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April 30, 2018.   Issue #4,554.
  Friday I was lucky enough to pull in to the airport in time to see a 4-ship coming up initial (video).  The RVs are all 8's and are (I think) Sky, Plaster and Lurch.  We spotted a new church under the downwind leg for 17 recently (pic / map).  Looks like they laid out the two benches and cross so that the sunrise is front and center.  Nice touch, and very Texan with the nearby deer feeder and cows grazing in the same pasture.  Hangarmate John and I unofficially dubbed it 'Aero Valley Downwind Church'. ;^)  It compliments the Officer Big Mac Jail under downwind for 35...(map).
  Saturday was 00000kt all day so as expected the Granbury pancake gathering was a hit (pics below).  Sunday Mass, yard work and work work.
  Hope you had a nice RV weekend and that your Monday goes swell.


Granbury Pancake Fly-In Pics ...dr

It was nice seeing some folks I haven't seen in too long.  Flying over the swap meet at Texas Motor Speedway on the way back was icing on the cake.


Replacement Ignition Coil Bracket ...Brent -12

Been meaning to post this. I went ahead and fabricated a very basic replacement ignition coil bracket from some scrap aluminum angle I had in the hanger. But, before installing it a friend at the airport dropped by, who has a machine shop and also an amazing basement workshop, and insisted that we fabricate a more durable replacement out of 4140 steel that would be less prone to break again. I shot this short video for our EAA chapter (we're going to visit his basement in a few months). He added a third side to the bracket to strengthen it, but (not in the video) I needed to remove much of that in order to be able to get a small wrench in there to reinstall the bracket on the engine. Those of you have have had to make this repair know how tight it is in there.

Over engineered. YES. But was really interesting to see a skilled machinist in action. After weeks of maintenance in abnormally cold spring weather, several SBs, and this last repair, the annual inspection that wouldn't end is finally done...

P.S. if you check Lockwood's website, the replacement bracket (# 851260) can be purchased for something like $11 (surprisingly cheap compared to most Rotax part prices). So if this one fails, I'm obviously just going to buy the next one.


Esquenazi aces the Carolina Boogie.

The Carolina Boogie aerobatic contest is in the record books and Jerry Equenazi flew his beautiful RV-8 to a first place finish in a field of 10 Sportsman category competitors. Not only did he finish first, but bested the nearest competitor by over three percentage points!


C/S Prop Install on RV-4 ...Chris Olsen photos

...from Dayton Murdock's engine upgrade thread.


Don't Ignore Those Symptoms! ...TomVal

I hope sharing this with all of you may prevent what almost happened to me.

I have been ignoring my difficulties in passing urine for about a year. My annual blood test revealed a highly elevated creatinine level.

I was immediately sent to a hospital for a urinary tract ultrasound. I received a call by a urologist the following day (April 24) to report immediately to his office. I was asked during the call if I was in pain…I said no…I happen to be working on my airplane.

Now at the office, the doctor said, “Do you realize how sick you are?” I said, “No”. He replied, “If you wouldn’t have come in today to begin treatment, you would have been DEAD by May 7th. I said, “Oh my…that doesn’t sound good!.”

So, I am sitting here with a catheter installed and on meds. I see the doc on follow-up next Tuesday to see what menu item he will select.

At age 70+, I have been blessed with good health but I guess my stubbornness to acknowledge those symptoms almost done me in…I must now recognize my ironman days are over.

Please don’t ignore those symptoms.

Now…back to working on the airplane…need to finish by May 7th (just in case)!



Borescope Pics - yellow deposits ...Chris Johnson 9A

Working on my condition inspection today, and borescoped all cylinders. All the exhaust valves look excellent (2 years, 200ish hours on the cylinders). Compressions 74,76,78,78

Only odd thing is the yellowish deposits around (not on) the valve face in in cylinder #4. Does not occur in any other cylinders. Any comments?


Mothership Employment Opportunities



April 27, 2018.   Issue #4,553.
  North Texas is greening up nicely (iPic below from short .2 this a.m.).  Some good news at my home field - the new airport office has arrived.  The infrastructure is slowly but surely being made solid - more here.  Nearby Granbury has their pancake fly-in breakfast this Saturday.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!



Q: How to build and fly a RV-14 to be QUIET?

Ok guys here's the question, what choice would you make while building and how would you takeoff to be as neighbor friendly and quiet as possible (within reason). Im thinking a vetterman exhaust with a muffler, maybe a 3 blade mt prop? Any other ideas and how would you climb out?

Thanks, just brainstorming some ideas

A: A muffler and then 3-blade to get the diameter down.  If you have plenty of runway and feel comfortable with trading safety with neighbor relations: mark where you get 2500rpm and do take offs with 25/2500....

A: if we look for good examples, (not necessarily practical) you seem to see a trend; more prop blades, lower tip speed, more cylinders, so each has less 'bark' ( 6-cyl?), minimum rpm of the engine and prop, mufflers, and pointing the exhaust up or sideways at the very least.

airframe noise would be pretty minimal, perhaps not worth going after those few decibels! I saw the Lockheed skytamer at Arlington many years ago, it was almost imperceptible flying over at 100'!!!


Garmin Pilot 9.3 Released

...some new features.


FS: Reduced to $59K


SB 14-01-31 ...longranger

I've had the SB 14-01-31 repair kit for a couple of years now, and thought I'd get it installed before attaching the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage. The number of enlarged holes in the spars, ribs, and angles (some of which date back to the original construction) has been bugging me, so I sent an email to Vans. Sterling concurred, so I am replacing the front spars, attach and reinforcement angles, inboard ribs, and new pre-drilled doublers.

I ordered parts Monday, and they are due Saturday. Yesterday I started drilling out the front spars. 3-1/2 hours into it, I have the left front spar removed, and am about 2/3 the way through the right.


Plexi: 7A Rebirthing ...kentlik

So I got this out of the storage unit today.
I need more room...Not sure what and where to move what is in the way, but I will figure that out tonight. Most of the stuff laying around in here has a value to some project now or in the future.  The plastic is a bother and I plan on removing it and just covering the canopy in tape for the most part as Cajunwings did.



April 26, 2018.   Issue #4,552.

Check those Rudder/Elevator Counter Weight Bolts!

Make sure you are checking that your counter weights are secured and the bolts are tight during your inspections. This one required quite a bit of work to access, but the loose counter weight screws were hanging down and almost ready to jam the rudder

The same precaution holds true for the elevator weights.

This is not the first time I've run into this.

PS: the big cut out was required because there is a bulkhead that had to have holes drilled in it to access the nuts, these tall rudders have these nuts buried pretty good.


Hollywood Overfly How To?

Question for California locals. If you are on a VFR photo mission near Hollywood Sign how would you voice your request to ATC and where? The airspace seems saturated and terrain pretty high. Can I just talk to Burbank and ask? I've been on the other side of San Gabriel Mountains couple times but never crossed toward LA. The terminal chart looks very New Yorkish wondering if air traffic is that organized. Where else to fly scenic in the Basin?


Garmin Aera 660 V3.30 with Internet Weather


We are pleased to announce a significant free software upgrade for the Aera 660. The V3.30 release which is available NOW for download includes free internet weather for parts of the world that provide this data. All you need is an internet connection to enjoy the benefits of internet weather while using the Aera 660 at home and office.

The current software supports NEXRAD and METARS/TAFS over the internet, with more internet weather products coming in the future.

Here is an image taken during Sun N Fun when the weather was making arrivals difficult.


G3X Training at OSH 2018

Hi VAF friends, long time no see!

In December I began working for Garmin in Olathe, KS on the Aviation Product Support team. I develop and deliver avionics maintenance and installation training for avionics technicians. So far it's been a great career move and I've learned a ton about avionics systems... even the certified variety!

My team and I will be giving a series of 45-minute training sessions for G3X installation and flying each day at Oshkosh this year, and it's time to start digging in and developing content. So I figured, who better to ask about what to talk about than you all??

If you're planning a G3X installation, what would you like to know? What can we do to demystify the system for you? If you've already gone through an installation, what did you have trouble with? What things could be clearer in the manuals? I've posted a poll here, but if there's something else you'd like to know, please reply in the thread and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks-- & see you there!


Low compression, bore scope pics, carbon...

Routine oil change and FWF inspection, expected no issues...
But the compression test; 74-78/80 on others, cly 2 50/80 first few tests, rotated prop several times, got up to 64/80.
Late night did not listen for source of leak, but did take the time to scope with new Vividia VA-400.
Other info;
490 hour since new IO-360M1B
Always 100LL
Exxon Elite 20W-50
No fuel or oil additives
Engine has not missed a beat.
Runs smooth even in LOP cruise operations
EGT and CHT normal ranges and matched close.


The proper way to make log book entries

Can any of my brethren here advise me on where to start learning about the proper way to make log book entries (Airframe, Engine, and Propeller) that would help me with requirements and phrasing?

I am just getting ready to transition from building the airframe to installing the engine, and would like to learn the proper way to indicate that SB's and letters have been complied with, and also prepare for the happy day when I can include maintenance as well.

As in everything else aviation, I am sure there are the official regs, and possibly an easier to follow aftermarket book perhaps, but I do not know where to start.


One of the Best Uses of Quotes in a Reply I've Ever Seen ...dr


New Flap Actuator for the RV-10!

Great news!

We will no longer have to deal with an external flap position sensor on the RV-10!

I just finished installing one of the prototype flap actuators from PHAviation.com. These actuators have a BUILT IN potentiometer for position information, so say goodbye to the external sensor mounts and linkages.

Here is a side by side comparison of the actuators:


Skidding and Slipping Departures from Controlled Flight in an RV

Forgive the old video; but unfortunately I don't have the originals on my laptop hard drive...

The first clip is a demonstration of a skidding departure in my RV-4. In a skid, the airplane rapidly departs underneath when the critical angle of attack is exceeded. There is very limited aerodynamic warning in the form of buffet and nose slice visual cues. The fastest recovery (minimum altitude loss) is to actually keep the roll going after the initial snap roll to an inverted position:


A Firewall Detail and a Spar Bulkhead Fitting Issue ...David Paule 3B

There are two areas in the assembly of the firewall and the spar bulkhead build-up where a builder might make an error like I did.

The first is on the bottom of the firewall. There's a 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/8 angle that gets riveted to the firewall. It should NOT be flush to the flange. Instead, don't forget to allow a .040 gap for the F-321 forward belly skin.

Here's what it will be when you're done:


High Oil temps - Louvers vs Cowl Flap

Now that summer is approaching, I'm thinking again about what I need to do to lower the oil temps in my 7A.

I have "real" S&W oil cooler mounted on the left rear baffle. I've worked hard making sure my baffle seals are good and that I've sealed all the gaps between the engine and the baffles. Despite all that I've done, when it gets really hot outside, my oil temps run consistenly at 210 F or above. It not unusually for me to see 220 - 230+. I even sent my oil cooler to Pacific Oil coolers to have it serviced.

I just bought a pair of aluminum louvers from Cleaveland tools and started searching the forums for installation hints. In the course of my research I came across some old threads on the Anti-splat EZ Cool Flap.

So my question is: For those of you that have installed either the EZ Cool Flap or the Cleaveland louvers, what impact did they have on your Oil Temps?

I'm particularly interested in reviews of EZ Cool Flap.

FYI. I don't have a problem with my CHT's - just oil temps.



April 25, 2018.   Issue #4,551.
  Tuesday 0630 I climbed in the RV for a flight over to Bridgeport (KXBP) for gas, then over to Propwash (16X) for a 5-ship brief at Lurch's hangar.  Time to sweep out some formation cobwebs.  Today's batting order: Lurch, Scroll, Monkey, me, Scorch.   Three pics below: 1. warm up ramp at KXBP a few minutes after sunrise, 2. track of the formation practice and 3. my heart rate during the flight (starting around 0835).  I think the spikes are the rejoins - the far right one the 5-ship echelon in the bumps up initial <g>.  Great lead, Lurch!
  Couldn't have asked for a better morning - the winds and crud return Wed a.m. so I'm glad we got to do this.


Final Report; 2016 RV-4 fatal accident ...hit zipline.


The private pilot and passenger in the experimental, amateur-built airplane were seen flying at low altitude by several witnesses in various locations before the accident. The witnesses reported the engine was operating before the airplane descended into trees. Postaccident examination of the airplane, wreckage path, and a nearby zipline [ed. zipline map dr] revealed damage consistent with the outboard section of the right wing having contacted the 1/2-inch galvanized zipline cable. There were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airplane or engine.

The cable ran between wooden platforms on the east and west sides of a river about 170 ft above ground level. The location of the platforms in wooded areas and the fact that the cable was unmarked likely made the zipline difficult to see. Witness statements and the accident scenario indicate the pilot operated the airplane at extremely low altitudes throughout the flight.

Toxicological testing of the pilot was positive for ethanol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana). The blood level of ethanol was below the regulatory limit; however, pilots may be impaired below this threshold. The finding of THC indicated that the pilot had used marijuana sometime before the accident; however, since there is no accepted relationship between blood levels and degree of impairment, whether the impairing effects of THC contributed to the accident could not be determined.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's decision to fly at a low altitude, which resulted in the collision with a zipline.  [ed. location of wreckage dr]

related: RV Accident Probable Cause Listings


Pics from Mr. X

I have friends that work in the Trop.  Highlights from non-sterile cruise that I'll add to this gallery from time to time.


Piano Hinge Failure ...snopercod

I had one of the "lugs" (I don't know the proper name), crack off on one of my gear door hinges. I understand that RVs use lots of these MS20001-P5 extruded aluminum hinges so I'm posting this for discussion:

You will notice that the throats in these old hinges have almost no radius at the corners - I estimate .005" max, and all edges are sharp. It's my belief that a fatigue crack started in the sharp corner where the actuator arm bolts on (the dirty area in the photo). The replacement hinge stock which just arrived from ACS has a nice radius in those corners - I estimate .020" - but the edges are still sharp. So I just ordered some Craytex wheels which I intend to use in my Dremel to break all those sharp edges to eliminate stress risers.

Comments or suggestions?


202kts GS ...Chattin35

...I'm in! Made it with normal cruise config


Mothership Stats



April 24, 2018.   Issue #4,550.

TJ Stack's RV-10 Towbar

...came with the plane when he bought it.  Seen at Monkey's shop 4/23/18.  I thought it was different...so, you know....take some pictures. 


Evening flight with my daughter ...Levi Self RV-6A

My daughter (almost 4) asked to go flying. Even though it was almost bed time, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity. I looked at the wife, and she said, "okay". Off we went to the airport for a sunset flight. While flying she asked to go up and down. After maneuvering for a while she said, in a matter of fact voice, "okay daddy, fly straight." I obliged.

I capture a short video of her reaction "going up and down". It will bring a smile to your face.



Flight From KRVH (San Jose, CA) to Healdsburg Plus Santa Rosa Fire Tour

It's been a while since I've flown. Between rain, cold, vacation, dead battery, and just plain old regular life, I just couldn't get in the air. Yesterday I was supposed to take my 1973 VW Thing to the local VW show but it filled up 5 minutes before I tried to sign up. I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and go on a flight.

My primary mission was to fly up and see my good friend Dave and make him buy me breakfast. I'm happy to report, it worked!

My route was the typical one I take up there. I go along the east foothills, east of Hayward (where my love for flying started as a kid watching the planes fly over the mall on their way to land at HWD), east of Oakland, over Berkeley, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and finally to my destination. I fly below the SFO Class B and to the east of the OAK Class C.

I decided to get Flight Following both ways since I'm a bit rusty with those skills. I typically take this route and talk to nobody but getting FF was a good exercise. ...



You Never Know What You'll See

The winds and rain were strong over the last few days, so our local bunch didn't have a good opportunity to go fly until Sunday around sunset, when the winds finally died down.

I took up the RV-6 to hopefully catch the sunset, but clouds mucked it up.  Plan B was to climb up to a cloud shelf that was passing over the area.  Around 6K I reached the edge, and the view was worth the wait.

Some pics:

5 min to sunset.  Cloud shelf upper right.

Above it outside class B.

Driving home.  Venus just visible above the shelf.


Milestone: Wings to fuselage ...Mark Malone RV-7

After 5 moves 9 years and two kids I hit a big mile stone this week. a friend and I built a fuselage cradle for transporting the fuselage to a friends hangar to mate the wings to the fuselage. I have been impressed with this kit how everything lines up and fits with very little effort. We installed the wings and the first time there was only 1/4" forward sweep on both wings. The incidence had only 2 tenths twist between the root and tip. Very negligible. I was able to step drill up to the number 5 bolt. Three days of very rewarding progress with some old friends. Here are pics and a builders link.


Announcement!! JD Air Parts

JD Air parts is alive and well. However, we are making a transition and I'll be taking over the reigns of the company. My partner in this endeavor, Jason Krause, has become highly successful with several contracts to make parts for ATV's and other off road vehicles. In other words, he's making real money and must focus on that. I don't blame him.

With this success Jason simply cannot afford to shut down the machines from the ATV business making thousands of parts to JD Air making 50 to 100 parts in a run.

During this transition we will be there for questions and warranty and service work on existing products. We are not going anywhere!!!

I will keep everyone informed when we are up and running. At this time, I have no exact time frame but I will be focusing on getting things going as expeditiously as possible.

