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April 9, 2020.  Issue #5,058.  (Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

Canopy & Windshield Done ...Larry Larson

Finally. Canopy, skirt, windshield and trim all done. Pretty pleased with the results.
Big shout out goes to Dan Horton for the awesome threads on fiberglass and cutting & buffing. Also to my mentor, Dave for teaching me fiberglass.
I tried to document the processes to my blog for others.


Initial Contact ...Barry Wallace

I am new to the site and forums and enjoying the heck out of all the good information.

I am looking to buy a RV-6A with a iO-360 and FP prop and noticed it's Empty Weight is 1,168.40 pounds and of course, Gross Weight at the factory listed 1650 pounds. This leaves only 481 pounds Useful Load. At 38 gallons fuel capacity that leaves about 253 pounds for the wife and me. With these numbers I would need to get a new wife or drop fuel.

What is a typical Empty Weight for an RV-6A?

Is the stated Empty Weight of 1168.4 a concern?


Down Under report & retro ...clarkefarm

Apart from lock downs & social distancing it has been the wettest start to a year in over a century in our area of Victoria (near Melbourne). Interesting change after the fires in December.

I have been persevering with an NSI based set up in an RV-9A but using a modern and high end Motec M130 for engine management and a much more up-to-date Subaru EJ25.

Short video of a Sunday (your time) circuit.


Yobo Update

"For those that know him, Kent "Yobo" Yohe is awake, out of the ICU, and nearly out of the hospital. He's working through reportedly 1000 text messages! Thanks for all the prayers!



RV-10 First Flight ...Charlie Derk cockpit video


Engine data ...Felix1973 RV-12


thank you so far for all your thoughts about the root cause for this engine malfunction. We have not been able to resolve the problem, yet.

So far, this is what we have done:
* we cleaned the carburetor and did find heavy floats and changed them.
* we analyzed the engine data and determined that the right carburetor must be faulty and replaced it with a new one.

The issue persists. Any thoughts?


Charity Flights ...plehrke

Has anyone heard of any charity flights that GA is doing, or organizations are requesting, relative to moving supplies around in their state for COVID-19?


Moving the Needle a Bit ...

The annual is almost done and the new G3X touch screens are powered up and mostly configured.  With all the CV-19 and the CAE sim training, and the son home 'remotely colleging', and the hunt for TP, the RV has kinda been on the back burner as of late.  I miss flying it, and am grateful the needle is moving toward the 'back to flying status' end of the gauge. 

New tires and tailwheel bearings, updated firmware in the 430W (so it will talk to the updated 330 (now a 330ES) for ADS-B OUT), but other than that no major annual finds from the Monk man and James.

I downloaded and updated charts Wednesday.  Boy are these screens faster than the first gen screens I had.  Going to be nice.  Need to learn some new stuff.

click to enlarge



April 8, 2020.  Issue #5,057.  (Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

Homework Motivation ...crabandy

Lil' Dude was having a tough day at home pre-school this morning, I bribed him with a trip to go flying if he finished his last worksheet. I needed to use the table-saw stashed at the hangar anyway and it's been a couple weeks since I stirred the oil so it sounded like a good idea.

1500ish OVC made it a good opportunity to log a couple of approaches, we filed picked up our clearance and launched. Not half bad for being out of the cockpit for a couple weeks, I've got my 120 nailed and just slightly off the horizontal/vertical. The flight director was still stuck on Alt, I was hand flying and never swapped it to Apch.  continue


FI Fuel Metering Line Disconnected: Engine Failure on Short Final to a Military Base



U.S. Air Force Plant 42 (KPMD) in Palmdale, California. A small DoD facility in the Mojave Desert that was the home to such famed projects as the Space Shuttle Orbiter, the F-117A, and right now, my Vans RV-8. I was in no mood to appreciate the rich aviation history of the location as I pondered how I found myself on the wide expanse of Plant 42's ramp in my little homebuilt.
The flight had originated at Inyokern Airport (IYK) in California, just North of Edwards Air Force Base, and West of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake where I was stationed as an Operational Evaluation (OpEval) F/A-18 pilot. I grew up in General Aviation, having taken my first flying lesson at age 11, but had stepped away when I joined the military, and the RV-8 was my return to the joys of GA flying. I purchased the airplane from the builder a few years previous and had flown it to Oshkosh twice, accumulating about 300 hours in the aircraft. I was beginning to feel fairly confident in the machine, as well as the owner-assisted maintenance program that I was learning under the tutelage of a local A&P mechanic.

