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.