Finally, there will be all the current great products and some new ones as well. I sincerely thank you for the business and support over the years. Be patient and you'll see the new beginning as soon as possible.

Darwin N. Barrie
Chandler AZ



April 23, 2018.   Issue #4,549.

Byrd's Adventure Center

I spent the weekend with four friends at the Byrd's Adventure Center in Northwest Arkansas and thought I'd pass along a little trip report.

This was my second visit. Last time I camped along the river in my tent and spent the weekend hiking around and enjoying the occasional "hitch-hike" ride.

This year's plan was a little different since Zen and Pam (owners) have just commissioned two very nice new cabins - the "Bush Pilot" and the "Aviator" - we decided to sleep indoors. These are brand new and very nice - very wife/girlfriend worthy! Also, no hitch-hiking required this year since I brought my mountain bike and my friends drove in with their motorcycles.

If you're not familiar with Byrd's, they are located in the Ozark Mountains along the Mulberry River. They offer trails for hiking, mountain biking, motorcycling, 4 wheelers, rock crawlers. The river offers kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. A restaurant and store are on site as well.  ...


Van's at Mojave Experimental Fly-in 4/21

Great day weather-wise to fly up to Mojave for the fly-in. Warm temps, not much wind, clear skies.
I took a bunch of photos here.
It was nice to meet up with everyone. I must have run into a dozen or more people from the VAF community.


Caverns of Sonora ...Vlad the Traveller!

A good friend of mine Leo tried hard to help with logistics. Airport van was not allowed to drive that far. There was no rent-a-car outfit in Sonora and there was no Uber. A call to the Caverns office yielded a "maybe" pickup. And then we met Edward.


RV-Lancair Brotherhood Day

I had been waiting for good weather on a weekend so I could fly to Columbia SC [Owens KCUB] and check out the Brewery in the old Wright hangar. Yesterday was finally it; It was an absolutely beautiful flying day. My neighbor I flew down early from AVL to partake of the EAA pancake breakfast (Those guys were great!), and Owen flew in at 11AM to meet me.


Van's Aircraft booth at Aero Friedrichshafen 2018

Hi, Just visited the Van's booth and took this quick photo - had a nice chat with Gus, who's a real credit to the organization. Click on the photo for a larger version. The weather here could not be better!

Mickey Coggins photo

Klaus Peter photo


Hot, start, Click ???? Anyone else?

Short version: flew - landed, sat 20 min, lack of starter engagement on restart. Click - -

Anyone else had this happen with the SkyTec LW starter?

Long Version background:
RV7 - SJ Cowl
YIO-360 M1B - stock - w/SkyTec LW starter
14 hours into PH I

Moderate OAT 45 F, flew 45 min made a good landing and decided take a water break. The plane sat with no wind for 30 min, then got to starting - just a click, 10 times ( maybe more, it was a lot) Click- clearly the start contactor on the firewall, but no other sounds. Finally, kept up the attempts and it engaged and spun and started. Until that, nothing but clicks. The voltage did not drop either.

The plan is to decowl and run some wires to test voltage:
1. to starter via large cable,
2. voltage to the start engage wire from the FW contractor.
In addition, place a thermocouple on the starter solenoid (for SkyTec techs)

Possible issues:

Bad FW Starter contactor - not passing voltage to starter
Hot starter solenoid - needing more voltage for pull in than available

I pull tested all the big terminals by hanging (me) from them. Book pull test is 525 lbs and granted I am only 150, but not loose. This only happens when it is hot, this is the second time for the click event.


First Flight Question

Hi All

This one is for those that have gone before me.

The first flight of my RV14 is not far off, and I just wanted to get an idea of what I can expect regarding handling quality.

I notice that a lot of RV14’s have a permanent trim tab on the Right hand bottom side of the rudder, on the opposite side to my RV7 which would indicate the left rudder is generally required. Is this the case for all RV14’s?? Is there any other handling qualities that could be expected?

I know there will be variations from build to build but this one is pretty much a Cookie cutter build as per the plans with IO-390 and hartzell BA.

Rgs Chad


Disaster! I’m seriously depressed.

All that was left on my rudder was the riveting of the trailing edge and rolling the leading edge. I used Proseal on the wedge instead of tape, so after it cured I was clearing the holes of excess Proseal and discovered that almost all of the TE holes were double drilled (binocular).

Thinking back I know exactly where this happened. I used a rectangular steel tube to cleco the TE against. I match drilled holes using the TE as a guide. It served its purpose well. I had a perfectly straight TE. I just didn’t use enough care in the match drilling the tube.

The holes look to be about 15 to 20 percent oblong. I think I’m going to buy new parts and rebuild the rudder. I’m not comfortable with such a defect. The cost is about $320 plus shipping. This is a hard lesson to learn. It’s not the cost that bothers me as much as the 40 or so hours I have to spend rebuilding the rudder.


How did you buck these rivets? ...-14

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to buck the rivets depicted in the red oval. Looking for some advice. Please keep in mind that this is a taildragger so there is a large bracket that goes right down the middle of the floor.


Have I just stuffed my Pneu Squeezer?

So today I was using the squeezer to squeeze some rivets for a bracket on the cowl. I was using epoxy/flox on the bracket and I’m 99.99% certain I didn’t get epoxy in the stem of the flat set.

In any case, wherever I try I can’t get the set out of the adjustable piston of the squeezer !!

Does anyone know if I can try to tap it out from underneath? I’ve tried everything!! It won’t even twist in place if I hold the piston with a spanner and try and twist with pliers.


Did I Break It? ...-12

Well, I guess if it ain't broke, I should leave it alone.
At the last inspection I noted that one of the floats was at 4.2. The others were at 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3. Total engine time was 315 hrs.

I had planned to install the new torsion throttle springs anyway, so I bought a full set of new floats and installed them at the same time. By the way, each new float weighted in at 3.2. I fired it up, warmed it up, and performed the carb balance. Everything was great and it ran terrific (smooth as glass). The next morning I was off for a breakfast fly-in, or so I thought. After warm up I did the normal ignition check and found Ignition A was faltering badly. I shut down and did the simple thing first. I swapped all of the plugs top to bottom and bottom to top. Sure enough, the problem moved to ignition B. I don't mess with iffy plugs, and even though this set only had 115 hours on them, I installed a new set. All was well, smooth as glass again and run up was great.

That brings me to this morning when I was planning a nice morning flight. Having just been through some issues, I was very attentive at startup, which seemed good with everything running smooth. After warm up I did the ignition test and all was good. I powered up for takeoff and noticed some stuttering, and promptly aborted the take-off. Additional ground run testing revealed that it is running very rough at almost any rpm, and ignition check shows no difference using A or B. So, I shut down and pulled it back into the hangar. A finger swipe in tail pipe revealed extremely heavy soot. I pulled the top plugs and found #1 and #3 totally black whereas #2 and #4 looked pretty good. Obviously the right carb is running way too rich. ***THIS WAS AN ERROR*** Actually it was spark plugs #1 And #2 that were sooty. #3 and #4 were the ones that looked pretty good. So it ain't the carbs!!! So, my last paragraph here doesn't hold up, but I left it for clarification.........

I think that I have identified the fact the the right carb is running rich. The problem is knowing why, and what happened? I'm not much of a believer in coincidence, so I am trying to figure out how I could have possibly caused this, or where do I go from here.? Any help will be greatly appreciated..... Tom



April 20, 2018.   Issue #4,548.
   Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  

Hat Sighting...

22° Halo seen above 52F Thurs (storms soon).
dr photo


Status Report ...jcarne 7A

Time for a good ole fashion priming and riveting session. Note: priming the flap brace was a pain trying to scuff it!

I also built a wing cradle with the posts used for the left wing jig.


The 'washer trick' cooling plenum modification. ...Jack Groat

I want to knock a few degrees of my #6 cylinder head temps, and I've heard tell of a quick-and-dirty plenum modification called the 'washer trick' which apparently entails fitting a flat washer on the back side of the plenum to space it out away from the cylinder head.

Looking at and all around my #6 cylinder I'm not seeing a place where that can be done. The #5 cylinder has a handy plenum attachment screw right on the back surface, but I'm finding no such screw on the #6 cylinder.

I've already constructed a plenum bypass duct for the #5 cylinder, which I just completed yesterday and I'll find out this weekend how well it works, and I want to make a quick mod to the #6 cylinder while I still have everything torn apart. If I can just knock 10 degrees off it I will call it good.

BillL photo


Obituary: Mr. Thomas H. Irlbeck

RV-8 builder/pilot.  Friend to many.


Check Those Bolts are Pointed the Right Way ...Sibirsky


Nobody is perfect, not all ...DanH

Nobody is perfect, not all the time anyway. Think about all the crazy stuff builders do, multiply by all the usual airworthiness issues, and the answer is about 7 digits.

It's not easy guys. I was on a TC visit this afternoon. Look at this:

A oval swage sleeve, aka a Nicopress (TM) fitting. Pretty innocuous, yes? Well, this builder was using aluminum swage sleeves, so there are at least 12 of them in the elevator and rudder cables of his Zenith, all totally unairworthy...and all covered with heat shrink tubing. The correct sleeve is copper, plain or zinc plated for galvanized cable, or tin plated for stainless cable.

Pretty good chance someone would have died following a heavy pull on the stick. Any inspection is better than none.


OT:  Bragging on my Wife

Susie volunteers at Medical City Denton.  She and the other volunteers were honored by the hospital at the annual 'thank you' shindig at nearby UNT.  Students majoring in hotel services cooked the food and served it wonderfully.  A nice dinner with some nice people who help strangers who are usually under a lot of strain.

She got her '500 hour' pin that will hang on her tag...


Pretty neat folks.  I'm quite fond of one them.



Storing Wings ...John S

Here is what I did for my wings, just prior to roof and sides going on. It is out of luaun with some cedar strips inside to keep the bugs away.


Canopy Rail Support ...RV-12

The roll bar support arm, a part of the canopy rail on the completed Mk 1 fuselage is easily bent. There is a tendency for pilot and/or passenger to put their weight on this piece when exiting the airplane. On the latest fuselage for the iS/U the factory has addressed this issue by adding a supporting gusset.  ...



April 19, 2018.   Issue #4,547.
   Please excuse the early push of the Thursday edition (5pm Wed DFW).  Thank you dinner for the volunteers at the nearby hospital (Susie volunteers there).  Corny dog city for the Tater ;^).  

Ground Shot...Nigel's 9A


Tributes to Mr. Tom Irlbeck

(Doug Weiler)
I’d like to add my comments to the passing of Tom Irlbeck. He was one of the mainstays of the Twin Cities RV Builders group. I had known Tom for over 25 years. I gave him his BFRs for the last 10 years or so. A great friend and a great aviator. Here my thoughts on our club website.

(Pete Howell)
As others have said, Tom was quite a guy, friendly, approachable, yet larger than life in the best possible way.

Tom gave my wife her first ride in his Blue RV-8 "Bear" where she had such a good time in his plane, but more so with him, that she was grins all weekend! I sent his name in to Van's as the person who referred me so he could get as he called it, "Beer Money"

My favorite Tom story was from a breakfast trip the Twin Cities group took up to Superior, WI for breakfast. One of us would give a position report over a little town on the way up, and no matter what the town, with perfect timing, Tom would chime in with, "I used to know a girl in that town". We'd all laugh, and just knew, Tom was always a true Naval Aviator.

He was the best, and we will all miss him.

(Neal Trombley)
Tom was a huge part of our EAA66 at page in ft Myers
He was more than a mentor.
In my two short years knowing Mr Irlbeck he was always available and made time for who needed his advice. The young eagles he flew always had that RV Grin always.

The RV world lost an all star.

My prayers are to his family


For those in Wisconsin

...TODAY (Thursday) 7pm Founder's Wing at EAA Aviation Museum


Culprit ...RV-4

Big milestone today. I finished installing wings, plumbing, wiring and checked all of my aileron up and down movements. The stick movement seemed a little heavy left and right but ok forward and aft. I probably wouldn’t have ever second guessed the heaviness had there not been another RV4 in the hanger next to me. It’s movements were effortless, but I did have the servos connected from an auto pilot installed. I thought maybe this added the extra drag in the controls. Not satisfied I disconnected the aileron servo and still had the heavy stick both left and right. I start with left and right aileron bushings/washers, any possible rubbing of close parts. Moved on to the aileron push rods checking all rod end bearings and washers. Next the bell crank and then the large push rod tubes all moving freely I install them back and still heavy left /right movement on stick. I examine the stick control for binding or interference, and then finally removed the heim bearings for inspection. I’m down 2 days so far, but finally found the culprit. The rear heim bearing has been damaged ever so slightly. The small crease on the brass has also creased the interior of the housing race causing the bearing to bind. I just wished I’d started looking from that point first. Lesson learned.


Van's at Mojave Experimental Fly-in 4/21

They have announced that Rian Johnson from Van's will be at Mojave for the fly-in this weekend. It's not clear if this will be an 'official' Van's presence.


Well, I thought my 223kts GS yesterday was fast

....then Bill Peyton hands me my head with this <grin>


Too much slack in tailwheel chains? ...sorta a primer war

There's another post about using or not using flaps in cross wind landings. Let me throw a new wrinkle in this discussion. I "think" I've got too much slack in my tailwheel chains, making it take longer when I hit the rudder pedals for the rudder/tailwheel to react in strong crosswinds. What say the rest of you guys? Do you have your chains really tight, ie, no slack? Slightly loose? Or really loose?

I think I need to take a link or 2 out of my tailwheel chains---but I'd like to get some input first.




April 18, 2018.   Issue #4,546.

256.62mph Groundspeed in Level Flight ...RV-6.

Tuesday just north of 52F.  50kt tailwind (bottom left) at 3,250'.  TAS 174kt.  I took a picture....I thought I might need proof.  Note autopilot scoreboard - ON in HDG mode (and flight path marker on horizon).  I think 2-3 degrees more to the right might have given me another knot.

You might have guessed Tuesday was sort of windy around DFW. ;^)



I think I've reached a solution!

(from Nihon_Ni's 'Please critique my electrical design' thread)
I wanted to post an update to my design. I really appreciate all the help folks have given me with my design, and all the time they have spent to review my architecture and offer input. Special thanks to Joe and Carl, who sent me tons of info in email and helped me figure all this out.

I contacted EMag and got an answer to my dilemma about where to put the P-mags:


Interesting day today, lots of smoke in the cockpit! ...Walt

So while doing a small panel upgrade for a customer I had a bit a meltdown on his aircraft. The panel mounted Lightspeed CB, with open and bare terminals was connected directly to the battery, and was located right under the xpdr rack I was replacing (within about 1/8"). Well as soon as the rack came loose it came into contact the uninsulated terminals. (of course I was unaware at the time that this situation existed with a hot bus right below the rack).

I can tell you this, there was a ton of smoke accompanied by some small flames as the wiring began to burn, disintigrate and melt. All the switches and master were off so there was no killing this thing and it just continued to burn until the wiring finally burnt thru. I was scrambling to get the cowl off so I could disconnect the battery, but by the time I got if off the wires has already burnt thru and opened up.

So whats the moral to this story, do not run 'HOT' unprotected (no fuse, CB, contactor controlled) wires into the cockpit. This situation could have easily presented itself from any number of causes (loose hardware, wires, breaker, switches getting loose etc.) If this would have happened in flight there was no way to kill power to the burning wires, and trust me with a closed canopy you would be in serious trouble fast. I was really pretty amazed at how much smoke there was, in the air this likely would have ended badly.

For your Hot battery busses (this includes battery charger pig tails) there should ALWAYS be a fuse (or some type of circuit protection) located at the battery to prevent this kind of thing from happening.



John Bender RV-12......1,200 hours.


Panel Porn ...Flying EMT

Here are the before - after shots of my panel after a complete redo. Took one week just to mark and take out the old stuff, I basically removed every wire except the wing runs. Panel cut by UpNorth aviation who was fantastic to work with. Flying with a borrowed 470 until Dynon ships my 472. Dynon has been great to deal with. Ben


Article w/RVs ...



April 17, 2018.   Issue #4,545.
  A little .3 Monday a.m. after an oil change over the weekend.  SMOOTH, calm air between DFW wind storms presented the opportunity to do an overhead break to constant radius, downwind-to-final turn at idle power.  AOA on the donut.  Radius measured later on GoogleMaps at 2,290' from low key.  Groundtrack below from the Apple watch workout app (it thinks I'm on a bicycle). ;^).  No drips post flight.  All good.
  What amazing aircraft, these RVs.  


Baseline Tuft Testing (W/O Sub Cowl)

I removed our SubCowl, tufted the belly and recorded the results. The exit flow from the Sam James cowl was pretty good. Better than we expected. Looking closely at the sub cowl we can see where the radius at the rear lip is too steep, or sharp. We may cut this area out and reglass with a larger radius.   Yep, Experimental aviation is fun.

Related: Coanda Effect...courtesy Mr. Mike Starkey


SnF Grand Champion - Kit Homebuilt ...Pat Hatch post

Congratulations to our friend and hangar neighbor here in Vero Beach, Tom Savrda, who's newly painted (he painted it himself) RV-7 won grand champion at Sun 'n Fun.

I must say this was richly deserved--I have never seen a nicer RV-7 in terms of the quality of the build, fit & finish, and attention to detail.

