a direct replacement

I just replaced mine also, but I used the standard ones. The old ones just lost their lift. I was upgrading the door receivers with the billet ones and heavy duty pins. Much better system now

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.

Planting the Seed ...Advanced Flight Systems

From Avionics Systems, LLC

We recently designed and built a special bracket to mount the Garmin GSU-73 AHRS for the G3X system. We originally made these for our in-house panel building and retrofit business, but just finished a second producton run and have decided to offer them for sale to builders also. I think it may be useful to some readers of VAF. Thanks Doug, hope all is well.


David Buckwalter
Avionics Systems, LLC

● From Beringer...

Totally Off Topic

Words fail me...

Wed, Nov 9, 2011.  1206z  
    Delta Romeo, LLC. (new email address)  RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety


RV Art ...Tobin Basford

My wife took this photo last year in Suffolk VA while I was paying for gas. She was just messing around, but I thought it turned out fairly nice especially with the blue sky. I thought it looked more like art rather than just another photo of our plane.

RV-9A Vacation Underway ...Ted Chang

Pics/PIREPs/Videos:  1 2 3 4 5 6                  

Document- Turning your RV-4 into a fastback ...Axel

This document should help you if you are interested in turning your RV-4 into a fastback.

RVs Flying Alongside an A-4C ...oldy but a goody.  Dave Dollarhide

"This video was taken from my RV-4 and Pat Lee is in the red/white RV-7 flying wing on the A-4C. The A-4 was holding 150kts so we could keep up. You can see that his aerodynamic slats are part way down due to the speed. The airshow portion, flying with the F-4U, was taken two days back at NAS Jacksonville. Enjoy!"


89SE big move!

Today, N89SE was brought forth to see the sun, strapped to an 18ft flatbed trailer, and driven the the airport for the first time  Most of the folks that noticed seemed to be young, mostly boys, but some girls too. Adults in their daily hustle didn't react as much.

I towed it nose forward, a fairly complete wingless plane.  It was great fun, although I was nervous after having read a few disaster stories of wrecked planes taking the first ride to the airport.

Luckily, it fit in the hangar with the Bellanca Cruisemaster.  Tomorrow, I'll bring up the wings, and the Bellanca will have to move away for a while
Scott Emery
EAA 668340, chapter 326
RV-8 N89SE nearly done, slowed by a 1958 Bellanca Cruisemaster.
RV-9 started by wife & son, now back on track after 6 year delay.

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
Panel upgrade with AFS 5500s screens ...Geoff Combs RV-10

After I got wind of the new Advanced flight systems 5500 and 5600 Screens I decided to upgrade from my 4500S screens. I love my 4500's and expect I will love these even more. I have just received my new 5500 screens and have been prepping the airplane for them. I decided to due all the changes at my annual and everything fell into place. I am also adding a TCW battery backup for the new screens, new cat whisker Nav antenna and ADS/B from Navworxs. Attached are some pictures of the upgrades.
I will post more pictures and hopefully will be flying them this weekend. (continue)

otally Off Topic

Tue, Nov 8, 2011.  1215z
   Delta Romeo, LLC. (new email address)  RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Veterans Day Perspective 2011 ...Chris Watson

I love to fly and I love freedom. A long time ago I fought a war that no one will look back on with any nostalgia. Our war was "cold". We flew every day and the power and capabilities we demonstrated right up against the Iron Curtain were directly responsible for that curtain coming down. Never fired a shot.

Several decades later on a bright, sunny South Texas Saturday afternoon I was basking in some of that freedom roaring around the Texas skies in my new toy. A tiny RV-4 emblazoned in the livery honoring much higher horsepowered steeds that helped free the same European continent that I saddled up every day to defend back in the 1980s. Just like in my childhood fantasies, my mount wore blue and white "Stars and Bars" on the fuselage and the stark black and white "Invasion Stripes" that denoted Allied aircraft in the chaos that filled the skies leading up to and following the D-Day Invasion at Normandy. Exhausted from my demanding morning missions, I put down at a field well behind the lines of the national war for the best BBQ in the world, the Llano airport.

That's when I met him.

