Wed, Aug 31, 2011.  1054z   Delta Romeo, LLC.  RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Gene Wilkie's open cockpit RV-3 with wood Performance Propeller
(photo credit)

Last day of special engine pricing from Van's can save $1000.

Note from Larry Vetterman Concerning the Badlands Fly-In

more on the fly-in

Welcome New Advertiser: Performance Propellers
        ...their ad will live in the 'Older VAF News' section

Van Speaks At Homecoming 2011 ...brought to my attention by George Ford

Video Milestones
First passenger is the wife

Building Tips / Techniques/ Mods
New Vetterman design exhaust mount ...Alex Peterson post/pics

Sorry for the poor photos, but we wanted to share a new method for attaching the tail pipes. I was speaking with Larry V. a couple weeks ago, and he mentioned that he had been flying his 7A with something like that pictured below for about 50 hours, with no problems yet. Larry was kind enough to mail me a sketch of what he was speaking about, and I instantly decided to make mine that way.

I took a 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/8" aluminum angle, and trimmed most of one leg away. The pictures tell the rest. This is elegant simplicity. The pipe can move a bit, as it needs to, because the whole thing flexes, as well as the adel clamps moving somewhat.

Unknowns include fatigue, durability, etc. What is clear to me is that some combination of material and/or design will be the ticket. Nice job Larry!

more pics

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

Dynon Avionics will be demonstrating their Sky View avionics system at the Synergy Air “Quick Building the Vans Quickbuild” class in Sunriver, Oregon on October 3-7th. Get hands-on interaction with the operating system and one-on-one time with a Dynon expert. It’s a great way to decide if this is the right set-up for you. Dynon is offering a special promotion for RV builders attending the Synergy Air class.

***Remember that today is the last day to sign up for Synergy Air classes with the VAF discount! Call 541-913-0610 or go to for class sign-up.

Consignment Specials at Tina's Pilot Shop ...Tina emailed me this yesterday. dr

Totally Off Topic

Tue, Aug 30, 2011.  1105z   Delta Romeo, LLC. RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Greek Islands Summer 2011 ...RV-7A

After several smaller trips around Europe this spring, we are now travelling the Greek Islands for about 3 weeks.  Highlights are Corfu, Milos, Santorini, Rhodes, Karpathos and Dubrovnik along the way. (more)

Tommy / Bonnie / Martin / Claudia Summer RV Trip

8/28 PIREP   /   8/29 PIREP

West USA Vacation ...Don McMullen

Joan decided that she wanted to visit relatives for our Summer vacation so that’s what we did.  We first visited my daughter and her partner in Sacramento and then on to Santa Rosa CA, to visit her Son & Family, on to Idaho for some grass strip hopping then on to Great Falls MT. & Return to our home in Oxnard CA. (continue)

RV-3- Oregon Aero has a Pattern! ...Paul Dye

Since we plan to use our RV-3 for traveling as well as just fooling around locally, we wanted to go with a comfortable cockpit. I’ll admit right up front – the seat from Oregon Aero is as comfortable as it gets, but it is probably the heaviest single component that we have added to the airplane (I’m guessing more than the 430W)!

Randy Lervold used Oregon Aero for the seat cushions on his outstanding -3 a couple of years ago, so we knew that they had a pattern. We also knew that he had gone through several iterations to get it right, and we found that still to be true for us. We had cut a deal at Osh2010 with a couple of nice price breaks (thanks VAF!) that combined for a nice discount. This locked in a price, and allowed us to work with them in subsequent months when we had the time. We knew that we were going to have to work on the cushion height because we have a Todd’s “Tall Man” canopy, and wanted to sit up for good visibility. Oregon had us stack phone book on the seat pan until we were happy with our eye height, then give them the thickness of the resulting stack – this corresponded to the “compressed Height” of the cushions they would build – since they know how uncompressed foam translates to compressed foam, it was all they needed, along with the outline of the seat pan, and they had this.  (

In The Shop....
● Steve M. RV-9

August Sunset Shots ...Pete Howell RV-9A

multiple shots)

(Re)painted! ...Jon Thocker's SnF tornado damaged RV-8

Plugging a hole on the firewall ...Paul Rosales

I recently pulled my vacuum system and had to plug a hole a bit bigger than 1". I bought two oversize steel washers and sandwiched the firewall with them using a 5/16" bolt and a steel locknut; cheap and functional.