Leading up to the flight there had been some fairly extensive maintenance. I recently had the aircraft re-wired with a full Garmin glass cockpit setup and engine monitor, and had all the hoses firewall forward replaced with Teflon-steel braid hoses for longer service life. I'd flown the airplane for 50 hours since the work had been completed, so I changed the oil, and took advantage of the downtime to rework the engine baffle seals for better cooling. The higher fidelity of the Garmin engine monitor had revealed some inadequacies in my cooling setup in the high desert heat with CHT's reaching 400F+ during takeoff, so I took on the project of improving the airflow under the cowl. I also rebuilt the tailwheel assembly. After a quick leak check, a successful post-maintenance check flight put the airplane back in service.
The next day I came out to fly, and found that the battery was dead. The battery was new, only 6 months old, but I checked and cleaned all the connections, ordered a new battery and installed it on the afternoon of the incident flight.  continue


7A Rebirthing Update ...kentlik



There have been many changes over the past 2 years, but one thing remains steadfastly in focus...our commitment to our customers and fellow builders. Tom and I often receive the question... "What is the difference between TS Flightlines and Aircraft Specialty?"

We wanted to address this as well as provide a comprehensive update of what we have been working on, the status of our companies, and what our plans are moving forward. The link HERE is a PDF detailing a lot of this information.

We greatly appreciate ALL of you and the rest of the experimental aircraft community and truly look forward to a very exciting future.

We are JUST GETTING STARTED. The energy that you all provide us with is incredible and we look forward to working with all of you as you transform your metal pieces into an incredibly awesome machine.

With sincere gratitude and thanks,

Steven Tschurwald
Aircraft Specialty

Tom Swearengen
TS Flightlines


EI Power System Review ...WingsOnWheels

Q: I am currently running one Mag and one EDIS-Based Electronic Ignition. In the future I am going to replace the mag with a second EI, but I first need to ensure that the electrons keeps flowing in the event of an emergency. ...continue

A: (DanH) Do this instead, isolated feeds and grounds. One diode, not three, and replace the useless breaker with a fusible link for aux battery charge. Well, "useless" may not be fair, as you could pull it to preflight check the aux battery output.  The EDIS feeds really only need 5 amp protection, as the EDIS system only needs a bit over an amp. 

Been flying this for a while now. Strip off the voltage monitor, push to test aux battery voltage, and ignition map select wiring, and it's pretty much what you see above. Both batteries are behind the baggage compartment in the RV-8, so there is no battery bus or main bus in the ignition system.


All I Need In One Place ...ronshchreck



April 7, 2020.  Issue #5,056.  (Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

RV-7 Advanced Panel Video ...Rob Hickman (Advanced Flight Systems)

Since we all did not get a chance to go to Sun-n-Fun this year we decided to post a new video showing how a RV-7 VFR panel can be upgraded to IFR. Stay safe during these difficult times and we look forward to seeing you at the next airshow.


RV-12 Throttle Safety Wire

Q: (mowenski)  Just want to get an opinion on the safety wire shown in the Rotax Installation manual on the throttle cable sleeve. Van's section 50 Engine Controls does not indicate this step. Good idea?

A: (Tony_T)  That's an interesting question. The Rotax IM does show the cable safety wired however it is a different type of cable. With that type of cable the cable sheath can pull out of the adjusting screw.

