RV-4 transition traing w Alex DeDominicis
I recently purchased a flying RV-4 and used Alex DeDominicis in Midlothian, TX ( rvtraining.com ) for my transition training. I had a great experience and thought I'd share a few details.
I'm a 500hr instrument commercial rated pilot with a few hours in gliders and a freshly minted tailwheel endorsement after 10 hrs in a J-3. Most of my hours are in high wing Cessna's. Asking around about transitioning to the -4, I got a range of opinions from "just go fly it" to "you need 20 hours of crosswind landings in a Citabria". I decided to search for RV specific training in a tailwheel model. After few phone calls and emails, I settled on Alex.
I spent just over 5 hours in two evenings with Alex. He spent a considerable amount of time on the ground learning about my flight experience, my goals for the training, and the details of my new airplane. This time at 1g and 0kts was at least as valuable as our flight time. We briefed each flight and Alex explained to me what I would experience at the controls during critical phases. The debrief was honest and constructive, with time spent on what went well and what needed to be improved and how. After the second day I was ready to come back for more (and to write a bigger check for more hours), but Alex assured me I was proficient and safe and that I needed to get home and start flying right away! He was right and my checkbook appreciates his honesty.
I was worried out not being able to train in a tandem model before I flew my -4, but it was a very natural transition. I flew Alex's -7 from the right seat, putting the engine controls on my left side and the stick in my right hand. I spent an hour or so sitting in my -4 on the ground prior to my first flight learning where critical switches and buttons are located and where my eyes need to go to quickly find important numbers. After our last dual flight Alex and I worked out how I should approach my first solo flight at home. I'm happy to report that it went very well, though I missed the air conditioning I had taken for granted in Alex's RV-7!
I'm glad I spent the time and effort to get training in a tailwheel RV before flying my -4. I'm very pleased with my experience with Alex and would recommend him without hesitation. His experience transitioning pilots to RV's (several hundred) and his professional yet easy-going approach made for a very effective experience. Thanks Alex!
RV-4 N28RC Flying