N159SB /G Oh yeah! ...Brian Chesteen

Got my 430W installed and up and running this weekend. N159SB is now a "/G"!

Shot my first LPV approach ever yesterday at KMOR (RNAV-23). This approach is brand new and was only activated during the last cycle.

Way back when, I went ahead and installed a HS34 with my Dynon system to enable future connection to a 430W. This worked out beautifully! The integration of the HS34 to the 430W is super easy to do and works as advertised.

The Dynon AP instantly knows what to do with all that GPS steering info that it gets from the 430W. No changes were required here other than to configure the ARINC channel on the HS34 for the 430W. Just follow the Dynon WIKI for the settings and it works. The AP tracked the GPS steering flawlessly. It is cool watching it cut the corners.

I dropped about 5 gallons of sweat into my airplane during this install as there was much pain and agony under the panel required! Most of the hard work was involved with reworking the audio connections and installing a TX select switch since I do not have an audio panel yet. That will be another massive amount of rework when I get around to installing that.

Started out with the idea of installing cat whiskers on the tail for the NAV side of things but my W&B made me rethink this. I decided to send that back and last week I installed a Bob Archer wingtip antenna in the left wingtip. That thing seems to work very well at around 50miles. I did not check another VOR further than that but I will later. It worked perfectly on the localizer at KMOR. I have not tried the GS yet.

I am waiting on the TT Gemini PFD for a backup EFIS type solution and once I have that, I will call this bird Lite-IFR ready.

Totally Off Topic

Mon, Aug 29, 2011.  1100z
  Good morning!  Wanna help me upgrade my office equipment at VAF HQ?  I'm looking for a working 70's or 80's IBM Selectric typewriter (pic) in the DFW area that somebody wouldn't care if they ever saw again.  You can find 'em on ebay for $20, but they probably cost $50 to ship!  I have a business need for one, if you can believe it.  Extra points if it's one of those puke green colored ones!!!  Anywho, thanks if you can help...
  1925Z update....found a typewriter.  Amazing.
   Delta Romeo, LLC.
             RV-6 / 3 / My Thoughts on Safety

Taking Dad flying for the first time (on his 80th birthday)
        ...sent to me by Bernie Ockuly

(from Bernie to me)
   I thought perhaps you would like to see this email that I received from my friend Gary Patzke.  He is "the" flight instructor that not only taught my son Chase how to play guitar, but also taught him how to fly. . . in RV-7A , N914E. the same aircraft in which he got his check ride.
   Anyhow, I am on the road, in a late life second career and I told Gary he is welcome to help check that "One Four Echo" exercised in my absence. He recently flew from Medina, Ohio to St. Louis, Missouri to celebrate his Father's 80th birthday. The following is a heartwarming account of that experience. Enjoy.
Best regards,
Bernie "Smoker" Ockuly

(from Gary to Bernie)
Hi Bernie --

In all the years that I’ve been flying, despite my invites, my dad never cared to go for a ride, because he does not like to fly – even commercial. And it wasn’t just me. I remember a business trip we made together to Rockwell Collins where we met up with an Engineering Manager there to see his Aeronca Champ. Me and another sales guy went up, but he declined.

It’s kind of strange, because his first job after college was at North American Aviation in Columbus where, as an Engineer, he worked on the F-86H cannon retrofit and the A-3J Vigilante flight controls. One of my first memories is going to an airport in Columbus when I was three to see a co-worker’s Cub. My dad built and flew gasoline powered models then and the mantra around our house was “kids, dogs & airplanes.” He later worked for Oster Avionics, Astronautics Corporation, Litton Industries and as a manufacturer’s rep sold components, instruments and pilot life support systems to the usual suspects: Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, General Dynamics, Lear, Cessna, Beech, King, Rockwell, et al, including attitude indicators for F-16s, oxygen regulators for F-15s, oxygen generating systems for F-18s, engine instruments for UH-1s and Jet Rangers and thousands of torque motors, synchros and resolvers for instruments, autopilots and missile flight controls.