Van's installation has you discard the Rotax adjusting screw hardware and they furnish a cable with threaded end on the sheath. So it is a different installation then that of the Rotax manual. However, as shown in this photo the choke cables are the type that should be safety wired to prevent the sheath from pulling out. I know this because I had the adjustment screw on my starboard carb choke cable loosen and allow the choke cable sheath to pull out resulting in the choke being halfway activated, rough running and plug fouling.

There is still the question of whether the throttle cable in the Van's installation should should be safety wired somehow.


Yobo update

KC Flight had more happy news this morning. Yobo asked the nurse for his release papers to sign cause he wants to go home. I think he is finally out of the woods and anyone that wants to shave off a scraggly Yobobeard will have that opportunity soon. All his labs results and oxygen levels are good so it won't be long now.

Thanks to all the RV community for your thoughts and prayers, they are working. 2020 is getting better already!!


My RV Weekend ...Pmoran

Out for some air work and site seeing:


Discounts - Save 10-15% on EVERYTHING until April 15th ...Brown Tool

First and foremost, I hope all are safe and well. This is a challenging and stressful time for all of us and Brown Tool and most of our customers are taking an economic hit due to COVID-19. We are working staggered shifts so that we are keeping the number of folks in our building to an absolute minimum and we are of course practicing strict social distancing and sanitizing and washing our hands and everything else in the building. We have also closed our warehouse to any walk-in business.

I have promised all of my employees that they will not miss a paycheck and that they will receive their full pay and benefits for the duration of this pandemic. I refuse to lay-off or furlough anyone. To this end, we wanted to come up with a way to generate business and at the same time help our customers, many of whom we know are tightening their budgets. Here is what we have come up with:

Now through April 15th, we are offering the following discounts for orders placed on our website:
Order $150 or more - Save 10%
Order $300 or more - Save 12%
Order $500 or more - Save 15%

Use the coupon code AIRPOWER when checking out and the discount will be applied to your qualifying order.
The really good news is that there are NO EXCLUSIONS - you can use these discounts on ANY ITEM ON OUR WEBSITE - including our already discounted KITS and items that are already on sale! This means that you can "stack" the discount on top of a sale price or kit price and realize never seen before savings! If you are planning on buying one of our RV Tool Kits, this is the time to do so - the kit is already highly discounted off our normal list price and with this special discount you can save an additional 15% off of the kit price!

The small print: Orders must be placed online at our website at www.browntool.com - Prior orders are not eligible, discounts apply to new orders only, please. - You must enter the coupon code AIRPOWER when checking out to receive the discount. - No dealers please.

On behalf of everyone at Brown Tool, we wish you and yours health and wellness. Together, we will all make it through this unprecedented time and emerge on the other side wiser and more resilient than ever.

We appreciate your support and it is our intent to be here to support you!


$2 Tools ...Ideas that give Bang for the Buck! ...PaulvS

Found this handy rivet holder in the aviation aisle of the $2 variety store.  The low height and rubber base keeps it stable and easy to reach.


My RV Weekend ...goatflieg

Got all the horizontal cowl fasteners completed, including the nose nut plates and screws. It's not really a milestone... still have the firewall fasteners to do and a LOT of fitting and finishing work on top and bottom cowls... but it sure feels (and looks) like a milestone. Nice to make significant progress again before returning to the fiberglass finishing grind; more millstone than milestone.


The Tool Chest Droolfest Thread Ramps Up



April 6, 2020.  Issue #5,055.
  The great news on Yobo (below) couldn't make for a better top story.  Very, very grateful to get this news.  Updated the RV White Pages and RV Hotel doc over the weekend.
(Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

Yobo Update

(olyolson) Pleased to report to the RV community that Yobo talked to his wife last night for the first time since coming off the ventilator. That is a really good sign and we are hopeful that his recovery will progress quickly from here.

Overjoyed with this morning news, better than the first cup of coffee to wake you up!


