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Old 06-02-2021, 11:10 AM
Draker's Avatar
Draker Draker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 538
Default Rusty pilot + transition to RV

As I get closer to finishing the RV-7A, it's quickly dawning on me that I need a plan to get back into the left seat after... (checking logbook) 13 years without flying. In addition to rebuilding proficiency, I will need to learn a bunch of new systems and review in order to have a shot at being able to handle the RV. I think a good first step is to identify as many obstacles as I can:
  • Long time since last flight (13 years)
  • Low total time (80 hours)
  • Never flown with glass panel avionics
  • Never flown behind a constant speed prop
  • Flying experience limited to slow C172 and LSAa
  • No experience flying around hills and terrain (mostly in Florida where field is always around sea level)

On the plus side, at least I'm building an -A so I don't need to learn tailwheel on top of all that.

I'll be calling up a few local flight schools to find a CFI and with him/her work out a detailed plan, but what I'm thinking at this point looks something like this:
  1. Watch an AOPA Rusty Pilot webinar [DONE]
  2. Buy a paper chart and FAR/AIM and do some reading/re-familiarizing
  3. Ground instruction + 20 hours dual in a C172 with a 6 pack to jog the memory
  4. BFR
  5. 5 hours or so in a newer C172 with a G1000
  6. 5 hours or so learning what to do with the blue knob
  7. 5-10 hours of mountain training
  8. Maybe a few hours in a higher performance plane that lands faster than 45 knots?
  9. 20 hours poking holes in the sky solo to build more proficiency
  10. 10 hours transition training with Mr. Seager

I've scheduled the transition training session for October, which gives me a nice low-pressure deadline to get all this done. What am I leaving out here? Anyone with a similar profile go through this process already and have any tips for me?
Ryan Drake
Livermore, CA
Donated 12/31/2020
RV-7A (N12VD): Everything done that can be done at home. Waiting for hangar to finish up.
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:33 AM
blaplante blaplante is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 298
Default ground school

Reading the regs is important but really boring. Could be worth picking up something like the King ground school. Was on CD/DVD back in the day... I imagine online now. Even though you don't need to do the written again the refresher will do wonders for the instructors confidence in your knowledge when he quizzes you. So, it will be less time spent with him on ground school and probably saves you money.
RV6A in phase 2 as of April 2016
Donation made Oct 2021
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:40 AM
terrye terrye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 959
Default Rusty pilot + transition to RV

I have X-Plane 10 and bought a few extra planes from Caranado to practice with. The PC-12 flies at or over RV speeds and has a partial glass panel (horizon and HSI, with the rest of a six pack) plus Garmin 430s. The Phenom 300 has a full glass panel. I found it pretty intuitive even though all of my "real" flying has been old school six pack, COM and XPDR with handheld GPS.
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2021/2022 VAF Contribution Sent
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:46 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,044
Default Go Back to the Beginning

Not sure about you, but my retention over such a long period would be pretty poor. You might want to go back to the beginning of your training and go over everything. It might take less time than you think and it will be good to go over details and perhaps raise questions that went unanswered before or you have a different perspective on today. You're soon going to have a beautiful new airplane that's all yours - you want to treat it right from day 1.
For training, I'd go thru all the primary maneuvers as well. As far a a flight review, when you feel ready, ask your instructor to give you a full blown flight test and critique accordingly. That'll give you the confidence you need to make a smooth transition.
Don't hurry, don't worry, and don't forget to smell the flowers along the way.
Terry, CFI
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:00 PM
wawrzynskivp wawrzynskivp is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Incline Village Nv
Posts: 87
Default Scraping rust

I was in the same boat for a gap. 16 years from my last flight to finishing my RV-7

There is legal, and there is smart and the two don't always comport.

I went to Oregon and got transition training from Mike Seager. He has enough experience to look a trainee in the eye at the end of his lessons and give you an assessment on whether your are reasonably competent.

There is also the opportunity now to hire an experienced RV pilot to fly along with you on your first few flights if you are willing to do the paperwork.

X-Plane has a RV-7 set of parameters and you can build a custom panel to match what you are building for real. I took advantage of that for procedure training and found it worthwhile.

As a CFI I would generally say your total time is low. I would encourage getting twenty hours or more if you need in anything that flies within thirty days of your proposed test. If nothing else it will revive some latent paradigms and free up brain activity to pay attention to your test plan.