Nothing will jolt you from your fog of playing fighter pilot for the day (even if you really used to be one) or humble you quite as much as sticking your hand out (not only the trait of a true Texan, but also of any true fighter pilot) and shaking hands unknowingly with a true WWII fighter pilot hero. I was introduced to Joe Randerson, a 90 year old P-51 pilot who was interested in my mock Mustang gleaming in the sun on the Llano tarmac. He is 90, stands straight as a post oak, can remember bases, towns and flying units from his tours in the Mediterranean Theater. We started talking about flying fighters. I only said enough to bait him into starting another story. It was gold, every word of it.

Take some time this week as we head into the "official" Veterans Day and read Joe's story. He's the veteran I am thinking most about this year. Without Joe and all the other fighter pilots that fought that "Hot" war in the same squadrons that I later fought the cold one in, I would not have had the opportunity to serve my country in the air nor be free to blast around the Texas skies as freely as I do today.
Chris Watson
RV-4 (purchased flying)
Mooney 201 (also purchased flying)
Previous F-16 pilot (repo'd by govt upon my retirement)


(and because the 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon*' principle applies to VAF also, the following by Jerry Morris...)

He makes me VERY proud

Chris, it really makes me proud when I read about my Uncle Joe. I've been listening in awe to his stories for many years and I'm always amazed at his great attitude. He is indeed an inspiration. He's still riding his motorcycle daily at 90 years young.

What's more, when the family gathers for holidays and other important events, his older brother, Luther Randerson (94 and still playing golf) and he get to talking and their stories are absolutely amazing. Uncle Luther was also a fighter pilot in WWII. He was a group commander when he left the service after the war, a Lt.Col. and he flew every single engine fighter in the Army Air Corp inventory and many of the transports and bombers. I laugh at the way they talk about getting checked out in a new airplane. He tells one story where a General walked into his office one time and said he needed a ride to another base. Uncle Luther told him that the only available plane was a B25 and he had never flown one. The General looked at him and said "You're a pilot aren't you?", so off they went.

We need to remember and appreciate these heros who were just boys when they went to war. Gone for over 3 years before winning the war and being released from service.

I'm so very fortunate to be able to talk and listen to these men, and I'm extremely proud of both of them.

I've taken Uncle Joe flying with me and he still has the hands and feet of a young fighter pilot. Absolutely amazing.

Thanks for asking us all to remember our veterans and hero's.
Jerry "Widget" Morris
RV 8, N8JL

More Petit Jean Photos


Dang, I really though it would come in lighter than that. Its a pretty basic -3, no autopilot or electric trims, .5lb mgl comm, lightweight stewart system paint and a Catto prop. I guess my engine is probably a few pounds heavier than most as it has 0-360 case with provisions for a cs prop. And the inverted oil and ancient king transponder dont help, but dang. The seat and roll bar probably account for 10 pounds and my oil cooler is 30% larger than stock, but dang.

Flying B Ranch, ID - RV-4 landing ...Dave Dollarhide

Flyrod has been publishing chapters of his cool movie, Incredible Journy, in this section of the forum. That was from the 2010 trip to the ID/MT moutains by the "Dreamland Squadron"....RV fliers from Florida and the Denver area. Great work, Flyrod!!!!!

This short clip taken from my RV-4 is from June 2011, which was our 6th summer out west. From the popular Johnson Creek, ID, Big Creek Lodge was the place for breakfast, but in 2008, it burned down a few weeks after we left. The Flying B Ranch, ID, a member only resort, began allowing non-members to land and have breakfast. They request you call first...think this number on Airnav is good. .

Five of us RV types dropped in for their hospitality one morning. Flying in the backcountry can be interesting for RV types, so we're always looking for suitable strips to accomodate our small tires and low wings. The Flying B has grown in their runway and we didn't have to worry about rocks dinging the airplanes. The runway was mowed, but only to a 40' width or so. Be sure you stay on the centerline. ...not that difficult of an approach and landing, but may not be suitable for an inexperienced pilot.