Here are a few pix:


Top Skin and Canopy Decks ...Tdeman RV-7 pics

In order to finalize the position of the ribs and sub panel, I made a bunch of small angles that spanned the notches/had the cutouts required for the sub panel and stiffener.  ...


Measuring Lycoming Pushrod Length

Consider the "Approximate Length" listed in SI-1060S.

Is the given dimension based on the theoretical tip of the hemisphere (top), or is it measured from flat to flat (bottom)? Or is it something else entirely?



April 16, 2018.   Issue #4,544.

Denali 4-14-2018 ...mbauer trip write-up (multiple parts!)

Denali is the tallest land-based mountain on Earth—with a vertical rise of about 18,000 feet (5,500 m), as well as the highest mountain peak in North America—with a summit of 20,310 feet (6,190 m) above MSL.

With a topographic prominence of 20,156 feet (6,144 m) and a topographic isolation of 4,629 miles (7,450 km), Denali is the third most prominent and third most isolated peak, after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of the of Alaska, Denali is the centerpiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.  ...


Getting PPL While Building ...Andrew Atalla timeline

Is it hard work? yes!  Will you want to quit?  Probably!

I started My PPL training in May of 2014.  Bought my tail kit second hand in September 2015.  PPL Completed in December 2017 - 14 000$ CAD.

76 HRS.  Rudder and Horz and Vert Stab complete Still working on elevators...

Since I started:
Met a girl August 2014
Got Married 2017
Bought a house 2017
Baby Boy 04/07/2018

I'm still moving forward!....Slowly.  Life gets busy and hobby/family balance is more important than anything.  The important thing you need to take from this is Small Progress is still Progress

Baby steps add up to Big dreams.  One day I'll be flying an aircraft I built with my own two hands rivet by rivet!

Cant wait!


Panel Upgrade ...tfriendshuh 8A

"...recently got my IFR rating, so I needed to upgrade my panel :-)"


Ground Pic ...mbauer

Topping off my RV-6 for a local flight. 4-14-2018. Pulled up to the pump and guess what was also fueling for a flight?  Actually it was taking on a load of Jet-A to fly out to Western Alaska.  ...


Milestone ...NorthernRV4

Reached a milestone in my project, got the top wing skins riveted on the port wing. Starting to look like an airplane.


Milestone: Wings ORDERED! ...Lynn Dixon RV-7

"Here is a spreadsheet I came up with to help me on my order..."  ...


Tablet/iPad Tray ...Aerosport1


Status Report ...control -14

Hope it stays this good when the hinges are in place



April 13, 2018.   Issue #4,543.
  Quick reminder that tech support at the factory is out at various fly-ins.  From the site, "It’s a busy time here at Vans Aircraft, several air shows happening around the world and our support team is out there. So, now, is a great time to get out and meet them in person at the shows. They are looking forward to meeting you too."
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.


The Texas Loop ...Capt Sandy

Hello VAF'ers!
This past week our magic carpet has taken us from Lake Havasu, Arizona to Fredricksburg, Texas. Of course we did not take the straight route. Here are some highlights - Working Backwards:

Today we’re headed to T31, Areo Country, in McKinney, Texas.

Fredricksburg, T82, Yesterday we arrived at The Hangar Hotel for a bit of R&R, resting from our travels as it were. The officers club is a nice place to relax, have a drink and play billiards. We sort of needed the drink after the 30 knot cross wind landing. Hangar Hotel is plush, but no easily available ground transport. We found a couple of restaurants within walking distance. Hilda’s Tortilla House was our choice. Great Food. Reasonable price, and the tortillas really are handmade.  ...


Canopy Latch Retro Fit ...Tony T RV-12

Installed the new canopy latch and can confirm that it does work a bit smoother and easier than the old set-up plus the safety catch is a more robust design; the old safety catch seems trivial in comparison. The canopy handle rests on UHMW plastic when in the taxi position instead of on the metal rollbar.


Newbie here... Planning on building a RV10 ...Dubai / Houston

Hi Everyone

My name is Huzi, and I am in the planning stages of my RV10 build... I must admit I do not know a ton about these kits/planes, and will be studying up as much as I can through the forums...

I hope you guys can help me with some initial questions:

1) What are the recommended tools (in addition to the list on Vans website) that will help with the RV10 build?

2) What are the recommended mods builders have to the factory kit?

My goal is to have a 4 seater plane that I can fly cross country/neighboring countries with relative ease...

Thank you in advance!


RV-7A Rebirthing Status Report ...kentlik

My slider frame is not moving where I need it to. Aggressive action needed.  Goodish side (below).  Left side pin low and hits receiver block center low...  suggestions?


RV-6 For Sale at 52F ...Monkey Approved.

$64K.  phone: (817) 4 zero 1 - -8 zero nine 6.  (details)



April 12, 2018.   Issue #4,542.
  Gusting a billion in N.TX today so what time was spent out at the hangar was spent fiddling with stuff and working on the laptop.  Sorta spooling up for an oil change, took a picture (below) and did other things between interwebs.  Windy again tomorrow so I'll probably spent some time in dirty oil.  Or not.  Absolutely on the laptop.



RV-14 Internal Cockpit Covers ...bmarvel

"...My wife got the material at a Jo Ann's fabric shop but we don't know what it is called. It is much thicker than bed sheets and has sort of a smooth waxy texture to it. We used acrilan for the RV-8A cover but it wasn't available here. Anything white will do. The only drawback is that since it is inside, if you have any leaks in the forward edge of the canopy where it mates to the fuselage, you will have to make up some sort of temporary overnight cover if rain is expected. I still need to test this further but my plan is to use some white electric tape wherever I find any leaks."


RV-8 O-360 Temps and Fuel Flow issues

Hello all,

Just wanted to push out to all of you to see what you guys think about some of the engine issues I have. O-360, fixed pitch, dual P-Mags, Dynon D10 EMS. CYL #3 runs VERY hot even on cold days, even in cruise with CYL 2, 4 not too far behind. CYL 1 runs much cooler than the others. You can see some temps I see on climb and cruise taken on a winter day at altitude. Anything slower than a 100 KT climb will have my #3 CHT shoot to above 430 rapidly.

Also on climb out and WOT I will see my fuel pressure typically drop quickly from a nominal 3-4 PSI to .5 and 0 PSI which sets off the alarm. I've noticed this is often accompanied by an increase in fuel flow. Turning on the electric pump will push these up to 4. Securing the electric pump, the PSI will gradually decrease again to .5-0. Once throttling back to cruise settings the fuel pressure will climb back to nominal.

I am wondering if any of you have any ideas on the fuel flow and the over heating. What's a good way to check the baffles? Are there any good plenums out there for my configuration that has shown good success in cooling so I can do away with worrying about baffles? Searching through the threads it seems adding a washer helps with cooling but I'm not quite sure where that washer is being added....any photos to show this?

Otherwise the motor runs nicely and no noticeable performance issues associated with the drop in fuel PSI.

Any input is greatly appreciated!


RV-Lancair Brotherhood Day ...4/11 entry

It's been a long winter, but the weather is finally getting better. Owen, Steve, and I flew down to Spartanburg [KSPA] for lunch at Jason's Deli again. Darwin's RV-4 was down for maintenance, and Bill R. had to work (poor devil). One crew van was out, and the other was grounded for a mechanical problem, so the FBO loaned us their airport truck to drive to Jason's. I bought 18 gals. of 100LL, but the RVs both used Mogas.

The glare from Owen's freshly-polished RV-12 gave me a headache. He also finished his rear spar mod per the SB:


"Washer Trick" Alternative ...Bill

Here is one way, but the baffle would have to be removed for this. It provides air to an additional 15 in^2 of fins. The flashing should be removed and head polished at the same time. Why have the fins and allow them to be blocked off? This provides a .2 X 2" slot for air flow, at 5-15 in-h2o pressure that is a lot of air directly applied to cooling.


Panel Porn ...titanhank

Not the latest and greatest, but alot better than it was and did not break the bank. About $8000 to upgrade by buying all the dynon stuff used.

Ifly 740
Garmin gtr 200
Garmin gtx 335
Ray allen g407 grips
Converted to electric trims and flaps



April 11, 2018.   Issue #4,541.

Tuft Testing RV-8 Sub-Cowl ...JP White video

My partner and I felt we were overcooling our O-360 XP so he designed and built a sub-cowl to reduce the exit opening and reduce cooling drag. We expect the reduction in exit opening will increase the CHT and oil temp. Testing has been limited due to weather and schedule but we have noticed a very modest increase in CHT and oil temp. I tufted the belly around the exit and recorded the flight to get an idea of how the sub-cowl disturbed the airflow. The test was at 3000' and 160 - 170 mph. A link to a short video is attached.  RV-8 with custom plenum and Sam James Cowl. Carbureted 360XP with Mags. FP Cato 3 bladed prop

(Steve Smith input)
"The ramp surface of your sub cowl is separated because the angle is too steep, so there is too much adverse pressure gradient.

I trust that the leading edge of your sub cowl blends smoothly into the round lip at the front of the stock cooling channel? If not, then the flow is separating off of a sharp corner. If yes, then it is an adverse gradient problem as stated above.

This is just one of the reasons why it is far better to throttle the exit by making the actual cowl fair into to a smaller opening rather than add a bulge to the belly. The other reason of course is that the frontal area is reduced at the same time."
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV


New guy checks in

Hello all, new member here. Been doing a lot of reading, dreaming and perusing my preview plans set and have decided its time to pull the trigger in search of the RV Grin with an RV-8. Getting my shop set up, working on tooling up and work bench(s). Ready to order my empennage kit. As a new builder any recommendations on getting going with my empennage order? Looks like there are few options for the empennage with the exception of electric elevator trim which I will opt for. Would appreciate any advice, recommendations to get things started off on the right track.

Don Johnson
Fort Collins, CO


Rudder pedal Bearing Block ...14

I’ve been working on the installation of my rudder pedals and the top portion of the bearing block appears to be too thick to fit between support angle and the rudder bar. It looks I’m going to have remove about .075” of material to fit without binding. Has anyone else bumped into this? To date everything has fit perfectly so I’m wondering if I’m missing something. Both ends of the rudder pedal blocks went into their respective holes with no issues or binding.


Status Report ...JCarne 7A

Well another major milestone took place this weekend. After coming back from Seattle and Bellingham for almost a week I finally removed the left wing from the jig. Let me just say, it is nice to have some of my garage back for a bit!!!

My dad and I also riveted the right wing top skins. This side only took us about 4 hours, noticeably faster than the left! ...


Mothership SnF Special


Mothership via FB



April 10, 2018.   Issue #4,540.
  It's the 100th day of the year....and I have no idea why I'm writing this.  Just seemed like a nice round number for the useless trivia crowd (like me). 

Between layers the other day.
Pic makes it look scarier than it was...dr


Eagle's Nest Projects - TI Mentors Help Mckinney Aviation Academy Students (TX)

Eagle's Nest Projects - McKinney Aviation Academy (TX)

McKinney Aviation Academy recently received a $25,000 grant from American Airlines. After careful thought and consideration about how to best use the funds, it was agreed that the purchase of Red Bird flight simulators for the aviation classroom-airplane build lab located at TKI airport would best serve the needs of the program and the students. The tutorials provided by Red Bird were well written and the students quickly became familiar with the basic functionality of the machines. In a very short time however, it was apparent that the students needed professionally trained instructors if they were to realize the full potential of the simulators.


Mothership SnF News


Snowbird Classic IAC contest PIREP

The 2018 contest season has gotten off to a good start!

We started off in March with a successful judge's school. I got recurrent and now it was time to start judging. I was hoping to start by judging either Primary or Intermediate. The problem was Primary was combined with Sportsman for this contest as it often is. So I wasn't permitted or able to judge the category since I am a Sportsman competitor. The Intermediate category was being flown just prior to my category so I wasn't able to judge it. So for my first judging experience as a qualified Regional Judge I got to judge the Advanced category! I was bit apprehensive about this since the competitors at this level are very serious and I didn't want to screw it up for anyone. Plus, the maneuvers happen very very fast, making it easy to miss important elements. You know what... the training worked! I was able to successfully judge in a fair objective manner consistent with the more experienced judges. I was as pleased with this as I was with my flying.  ...


The Zippy-Dripless Zip-Loc oil filter change!

This is the technique I’ve been using to change oil filters for 25years. Aplogies to anyone else who has come up with this idea and posted in the past- easier to describe with pictures, all you need is a 1-gallon Zip-Loc bag, preferably the sturdier freezer version. The link below should take you to a set of photos with explanatory captions that you can scroll through- just be sure it stays in “roll view”- Otis


Our Flying Buddy Sid Mayeux Explained in One Picture

...one of the more organized fellows I've ever met.  The condition inspection begins. dr


Volunteer for the Airventure 2018 One Week Wonder build team! ...mothership

If you haven’t heard, the RV-12iS kit has been chosen by EAA for the One Week Wonder project at Airventure 2018. Are you interested in being part of the team that will build an RV-12iS in 6.5 days during Airventure 2018?

As can be imagined, it will require many hands to complete the aircraft build in 6.5 days so a team of volunteers is being sought. Anyone with an interest in being part of the build team, fill out the online application form, accessible from the front page of Van's Aircraft's web site or via THIS LINK.

We don't guarantee participating will make you famous, but you never know (and you get an exclusive/collectible t shirt)......

Teens involved with teen build groups are encouraged to register. (Please mention you’re a teen builder in the comments section)


Our Friend Tommy Meyer's New Project

...based at our field surrounded by RVs (but pretty dang awesome).



April 9, 2018.   Issue #4,539.

Sunrise at E80, Belen NM ...Roy Thoma pic


14A flying feedback after 237 hours ...bmarvel

Hi all:
I rarely post but thought some of you in the early RV-14 flying stages or nearing completion may be interested in some real-world feedback. I first flew our -14A on September 8, 2016 and now have 237 hours on it. Prior to that I put our RV-8A through some 1700 hours so I know the pros and cons of each. Our -14A was a standard full build kit (SN 140134) with an IO-390 from Van's and the recommended Hartzell CS prop. It is IFR with two Skyview displays, GTN-650 navigator and a back up Grand Rapids Mini-B EFIS. It has an impulse coupled mag on one side and P-Mag on the other. I followed the plans closely and only made minor modifications to them.

In no particular order, here are some thoughts, characteristics, performance data and features that may be of interest to you:

1. Both the wife and I find the -14 to be more difficult to get into and out of compared to the -8. One hand on the side rail and the other in the center of the cross bar behind the seats is required to support your body weight, especially getting out. It takes some stretching to do. Don’t let pax grab the instrument panel or canopy, as they are inclined to do. Holding onto the roll bar while facing inboard and standing on the seat, then turning forward while crouched down like a baseball catcher leaning against the seat back is a technique that works. You may end up developing your own method that differs but that’s what I do.  ...


Big Plane, No Runway Lights ...Capt Sandy

"What were you thinking?" my friend Maria said when I told her this story. She'd asked why we didn't get a photo of what we saw at the airport that evening.
"Because it was dark," I replied.
"No, you mean dusk."
"No, I mean it was dark," I insisted. "It was dark."
"What? You were walking on the taxi-way in the dark? Sheesshh.." Maria slapped her forehead with her hand...


Inflight spark plug wire failure (Lightspeed/automotive style) ...Paul Eastham

Thought others might be interested in this recent maintenance issue, didn't see anything like it in the archives.

Was on a short fuel run a few days back when I noticed something painted yellow on my Dynon. Cylinder #4 EGT was hot, 1500 degrees versus the usual 1200. Everything else seemed normal. Was almost home so didn't debug further, despite Mike Busch's admonitions...

On the ground, a mag check showed rough running on the right (Lightspeed ignition) and cylinder #4 going cold. Easy diagnosis, no spark, right?

On disassembly, spark plug tested good and wire tested good. Upstream of that is the coil, but the other cylinder that's fed from the same coil was firing normally, so the coil seems good...gotta be connectors I figured. After a bit of wiggling the wire around at different angles I saw the resistance spike and eventually cut out entirely.  ...


RV Clinic held at Shannon Airport

This Saturday a condition inspection and safety clinic was held at KEZF.

Background: New airport Manager- Phil McLanahan and recent purchaser of a RV-6A suggested instead of a one-off inspection of my plane, that we could gather many RV folks to offer tips, and safety inspection items.

This of course was in addition to the routine cylinder compression checks and other items common to all planes.

Turn out: Despite temps in the low 40's, 8 aircraft owners/builders/ and my son Evan who is just learning about aircraft wrench swinging.

What happened: the most amazing inspection I'd ever seen. This because each person noted something unique. Either a potential safety issue like a wire probe that was rubbing within the engine compartment, to how to detect the need for exhaust cylinder gaskets.

The most skilled in the hangar included (Phil A & P/IA, and Lee Ragsdale also A& P and 9 time RV builder, Bobby Bouchier AP and RV builder) Tom "Smokey" Doran- RV-8A driver and Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, Rich Aquino RV-6 driver, and a couple just finishing their SonexJet.

Each took time to teach, share tools and provide helpful tips.

I'm confident my RV-4 is now safer, more efficient, and perhaps a smidgeon faster.

This could not have happened without fostering a vibrant flying community on the airfield.

I remain thankful and amazed about the RV community here.