Everyone is different and a set plan isn't as important as one that adapts to your performance.

Last edited by wawrzynskivp : 06-02-2021 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:04 PM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,586

I was in about the same exact situation.
  • Got my medical updated.
  • Got a BFR in something (172 maybe?)
  • Spent a few hours over a few weekends with Jan Busell in his 6A for transition training and insurance. The worst part was driving three hours to train, knowing I could fly it in 30 minutes in the RV....
I was fully confident at that point to do the first flight in my 6A. Was a non-event and I've now put over 700 hours on the 6A.

I am FP, so did not have the CS aspect. I think your hours are way more than needed to get back in the saddle.

I think getting time in the RV vs a 172 is much more valuable. (and fun)
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS, L3 Lynx NGT-9000
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....finishing kit in progress. Titan IOX-370
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:11 PM
dreed dreed is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 501

Great to hear/see you are getting so close.

I think that is a great plan, but I don't think it'll take you as many hours dual to get as you think- but it'll take whatever it takes I guess. I had similar time off from flying as you and I think I put about 25-30 hours in the books (including transition with Mike).

Blue knob/CS training can be combined with some other of the training and it's not really that big of a deal. You'll pick it up really quickly.

I think if you get current, shoot plenty of landings and feel good, the time with Mike will get you used to landing the RV and trying to find something faster isn't really necessary. The RV will land a bit faster but your speeds in the pattern really won't be that much different than in the 172. I usually fly 172's at 85kt on DW (abeam), 75 Base, 65ish final. You'll probably fly almost the same speeds, maybe carry 5-10 more knots on final in your plane. Mike will get you good and comfy with all of this.

I am learning the glass too- but you may be able to put yours into a 6 pack mode initially if that helps too (don't know garmin options)

BTW- when you are out here for training in October- let me know, would love to meet up if at all possible.

Dan Reed
Camas, WA
RV-7A - N167DR
First flight 5/25/2021
Phase 1
2018/19/20 VAF dues paid
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:34 PM
bill.hutchison bill.hutchison is offline
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 299

I spend a lot of time working with pilots returning to the cockpit after some years away.

A rule of thumb I've found to be mostly applicable is to plan about an hour of dual for every year you've been out, and 50% of that for ground.

A good flight review will be tailored to your mission with the ACS standards folded in. When you sit down with a CFI to work on this, work together to make a plan, with scenarios that are realistic to the way you'll be flying.
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:44 PM
pilotkms's Avatar
pilotkms pilotkms is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 515

Near 20 years off for me. 5 hours of Transition training in Ruevan’s similar 7A. He said I was ready. I didn’t feel ready. Went back to San Diego and did another 5 hours with Ruevan. That’s what it took me, 10 hours RV time. He also signed off my BFR.
I think u will Adjust your plan midway. Flying the RV much more beneficial than any rental.
RV 7A RV #9700 May 2017
N325KS the Flying “K”
Built in SoCal KCCB, now in GA @ KPXE
780+ Hours & 7X cross the USA
OSH flyin 2018 & 2019 & Petit Jean 2019 & 2021
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Old 06-02-2021, 12:58 PM
bruceh's Avatar
bruceh bruceh is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ramona, CA
Posts: 2,495

I had a 23 year hiatus. With only 140 hours. I did the C-172 refamiliarization flights and was signed off after about 3 hours for my BFR. I flew the 172 around the field for lots of pattern work. Probably did about 10 hours, then did 7 hours of RV transition work prior to my first flight. Getting used to talking on the radio took a lot of practice.

The glass panel stuff took quite a while to get up to speed with. There is a lot of information on the screen, and you need to train your brain on where to look for what. All of the Flight Plan pages and autopilot pages were played with during Phase 1. It probably took me 100 hours to really feel like I knew where all of the features were and how to use them. It's not critical for most flights.

Lots of great YouTube videos out there on glass panel.
At least now, you can do the additional pilot during Phase 1. Take advantage of that.
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flown over 900 hours!
APRS Tracking for KJ6YRP and Flying Over the Hills Blog
2021 VAF donator
EAA Tech Counselor, Pre Buys, Build assistance - canopy/tanks/fiberglass/electrical/repairs
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