I never pushed or pressured him, because, you know, it’s supposed to be fun. So, I don’t know if after 32 years he finally built up enough courage to get in a plane with me or he just couldn’t resist the allure of N914E**, but last Thursday – on his 80th birthday – we finally went flying together ( And the smile on his face is genuine. He and I had a great time.

So, a very special thank you for helping make that possible.


**We parked at the south end of St. Charles Smartt airport (KSET) near the Commemorative Air Force hangar and despite the T-33 we tied down next to and the B-25 in flying condition parked in the open hangar, N914E was the center of attention on the ramp. I wish I could have claimed to be the one who built it.

RV Utility

I've always been skeptical of any real life utility in owning a plane. Sure, you cover ground, but when you take into account prep and securing time, as well as arranging and transitioning to ground transport, I haven't seen a lot of occasions where flying was a benefit.

I saw one today.

My nephews are hockey players. The older boy was drafted by the Prince Albert Raiders (2nd round) in the Western Hockey League (WHL, or "The Dub" for short). I realize that 99% of the readers of VAF won't get this, but it's kind of a big deal here. For you Texas guys, maybe you will have heard of Mike Modano from his years with the Dallas Stars (highest scoring American born player ever in the NHL). He played his Junior 'A' hockey in Prince Albert.

Anyhow, this week is Raider tryout / scrimmage. Kids get drafted at 15, and hope to make the team at 16. If they make the team they have to leave home, live with a sponsor family, and travel and try to make the big leagues while they are going through all the normal high school challenges at the same time.

Back to flying. I'm a 9 hour 40 minute drive from Prince Albert. I'm also only a 2 hour 5 minute flight from PA! Today I flew up there, visited with family, watched a scrimmage, had some lunch, connected with my nephew, and flew home. That would have NEVER been possible without my RV6.

I still think of this as a hobby, but it's awfully nice, once in awhile, to see the utility, and how it can benefit a family.

(Dan Horton reply)

They do have utility.

I'm self employed so the traditional line between "for myself" and "for my employer" doesn't exist. Since first flight last October I've used the RV-8 to reach out further from home buying specialty inventory, a critical advantage in a tight market. On a sale day it gets treated pretty much like my pickup truck, but I save 1 to 3 hours each way.

I also use it to handshake distant customers when delivering trucks across the Southeast. It usually starts as an internet advertising response. I offer to deliver, then fly out to pick up my driver and see the customer face-to-face. It puts a whole new angle on what is usually an impersonal transaction. My goal is a repeat client.

Not that you can't have utility fun of a different sort. Yesterday I flew my buddy Ron to south Mississippi to pick up an overhauled Rotax at SMLA. Fits in the baggage compartment just fine; no space or W&B issue. How may utility airplanes will pop off a grass runway and run over 200 mph going home?
Dan Horton
RV-8 - Alabama

New RV10 leaves for home!

After exactly 21 months C-GLWM leaves Fairlea Field for it's new home in Port Hope Ontario. It is owned by Wayne and Lana Millson and will replace a Cherokee 140 as their new family plane.  Video

This was my tenth airplane project and it was fitting that it was an RV10. I enjoyed working with Wayne to get him the plane that he had dreamed of.  The RV10 is not a difficult project but there is more glass work then other RV models and as such does take a bit longer.

I flew the 25 hours off and I was very impressed with the performance and comfort of this fine aircraft.
Wayne did all the panel wiring himself and the plane will be flown IFR as Wayne is a qualified IFR pilot.
The plane arrived as a parts kit with some structures done, tail, tail cone and wings not closed. The main fuselage was not done and that was completed the first winter. My total time was 1024 hours including the test flight period.

Thank you Wayne and Lana for a great experience.
Tom Martin
EVO1 400 hours, currently the fastest rocket based on SARL results
RV4, two HRIIs and five F1s and a RV7
working on a RV10
Fairlea Field
St.Thomas, Ontario Canada, CYQS

N47PM is out of the paint shop ...Paul Merems

My RV-7A is finally out of the paint shop. It took longer then expected and a lot of stress but I am proud to show the RV community my bird. I learned a few things about aircraft painting in the process which I will share in another post.