Most left with good feelings and perhaps a tip or two.

It was a thing to behold.

Dave "Daddyman" Clinthorne
N262DF The Dream Flyer"


Milestone: Engine Hung ...Pete Miller (Plano, TX)


7A Rebirthing Status Report ...kentlik

I have a slight twist still. After cutting the front bow tubes to length, the front left and right rear corners are airborne...about .200-250". These are the times working with a recovered airplane make me go deep into what is really bent. I have a decent size granite inspection table from my other business off passed so I checked the frame on it to see that it is the frame, not the plane. Also, not sure yet if I cut the front tubes too short, might have by about 60-80 thousand (Turns out after re-reading the manual again I should be good. The side rails are exactly 2.45" across their length front to back).



April 6, 2018.   Issue #4,538.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Monument Valley ...Vlad the Travelled (9A)

Based on advice from senior VAFers I took a tour of Monument Valley recently. It never gets old. ...


Eagle's Nest Projects - SWA rolls out the Red-Carpet for Montgomery HS (TX) students  ...Ernie

Wednesday - March 28, 2018
Southwest Airlines rolls out the Red-Carpet for Montgomery High School (TX) ENP Students

Montgomery high school PLTW Aerospace Engineering students are building a real airplane at their school, a 2-place Van’s Aircraft RV-12, under a program developed and sponsored by Eagle’s Nest Projects. ABC Channel 13 News recently visited the school’s airplane build project (video) and in a surprise ending to their interview, announced they contacted Southwest Airlines and that SWA agreed to provide the ENP/Montgomery build-students a Red-Carpet tour of their facilities at Hobby airport together with intern opportunities.  ...


Stu 'Falcon' McCurdy's Gathering...this Friday

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to provide you with an update for Falcon's local "open hangar" gathering Friday April 6, 2018 from 1300 to 1500 at the Georgetown, Texas airport.

We are hopeful the weather will hold up and that we can accomplish all that we can on such short notice. We will plan on starting the posting of the colors at 13:45 followed by an eulogy and stories about Falcon. We will perform a missing man in his honor. Any one that has served or flown with him don't forget to bring your nickel. Please think of a short story or quote you would like to share with those in attendance. Remember that this is as much for his family as it is for him. I believe it is important for his grandkids to get to hear these stories they otherwise would not hear. Please think of a brief story if you want to share one. Try to keep them PG as most of us coming from fighter squadrons tend to have some flowery language at times, along with some of our sayings. That said Falcon loved the camaraderie and shenanigans as much as he loved formation flying. He would want it that way.

Please let me know if you need anything further. I hope to see you at the "Falcon Gathering".

Please forward this to anyone you may know that would like to know about this gathering as I am sure I have missed someone, unintentionally.

Blue skies,

Bobby "Luke" Lucroy


Bahamas Update ...Tommy Lewis 7A/10

"It still amazes me 11 years after Mel inspected and finalized the license of our RV7a, that it would be a magic carpet to take us on all these wonderful trips."


New windsock...52F

My home field has a new windsock at the north end courtesy the POA (to go along with the new runway).  And the grass is dark green all around it.

Enjoy the view on short final if you visit <g>.

related: Cheapest Fuel List.

Old and New...

pic courtesy Carey Sharp



April 5, 2018.   Issue #4,537.

VFR Wx arrived back in N. TX Wednesday and that brought out the RV locals.  Below two coming up initial 0845 with a third warming up on the ramp.

Later I went up for .3 and got the image below of wind-blown waves on Lake Lewisville.  In the full size you can see where a gust bends the waves in an interesting way.

Every RV flight you seem get something interesting you didn't plan on.


RV-9A Status Report....Andy C. Kalamazoo, Mi

Engine is done!! 


Today's Bahamas Report ...Tommy rubbing it in (7A/10)


Seat Porn ...Luke

"Here is another beautiful RV-7A from Australia that was built by Peter Harkness. This is a good example of very eye catching paint scheme with a tastefully subtle interior. Nice job Peter, and thanks for sharing pictures!"

check out the armrest


RV-8 Heat Diverter- Solution to a Nonexistent Problem?...goatflieg

When I installed Van's cabin heat selector box on my RV-8 firewall I saw two potential problems. The first was routing the push-pull cable; with ground adjustable rudder pedals set full-forward I saw the potential for getting the top of a pedal caught behind the cable during brake actuation with rudder deflection; definitely NOT a good scenario. I decided to modify the flapper lever and route the cable directly from the left gear tower to the lever. This would reverse the operation to push-to-open/pull-to-close, but that's no big deal to me. The other issue was that it looked like the hot air would be blowing directly into the left corner in front of the gear tower; less than ideal, with wiring, cables, fuel pump, fuel lines and brake lines there. I thought a heat diverter would help reduce those issues and redirect the hot air straight aft. So I made this up out of scrap aluminum. It was eyeball-engineered and took some fiddling, but I believe it will help. Having to route the cable through the diverter was a pain, but it works without any interference. Just wondering if any other RV-8 builders had similar thoughts. Did I solve a nonexistent problem?


Georgetown, TX Tango Flight Youth Build

"We are having our banquet this weekend down in Georgetown. Would you mind posting this on VAF for a day or two to try and get interest from some of the local folks?  I’m extremely excited that we have Mike Coates, retired shuttle astronaut, and director of NASA as our guest speaker!

Also, Mark King, with GLO Custom is making us a really nice offer. He has donated a number of certificates good for $1000 off of a paint job"



April 4, 2018.   Issue #4,536.
  Anniversary:  VAF has been my full time job as of 4/4/07.  Thanks again for visiting.

Geoff Combs' Insane Panel Update

So after flying my RV-10 N829GW for 8 years 2 months, and 1 minor panel upgrade I decided to do a major Panel/systems update.


RV-4 First Flight ...Skip

Runway finally dried out, winds were calm so no excuse not to fly it this morning, so I did!
Temps all good (on the cool side) just a slight heavy right wing easily trimmed out. Flew like I hoped it would. Hardest part was getting it slowed down enough to land...
This is going to be fun
I'm grinning

RV-4 #1904 (its a airplane now)


Tommy Lewis RV Spring Trip to Bahamas ...pics


Taking advantage of a TDY ...majuro15

I’ve been TDY (temporary duty) at Sheppard AFB, located in lovely Wichita Falls, Texas, for about two months. While this place chalks up to the armpit of the Midwest, I was determined to get out and enjoy myself during the three months that I’m here. Luckily, another class mate, Justin, in my Aircraft Maintenance Officer training is a private pilot and we quickly found a few great places to airport bum meeting some great folks and getting a few flights under our belts. John Hooker, located at Wichita Valley Airport (F14), built a very nice RV-10 several years ago and was happy to show me around and give me some tips. Ironically, a unique feature spurred my memory and after digging through Oshkosh photos from four years ago, I realized I had seen his airplane in person. When we couldn’t find any good reason not to fly, he offered to take me for a quick hop along the Red River and gave me plenty of stick time. I’ve been attending the weekly Sunday evening social at F14 whenever my schedule permits.  ...


Getting Close: Paul Lips

Been lurking a long time on this site. I'm getting closer to flying.  Here is first Picture RV-4 N698PK. O-320 Powered.


Bragging on the Kid

...Audrey was awarded a fellowship from the NSF.  She got the word around midnight last night.

Many of you had a part in this kid's education.  Thank you for that - she's doing us all proud.

fmi: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/grfp/AwardeeList.do?method=loadAwardeeList



April 3, 2018.   Issue #4,535.

Stu McCurdy: Rest in Peace

It is with heavy hearts that Falcon Flight announces the passing of our leader and founder Stuart (Stu) "Falcon" McCurdy (Col USAF Ret). After battling for almost a year, Stu succumbed to esophageal cancer this past Saturday (3/31/18) at his home in Round Rock TX, surrounded by his entire family.

It's no exaggeration to say that formation flying in the GA world, especially the EAB side, would not be the thriving, tight-knit, community that it is today without the efforts put forth by Falcon. His creation of FFI back in the late 90's set the gold standard to which we are all held. It allows dozens of flight teams, consisting of hundreds of pilots, to fly together in safety and grace. It seamlessly brought together pilots from all over the country to set world records, whether over EAA AirVenture, NFL games or the occasional NASCAR race.

An informal “open hangar” gathering is planned for Friday 4/6/18 from 13:00 to 15:00 at Stu's home base of KGTU. Feel free to drop by and pay respects, if so inclined.

Falcon *will* be missed, but his legacy continues each time we “strap on” our aircraft.

Blue skies, good friend.

Falcon Flight Formation Team
[ed. Ron Walker was kind enough to send me this. dr]


Harding Icefield Kenai Peninsula Alaska ...mbauer trip writeup

The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding.

On March the 24th 2018 took a little local flight. Wasn't planning on anything special, just decided to cruise around. One thing I wanted to do was time a climb from PAEN (Kenai Airport) to 10,000 feet MSL.  ...


Fishing Guide RV Offer (NE. OK) ...friend of mine Clayton (RV-8)

(Clayton M).
Adam Mason is a friend of mine here in North East Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Adair and has been fishing Hudson Lake since he was a kid. He has started up a fishing guide service, and I was hoping to get the word out to the RV community since this would be a great use of an RV. Adam is a Veteran, having served in the Army between 2004 and 2012 - with a tour in Iraq (2006/2007) as a .50 Cal. Infantry Gunner. Not exactly sure what he was up to, but I'm damn glad he was doing it.

Here is what Melissa and I would like to do to help out. We would like to offer accommodations for two different 2 person parties who wish to book fishing trips with Adam. They can come into our grass strip (OK18) on the lake the night before and either stay in the one bedroom apartment we have at the hangar, or if they prefer, they are welcome to pitch a tent and camp. OK18 is a private strip with a "Land at your own Risk" policy, but if they have some time operating off of turf, coming in and out of OK18 should be no problem.

Pics and Contact Info

I would encourage interested parties to first contact Adam about time and schedule. I know he has been having some great results on Crappie and that the Sand bass are really turning it on right now. Melissa and I spent all day Saturday putting them in the boat. Early in the season the Spoonbills are really stacking up and the Catfish will be biting here soon. Adam offers a full services guided trip, all equipment, bait, lures, boat, and fish cleaned for you to take back home. The fishermen/women will be responsible for the appropriate fishing license and their meals. His 1/2 day trips are $300 for either 1 or 2 guests in the boat. I can guarantee you that anyone who goes with him will have a good time and Adam will do all he can to put fish in the boat (remember - he can operate a .50 caliber rapid fire weapon).

Once the party has booked with Adam, I will be happy to brief them on OK18, alternates, fuel, transportation, and how to handle meals.

OK18 (grass) from an RV-8

Adam is a great guy, who I would very much like to see succeed with his guide service - hope some of our pilot friends will help make it happen.

All the Best,




April 2, 2018.   Issue #4,534.
  Horrible news over the weekend as word arrived of a 6A crash in Santa Paula, CA with two fatalities (names haven’t been released as of this writing).  Prayers offered up to all those affected.  More when I know it, and if I receive funeral information this week I’ll pass it on. 

AX-O photo.


New RV-10 Guy Says Hey ...David Selden

Figured I should say hello since I will probably be on here asking questions at some point. Took delivery of my RV-10 empennage kit yesterday afternoon. Got everything inventoried except the skins. No damage to anything, so not a bad way to start.


Video: Aerobatic Practice ...Gash

Here's a video of my aerobatic practice today. This is the Intermediate Free sequence that I'll fly in IAC contests this year. It's not flown in an RV, but I guess it's RV-related since I used my RV-8 to get started with aerobatic contests last year. Thanks to Ron Schreck's presentation at Oshkosh in 2016, I learned how to get involved in IAC. Thanks Ron!


Status Report ...jcarne

Well with the tanks and leading edges attached it was time for some top skins. I got them all prepped and even got the left wing riveted. My dad came over to help, we found that the back riveting method did not work for us. No matter how I held the rivet set the rivets wanted to tilt ever so slightly toward the rib web. We switched to bucking with the good ol' tungsten and it worked awesome! Really good results in my opinion. Let me know what you think.


Flywheel to hub alignment ...SgtZim

Hi, basic question here. Does the 0 on the flywheel match to the (smeared) 0 on the hub?


Mobile Dynon Data ...akarmy

Ok, I can't be the only one that has had this happen to. Too many times I arrive at the airport ready to go flying, and upon startup I get the dreaded, your chart data is out of date on my Skyview system. Now what I really want is a wifi cellular mobile download accessory to install into my plane so it's always current. Since I can't have that... I came up with this.  ...


7A Rebirthing Update ...kentlik

So, I finally got the aft deck sorted. The most trouble I have had to date with rivets in NEW holes no combination old and new.  ...


Van Says Thanks


Panel Porn ...Flywad4 RV-14


Welcome SuperbirdClean.com

...ad in the Previous Day's News section.  Jim will chime in with a classified listing shortly.



March 30, 2018.   Issue #4,533.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled Easter weekend. 

Ed D'Arcy photo (Turbo)

Crack in Windshield ...dangit

I went to the hangar yesterday to take the RV-6A out after a cold winter's rest. After an extensive preflight, I pulled it out of the hangar and climbed in and started it up. As I was getting everything set up and slowly continuing through the checklist, I glanced up and notice a small crack in the windshield that I hadn't noticed before. I almost had a breakdown right then and there. The crack is about two (2) inches and it runs from the top left-center down and it is not noticeable while seated unless you intentionally search for it.  ...


Apple Watch as a Backup Flight Tracker

(using a Series 3 with GPS)
Select 'Workout' and choose 'Cycle' (the GPS doesn't come on when you select 'Treadmill'.  Go fly.  When you get back on the ground you have a nice map of where you flew....and a measurement of your heart rate throughout the flight.  You can see the elevated portions where I pushed the plane out and back in.

I flew a quick .2 over to the school parking lot to see where Tate's truck was parked (half day classes let out at noon).  The 4-year old battery had given up the ghost and I had to meet him there with tools, then run up to O'Reily's for a replacement.

PS:  The app thinks you're a GREAT cyclist.  It gives you a 'Way to Go!' message every five miles.  Happens pretty quick when your bicycle is averaging around 150mph. ;^)


Air Force Academy bound--AviationNation builder

We are very proud of Eli Edwards, one of the RV-12 builders from Columbus, Indiana. Eli has been accepted to the Air Force Academy. This isn't his first honor; he has been two-time NRA Junior National Champion in high power rifle (shoots one of those evil AR-15s.) That says a bunch about his work ethic and attention to detail. This is my second student to attend a military academy. About five years ago we had one who went on to West Point. These build programs attract the best and brightest, and we try to encourage them to excel in all that they do.



April Wallpaper Calendar


David Paule Status Report ...3B

The left-hand belly skin under the seat is now glued on. Here it is with the glue curing, the exoskeleton in place, and the tape freshly off. Removing the tape is one of the first things to do after the clecos are in (the first ones are wiping off the cleco tips and filleting any joints).  ...



March 29, 2018.   Issue #4,532.
  It got close to a thousand feet AGL, but the OVC clouds never flinched and we stayed IFR all day at my home field Wednesday.  Treadmill, Whataburger and Mt. Email. 
  Been on the surface too many days for my tastes - more respect gained for those who live in rainy climates.  Texas seems to have spoiled me in regards to sunny flying weather.  Two days of rain is about all I can seem to stand. ;^) 


RV-6 and reflected hangar door in OVC conditions.


Richard VanGrunsven Receives AOPA General Aviation Safety Award


25 years of bits and pieces ...Tom Martin

Although I would not call myself a hoarder when it comes to little bits of aluminum I am definitely guilty.

In 1993, when I started, you kept all the scraps. If you wanted to build something extra, or had a repair, little pieces came in handy. When building if you were going to modify a part you needed little pieces. The really expensive piece of small aluminum is the one you do not have! I kept everything, different sizes, different thicknesses etc.

As kits have evolved there is less and less need for extra metal. The kits are pretty complete and there are not as many modifications to make. The baffle kit alone has saved hours and hours of work scrounging for just that right bit of metal.

After completing the RV14 I noticed that I did not go to the scrap yard (under my bench) at all. It was time to clean house.

It took a couple of hours to sort through 5 boxes of odds and ends. I narrowed it down to two boxes of high end scraps!
The rest went to the scrap metal yard

I got a total of $31.55 for my bits and pieces, a memory every one. The interesting thing was that I had a few pop cans as well. They had to be separated as they were worth $0.10 more per pound then aircraft metal!!!


Flying spinnerless

I had some trouble with the screws that hold my spinner dome digging through the dome.

The spinner is on it's way back to the manufacturer where they'll be building me a new dome, but now I'm spinnerless! The manufacturer told me I could fly without the spinner and obviously, I see all kinds of planes without spinners. The propeller is a constant speed.

My question is specifically, is there anything to be concerned about with the RV-8?

Will it effect the cooling? Will too much air enter without the spinner on?

Don't want to do anything stupid. Opinions clearly being sought! Thanks!


RV-7 Status ...CubedRoot

After completing the horizontal stabilizer in a previous work session, I decided to continue on and finish the vertical stabilizer. *The Tech Counselor came out this morning and approved all my work so far, and that means its safe to close these guys up and mark them as done! *I started out by clecoing the rear spar back on to the vertical stabilizer skin, we had removed it this morning so the inspector could take a good look at the riveting done inside.  ...