Totally Off Topic

Mon, Nov 7, 2011.  1229z
  Good morning!  Looking at the pics it seems Petit Jean was a stellar success.  Bill Schlatterer and friends - event planners extraordinaire!
  We're starting the 2nd week of the yearly honor system pledge drive.  Thanks as always.
  My Baylor Bears won, as did the Cowboys, but the highlight for me was the season finale for our Highland Village Saints flag football team.  Tate and friends won the last regular season game with 15 seconds to go.  Lost the playoff (playing kids a grade higher).  Audrey's regional choir performance filled up the rest of the weekend.  Would have loved to attend Petit Jean, but always family first.
  Hope you had a great weekend and that Monday goes swell.
   Delta Romeo, LLC. (new email address)
             RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Petit Jean, AR Gathering Pictures and PIREPs

 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4  - 5 - 6 - 7

John Eldridge photo

Barney and May!! ...Tony Kelly Pilots N Paws Mission

2 young labs needed a lift from a North Carolina kill shelter to a loving rescue in New Hampshire. Another Pilots N Paws pilot emailed me and I agreed to do the third and final leg of the mission. Rick, Gary and myself were the 3 pilots. It went perfectly smooth. Joy was the sender and Lisa was the receiver. Everyone did a great job. All I had to do was show up and fly.  more

In The Shop....
● Legs!

Painted! ....Jim Wright

I couldn't wait until I finished putting it back together. I think I'm more excited now than when I made the first flight.
A big thanks to Jeff Orear for letting me steal his paint scheme to use on my plane and also to Bill Coleman for the beautiful paint job.

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
Custom Seats in the RV-4

The reason the seat are "unique" is because my wife and I sat down on some xmas paper (my wife's idea) and we traced our body shape. After that we cut the foam and with the help of Mike, ended up with some nice seats. I can give you Mike's contact info if you like. I am not sure what he would charge you.

Totally Off Topic

Fri, Nov 4, 2011.  1120z
  TGIF!  Racing this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway.  N. TX RV for the TFR.  Wishing you a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!
   Delta Romeo, LLC. (new email address)
             RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Deja Vu ...from the factory FB page

"We recently saw an interesting article in the LAA magazine from the UK about RV-9A builder/pilot Martin Creasey and his daughter, Hannah, who trained for her PPL in her dad's airplane on their local grass strip. Especially riveting reading for anyone thinking of turning their progeny loose in their RV..."

Hannah and Martin Creasey

Deja Vu

In the warm spring month of April in 2010, two events occurred that were to significantly change flying training.

The first, on April 9th, perhaps to conform to European practice, was the news that the CAA would, from then on, permit flying training from unlicensed aerodromes. The second, following on its heels, six days later, was formal clarification from the LAA that owners of permit-to-fly aircraft, (including home-built aircraft) and “direct family members of the owner’s immediate family”, could receive remunerated flying training in their own aircraft.

With grateful thanks to the CAA and the LAA, my daughter Hannah began training for her PPL in the very same month, in my home-built Vans RV9A. This was highly significant for me, because I was almost the last to gain a PPL before Crowfield Airfield in Suffolk was forced to suspend training. Now, 15 years later, Hannah has her PPL, having learned at Crowfield. It may be that Hannah is the first female PPL to have learned to fly at an unlicensed airfield in a home-built aircraft. It was also strangely coincidental when we later compared notes that we had both flown solo for the first time after 14 hours and 55 minutes! How’s that for coincidence?

Richard Van Grunsven, the designer of the Vans range of kit-built aircraft had in mind the possibility of ab-initio training in the RV9A because of its benign handling, safe stall characteristics and slow landing speed. Others have doubted the wisdom of students flying an aircraft that is not certified, and the Vans has a reputation for a delicate nose-wheel.

Having flown the 9A almost exclusively on grass runways for nearly 300 hours, I did not think the nose wheel to be at all delicate. It has had to put up with some pretty rough crosswind landings from me, by no means the most expert pilot. And so it proved, for Hannah completed the course without a seriously anxious moment. She had been wisely taught that to go around off a poor approach, or to immediately go around after a bounce, was good airmanship, and indeed, her first solo was a go-around with a subsequent excellent landing. Imagine how that felt to her watching father! I reassured her that my anxiety was entirely for my beautiful aircraft!

So what is the Vans RV9A like as a training aircraft? What is it like to learn in an aircraft that climbs at well over 1000 feet per minute, and finds it difficult to cruise below 120 knots? What is it like to find crosswind, downwind, base and final coming up in half the time the venerable Cessna takes? For that matter, what is it like to navigate at least 50% faster than many training aircraft? And most of all, an aircraft that is extremely reluctant to descend without serious energy management? Here, I pass the pen to Hannah for a first hand report:


In The Shop....
1626 lbs., EWCG= 7.7" aft of LE ...Wayne Gillispie RV-10

L=630, R= 636, N= 360. Full ifr panel, 925/680 bat in back, cloth seats, crow harn, painted int, unpainted ext, ba prop, d4a5 eng & 10 qt oil. First flight in a few weeks.
Wayne Gillispie, A&P 05/93, PP 10/08

Welcome New Sponsors!