I haven’t weighed her since the paint job and I am hope she is only about 25 lbs heavier.

Just out of curiosity, what comes to mind when you see the black graphics on the side of the plane. I know what inspired it for me but I am very interested in the impressions of others

RV-3- Stuffing the Cheeks ...Paul Dye

It pays to look at other people’s RV’s at Fly-ins….you find so many good ideas that you can steal! One of the things that I have been planning to do for some time (ever since we saw Shawn Scott's very nice RV-4 which is loaded with clever ideas) was to build hatches into the cheek cowl extensions and use them both for stowage and as access points for the cowl side pins. The cheeks are usually just empty space, but can easily store tie-down ropes, a few tools, a couple of rags, oil funnels – all of the things that normally bounce around the baggage compartments on most RV’s.

Taking a cue from several recent RV-3 builders, we discarded the sheet metal parts supplied in the kit and built fiberglass extensions over male foam molds. Once we had rough them out and done some initial filling to get the surface where we wanted it (relative to the cowl), we finished up the cowl fastener flanges and made the whole external structure rigid. I then played around with hatch sizes using some heavy card-stock. While my initial plan was to build a hatch large enough to insert a quart bottle of oil, I quickly realized that with the small size of the RV-3 cheeks, I was going to have to make the doors awfully large in order to get the bottle inside – the hatch would have to be close to the side profile of the bottle, since the cheek is fairly shallow. I settled on an opening “That Looked About Right” at approximately 5”x5” – the same as the oil door. 

VAF Family
Another New Guy!

Hi, I just bought a RV-8 (N222BC) with a IO-360 after doing transition training and my TW endorsement. I have completed two solo flights-both have gone well. What a blast! I am being very cautious, spending a lot of time in slow flight, stalls and maneuvering to ground reference at altitude. I got advice to do 3 pt. landings until I got 50 landings in. I have a dozen now in the RV-8 and probably at least double that in the transition training in a RV-7. For the past several months, I have lurked on this site and have learned a lot. Thanks! I look forward to participating as an owner, although not the builder.

John Owen

Ongoing Maintenance Issues
My Poor -6. Engine mount

I had just began taxiing from my hanger yesterday when my -6 came to an abrupt stop in the grass not 15 feet from the hanger apron. I got out to see what was going on and my left tire was stuck in a very small hole (just big enough for the tire to fit into). My landing gear was bent rearward. I removed the cowling to find that the engine mount was broken in 3 places at the gear attach fitting. I was taxiing at a walking speed since I had just left the hanger. The grass had been recently mowed and I never saw the hole. It was so shallow that the wheel pant wasn't even damaged. I would imagine that there were some hairline cracks in the mount and this was the straw that broke the camel's back, but I can't say for sure. I've never landed the plane hard but I am the third owner.

I've owned the plane for about a month now and it tears me up that its going to be grounded for a while. I'm hoping Van's still sells the mount as I don't think this one could be repaired. I've posted some pics. (

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.
Welcome advertiser in the Older VAF News section

-- sells --


Totally Off Topic

I wish I was making this up...

Fri, Aug 26, 2011.  1104z
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!
       Delta Romeo, LLC.  RV-6 / 3 / My RV Safety Culture Document

Jim Gray at OSH'11

Van's Homecoming This Weekend ...Independence State Airport (7S5)

Hurricane Inland Bases For Your RV
     ....this thread has existed for over a year - lots of good options.

In The Shop....
TruTrak RV-12 New Panel Upgrade ...status shots (and a Gemini in the middle)

Initial RV-10 Cabin Top Trimming

One of the most frustrating parts of starting to trim the cabin top has been how the front lower corners should be shaped.  Below are a couple pictures that I think are correct.

Could you all who have gone before comment to be sure?


P.S. I think it's been on and off about 15 times already

fmi: The RV-10 Forums

VAF Family
Congratulations Chad Jensen (RV-7 builder) ...'cjensen' in the VAF Forums.

Drop him a congrat in this thread....

RV-10 Wing Fell Off Stand...Tom Hanaway

So close to the end and this happens. Had wings on stands and was bringing inside due to projected high winds. Spar end slipped off rack and dropped about 6 inches onto ground.

Two pictures attached.

