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December 30, 2016-January 2, 2017.   Issue No. 4,278. 
  One of the great pleasures of my life is the occasional note of encouragement attached to a donation or a 'Thank you for doing the site' from a well wisher who stops by the hangar while in town.  I have a pile of notes next to my desk where I keep them all - saved for over 15 years.  If you're having a bad day, let me tell you this; one minute spent thumbing through that pile can lift anyone's spirits <g>.  Those notes are 1) appreciated and 2) held on to.
  I was watching a YouTube video around 2am Thursday morning (my brain won't shut off at times) and came across one on why most zippers have "YKK' stamped on them.  YKK makes 90% of the zippers in the world - their largest factory in Georgia makes 7 million each day.  It mentioned the success of the company was due to their practicing what they call the 'Cycle of Goodness'.  Worded another way, "No one prospers unless they render benefit to others."  And that got me to thinking again why I'm glad this site has no 'members only' area, and doesn't restrict content from readers if they haven't sent in a donation.  I feel VAF 'renders benefit to others' as the YKK founder stated, and that if I keep on doing it I'll prosper (or at least be able to eek out a living).  It benefits the mothership (I think) and builders and pilots alike.  Everyone wins, and if enough like it I should be able to stay in business.
  Thank you for putting up with my 'pledge drive' this last month - I tried to not make it very intrusive.  If you donated, thank you for helping me and my family continue to run this American small business.  If you didn't, I hope you enjoy the site also, and that you pick up some nugget of information that makes the hobby more enjoyable and safe.
  Our outlook is positive and I don't have any reason to believe that the hobby and this site won't continue their 'Cycle of Goodness'.  It is an honor to call the many people I've met online here friend.  An absolute honor.
  God Bless you all and wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled 2017! 

Doug, Susie, Audrey, Tate Reeves (and Moondog)
Your grateful hosts.


Condition Inspection Hiccup: N617AR

Work continues reassembling the RV-6 after its yearly inspection.  I had hoped to get it all back together and flown this week, but there is a hiccup.  The Ameri-King Part No 450001 ELT has given up the ghost - failed the 'G' switch test.  Since there are ADs pointing at Ameri-King (link) along with the FAA Cease and Desist (link), I'm looking for a new ELT obviously.  Two steps forward, one step back ;^).

If anyone has a cheaper idea/solution, I'd love to hear from you.  If nobody chimes in over the next day or so, I'll go ahead and order an ACK E-04 online for $439.  Dangit.

Using my late father's tools to put in those hard-to-install
screws in the floorboard over on the far side.
Three extensions and a socket for a bit driver.
All tools here 40+ years old <g>.


Mothership (and me) Closed Next Monday

"We will be closed on Monday January 2, 2017 for New Year's holiday.  Phone, Fax, e-mail and Web Orders placed after 12PM noon (Pacific Time) on Friday, December 30th 2016 will be processed on Tuesday January 3rd, 2017"

I'm taking Monday off also.  I hope to sleep all day (and watch TV). 


Milestone: Gear ON ...pazmanyflyer

What’s a builder to do while waiting for an A&P to answer his call for assistance in building his engine? Install the landing gear of course!


Charity Cap Sighting ...ILikePike in Paris

related: About the cap


Welcome RV6grin (David Nicholas from Callahan, FL)

"..Hello fellow RVer's, I have been lurking long enough so it is time to jump in...am posting a pic of my pic of my first RV purchased this year."


Bulging Oil Doors ...Herman in Germany

After reading about bulging oil doors I decided to make mine out of .063 aluminum sheet. I massaged it to fit in the curvature of the cowling. The flange on the cowl are made with several layers of glass. One single Hartwell latch in the center. The glass flange got an aluminum insert where the Hartwell latch locks to avoid vibrating it through (picture is still without the insert). It might be on the heavy side but is very robust.


Progress pics of my cowl "speed" work ...rzbill

As with many of us on VAF, I am indebted to those that have gone before. Especially to the folks that are flying the speedier birds. These are pics of my work in trying to catch up.

Most recently, I installed a ring gear seal. Yet to fly it (waiting on weather) but it is all fitted and sanded into shape (sticky sandpaper on the ring gear for 2 minutes at 1000 rpm).  ...



December 29, 2016.   Issue No. 4,277. 

One of those flights ...Steve Melton 9A

"There was nothing significant about this flight. avg 50 kt tailwind, 600 miles, 21 gallons. the controller asks how the ride, I answered, smooth with chocolate cake. it was cool outside with a breeze at our destination and after shutdown my daughter said "let's sit here to warm", so we did."

[ed. St. Louis...where the VAF servers live. dr]


First Flights: Jay Pratt Reporting

"We got two new ones in the air in 2016.  01/02/2016. Jeff Reins RV8 N37HR.  And Bob Vosburgh N990BV."

(from Bob Vosburgh) On November 23, 2016 N990BV flew .3 hours for the first time. Nice and square, trimmed hands off with no issues. After six years of off-and-on work I upped the effort this past year and am very happy with the airplane.

The Superior XP IO-360 burned only a quarter quart of oil in the 5-hour break in, the Whirlwind 200RV functions smoothly. The panel is the nicest I've ever flown with G3X touch, GTN 625, GRT Mini for backup, AP as well as Grove Gear, EarthX battery, Aero LED lights and seats by DJ Lauritsen. Empty weight came in at 1066 lbs.

This panel blows away what we had in the F-111, AT-38 or F-16... although those were a bit more functional in a combat situation! I have more study and work to do to understand all the functionality.

My thanks to Jay Pratt, RV Central, Mike Gleason of Stein Aircraft and my friends Woody Hopler, Charlie Precourt, Don Shearer, Larry Kline and Don Johnson for their counsel.

With 10 hours on the airplane I'm starting a 20-card flight test program and look forward to a thorough shake down and POH. I still have some work to do on the fiberglas before she goes in for paint in February


Heat Box Cable ...cdeerinck

Hoping someone can help me out here. I contacted the mothership, but didn't get any joy, and they suggested I search VAF, which I did, but again no answer.

Here is the situation: QB RV-8, with In-flight adjustable pedals, with a planned IO-360 layout. The heat valve vent hole in the firewall came pre-cut from Vans, and I am following the plans per drawing OP-34.  ...


Little trouble with the hand squeezer ...RV7ForMe

I have been setting some rivets and the flush head rivets with the gun seem to turn out ok but the universal head with the squeezer suck! -4 and -5 seem to bend over. I understand this happens when I don't hold the squeezer straight. but I cant really figure them out. they pass the rivet checker in terms of with and height but they don't look very pretty.

How do I know when I need to drill out or not? Depending on the angle of the pictures some look terrible or just a little bend. HELP? Please?


Leap Second this NYE

Saw a notice on PPrune today about an upcoming "leap second" that will be introduced at 23:59:59Z this New Years Eve, and did a little looking into it.

While GPS reception should be unaffected during the event, the US Coast Guard is recommending that you have GPS receivers powered on for at least 30 minutes from 19/07/16 to 31/12/16 to ensure the almanac has been updated to account for the leap second. Apparently the GPS receivers are smart enough to account for it, but it needs to be told it is coming.

At least we now have an excuse to go flying! But honey, I have to fly, Homeland Security said so!


Ground Shot ...Md11av8r


Winter Flying the 8 is Good ...David-aviator

Flew twice recently and have the cabin heat situation nailed down good.

The final task was to seal the cabin air at the NACA inlet. Even with the eye ball thingies closed they leak cold air. Thought about a plug of sorts at the inlet but could not figure a way to keep it in place, so just taped the inlet closed with duct tape. Will remove when it warms up. Cabin now stays toasty warm.

Also noticed pulling airplane from hangar was difficult, I was either getting weak or something else was amiss.

Something was amiss - tire pressure.

Cold air really causes air molecules to contract. Even with stop leak tubes, pressure was down to 20 psi both tires.

Inflated to 45, my long time favorite pressure, and all was much better. Airplane came out of hangar easy.

Landing is getting routine, fly it down to 1 inch AGL, relax back pressure a tiny bit and its there. Have not had an embarrassing bounce in a long time, knock on wood. <g>



December 28, 2016.   Issue No. 4,276. 

Holiday flight ...Dvalcik video

Holiday flight before the snow storm in Maine today. I got out for an hour with temps 19 degrees overcast waiting for the snow. 4 layers; long sleeve, sweatshirt, flight suite, and jacket, (Toasty, but i dressed too much, half heater). Lakes are frozen and thickening up and should get some snow tonight. 


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

Shot shortly after coming home from the paint shop.  The picture was taken from the deck in front of the Wings of Carolina Flying Club at KTTA.


Milestone: Shop DONE ...scard

Well, it had to happen eventually. This build is Done!  A few weeks ago, Tanya proclaimed "I just want this thing to be done! How will we ever know when it is finally finished?" Hmm, I can fix that. Here is a picture of her Christmas gift that she got Christmas morning.  multiple pictures


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



December 27, 2016.   Issue No. 4,275. 
  Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and enjoyed time with family and friends!  Our Audrey got a monster bout of the flu four days ago, and she has bad asthma, so of course our plans adjusted accordingly and we rolled with the punches this year.  Christmas dinner?  Spaghetti and a Mr. Pibb <g>.  She's doing much better now.  Did you know you can buy a new nebulizer to replace your 15 yr old one at Walgreens at midnight on Christmas Eve?  I didn't know either.
  Thank you to those wonderful souls who decided on respiratory therapy as a career.  You are very much appreciated.  dr

First Flight: Scott Flandermeyer RV-10!

Thursday!  That has been my answer for the last two years to anyone who has asked the question "When is it going to fly?"

Well, Thursday Dec. 22nd, it took to the skies above Falcon Field in Peachtree City, GA. Airborne in typical RV fashion, it quickly climbed out behind the power of the CD-230. This engine is very smooth running in flight.  ...


Video Of My Last Flight with My Friend Darryl Hulsey ...Kelly Johnson 9A

[ed. Thank you for sharing this with us, Kelly.  Darryl seemed to be a really great person. dr]


First engine start ...Ray Eaker via Tom Swearengen

Just wanted to give a shout out to Ray Eaker of the Ridgeland (3J1) builders group (Raymo on VAF) for the first engine start on his RV7A. Converted IO-360, 180HP, AirFlow, 1 PMag (right now but plumbed for the second one), Vetterman Trombone exhaust, Catto prop.   Ray's 7A was a previously started kit that he acquired a couple of years ago. Very minor issues getting ready for engine start, but overall its great.  Lot of long hours recently to get ready. Proud of you my friend!


My Dad - Julio Esquenazi ...Jerry Esquenazi

Hello. It is with great sadness that I am reporting the sudden and unexpected passing of my father Julio Esquenazi. He was 80 years old. He died peacefully in his sleep.

A little about him and then you'll see why this is posted here. He emigrated from Cuba to New York as a 20 year old in 1957, met my mom (also from Cuba), joined the Army to attain his citizenship, and went to trade school at night to learn the textile industry, and worked in the garment district in Manhattan. Various factories, various moves, lived the American Dream owning his own home, and sent two kids to college.  ...


It Begins: Todd Rader RV-14A

I bought myself an early Christmas present today. The sale of my PA-32-300 closed this morning and the money was wired into my account. I wasted no time in contacting Van's and ordered my RV-14A QB kit today. Now I'm anxiously waiting for my shipping date and kit to arrive so I can start working towards getting back into the air.


Pics of Keith Brown's Remote Boxes ...complete with test cut in Lexan

For those interested in mounting remote boxes between the panel and subpanel, here are some additional pics of my installation.


Dawn Patrol ...Ron Townson

Shot "through the fence", thanks to Linda at Demel Aviation in Penticton...



December 23-26, 2016.   Issue No. 4,274. 
The mothership will be closed Monday for Christmas.  Same here (I may push something out if I get a chance).  Tuesday for sure.  Wishing everyone a happy, safe, RV-filled Merry Christmas. dr

...from Gary.


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

Randy gave it the long stare and compression check, then gave me the OK yesterday to start putting panels back on and floorboards in.  No surprises and everything looked good.  It usually takes me a few days to put the plane back together - I don't feel particularly interested in rushing. 

What comes off each year...

One habit that I fell into a few years ago is to throw all of the removed screws into the same cup, then sort them later, looking for stripped ones to replace.  It's interesting that every year I find one or two that are completely unique.  Find the two bolts that hold the wheel pant bracket onto the nut - two different lengths.  How?  Five to ten a little stripped and replaced.  New bit on the screwdriver.  The zen of maintenance...less stressful than last minute Christmas shopping, which was terrifying BTW.

Two completely non-important pictures here which might only serve to put a spotlight on some anal retentive issues that could use addressing.  I know I'm flawed.  I'm trying to embrace it.  ;^)  


Vlad Tours the Mack Truck Museum

Some museums are hard to get into in December. Even if their website says open it could be closed. I visited almost all aviation museums at airports nearby. This time I was targeting Mack Truck historical museum which is conveniently located near KXLL Queen City airport in PA. It's only 15 RV minutes straight flight but I managed to stretch it to 1.2 hours.  ...


The Tool that Almost Made Me Cry ...Ben

I was getting ready for an airworthiness inspection this past weekend. As I was removing the inspection plates, one screw on the last plate stripped and would not budge. I spent 30 minutes attempting to remove the screw only to strip it beyond hope. I mentioned my problem to the mechanic in the hangar next to mine and he gave me the tool in the picture. Set either electric screwdriver or drill to spin slow speed and counter clockwise. Load the tool with the drill bit side out. Stick the tool into the wallowed out screw head and drill for two or three seconds. Flip the tool in the drill with the spiraled side out. Keep motor in counter clockwise position and this sucker grabs the screw and spins it out effortlessly! The inspection plate screw removal took two minutes tops! Here I am at the end of my project and I found a tool I can't live without! Tears welled up and (violin music please) it was an amazing moment!

This one came from Ace hardware and was less than $10. I just purchased one on Amazon for $5. Worth every penny. Just wish I would have known about it since the tail kit.


Opening at the mothership...

December 22, 2016

Van's Aircraft has a new position for an engineer. We are looking for an applicant with a passionate interest in the kit aircraft industry. This position requires a broad mechanical/engineering background and the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.

This position will require creative problem solving and innovative thinking. Qualified applicant will possess an aeronautical or mechanical engineering degree. Applicant must work well in a group, individually and as a team leader. Project management skills are desirable. Applicant must possess excellent technical writing and communication skills. It is preferable that the applicant is currently building or has completed construction of an aircraft (experience with RV aircraft is desirable). Proficiency with CAD software is required; ideally SolidWorks and AutoCAD. While not required, a pilot's license, experience with structures and FEA will be considered.

Van’s Aircraft is a small company. As such, the successful applicant will be expected to be very flexible in their role and participate, at times, in all aspects of the design process including design, drafting, technical writing, hands on fabrication/assembly, testing, troubleshooting and any other duties necessary to get the job done. Sometimes more of one than the other...

Compensation commensurate with experience level.

Interested candidates can e-mail resume with "Engineering Candidate" in the subject line to: rianj@vansaircraft.com. No phone calls please.



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

N705BC is Now an Airplane! ...Ben

Today Mel Asberry and wife Ann came out and inspected my RV-7A and issued an airworthiness certificate. For those of you who will need an airworthiness inspection, I'd highly recommend Mel. He dove in and checked the entire airplane out very thoroughly. Much like knowing you have a good engine, having a good set of eyes inspect your airplane that are familiar with the design and what to look for is just as important and worth the money. Prior to the inspection, I had several others stop by and look for issues that I should address. I thought I had all issues covered and Mel found five lock nuts that I had failed to tighten! He also found a couple of minor issues in the engine compartment. Overall, I'm very pleased with his work and feel that I've got an airplane that is ready to fly!

Now it's time to get the pilot ready! If anyone knows of a good transition trainer for a 7A, let me know.

Much thanks for the tips and advice that I've received from all of the good folks in this forum!


Johnson Creek trip video ...NovaBandit RV-10

Back in August, we made our first trip to the mountains, and our first trip to a backcountry strip... Johnson Creek!

I'm already itching to go back as soon as possible!


N314C Get's a Panel ...KeithB.

Today, I completed installation of my avionics in my airframe (previously powered up on the bench in my wiring jig). It has what's becoming a common look - all Garmin with dual G3X Touches, GTN 650 and a G5 (GTR 20 radio and GTX 23ES transponder are remote, forward of the panel). The panel cutting, painting and labeling are by Aerotronics, but the design and all wiring I did myself. I'm quite proud of this accomplishment as I've never done anything like it before. (For the curious, the canopy is done but in the house for safekeeping, and the empty throttle cable hole is waiting for a custom cable later this week).


Finally Got One! ...Skifreejason

My buddy and I are excited to have finally purchased an RV-6. We looked for a -8 initially but after evaluating our mission and understanding that I'd be flying with my kids (need to be beside me) and he'd be doing long cross-country, we decided that the -6 fit us better.  ...


From AX-O

Per requests, updating fastback document and picture links.



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

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

Sent to me by Gary Sobek.