Confessions of a Shop Flirt ...goatflieg

Early yesterday morning I had riveted the horizontal rows of Skybolt fasteners to the upper edge of the bottom cowl, using Pro Seal as a stabilizing adhesive between the aluminum and fiberglass. Later in the day, I went out to the shop and of course it still reeked of the Pro Seal. Yesterday was a beautiful spring day in Michigan; it wasn't too cold, the sun was shining and the air was calm. So I thought it would be nice to open the shop's garage door and air the room out. When I did, the afternoon sun streamed in, lighting up the interior and changing the perspective of the shop in a wonderful way. That garage door faces our street; many of our neighbors will walk by with their kids or dogs on such a beautiful afternoon. I wondered whether they would notice that my briefly exposed shop contained an airplane. I stepped outside and looked back in, to see what they could see.  ...


RV Pilots Honor Fallen Navy Veteran ...mturnerb

I'm sure the pilots in this formation are known on the forum. When I spotted this story it made me proud of my country and my community. Even though I'm a former Air Force guy, around these parts we love our Navy community.


Dumbest Mistake in an Airplane ...Bruce

Attempting to start a discussion and ward off boredom: tell us something dumb "a guy you know" did in an airplane. Not to judge, just to discuss. I'll start: I know a guy who in a rush to get in the air rushed through his preflight and neglected to remove his cowl plugs. The cord connecting the two plugs runs past the propeller (as it should) so as soon as the engine fired up it tore the plugs out and chewed them up and threw foam all over the ramp area. No real damage done, a fair amount of embarrassment though.


Tail Art ...zmatt


Falcon Flight Formation Clinic Update 4/4/2020 ...Check6

As we all know we are living in unprecedented times. With the extension of social distancing and limitations of Bell County where the Temple airport is located we have decided to move the clinic to the last weekend of May. The new formation clinic dates will be Friday May 29 - Sunday May 31, 2020. There will be NO back up weekend as we will not have access to facilities and it will have become too hot by June here in central Texas. ALL hotel reservations have been cancelled EXCEPT those staying at the Holiday Inn. Those at the Holiday Inn or any other hotel you made reservations with will need to be cancelled by YOU! Again, ALL reservations at the Residence Inn our primary hotel have been cancelled by Scroll. That said we know a lot of people have been directly impacted by CV-19 both physically and financially. So please take some time to reflect on your situation and whether or not signing up for this clinic is truly viable for you.  ...


KFFC Formation Team Practice

(rswalden)  We took the opportunity to fly before the Georgia Corvid-19 lockdown began. 14 RV's in all. Perfect evening to fly...
An aviation/photography enthusiast who happened to drive by took some nice photos (used with permission)  more


Status Report ...ZazooRV-9A

Work has continued on the 9A. We completed the fitment of the upper and lower rear fairings and removed the empennage until paintwork will start (we'll be painting the plane in my shop, but the tail, wings and fuse will have to be painted separately).
Then began the installation of some cables. Throttle, Mixture, Carb Heat, and Cabin Heat put into place initially. We've updated to the revised 9A nose gear and engine mount, no problems so far with routings etc, although if you were extra smart, you might do the firewall penetrations and some other things before mounting the engine. But it's not fatal. If you built these every day, you'd be a lot smarter. The second plane would be perfect.
Then on to wiring,,,, I don't hate wiring but I've found it to be the least documented aspect of the assembly, very slow progress, lots of head scratching.  ...


My RV Weekend

(Fearless) Moral support for another RV-er.  Flew down to Bowling Green Kentucky to lend support to Doug Rohrer for his ready to be inspected RV-9A. Bobby Hester flew in as well to check over Doug's plane prior to scheduling a DAR inspection. Doug was gracious to take me flying in his prior 9A while I was building mine and while my daughter was attending Western Kentucky University.

(Av8safe)  Chi-town fly by
Got an early start to the weekend on Thursday, given conditions were too perfect not to fly. Took a lunchtime vertical distancing break and headed North along the lakefront. Chicago approach was quiet as a mouse and there may have been two arrivals to ORD fly overhead the whole time. Getting close to doing my first oil change...looks like I will be going solo on that given the current constraints. Have enjoyed around 25 hours in this ride since picking her up in mid-February...still grinning. Thank you RM!