Do I need to rebuild the whole tank section?

Alternatively, I could round out (reform metal at tip for the space from the rib to the edge) and fill the remaining (other side of rib) with Rage or equivalent.

Dent is about 2.5" long and 1/2 inch deep.

Thanks for any help and advice.

  Some Replies:

I don't think you need to rebuild the tank.
A couple of things that need to be looked at. The seal of the tank might have been disturbed from the deformation and of course the cosmetic aspect
of it.
From experience with someone else's tank and very similar circumstances
I am pretty sure you will be able to push the dent back out.
You will need to remove the access plate and you should be able to easily reach the part that needs to be pushed out alond with some straightening
of the inboard tank rib. You may not succeed in pushing it all the way back but within a 1/4 inch or less should be possible. The rest can be repaired with fiberglass filler or other (Rage).
While the cover is removed apply additional Proseal to the inside seam to be sure you won't have a leak

Same thing happened to me. I have in bend in the same spot and one 2 feet from the wingtips.
I bent out the inboard corners, that were accessible, and left the dents on the leading edge alone. Cosmetically it's a eye sore, but according to Vans it wont be a problem when flying.
I sealed the prosealed on the outside, just as a precaution.
I would not open up the tank and mess with it, if you verified it is sealed correctly, more harm can come from opening it and trying to reseal than leaving it dented.
You can fill the dented area with epoxy if you chose. Mine is painted so maybe one day in the future I'll do it

It's amazing what an experienced sheet-metal body repair guy can do with a slap hammer. If you have access to a high end auto body shop, see if someone will come out and look at it. Normally they might try the slap hammer on the crease, working it down and allowing the dent to relax back out. A little sanding over the area hammered and some primer and you might be no worse for the wear

I would hold off on primer until you know what paint system you are gong to use. This will ensure the primer you use will be compatable with your paint system. My painter had to remove all of the primer I used for "repairs" to make sure it would not react with the stuff he used. I wished I would have known that

Tom, those photos take me back to that sickening moment four or five years ago when I did exactly the same thing. The damage looks identical. I tried to find my posts on this forum about my incident, but could not find them. Anyway, I got pretty much the same advice you are getting today. I found a gray haired sheet metal wizard and he made it look like new. Unfortunately, when I did the leak test, it failed. So, we started removing proseal and found a hairline crack in that end rib. We ended up replacing the end rib, and with the help of a good friend who is an A&P and also a sheet metal guru, we got it installed and sealed without too much trouble. Note: if you have to order a new end rib, be aware that the part number that ends in "R" is for the left wing, and the part labeled "L" is for the right wing. Ask me how I know.

My advice to anyone using wing cradles is to clamp or fasten the spar securely to the cradle. That is the step I had ignored when I built my cradles. After that, I used hardware store bolts through the bolt holes, with some neoprene hose to protect the spar bolt holes.

This has happened to a few others over the years, too

fmi: The RV-10 Forums

RV Safety Program Now Available Online

3 Gallons Per Hour ...David Domeier 7A

Here are the rpm numbers added plus a 3 GPH line.

7 GPH = 130 KTAS = 149.6 MPH = 21.40 MPG = 2180 RPM
6 GPH = 124 KTAS = 142.7 MPH = 23.80 MPG = 2090 RPM
5 GPH = 117 KTAS = 134.6 MPH = 26.90 MPG = 1930 RPM
4 GPH = 100 KTAS = 115.0 MPH = 28.70 MPG = 1740 RPM
3 GPH = 78 KTAS = 89.7 MPH = 29.9 MPG = 1590 RPM

One of the guys in our geezer lunch group is a retired Navy flight test pilot and we talked about min L/D which is max endurance and from that point on a graph, determining best range. He showed how they would extend a line from the left bottom corner of the graph to where it touched the curve coming down as speed is reduced to the bottom of curve (min L/D). The point where the line touches the curve coming down represents best range. In most cases it is just a bit above min L/D.

At 3 GPH, this airplane is very near the bottom of the curve. At one point speed bled off and I thought I would have to add power but it came back, it probably was caused by the unsettled air. I should have tried 2.5 GPH but it was getting time to talk to SUS tower. Next time I will see if this thing will fly at 2.5 GPH.