Engine installed, panel complete ...Paul Straub RV-12 pictures

I don't have a blog, but I wanted to share. I so appreciate this VAF community and all the wisdom and help I have received this past year. Still a long way to go but it's getting exciting. I got a new Rotax 912 for Christmas (OK, my wife let me buy a Rotax 912 for Christmas). Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a very Happy New Year! Paul.


The 30 Cent Longeron Bending Device (for parts F-1013-L/R and F-1046-L/R) ...jwbruce

Someone else may have come up with this before, but I didn't see it anywhere in my web searches. I will drop this here for anyone interested. (Sorry for the poor photos. My phone has a lousy camera.)

The first thing required in Section 29 (Fuselage Side Skins) is to curve/bend four pieces of 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/8" thick aluminum angle to make four side wall longerons -- parts F-1013-L, F-1013-R, F-1046-L, and F-1046-R. The whole point of angle is that it does not bend easily, so this is a hard, sweaty job. Vans instructions tells you to secure the angle in a vice, pre-load the angle sideways, and bang the angle with a rubber mallet. You repeat this every inch along the angle and monitor your progress with a template piece of aluminum F-1046. I tried this approach for pieces F-1046-L&R. It was hard work, the results were not the best. Either the angle didn't bend at all, or it bent too much. Then, you had to pull the bend back out of the angle. After about 6 (YES, SIX) hours of beating angle, I finally had two of my four curved longerons.  continue



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

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

RV-8QB Center Section Bolts

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

"Several reports from the field indicate that some RV-8 QuickBuild Kits have been completed and flown without certain center section hardware being installed. There are specific steps called out in the assembly instructions to install this hardware. See RV-8, Dwg 64 and page 8-10 of the assembly manual. This hardware is NOT installed during the QB assembly process at the factory."


What is this Bump on Tail of my RV-7?

Answers (possible):

  • Looks like a hard landing to me. The crease goes through the inspection plate so it can't be a manufacturing error. It could possibly have changed the incidence of the stabilizer slightly to negative thus requiring a little foreward trim in level flight.
  • Looks like there was some excessive tail wheel loads beyond the design capabilities
  • I agree with the other posters that it looks like your tail area took some kind of a hit. I notice that the leading edge to the tailwheel fork at the bottom shows a lot a wear, possibly may even have taken a blow of some kind--like falling into a pothole or something.

    If it were me, I would pull everything apart, remove your tailwheel spring, remove the horizontal stab/vertical stab and rudder because you are going to need access to assess the damage and do the repair.
  • To me it looks like a classic case of side-loading the tailwheel - it falls off the pavement and gets caught on an edge, or the two bolts that hold the socket to teh spring shear as the tail is being swung around and it falls off an edge. Either way, the tailwheel itself comes to a sudden stop while the fuselage is still trying to swing, and you put a slight kink in the fuselage structure. I've seen it on a couple airplane's, and both have had a sudden tailwheel stop event.
  • Look at the bottom of the rudder fairing. If there is not indication of contact damage from the tail wheel, then the scenario Paul described above is likely the cause.

    N477RV (the RV-7 owned by Van's and used by Mike Seager for transition training) has spent its entire life based on a grass runway airport. It is just a few hrs shy of 4800 hrs T.T. and has had nothing like this occur (not to mention all of the plopped in landings it has endured during training).

    The inertia of the induced by the tail swinging can induce huge twisting loads on the tail spring mount if the tail wheel comes to a stop suddenly.
  • I agree with Paul's theory that the tail wheel was abruptly side loaded. Looking at that skin, I'd check further for possible internal damage.
    The things I would check is; bolt holes in F711 & F712 bulkheads are not stretched, WD409 tail spring weldment wasn't cracked, F711 & F712 bulkhead rivet flanges were not stretched out, lower J strip not buckled.
    The ripple in the skin has taken a lot of rigidity away from that section of the fuselage, stiffeners (more than one) might restore most but not all to that area.
    First off- I'd be phoning the mothership for their suggested course of action


This Community Rocks

I mentioned my BFR was out yesterday (my logbook's last BFR entry was dated Nov '14).  I've been thinking for two weeks while my plane is down for annual that I couldn't fly as PIC.  Enter an email from John Juergens:

"Doug - I seem to remember that you got your instrument rating recently [ed. Oct 13, 2015]. Today you mentioned that you were going to get a BFR. According to 14 CFR 61.56 (d) (1) the instrument rating check ride essentially counts as a Flight Review, so you are good for 2 years from that date."

John, I had completely forgotten about that.  I know my check airman (John McLaughlin) mentioned that...but I forgot.  Thanks for reminding me.

I'm legal to fly, and I owe John Juergens lunch <g>. 


Christmas Card



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

The Last Flight ...Bob Collins RV-7A

"More than a month after agreeing to selling ye olde RV-7A -- N614EF -- I finally saw an opening to ferry it over to its new owner, Chris Moseley of Grand Rapids, MI.

It wasn't particularly emotional because I've had a month to get over it, and I was happy to be done with the frustration of trying to find a period where the lake-effect snow of Michigan, and the regular old sucky winter of Minnesota would ease enough ferry it."  continue

[ed. If you only read a couple of things today, make it these.  Read what Bob wrote in his VAF post, as it is geared more for the pilot.  But MAKE SURE to read every word in the original 'News Cut' article - the one he publishes for work.  IMHO, it would be hard to find someone more skilled at conveying a life lived with an RV in the mix.  It looks like an RV-12 is Bob's next goal, and I very much look forward to those updates. ]


A Good Soul ...Bobby Knox post

This will be a touch of a rant, a touch of a confession and a bit of praise for one good soul.

About three weeks ago, I advertised 6 tool boxes for sale here. I stated I would deliver within 200 miles for gas and food. I received several responses, including some within the specified distance, but the first one was just about 20 miles further than 200 miles away. Ranting, I absolutely cant stand it when forum etiquette order is discarded in the name of a convenient, easy sale of a posted item. So here I am with two people, one 75 miles away(second respondent) and one 225 miles away(first respondent), both wanting all 6 tool boxes. So the temptation is to do easy and 6 years ago I WOULD do easy, but now as a Christian, I have help resisting and despite some initial difficulty in scheduling delivery, commit to deliver them to the first respondent, Jesse Saint. The days leading up to the Saturday 4AM departure out of Hazlehurst, GA for Dunellion, FL were brutal. Little sleep and too much to do. At midnight Friday, alone, I loaded the tool boxes. Four hours later, I departed for the delivery. Jesse and his son were on schedule and the delivery was completed in time for me to return to Hazlehurst and then to work. The end, right? WRONG! a couple of days later, I get a photo from Jesse via text of over $700 of aviation specific tools I LEFT IN A TOOL BOX DRAWER. As I sink like a WWII convoy ship into stupid, I thank God for Jesse and his integrity, honesty and character. After we talk and I offer to return to pick them up, he offers to ship them back to me.

USPS delivered my tools today. Jesse picked up the shipping. THANK YOU Jesse Saint!

But this is not the first time Jesse had done me a good turn. This is A GOOD SOUL. He is trustworthy and deserves your business.  ...


Spruce Creek Annual Toy Parade Fly-by ...Ted Chang RV-9A

49 airplanes participated in this year's fly-by before Toy Parade. It includes 16 RVs, 4 rockets, a P-51 and two T-6s amount others.


The 14th Condition Inspection ...

Doing the yearly inspection now, and finished getting the RV-6 ready Saturday morning for A&P/IA Randy Richmond (card) to give it a good looking over and test the compression.  Lower back spasms a couple weeks ago slowed the process, but good progress is again being made.  Oil change and oil filter, new tubes and tires on, air filter, brake pads inspected and re-safety wired, all panels off, interior out and floorboards up.  Around lunch the cold Wx arrived in the DFW area, and work slowed until the propane heater was found, serviced and cranked up.  17*F Sunday morning here - hats off again to the folks up north who live with this cold more than I do.  You're tougher than me! 

Hoping to get back in the air next week for a few minutes, but with Christmas stuff in full swing that may or may not happen.  BFR after that, and maybe work in a practice approach during said BFR.  Someone told me staying current would be harder than getting the IFR rating.  That person is wise.

Need to run a rag under those floorboards....14 year old airplanes get grungy under there.  I started the build when I was 31.  I'm 51 now.  Two decades of RV satisfaction and counting.  Thanks again, Van.

Pics taken during the inspection ...nothing special.  Grime and patina - evidence of a hobby being enjoyed.


Aerobatic Clinic Planning ...Ron Schreck

Mark Fullerton, president of IAC Chapter 3 has graciously volunteered to host an aerobatic clinic for RV pilots. While preparations are slowly taking shape I can tell you that the tentative date will be the weekend of 22-23 April, 2017. The venue will be Rome, Georgia (KRMG).

Unlike formation clinics, this will be a rather small gathering due to the intense one-on-one instruction that is anticipated. We can accommodate a good size group for the ground school but the flying portion will necessarily be limited to pilots who have a solid experience with unusual attitude/spin recovery through either military or civilian training. They will be required to follow up the clinic with a commitment to compete in IAC competition during the 2017 season.

If you have the determination to become a competitive aerobatic pilot but lack the requisite basic training I urge you to contact an instructor who can give you basic recovery training. Sources are listed on the IAC web site:


Training at the clinic will be by experienced competition pilots who will coach you from the ground. Ground school will include preparation of your aircraft for competition, understanding Aresti notation, what to expect at your first contest and the finer points of flying competition figures in your RV.

Subscribe to this thread so you don't miss upcoming announcements and information.


Couple of VAF Courtesy Car Edits/Updates

...simple list.  Easy peezy.


RV Hotel Updated

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




December 16, 2016.   Issue No. 4,269. 
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  dr

Tommy taxiing out...

DuPont Variprime 615S ...Sam Bovington

I am on my second project and I have become a fan of using a sponge brush to apply variprime 615S metal etch primer that is mixed very thin. I find it quick and easy, inexpensive and effective. If I have just a few parts that need primer, I don't have take time to set up for spray, or mix a large amount. I can mix a thimbleful and sponge brush it on. It dries very quickly, and when mixed thin, does not leave brush marks.

After deburring and using scotch bright pad, I clean the parts with a degreaser type detergent in a spray bottle, then dry with clean rag as I mix up the variprime. You don't have to keep the parts super clean because the metal etch properties will cut through small amounts of contamination like finger prints.

I can be back to riveting together primed parts in 30 minutes or less. It seems to save me a ton of time, and minimize wasted material which makes it inexpensive. The 615S that I buy at the local auto paint store says it has chromate in it, so I think it has sacrificial anode properties to reduce dissimilar metal corrosion.

I don't scotch bright external skins prior to sponge brushing primer, in case anyone wants to go to a polished aluminum surface later. I also sponge brush prime skins before I do any dimple countersinking. If you dimple before priming, the dimples will squeeze out extra primer from the sponge and can cause a drip on the opposite side.

I mix it about 2 parts accelerator to 1 part primer. And will thin a bit more if it thickens in the pot during application, or if I need to stretch it a bit to complete whatever I am priming. For me it seems like the important thing is that it be thin enough to flow out well after the sponge brush stroke, so you don't get any brush marks. Yes, it is a 2 part epoxy, but I have found that over thinning doesn't seem to interfere with curing or durability.


Mothership Totals To Date....


Also from the mothership...


Updated the Weather Page

...new top right animated map.  Link to previous map stopped working, so I found something better.


From Dynon



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

RV-10 Panel Tour ...Ed Kranz


Dipstick access when using a plenum

When building my Rocket I made a plenum to assist with cooling. To provide access to the dipstick I put a cone around it, and then attached some scat to the plenum directly above the cone. When installing the plenum the scat is compressed down around the cone - this maintains the seal around the dipstick so the plenum does not lose pressure.

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

My question is: Regardless of the electronic ignition, is there a better way to provide access to the dipstick when using a plenum? How have others done this?

Here is the top of my engine with the plenum off - the CPI coilpack is roughly in position:


Throttle linkage bracket

I have bought several mounts for throttle cable linkage (once you bolt between carb/ fuel servo and engines sump) however none of this fit/work as I am installing EFII system.  Question, can throttle cable be attached to the engine mount frame instead of the bracket mounted to the engine? Or will mounting to the engine mount adversely affect throttle responds or consistency of the throttle setting etc.  Picture below shows idea, made bracket will be used at the clamps location.


James Cowl downdraft carb box install

I am trying to get my carb box installed on my James cowl. I am stumped. My only other idea is to go to a muffler shop and have them fabricate a bend to make it work or try glassing something up. Glassing may be easier in the long run.
Here are a couple pictures showing the issue. The front of the air filter is at the height where it needs to be to meet the front of the cowl. If you have pictures or ideas, I would sure love to know what you did to solve this. I know I am not the first person to have the James cowl and this exhaust system. Thanks for the help.


Vans cowl thin area (photo)

The above photo shows the inside of my IO-360 RV-7 top cowl from my finish kit. The bright pink areas around the edges have no honeycomb between fiberglass layers. This is expected. Also, the rectangle on the upper left is for the oil door. However, what is the purpose of the thin (no honeycomb) rectangular area on the upper right? Can anyone say?



December 14, 2016.   Issue No. 4,267. 

RV14 Canopy Install ...Tom Martin pictures

The 14 canopy is a rather large item and needs to be handled carefully. Holding the unit for trimming and fitting requires a steady but flexible work surface.  Typically I use chunks of foam for this job they all seem to have gone missing.  When I unpacked the finish kit I filled four garbage bags with packing paper and set them aside in anticipation of fitting the canopy. Here they are with one wrap of duct tape to hold them loosely together.  ...


Try our new website feature (Classic Aero)

It's not technically new, but we just updated a feature on our website with current information. We also made it way easier to update in the future, and added some new features, so that part is new. It's what we call our "Build An Interior" page.

We need some more eyes to beat it up a little, and see if you notice any bugs that we missed. I do this kind of thing in my spare time, so it's always a bit of a rush job and there's a good chance I overlooked something.  ...


The Re-birth of N94CR ...j-red

It really is nice to have (fingers crossed) all of the purchases behind me. Aside from the odd clamp and paint to cover the "scars", everything is in hand to finish this project. The firewall forward has gone together relatively quickly since it's a matter of re-assembling things that have largely been together before.

The ring gear was modified for the CPI ignition sensor magnets. They included in the kit a machined drilling template, the drill bit, tap, magnets and threaded plugs. I was initially nervous about the right placement of these critical magnets, but the SDS kit made it very easy. The mounting points for the hall sensor and coil packs are very nicely made and easy to install.

The original FAB was crushed in the accident, so a new one was made and fitted. Doing so allowed me to measure, order and install the control cables for throttle, mixture and carb heat. On my previous build, each of these was an agonizing experiment of how and where to route them. Not so here. The original builder did a good job with the brackets and such, and I can't say enough about the online help I received by looking at pictures from others' builds.

A starter came with the engine, but an alternator did not, so a Nippon Denso 55amp unit was obtained from the aviation isle of Auto Zone.

I relocated the oil cooler to the left rear baffle and did some beefing up of the area in the process. The last time this flew was 2009, so at the very least, the hoses were 7-8 years old, and so all new fuel and oil hoses were made from stainless braided line.

As of this morning, all of the FWF sensors (except EGT and CHT) are wired and done. The EGT/CHT are next to run and hook into the EIS, followed by exhaust hangers, then the final primer runs and most of the engine work will be done. The cowling still has to be fit to the air box and then there will be plenty of clamping/cleanup work to be done, but I'm hoping to be able to take it to the airport in January.  ...


RV-10K (Keg)

(Andrew at TruTrak) It has been requested that we share the development of one of our latest experimental creations. I am sure that many know we are working with EAA on an STC for the Vizion autopilot, but that is not what we are here to talk about today. Today we announce the greatest modification ever to the Van’s RV-10. We have designed, built, and thoroughly tested this new item. So without further ado, I give you the RV-10 Keg Tap.  ...



December 13, 2016.   Issue No. 4,266. 

Another RV-10 Ready to Fly ...Scott Flandermeyer

After 8 years and 8 months of building, N104ST RV-10#40816 is officially an airplane.  DAR Vern Darley did my inspection on Dec. 8th.  It is powered by a Continental Motors CD-230 Diesel Cycle engine.  I am hoping the Wx and my work schedule will permit a first flight soon. Information about the installation and performance data (facts) will be posted as I can.


How Polished is your Paint? - Skin Fricktion Drag ...a discussion.

When I took my car into the Autobody shop to get the bumper re-painted. I got on to the discussion of paint with the Shop Foreman. He says that at a professional level, a painter can get the paint too perfect when applying it to car to match the factory paint job. He said that factory paint jobs have a very slight orange peel to them and when painting a body panel to match, if the paint is applied they same way, it can look very different even if the color is matched near perfectly. Taking a very close look at a factory paint job on a car, I would agree that the paint does have a very slight orange peel to it. But compared to an restored show car where the paint is like a mirror. Wow there is a difference, but you have to look close!