(SPX) A contractor friend of mine had around 500 N95 masks to spare, and a nurse friend works in a unit that could use them.. so off to the mountains I flew, about 85 miles east of me, to get the masks.

Great flight to and from (with a little cloud dodging), and on the way home, I was curious to see how the iPhone did propped up on the top of the panel, recording the landing. Not great, but not awful.

(Zuldarin)  Just a little social distancing over the puget sound.

(GaryK)  The clouds finally broke in Western Michigan. Beautiful evening for a flight in the 10.

(Paul 52)  The sky was clear and nearly cloudless here along the Gulf Coast. I didn't think I would get a a picture that was too good but I was wrong. I love a beautiful sunset.

(AAflyer) MiG Patrol. Stirred up the oil, looked up to see down, practiced a couple wheel landings, and RTB with a crisp overhead pattern for a 0.7!

(catmandu) We've been distancing at our Maryland house (where the RV still is), trying to do things to get it listed for sale. Our daughter Judy lost her job as a server, and her flight instructor has a compromised wife, so he's not interacting with people for a couple months. So Judy came to Maryland to once again get into the RV with Dad to continue on her PPL path. She asked for a flight without a dedicated plan just to wash away the Cherokee flows and feels.

My father's retirement community has (thoughtfully) gone into lock down: anyone who goes out the front gate must stay behind the door of their apartment for two weeks to protect the others. He is less than enamored with the 'room service' from the community eatery. So, we made up some of M'lady's best meals and froze them in individual meal containers.

Two birds with one stone, Judy and I flew east to west through the DC SFRA, grabbed the courtesy car from KJYO, and dropped the meals off at the front gate for Dad today!  ...


Progress ...BobbyLucas RV-12

Spending quite a bit of time in the shop with the current situation.
Was great to be able to open the garage door while working on it the other day. Looking forward to more days like that!
Hoping to be able to sit it in soon


So...I'm ready to jump in. But where to start? ...new guy checks in.

Is there a guide somewhere on what you need to get started building an RV-10? I've seen the tool kits from Cleveland and PlaneTools, but I'm not sure which kit is "better" and what I should upgrade/customize in the kits and what I should purchase in addition to the kits. Being that my location is on quarantine right now, and looks like it may continue to be through the end of May, I'll have to order most additional tools (Finer grit sandpaper, etc...) online, so I'm hoping to find a solid starter list of things I'm definitely going to need so I can get ahead. I'm ready to start placing orders on Monday!


Off and Running ...MIKE_JG -8

"...first picture to share, rudder under construction"


Confusion/questions on Fiberfrax installation...Reflex

Thought I'd start a new thread instead of hijacking an old one....

After reading several threads/posts on adding a safety margin to the firewall, I've decided that this is one of the very few modifications I'd like to make on my RV-14. However, I'm still a bit confused. I'm planning on using Fiberfrax and Dan H's method on the firewall. Dan has been kind enough to give very detailed drawings of his method. However, I'm slow enough that I'm not quite understanding when or how to mount things to the firewall.

If we put the Fiberfrax and covering on first, it appears that items on the firewall would have a very "soft" mount. If we put items on the firewall before the Fiberfrax is installed, then we could/will have hot spots in the event of a fire. In a perfect world, I'd like to install install the Fiberfrax first and then mount everything to the firewall, I'm just afraid that they won't stay put. I've cheated and put Dan's pictures and a couple other examples below.

In what order do I install the items on the firewall, before or after Fiberfrax?  continue



April 3, 2020.  Issue #5,054.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

First Flight - RV14A ...Allan Stern (Steve T. post)

We are posting this on behalf of Allan Stern. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

"I made my first flight this morning. Plane flew just like an RV. A few minor little problems like an aileron might slightly be out of adjustment giving a slightly heavy left wing, or pull to left. Temps were green oil temp 195 for a new engine. Very docile and no surprises.