In the forums and
on the front page
In the 'Older VAF
News' section

● N248DF Engine Hung ...'Rhino889' in the forums

I tried following the directions and mount the top then lift the engine higher. This was not even close and not working. I had read on the forum about mounting the bottom first, then lifting higher... this worked perfect. Of course I had to undo my previous effort. The Dyno mounting took a bit of head scratching!

RV-1 Photos - A walk with VAN down memory lane

Totally Off Topic

Virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel...hold mouse button down and move around.  Zoomable (+/- buttons lower left corner)

Thu, Nov 3, 2011.  1102z  
           Delta Romeo, LLC.  (new email address)  RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Dawn patrol ...Brent Owens

"Love flying early in the morning..."

4,000 ...from the factory Facebook page

In January, 2001, we managed to pull off a little winter surprise. We hadn´t let anybody know we were working on a replacement for the RV-6, so, when photos on our website and the article in the first 2001 issue of the RVator announced the RV-7, there was a lot of interest and reaction.

I wrote a "pilot report" about my first flights in the airplane:

So what´s it like to fly? I got the chance to find out when I became the world´s second RV-7 pilot. Two days after Van made the first flight and had done some preliminary testing, I threw myself in front of the airplane, put on my best Whimpering Golden Retriever Puppy look, and begged abjectly. To my amazement it worked (it never does at home) and Van handed me the key.

And so forth.

That same airplane, now on a tricycle gear, is still in our hangar. We´ve used it introduce thousands of people to the joys of flying an RV-7. It´s done its job. Today we sold RV-7 empennage kit number FOUR THOUSAND. Mr. Steve Whittall of New Hope, Pennsylvania, has joined the RV fold.

We hope he enjoys the airplane as much as we´ve enjoyed the original.


In The Shop....
● Phil.

Two project pic's in one photo!!

The official nose weight arrives late next week. I'll post an update photo once it's firmly attached.

RV-3 fuse jig status ...Randy Richmond photos

The bare-bones open cockpit RV-3B fuselage jig is just about done in the Richmond Aircraft hangar over at 52F.  Discovered the wonderful 'Simpson Strong Hurricane Tie H1 G90' at Lowes yesterday during lunch (link).  $.87 each.   It made finishing this thing up easier. 



This mornings all the parts I have assembled for the last five and a half year officially became an airplane after inspection by the authorities.
First the inspector checked the paperwork ; weight and balance, maintenance schedule, engine, propeller and radio release papers. He then inspected the airframe, found a missing screw on a wing root fairing and two caps that need to be safetywired on the engine.
He finally declared the we have a plane.
First flight will be planned once I get the release papers from the authorities, usually it takes between one and two weeks.

Here is a video of the first engine start last saturday :
RV-7A #72588
VAF #484
Final assembly

● From the factory Facebook page...

Personal milestone ...Trevor Fleming (RV-7)

Well today was a bit of a milestone. 350 hours into the build and the wings are ready to come off of the stands. Finally done with fuel tanks, and staring at 2 wings that seem to have not changed in the last 2 months. Flaps and ailerons are done, just need to do the braces, brackets, and control tubes and it's on to the fuselage that has been begging to be opened.

The Thrill

Totally Off Topic

'e-volo' must be German for "sitting in the prop arc"


Wed, Nov 2, 2011.  1115z
  Yesterday before lunch I scooted out to the airport for a quick hop around the patch. The winds are forecast to be quite breezy today so I wanted to get my flying fix in while I could. There were a few other RVs in the air when I arrived - my idea was fairly unoriginal it seems.
  Threw on some Nomex, sat down in the seat and waited for the oil to get to 100° Fahrenheit.  Launched and proceeded direct VFR to ARGUE waypoint so I could shoot the practice 16L ILS at Alliance Airport.  Just trying to keep the 'buttonology' fresh in the old noodle between the 430W, G3X and GX Pilot.  Loaded and activated the approach, got the autopilot all coupled up and happy, and watched the scoreboard on the EFIS change over as it captured the glideslope.  Turned off the autopilot at minimums, went missed and turned back towards 52F.  It's pretty cool in the profile elevation section of the picture below just how rock solid that autopilot couples to the ILS.
  I wasn't happy with the first pattern and landing, so I did it a second time.  Got better.  Back home on the keyboard shortly thereafter playing catch up.  .3 hrs logged, and a lot of it at a lower, fuel sipping setting.  Fairly cost-effective...
  Below is a screen grab from later in the day when I threw some of the track data into Google Earth.
  Hope you have a nice Wednesday.
   Delta Romeo, LLC.  (new email address)
             RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