RV-8 Fastback Panel Pic ...Chris Engler for Steve

I don't have dimensions handy but this pic gives you a general sense of the canopy frame "overlap" on the panel. When closed, the bottom of the frame just covers the 8/32 pan head screws around the top perimeter of the panel....the dimension widens from the top to the sides (guessing 3/4 inch at the top to 1 1/2 inches at the sides.

For reference, the two screens are 10.4 inch HXrs and the radio is a GTN650. Note that the panel itself is a single piece of 1/8 inch thick aluminum rather than the standard 3-section panel from Vans.


Status Report: RV-14A Engine ON ...MED



March 28, 2018.   Issue #4,531.
  A bit of a milestone today....it's been exactly one year since I've had a soda.  Growing up in Waco, TX where Dr. Pepper was created (and given to the mascot at Baylor) and having a father who spent his entire working life at a glass plant making bottles to contain it makes for a sort of system shock when you go cold turkey.  And it was.
  Rained all day Tuesday here.  No RV fun to be had.  Maybe I'll go get a soda... ;^)


Just waiting for the permit to test on my 7 ...Ian Coates

Hi all

I thought that I should show the group my completed 7, I am awaiting the paperwork for the permit to test. Hopefully not long. I am greatful to all on the forum for invaluable information over the four and a half years of tears and joy.


Panel Porn ...Dany King's project

Danny is helping hangarmate Ned put in newer avionics and harnesses in his RV-8.  I got some large pics of the work in progress.  Click on any pic for a larger version (and choose 'iPhone 6+' after clicking on the little symbol that looks like three cards stacked on top of each other for full size).


Mars Research Station ...from the RV-9A (Vlad)

There is a fascinating place in a Utah desert. It's Mars Desert Research Lab where teams of scientists from different countries simulate living and working in martian like conditions.  ...


From Sonex to RV-8


Years ago when I first decided building an airplane was something I wanted to do, I was quickly drawn to the RV-8. As I started researching what it would take to build one, I started realizing that cost to build and the complexity was probably more than I could chew. I found myself migrating over to the Sonex, and after a Sonex builder took me for a quick hop around the patch, I was sold. It had great performance for the price and I was able to see past the somewhat odd look and overall lack of fit and finish.

Fast forward a few years and I am part way through a Sonex tail kit but have started to have a lot of apprehension about finishing. This is mostly due to my lack (and others in the Sonex community) of confidence in the AeroVee VW conversion. With the Sonex B models, the factory will now support several other more proven engine installations (Rotax, UL power, etc.) but that takes an airplane I was looking to spend 30-35k to get airborne to more like 50-60k. While I still feel the Sonex is a great little airframe, I can't see paying that kind of price for it.

So, I've come full circle back to the RV-8, which has always been the plane I wanted to build in the first place. I am going to order a set of preview plans and the practice projects and figure out what extra tools I'll need now that I can't just pull a bunch of pop rivets. Any other building advice/suggestions for a soon to be former Sonex builder would be appreciated.

Looking forward to the journey!

Josh Grant
Dreaming of an RV-8a build


From MGL...


From AeroLEDs.com (advertiser)



March 27, 2018.   Issue #4,530.

How'd you do that- F-01479 page 10-18 ...-14

After spending two hours last night trying to get this assembly into place, I thought I'd better get some help before bending something. I've checked multiple builder's web sites and seems nobody is having much of an issue with it. Trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. F-01479 goes between the F-01478 (skin) and the F-01411 bulkhead. I'm not having much trouble there, it's getting the skin to fit aft of this point. By the way, the plans are vague, I'm assuming that the F-01479 skin goes BETWEEN the stringers and the fuse skin.

How'd you do it?


Practice holds in a 30kt wind are fun!

The first outbound leg we *only* flew for 50 seconds. Had to reduce that to 30 seconds!

fmi: About APRS Tracking


Access Panels

I put three access panels in the front skin of my 9 tip up. It’s time consuming to do it. I asked a friend that put them in his 7 if he would do it again and he said yes. So I went for it. They made it very easy for riveting the skin. I’m assuming you have not installed the skin. Important. When laying out the holes, the two that are on the sides run parallel to the longeron. They are trapezoids not rectangles.

Layout the locations on the skin and carefully cut them out, file and clean the edges. Layout and drill #40 holes around the perimeter using proper edge distance. I used a rivet fan to space the holes. Cleco on the skin to the airframe to fit the backer plate. Rough cut the plate oversize as it will change as it curves. Match drill the backer plate and cleco all around. Trace with a sharpie around the hole onto the backer plate. Remove the backer plate and create an outside line 5/8” from traced line, then do the same 5/8” inside the traced line. Cut both inside and outside line, clean and polish edges. You now have your backer plate.

Next make the cover plates. These must be made with the skin cleco’d to the fuse. Rough cut larger than needed. Match drill and cleco. You will need a helper to climb in and push the plate to conform while you match drill. Trace and cut 1/8” outside the line. The plate now needs to be finely tuned to fit the hole. Cut and file to fit. Cleco on the backer plate for support while fitting. When your happy with the fit, if not make another one, layout #40 holes, match drill cover plate into backer plate.

The rest is straight forward. Dimples for rivets and #6 screws in cover plate. Install nut plates in backer plate. Last is to rivet the backer plate if your satisfied with the fit and finish. Otherwise do it all again. It’s only a small amount of 032 sheet skin.



March 26, 2018.   Issue #4,529.
  OVC, BR and gusting to 30+ around N. Texas over the weekend kept the RV flying limited to those braver than me.  My Baylor Girls were knocked out of the tournament Friday, but the Formula 1 2018 season was nice enough to start up the next day (how nice). Spent Saturday cleaning stuff at the hangar and Sunday working on sprinklers and watching Elite Eight games with a laptop (working on VAF stuff).
  Hope the flying Wx is better where you are, and that you had a nice weekend.


RV-10 First Flight :-) ...BlackhawkSP

I completed the maiden flight yesterday in my RV-10 !! I wanted to get it done before the spring snow storm we have going on today !! These aircraft are the ultimate in delayed gratification. She fly’s great. All the engine CHT's and EGT's were very reasonable. I closed the cowl flaps right after take off. The engine oil temp leveled off at 206 degrees, and i was running WOT at 5500 Ft. I saw at one point 178 knots TAS straight and level. Now on to the flight test program and teaching myself how to work all the whiz-bang goodies and features in the Garmin avionics and autopilot. I've flown a Super 8 for years, but I am rapidly getting to love this 10 !

Here are a bunch of pictures from the event:


Change of pace (and project)

While browsing the VAF classifieds in January (for one last time before pulling the trigger on a factory QB 7 Fuse), an RV-6 project popped up at a near-quick build stage. A few phone conversations and a week later, a good friend of mine and I made a morning of flying out to Orcas Island to check it out. After looking it over, I decided it was a project I wanted to take on and ideally, be the one to finish.


Please critique my electrical design

I've been working on the electrical architecture for my RV-8 and I'm getting close to a solution, but before I start buying and installing components, I'd like to get some feedback on my deign.

I'm planning an IFR-capable RV-8 with a Titan IO-370 and G3X system with G-5, GTN-650, GTR20, et al. I'm planning to use the Earth-X ETX680 battery as the main, and a TCW 3 Ah backup battery. The main alternator will be a belt-driven B&C BC-460H (60 Amps) with a gear-driven SD-8 backup (<8 Amps).  ...


Status ...jcarney 7A

Things are really starting to chug along now! After riveting the ribs to the spar it was time to finalize riveting the leading edge by finishing the flange rivets. Tomorrow I will prime the left top skins and those will be ready to go on. Things are really moving now.

You can see in this pic I used the Van's approved LP4-3s and 4s to rivet the ribs except for the outboard one. I tried to put all the factory heads on the rib side but there were two ribs I had to put the factory head on the spar. Reaching inside to rivet what you can is an absolute bear if you have big hands!


Greetings from a newbie and another 9A underway

Howdy, I took delivery of my tail section on Wednesday. Inventory revealed two damaged rudder skins, new skins coming. Also my plans had RV8 HS and rudder plans (no 9 plans). So I started the VS first. I’m at 9 hrs on build time and will prime tomorrow.
Been a long time lurker and have come out. Great info here, hopefully I won’t burden with too many questions. Posting pics on pbell1733.wordpress.com

PBell - 92293
9A Empennage building,


Ivanpha Array from Vlad's -9A


Last fuse skin going on ...kentlik

I have finally gotten back to work on the plane...



March 23, 2018.   Issue #4,528.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Very Special RV-6 For Sale ...our friend Joe Blank's RV-6

Being Offered for sale By Tricia Blank.
Van's Aircraft RV-6
Built from a Quick Build (QB) Kit
Sliding Canopy

Location: Molalla Oregon
Asking Price: $95,000

(Scott McDaniels)
"This airplane was built, maintained, and flown by Joe Blank.  Up until losing a courageous battle with cancer in Nov. 2016, Joe was a Factory Demo Pilot / Technical Support guy at Van's Aircraft.  The airplane is well know by many within the RV community because of Joe's employment at Van's, his participation as an FFI Flight Lead team member in the West Coast Ravens, and his participation in many other formation events including numerous world record formation flights.

I have been the caretaker, pilot, and maintainer of this airplane since Joe's passing, and will be the contact person for inquiries for additional info., etc.
Please contact me via PM or e-mail and I will get back to you ASAP.  [ed. If you don't have a VAF forum account you can email me and I'll get your contact info to Scott.  v/r,dr].

The attached list of configuration and equipment has been made to the best of my ability; having not personally built or owned the airplane. It is the full responsibility of any interested party to confirm any specific details of interest.

Scott McDaniels" 

more info on this plane

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VImNBuJW3sQ

more videos

[ed. I miss my friend very much, and I hope somebody
takes very good care of his plane.


Some Teaser Shots

Monk and Plaster asked if I would take some pics of a -6 coming up for sale soon.  Absolutely....my usual rate (one lunch up to and including $10).  And I get to use the pics on the site if I don't screw 'em up.


Thursday a.m. we went up for a quick .2 and got some.  That's Plaster above holding station from the right seat - I know he's cussing me at the time as I was pretty close to being directly between his pupil and the center of the sun.  There for about five seconds the paint on the plane seemed to fluoresce.  The pic here is  untouched in Photoshop.  I shot a burst of about 20 pictures in that five seconds and knew we could go home right then.


Once Monk and I landed I stood on the taxiway and got some touch and go passes.  What a beautiful RV.  Some more pics.

Of note is the tiny landing light just above the airbox intake.

More info when I have it...


New RV-6 owner in Northern Illinois ...Jonathan Gruber

Just wanted to test out my ability to post and also introduce myself. Picked up a "finished" (are we ever REALLY finished) rv-6. Very excited to become a part of thus group and I'll see everyone in the sky. Aircraft is based out of KDPA.


Why you do a 360* on the ramp before taking off...

...to see if you're leaking oil during mag check, etc.  Seen on the run-up ramp at 52F 3/22/18.  dr.



RV-14 Milestone ...control

Engine mounted

Not torqued yet, I did not really plan to mount it today but when all fittings were in place I just could not help myself from trying. Even without help, I was able to get all the bolts in, in around 30 minutes.


Prototyping Technician Needed


Well Rested Pilots Fly Better (maybe)

I downloaded a free app called Sleep Cycle for my iPhone the other day.  Used it Wednesday night for the first time (graph below).

"An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed. No need to place your device in bed - Sleep Cycles uses sound analysis sleep tracking."

Note the snoring blips around 0400.  It recorded (7) snoring events spread out over (19) minutes, and no I won't pay $30/yr to hear them - the free, non-premium version serves my needs.

I asked it to wake me sometime between 0615 - 0630.  It chose 0626 based on the sounds I was making. 

It ties into the health app already on my phone.  Screen grab of the steps page below (guess what day back spasms paid a visit?). 


My Vans RV Conundrum ...new guy Dave chimes in

I have been thinking seriously about trading my Mooney for a Vans RV-9/A. It better fits my mission which is mostly me flying around by myself in good weather with no particular place I need to go. I think it would save me a bit of money in fuel burn, replacement parts and upgrades and it would be newer with not so much history, mechanics, repairs, annuals and the like on it.

My ideal Vans would be the 9/A with an IO-320, CS prop and either a tip up, or slider, I haven't decided. It would also have to have a nice, standard layout panel with at least two axis auto pilot, dual coms, WAAS GPS, engine monitoring and a good audio panel. ADS-B in and out and a 406 ELT would be great too. Unfortunately there are four serious things preventing me from pursuing this plan. In order of seriousness-
  1. Safety. I like the 9 because it has the lowest stall speed and that means the slowest touch down in an off field landing scenario, but it seems that if you land a Vans on anything that isn't hard and prepared, you end up upside down, hanging from your harness and most times trapped by a stuck canopy. Ditching a Vans in water sounds like suicide, or at least very, very slim chances of a good outcome. I feel much more confident in the Mooney's ability to land off field and in water. I also feel very confident of the Mooney's strength in the airframe. I'm not so sure about the Vans.
  2. The wife. I mentioned in passing that I was thinking of trading the Mooney and she was ho-hum about that... until I told her I was thinking of an experimental! She was pretty strongly against that idea! It will take a lot of convincing that it is just as safe and I first have to convince myself.
  3. The wife. The cabin in the Mooney is tight, but I think the Vans cabin is even tighter. It feels very narrow to me. As we get older, neither of us is getting any skinnier. There is also poor baggage area access, or capacity. While it has only occurred three or four times in the last seven years, it would be nice to keep the ability to take the wife along for a weekend. I'm not so sure how well the Vans can handle this job.
  4. Money. I don't think I can get anywhere near enough money for my Mooney to get a nice clean, well built RV-9 configured the way I want it and then do all the things that will need to be done to make it mine. I will have to sell my Mooney and then likely pony up even more money. While I have the money and could do this, right now is not a financially great time for me to do it.
What do you guys think?



March 22, 2018.   Issue #4,527.

Airshow display ...lucaperazzolli RV-8

In September 2017 we did our first public appearance as Aerobatic Formation Team, here's the final (homebuilt) video editing.


Microsoft Research proposes using existing commercial aircraft to provide worldwide WIFI coverage ...might be using RV-10 as test platform

"Scientists from Microsoft Research have proposed using existing commercial aircraft flights and air routes to provide worldwide internet coverage at much lower cost than proposed solutions such as Google’s Project Loon (which uses balloons) and Facebook’s Aquila efforts (which uses solar-powered aircraft).

...Microsoft tested the system in real life and reports good performance. They note that connectivity would be intermittent and would be more suitable for latency-tolerant communication such as instant messages and email, but that connectivity can be improved by recruiting more flights (there are more than 10,000 in the air at one time) and by potentially rerouting flights slightly for better coverage." ...

fmi: Full Paper


SB 18-03-06 (more info)

"The new spring was conceived at Van's, and then designed under corroboration with the engineering dept of a local spring manufacturer so this should be the end to throttle spring breakage.

As the fleet begins using the new spring, be sure to notify Van's using one of the standard procedures detailed in the maintenance manual, if you have any type of service difficulty with them."


More Pics of Larry Anderson's Newly Painted RV-10


Panel Upgrade and Hangar Cleanout

Hi There
Upgrading the panel on my RV-7 and that means I have several items to sell. All are used of course and all are in good working order. Send me a PM if you wish and we can hopefully come to terms on whichever item(s) you would like. Here's the list:..

1:..Dynon D-100 EFIS module with Wiring Harness, Magnetometer and uncut cable for Magnetometer. Asking $1400
2:..Dynon D-120 EMS module. Asking $1200
3:..Dynon AP74 autopilot control module with mounting tray and harness, asking $325
4:..Garmin SL-40 Transciever with mounting tray, asking $1,000
5:..Garmin GTX 327 Transponder with mounting tray, and Ameri-King Encoder with cable, asking $650
6:..Garmin 496 GPS with remote antennae, aircraft power cord, manual, and various mounts, asking $550
7:..ICOM IC A200 transceiver, with mounting tray, asking $750
8:..Van's C/S fiberglass spinner kit, never used, with unused mounting and front plates. asking $175
9:..2 Van's 4 point seat belts used in my RV-7, good shape, no tears or fraying..$175 for both sets
10:.Falcon electric Turn Co-ordinator. New in box with electrical connector, still in original, sealed plastic wrap, asking $375

If you are at all interested in any of this, drop me a PM with your contact info and we can see if we can make a deal.



Head hitting canopy fix

The sometime sharp-edged turbulence around the local foothills has caused my head to hit the (RV-14A) canopy fairly hard several times, even with the 5-point harness snugged up tight. The problem seems to be the location of the lap belt anchors well behind the seat. While doing a good job of restraining in the forward direction, vertical motion can easily be 4-5 inches. The solution seemed to be an extra lap belt anchored further forward.

I got some seat belt anchors from Van's and located them about 9 inches forward of the stock ones (see first pic). The mounting would have been simple during the build, but out on the tie-down, not so much. The floor beam material is quite thin, so added an .060 angle and stiffener on the side opposite the anchors using plenty of pro-seal and two AN-3 bolts (see pics 2 & 3). Pic 4 shows the installation with the ratcheting lap belt (wrong color, but hey...). This has been very effective, you can ratchet the belt down till your bones bend and you definitely become one with the airplane. My head hasn't hit the canopy since and I also really like the feeling of being glued in place even with the simple acro I do.  ...