My opinion on max endurance and max range is that they are a function of angle of attack. When the weight of any aircraft changes as fuel is burned off, these speeds are less than at the starting weight. Fuel flow and speed are the variables, AOA is the constant.
David Domeier
RV-7A N707DD
Barrett IO360-X
Vetterman 4 pipe (Harley) exhaust
Catto 3 Blade 66x74
Troy, MO

Totally Off Topic

Baby Bunny Update

Smuckers, Thumper, Joe and Daryl are fine and growing.  Mom visits each night and morning to nurse.  Mowed the yard last night (had to or the HOA would put a note on my door - it was that high).  Tate stood guard while I slowly left a 20'X10' square for the baby rabbits on the downslope that you can't see from the street.  Their nest in the center.  Updated pictures below...

You touch my bunnies....I'll kill ya.

Thu, Aug 25, 2011.  1106z
  Enjoyed yesterday.  I hadn't flown in 23 days, so I did that (we're on our 60th day here over 100°F).  After shutdown, Gary, from across the way was pushing out his 1943 Stearman and asked if I wanted a ride (yes).  I want that bare bones open cockpit RV-3 even more now.  100mph with a helmet and goggles was AWESOME!  92°F in the air at 0800 and it felt like 70°F.  The long morning shadows surrounded by red-shifted tones everywhere, unencumbered by plexiglass, was music to this guy's eyes.
  This open cockpit RV-3, I predict, is going to be my summertime, local putt around the patch ride almost exclusively.  Both it and the camera around my neck are going to get a workout.  It was a good day.
     Delta Romeo, LLC.
             RV-6 / 3 / My RV Safety Culture Document

First Flight: N207LT ...Chip Freitag (Austin, TX)

Our first flight is now a memory. Aside from draggy brakes and no airspeed it went pretty well.   (more)

Minimum acceptable battery voltage for RV-12 ignition

Maybe I missed it along the way, but I don't recall hearing what the min. battery voltage is that will support the electronic ignition operation. Anyone out there know how low voltage can go before losing the ignition and engine?

Would be a good thing to know if a battery/charging issue arose. Thanks for the feedback

  Some Replies:

The 912 produces its own power for the ignition. If the engine is running, then it should be charging the battery also, so that should not be a problem. If the battery is low/bad, you may have a problem starting the engine

The Rotax has a total of 3 alternators, one for each ignition and one for ship's power which also keeps the battery charged. Each ignition is independent of the other. It is kind of like having magnetos, except they are electronic. The battery could malfunction and the engine will keep on running, like John B said.
The AGM type of battery used in the RV-12 does not like to be run down. It will suffer more damage than the old type of flooded cell battery if the master switch is inadvertently left on

I don't know about battery voltage, just that it must be sufficient to spin the engine between 150 (I think) and 220 RPM. In other words, you probably can't prop it. As stated above, the AGM battery does not like to be run down and it does like to be kept on a float charger. This not only keeps the charge up, but supposedly benefits battery life. Mine is on a float charger appropriate for AGM batteries 24/7 while in my hangar and has been for over 4 years.

Not just any old car charger will be good for your battery and you don't want to be doing any quick charges. Mine is a Mean Well ESP-120 that I got from Lockwood Aviation Supply. Supposedly made to float charge at 13.5V. I'm sure there are many others that are cheaper and will do the job but my knowledge of battery chargers stops at that

Thanks for the feedback all of you. I asked the question because several folks who know a lot more than I (everybody knows more than I about that) about electronic ignitions advised me if I lost the battery in flight for any reason I would lose the ignition as well resulting in engine shutdown. This got my attention as I didn't believe that would happen as long as engine was running, but then I always drove with mags before. I couldn't find anything to clarify or dispute that so asked the question. I will go back to my sources for further explanation

Group Buy Updates
Update on the EFII Boost Pump Group Buy ....from Robert.  Everyone in now saves $51.92 each.


VAF Family
Future RV pilot - 1st solo!