(click to enlarge)


RV-'J'3 Memories ...Eric Sandifer

It's great seeing a bit of resurgence in RV-3 interest. There have been some outstanding examples created in the last few years, and of course Paul's will be among them. I think the RV-3 is THE best all-around pure sport airplane available. I understand wanting to maximize the "perfection" in terms of performance and capability, and but there must be a tradeoff, and I'd imagine it would involve giving up a certain intangible light and unencumbered feel to the airplane.

I have only flown one RV-3, the one I owned for 5 yrs. It was built just like the prototype - original wing spar, fuselage tank, J-3 simple panel, no electrics, wood prop, and a 125 hp O-290G. Empty weight was 690 lbs. It had a climb prop, and was not as fast as most RV-3's, but it had such lightness to it, and was so much fun to throw around that it's still the airplane I have in my head as the holy grail of sportplane handling (this from a current Pitts owner). It was so light that I could fly a power off final in calm conditions (when I was light on fuel) at 60 mph and easily get in and out of 1000' backyard strips with little effort. It felt so light on the ground, during takeoff/landing, and in the air, that it reminded me of a J-3 flown just had that light feathery feel to it on the runway and in ground effect when taking off and landing.

I know that horsepower and a CS prop will compensate for a lot of added weight, but to imagine an airplane as small as the RV-3 carrying around an extra 200 lbs would make it a totally different feeling airplane...especially on and just above the ground - especially when slowing to a landing. That feathery lightness is why the feel of a J-3 is so prized, even though you can evolve this airframe into a 1200 lb. Super Cub with 180 hp. I guess I'm just a purist, don't need the "stuff", and truly enjoy flying the J-3 more than the 180 hp heavy Super Cub. I just wonder if a 900 lb. weight would significantly diminish the essence of the RV-3. I know Van is a purist as well, but he lists the min. empty weight of the RV-4 as 905 lbs. But I don't know, the light J-3 and 180 Super Cub are both fine airplanes, I'm sure...just very different - maybe just like various RV-3s.

But I totally get going in the opposite direction, and that there are pilots who use airplanes in more complex ways than I do. Except for light acro, my RV-3 pretty much had the same mission as a J-3. For those who like/need the added capability and "stuff", I applaud the ingenuity in the evolution of the design. No matter how you build it, you'll have a helluva plane.

I still have this image in my head of my version of a "modernized" RV-3...B wing, O-320, but still having a J-3 simple panel, no electrics, and maybe a Catto prop...with weight truly kept to an absolute minimum, just like the prototype. I think 725 lbs. would be attainable with the new engine and spar. That would be something.

[ed. This post rang true with me, as I'm building one of those 'J3 RVs' Eric speaks of....and mine being open cockpit should shave off some REAL weight!  dr]

Getting very, very, very close to 7,500.

Nov / Dec Issue of FAA Safety ...40 pages

RV-6 vs Beech Baron in ramp fight ...Pierre Smith post

We landed in Beaufort, S.C. a while back and saw this Baron on the losing end of a runaway -6!  The FBO told me that the lady pilot (student?) was in the process of moving the -6 to a tiedown before arriving thunderstorms. It was parked two spaces to the right of the Baron and went to full throttle at startup, making most of a left 180 before chopping the Baron up. Amazing what a WOT 160 Lyc can do! Notice the exposed rocker shafts and prop missing big chunks!

Never stand in front of an airplane during its startup!

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
RV-3- Oh Chute!

The last major purchase that Louise and I made for the RV-3 project was something that we ordered at Oshkosh – a Micro Softie parachute from Paraphernalia. We told them they could take their time delivering it - no use having to repack it before we flew - so it just came the other day. Dan spent lots of time with us at the show, helping us select a pack that fit the both of us comfortably, and the Micro was the winner for both of us. We wanted it to be comfortable enough to use as a seat cushion all the time (not that we will always have it in, but we didn’t want to NOT use it due to comfort issues), and replacing the Oregon Aero back cushion is not an easy challenge. We had him supply it with the optional sheepskin pad (to match our regular seat cushion, and then we asked the ultimate question – could the harness be purple to match our Crow five-point?