Chris Johnson's Beautiful RV-9A ...'YellowJacket RV9' in the forums



March 21, 2018.   Issue #4,526.

Short Field Practice ...vid.

...and (11) more minutes to get the logbook entry to .2hrs.

Tuesday a.m. was one of those cold, windy mornings in N. Texas that allows for a very short landing roll on 35 at my home field.  Since I have manual flaps I like to occasionally (when the conditions are right) dump the flaps right as the wheels touch to shorten the roll.  The landing roll measured on GoogleMaps later was 698'.  It'll do shorter with less gas and smoother air.

My 'fun rolls' are a cross between barrel and axial.  Maybe 1/3rd barrel - just enough to keep all the junk on the floor.  The G-meter showed 2.5 in the loop.

The wind was gusting 21kts about 20* left of the centerline.  The burbles off the hangars make the 35 landing 'dynamic', and the slightly-rising runway there at the end calls for a non-standard flare.  You can see the bumps down low.   Game face on and always something to screw up (which I usually do).

I hooked up the Garmin VIRB that's on loan and played with the edit software a bit.  Maybe an excuse to goof off at work for 2min 40sec if you have the bandwidth and monitor acreage.

Hard to believe how much fun you can have in 12 minutes with an RV.


SB 18-03-06 ...mothership

RV-12 (Powered with Rotax 912ULS) ALSO SEE Revisions and Changes.  Replace the throttle return springs


Rest in Peace: Mr. Robbie Attaway

(George P)
Sadly Robbie Attaway passed away in early Feb. While not active in the RV community the last few years he was in the past very active in the PHX area. He designed and built several nice modifications to RV’s. I own his second RV built and it’s a great aircraft. He was always willing to help anyone with a RV.


9A Status Report ...Av8torTom

The day finally arrived for me to get down to Superior Air Parts and build my O-320. Pretty impressive facility. I'm also VERY impressed with the improvements Superior as made to their engine cases and cylinders.

Started around 9am this morning and by 5pm we had all 4 cylinders in place.

Here are a couple of pictures:


Rv-10 TDI 1st Condition Complete

Well, it took about 2.5 months, but its back in the air- sort of.

The condition inspection went very well. RV guru Vic Syracuse gave the airframe a thorough inspection. He left the engine to me.

Punch list items--
1. Aileron SB inspection- completed- no cracks.
2. One brake master cylinder fitting weeping- resealed all 8.
3. Two small cracks in the inlet ramp baffles- stop drilled.

Modification list--
1. Upgraded rudder stop installed-recommended by Vic.
2. Reduced my aux battery system by half- saved about 8 lbs.
3. Installed an access door in aft bulkhead- Now just 10 screws instead of 35 to check the battery and aft equipment bay.


Another RV-4

RV-4 sr.# 1904 got her airworthiness certificate today, 30 yrs. and 26 days after the order was placed for the tail kit! Talk about a slow build....

Thanks to all who helped me so much to complete this project, especially Bill E. and Jim W. Most of all to Mr. Don Harris who was the original builder before he passed away.

Now for some decent weather!!

RV-4 #1904



March 20, 2018.   Issue #4,525.
  No flying in N. Texas Monday due to this a few grand above the area.  Hope less windy where you were.

Fun with ramp chalk!
Kyle Lewis photo (RV-12)


Crystal River / Cedar Key ...Don Schwartz 9A

Melissa and I flew our RV 9A down to Florida from Wisconsin.  We landed at Crystal River and rented a car. We also flew to Other airports for fun seeing the area. Including Cedar Key.  We stayed in Cedar Key for a week, wonderful place to relax.  Was a wonderful trip. Seems that the Cedar Key Airport has several accidents. If going please be Careful. Didn’t seem to be a problem but there was a accident.  While we were there.


Difficult situation - need help ...jonweisw

All -

A dear friend of mine needs to sell his RV relatively quickly due to a tragic loss of his medical related to a very significant, incapacitating, health issue.

He completed his 7A in 2005 and it has around 600h on it. IO360-M1B with a Hartzell. Beautifully built (seriously - he is a former Navy test pilot and the attention to detail was nuclear-grade) and impeccably maintained. Always hangared and NDH.

Unsure as to the extent of his recovery and whether or not he would be airworthy again, he and his wife have held onto the airplane but have now decided to sell it. It is out of annual and based at Punta Gorda, FL (KPGD).

I have advised her that getting the airplane an annual and therefore airworthy should be a top priority (it is not safe or feasible for him to do the condition inspection subsequent to his event).

Do any of you know of an A&P in the Ft. Myers area who would be willing to do an annual on an RV? The airplane will be on the market soon, so this may be a good all-around project for a potential buyer as well.

More pictures to follow - or PM me.


Restaurant at Hilltop Lakes Has Reopened ...central Texas.

I just wanted to let everyone know that the Hilltop Lakes (0TE4) restaurant has finally reopened! Just FYI....the local flying club (T-38 club) is planning to meet for coffee/breakfast every Saturday morning around 8:30am, so all are welcome! In addition, lunch or dinner will be available 7 days a week.   The name of the restaurant is Overlook.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Hope to see you soon!

Tim Kirk


Cold (not dead) cylinder at high MP except WOT ...Rick 9A

I’m observing some behavior that I would like the group’s opinion on.

Setup: O-320-H2AD, 33H Hobbs/19.5H Tach since OH with new cam, lifters, new Lyc cylinders. Ellison, standard dual mag (D3000) also OH. Sensenich fixed, RV-9A. Compressions are 76/80 or better cold.

At full throttle/WOT – 28.5in HG for the most recent flight - at low altitudes (takeoff), CHT and EGT’s line up well. EGT’s are in the 1250F average range for what it’s worth, all rich of peak. At MP’s slightly below WOT to medium throttle – 27in HG to 20 in HG– cylinder #4 EGT falls by 100F-150F and CHT for #4 falls by about 30F-40F versus the average of the other three. The EGT falls fast and settles out with thirty seconds, CHT takes a couple minutes. Below 20in HG, all four cylinders come back together again in EGT and CHT quickly. It is repeatable, centering around 20in HG MP.

There really isn’t any perceived roughness, and even in this 27in - 20in HG cold-cylinder range, #4 EGT and CHT responds normally and consistently with the other cylinders to leaning, they are just doing so from a significantly different place. Since I lean to basically 100F-150F ROP at anything less than WOT, I can’t say if ranging from full rich to lean changes the behavior at the transition points. I believe it’s been occurring since hour 1.5 based on the data (no high power data exists prior to this time, <1.5H is all run-in), and there is no significant metal in the first two oil changes, suggesting I’m not wiping a lobe.

My first suspect is ignition, looking for one side of the ignition falling off on #4. I have not done any disassembly inspection yet, only gross inspection of the ignition harness - no obvious ignition leakage or damage to plug wires, and timing is on target. I did check the intake tube clamps (thanks Ralph, I should have mentioned it).

My plan: Run the Savvy ignition test in flight, in various levels of richness/leanness and MP’s. If it’s ignition, I expect it will show up pretty clearly, and the diagnostic work from there is (hopefully) logical: plugs, harness and magneto get the focus. I’ll probably look at the plugs anyway – a cylinder running that cold may be generating deposits that may point at something (one plug not firing being scuzzy?).

If that doesn’t give any hints, I will confirm my secondary elements: valve lift, boroscope, pushrods.

Any hints or past experience would be welcome. Thanks.


Paint Booth PIREP ...Shawn Jordan

I’m in the middle of painting my RV-4 in my homemade paint booth and boy was I suprised. I have A 7000cfm fan pumping air through 16sq/ft of inlet filter and I can still fully fog up the booth with the SPI high solid clear. I cant imagine trying to close loop this air. If you look in the second picture you can see how dirty the inlet filters already are after just shooting base coat on the fiberglass pieces. Love the scientific approach to this though, don’t see this level of approach on the good old car forums.



March 19, 2018.   Issue #4,524.
  It's hard to believe, but it has been ELEVEN YEARS since three of us flew our RVs over Tate's kindergarten class as part of a lesson plan.  That's Tate in the black shirt and pants - he's now taller than me.  I still have all the thank you cards they made (Tate's is in the bottom center).  Love that kid...
  It goes fast, and I still think it's the best hobby on Earth.


Another RV-10 was "born" today !!!

Folks: After just under 4 years of mostly solo work and 2700 hours of labor, I got my RV-10 inspected today and the Airworthiness certificate issued !!! Needless to say I'm a happy camper. Mr Chris House from the Indianapolis FSDO did the inspection and it was a pleasant experience. This guy knows his stuff ! At the beginning of the build I asked a good friend John Hubble what he would do different if he was doing another 10 (he has a beautiful RV-10). I did everything on his list. It was extra hours, but I'm very pleased. I did the Rod Bower inlet, all Garmin G3X, touch and many other after market items. I bought so many goodies from Aerosport Products, that they sent me a Christmas card last year !!! I'm planning on a week or so for the first flight.  ...


We lost a giant: Jim Winings, gone west 3-15-18

Friends, fellow RVers, Rocketeers, and aviation enthusiasts,

It is with great sadness that I report that we lost a true giant from among us yesterday. Jim Winings passed suddenly after visiting another fellow pilot at a nursing home. Jim was found collapsed in the parking lot by another pilot friend.

Jim had a huge impact on the RV community. He was one of the earliest RVers, owning or building 5 RVs,including one F1 Rocket. He started early and never let up. I talked to Jim about a week ago, and his excitement about flying was unchanged from the first time I met him in the late 1980's. Positively contagious is the only way to describe him regarding aviation. ...


New Builder and Trailing Edge Question

Hello All,
I'm a new RV-14 builder - yes, no 'A' and little wheel in back . I am working on the rudder and have a question for the community. Sorry if this was answered, but I couldn't find any information from searching.

On page 07-09 - steps 1 and 2, the instructions say to use adhesive to bond the trailing edge. However, on page 07-10 - step 2, the instructions say "The trailing edge will have to peeled slightly ...". I was planning to use the 3M F9460PC VHB tape as specified in section 5. Looks like the 3M tape is a permanent bond, so why would we bond the trailing edge, then attempt to peel it apart again? Won't peeling the edge apart potentially damage the skins? Has anyone used the 3M tape for the trailing edge? Looks like Van's used to recommend using fuel tank sealant.


Guess this makes it official...



RV-7A JCarne Build PIREP

Time for some riveting of the leading edges. I started out will all the nutplates for the joint plate as well as the stall warning access plate. Then it was off to setting rivets on the leading edge ribs. My dad came over to help me out with this. We had all the ribs riveted in about 2 hours. It sure was nice to be riveting again and not deal with gorilla snot the whole way. Let me know what you all think of the riveting.  ...


First Flight ...7A

First flight of RV-7A S/N 74594 temporary tail number N859DF from Mallard's Landing (GA04) this afternoon.

Flew about 45 minutes, ran engine hard, then performed clean and dirty 1G stalls and back for a landing.

CHT's with Bill Lane's excellent plenum were better than expected with a new engine. Oil temp rock steady at 180.

A few minor squawks but overall very satisfied with the performance of the airplane. Now on to the rest of Phase I...

Krea Ellis

Locust Grove, GA


Closed-loop spray booth

I set out to make a spray booth inside the garage, so I bought one of these MiCS5524 VOC sensor breakout boards and hooked it up to an oscilloscope to try out as air quality monitor. It turns out these cheap MEMS devices are ridiculously sensitive to a wide variety of organic solvents used in paints and primers.

Next I bought some carbon air filter media through eBay, rolled up some 1/2" chicken wire into a 4"x2' tube as a sort of intake manifold for the Harbor Freight blower #31810 (sans bag), wrapped the entire filter media roll around the chicken wire tube and plugged the other end of the tube with a piece of cardboard. I let this contraption run inside the closed garage, recirculating the air through the carbon filter. 


A New RV-10 Builder Here

Thought I would let everyone know that I am now a proud owner of a partially completed RV-10 kit. It has QB wings and fuse, so it's pretty far along.

I have really enjoyed my 6A and have decided that the 4 seats or additional cargo capacity better suits my current flying. I will sell the 6A once the 10 is done and worry about missing the shear fun of tossing the little 6 around for fun. I don't think I can justify keeping both though.

I look forward to sharing ideas and more specifically leveraging the experience of those who traveled the road before me.



Deep Dish Dash ...petehowell

50 and sunny in the upper Midwest today, so ya gotta fly, right? Bernie and I decided that it was time for some real Deep. Dish. Pie. A quick web search turned up a Lou Malnati's in the NW burbs of the Windy City, just a few miles from Lake in the Hills Airport(Tree-Chuck-Kilo) A call to the nice lady at the City FBO confirmed the old Crown Vic would be waiting.  ...


Weigh-In Day ...Scott Balmos

(In boxing match announcer voice) Aaaaaaaand in the silver corner, coming in fully loaded with full Classic Aero interior, every conceivable Garmin G3X Touch gizmo, an IO-320 with EFII injection/ignition, and a 3-blade Catto prop... Weighing a stout 1088.4 lbs, RV-9A 112SB...

Right about where I thought it'd be, all said and done. The interior isn't actually installed, same with the wheel pants and fairings. But everything was tossed in where it would end up being. I freaked out for a moment when the right wheel was about 15 lbs heavier than the left wheel. Then I remembered that's the wing that has the roll servo, my NAV antenna in the tip, the Bus Manager and VPX under the panel, and the ELT, transponder, and ADSB behind the baggage bulkhead.

Yes, I know the math doesn't /exactly/ add up, off by <1 lb depending on whether you breathed on the scales or not.  ...





March 16, 2018.   Issue #4,523.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Mashy after takeoff.  RV-7.
So cool he requires two pairs of sunglasses. ;^)
scaled / original


A variation on the Dynon Network Hub ...az_gila

For my -6A I used a single Skyview and had less Dynon add-ons. The Dynon network cables make hook-up easy, but splitting power and putting splices in the servo cables bugged me.

So, for my -10 build I came up with a simple alternative idea to Dynon's network hub. I designed a 5 port hub, but added two custom connectors dedicated to servo hook-ups only, all on a single 2.5" x 3.8" ExpressPCB mini card. It's a much cleaner solution to the servo power wiring issue. I can now connect all of my planned network items easily behind the panel and only use one box as a daisy chain. ...


Welcome www.RVPlasticParts.com

Amanda Melton proprietor (Steve's daughter).  The ad is in the Previous Day's News section.

(from Amanda)
"My name is Amanda and I created the website www.rvplasticparts.com. I chose the name because we print plastic parts for RV aircraft. The website was created using Wix and I manage it. I receive orders and send a confirmation email; print the parts, inspect, and box and ship. I use USPS for shipping and send a confirmation email and tracking number. I assembled my own PC and manage the website with it. I add parts to the website when we have a new idea or get an idea from someone on VansAirForce.net. I keep fish and I recently resealed a 55 gallon fish tank that I got off of craigslist. I fly with my Dad to my Grandparents and one time we stopped at Cairo Illinois and saw where the Ohio River meets the Mississippi River.



RV-8 Shot ...Neal Trombley


Houston RV Bunch This Weekend



March 15, 2018.   Issue #4,522.

Breakfast via RV ...

...a breakfast fly-out told in pics and txt via cloud-based photo album (and voice dictation software). 

Literally phoned it in...


Here goes nothing

Well it’s official.
Van’s Builder Number 140477. Empennage kit ordered.
So it begins.

Due in a large part of the all the support from my Family, the EAA SportAir Workshop, Webinars, Homebuilt Help tips, Chapter 643, the Mothership, and of course VAF - I feel (barely) able to take on a project like this. There is SO much to learn and decide, but it’s a blast diving in the past few years and preparing.

I’m humbled by all those, including many of you here, who have come before and blazed the path. It’s inspiring.

One day I hope to know what a roller tapppet is and what’s so special about them

Warm regards,
Rich Kulesa


Static Port Conundrum ...mfleming

Installing the static ports (Dynon) was next on my list.

All was well, I had the port locations marked on both sides of the fuselage, researched wether I was going to use the Dynon ports or order the Van's rivets (Dynon) and was ready to drill the holes.

Annnnnd.... then I came across Van's Static Port Kit instructions.  ...


#3 Running cool

Just noticed our #3 running cool. CHT down 25f, EGT down 100f in the cruise at 23/23. IO-360, 350 hours from new, no other issues.

Pulled through 4 great compressions after the flight with no differences.

EGT probes are old on 1, 2 and 4 - planning on changing soon.

Ran comprehensive ignition check in the cruise, no difference so can't see it is a plug or lead issue.

Suggestions welcomed, may get the shufty scope down the plug hole next weekend.


Aresti Made Simple

For those that may have an interest in aerobatic competition, I realize that one of the things that may seem complicated is the Aresti System. The Aresti System is a system of depicting and scoring the many aerobatic figures and their multitude of variations. It’s called a system because there is method to the madness. It was designed by a Spanish Air Force Colonel, José Luis Aresti, many decades ago and it is used universally for aerobatic competitions. The files below are written for the r/c (radio-controlled aircraft) community and it is presented in a simplified method. Caution, there may be some differences from the actual Aresti catalog.  ...