Kit #140507 QB
19 months total time from first kit till DAR inspection
15 month actual build time minus QB wait time of 3 months and 1 month vacation"


Going in a circle ...PaulvS RV-6A

I went around in a circle today, April 1st carried over!

I've been checking over the fuselage frame and noticed the smallest F-612 bulkhead at the tail end was installed with the flanges facing forward. But there is a one-line statement in the construction manual that says to orient flanges backward for the -6A (versus the -6 which has two parts riveted together, one facing forward, one facing back).

I decided to make another bulkhead, similar to the 6, so as to have flanges facing backward as well as forward.

Made the part, went to drill the parts together, checked the rivet spacing on the plans and noticed a revision to have the flange face forward on the -6A!

So a morning's work for nothing (other than some ongoing education).


Addition made to all RV tail/empennage kits ...Mothership Greg

We recently made a small addition to every RV tail/empennage kit we ship. We're now including our OP-51 "Sheet Metal Basics" kit, a small and practical learning exercise that folks can use to practice/develop their skills before jumping into building the actual tail kit. It certainly doesn't replace our more advanced practice kits like the toolbox, lightbox sign or practice airfoil. In other words, this one ain't meant to be purdy -- It's practical! Think of it as an extra opportunity to try things before you jump in, if desired. It's especially good to use for practice in *fixing* mistakes -- something we all need to feel confident in. Worried about drilling out and replacing rivets for the first time? Use this little kit to practice and don't worry about messing it up while you're learning. We've used the "Sheet Metal Basics" kit with STEM educational programs for many years to help kids learn the basic skills, too.

Included is an instruction sheet, aluminum sheet pieces and angle, plus the necessary hardware -- the same sort of hardware that is commonly used in building our aircraft kits.

Don't need it? Cool! Use it to teach a kid from your neighborhood how to use the tools and build skills. And be sure to post or send us a photo of you teaching them! Spread the opportunity and help construct the next generation of builders!

You don't have to order a tail kit to get it, by the way. I mean, we certainly would like it if you did. But, if you already have your tail kit it's also available to order online at our web store for the princely sum of $10 plus shipping. You can search for "BAG SHEET METAL BASIC" to find it.

And since history tells us that someone will comment or ask: No, we didn't increase the tail kit prices because of this.


Fitting everything behind an RV-8 panel ...Cannon

I have a G3X Touch panel that I've finally mounted in the fuselage.

When Stein built the panel (which is beautiful), the harness lengths (12-18") imply mounting most of the boxes immediately behind the panel, I suppose either attached to the next bulkhead or on mounts I'd fabricate between the bulkhead and crossbrace. The GTX45R and GTR20 are the biggest boxes by far and the two I most worry about. The others don't concern me too much.

I need to mount a GTX45R, GTR20, GAD 29, GEA 24, grounding FOT and the avionics relay. None of them have harnesses long enough to mount very far away.

I could build an extension harness for either the GTX45 or GTR20, but both would require sourcing several connectors and pinning ~18 wires/shields.

What have others done?


Flash's Annual Continues

...with the help of A&P Randy Richmond and RV-4 owner James Walsh.

I've been in Phenom 300 SCM school for the past two weeks, and these two rock stars are helping me move the RV needle while I'm out of the loop.  It wouldn't have moved at all without them!   New tires, FINALLY getting the AeroLED strobes installed (on the shelf for years), ADS-B out and more down the road as the world settles down and time permists.  Prop gov overhauled.  It'll be in the air sooner rather than later, and I'm thankful for my RV friends.  dr



April 2, 2020.  Issue #5,053.  (Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

We can still have nice things....   Pete Howell RV-9A

Corona curve smashing is not much fun for anyone, but I can socially isolate and still find some beauty out there.

Sunsets over the Mississippi still get me every time. Tonight was a keeper.

Just upriver of Hastings things looked pretty sweet.......