Proud dad moment so had to share....a week before his 18th birthday, my son solo'd a Citabria today as he works towards his Private! Here he is with his CFI after the milestone flight:  more

Formation video ...Axel

I finally figured out how to invert the image, make a movie and post it on youtube. The video is from the past weekend over Mojave, CA for the fly-in. It was only my second time in the slot. I have a lot to learn yet. The camera is an HD170 mounted on the side of my helmet


[I can't embed the video because of the music selected (YouTube restricts certain clips from being embedded based on music used).  You'll have to watch it on YouTube.  Here's a screen grab. dr]

Advertiser's Corner...sent in by the advertisers of this site.
ZtronLabs Modification ...per request of forum user.

Both our Nav/Strobe and Tail lights can have their strobe capabilities switched off now.  Instead of using a separate power line for the strobes and nav, pulling the Sync line to ground via switch will turn the strobes off, leaving the nav on. We'll be updating our site and documents shortly to reflect these changes.

Thanks again for your inputs.

Totally Off Topic

Wed, Aug 24, 2011.  1107z  Delta Romeo, LLC. RV-6 / 3 / My RV Safety Culture Document

Virginia Earthquake

I'm probably the closest RV guy to the epicenter. My address is Mineral, Va and I keep my RV-6 at the Louisa County Airport. I actually live south of the airport about 8 miles very close to the interstate I-64. So from what I can gather, I'm close enough!!! :-) All is good so far........earthquake 5.8, hit about 1:50pm and I was in Richmond (40 miles away) working in a building and really felt it move. Got home about 7pm and looked around to find wall hung dishes had fallen off racks and broken but the CAT was fine. Lots of stuff on shelves had shifted and some fallen to the floor, but no major problems. Friends have reported cracks in drywall etc....but no harm done. I've seen pictures on the news of historic houses with chimneys fallen over too. About 8:10 we had an aftershock that they say measured 4.2. From what I saw in my home while it was happening, it was smaller then the original 5.8 as the pictures didn't move as much. So I'd say 4.2 could be right. Lots of friends and family checking in as you can imagine and everybody glad to hear good news. I think of most of the people here as extended family most of the time, :-) so I thought some would like an update from the epicenter, since it appears to be making national news. This is big for us in VA. I'm sure the left coast guys are old hat at it! They say this hasn't happened here in over 100 yrs.

I will most likely go to the airport tomorrow and check on things in the hangar. I don't expect any problems, but one never knows.
Bob Martin
RV-6 0-360 C/S 850+TT
Louisa, Virginia KLKU

The Old Paper Clip Trick ...for trimming baffles.

Once the baffles are roughly trimmed far enough to generally fit under the top cowl, you then have to trim them further so you get a nice even gap all the way around the engine. I used the "old paper clip trick" to figure out what to trim and what to keep. I didn't invent this method, but here's how it works…

You start by putting a whole bunch of paper clips on top of the baffles. The jumbo size seems to work best.  (continue)

RV-7A Low, Slow and Less Fuel Burn

No question, these airplanes are most efficient above 8000'. But 8000'+ isn't always practical so I gathered some numbers today at 2500', the intent to show how to fly and burn less fuel.

(Local 100LL is $5.25 today.)

It was not a great day to do this as it was bumpy but the data is in the ball park. Engine at about 40 LOP. Numbers are still air.

7 GPH = 130 KTAS = 149.6 MPH = 21.40 MPG
6 GPH = 124 KTAS = 142.7 MPH = 23.80 MPG
5 GPH = 117 KTAS = 134.6 MPH = 26.90 MPG
4 GPH = 100 KTAS = 115.0 MPH = 28.70 MPG

So, if one has time to burn (as opposed to fuel) the reward for flying at 100 vrs. 130 is almost 25%. It does feel a bit strange limping along at 4 GPH, but thats the beauty of the engine, it doesn't care and the airplane flies just fine at 100 knots. It's a simulated LSA flight with a lot of HP in reserve.

I'd like to cut fuel costs more yet by getting away from 100LL and going with 93 mogas - but the fly in the ointment is ethanol. The St. Louis area has dirty air so no fuel sold locally is ethanol free. Go west about 80 miles and it is available.