Yuma PIREP ...Roy Thoma



March 14, 2018.   Issue #4,521.

Charles Wickware photo.

RV-8 and the Clear Day

Saturday, 3/10/18, was a rare clear day in both Western and Eastern Washington allowing for easy travel over the big pile of rocks separating the two. Awesome visibility and only a little bumpiness down low in the vicinity of Richland. The route took us from Arlington to Richland, to Moses Lake, to Stehekin, and back to Arlington. About 365 NM in 2.7 hrs (my flyin' buddy made it in a little less [his -8 is faster]).

The video is a little long, so you may want to make some popcorn.
Steve Rush
Arlington, WA


Finally, it’s alive (again) ...Scott 1993 RV-6

I’ll post more soon in the engine section, but I’m just pleased right now to announce that my airplane is alive again, rocking a freshly repaired and upgraded engine.

My original intent was to simply upgrade from 7:1 to 8.5:1 pistons, but after finding a cam issue, it’s now got a new cam, crank bearings, freshly inspected, ground, and sb’d crank, 9:1 pistons, dual pmags instead of one...

After the engine shop ran me through several check / heat and cool cycles, I got to get it in the air again for the first time in two months!

I definitely need to repitch my GA200 prop, and I’m excited to see what kind of gains I’ve actually received!

Can’t say enough good stuff about my home field engine shop. These guys were GREAT!


Skyview Software Update 15.3.3


Comedy 101

Kyle Boatright posts this pic.

Steve Ashby replies, "...your prop looks awful. For cryin out loud, junk that experimental thing and just get a Hartzel."



March 13, 2018.   Issue #4,520.
  The popcorn balls arrive in N.TX!  The Bradford Pears are currently blooming - iPhone picture below from the RV-6 Monday morning.  Really pretty.
  Segue to a milestone of sorts....as of a couple days ago we have 25,000 registered forum accounts.  Thanks again for goofing off at work and helping make the magic happen.


Leo Wipplinger (1945 - 2018) ...RV-7A

It is with great sadness and broken hearts, we share that Leo Wipplinger (my father) — beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away. Although we mourn losing him, we are filled with great joy because he now is enjoying the presence of the Lord, his Savior. We will always remember how hard he worked for our family, his passion for the outdoors (flying, fishing, and hunting), and his love for his family. Leo had a heart to help those in need. If you would like to honor him, please make a donation in his name to Neighborhood Ministries: http://www.nmphx.com/get-involved/donate/ in lieu of sending flowers.

We will be having his celebration of life ceremony on April 7, 2018, at Desert View Bible Church 105 W Carefree Hwy, Phoenix, Arizona, 85086, (Time TBD).


RV-10 Doors and Tinnermans


How do you determine..and fuel levels

How do you determine if you have resistive float senders, or capacitive senders in your tanks?

I am beginning to calibrate the fuel levels in my RV9A for a GRT EIS system, which I didnt build, with a bit of difficulty.
On my attempt yesterday, I filled the right tank one gallon at a time, noting the reading on the EIS after each. The empty reading was 4.2 It began to change on the 4th gallon.
Then, it stopped changing at the 7th gallon, and read 5.7 each gallon there after. this isnt going to work..

A: Resistive usually are just a flat thin metal plate on the outside of the tank and capacitive are usually 1/2" thick and plastic with epoxy filled center. The gauges normally do not read right to the top and if the sensor was not installed all the way to the bottom it might not read down to one gallon.

A: Restive senders have only one wire, airframe is used as ground to complete the circuit.

Capacitive units that I have seen will have two wires, sometimes coax, and use a converter box.

A: OK, As far as I know, I have but one wire.
But..I didnt trace it to the tank.
The craft had the standard Vans 2 1/4 round fuel gauges in it. they seemed to work ok in the 75 hours I flew it before I started the GRT upgrade..
IF I understand this GRT EIS fuel level calibration correctly, They recommend using the reading for full tanks as the level where the float sender stops changing..and the empty reading as the level it stops when going empty..in my case, it seems that I will have an empty reading at 3 gallons, and a full reading at 7. hmm..as I said, thats not going to work for a 16 gallon tank.
I went thru the math several times on the GRT worksheet.
Im scratching my head. If the sender output stopped increasing after the 7th gallon added...I guess it could be faulty..hard to believe it would only have a 3 to 7 gallon range of motion. (if its a float)
aircraft was level sitting in the hanger.

A: First, check the wiring. You should have a wire from the regulated power (4.7 volts, I think) going to a resistor (470 ohms). The other side of the resistor is connected to both the EIS input for fuel level, and the center terminal on the float gauge. The other side of the gauge should be grounded locally.
Turn off the aircraft master switch (power off).
Disconnect the wire from the float gauge center terminal. Put an ohmmeter on the center terminal, and measure resistance to ground. It should be somewhere between 30 and 250 ohms.
If all this works, there are several ways to trouble shoot. My guess is on the wiring.
With the wire still disconnected, but not shorted to ground, turn the power on. Put the voltmeter on the disconnected wire and measure the voltage (other probe on a good ground). It should be 4.7 volts. If not, there's a wiring problem. With the same setup, carefully hold a 470 ohm resistor between the probes (while still in contact with the wire). You should see the voltage drop in half, to, 2.3 volts or so. If grossly off, you don't have a 470 ohm resistor on the other end. You'll need to find it and replace it.
Finally, if you suspect the sender:
Drain the fuel, then start adding it back into the tank. Measure the resistance each time you add fuel. You should see it smoothly go from about 250 ohms to about 30 ohms (probably stop changing as you get with 3 or 4 gallons of full). (I might have it backwards, 30 to 250? I forget.)


Hole in the Rock ...Vlad seen from the air



Like many high schools, Westosha Central High School in Paddock Lock, Wisconsin, struggled to make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies relevant and exciting.

“Unfortunately, a lot of programs misuse the term STEM,” said James Senft, a pilot for the last 30 years who taught high school physics and is now a college administrator. “Kids are losing that connection to applied STEM knowledge because many schools have eliminated hands-on courses like shop and auto mechanics.”   ...


Falcon RV Squadron ...reaching out.

With over 43 flying RV’s at KFFC (Falcon Field, Peachtree City, GA), opportunities for RV fellowship abound. Formation flights, leaf tours, cookouts, and of course , our every Tuesday Mellow Mushroom Pizza luncheon. It is preceded at the local gun range with some shooting and a little friendly marksmanship competition. Here are some of our Squadron mates enjoying pizza.

If you are in the south Atlanta area come join us! 11:30 every Tuesday! Fly in, call me, and someone will pick you up and throw in a trip to AIrcraft Spruce east as a bonus!

Vern Darley




SB 18-02-02 PIREP ... scottmillhouse RV-12

Just finished this up today and it probably took closer to 16 hours than 6. I prepped, primed and painted all parts before disassembly of the tail. No real pitfalls until reassembly.

Then spent hours getting the pivot bolts and spacing washers in. The newly boxed in structure makes access much more challenging and only from underneath. Connecting the stabilator cable tensioner solo is extremely challenging but I eventually worked out a way to do it solo. Connect the top, pull the lower cable as far forward as possible, wrap tape around the clevis body and clamp lightly with vice grips from the bottom. Insert a piece of cardboard at rear bulkhead to protect it from the vice grips. (the vice grips will push against the bulkhead and lock the lower cable position) With your right hand use the tail leverage to match holes by pulling down on the rear of the stabilator. When aligned insert a short #3 bolt in from the trim motor side. Then slowly from the right work in the correct bolt to the right clevis side to put in the spacer washer and then to the left to install washer followed by outside washer and castle nut/counter pin. Probably is impossible solo to pull the cable tension directly from the clevis and put in the bolt.

Also plan on a lot of trimming to the top rear fuselage cap faring if built per plans. The exposed plates are notched but the notch ends probably 3/8" farther to the front than the clearance previously required for the box spar. Bottom is easy, just the plate thickness.



March 12, 2018.   Issue #4,519.

BillL's Double Offset Rivet Mod ...from this thread.

For the longest time I could not drive a good rivet with a double offset. Tape did not work for me. A couple of clamps and piece of baffle material did the job, cheap to try it out. Good luck, use lots of tape on the set and practice.


HS Inspar rib to front spar-spacing ...Eztroller

I am not happy with the spacing on this particular part. Trying to figure out what is causing it and am having a hard time.... looking through several books and have not been able to find the answer. Can someone point me in the correct direction.



Mild Panic Setting in on Antennas ...Michael Fleming RV-7

So first off, I have searched about this topic but have come up dry.

When do I have to make decisions on when and where to install antennas?

I'm building a -7 and only a couple months in on working on a QB fuselage.

Looking around the forum I see QB's that are not much further along than mine with all manner of brackets and holes for electronics and antennas.

The mantra I keep hearing is wait to the last possible moment to buy avionics due to the increasing capability and decreasing cost.

So I guess the other big question is when is the last moment??

I've been hedging my bets on going Garmin or Dynon... and if I can swing it going at least basic IFR.


Build Update ...Bullseye RV-7


Mag Replacement PIREP ...Vlad


Thank you very much again. Your magneto works like a swiss watch, clocked first 15 hours on it. They made good stuff in last century. You have to speed up and finish that RV9A of yours and we go two ships to Russia. Not in flip flops though...

After buzzing your country side for couple days I came back home to this."


APRS Shoutout to Paul ...Vlad


Amazon Ranch Update ...Vlad


10,000 Year Clock Six Years Later ...Vlad


More Hangar Time ...bobmarkert

How to get more hangar time AND extra points at home.....

Step 1 Install washer and dryer in hangar

Me: "Honey I'm going to the hangar to do some laundry"

Honey: "OK, have a great day, I'll have supper waiting when you get home"

..... You're welcome guys



March 9, 2018.   Issue #4,518.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Big Bend - Lajitas Golf Resort & Spa ...tcard RV-9A Trip Write-up

I have a friend, 'crazy Marti' according to Scott, that is an amateur photographer and bluebonnet fanatic. We've been talking for a few years about trying to fly down to the Big Bend area in Texas that has a different variety of bluebonnet than what we have in Central Texas.

Ours grow low to the ground in dense fields, but in the desert they are sparse with flower stalks that get several feet tall. The stars finally aligned in 2018 for a 3-day girl's get-away weekend. The lodge in the park was already fully booked, and as it turns our that was good luck for our bluebonnet hunting crew. The option of flying into Alpine or Marfa and renting a car didn't sound very entertaining. The winning selection was to stay at the Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa and land at its 6000' x 100' private airport. Luck was shining down upon us, and I think we got the cheapest room in the joint at $210 a night. ...


Getting Ready to Main Rivet Wing Skins ...NorthernRV4

Well, a little later than I thought I'd be but I'm ready to rivet the top main wing skins on the port wing. Leading edge is fully riveted, and all all ribs are pop riveted and bolts torqued except the inboard 3 ribs which I'll leave until the wing is completely closed. In Canada we have to have an inspection before I can rivet the bottom wing skins in place.

I'm looking for advice to make this process easier and avoid potential pitfalls. Here's what I have so far. 


First oil change - ran into an issue...JackinMichigan


Attempted to do the first oil change on my Lycoming IO-540 today after 5 hours of engine time (break-in oil) and ran into a problem. When I got the old oil filter off, the one that came with the engine (and it was a BEAR to get off), the threaded brass nipple that I'm pretty sure is supposed to stay in the engine came off with the old filter. It's solidly affixed to the old filter, and there's nothing to grab onto to try to spin it off. I'm leery of cutting apart the filter for fear of damaging the threads (oil and fuel systems are things I try not to get too creative with), so before I continue I want to throw this out to the group:

- How do I get this brass nipple out of the old filter? If that's not advisable, where can I get another one?
- Would off-the-shelf Locktite prevent this from happening again or is there something better?

Thanks in advance. You guys never disappoint.


Hoses with integrated fire sleeves from TS Flightlines ...ronschreck

Check out the hoses that my friend Tom Swearengen of TS Flightlines sent me. I am busy installing my overhauled IO-360 engine after 2150 hours of trouble free service. Tom offers these hoses with "integrated fire sleeves" which give the hoses a great look with a surface that is smooth and easy to keep clean. I sent Tom all of my old hoses and he matched them for a perfect fit. Thanks, Tom for great service and a super product! (I have no connection to TS Flightlines other than knowing Tom personally and appreciating the fine work that he does.)  ...



(from the mothership FB page)
It is becoming increasingly evident that the fatal accident rate for RVs is considerably lower than that of E-AB aircraft in general. While it is difficult to calculate exact rates, most accident analyses show it to be approximately 2-4 times less than the average. I think that insurance underwriters would agree in that they more readily provide coverage for RVs than for many other E-AB designs. These same insurance providers indirectly contribute to this elevated safety by requiring a prescribed level of specific aircraft type flight experience prior to providing coverage. This is usually in the form of Type Transition training. Fortunately, there are a number of highly qualified TT instructors who offer quality training in various RV models. This training undoubtedly contributes directly to lower accidents rates.

Many years ago this was not the case. Builders of E-AB airplanes either simply became overnight “test pilots”, or at best could garner a familiarization flight with some willing RV pilot. “Take the controls for a while to get the feel of it” and maybe “shoot a landing or two” if conditions permitted was a common indoctrination into the realm of flight test. The thousands of you who have had the good fortune and sense to receive quality TT training can most assuredly see the shortcomings of this methodology. Throughout homebuilt history, accident rates for “first flights” and operations during the “first 10 hours” have been appallingly high. Sadly, for many models of E-AB aircraft, this reality continues. It is demonstrably better for RVs. This is due to a variety of reasons, but superior pilot preparation/training is arguably a prime factor.

I am inclined to believe that in addition to the obvious benefit of exposing the trainee to the unique qualities of a specific aircraft, the requirement that trainees meet a stringent “stick & rudder” standard set by exacting TT instructors yields an elevated level of competence and refinement. This may be a slight overstatement; however it is my belief that our TT instructors impose a higher criterion for pilot performance than is expected by examiners of newly minted private pilots, or by instructors providing biannual flight reviews. If my observation is correct, we may have re-discovered a safety secret; better pilots. Not just better prepared to fly their new RV, but better regardless of the aircraft they choose to fly.

On this basis, wouldn’t most GA pilots develop into becoming safer if they were to receive similar “upgrade/refresher/recurrent” training? You undertook this type-training because of insurance requirements, your fellow RV builders encouraged it, and you possess good sense. Enticing other GA pilots to take “self-improvement” training perhaps may be difficult without the specific goals and motivation you had.
My purpose in writing this is to solicit your input. If you had TT prior to test flying your RV, I’d like to hear your comments on the training specifics you considered most important and reaped the greatest benefit. To name yourself or instructor is not a requirement. Obviously, to validate my observations and opinions as stated above would be gratifying in light of our overall goal of increasing safety but I also welcome differing experiences and conclusions, regardless if being contradictory to mine. We learn from sharing. If you have suggestions for ways of encouraging all GA pilots to take upgrade training, please include them.

I’d appreciate your prompt response so that I may use this as a basis in advocating for more widespread TT within the homebuilt community and beyond. If better pilot training improves RV safety, we need to spread the good news to all in GA.

Thank you.
Dick VanGrunsven
Please respond to Support 'at' vansaircraft 'dot' com. Type” Transition Training” on the subject line.


March/April 2018 FAA Safety Briefing Now Online



March 8, 2018.   Issue #4,517.

0' - 10,000' in 1min 58sec

...world record in turbo rotary HRII (I think).  RV-4 DNA.


Vlad's Mag Fixed

(from Vlad)
An RV builder in Phoenix is removing a magneto from his project as we speak and will be driving to Deming in an hour or two. I couldn’t thanks enough to VAF camaraderie. You guys rock!  track

(from YellerDaisy)
Last I saw Vlad - about 45 minutes ago - he was preparing to depart Deming. Replacement mag installed and working as expected.

John R. (sorry, can't recall your full last name) is a SAINT! He pulled a mag from his project engine, drove it to Deming from Phoenix (350 miles), helped Vlad install it, and now get's to drive all the way back! Well done John!!

[ed. I moved the thread from 'Temp' to 'RV Maintenance' because it just read so dang awesome!  Feel good story of the week! v/r,dr]


AviationNation--first national award!

I was unaware we were even nominated, but received news that we have been selected for the Frank G. Brewer award this year. It is for youth aviation education achievement. The trophy resides in the National Air and Space Museum. Thanks go to Jim Brewer, Chief Mentor of our Omaha project, and I am sure many others. For info on this award (and a pic of the trophy,) see https://naa.aero/awards/awards-and-t.../brewer-trophy

After all these years of hard work, this certainly does bring a nice, warm feeling.
Bob Kelly, Scipio, Indiana


Panel Porn ...msaltzman14 RV-9A


Millionaire Camels in Yuma ...Capt Sandy Trip Write-up

Today Roy and I were finally back to exploring in the SMC (Silver Magic Carpet) after a month or more of being grounded due to human systems malfunctions. Felt GREAT to be flying again. We flew from Lake Havasu (KHII) to Yuma, Arizona (KNYL). The folks at Millionaire Aviation were oh so kind and helpful. We expected an expensive ramp fee, expensive fuel, and not sure what the courtesy car situation might be. Self-serve fuel turned out to be some of the least expensive around, ramp fee waved with fuel purchase, the facility fee was $5 and included coupons to purchase food at the Millionaire café for $1 each! (We’re not cheap, we’re FRUGAL) And the food was good.