First Flight N112DR RV-12iS ...David Rohrlick

First Flight on March 14th. Slightly heavy right wing, Trim indication needs a re-cal, ADAHRS showing in a right bank when straight and level.



Three Fingers ...schristo

I took my friend John Liberto up for a flight around Three Fingers mountain recently and he surprised me with this spectacular painting!  He even added Missy and Prop dog.  John is a digital artist in the gaming industry and is crazy talented.


RV-14:  Vent bluck off FF-0084 and Vetterman Exhaust

Q: With the vetterman exhaust, is the vent block off plate on the right side necessary? With one heat muff, I see that it probably should be, but does the vetterman come with 2 heat muffs, each feeding it's own side?

A:  Yes, two heat muffs. I added a second flange on the back left baffle with a second scat tube so each heat vent has its own source.  This shows the flange...


Pilot From P-51 Engine Out Video Flies Sweepstakes RV-10 ...video

British warbird pilot Mark Levy flies an RV-10 for the very first time and gives his honest assessment of the AOPA 2020 Sweepstakes grand prize.


RV-8 Status Report ...Foghorn

Still moving the ball down the field. I'm ready to have the Fastback canopy finished!!!  Ready for epoxy skim then primer. It's cold and rainy today but tomorrow looks good.


RV-8 Build Status Report ...goatflieg



April 1, 2020.  Issue #5,052.
  A bit of personal milestone news to report during these strange days.....as of yesterday I am right seat qual'd in the Embraer Phenom 300 (EMB-505) simulator at CAE as part of their Supporting Crew Member program.  It's been an interesting and challenging two weeks of ground school and sim hops.  'Fire hose' comes to mind, as they say.  Great instructors!
  Hoping to part time it a day or so a week there in the future.  If you're a Phenom pilot getting your initial or recurrent satisfied, I just might be the one grabbing the QRH while you recite memory items for E1(2) FIRE, CABIN ALTITUDE HI and V1 cuts ;^).  Shoot me an email if you're coming to DFW for training and maybe we can talk RVs during breaks!
(Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

April Calendar Wallpaper

...John Walsh photo


RV-10 vs SR-22 Video ...Mothership Greg

It's been a couple of days since it was published, so maybe you've already seen it - but AOPA did a bit of a fun fly-off drag race between their sweepstakes RV-10 and an SR-22 and posted a video. More details of the comparison will be in the AOPA Pilot magazine per Dave Hirschman from AOPA. Many people are asking the same sorts of questions posted earlier in this thread, of course.  continue


Dvalcik's RV Weekend

I work for a Hospital system and we have been going for 3 weeks non stop, but I did get a chance to get out and clear my head with a formation flight with a few buddies on Sat. We did practicing good Social Distancing on the ground and in the air.


RV-3B Status Update - David Paule

Larry, that's a good idea, and sort of what I'm planning, except on the inside, at least at the cockpit. I'd intended that this be the exterior and with some work I think it can be.

The fairing came off the fuselage easily enough, since I'd used plastic sheet and duct tape for a mold release. The first layer of the lay-up was peel ply, and that's firmly glued on. It's a major pain to remove and comes off in strips and pieces. The outside was easier and now it's all off, but it took parts of three work sessions to do it.

The fairing isn't perfect at all, not even nearly so, but I think it'll work. After I removed the mold and rough-trimmed the edges so that I wouldn't get slashed by the fiberglass, I put it on the fuselage. Good place to store it for now. The far side, forward of the roll bar, looks discontinuous because it's a trimmed edge that'll eventually be cut away so that I can sit in it.  RV-3B Status Update


Garmin Panel Decisions Help...mfleming

I'm very near making a decision and ordering my panel. I'm going all Garmin. Stein said if my budget was tight, I should wire for the equipment that I don't have money for now but might later. In my case this might be the second G3X and the certified WAAS navigator (probably the GPS175).

The above photo has the GDU460 G3X, GTX-45 Transponder, GPS-175, GTR-225 comm, GMC-507 autopilot controller and second GDU460 G3X. I'm hoping for a second remote comm.