Well, you can see the results! It is far more comfortable than my old National 360, fits exactly where the regular seat back goes, and is packed so that it adds a little wedge down at the bottom, making the seating position in the -3 slightly more reclined. And yup – he even got the purple webbing! (continue)

Totally Off Topic

Tue, Nov 1, 2011.  1121z   Delta Romeo, LLC.   RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

First Flight N198RV Venice, Fl ...Gary Palinkas

Well, finally after having my Airworthiness Certificate issued, 12 days up North for personal business and getting things ready, RV-6 N198RV has broken free from Mother Earth's gravity. She flew beautifully and as advertised. No wheel pants and leg gear fairings until new engine is broken in.

1400+ hours of construction in approx. 14 years

I flew for 1/2 hour even though I had said to myself 20 minutes but I just didn't want to land yet

NO squawks other than a slight oil run from the oil temp probe base.  (continue)

Jeff Ackerman:  RV-12 Story

RVs and Monday Night Football

Here is a Caution when Drilling the Axel Nut Cotter Pin Hole

I just wanted to share with you my experience with making the hole in the gear leg axel for the cotter pin that secures the axel nut. Once you have the axel nut tightened just enough to stop any wheel play and yet the wheel rolls freely, the instructions tell you to use a center punch, through a hole in the axel nut, to mark the axel for drilling the cotter pin hole. I followed the instructions but after center punching, the axel nut that was easy to put on was now very hard to turn. To make a long story short, I had to go buy a 1.5"/38mm deep socket to use with a breaker bar to remove the nut. All the while, I was thinking that the axel threads were being damaged and I was going to have to replace my gear leg. I did get the nut off and inspection of the axel threads showed that the punch deformed one adjacent thread enough to cause the problem. When I drilled the hole to size, that thread was removed but I had to lightly use a deburring bit to remove the holes jagged edges before I could get the axel nut back on the axel past the hole. Several times of exercising the nut on the threads resulted in easy turning of the axel nut. For the other axel nut,instead of using the center punch, I lightly drilled the axel with a #30 bit to mark the axel for drilling. This worked much better then using the center punch method. The axel nut did need some massaging to get free nut threading but nothing like the other axel nut.

  Some Replies:

Jack it looks like first axle was for EDUCATION and second one for RECREATION fits the purpose of experimenting.

On mine I marked the spot with torque seal, then removed the nut, dremeled the spot threads free and flat, then center punched and drilled. Cleaned the other end using dremel too. Looked like too many operations but it was easy and enjoyable

It's easier to tighten the axelnut in place and just use your angle drill to drill through the hole in the nut and through the axle.
Put a pin in the hole to steady it and repeat on the opposite side of the nut

What we did: Tightened the nut on the axle and measured the angle from the gear leg to the flat of the nut where we wanted the cotter pin (forward and up), marking the flat. Then we removed the axle nut, counting the number of full revolutions. To be sure, we re-tightened and recounted a couple of times. Then we removed the wheel and put the nut back in place, counting and then adjusting until the marked flat was at the angle we had previously measured.

Now to the Bridgeport. Clamp the leg in place and position the tool so it goes cleanly through the hole in the nut. Then remove the nut and cut the hole in the gear leg. Use a file to clean up the threads, replace the nut, turn the leg over to position it to cut the other side, and repeat.

I used an angle drill on the -6A and went through several bit and got an ugly hole, taking a long time to get it done. The mill was cheaper and more accurate, but even a drill press would be better than hand drilling these. You can apply more pressure and control the speed better. It's even better if you have a cutting bit rather than a drill, because they are too long and can wander slightly.

Another thing, I notice that there is potential interference between the cotter pin and the valve stem on my RV-10 mains. I will be counter-sinking the holes in the nut slightly to allow the cotter pin to fit closer; we also enlarged the cotter pin holes very slightly to allow an easy slide fit (but not loose).


In The Shop....
Critique my flaring technique

Flight Testing
First Flight- Lessons learned

Now that the euphoria has lessened a bit on the first flight, I thought I should share a few things here.

1: We kept the flight time to 20 minutes. Then down again and take stuff off to check for leaks, loose bits etc. This is IMPORTANT.

2: Yes, there was a leak NOT detected during ground run-ups, thus this post.