With that said, the boundary layer over a wing can be as small as 1/100th of an inch, or 0.25mm thick. At this level one could assume that this sort of difference between a very slight orange peel as your would get on a factory car finish or home/shop painted finish, can produce more Skin Friction Drag then if the paint was "Perfect and Polished"

With the large amount of builders who have painted their own wings, has anyone noticed an increase in cruise just by having their plane repainted professionally with a "Perfect and Polished" paint job?

Or are the planes too slow for skin friction at this level to play a significant factor?


Greg Hughes Status Report ...many pictures


Almost done with my own little prime war

Hey.... So for the better part of 6 weeks I have been pretty busy fighting my own little prime war!

So this is just what the result of all that time and money is.

1: I tried Auto Dupi Color Rattpe can (grey) non etching - easy to use, cheap, scratches easy, dont like the color

2: I tried waterborne Aviation primer (non toxic) with HVLP gun - Looked good, expensive, did not stick well at all. Came of with duck tape and scratched easier than rattle can. Was a real pain to get to spray right. either to runny or to coarse. PITA INMO.  continue/video


Panel Update Status ...and cost breakout (Tony T.)

I should include in this thread some discussion of cost. The factory avionics kit is not inexpensive! I bought the SV Touch, ADSB in and out and the knobs modules for $17,040. I reused the autopilot servos already installed. I spent an additional $900 for all new harnesses and misc small parts to complete the installation according to the latest plans. The total was $17,940. To offset this, I sold the old panel components for $6,226. That includes returning the D180 and AP74 to Dynon for the rebate. The net difference was $11,714.  ...



December 12, 2016.   Issue No. 4,265. 

First Flight RV-8 ...Jeff Green RV-8

First flight went well. Shouldn't take much to get it dialed in perfect. Cool temperatures made for some great performance. Wow!


A New Panel Coming to Life ...Steve Eberhard

Jules Mominee and Phil Dawes' panel and plane are finally in the same room, getting to know each other. The panel is being built up using a prototype of a molded carbon fiber RV-7 panel being developed by a VAF advertizer. Everything for a complete IFR Garmin panel mounts between the panel and the first bulkhead. Installation pictures will follow over the next couple of weeks.


Charity Cap Sighting ...Kyle Lee post

Pictured here is Capt. Alan Searle (RV-8 & RV-12 builder) flying a C47 on his way over the "Hump Route".

In Aug 2016, Alan and crew piloted VH-XUX (1944 C47) from Australia to China. The flight was conducted to honour those men who helped bring victory and peace by flying supplies over the Himalayas to the Chinese while Japan controlled their borders during WWII.

Follow link for full details on the flight including background, aircraft details and overcoming two engine failures.


I'm proud as heck of this guy to call him my father-in-law, airshow buddy, RV-12 build partner and go-to-guy for advice on just about anything.

fmi: About the charity cap


My panel ...Hans Labruyere (Netherlands) RV-12

I wanted to share these pics with you. Screens aren't fixed yet, and the wiring isn't tied up yet, but you get the picture, I hope.
We're building our '12 with MGL iEFIS 10" Lites, V6 radio, Trig 21 (to be hung in one of the holes, not remote), MGL extender, RDAC XF, and dual MGL ECB.  The other two holes are for a HSI and altimeter (obliged, here).  Took some thinking and drawing, and some sweat, but since a few days I do have power on the mains including he ECB's. After that nothing works as it should, but isn't that the fun of building an experimental?  Will keep y'all posted how things get along. Apart from that I might have some questions, because I am no electrician.



December 9, 2016.   Issue No. 4,264. 
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 

Ready for its closeup ...Frank Dombroski RV-10

Shortly after completing my last -10, I had an offer I could not refuse, so I sold it. I picked up a quick build kit someone else had started and completed the project in 10 months. Build speed really accelerates after a couple of the same projects. This one has the full complement of Garmin G3X touch avionics. I used the same paint scheme, as I never had the chance to get tired of it on the last one.


Done Lurking! ...Carl

I have a RV-12 kit that I got to the fuselage mostly finished stage. I had been a sport pilot who went on to get my private ticket. I own a S-LSA and had started building the RV-12 before I bought the Gobosh. I went to the factory and did the demo flight in the -14. Having lurked in the forum here for a bit, I finally ordered my -14 kit. I can't wait to get started with the new build.

I race in the Airventure Cup race every year in my LSA. I am looking forward to the increased speed of running the race in the -14!

My serial number is 140356 for those keeping track of how many are out there.


RV Training Guide Powerpoint Briefings ...Vac

I'm developing powerpoint briefings for instructional or reference use during transition training as a first step to improving the resources available for folks either teaching in or learning to fly RV's. The basic transition/instructor upgrade syllabus contains four RV-specific briefings as well as basic risk and error management briefings. The flying briefings include RV-type Aerodynamics; Performance; Weight and Balance and Airworthiness Determination.

The first step is to develop the basic slides for each brief and then, enhance them with appropriate hyperlinks, video, graphics, etc. to improve them over time.

I've finished up Version 1.0 of the Aerodynamics Briefing:  continue


FlyboyKelly Tow Bar Install

Here is the forward pulling towbar that I finished yesterday!.


Family Milestone: Tate Reeves Passes His Driving Test

Passed on first try.  Susie heard the girl in front of him in line say "Third time's a charm" (she had just passed on her third try).  Tate didn't hear the girl, and he's glad he didn't (was about to start his checkride).  Did I mention he has straight A's.  Very, VERY proud of this kid! 



December 8, 2016.   Issue No. 4,263. 
A quick status report on the back spasms I was having a couple of days ago. Four people emailed with their experience at what helped, and a book recommendation, etc.  Thank you for that!  Filed away in the 'Personal Health' email folder.
  I'm happy to report that the pain has subsided substantially. Most of the day Wednesday I had no pain at all and even got in a little bit of work on the RV. It's currently down for its yearly inspection, and today I was feeling good enough to take off the cowling, spinner, wheel pants and empennage fairing.  I've contracted with my son to take out the seats, floor panels and rear baggage compartment wall this weekend at $10 per hour :-). He takes his driving checkride on Thursday and if he passes he's cleared to go solo (after a call to State Farm). Obviously he wants gas money :-).
  By the time today's edition goes live, that Arctic front should have arrived in the Dallas area. We are wrapping the outside pipes and I'm running up to Home Depot this evening to get a new propane tank for the heater out at the hangar. "Real" winter has apparently arrived…



Yesterday while I was out at the airport for a couple of hours some of the usual suspects were doing a quick formation practice. They made two passes down the centerline, and since I was out on the ramp standing there anyway I thought I would pull out the iPhone and shoot some video. No fancy editing, no intro or credits. Just the two clips uploaded at 1080HD.  The entire clip runs 44 seconds.  Sounds good with headphones...


Wiring Baja Design Squadron Pro

Q: I'm in the process of installing the Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED lights into the Duckworks leading edge kit for my RV-10.

For those who have gone before me - a couple questions on wiring them:
1) Did you ground locally or back at the firewall? For those flying - any evidence of noise for either method?
2) Did you use the included connector or cut/ splice the wires?

Thank you for your help!

BTW - the finish kit arrives tomorrow!! Time for more fiberglass fun!

A: ...courtesy Ed Kranz

A: ...courtesy Bruce Hill


Forgotten mistake - opinions needed

I vaguely remember botching a rivet on the aileron a long time ago. While re-installing them after doing the bottom skins, I saw it and now need to fix it. Question is, what's the best way? It is the last rivet on the inboard side closest to the trailing edge on the top skin.


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



December 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,262. 
  I'm on the mending side of the curve for some lower back spasms that have had me mostly sitting still and making Popeye faces for the past two days.  Ibuprofen, ice, heat, light stretching and that massage thing that looks like E.T.'s head that we've owned for a quarter century is helping.  Getting pain free movement back, but not making any fast moves too quick.  I can sleep, which is good.  It hurts to do pretty much everything else, so email and work is suffering, of course.  Getting better by the hour...I'll get there.  I miss my younger body ;^) 

75 Years Ago.  Remember.


First Pilots N Paws Mission ...Dan Landry

I've been signed up for years, but never had the opportunity for a mission until last weekend.  My mission was to escort Dixie & the Dixie Cups from Quincy, FL to Seminole, FL (225sm).

Dixie has one bad eye, heartworm & was living under a shed with her 6 puppies. I delivered her to a rescue.  Dixie is a good mother, but an escape artist. I placed the puppies on the right seat & Dixie in the kennel in the rear baggage area.  I went into the FBO before departure. When I returned, Dixie had escaped the RV. I placed her back in & secured the kennel better.
Well, 20 minutes into the 75 minute flight, out comes Dixie.

She was a good girl & came out to check on her pups & then went back to rest on the top of her kennel to enjoy the view.

I delivered them all to their final destination without issues.  It was very rewarding & I'm looking forward to the next mission


Painted ...Lyle

Finished painting all the parts. 3 months of work, big job. Now off to the airport, hope to do first flight on January 17.


John Calkins Retires From Van's Aicraft, Inc.


The Incredible Shrinking/Expanding Canopy Skirt

I recently trimmed, glassed and made fit against the fuselage skin (pretty nicely) my RV-8 canopy skirt. As is typically the case, the "make it fit" effort was focused mostly along the sides toward the rear of the canopy. I got a nice, clean and relatively tight fit. That was in about the September/October time frame.

Then, a week or two ago I went to slide the canopy closed on the fuse in a cold-ish hangar, in which the propane heater had been on and running for about 25 minutes. When it closed, I saw there was about a 1/8 to 3/16 gap along the sides, basically from the rear seat-back area back a couple feet, in the area where the skirt curves up toward the rear. The right was slightly prouder than the left side. I opened and closed it a few times, thinking maybe it just wasn't seating right. I cussed and stamped my feet and whatnot for a bit. Then I just took a deep breath and started pushing on the skirt sides, and determined that if the "crossbow" portion of the canopy where the slider block attached had just a slightly smaller radius, it would almost certainly fit just right.  continue


Tip on Going Big (on images)...

I've been using a website called SmugMug.com lately for uploading very large photographs. Specifically, I've been using it to document drainage improvements (and the new runway installation down the road) at my home airport. I wanted to take a moment and share one aspect of this website that you may or may not be aware of.

I'll use an example to describe: go click on this picture, and when the image comes up move your mouse over the picture and you'll see some choices pop up in the lower right corner of your screen. Click on , then select 'Original' to see the image at its maximum resolution. The picture used in this example was created using the 'Pano' feature on the iPhone and the uploaded image comes in at a whopping 5654 x 1852 pixels.  That's big enough to stretch across two large monitors, easy.  Would work nice for a fly-in.

Anywho, I just wanted to make sure you knew about that feature.


KazooRV-9A's Taco Cart

...the padding is a nice touch on the corners.  Me thinks.



December 6, 2016.   Issue No. 4,261. 

"It was 20 years ago today..."

On Dec 6, 1996 I went live with the "North Texas Wing of Van's Air Force".  The list of builder/pilot phone numbers on that site grew, and morphed into what is now the 'RV White Pages'.  Years down the road, that chrysalis transformed into the site that you're enjoying today.  And that's enough Entomology references for now...

Useless trivia that probably nobody cares about, but maybe it's a nice opportunity to get Sgt. Pepper stuck in your head for an hour or so.

 ;^)  dr


Oct '16 to Present ...gfb 9A time lapse videos

You can see the build all the way through the miserable canopy cut/glue, and just starting on avionics and electrical. Fuselage is now mostly complete, finish kit mostly done. November videos will include most of the installation of the G3X system, and December should include engine mounting.

[ed. Vids #33-36 were uploaded Dec 4 and 5.  Newest vids at the bottom.  v/r,dr]


RV White Pages Updated

3,402 listings in 26 countries.  Courtesy Mr. Tate Reeves.


From Mothership FB ...link


Panel Status Report ...rgodsy

I was wiring and testing my avionics today, here is a picture. I'm coming up on 3 years into my build and I cannot wait to fly my RV-7A. Experimental aviation has revolutionized avionics in aircraft.


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

related: Tango Flight FB page


Milestone: Paint Job Done

...Gerry and Della Clabots


Emailed from a reader....



December 5, 2016.   Issue No. 4,260. 

The RV Grin - First Flight N194HW 12-2-2016 ...Jim Buechler 9A

Today at noon at Marion County Airport (X35) in Dunnellon Florida, the Terrific RV9A N194HW took flight after a 12 year build with me as the test pilot! I now have joined the ranks of the many builders who have experienced this! Incredible aircraft doesn’t begin to do this plane justice!

I have much to be thankful for, so please bear with me.  ...


I have myself a new airplane! ...Jeff Green RV-8

What a strange feeling. After 2700hrs and almost 7 1/2 year I have built an airworthy airplane. Thanks to everyone who helped and provided valuable advice. VAF was invaluable please support this marvelous source of information.  ...


VAF Courtesy Car List Updated

New entries for:
Placerville, CA.  
Plainview, TX.  
Lubbock, TX.


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

The 4 th annual RV ski trip to the Beaver Creek Colorado area is Jan 14 th to Jan 21 st. We have 2 of the 6 bedrooms still available at this time. Please contact John Morgan @ 770-823-1713 for details. Rooms will be given on a first come first serve basis and women are always welcome to join in just no kids under 21.

Still looking for skiers to fill the last 2 rooms. Fantastic accommodations, dirt cheap price, fair company if you wanna talk airplanes a lot after skiing!


Broken Cowl Pin ...Bud K

I was pulling the cowl off to perform maintenance when the end of piano hinge pin holding the upper cowl to the bottom broke off. I have to twist hinge pin from the stowed position in order to pull it out. It broke off just as the pin enters the hinge. Fortunately, the end of the pin extends beyond the hinge at the firewall. I was able to reach around and push it out enough to grab the broken end and pull it out. Dodged a bullet. I wasn't sure how I would remove the pin otherwise.

Anyone else have this type of problem?


How to get ready for that first flight…

So, lets suppose that you have hundreds of hours of accumulated time in C-172 and PA28-180’s. Lets also suppose that due to building and bad weather, your flying skills are rusty (but still FAA current).

What do you do for practicing proficiency in order to get ready for the first flight in an RV-9a? I'm primarily interested in the first 10 hours while new engine break in, new aircraft glitches, etc are all happening.

(let me fill in the blanks for the first three answers)
  • get transition training…
  • get a buddy to let you fly their RV-9a?
  • read all of Van's articles, AC90-89, etc.
  • ?
What else do you guys do in a C-172 or PA28-180 to prepare? What skills? What proficiency tests do you practice? When do you know that you are ready?


Panel Pic ...Joe

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



December 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,259. 
 Some pics from Thursday's 'usual suspects' occasional formation practice.  I'm down for annual, so it was camera duty.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. dr

(click for more)


(RV-7A) Brake Upgrade ...Roy Thoma

This applies to Parker brakes that were supplied in my RV-7A kit. I think newer kits may have Matco wheels and brakes.

My brake disks were past the wear limits with about 1100 hours on my RV-7A. I use the brakes to make turn-offs rather than coast on a runway to a subsequent turnoff. I taxi a short distance for take off and landing at my home airport, KHIO. My nose wheel break-out force is high. Reading posts from DanH and other's I decided to install thicker disk's to get higher kinetic energy rating (search VAF for "kinetic energy rating" for more discussion).

My worn brake rotor weighed 1.313lbs and were just under 0.15" thick.
A disk from a friend with about 100 hours on his similar plane weighed 1.449lbs and measured 0.178" thick. I've read on VAF that new stock rotors are 0.187". I did not find spec's for the weight of new rotors, I'd guess new weight at 1.5lbs. The new Rapco rotors are about 0.300" thick (I measured 0.294") and weigh just under 2lbs (1.986).  continue


Panel Upgrade Status ...Tony T

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

The wire bundle in the forward tunnel is somewhat fatter than before. Still, things clean up nicely. That big adel clamp will be replaced, I just used a big one to aid organizing the new harnesses.  more


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


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

Here's what I have on order and should be delivered in 2 weeks from AFS / Dynon. Quick Build was the only way I could ever accomplish this as I have ZERO patience and have the need to fly often!  This is the newest 10" HDX touch screens with the full autopilot, ADSB, autotrim, all the goodies! Panel comes powder coated and labelled with all the cables going and plugging into the AFS control Module for simplicity.


Trig announces new TN72 GPS Receiver - certified for ADS-B Out



December 1, 2016.   Issue No. 4,258. 

December Calendar Wallpaper

Ed Hicks photo.


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

I've run into a problem which I am willing to bet is a well-solved problem on the VAF. So I need some suggestions.

Short Version:

I have a set of 6 plate nuts in two rows of three already installed - 3 holes on each of two flanges (RV-8 battery support structure).. I need to figure out a way to drill holes in a piece of 2024T3, 0.63 aluminum to precisely match those holes so I can screw this plate down onto the plate nuts.

You cannot get a drill up from the platenut side. Here's a picture of the holes on the flanges:  continue


Blast Tubes ...Ernst Freitag data point

Blast tubes on mag, fuel pump and PP alternator.  Not easily visible but my blast tube to the mag is directly connected to the housing. Cool air blowing right where it needs to be.  Been flying in some very heavy rain and I don't see an issue.
I have no credible evidence of the effect of these blast tubes except a sense that pumping cool air into a cavity will cool the affected accessories.  What I do have is a very cool running engine and engine compartment with measured temperatures at the firewall averaging 140F on cooler days and 160F on the hottest days.  The tube connects to the stub on the left.