RV-8 Build Status Report ...sapeloson

Just about ready to start buttoning her up for good.......



March 7, 2018.   Issue #4,516.
  The back is still a little twitchy but on the mend.  Turbo, I read that whole book on it you sent years back - thanks again!  So in the mean time I worked on camera technique as some of the usual suspects went out for their RV flights on a nice Tuesday at 52F.
  The 2001-era Canon EOS-1D Mark IIn I'm using takes 8.5 pictures per second at 3,504 X 2,336 pixels (L) with a max burst rate of (48) pictures at that resolution.  I shot (162) pictures, and still mostly suck at it.  I read the camera was a favorite of sports photographers when it came out, but I could argue that maybe these RVs are just as challenging in some regards...if not more.
  There is that fifth of a second where the plane is between hangars with blue sky behind it, not too high or low.  1/200th blurs the prop and about every other picture if you're not smooth as it goes by.  And you're panning out as it goes by, and swiveling.  And let's face it....these planes are FAST.
  I'm trying to get better, and am grateful I'm not using film ;^).  Some highlights for your amusement...click to enlarge.

The rest for this plane

The rest for this plane

The rest for this plane

The rest for this plane

Note: If you cycle through the pics taken of this 8A you can see the pilot take a quick glance at me just after takeoff ;^).

The rest for this plane

fmi: Understanding and Comparing Canon Burst Rates


Community Wide Ping:

Stuck in Deming, NM with dead Slick 4370 ...Vlad RV-9A


Milestone: 9A Wings Done! ...PilotjohnS

Wings are done. Took me 13 months, but I am happy with the results. A big thank you to all those who helped. Now I need to remove the plastic and build a roadie box for long term storage. Yeah!

I found it easy to do all the work with the wing on the stand. I cant imagine how much harder it would have been if the bottom skins were riveted on while the wing was flopping on a table.

I will add the tips and avionics during the finishing stages; its too early to buy the avionics.

Here is a picture of the pitot and AoA tubes. I just heated them up and slide them on. The metal tube was prepared by plugging the tubing to keep the crud out, rounding the end and abrading the last 1/2" so the plastic tube would stick better. Also visible is the bracket to hold the conduit away from the access cover screws.



March 6, 2018.   Issue #4,515.

scaled / 2,877 x 1,860 pixel full size

It OMGs me sometime at the amounts of money some folks spend on airplanes, cars, houses, boats, TVs and phones, while not spending a couple of bucks a month to store a copy of their digital content in a second location.  IMHO, for me it's the smartest four bucks a month I currently spend - being able to put unlimited pictures on the web in their full, pillowcase-sized glory (also where I backup around 15,000+ of my personal digital pictures...and my phone data in private folders). 

Sometimes I even use a folder to tell a RV travel story.

On to today's picture.  Above is a pic from a month or so ago in its 2,877 x 1,860 pixel awesomeness showing Scorch turning off (just landed to the north) and Scroll back-taxiing down to his Delta turnoff.  I like how Scorch is slightly out of focus and the slight elevation change at the north end is exaggerated.  The 200mm lens was maxed out. 

PS: I keep another copy of all my digital content at a 2nd spot for insurance.  It's what the kids do these days.


RV-8 and the Alternate Plan ...ArlingtonRV (Steve Rush)

Saturday (3/3/18) was a slightly better day on the wet side of the mountains in Washington State. We had planned a trip to the dry side, but lots of clouds over the mountains made that seem unwise. Anyway, it looked a lot like this.  [ed. 11min video!  v/r,dr]


Lycoming Carbureted O-290-D2 EGT out of Family ...snopercod update

The saga continues

I watched the carb temperature all winter and never once saw the temperature get down into the icing zone, even during an idle power descent on a cold day. Enough heat is transferred from the oil sump to keep the carb warm. So I'm confident that my particular engine just doesn't need carb heat on descent. (Of course it's there if I ever need it.) I'm still debating the wisdom of removing the temp sensor that sticks out into the throat of the carb. Several commenters have recommended that and they're probably right. What I have found over the last six months is that the rearmost cylinders 3 & 4 run lean at WOT on takeoff with the mixture full rich. That's probably not a good thing, but to compensate, I pull back on the throttle a little when reaching 500' and the EGTs even out. You can see that in the graph below. It's curious because I would have expected that with the throttle fly vertical, more fuel would reach the rear cylinders than when the fly was aimed more toward the front. I think my next step will be to drill out the "peppermill" holes I drilled in the nozzle years ago to provide more fuel to the rear cylinders. IIRC, they're only #57 now, and in the photos of the Marvel nozzles, they look much bigger. "It's Experimental"

Full Throttle Throttle back Leaned out for Cruise:


N314KC gets new clothes ...KeithB

N314KC was the 24th RV-14 completed. Her first flight was March 8,2017 and she now has 190 hours. Last Friday, I picked her up from the paint shop.


New Paint Curing Oven ...mfleming

Sooooo...first thing I'll say is that my wife is out of town or I might not have tried this new idea.

I painted my brake pedals in my slightly chilly (sub 60°F garage). After drying all night I wasn't happy with far along the curing process was. Our clothes dryer has this insert for things you want to dry but don't want tumbling around.

One hour on high (about 145°F) really hardens up the paint <g>

I don't think I would have put these in the dryer if the paint wasn't pretty far along on curing...not sure what kind of explosive fume paint gives off in the early stages


-7 Elevator Bellcrank Install Issue

I'm installing the F-635 elevator bellcrank assembly on my -7 QB fuselage.

The quick builders drilled the ¼" bolt hole in the F-729A bellcrank rib and angle. They also drilled the hole in the F-728A bellcrank channel BUT did not drill the F-728B angle.

This seems like a critical hole to drill so the bolt is square with the structure.

My problem is how to drill through the angle and not get off center??

Here's the drawing.


Mothership Stats


From Audrey Reeves ...the 'AR' in N617AR

(email to Dad)
Thought you might be interested in this article that summarizes some of the work I was doing last semester. That lab is partnered with the pharmaceutical company Novartis, and we met with their research head Jay Bradner while I was there (which is mentioned in the article).



March 5, 2018.   Issue #4,514.
  Nice Wx Fri and Sat in N. TX, but it turned OVC and BR/RA all of Sun.  Got to do a little flying Friday with locals out to the Red Barn Cafe in Sulphur Springs (33.156859, -95.619019) 80 miles east of Dallas.  Pano below suitable for 2-monitor setup.  Some chores on Saturday and spent most of Sunday nursing back spasms (dumb old body) - occurs from time to time.  Much better Sunday night.
  Hope you had a nice weekend and got to do some RV stuff.

scaled / full


Pink Slip! ...Krea Ellis RV-7A

I just wanted to express my gratitude and appreciation to Vern Darley, who came to my hangar at Mallard's Landing in Locust Grove for the inspection of our RV-7A.

Vern was exceptionally thorough, knowledgeable and very pleasant to work with. He found a few minor discrepancies and although I was a little embarrassed that he found anything, he did not make me feel foolish for my oversight. I was most impressed with his attention to detail and professionalism.

Once the RV-7A is flying, I intend to get back to the RV-10 project and I look forward to working with Vern again. I highly recommend him as an EAA Tech Counselor, for DAR services, pre-buys and any other needs you might have.

Thanks again, Vern!


Bendix Still Kicking Out ...Jim Rice

So far, I’ve tried about everything and still having problems. New battery, new cables, new master and starter solenoids and took starter to local armature shop and they say nothing is wrong with starter, yet I am still experiencing same problem. I’ve cleaned and reconnected all connections. After 2-3 blades, the bendix kicks out. Motor continues turning normally, but Bendix disengages. Occasionally, I’ll get 6-8 blades before it kicks out.

Today, after changing cable from starter solenoid to starter with #2AWG welding cable and new heavy terminals voltage drop during cranking was 0.4 volts from 12.5 to 12.1V . Voltage drop on ground side was only 0.15V.

Despite what armature shop says, I think I have an internal starter issue. I guess next step is a new starter. My starter is a Delco-Remy Prestolite. I don’t really want SkyTech or B&C lightweight starter because I need the weight up front the old starter provides. I already have the Landoll balancer ring. ...


Low fuel Pressure Root Cause maybe

I have a fuel inject Superior 320. Over the last few months I have been experiencing intermittent low fuel pressure until now where it is consistently low (5 - 10lb) The backup pump must be run for the engine to stay running. Knowing that the engine driven fuel pumps are very reliable I started looking else where. What I found is what appears to be a failure with the fuel plunger and the cam(see the pic)

So I have two questions; any ideas how this could happen, could this be a defect in the plunger or cam?

Second - To fix this will obviously require pulling the engine and accessory case. What I was thinking was just adding a second electric fuel pump forgoing the mechanical pump. I have dual electronic ign, so I'm already electrically dependent. My bigger concern is hot starts. The mechanical pump vs. the full pressure of the electrical pump on startup.

any help would be greatly appreciated!



Haven't quite figured out the quirks of nutplates yet i guess.

This is the tie-down AEX attached to the wing spar. The bolts here attach a powder coated bracket which I think is part of the aileron actuation bits and pieces.

Did I strip it? If so, do I need to drill out all the rivets to replace this nutplate? Or just change the bolt? I think this happened because my socket was too deep to help push those first few threads in. I have been using a dab of wax on the bolt.


Extending My RV-9A Fuel Tanks: Documented ...9GT


Build PIREP ...jcarne 7A

The airplane factory is back in action!!! After waiting a painful couple of months for the weather to get warm it is time to get back into the garage for perhaps my most productive year yet!

Back in January my fueselage kit arrived, btw, when FedEx shows up later than expected and you think you can move the fuselage kit with just your wife, start making calls to avoid an argument! I underestimated what a pain that box was going to be to get into the house but we got it done.

Like Christmas two weeks later!  ...


Chris Cooper's RV-14 Build Blog



March 2, 2018.   Issue #4,513.
As promised yesterday, the wallpaper calendar for March is now live (February 30th...some know it as March 2nd).  Drop dead gorgeous photo by Ed Hicks.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.


RV-3B Construction PIREP ...David Paule

I finally reread the manual for the areas I've been working on. Should have done that earlier, as it would have told me the correct way to assemble that spar bulkhead strip that I had to unrivet. The manual says "The rivet holes through the skins and the bottom flanges of bulkhead F-303 should not be drilled until both skins are in place."

I agree with this with one exception: if you drill through the bulkhead flanges first, then when the skins are in place, you can back-drill through the skins using a 12" bit, and there will be no difficulty locating the holes on the skins. Just watch out for edge distance when you're locating the holes on the flanges and when you set up the skins for drilling.

Also, note that some of the rivets are -4. When you're doing the drilling, if you don't go bigger than #40 at this time, you'll save yourself some time. You can drill those holes to #30 before dimpling. Just don't forget.

I glued the strip on to the flanges. That'll let me remove those clecos during the fitting of the forward belly skin.

A machinist friend made the button at the end of the manual flap handle and cut the slot. The bearing blocks for this are ready now, too. The plans don't show it but the manual correctly says to install nutplates under the bearing block mounting angle to facilitate easier maintenance. Since my seat rib flanges were running low on edge distance (the extruded angle is ample) I made a small plate to rivet the nutplates to, and then riveted the plate to the frame. The other side is complete too.


New (March 2018) Garmin GDL 50/50R ADS-B Receivers ...g3xpert (Garmin)

We are pleased to announce the Garmin GDL 50 portable and GDL 50R remote mount ADS-B receivers that are capable of receiving Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) traffic and weather. Both units also provide built-in attitude sensors and a GPS receiver. The GDL 50 includes a built-in rechargeable battery which provides battery operation for up to 8 hours. While battery and "3D" attitude was optional on the GDL 39, these features are standard on the GDL 50.

Exclusive traffic features such as TargetTrend™ and TerminalTraffic™ further enhance the ADS-B traffic picture and are unique to Garmin products.

Wireless and hardwired compatibility is provided for G3X™ Touch, the aera® 660 and aera 795/796 aviation portables, as well as wireless connectivity with the Garmin Pilot app, giving customers access to a full-featured suite of weather products, ADS-B traffic and more using a single device.

Each of these receivers supports 2 wired (RS-232) display connections and 2 wireless (Bluetooth) display connections for a total of 4 display devices.

One of our most popular G3X Touch installations is one with dual displays, and with the GDL 50R/51R/52R we can now hardwire the RS-232 interfaces to both displays, and leave the 2 wireless interfaces available for portable units.

If you already have a GDL 39 interface mount/cable for your Aera 660/795/796, you can plug it directly into the GDL 50/51/52 since these units use the same connector/wiring as the GDL 39 for power and data.

The GDL 50/50R are the latest additions to the GDL 50/51/52 line of ADS-B and SXM traffic/weather/music receivers.

GDL 50/50R with ADS-B Traffic/Weather, attitude, and GPS (Availalble now for $849) continue


Trying to wrap my head around this .. p45-05 fig 1 ...bkervaski RV-14A

On page 45-05, fig 1, the exploded view shows an inside corner line that calls for an angle that doesn't make sense to me.

I'm looking for some clarity, as this cut would seem to result in a triangle opening in the cowl and omitting it will have both cowls mate evenly.  Confused.  Edit: I found this pic (not mine, it's on E's site). This is correct? Is there an obvious reason for the triangle cut-out I'm missing? Stress relief perhaps?


Fiberglass Painting Tip ...Carl Froehlich

Don’t forget fiberglass and ultraviolet light do not mix well. Put something on it.

This is what I do for flying before final paint:
- Prep all fiberglass to fill pinholes per the Van’s instruction.
- White two part epoxy primer on the inside of the cowl (e.g. PPG DP48LF). Two coats. Do this before first engine start.
- Van’s stick on aluminum heat shield on the inside of the cowl in the obvious places (check for discolor after the first few flights and add as needed).
- One coat of PPG epoxy primer on outside of the cowl and all fiberglass.
- One coat PPG single stage paint in your choice of color on top of the primer. I find a medium blue goes well with the rest of the plane in bare aluminum.

- Anything you can do to prep the glass will be appreciated by your painter (especially if that painter is you). He might even drop the price a little as he’ll see the PITA fiberglass prep is well started. The primer and top coat paint will also give the paint guy material to block sand - that will only improve the final product.
- Even though you plan on painting right after the flight test program, odds are you will be flying like this for some time. The simple extra step of adding a coat of color on the fiberglass will make it look worlds better.



March 1, 2018.   0007Z.  Issue #4,512.
  We've had some damp Wx lately here around the 'ol Van Cave, but by dumb luck there was a gap between rain bands when I pulled into the airport Wednesday morning.  My planned 45 minutes on the treadmill went out the window.  As it should.
  (15) TnGs later I felt much better.  Didn't have the ceilings or clear skies to venture beyond the pattern, but it was plenty fun to just work on technique.
  Then the rain started...and it didn't stop for the rest of the day...and I was OK with it.
  So much OK I forgot to do the March wallpaper calendar.  Tomorrow I promise, he says sheepishly.


RV-14 Milestone ...control

Standing on wheels...


Who knew

I received a text from my 25 year old daughter this morning asking if I would have the 40 hours for my phase 1 flown off by July. I told her I have about 25 more to go before I would be out of phase 1. Circumstances, weather, wind and the distance to the airport have hindered the progress of getting those hours flown off. She said she was asking because she was wanting to take the time off from work so she and I could fly up to Oshkosh for Airventure together. She and her husband moved away from us this last year and its an 7-8 hour car ride each way from Kentucky to her home in Springfield MO. I figured its about 3.5 in the RV one way. I know her mother is wanting those hours flown off as well. I don't think she (my wife) was a big fan when I started the project.

RV-9A Based K6I2


RV-Lancair Brotherhood Day...2/27 entry

Grand Strand Today

Expanding our range, Darwin and I flew 1+30 From AVL to CRE (Grand Strand AKA North Myrtle Beach) today for some fresh seafood. Darwin left first and I never could catch him in my Lancair. I had him 10 miles in front on my ADS-B screen the entire trip. Those RV-4s are fast! Our ground speeds were roughly 170 Kts. After landing, we both bought gas and then took the courtesy car to Rockefellers Raw Bar for lunch. I burned 20 gallons out and back so this truly was a $100 lunch.

Full serve $5.25 per gallon at Grand Strand, but hey, we're rich playboys, right?


Rv12is Pre Fabricated Rigid Fuel Lines ...Aircraft Specialty update

Thanks to everyone that has emailed us about this project. We have a great group of beta testers lined up.  Here is a sneak peak of the first few of the initial pre production prototype tubes.


N248RV New Panel...LuckyDuck




Replacing the Windscreen ...Dustyone

Router with dust extraction is your friend.  I did this last year for a customer.  A router with dust extraction made this a straight forward job.


A Huge Thank You

A very nice secret Santa sent me a new coffee table book by Piers Bizony called 'Moonshots'.  No note...no card...it just arrived at the door.  Thank you very much, and you hit it out of the park.  Cameras and spaceflight...two huge non-RV interests of mine.  Starting the read took up most of my evening last night, and I suspect many more to come. 

Tips hat in direction of anonymous secret santa...