When the cowl was removed, there was a large run of oil on the lower cowl originating from somewhere at the front of the engine.
Hmm? Prop O-Ring? Front Crank seal? Doubtful but maybe....

I had done ground runs cycling the prop (about .5 hours on the Hobbs) and noticed no leaks anywhere firewall forward. I had one on my gascolater, but I tightened that up and all was OK.

The complacency set in at that point.

Now, the part I didnt know. Cycling the prop isnt really enough of an exercise to check the presurization of the oil return line on the governor.

I have an IO-360 A1B with a Hartzell constant speed prop and rear mounted governor. During baffle fabrication, the return line from the front of the engine back to the governor is removed and attached quite a few times.

I had not torqued the forward B-Nut properly. (And, I broke one of my own rules...the nut wasnt torque-seal marked....RED FLAG there!) It tuned out to be about a 3/4 quart lost for a 20 minute flight. Not good.

I missed it. I am posting this, so someone else doesnt miss it as well.

Chris Hepburn
Ottawa, ON

(Bob Axsom's reply)

No matter what age engine

The objectives of this flight were to prove that the airplane would fly and gross test the systems for operational defects, expose it to basic flight operations for post flight inspection with minimum exposure time and survive the experience. I had completed the transition training with Mike Seager and was confident that I could fly the airplane.

The RV-6A was powered by a brand new improperly timed LASAR ignition O-360-A1A ordered through Van's and drop shipped direct from Lycoming with it's test cell acceptance sheet. Lycoming supplied the engine with the LASAR ignition.

I test ran the engine and inspected everything as the first operational test threshold.

Next, I taxied the airplane by the hangar at Chino just sufficient to verify ground operations were correct and inspected the airplane. No fast taxi and no prolonged low speed engine operations.

Then I flew the airplane around the pattern one time to a full stop landing and taxied to the hangar removed the cowl and inspected the airplane. I taxied to 26R did the normal preflight checks and everything seemed OK (I did not have a method to detect the bad timing). I took the runway and announced to the tower that this was the initial flight. I applied power and the airplane accelerated down the runway and I rotated at approximately 65 kts and magic happened. I climbed straight and steady at around 90 kts - all was normal, so far so good. The next test was control in a turn which I completed in seconds in the right cross wind turn near the departure end of the runway. I turned to the downwind and leveled off at 1000 ft AGL. At the approach end of the runway I reduced the power, lowered the flaps and began an approach that would assure arrival on the runway if the engine stopped completely. I maintained an approach profile that would allow a margin above the stall without requiring power (but I would not hesitate to add power if I sensed the need) and landed normally. I taxied back to the hangar removed the cowl and performed the post flight inspection.

Finding the LASAR timing problem and solving it (Van's told me that since the engine was new from Lycoming with test cell paper, you can be sure the engine itself is OK) took a lot of time, study, money, coordination with manufacturers (Lycoming, Unison, the carbutetor company and Van's) and persistent work with new test equipment.

Several test flights later oil was observed on the bottom of the fuselage and I determined the oil cooler had a leak. There was a repair company in El Monte but the cost was more than I could buy a new oil cooler for from Aircraft Spruce so I went that way. During the repair I was using high temp RTV to seal around the baffle mount location and I wanted to avoid getting it in the oil lines so I installed them by hand for protection from contamination. Unfortunately, post work inspection did not reveal that I had not torqued one of the hoses. It went through the taxi, preflight checks, takeoff and climb to 2,000 ft before the oil was exhausted, the prop ran away and I had a problem. I managed to get the rpm back down to around 2,700 rpm with the throttle and get back to the runway. The engine seized on the landing roll and I had to get out and pull the plane off of the runway. An engine rebuild with a new crankshaft, prop inspection, a few weeks and several thousand dollars later I was ready to continue the test program.

I built the airplane with four fuel tanks, the two stock tanks and two 8.5 gallon tip tanks. During one of the later flights in the designated test area many miles south of the airport I was cruising along and the engine started to slow to a halt. I switched tanks and everything came back to normal. When I got back to Chino I found that in my plumbing I had connected the left main to the tip port and visa versa. That was a simple fix by reversing the two lines at the console ports but my systems weren't perfect "right out of the box" and it demonstrates that just because your airplane flies normally, you can't relax as you proceed through the test program.

Bob Axsom

● I love my commute!  ....James Bagley Jr. (RV-6A)

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