An alternative is to find a Lycoming mechanical fuel pump with upgraded seals and baffles to withstand alcohol. They are available. Greg Poe, the late air show performer flew on 100% ethanol. I am following that lead, his engine came from Ly-Con in California. If I can get such a pump at a reasonable cost, it would pay for itself quickly in lower fuel costs. (NOTE: Greg Poe died of a heart attack, not from using ethanol)
David Domeier
RV-7A N707DD

VAF Family
Back in the saddle again! ...Jim Brandvik discovers RVs

I learned to fly in the mid 80's in an Alon A2 Aircoupe. *I got my PPL then couldn't afford to fly much until the late 90's when my kids were older and I finally had a little more income. *

The last flying I did was in 2002. That year, i picked up almost 60 hours in a Turbo Centurian in which I had a 50% interest. *I never was totally comfortable in that airplane. It was pretty squawky and frankly it was more plane than I had any business being involved in, given my experience level. I had less than 100 hours when I got involved in the Centurian.*

Finally, After several worrisome and expensive mechanical headaches, I experienced an *electrical failure on a night-time marginal VFR trip from Alabama to Texas. I managed to get the *plane down in one piece thanks to a a handheld radio and a god-send of a pilot who was able to relay my plight to Houston Center which vectored me to a nearby field. But afterward, I felt like Fate was telling me to stay on the ground.*

Of course I have missed flying. I have missed the speed and convenience. I have missed the adventure and the fun. Though I have missed flying terribly, the thought of re-learning everything I have forgotten always kept me out of the sky.

Until recently...
*A few weeks ago I happened to see a video on YouTube of an RV4 doing light aerobatics and*I've *been absolutely obsessing over RVs ever since. I don't know how I have remained ignorant of the RV world until now, but I am quickly getting educated. *(I'll bet I spend three hours a day on lurking right here alone!)

So after nine years, I began again the process of searching for a CFI and a base to fly out of.*

I interviewed three training operations before I found someone who knew anything about RVs. *Once I did find someone who seemed to understand my attraction to the RV scene I signed up with them (Stinson Flight Training Service) and started my re-education process. *

Wow! A lot has changed since 2002! I am flying spam cans equipped with G1000 glass panels. (mastering the G1000 has been the most difficult part of getting current so far)*

After 9 years of inactivity, I am reenergized about flying again. Since seeing that RV4 video, I have logged about 18 hours of dual time trying to get my proficiency back to where I will feel comfortable hauling my loved ones around. * I am starting to feel competent in my landings and my stick and rudder work is feeling almost natural again. *

My goal is to own/build/fly an RV. I am thinking that it would make sense to buy a 6 to build time in while building a 7 or 8.*

I understand that all the spam can training in the world is not preparation for flying the RV, so I have scheduled transition training with Alex Di Dominicus over Labor Day Weekend.*Alex will be holding class in his RV7.

Well it occurred to me after booking my training with him, that in order to get the most out of my training with Alex, it would be a good idea to try to get a little tailwheel time beforehand.*

The great folks I am flying with out of Stinson (KSSF) have no tailwheel aircraft and no instructors who have tailwheel experience. *So I started looking for a CFI for tailwheel. Finally, I found and scheduled time with them last week to get my first tailwheel time in their Cub. Unfortunately, the day I was scheduled, the Cub was pulled off the line for a maintenance issue which turned into a top-end engine rebuild. So the plane was out of commission till today.

So today, I added tailwheel landings to the long list of things I do really poorly! *What a humbling experience! 4 out of the 5 landings were "pig on ice" coordination, but the fifth was only marginally ugly. I never dreamed it would be so difficult. ( or so fun)

Anyway, I didn't intend to write a novela for my first post. I am just excited and wanted to finally say thanks to everyone for reigniting the flame within. *I am loving being back in the air and really excited to join the RV family!

All the wonderful trip reports and the first flight stories are truly inspirational. *My lovely wife and I met and married after I had stopped flying so she has never known me as a pilot. * This is a little scary for her. *This forum has been a real blessing in winning her over. She and I love traveling to Wyoming but hate the travel time involved so she has been following Tom and Bonnie's trip closely. Last weekend she went with me on a road trip to Waco to look at an RV6 for sale there. *She was a little shaken by how snug the cockpit was, but she is excited too. *She surprised me yesterday *by signing up here at VAF with her own login!

Thanks again to everyone. I am looking forward to getting to know you all!