No Power!

Well, this evening I went out to the plane to put some fuel in for tomorrow's flight. I removed the fuel pump fuse (as I normally do) and turned on the master switch..........no power! I checked the Master Bus fuse and that is good. I cycled the switch a couple of times but to no avail.

I haven't taken anything apart yet. I wanted to get some ideas from you guys at what you think it might be.

I last flew on Saturday 11/25 and everything was fine. My battery is the original and is 5yrs 5mos old. I have been thinking of replacing, but I expected to get some warning of the battery going bad. Do they normally just die this sudden?


(update later)
I found the problem on my second visit to the airplane. I have added a 12 volt port in the back of the airplane for use by my ADS-B device. It's controlled by a simple on/off switch located by the standard 12 volt outlet in the plane. Last flight my passenger was last to get out and he must have hit the switch to the "on" position therefore draining my battery.

My battery was discharged down to 11.8 volts. I now have it on a charger and hopefully in the early morning it will turn over the engine


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


Mothership First Flight Stats



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

Thinking of wrapping your exhaust pipes?

I received this handwritten letter in the PO Box the other day.  Weld failure.  Fire.

(click to enlarge)


Exiting Spins on Heading & Pitch in an RV

Q: This is a question for you competition aerobatics guys. Exiting spins is one thing, and exiting spins properly in competition is another. In competition, you must (a) exit on the proper heading, and (b) draw a straight vertical down line (before recovering from the dive). The 2017 IAC Sportsman Sequence is calling for a 1 and 1/4 turn spin.

What exact sequence of controls are you using to accomplish both objectives in an RV? In particular, how far in advance of your exit heading are you applying opposite rudder, and when and how are you applying forward stick?

Currently I'm playing a guessing game in my -4 as to how much in advance of the desired exit heading to apply opposite rudder and it's not always working out. Obviously, it takes longer to stop a 2 or 3 rotation spin than a one rotation spin, and I get the impression RVs may not be as quick to respond to anti-spin inputs as pure competition aircraft, possibly due to smaller rudder size. I'm playing with using abrupt forward stick to lessen the rudder guessing game and force the aircraft to stop on the desired exit heading ... ?

Also, my -4 is still rather upright when it stops spinning, so to get a vertical down line I have to push hard into negative G. I spoke to an aerobatic competitor (non-RV guy) who said some competitors let the stick forward somewhat during the spin so they don't have to push so hard when the spin stops to get their vertical down line. Thoughts?

A: Never spun an RV but in the popular aerobatic airplanes from the Pitts to the Sukhoi and many others: intentionally accelerate the spin almost immediately with forward stick, a bit of power, and a lot of inspin aileron.  Almost on the desired recovery point aggressive opposite rudder and more forward stick. After about 100 of these you should be able to blend the down line smoothly with the recovery.  the pitch attitude on recovery will be much closer to vertical.  Regarding outspin aileron, that is counterproductive and flattens the spin so the transition from recovery to vertical downline is a much greater pitch change. This usually looks really bad to the judges.  For a left rudder upright spin, right stick is outspin aileron, left stick is inspin aileron. Inverted spin stick position is opposite.  Upright spin: inspin aileron will usually pitch the nose down slightly and will always enhance the recovery. 

Caution: this requires a LOT of practice. If you are uncertain of what the airplane is doing close the throttle and put the stick in neutral, full rudder opposite the rotation. This takes a lot of practice. The rate of rotation will increase dramatically depending on the amount of forward stick.   I learned this from a student after struggling with competition spin recovery for many years. Student could not land a Pitts but sure did nice competition spins.

A: Jim well described the elevator/aileron technique which can clean up competition spins. The high performance monoplanes especially require this type of technique to get spins to look decent. Also useful in the Pitts, depending on a number of factors. I did not get far enough along with aerobatics as an RV pilot to provide info on how this works in RVs. Something to try as you gain experience.

Regarding the sequence of inputs and timing, I did a bunch of spins in my old RV-3 and an RV-6 w/ 7 fin, and never needed more than 1/4 turn to stop a spin in either direction, up to 3 turns. Those RVs I mentioned recovered a spin pretty much the same as my Pitts and most other aerobatic planes I've flown - full opposite rudder followed a fraction of a second later by a forward stick movement. I've never flown anything remotely aerobatic that required more than 1/4 turn to recover a competition style spin.

You'll need to figure out the amount of forward stick that works best for you, but slightly forward of neutral is pretty standard. Don't overdo the forward stick input. If you really overdo it, you can crossover which can be bad news for pilots who haven't received adequate training. Don't apply rudder and sit there waiting for any perceptible change in rotation rate before moving the stick forward. That will delay recovery. Move the stick very quickly behind the rudder input.

I never tried this in the RV, but most acro planes also recover more quickly and crisply if you apply full power simultaneously with the opposite rudder input. But first learn to stop the spin on heading with a precise vertical pitch/yaw attitude, then worry about power. In any case, be sure to get in the habit of applying full power ASAP as the spin stops to avoid wasting altitude. I know the RV is clean, but this still applies.

Regarding the hard push after a 1-turn spin, you can either blend the push into the recovery, or push vertical immediately after stopping the spin as long as you don't draw a perceptible line before pushing over. Some airplanes require care with the blended recovery to avoid the appearance of the airplane ceasing to autorotate (spin) about all 3-axes, which causes the judges to suspect the pilot is finishing on pure aileron. That will invite deductions. Also be aware that if you overdo the elevator and aileron technique for tightening/accelerating the spin, that the yaw/pitch moments become diminished. Be sure it still looks like a spin and not a spiral. Anyone familiar with the aileron roll rate of RVs will know the difference between an accelerated spin and a spiral, but some judges like to play dumb. They are looking for auto-rotation about all 3-axes. This last point is more related to snap rolls than spins, but worth noting IMO. Ground critiquing/coaching is required.

And remember that the 1-1/4 turn spin produces a natural yaw error that must be corrected simultaneously with the pitch error as the spin stops. You will need to re-apply a little rudder pressure in the direction you originally spun with. Just like the pitch correction, be sure to make the yaw correction before you draw a perceptible line upon stopping the spin or the judges will say you're "dragging a wing" (not perfectly vertical in yaw). Learn where your wingtip sits on the horizon when you're perfectly vertical in yaw, and always look to the side and check your attitude after each spin, as soon as it stops.

Practice is good, but practicing after getting some knowledgeable ground critiquing/coaching is much better. Good luck.


Panel Upgrade Status Report ...Tony T.

Finally got to the hangar after the long weekend and switched that pin, which was in position 8, to position 6. The LED's, autopilot disconnect light, and eyeball light now illuminate properly and the intensity is controlled by the dimmer pot.

This picture shows the D25 from the wire side and the two dimmer wires are in positions 7 & 8 when you count from the left (or are able to see the little numbers). Moved the wire in 8 over to 6 and everything now works as it should.


Surprise Pitch Trim Excursion

Last Thursday, Thanksgiving, I was cruising at 6500 feet in my RV-10 with the A/P on and everything dialed in. Headed west, VFR on top with better air confirmed ahead.

I asked my 14 year old son, sitting in the copilot seat, to hand me something from the pocket, which he does.

About 4 seconds later, the airplane pitches up so quickly that we squish into our seats and enter a very high angle climb (>45 deg maybe).

We went from 160kt to 90kt (gained a lot of altitude...not sure how much) by the time I pushed the nose over and turned off everything that I thought could be related.

Then, I saw it.

He has the large iPad (the 12 inch) and it had been laying on the pitch trim since he had reached into the pocket for me.

Eventually the A/P reached its torque limit and disengaged, sending us into a sudden extreme pitch up.

I was holding the stick nose down against the trim while crushing the trim button back to neutral.

All of this takes place in about 15 seconds.

No one barfed...that's the good part. Besides my 12 year old daughter in the back seat thinking it was awesome.



November 29, 2016.   Issue No. 4,256. 

Never has a picture of water running into a drain looked so nice

52F property owner Steve Trotter took this photograph Monday morning at 6:10 AM (my home field).  For those not aware, this is the first use of our newly installed drain, 100% brought to you by the 52F Property Owners Association.  It keeps water from running across the taxiway at the far south end of our airport.  Often times after a rain in the past you would have to taxi through 3 to 4 inches of running water to get to the runway.  Brakes don't like that.

Work starts on the west side this week.  Our P.O.A. rocks.

(click to enlarge)


Cowl Fit ...RepmikeBrown

I fit my top and bottom cowl this weekend. The cowl wouldn't lay on the firewall without pushing it down in the center. It was really tough pushing down, marking, cutting filing, re-filing 1001 times to get that just right fit. Afterwards I pulled the pins across the top of the firewall and down the sides on the bottom cowl, removed the cowls, filed the corners of the hinges. I cut a small door to access the hinge pins on the top. It's impossible for me to install by myself, I can get the hinges started together on the lower ends but the top bulges up where I need to start the pins. Pushing down in the center makes the ends pop out. I'm ready to run a 1/4" saw blade down the middle and relieve some pressure and reglass. Has anyone else done this or will the fit I have now relax itself and finally conform over time? I've searched the archives but failed to find an answer. Any help here on previous builders solutions would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks Mike


Cracked vent line on mechanical fuel pump? ...mbuehler

While chasing some oil leaks, I came across a copper line coming out of the top of the mechanical fuel pump (O-320-E2A in an RV4). It looks like the previous owner attempted a JBWeld fix that has since failed (looks like removing it is some work). It just runs into those blue fittings then out the bottom of the aircraft and vents near the breather hose.

Can somebody tell me what that is? Same diameter copper tubing that the old priming system used. He mentioned that had broken somewhere and they had capped it rather than fix it.


TiP- Counterweights - "remove hatched area" ...mturnerb

I struggled to do this without making a huge mess. Tried hacksaw, file, scoring with bandsaw, etc. etc.  Finally got out an old (very good) putty knife and a hammer. Worked like a charm.  I scored the edges of the removal area first, then went at it from the ends.  many pics


NTSB Safety Alert - XM and ADS-B Weather

Fellow pilot Doug Ranz forwarded the following alert after a morning discussion on the value and limitations of XM and ADS-B weather. Everyone using this service should be aware of its limitations -

Actual Age of NEXRAD Data Can Differ Significantly From Age Indicated on Display
The problem
Weather radar “mosaic” imagery created from Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) data is available to pilots in the cockpit via the flight information service-broadcast (FIS-B) and private satellite weather service providers.

A mosaic image presents radar data from multiple radar ground sites on a single image on the cockpit display. When a mosaic image is updated, it may not contain new information from each ground site.

The age indicator associated with the mosaic image on the cockpit display does not show the age of the actual weather conditions as detected by the NEXRAD network. Instead, the age indicator displays the age of the mosaic image created by the service provider. Weather conditions depicted on the mosaic image will ALWAYS be older than the age indicated on the display.

Due to latencies inherent in processes used to detect and deliver the NEXRAD data from the ground site to the service provider, as well as the time intervals used for the mosaic-creation process set by the service provider, NEXRAD data can age significantly by the time the mosaic image is created. continue


From the mothership FB page:



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

Cincy to Waukesha ...Steve Melton Trip Write-up


Thanksgiving Gratitude ...Myron Nelson

I have been involved in aviation at some level for over 40 years both as an occupation and as an avocation. It took a recent unfortunate AOG experience to cause me to realize something that I've always known in the back of my mind but never really focused directly upon. The blessing of the curse of this passion for aviation isn't about the machines ... it's about people. The machines are merely instruments of shared interest that bring about the blessed associations with wonderful people and lifelong friends.

We all have much to be grateful for.

(later in the thread)
A couple of years ago my octogenarian mother came with me to the airport to see our project taking shape. Over the span of an hour-long visit we were interrupted multiple times by folks spontaneously dropping in for a chat. All the invitation they needed was seeing the door to the hangar open.

On the way home my sage mother said some of the truest words I've ever heard about the aviation community. "You've got a lot of good friends at the airport."



Status Report ...David Paule RV-3B


Mountain Wave ...Rdwrv4

Thought I would share this recent experience cuz it may save someone's life. Of course I have heard of mountain waves ,saw the pictures in the pilots manual, Since I live in the mid-west it was not on the top of my list of flying concerns. OK Monday flying from C77 to Winchester VA. A tail wind like none other so I climbed to 10500 and smiled 50 to 60 knots on average ,yahoo!!! off to Grandma's house we go. Smooth flying! As I approached Winchester I could see the city so I started a let down. crossed the last ridge at 6500, at least 3000 ft above the ridge. Well, all **** broke loose just as I crossed it. Bang bang 45° roll, right, left airspeed fluctuations of 50 knts. I had the runway in sight but not sure I would get there. It settled down a bit as I got further from the ridge, but far from comfortable. I landed, even experiencing wind shear on short final. I will never forget to consider the possibility of mountain waves ever again nor should you. On self debrief and do over possibilities I would have carried full altitude to short final and come down like a helicopter in the 50 knot headwind. Just something to consider.


Shirt Sighting ...Mike C.

I took this photo for another forum, then realized I decked myself out in VAF gear by chance: Cancer therapy with my Dobson, power walking around the base of former sub communication towers, USNA boat basin in the background.

related: About the cap...


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


Beefed Up Steps ...TJCF16

They are pictures of the new beefed up steps from Vans...


RV-12 Major Milestone - - 1,000 hrs ...John Bender RV-12



Thanksgiving, 2016.   Issue No. 4,254.
  I'm thankful for more things than I can list.  I'll have the laptop closed Thursday and Friday...planning on being too full to move.  ;^)   Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled Thanksgiving, also.


Did the Deed ...Shane Barker

Well we finally ordered the first two kits (RV-14A-empennage and wings) on November 8, 2016. I initially said I would wait and just have the wings and empennage sent at the same time in January. That thought lasted until my first contact saying they could send the empennage right out. Well the empennage is here and so are the tools from Cleveland Tool.

Inventory has began and continues, along with transforming a wood shop into an airplane factory. Timeline is to have the air frame done in time for retirement (1072 days-yes I have a count down timer) and then buy the 390 and avionics.


Hello World ...Andy C. RV-9A

Hello and just beginning a thread on an RV-9A project that I am working on in Kalamazoo Mi.

I found this plane not far from me, it was an unfinished kit that another builder began in 2000, the build number is 90072. The picture is the project as I found it, in a garage about 8 miles from my home.

This is my first Van's build and I am excited with the project! I currently fly a 1946 Cessna 120 that I restored over the last 3-1/2 years.

Looking forward to posting updates as we go,

Andy C.


New area in the forums: ADS-B

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



November 23, 2016.   Issue No. 4,253.

Cedar Key (KCDK) ...John Mastro RV-8

Beautiful day in Florida today! Flew up to KCDK for lunch at "83 West" - very friendly place.  Fyi - Keylime Cake was awesome!


RV-8 Winter Ops ...David Domeier

Flew yesterday with OAT 38F, really cold in cabin with full heat on from double muff around 2 pipes, no fun at all.

I knew the problem, air leak at canopy skirt. Same thing a year ago, so envolked same solution, spent $3.79 for weather stripping and installed same on inside of canopy skirt.

Flew today and cabin was toasty warm.

Like last year, when summer returns will remove it fir max air flow when temps hit 100F.

Great take off performance today, was flying before reaching first mark on IFR runway. <g>


Here we go ...unitink72 RV-10 begins

Well I pulled the trigger. Am beyond excited and have been chipping away at the vertical stab every night since I got inventory done.

Inventory took a couple hours and there were a few little pieces of hardware missing, and the VS spar doubler plate that I think was added in a service bulletin, which is naturally needed on like page 1 of the instructions.

My builder number is 41750, so I assume that means I have the 1750th RV-10 kit right?

Wondering how much time people spend edge deburring each rib. Not sure if I'm in overkill mode, but its taking me 45 minutes or so. Mostly because I use little 1cm strips of 400 grit to "floss" the flanges. Getting the innermost part of the flange is pretty difficult too. The accessible parts I have a pretty good process for, vixen file, debur tool, scotchbrite wheel.

I've been lurking on this site for a couple years now. Thanks everybody for putting great info on here.


File Under Motivation:


Flight Data Systems Product Update

"We have two announcements:

1) Pathfinder ADS-B Receivers are now compatible with ForeFlight

2) We are having a sale on the Pathfinder Remote ADS-B Receiver for $399 ($150) off!"

