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Old 02-15-2020, 07:48 PM
Keith Hawkins Keith Hawkins is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1
Default Reconsider High Speed pass

I am back home from my bi-annual FIRC and am feeling a bit guilty. I need to share a war story that I think is important to every Big-Grin driver. The moral of the story is to reconsider a possible high-speed pass down the runway to demonstrate the awesome smile-producing joy it is to fly a RV.

On Father's Day a few years past I had a kitchen pass to go to the airport. I leaped into my awesome RV-4 and the grin started. After multiple touch and goes in all configurations I thought it would be fun to just do a low pass on the next pattern. There was no one, zero, nobody else within miles so on downwind I let the ponies run. On the curving turn to final I had to pull back on the 'thrust lever' to keep the airspeed out of the red. I leveled off at about 50 feet and aimed for the center of the runway. After about 1/3 of the runway behind me I noticed, in the flick of an instant, an American Robin (I am a bird-watcher) and I were on a collision course. I had no time to even utter an sh..! The explosion was awesome! The noise, the shock, the wind, were all impressive. Luckily I instinctively pulled back on the stick and the throttle and entered a climbing left turn. When I turned my head to the left to check my position my glasses immediately flew away. But, I was higher now and felt safe in spite of the wind blast, noise and confusion.

Things went well from there as I positioned myself for final and landing. However, on short final as I slowed my eyes filled with blood--my blood as I later learned. I had a vein opened by the flying plexiglass on my forehead and it was pumping hard. Landed safely, managed to get back to the hangar, managed to get on my Kawasaki but...?????.

My bottom line is this: I, and most likely you, love the joy and grin of flying the RV. But if you are tempted to fly really low and really fast keep in mind that other critters are down there. A 2.5 ounce American Robin striking your windshield, when you are doing approximately 200 miles per hour, can pack a punch.

My first post so I will see if I can add a picture or two.

Guess not, more to learn.

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Old 02-15-2020, 07:57 PM
Pilot135pd's Avatar
Pilot135pd Pilot135pd is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Vaca Moo Airport - TA37 in East TEXAS
Posts: 1,684

Opejn an account on

Upload the pictures there and it has on the bottom right hand corner various options. I click on "large thumbnail" then click on "Linked BBCode". That'll copy the picture then just paste that link on the page and you're done.

Sadly sold my RV-8 however still trying to enjoy life by living on my airport with FREE campsites & facilities for ALL visiting pilots to enjoy & flying my OnSpeed equipped C-177 while waiting for my next experimental plane !

Exempt by 3 out of the 10 ways but I still donated.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:33 AM
Dan 57's Avatar
Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 1,000

good one Hawk, thanks for that account and warning. And by the way, well done
- ain't the Destination, but the Journey -

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:15 AM
A2022 A2022 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,425

nothing good happens down low except a takeoff and landing.... unless you are a professional.
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