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



November 22, 2016.   Issue No. 4,252.
  For a few minutes at the top of yesterday's edition I threw out a trotline requesting help with my heating unit in the attic, and I was lucky enough to receive several e-mails from folks. Thank you for all of the wonderful help and suggestions.  Cary, John, James, Jerald, Dennis, Dave, Ron and Glen....thank you!
  Marc Whisman of Long Beach, CA emailed me also, and included his phone number with a 'call me' offer.  Marc owns and flies a RV-10 on weekends, but Monday through Friday he works on plumbing, heating and drains.  Picture of his business card at right and Mr.&Mrs.Whisman below.
  Anyway, through the beauty of modern technology I was able to send him a couple of pictures of the inside of my heater, and he gave me a few troubleshooting suggestions to rule out 'the expensive stuff'.  Long story short, the house is warm again and I now have a better understanding of what's involved when I move the thermostat lever up and down in my house. It's actually pretty fascinating, and brimming with safety features.  For those interested, the inducer motor, pressure switch, igniter, gas valve, main burners and flame sensor all checked out just fine. I was so excited about learning all this terminology I took the cover off after it was fixed and made Tate watch me explain it.  I timed the seconds it takes all the different start-up events to trigger (page 33) and nerded out watching them later work.
  The background wallpaper on my home computer right now is the schematic of my HVAC system.  I kinda enjoyed this to be honest...
  The RV community comes through again!  The purpose of all this rambling is to publicly thank Marc for helping this Luddite crawl out from under four blankets. If you are anywhere near the Long Beach area and your heater is INOP, please consider giving Marc your business.  He certainly helped me out!

PS:  I blew off a LOT of emails in the last 48 hours fiddling with this heater.  Apologies in advance for not getting back quickly.


Well Finally....First Flight! ...Mark Dickens

After 17+ years, RV-8 N678MT finally took to the air on November 20, 2016. Two flights. No surprises, no leaks. Flies just like an airplane should. Lots to learn and probably some tweaking to do, but we've started! I have some video that I need to edit and I'll post it later.

To paraphrase a recently unsuccessful candidate for President, it does take a village to build an RV, and that village is here on VAF. Thanks for Doug for hosting and maintaining VAF! And I surely would not have finished this without the support of so many stalwart members. Thank you very much for responding to my many stupid questions!

More to come...


Joe Blank Celebration of Life: A Thank You ...Scott McDaniels

I want to send out a big thank you to those in the RV community that attended the Celebration of Life service for Joe on Saturday.
I know it was a huge encouragement to Tricia, Jamie, and the rest of Joe's family.
It was a great day of reminiscing and story telling... it just further reinforced how huge of an impact Joe had on so many people.
I would estimate that at the peak point there was ~250 people there, which is likely no surprise to anyone that new him.
I know some of you traveled a long way to attend, and there was likely hundreds more that would have liked too.
I know Joe would have been totally humbled and blown away.

Thank you.


Snow Storm In Minnesota so I left ...Robin Mckee

The day after the snow storm the runway was cleared so I flew to APA in Colorado to see my son and grandson.. A very nice way to escape the cold for a day or so.


Measuring Wing Incidence Positions ...tgmillso

I'm finally plugging my wings in today and will be drilling the rear spar, but had some questions first about where to take the wing incidence measurements. In the diagram on drawing 38, it mentions that the forward end of your level should be even with the forward surface of the main spar web, however it doesn't specify a position for the rear. Just to confuse the matter, on the RV-8 assembly DVD RV Builder Basics, it shows them measuring the forward end between the two skins, and the aft end at the rivet line.
Does anyone know where specifically this aft measurement should be taken for the RV-7?



November 21, 2016.   Issue No. 4,251.

Re-Birth of N94CR: Status Report ...j-red

Busy week! I built and hung my engine this week which really opens up a whole new range of tasks that can be completed.


Pics from Joe Blank Celebration of Life

Matt Burch photo

- Gary Sobek photos

- https://dougreeves.smugmug.com/Joe/
(I added some pics AX-O and Gary Sobek sent me)


Got to love holidays ...mbishop

....and family members banging stuff into edges in the garage....  This is on the end of a horizontal stabilizer. I would love some advice on getting this out.


RV-10 C-GNCX Panel Ops Check ...CDN (Cold Lake, AB)

C-GNCX (Gina's -n- Colin's Ten) has completed the 25 hour test phase and everything is functioning as it should.

The panel is built using mostly Advanced Flight Systems/Dynon products. It contains 2x af-5600 displays, remote com radio, autopilot panel (was installed mainly for the auto trim functions it offers) remote sv261 mode S transponder, and an iPad mini in a guardian avionics dock running foreflight, audio panel is the new remote unit from AFS/PS-Engineering, PDA360EX-R. The CPI ignition box is mounted behind the iPad so it's accessible but not a prominent feature. The electrical system is controlled by a VPX Pro that made the wiring pretty simple since it incorporates many of the features that would have required multiple separate modules (flap controller, wig/wag, etc).  more


Video of my engine assembly ...j-red

My engine, an o-360A1A was born back in about 1993 and first run in 1999. It flew about 500 hours until a noseover accident in 2009 resulting in a prop strike. I completely tore down the engine and had the crank and cam sent out for inspection. The case was sent to be professionally cleaned. The cylinders were "freshened up" by Columbia aircraft services (they now look like new, but were not technically overhauled because of the low time). New rings and pistons were purchased for the rebuild.  continue


Status Report ...AdamB RV-10

My elevators have been mostly done for awhile. It took me 3 attempts at getting the trim tabs to where I wanted them. Mostly had trouble bending the tabs, when I finally decided to fabricate riblets.  So I finally finished my elevators 100%.   In the meantime, I've made significant progress on the tailcone. It's all torn apart, and ready to prime and start final assembly



November 18, 2016.   Issue No. 4,250.
  Susie, Audrey, Tate and I would like to wish you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 

RV-7 I-NLCM Lucio Castrogiovanni ...Milano, Italy

Yesterday , the 16th November , here in Italy at Trento airport LIDT in late morning on runway 36, the standard and GREAT kit serial # 71804 took off becoming an amazing RV-7 , the I-NLCM.

The baby is equipped :
-Engine Lyco IO 360 A1A angle valve 200 hp overhauled
-Three bladed CATTO prop
-Dual P-Mag + ECI
-Dynon : SV1000 , Knob Control panel , full AP with control panel, VHF Com (2) Radio, EMS , Transponder Mode "S", AOA Pitot, GPS receiver.
-Garmin 695
- Becker AR-6201 Com (1) @ 8.33
- Winter ALT and ASI
- ELT Artex
- Power Flarm

First of all, my biggest thanks to Cinzia , patient and caring wife , pillar of encouragement ; and to Camy, brightly and essential shop helper, our always smiling daughter.  continue


My RV-14 Demo w/Mitch Lock ...Todd Rader

I was fortunate to be able to meet with Mitch Lock this morning for a demo flight in the RV-14. The weather was a perfect 60 degree day, CAVU with light winds out of the west and I was psyched to experience the legendary performance of an RV for the 1st time. Mitch and the RV-14 far exceeded any expectations I had formed from reading about it, cruising this forum and talking with others. Vans has chosen very wisely regarding their choice for East Coast Rep.

I'm a retired Naval Aviator, current corporate pilot and have flown my fair share of high performance aircraft throughout my career. A few things have prevented me from taking the plunge to build in the past which included finding an aerobatic aircraft that would comfortably fit my 6' 3" frame while still being a capable cross country aircraft. I sat in the RV-14 at Oshkosh this year and talked with Mitch about the airplane and he was VERY patient in answering all my questions. Today, I got to fly it and the final key questions I had were emphatically answered in the affirmative for me. The RV-14 handles as well as any aircraft I have ever flown and it is the aircraft I will be building!


G3X Touch Software Update - v5.00

On Tuesday we released a major software update for the G3X Touch system. As usual, software updates are free to download from our website. To get all the details and download the latest, follow this link.

One major new feature is the addition of airspace altitude labels on our dynamic moving map. This has been a big customer request and we are excited to deliver. In the example below, you'll see the altitude ceiling labeled on the Class D airspace as well as the restricted airspace floor and ceiling.


385 landings ...David Domeier RV-8

...and still working at it.

It's getting easier but still manage to screw one up now and then.

The best condition is 10 knots of headwind, the worst is 5 knots of tail wind. Cross winds are in between.

I cannot three point this airplane, it relaunches every time unless the wing is unloaded with forward stick as it touches down. To get it slowed to just above 51 knots (stall), the tail wheel will touch first and it will do a pogo dance with mains.

A touch down on mains is above stall every time, the aircraft will relaunch easily unless the wing is unloaded with a bit of forward stick.

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


Welcome Trig Avionics Limited

"Van's Air Force pilots know their airplanes are amongst the most capable and fun ways to fly. For those still building with the dream of flight or those looking to update their avionics, Trig Avionics, is the perfect match for any Vans airframe.

Trig, offers innovative and highly compact certified transponders and VHF radios, that save space and look great in any panel. Pilots looking to get ADS-B Out equipped and meet the 2020 mandate should install Trig’s TT22 – this is a class 1, compact transponder, certified to FAA TSO C166b, the latest FAA standard. The TT22’s small size and weight (0.8lbs) allows other instrumentation or avionics to be accommodated, providing a genuine benefit in any installation.

For ADS-B Out, a transponder needs to be matched with a suitable compliant GPS.  A recent price reduction to Trig’s C145 WAAS GPS and antenna kit, called the TN70 now means a fully compliant Trig system costs only $3,763 (list price / excluding tax). The TN70 is very simple to install, requires no panel space and provides a cost-effective way to add a 2020 certified WAAS GPS receiver to complete your ADS-B installation.

Growing numbers of Vans owners have also installed Trig’s popular TY91 radio. Like the TT22 the TY91 is highly compact, the use of a control head and separate hardware unit provides more installation options.  A built in two place intercom and clear bright display is complimented by a superior user interface for faster tuning. Integration with Garmin hand held GPS navigators (SL40 protocol) is also possible to display on-route frequencies. A dual control TY91 option is available, ideal for tandem Vans aircraft where radio functionality is duplicated in each cockpit, it’s intuitive and simple to use.

Trig has an extensive dealer network in North America and dedicated technical support facilities at Mid Continent Instruments and Avionics. All Trig products ship with a two-year warranty that commences from the date of installation, great for those who are building!

Trig products are ‘better by design’ offering you the best mix of quality and value - backed by the best support in the industry. To find you nearest Trig dealer go to www.trig-avionics.com."


Garmin Pilot v8.5 Released

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




November 17, 2016.   Issue No. 4,249.

Milestone: Phi Beta Kappa's Newest Member (history)

Ms. Audrey G. Reeves.  Pictured here yesterday evening after signing 'the book' at SMU's Dallas Hall (first ΦΒΚ signature in it dated 1949). 

It's looking like her focus will soon be a PhD program (Chemical Biology with a specialty in imaging).  Some of the research she's helping with can be viewed HERE.  I call what she is working on 'making cancer cells glow in the dark so you can find all of them during surgery'.  She calls it 'A Targeted, Near-IR Probe for use in Fluorescence-Guided Excision of Cancerous Tumors'.  Poe-Tate-Oh, Pah-Tah-Dah.

To the advertisers and folks who donate, keeping our small family business going...you helped provide this opportunity for her.  Audrey is taking your support very seriously, and hopefully you approve of the results.  Susie and I are so very proud of her.  How we were Blessed with such a wonderful child is beyond me.

I went for a short .3hr flight around the local area Wednesday morning - before the cold Wx and possible storms arrive Friday.  The visibility was unusually good, and I could see downtown Dallas and Fort Worth in sharp relief.  A little north of downtown Dallas, 29.7 miles away, the SMU campus was inter-mixed in a clump of shapes.  My thoughts turned to our daughter somewhere down there, the 'AR' in N617AR, and her work focused on the betterment of the world.  I said a short prayer of heartfelt thanks out loud. 

Very heartfelt thanks... 

Sixteen and a half years ago...


Welcome Home "Inspiration"!

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


Treat that Prop with Respect

...more stories.

Several years ago, a couple friends of mine went to look at a Chief one of them was wanting to buy. The plane was in a hangar full of planes with its doors locked. While waiting for the owner to arrive, they looked in the plane windows, saw that the mag switch was off, and decided to turn over the prop to check to relative compression of the motor. They got the surprise of their life when the motor cranked. They had to hold the plane for quite a while till the owner arrived. They were very lucky that no one got hurt or plane got damaged. The owner was not a happy camper when he arrived. Stuff happens so don't play around with a prop.
Allen Blackwell
Very slow build RV7A

And another...

Another story, from personal experience.

Several years ago I tying to isolate an intermittent performance problem on my 8. After a flight with the engine very warm I pulled the prop thru to feel the compression and it spun thru 5 or so blades. Got my attention.

No hot mag, just a HOT engine.

George Meketa


Eagle's Nest Projects - Declan Steinke 1st Solo (Central HS WI)

If it's a VFR day in Wisconsin, chances are you'll find one or more of the Eagle's Nest Projects build-students at Westosha Central High School in their student-built RV-12 receiving flight instruction under the watchful eye of certified flight instructor, John Putra. Mr. Putra volunteers is time and together with a dedicated team of mentors and community support, Central High School is quickly building their very own Air Force of high school private pilots; some receiving their ticket before they even have a drivers license!

Eagle's Nest builder Declan Steinke is the latest addition to Central's growing number of teen pilots, having successfully completed his first solo flight today, Thurs 11/15/16. Please welcome Declan to the VAF community of RV enthusiasts, builders, and pilots.

Aside: When Declan was asked if he had his Eagle's Nest T-shirt, he said he remembered it half way to the airport and didn't have time to go back. Quote from Jim Senft; "Oh well, what are you going to do?".

Declan is also the youngest independent Rotax Maintenance Technician (iRMT).  Not bad for only being a Junior in High School. The whole Eagle’s Nest program is making a difference in many students’ lives.


Service Letter 16-11-04: Tip-Up Canopies

While rare, in-flight canopy and door openings have been reported in all models of RVs. Field reports of aircraft flight characteristics both during and after an in-flight opening vary significantly. The most pronounced changes in flight characteristics reported have been related to canopy openings on RVs with tip-up (forward opening) type canopies, as used on the RV-6/7/9/12/and 14 models. In most cases these incidents have been minor, but some have had serious consequences.

Field reports indicate that if the canopy does become unlatched in flight, the aircraft will most likely pitch nose down abruptly. The severity of the pitching moment can depend on speed, attitude and weight and balance. While the noise and attitude change may be very distracting, it is paramount that the pilot maintains control of the aircraft at all times. If at a safe altitude, slowing the airplane may allow the canopy to be closed and latched. Otherwise, the aircraft should be landed as soon as possible to determine the cause and ensure the canopy is secured prior to further flight.  continue


RV-3B Update ...David Paule

The new seat angles are fabricated. They went relatively smoothly. I had to work on the flanges to remove most of the roughness from the shrinker/stretcher, which does leave a mark in 6061-T6.

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


My Home Field ...update.

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

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


Welcome https://x-schemes.com

"Hello VAF Members! I'm Nate O'Quinn, here with a new service I'd like to offer, X-Schemes. X-Schemes is an Experimental focused paint scheme design service that can offer designs for complete paint schemes, nose and tail art, or any other aircraft graphic.

I got my start here on VAF actually. After learning about RVs, I quickly imagined myself in a -7 or -8, and thought about how I would like to paint a personal aircraft. I threw together a couple of renders for community feedback. The feedback was very encouraging, and then a few folks started to ask me to design schemes for their aircraft.

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

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

I have a good grasp on military, classic, and modern schemes and am familiar with all RV models. I can also work with any mods your aircraft has. Contact me here on VAF under the username "Notorious Nate", or through my website X-Schemes.com for special introductory pricing!"


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



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

New Runway Progress

How exciting!  A short 13min flight Tue morning resulted in pics of six deer and one taxiway being worked on.  This is big news for the pilots using my home field.  The work being done now relates to fixing the drainage issues that have been there for decades.  Once that is complete the new runway goes in.  Obviously, if you're using 52F expect to back taxi if landing long on 17.  You can't get off at the end.  Good stuff!

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


Snorkel success ...Simon Hitchen

Having read about so much grief concerning the snorkel installation I got stuck in. Im really pleased to say that the snorkel fits beautifully. This is the VA 132-2 snorkel 7/8.

The only cutting required was around the top to fit with the baffles. I didn't get away Scott free, the mixture cable rod end bearing touches the rear of the snorkel in full rich. Ah well.

So for anyone moving into this stage, I'm thinking Vans have modified the design and it's not nearly as bad as I believed it would be.
I've got a Titan IO-360, superior cold air induction sump, sky tech SL starter and plane power 60 amp alternator. It all fits.


Close Call ...Mike Hillger

This thread hits home! I was leaving an uncontrolled airport Saturday after a Young Eagle Event. I had just flown 5 Young Eagles and was headed home. The field had been very busy that morning and I noticed a Piper Colt that had a very weak radio transmission but I heard him while I was in the air flying. He had been doing touch and goes most of the morning. My Dynon com radio has the squelch set on the default setting. I finished my run up and looked both ways on runway 35 and didn't see anything. My friend had just taken off and I listened to his radio transmission but didn't hear anyone else in the pattern. I announce that In was taking 35 for a North departure and started rolling toward the threshold. Just before turning onto the runway, I looked back again and saw the Colt on short final! At that very moment, my friend (Airguy) radioed me that the colt was on short final. I acknowledged as I was doing a 180 to get farther away from the threshold. The Colt was probably shouting at me but since his weak radio was not breaking my squelch, and I was on the ground so my radio was not in the best receiving position, I couldn't hear him!........ Close call for sure and my friend could have saved my life if I hadn't seen the Colt the second time and the Colt, for some reason, wouldn't have gone around.......I have adjusted the squelch now and will click the squelch over ride from now on taxiing to the runway. Of coarse, I accept full responsibility for the near miss as it is my responsibility to visually clear any approaching aircraft.


From Bruce's ...10% off


Hot Prop Happened to Me ...Boyd Birchler

I had this happen to me!  I had a Decathlon that would occasionally have a valve stick on the first take off of the day. So I thought I would check the engine by turning it over, while cold in the hangar, to see If I could locate the abhorrent valve. My back was up against the door I had verified the mag switches were off.

I got ready to turn the prop and thought: if I have a bad P lead/hot mag this would be a very bad place to be, with the prop arch only a few inches from my legs with my back touching the hangar door behind me, should the engine start I'd be in real trouble.

I went to the other hanger and found a set of good chocks and chocked the plane. I then got in front of the plane and pulled the blade through.. it started on the the first slow pull!!! Just like the one in the video, it only ran a few seconds. I had already shimmied out side ways before it quit.

If I had not chocked it? How long would it have been before I got help?

Nearly 30 years later I still have great respect for props.


Panel Upgrade Status Report ...Tony T

So far, it has been an intense, but satisfying, project. There is a certain amount of trauma to your psych when you tear out a perfectly good panel and start a complicated replacement. But the work keeps you busy and there is no remorse once you see tangible progress. I found no real surprises. A lot of homework is involved reviewing the original plans, the SV update plans (sec 42D) and the new wiring harness plans section 31B plus the plans that come with the Avionics kit, section 42C, section 42G for the GTR 200 radio, section 42M for the control modules, section 44A for the autopilot servo wiring, and section 58 AP knobs. I spend one day at home getting getting my head around my notes and the plans between work days at the hangar.

I have been at it for 4 weeks, 3 days a week at the hangar and have about 72 hangar hours logged and don't know how many hours at home reviewing and planning.

I still need to get back into the tail cone and install the ADAHRS box. Been avoiding that task

Anyway, I am looking forward to turning on the Master very soon now and then it will be learning the new panel and putting the flight control hardware back together in the center tunnel.

I can hardly wait to get her going again and fly behind this beautiful panel!



November 15, 2016.   Issue No. 4,247.

2016 Reno Air Races, a different perspective ...skylor

At this year's Reno National Championship Air Races, I enjoyed the honor of participating in the Sport Class's first ever Slalom Match Racing exhibition. I finally got around to making a short video from some of my GoPro footage.

This is my first attempt at a YouTube video, so please excuse my use of a GoPro template and music...

Treat every prop as live! ...Ian Warburton

Video of close call...

We've all probably been told early on in our training to treat every prop as live. Here's why. I don't think I have ever heard of an actual case of this happening, just been told it's possible. The video is scary. Some great lessons here.

FlyLEDs Review ...Paul Gray video

I've built and placed the flyleds into my RV 7A with great results. Here is a short video of my flyleds building adventure and flight. My concern of radio noise was wasted worry.... I'm happy to report there is no radio noise whatsoever. Highly recommend this product.

Walked out to the plane, and found a dent

Well, walked out to my 8 on the ramp at Kickapoo today and saw a small dent on the top of my flap. No idea what happened..... is this repairable? I didn't build the plane, so I haven't done sheet metal work, and I hope it's not a "you're gonna have to just use filler." I'm based at Ogden and there's a "aircraft restoration and paint shop" here but haven't talked to them. Open to some pointers.

First Engine Start ...ILikePike

First engine start! Idle mixture is too rich and I have a cowl rub on the snorkel. I only thought I was done with fiberglass. I plan to reshape the snorkel to make a little more clearance. It's had to measure but I think I have about 1/4" to 1/2" now. I should be able to get another 1/4" to 1/2".

Anybody know where a can rent some scales in NE Georgia?

Check the runway, then check it again! ...nbachert

Yesterday I was returning from my weekend trip when I almost had a head on collision at my home airport. I received the ASOS and it said winds were calm so I was planning on landing rwy 18. I cancelled my IFR flight with approach when I had the field in sight which was about 8 miles out. They told me to squawk VFR and that no traffic was in the area because I mentioned having trouble seeing because I was flying into the setting sun. I radioed for traffic and advisorys over the airports CTAF and got nothing. I proceeded to make a 5 mile, 3 mile, and short final call with no response to any of them. As I was crossing the threshold I saw a plane about 30-50ft higher flying at me and they continued overtop of me. I keyed the mic and said are you kidding me. I wasn't scared and didn't need to make any crazy aircraft control inputs because he was high enough and I was too low. I landed uneventfully and as I was taxing in he made a call he was turning downwind. I refrained from much conversation but I said I'm glad he is making radio calls now. He swore he was making calls and had a passenger to prove it. After landing I went and talked to the airport fuel operator who sits in a shack that monitors the CTAF. He said that he had left for coffee but he heard my short final call and my are you kidding me comment. I said thanks, and proceeded out to the fella to explain the importance of using the radio. I told him that the monitor heard me and either his radio wasn't on the correct freq or it wasn't on. Him and his passenger were a little shaken but didn't want to except any responsibility. So I then said I will make sure in the future to do an extensive runway check for aircraft and enter midfield downwind which will allow for better visibility with the setting sun. I asked that he double check his radios and left. While he wouldn't acknowledge any problems I hope he eventually understands how close this was and puts his ego aside. My point is that I'm happy to be alive and there are ways to make sure I keep myself out of this scenario again even if someone isn't talking on the radio. I know its not a requirement so like I said above keep a look out for that guy that might inadvertently do some airshow displays with you! I know I learned a valuable lesson I just hope the kid flying the other plane puts it in his tool bag as well! Be safe out there!

Communication Breakdown ...Accident Case Study

On February 29, 2012, a Cirrus SR22 plunged to the ground just seconds before what would have been a normal landing at Melbourne, Florida. In this case study, we reconnect the links of the accident chain, and search for lessons in the tragedy.

IAC Sequences for 2017 Approved

Still alive and well! ...Brantel

Some people have asked why I have not been as active on here for the past few weeks.

Using the RV Training Guide ...VAC

Shop Update Pics ...scard



November 14, 2016.   Issue No. 4,246.

West Coast Ravens at Nellis this past weekend.
In memory of Joe.  (pics via text from AX-O)


Sightseeing via RV in Utah & Colorado ...flybill7

About a month ago, I flew the RV-7 on a ten-day cross-country to/from Baltimore to western Colorado and eastern/southern Utah. I did most of my flying in the morning when the sun lit everything up and the air was smooth. I was fortunate to have outstanding weather the entire trip and was able to take some great pictures of awesome scenery in such places as the Black Canyon NM, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Lake Powell, Capital Reef, Dinosaur NM, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP, and many other incredible places that aren't national parks. In my opinion, it's the best flying from a scenery point of view in the U.S. (although I have not flown Alaska). I put together a web log of my trip so you can see some of the great pictures. see pictures


Freedom Flight ...hydroguy2

I don't fly enough lately for various reasons. But still make a lap around the valley to warm up the oil and free my mind. With this week having the Election and Veterans day, I felt the urge for a freedom flight to put everything in proper perspective. Below is a spliced together video from Townsend, then along the mountains looking over the area I hunt elk. Drop down to the glassy lake and up the river before turning it back to the barn. My friend Gerry had flown down for coffee with the hangar bums...so I joined them.

Beautiful fall day....Life is good.  video


Q: Fuel return bulkhead fitting

I am installing a duplex fuel valve in my 14. The return line is secured in the supplied brackets, parallel to the feed line and exits straight into the wing root. What works out the best in the wing root when connecting to the fuel tank, a straight or elbow bulkhead fitting. Anybody been there-done that?

A: (M McGraw)

I used a straight fitting then crossed from the fuselage to the wing with SS braided fuel hose. I originally had a short aluminum line that went straight across. That line is not straight and is only about 2.5 to 3 inches long. That makes a stress free sealed connection very difficult. I changed over to crossed flexible lines for two reasons (1) it relieved the stress on the fittings and (2) it allowed the top of the duplex valve to be the fuel filter connection making maintenance easier. This also reduced the number of AN 90 degree fittings on the suction side of the pump. Steve at Aircraft Specialty has the dimensions as he made the lines.

P.S.- Be very careful to purchase the Andair valve that has the same mounting top as the supplied valve. I wound up having to create a nutplate ring to go under my valve.


Milestone: First engine start of C-FUIP ...terry.mortimor video

Hi gang, check out the first engine start of C-FUIP. Lycoming IO-320 equipped with duel EFII ignition and injection.


The Re-birth of N94CR ...j-red update

After receiving the sds ignition kit, i finally had all of the pieces for my panel. The kit came with a template which was aligned then cleco'd in place while i rough cut the hole, then used a pattern bit in the router to clean it up. The result was a perfectly shaped opening for the cpi module. Everything was then uninstalled, the panel removed, deburred, cleaned and painted, then labeled and reinstalled. I still need the passenger warning, but otherwise it's complete and the instruments are in for the final time. All of the engine system wires have been run through the firewall, and there is just a little bit of cleanup and clamping to do behind the panel. The only significant systems that still need work are the final sections of pitot/static tubing and the manifold pressure connections (tying together the cpi & grt behind the firewall and the engine in front of it.).


Any Ideas why this Broke Off


Interesting Takeoff This Morning ...todehnal

It was a cool morning as we left on our 90 nm flight heading to a breakfast fly-in, located in central Tenn. My pre-flight began with an hour of preheat. The start was quick, as was the warm up, and the flight down was beautiful, and uneventful. After a 1 1/2 hour of breakfast and hangar flying, we were ready to head home. I was surprised at how cool the engine was. It started fine, but I held things up a bit, getting the oil temp up to 120. As soon as it got there, I departed. At full throttle, and at about 50 feet above the runway, the little girl started hollering at me "Engine Speed" Engine Speed" She got my attention! Sure enough, I'm at 5250 rpm, and it is RED, and flashing at me!! Scared the (^@p out of me! I finally figured it out, and it didn't last long. My guess is that the oil was up to temp, but the water wasn't. As soon as I took off, my oil temp must have dropped enough to set off the alarms. I was too busy flying the airplane to notice how far the oil temp dropped, but the alarms only lasted for 10 or 15 seconds. Wheeew! Anyone else experience this?



November 11, 2016.   Issue No. 4,245.
  It's about the people you meet, and living a full life with the curve balls thrown your way.  I had the distinct pleasure of giving my wife's friend Jean Di Carlo-Wagner a ride in the RV Thursday morning - her first RV ride.  Intended it to be 15 minutes and it turned into 40.  You can read about Jean and how she's kicking cancer's ass at this link (more at Google search HERE).  She is in town to go to a yoga thing with Susie this weekend in Canton, and is staying at our house for a day or two in advance.  She's from California and has some pretty different political beliefs from most of the folks in Texas, but she went and ate BBQ at the Hard Eight with a few of the airport locals ('in the belly of the beast' as she worded it <g>) and instantly became friends with all.  Everyone is looking forward to her next visit - you can't help but like this lady.  Hugs were given.
  Jean and her husband have an AirBnB place in San Diego.  Link HERE.  If you're going there and need a place to stay, I'll personally vouch for her.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.


Our planes inspire others ...Bob Collins

This week a card was waiting for me at my desk when I got into work on Monday. It's unusual because, though I've been here almost 25 years, I think I've gotten a card once or twice. I'm not everyone's cup of tea, you might have heard.

So when I opened it, I was pretty surprised.  The newsroom had heard -- somehow --that N614EF had to go on sale.

I didn't really realize that the story of how she came to be and the journeys she's taken over the last 335 hours had inspired some of the non fliers around me. I only rarely wrote of the trips on my day job blog.

But they did. I suspect people all around us are inspired by the planes we've built and fly, and we don't quite realize it.

These are magical things, these planes...  more


Welcome www.L-3LYNX.com

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



2017 EAA Sweepstakes...



November 10, 2016.   Issue No. 4,244.

RV-8 Around the World Status Report ...pgroell

South Pole.  Today Michel Gordillo flew over the south pole in his RV-8.  The flight originated at the italian Mario Zucchelli Station (south of Tasmania) and landed at the argentinian Mariambo station (south of Argentina).  The 4600 km (2500 NM) was completed in 21 hours.



Wednesday I took up the RV-6 for 22min 51sec (APRS track) - first flight in a week.  Looked for some deer, turkeys, hogs and hawks and saw nothing.  Did see 'Mema on the porch' and gave her slowish pass and a wave.  The wind was from the N at 7kts so Rwy 35.  Slopes down on the south end and can be interesting.  Approached from the east and tried my best to fly a near-circular, compensating for wind, stabilized descending turn with the AOA centered.  Flap dump somewhere in the mix.  If things felt good in the flare (they did) and all three wheels touched at the same time with no hopping I planned to raise the flaps with a palm slap (manual flaps) and see if I could make the Charlie turn off with no braking.  943 feet from displaced threshold to the turn according to GoogleEarth.  Mostly full tanks.  No baggage.

Supporting data below.  Ground track top image, the red arrow in the second image shows where the tracker was turned off (just after turning off the runway), and the third shows the ruler measurement in G.E..  A rewarding flight, with goals, challenges and room for improvement.  Sometimes you get close.  Very enjoyable to me, but I'm guessing a few might find it boring.  Different strokes and all that....


Best Pic of your RV on the Ground ...Vlad's entry

...Alaska Highway.



November 9, 2016.   Issue No. 4,243.
  For the readers who voted, thank you for participating in the election process. 


A Celebration of Joe Blank's Life

...is currently being planned for the 19th of Nov at (KUAO) Aurora, OR.  I'll share more when I have it, but this is the info I have now.  If you're flying in commercial I wanted you to have the date as quick as I could get it to you.  More to come...


Exhaust- how close is too close-

We planned to use an existing crossover-exhaust that was previously fitted on another RV-4. It suits us well, because both crossover pipes are in front of the oil sump and keeps us the space behind the oil sump free of exhaust pipes. The todays Vetterman crossover exghaust has one pipe in front and one behind the oil sump.

As you can see in the pictures below the exhaust pipes have low clearance in some places.
- Pic 1: approx. 0.12 Inch between each other and between a pipe and the oil sump
- Pic 2: approx. 0.16 Inch between the pipe and the oil fitting (used for inverted oil system)

For those having experience with similar installations: is this too close? Especially the clearance between the pipe and the fitting? There is no space to place a heat shield in between.


RV-14 Panel Status ...Bob Meyers

I went with an iPad instead of a second Garmin screen. It interacts well with either Garmin Pilot or Foreflight. For attitude/airdata backup I went with the G5.

In the picture, the PFD, Navigator and iPad are all sharing flight plan info. The PFD won't pass attitude info yet, because it doesn't know where it is and the magnetometer is not calibrated.

The 625 navigator has a built in demo mode and when in use all three devices talk with each other with simulated data sent from the 625. I have simulated several flights.


From the mothership FB page...


DanH's Thoughts on Selling Your Aircraft

...did I mention he sells cars and trucks for a living?

"Admitting to a methodology for sales is a bit like admitting to witchcraft. Not everyone views it as a behavioral science. However, there are fundamentals.

(1) The purpose of advertising is to generate a contact. An ad will not sell the product. It can only generate a call or (these days) an email.

(2) When answering a call or email, the objective is to set a time to show the product. Although you may arrive at some provisional agreement, a sale is rarely consummated until after the product has been examined.

(3) The only purpose of showing the product is to ask for a commitment. The most common failure in sales is self-inflicted; the seller doesn't ask.

So how to put fundamentals into practice?

Re (1) Comfort = Familiar. The more they know, the more likely they are to move toward a contact. So imagine everything you would ask if you were a purchaser, and when possible, put all those things in the advertising.

Re (2) A good ad sets up a successful contact; your goal is a commitment to come look. People are generally poor at asking questions, digesting the answers, and making an immediate decision. You want to be in the position of confirming details they have already had time to consider, rather than answering new questions. It allows you to spend the phone time asking your question, which is something like "Want to look at it this weekend, or next weekend?"

Re (3) When they arrive, take the time to really show them the airplane. Not tell, show. Help them feel it, smell it, and experience it. They won't buy until they are comfortable, and that means familiar. When they are familiar, ask them to buy it. It's not a big deal. Just ask in whatever way you find comfortable. Even apologetic is fine; "Well, I guess I should ask if you would like to buy it" works as well as anything. It's really just an icebreaker, a way to put the Big Question on the table. Believe me, they are often as hesitant to do so as you might be. Somebody just has to go first."


Special Fall Organization FreeReel Special

Martin Product Design is currently running a special on the FreeReel family of products until 11/12.

The FreeReel is an extremely versatile and effective reel for managing power cords, and hoses. The FreeReel is particularly good for use in aircraft maintenance. You can carry the FreeReel to your job with your power cord or air hose and set it down. Pick it back up and wind it to your power source or compressor once you’re finished.

Please click the Amazon links below to look at the FreeReel discounts. Don’t forget to enter your promo code.

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



November 8, 2016.   Issue No. 4,242.

Flying with my Boy! ...crabandy

As the father of 3 older girls who have all spent their fair share of time around airplanes with dad, my lil' dude takes the cake. Part of it is the "engine sounds" he makes after we make the familiar turn to the airport, not sure if it's a lycoming or the V8 in his Cozy Coupe


N33EY First Flight ...Robert Young RV-3

RV-3B N33EY flew for the first time on Nov 03. WOW! What an experience. Reminded me of my first flight in the F-16


IAC Sebring Aerobatic PIREP ...RV8Squaz

I just returned from my very first aerobatic contest, the Sebring Fall 2016 Aerobatic Championship in Florida and had a blast!

If you’ve ever thought about competing, DO IT! If you haven’t thought about doing it, but maybe getting a little bored flying around in circles within 20 miles of your home airport, DO IT! Or, if your just looking for another avenue to express your inner self in flight, DO IT! I can truly tell you, that you it will find it challenging, rewarding and FUN!!! And you know what… Anyone can do it in just about any kind of aerobatic airplane.  ...


For Sale ...Bob Collins 7A


There I was, just sliding along ...DanH

No matter how long you've been flying, there's always another lesson just around the corner.

My buddy has a short grass strip at his house, across the flat part of an old cotton patch. It's about 800 feet from terrace row to terrace row, said rows forming the "threshold" at both ends. There's about 100 feet of good grass beyond a gentle terrace at one end, and then it's out between the tall trees and off into a ravine full of more trees. The other end has two gentle terraces about 30 feet apart, followed by a mowed grass bowl probably 200 feet across.  ...


Pink Slip ...Mark Dickens

After 17 years (7 years actually building), my pile of aluminum parts was finally declared an airplane! Vic Syracuse did the honors, and I was truly honored to have him there to give me a great inspection, great advice and he was fantastic company while he was here!

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


Ground Shots


Dawn Patrol, southern Saskatchewan ...gerrychuck



November 7, 2016.   Issue No. 4,241.

Joe Blank. 

Husband.  Father.  Friend.

It was cloudy and overcast all weekend here in N. Texas, just like my mood.

I needed the weekend to gather my thoughts on what to write.  It’s not perfect, but what really ever is?  I don't pretend to know how to string words together with any degree of skill, and with an election hours away it’s easy to get sidetracked into thinking that it should get most of your focus.  And it just shouldn’t.  Just when you think you have a few of life’s things figured out, it has a way of reminding you what is really important - friends.

My friend Joe Blank passed away a few days ago.  He worked at Van’s from 2006-2016, and during that time he sort of ended up being the guy I would call if I needed to get in touch with the ‘mothership’.  I have no idea how it ended up that way, maybe it was just luck.  Often, he was the one who would call me to get some piece of information headed my way for a coordinated push.

Technical support can be a challenge and mentally exhausting.  A couple of times I asked if he was being clobbered on the phone more than usual, and if so I’d put my phone on speaker and do other things at the desk for a minute or two.  I have this image in my head of him nodding like he’s listening to a customer talk out some building problem, but really he was just giving his voice and brain a rest for two minutes.  Maybe checking his email.  Two guys who know what it’s like to be in a lot of communication loops, and the value of a couple minutes of silence.  I usually signed off with something sophomoric like, “Thump Daryl on the ear for me and say 'Hey'”, and used his name when talking with Daryl.

I don’t go to OSH much these days, as Susie and I are in the ‘max Q’ portion of our financial lives.  But I’ll tell you this – and it is the honest truth.  What I miss most about OSH is having a beer at the end of the day with Joe, Daryl, Gus and the rest of the Van’s gang who would walk over to Kelly’s for a nightcap.  I’m grateful they let this flatlander nobody poseur spend a little time in their world.

One year at OSH I needed a place to sleep, and Joe offered up a spare bed in the dorm room he was using.  We had most likely walked over to Kelly’s for a Spotted Cow after dinner (the usual routine), and that can make me snore.  I woke up to Joe’s dirty, rolled up sock smashing into my face at about 60 mph from across the room, with him shouting ‘Stop snoring!’.  Head shot….right in the kisser.  Smelled like feet.

I’m sure I only saw one tiny side of Joe’s world.  We talked RV stuff, so there are whole chapters I know nothing about.  I think he had a private side and chose to guard it, which is understandable.  And something rare in today’s ‘look at me’ world.   

A few times Joe and others would stop in Dallas on the way to Sun ‘n Fun, storing an RV or two in hangars around our airport and borrowing a truck if needed to get to a hotel.   In the pictures linked HERE and below you can see my then 13-yr old son Tate driving Joe over to the RV-14A that is about to be fueled by Sterling.  My home field.  It was the first time Tate ever drove a golf cart in his life, and Joe was his passenger.  The picture of Joe giving me a thumbs up after take off is, to the best to my knowledge, the last time I saw him in person.  We talked dozens of times after that, but never face to face.  I sure enjoyed those visits.   I wish I’d travelled up to Portland more often, but the usual stupid, lame excuses about being too busy or not wanting to spend the money stopped me.  I'll always regret that.

Tate Reeves and Joe...

We had a rabbit give birth to four babies in some tall grass in our yard a few years back, I think after one of those RV visits on the way to SnF.  It might have been seven years back, both kids were home.  The rabbit's names were: Thumper, Smuckers, Joe and Daryl.  When I told Tate about Joe’s passing, he reminded me of the rabbits.  I’d forgotten.  Audrey remembered it also.

I think as a show of friendship, he wore a VansAirForce.net cap at times during fly-ins and photo shoots.  He wore it while working OSH as an employee of Van’s Aircraft.  He wore it in shoots that appeared in magazines (he’d email me to ‘check out the hat’).  We never really talked about it in great detail, but I guess he wanted our family’s small business to succeed, and this was his way of helping.  Helping out a friend – that just sounds like the Joe I was lucky enough to know.   I don’t think he realized just how much him wearing that hat occasionally meant to me and my family.   Seeing him wearing it in some of the pictures I’ve been seeing of him online just makes me that much more sad my friend is gone.  I wish I knew what else to say.  We’re hurting, and it sucks.

Joe made a difference in thousands of people’s lives, whether he knew it or not.  Even though we only got to hang out a few times in person, just talking over the phone and emailing over the past decade put me squarely in the ‘Fan of Joe’ camp.  A shadow has crossed my heart, and I miss my friend and hurt for his family.

Joe loved to fly and his excitement was infectious.  It was hard to NOT get excited about RV airplanes with Joe as your guide.  I guess you don’t realize the impact someone can have on you until they are taken away.  They come along at the exact perfect time to make a lasting impression.  Joe made an impact on my life, and I’m a better person for it.  I know others feel the same.  Trisha and Jamie, you’re not far from my thoughts.  Thank you for sharing him with us.  It’s said often, and sometimes feels cliché, but it’s true.  This hobby is not about the building or even the flying….it’s the people you meet along the journey that's really important.  Joe was the real deal, the kind of friend you consider yourself lucky to know.

He called me ‘Duggles’, and I smiled every time he said or wrote it.

I hope to go to Heaven someday, and be reunited with family and friends I care so dearly about.  Until we meet again Joe, if you see someone I know up there, give 'em a thump on the ear for me and say 'hey'.  I'll try my best down here to be a good friend to those around me.  You set the bar high.

Rest in Peace, my friend.  Thanks for being there for me, and everyone else.

Some pictures of Joe I found:

If you have a memory of Joe you would like to share,
there is thread at this link.



November 4, 2016.   Issue No. 4,240.
  Van and Vic penned an article that makes up most of the Friday edition.  Good stuff.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

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


AVIATION COURTESY. …Richard VanGrunsven

It upset me to read Lauran Paine’s column in the Oct. Sport Aviation, titled Aviation Courtesy. The topic was errant RV pilot’s aggressive and reckless flying that upset and endangered other GA pilots.  (The Nov. SA issue included an article by Dave Metheny titled “The Buzz Monster”, which had a similar theme, though directed to pilots in general.)

Obviously, I am disturbed anytime that the term “Those RV pilots” is used with a negative connotation. I hold in high regard the thousands of you RV pilots, because of the way you build, fly, and enjoy your RVs. The precise and professional ceremonial formation you fly, the tens of thousands of Young Eagle flights you have offered, your breakfast and lunch fly-out, and your mass flights to the Bahama Isles and beyond,  all provide a positive image for RV pilots. This is my image of RV pilots, and I’d like to think that this describes 99+% of you.  But, it takes only a few rotten apples to damage that image for all of us. I’d like to believe that the instances mentioned in Lauran’s article were isolated exceptions. Unfortunately, I too have occasionally heard the “Those RV Pilots” term used disparagingly, and have also witnessed errant RV flying behavior. I hope that you share the regret and concern that I feel about this.

As described, the flying antics of the RV pilot were well beyond being discourteous, they were dangerous and definitely in violation of FARs.

Even if you view the behavior of the RV pilot as just “good, clean fun”, the act of beating up a J-3 Cub with an RV is hardly a badge of honor. It’s more like a high school bully picking on a 6 year old.

One recourse not mentioned by the offended J-3 pilot was that of FAA action. The described flying was definitely in violation of FARs, and FARs are the LAW: we are a civilized country. While the offending pilot may be arrogant and unapologetic, (unopen to reason) he is nonetheless open to FAA action. If the J-3 pilot felt endangered, he is fully within his rights to seek a remedy through FAA action. Most pilots don’t like to be snitches, but on the other hand they don’t need to be helpless victims.

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

We all know that our RVs are very special airplanes. They are capable of doing all of the great things for you that I mentioned above. But, you also know that “those damned RVs” have ample performance to become a real nuisance and even hazardous in the wrong hands. This was the motivation for the regrettable topic of Lauran’s article.  There may not be much that any of you can individually do to bring an end to the abusive flying habits of some of our misdirected fellow pilots.  However, it’s worth a bit of thought and discussion.

In addition to being upset by the justified theme of the article, the topic of reckless flying has occupied a lot of my time over the past year. Last spring I was contacted by Vic Syracuse because of his experiences with and concern about reckless flying antics that all too often lead to fatal accidents. He had drafted an article which he shared with me for the purpose of getting my opinion and support.  I liked his article, but decided to take it one step further by re-writing it as a two-author feature with a supportive give-and-take format.  The article evolved into one of advocacy rather than just a lamentation over regrettable pilot behavior. I later shared this draft with the EAA Safety Committee and with the EAA Board of Directors.  They were supportive and the article was recommended for the pages of Sport Aviation. Though I presented it to Sport Aviation many months ago, it hasn’t been scheduled for print yet. Motivated by Lauran’s and Dave’s articles, I am taking this opportunity to share it with you, because it is appropriate.

As you read the concluding pages of our article, you will see that we want to carry this topic beyond just pleading with readers to fly right. Though both Lauran’s and Dave’s articles have commendable themes, they are mostly “pleading to the choir”. The offending pilots are unlikely to take heed, even if they are literate. The position of Vic and I is that we can all contribute through helping to change the culture of this outdated flight behavior pattern, through peer influence.   A tall order, we admit, but not beyond the limits of feasibility if enough pilots are tired of being branded because of the antics of some of our red-neck compatriots.  Please read it carefully, see what you think, and let’s discuss it further.

Per the concluding position of the article, a broad culture shift in GA would be needed to significantly affect this problem. Our optimistic thought process was that broad coverage of this topic would be needed in all GA magazines and media sites. While to be effective a broad approach must be pursued, there is no reason that our RV community can’t take the lead. Since some of our numbers are among the targeted offenders, maybe we need to demonstrate that “all RV pilots are NOT like that”! Thus, I feel it important that we take seriously the errant behavior of some of our fellow RV pilots. While there may not be much that we can directly do, my article mentions some possible long-term processes; some approaches that we can collectively take. I think that you’ll agree that the overwhelming majority of us don’t deserve the “danged RV pilots” label.   


DUMB STUNTS.Vic Syracuse & Dick VanGrunsven


I’ve always been fascinated by the early flying machines at the dawn of aviation.  Lucky for us there were really bold pilots that were willing to take chances and tread while others stood by and watched.  However, if you follow some of the early pilots’ careers it becomes very clear that longevity was not always in the cards. The old adage of “there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots” rings true. The pilots back then were truly pioneers, with rickety machines and unreliable power plants. A certain amount of bravado and devil-may-care attitude was probably required, and if it wasn’t for them aviation progress may have been much slower.

As aviation continued, methodical approaches to new designs and flight testing came to be, albeit not without some dramatic loss of lives.

It’s always been so disappointing to me to see some pilots continue to do dumb and stupid things, giving the rest of us a bad reputation. I haven’t figured out if aviation creates the daredevil/showboat mentality in the pilot, of if it is just Darwinian behavior. I do know some of them should not be allowed in an airplane, at least one with passengers. To date, two airplanes I built have crashed performing low-level aerobatics, killing 4 people. It’s so unnecessary, and I am not certain how we should proactively deal with it. I have tried multiple times to intercede, and have not been successful. We currently have another potential one unfolding in our neighborhood, and I fear the outcome will be the same.

Let me share with you a few examples of careless behavior that had very tragic consequences. Way back in 1981, when I finished my RV-4, the Christen Eagles were the hottest thing going. The kits were fantastic, the paint jobs were to die for, and we all watched Tom Poberezny and the Eagles Aerobatic Team perform at Oshkosh. As luck would have it, back at my home airport in Elyria, Ohio a father and son team had just recently finished one and wanted to share a hangar with me. The son was older than I was, and the father had been a very successful finish carpenter, the skills of which transferred very nicely to some parts of the Eagle’s construction. Theirs was just as beautiful as any other that I had seen, and I couldn’t wait to get a ride in it.

I learned that the son was a recently minted Private Pilot with 69 hours TT, and they could not get insurance for him until he had 100 hours. No problem, I could wait for my ride. Then it happened. One beautiful day I helped get the airplane out of the hangar so he could go flying and I watched him immediately roll on takeoff and climb out inverted! Right then I knew I would never get my ride. There’s no doubt I would love to sit in the cockpit and view that takeoff, as long as someone qualified like Tom Poberezny was at the controls. It must be a real rush. Come to think of it, it would probably be an even greater rush with a low time pilot at the controls, hoping the outcome would be the same! I still remember coming home and telling Carol I was never going to get my ride in the Eagle.

After watching the same performance, including loops on takeoff, I worked up the courage to speak with the father. Boy; that was a mistake. I was basically ostracized, they moved out of my hangar, and the next time I saw the dad was at the funeral for his son, caused by performing a loop on takeoff. What a surprise! I remember hearing about it on the news one morning on the way to work. Even though I saw it coming I was quite shocked. It was the first personal friend in aviation that was killed in an air crash. Unfortunately, there would be more.

 What was even more shocking was what happened next. At the funeral, before I could say anything, the father said that there was something wrong with that airplane and that he was going to rebuild it to figure it out. Huh??? BTW, I forgot to mention that about a year earlier dad had run the very same aircraft out of fuel and landed it in Lake Erie, requiring a Coast Guard tow to shore? I was dumbfounded, but kept my mouth shut. Not unexpectedly, he did rebuild it and proceeded to kill himself and a passenger about a year later doing low-level aerobatics. I still can’t fathom the unwillingness of some pilots to take a look at themselves instead of the airplane.

I eventually sold my RV-4, thinking I could build a Prescott pusher to solve the 4-seat family I now had. The Prescott didn’t prove to be the airplane I wanted, so I sold it and continued to build other aircraft.

20 years after selling my RV-4, I received a phone call that it had crashed killing 2 people. I was mortified, until I learned that they were headed home from an air show and were seen doing low level rolls and loops at 250’ right up until the crash! You’ve got to be kidding me! The owner was 70 years old. I guess the desire to showboat sometimes never goes away.

The third accident involved another aircraft I built, a Kitfox Speedster. Some of you may remember that the Speedster was an aerobatic version of the Kitfox, and many of us saw Jimmy Franklin put on quite a show at OSHKOSH with the fluorescent green factory demonstrator. Jimmy’s show was so low that more than once we thought he crashed in between the taxiway and runway 18/36, but it was just an optical illusion doe to the dip in the terrain. While I thoroughly tested mine during Phase I, including taking it to 5.5 g’s, it was all flown way up high. After flying it for 10 years, I sold it to build an RV-6, after having soloed my youngest son in it. The speedster was a great fun machine. On the day I sold it, we watched as the new owner and his flight instructor took off and then came around in a high-banked, high speed pass with the engine screaming like I had never heard it before. I remarked that I hoped we wouldn’t hear about this one too.

That was February. On Christmas Eve the same year I received a phone call from a radio station in Colorado asking if I knew that an airplane I had built had crashed killing 2 people? I was at a loss for words, but expressed my condolences to the families and hung up. Within a few minutes we learned that hunter had observed the aircraft flying low and doing vertical pull-ups, before descending straight down and recovering. “The airplane had gone away and returned a short time later, executing the same maneuver over a frozen lake. This time the outcome was not successful, and the Kitfox nosedived straight into the frozen lake, killing both the pilot and the passenger. We came to learn that on the first flight he had his younger brother on board, and had returned to the airport to pick up his friend. His brother sure was extremely lucky, but not so his friend. His friend was much heavier, and we weight difference could have been a contributing factor to the accident. The light weight and low horsepower of the Kitfox requires careful energy management during vertical maneuvering, a characteristic unfamiliar to an untrained pilot. 

I felt really terrible about this accident because I had come to know the father during the sales process. He was buying it for his 26 year old son to fly, and he planned to learn to fly in it as well. I did call him on Christmas Day to express my condolences. Between conversations with his dad and the NTSB inspector I came to learn that the son had some history of showboating.


That’s a very sad trail of tragedies. I’m sure that most pilots have witnessed similar instances during their flying careers. While my own witness has not been as close and as sad as yours, I am aware of dozens of similar accidents in RV’s over the years. It saddens me nearly to tears every time another such accident occurs. They are so senseless and unnecessary. Such a waste of life in airplanes that, when flown within limits, are very safe and enjoyable.


In addition to the specific accidents I mentioned, it seems that a high percentage of Show Boating accidents involve homebuilt and warbird planes. I suppose that the high performance attributes of these planes appeal to aggressive pilots, and bring out the worst in them. Run-a-way egos?


Pilot’s egos- Yes, that seems to be a common thread. I think that there is a cultural connection also.  I think that this problem, at least partially, is a byproduct of our macho male culture and our aviation history. Culturally, we seem to have some affection for mavericks! The cowboy that could tame and ride the wildest horse was admired, regardless his other faults. In school, pranksters got more adulation than academic achievers. Since the earliest days of aviation, the pilots who took (perhaps necessary, then) risks were admired. Wartime fighter pilots returned from the front, “beat up the aerodrome”, and did victory rolls. That’s what “real pilots” did, and the on-lookers usually applauded, whether or not their superiors did. Historically, airshow performers may also have been unwitting role models for other’s questionable flight behavior. Monkey see; monkey do!


I see what you mean. When you think about it, we do seem to have an undertone of anti-authority in much of our society. “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Dukes of Hazzard” are example of loveable though mischievous hero figures. At least in a large sub-culture, this is a prevailing mindset.


Adding a bit of perspective to this discussion, I’ve got to admit that in my much younger years I was prone to a bit of showboating myself. There weren’t many planes around at the time that could perform like my homebuilts, and I was often asked to “show us what that plane can do”. Yes, I sometimes complied with their wishes. However, through self-examination I soon came to some conclusions. I was admittedly indulging my ego, my desire for attention, and my willingness to please. But I was also taking some very real risks, both flight risks and the risk of possible FAA action, and primarily for the benefit of the spectators. I soon realized that I didn’t owe them that! Had there been an accident, these same on-lookers would no doubt have been the first to wag their heads and lament that “I was afraid that this would happen. He was always showing off”.

Though I have long passed that phase, I have continued to witness the same type of encouragement from spectators. More often than not, bystanders like what they see (reckless flying), and don’t see it as wrong or damaging to aviation. I’m still amazed by the cluelessness of so many in aviation. They contribute to the problem by being ego enablers, from their safe vantage point of sideline anonymity.


Good point. If the pilot was flying strictly for his own amusement and pleasure, he could do so out in the hinterlands, unseen by anyone and endangering only himself. Obviously he chooses a more visible venue. So what are the possible remedies? I’ve tried some, to no effect. These pilot’s egos don’t respond well to reason. Maybe this is why we don’t see much attention paid to this otherwise obvious accident category. It’s a tough nut to crack. Why even try! Much emphasis is currently (and rightly so) being placed on minimizing LOC (loss of control) accidents. Show Off accidents can also be classified as loss of control. But rather than the usual Low Speed Stall/Spin loss of control, these accidents result from judgment related altitude and attitude loss of control. Challenging though it is, there must be some way to make inroads into this problem area.


I think that it will require a culture shift. This may be a convenient politically correct term, but it’s a starting point.

I think that we can identify much of what motivates Show Boat pilots, but I agree with your experience that there is probably little that can be accomplished when dealing directly with them.

I do feel that it is more likely that the rest of us, those on the airport sidelines, can bring about change. Some degree of spectator education and culture shift is possible. We just need to realize that though we are not the actors (aggressors), there are consequences of how we collectively react, and that we can have a positive impact. How? We just need to quit encouraging and enabling errant pilots.  For example; if after a pilot shows off and lands, no one offers any acknowledgment at all. Zip, Zed, Zero! It’s bound to have an ego deflating effect, perhaps just causing said pilot to denounce observers as unappreciative jerks. This might only cause him to take his show elsewhere. However, if he met the same non-reception everywhere, it might eventually sink in. This is where I feel that a culture shift could help.

Gliderport example.

One day a couple of years ago I was visiting our nearby gliderport and witness the arrival of a new club member flying his RV-6. Said arrival consisted of a max. speed worm-burner buzz job with a very abrupt, high G, rolling pitch out. I was appalled and comment to one of the instructors that this guy should be counseled. The instructor agreed, but seems powerless to do anything, stating that this guy did this all of the time. I witnessed his similar antics, from a distance, on a couple later occasions. Then a few months later I learned that this pilot had been discharged from the club and banned from the gliderport because of his abusive flying of both gliders and his power plane. This is one example of a positive airport safety culture in action. It can work! 

The next step would be that of expressing disapproval. Let the pilot know, either individually or collectively, that his flying is endangering not only himself but others, and that at the very least is giving aviation a bad image. Let him know that his antics adversely affect all of us in aviation, and that we will do everything we can to stop it. I know, this is an application of “reason”, which may not fall on fertile soil. However, I am still optimistic enough to feel that properly applied peer influence can be a positive factor.

A third approach could be a last-resort step following the disapproval/peer influence effort. That is, the threat of FAA violation enforcement. Many, if not most, forms of low level show-boat flying involve FAA airspace violations. If the Show Off will not respond to any form or reasoning, he needs to be put on notice that, for the good of all, he may soon find himself explaining his actions to the FAA. I know, no one wants to snitch on a fellow pilot, but it may in some instances be the only effective remedy.


I agree that fear of FAA action might be get a little traction. However, the FAA has just recently implemented a more lenient enforcement policy that might weaken that tactic.


On the contrary, the new FAA policy specifically addresses inadvertent violations and oversights, where a soft approach and re-education can be effectively applied. They still maintain a firm stance against intentional and repeated offences.


OK, but these are rather idealistic goals, and would require universal application. However, they are worth a try.

(Van and Vic)

We are just two concerned pilots relating our experiences and opinions. If we are to reduce Show Off accidents, universal cooperation and action will be needed. We want to start a serious dialogue and engage as many as possible with their supportive viewpoints and suggestions. What has been your experience? Have you witnessed instances similar to those we have described? Have you participated in any forms or corrective action? Do you agree that bystanders and onlookers have contributed to the problem? Are you a “reformed sinner” who can offer insights we are not aware of. We need your input, whether or not you agree. We need to build upon all positive means that can be brought to bear. 

Agree or disagree; let’s talk. We need to get hundreds of you involved who are willing to open this topic at EAA meetings and other aviation venues. We truly need to reach enough pilots to bring about a culture shift. We cannot expect to identify problem pilots and their supportive environments from offices in Oshkosh or Washington D.C.  We need eyes and voices in the field, far from the haunts of officialdom, where some may still be applying their own interpretation of regulations and acceptable flying behavior.

With your input, we plan follow-up articles with greater details of the nature and dangers of reckless Show Boat flying.



Sidebar: (direct copy from a late-February 2016 forum post on VansAirForce.net.   We do not know the details of this story, so are not offering it here for judgement. We are including this simply because it appears to offer a differing viewpoint than that shared by Vic and I. It includes elements of spectator approval and encouragement of Show Boating) 

He made a widow cry…..Bill R. Post.

I live on a small airpark maybe 20 homes and a smooth 2500’ grass strip down the middle.

A friend with an F1 Rocket called me Saturday morning and as it turned out, he was in the neighborhood topping off his tanks on the way home.

I was out helping a neighbor clean up his hangar when we heard the sound of a high speed airplane approaching. As we stepped outside, we could see the F1 circling high overhead. The F1 completed the last circle, and dove for the end of the runway, in compliance with our HOA operating procedures, he performed a low “clearing “ pass, pulled up, dropped his flaps and promptly landed.

We stood outside, by the F1, talking airplanes and catching up.

Eventually, it was time to go and he asked which way was best for his departure. After pointing to the other end of the runway, he climbed in, fired up, and taxied down the runway.

At midfield, he turned around and departed in spectacular F1 Rocket fashion. Meaning, he rolled about 200 feet and then went almost vertical. After doing some mild acro, he again made a departing pass down the runway, zoomed up and disappeared behind the trees.

As I looked down the runway, I noticed one of the longtime residents standing by the edge of the runway, It was BettyJane. BJ’s husband had died a year earlier and he was an amazing guy; A26 Marine pilot in WWII, NASCAR in the 50’s, and Pitts pilot (his neighbor in FL was Curtis Pitts)

As I approached BJ, I realized she was crying. She looked at me and said, “This is how Cotton used to fly! Make sure he comes back and does that again! Oh, and I want a ride!

What a great lady!

One other thing, after he left, my neighbors started blowing up my phone with text messages. The best message was simply, “WOW!”

Please provide feedback to Van and Vic by emailing Support@vansaircraft.com

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

The URL www.vansairforce.net/articles/aviation_courtesy.pdf points to a PDF version of this article.


Do You Have The Necessary Skills

....for when a zerk fitting on your prop hub gets some debris in it and slings grease over your canopy post-greasing.  No forward vision. Have you practiced (on a wide runway) what skills are needed to slip in a way on final to see using the side of your canopy, then landing your RV by just looking out the side?

Someday you might need to do it for real, when you can't take a peek.

11/2/16 photo courtesy Rick



November 3, 2016.   Issue No. 4,239.

Why You Want To Attend Petit Jean 2017

...because if the Wx is good TruTrak will fly in their RV-10 with a special mod for when the day's flying is done.  More on this later (pics and such)...

Andrew Barker photo.


2003 RV-6 For Sale (Upcoming Medical Expenses) ...$65K OBO.

...Mr. Neal Howard (Wichita Falls, TX).  Mr. Howard has over 2,100 posts on this site going back (9) years....he is a VERY known quantity (if that's important to ya).


Fly-In Breakfast this Saturday! ...Morristown, TN


RV-7 Lynn Dixon #74286

After a few years of lurking, and reading I finally started on my RV-7!

I have wanted to build a kit plane for a long time, even so far back as nearly 20 years ago before I could even buy adult beverages or cast a vote. I was saving up to buy a Challenger II. But then college and life happened and chipped away at my Kit plane savings.

Fast forward to now and I finally have a place to build comfortably, some disposable income and a supportive wife, who oddly enough doesn't think I am crazy for wanting to build my own plane. Heck, she may even fly in it with me

I bought my toolkit from a fellow on the forums, and its a complete Isham kit with a few additions. They were essentially brand new tools and a good price! That was my first official step and first major purchase towards the airplane.

Shortly later, I was browsing the forums and posted a WTB in the classifieds looking or a tail kit. To my surprise, another builder was selling a RV-7 tail kit, that had never been started, which was exactly what I was wanting! A few emails and a paypal later, the tail kit was on its way to me.....where it sat in my basement for nearly two years. I spent some time working on practice kits, taking the EAA RV-7 course, and getting my shop organized. I am starting the build in the basement of my house, since the backside of the basement opens up to ground level (house is one a hill). Its unfinished, but insulated and I setup an HVAC duct to help knock the chill out in the winter and heat out in the summer. Its very comfy down there, with plenty of natural light as well as some shop lights I installed.

So, lets get started with some log entries! I have spent about 3 days so far, and I'll put a few posts in here to represent those builds. I'll also try to use this as a way to collaborate with all the other VAF builders out there and build off their collective knowledge.


Oil cooler baffle support crack ...Luca


Welcome Martin Product Design

...their ad lives in the Previous Day's News section.  They sent me a production prototype to fiddle with, and I now have a long thin air hose that had always tangled in the past on it.  I use it often and it makes me smile when I use it.  'No more tangles' as the shampoo kid said....

Check out the vids on their site. 


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



November 2, 2016.   Issue No. 4,238.

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

ENP-17 is officially under construction at Granbury High School (TX). Please take a moment to welcome these outstanding student-builders to VAF, the exciting world of aviation, and to the elite community of homebuilt aircraft builders.

Granbury's Eagle's Nest Project is partnered with their PLTW Aerospace Engineering curriculum and aircraft construction will be done in a brand new purpose-built classroom/shop facility. All airframe kits are ordered and most of the familiar "$$" crates have arrived.

Kevin Ross and Pat Stewart of Pecan Plantation have graciously agreed to serve as lead to the mentor team which appears to be most of the builders at Pecan. The students have completed the mentor guided introductory classes; shop and tool safety practices, correct use of tools, how to read plans, parts nomenclature, and completion of a multi-skill practice project. Construction on "real" airplane parts begins Tuesday!


2017 Calendars Now Available!!! ...mothership


Update on PJ ...Bill S.

I just wanted to thank everyone who has contributed both from those that attended and many from those that did not. Your gracious help has just about got us back in the "only lost a little" category which is pretty much where we are every year! Counting checks still in the mail, we should cover a majority of our fixed expenses. Way more than we thought we would on Friday Morning! Depending on the mail, there is a remote possibility that we might end up with a nickel to put toward next year. (never happened before but it could )

I have dropped a line to about half of the contributors and intend to email everyone who sent a check so that they know it was received and appreciated. In particular, thanks to Cookie(Tanya Card), Dan Horton, Vic Syracuse, and others on the VAF who initiated, committed, and bumped this thread. It would not have happened without your support. I guess if you can build an airplane....well, you can make almost anything happen

On behalf of EAA 165 and the whole Petit Jean Team ... a big thanks and a promise to keep it all going. The gathering of RV friends, on the Mountain and off, is what Petit Jean is all about... no worries .... 2017 is most definitely ON!


Shop Construction Pics and Words ...scard


Cylinder #2 Stud/Nut Oil Leak

I have a Lycoming YIO-360-M1B with 125 hours on it and have been keeping an eye on this leak or more like a seep on the #2 cylinder, lower, forward 1/2" stud.

It appears to me the nut is riding on the cylinder wall radius slightly not allowing it to sit down 100%. The nut has an integral washer flat with a sharp edge. Probably not good having a sharp edge ride the radius of a casting.

Not sure what to do with this:

Leave it and let it seep?
Goop it up with something?
Thin washer and radius the edge (only 2 thread protrude nominally though)?
Round off the edge of the nut?


Dave Ambrose


Kansas trip ...Steve Melton



November 1, 2016.   Issue No. 4,237.

An RVator Salutes Mr. Bob Hoover 

(It's tea, BTW.)

After you've watched Dan's video (above), watch this one if you don't get what it's about.


We are making great progress with our first year RV-12 Build!...Georgetown, TX

The kids and the mentors are doing great, really high quality work. We have completed the rudder, the vertical stabilizer, and are working on the stabilator.

We have received and inventoried the Empenage and Fuselage kits, and should have the Wing kit before Thanksgiving break.

The class is setup so that the kids are rotating between the PLTW Aerospace Academics, building the airplane, and interning with local businesses at the KGTU airport. Truly an incredible experience for the kids.

We have had success raising money to pay for the first three kits, but we need to pull the funds together to pay for the finish kit, firewall forward, and avionics kits.

Along those lines, please take a moment and check out the GoFundMe site that we setup.

There is a good write-up with links to the really cool AOPA article on our program and a link to our Facebook page with tons of pictures (one of the students grandparents is a professional photographer!).

If you would like to make a donation on the GoFundMe site it would be greatly appreciated. Even a few dollars, but even if you don't, please take a few minutes to read about the incredible work these kids are doing.

If anyone would like to make a donation and needs it to be tax deductible we can do that as well, please PM me and I'll get you details for that.

Thanks for taking a look!

-Dan Weyant


Sid (you know him as ScrollF4 in the forums) Paints his Prop

Well actually Brandon over at GLO painted it for him, but here is the result. After the paint dried Sid took it down to Walt's and got the prop balanced. Looks great!


Downdraft Table ...leok

This is the downdraft table I built. It has worked well for me.  It is a 2x4 frame wrapped with a blue tarp. The top is plastic mesh fencing. The ends have 20 inch box fans with furnace fans duct taped over them. It has the advantage of being easy to take down and store when not in use.


Status Update ...PilotjohnS

These last few weeks have seen great progress.

The horizontal stabilizer is complete less the rear spar; waiting for the rear spar to be primed before installation. The vertical stabilizer is ready to be primed, then riveted.

I had a tech counselor visit and reviewed my work to date; all is well. We went for a quick flight in his RV9; it flies really well and seems to yearn to be in the sky.  continue


November Calendar Wallpaper Online...Adam Burch photo


From Dynon...