I'm aiming for light IFR functionality.

There are a few things I'm unsure about that I have no way of resolving on my own before purchasing.  continue



March 31, 2020.  Issue #5,051.  (Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

Mystery Airport with Trip Report (Hint: 3T9) ...larrynew

Here's where we went this weekend. A day trip with some extreme social distancing and hiking. Anyone know where?


My RV Weekend ...SPX

With the stay at home orders expanding, I suspect that fewer of us did much with our RV this weekend. But, certainly some flew theirs, and others progressed on their build. So... what did you do?

Friday I flew my RV to get a few things from Aircraft Spruce, and then to meet up with another VAF member to talk about a panel upgrade. Then back into the hangar it went..

Today, I rode over to the airport and gave the RV a dry wash. Looks so much better.


Bolt Head Rubbing on Wire Bundle Hold-Down Plate ...Piper J3's RV-12

My friend's RV-12 built by Synergy as an E-LSA has a rod-end bolt head rubbing on the wire bundle hold-down plate beneath it. We put Teflon tape on top of the plate and it didn't solve the problem. The wire hold-down plate is raised up because of so many wires - main wire harness, ADS-B antenna Coax, Comm Coax, AOA tubing, etc.

Anybody else seen this? Suggestions?


Milestone:  First Engine Start and Is your Andair pump noisy? ...wjb

Does your Andair fuel pump make a racket?

I was happily surprised by how quiet the pump was when I was doing fuel flow tests last weekend with no back pressure ... purred along with a nice low hum.

However, once things are tight and pressure comes up, it makes a nasty racket. Almost like screeching sound ... it's very obvious in my first engine start video; pump is turned on on at 0:14.


DanH Helping amaris with some fiberglass suggestions

Remove any high spots on the underside of the pre-made upper fairing, just as Bill said. When well fitted, close any remaining edge gaps to zero with a liquid shim. Roughen the underside of the flanges with 80 grit. Tape the metal surfaces with a neat strip of packing tape. Mix epoxy with cabosil to the consistency of toothpaste. Apply a bead along the underside of the fairing flanges, screw it to the airframe, and allow it to cure. After cure, sand the edges to their final contour, a nice half-round.

Look close at the edge where the fairing meets the horizontal stabilizer. See the narrow band of cured shim material?

A similar dot of liquid shim can be used to make a solid base under each screw location, so tightening the screw doesn't deform the surface.

Your new scratch-built lower fairing is a nice part...my compliments. Bill E's proseal glue-on suggestion is a good one. Mine is attached with three screws per side, tapped into the longeron. Whatever works.

I know most upper fairings are attached with a whole lot of screws through the VS and HS skins, but it's not really necessary. Build a "hook" at the leading edge, and it locks into place using just two screws in shear, one on each side. At the rear, I use just two screws per side.

I like the screwless look. Be aware that no long fairing will fit perfectly at all temperatures; epoxy glass has a CTE about 2/3 that of aluminum.  continue


Anyone have to trim flap curl that tucks in to wing?? ...charozenz

(keep in mind I have a slow build from the 90's...(This build is like good bourbon, it get better with age....)

I have had real good success with setting the wing sweep, and incidence, etc with my RV6A. My drop lines from the forward part off the wing all it a laser light down the line. Less than 1/8" of error in sweep.

I set the wing incidence. I had 0.00 degrees difference between wings. But I had 0.40 degrees off of the longeron line. I am happy with this. It was more important to me to have excellent edge distance and get the wings in sync and flush with the belly to live with a 0.4 degree offset with the longerons. That was my judgement call.

The only issue that I struggle with is that the forward curl of my flaps hit the rear spar support preventing as much retraction as Id like. I trimmed that 5 inch section of inboard of the curl is in front of section of the inboard rear spar support that sticks out aft more than the rest of the rear spar support. But I am reluctant to trim the whole curl tip to gain this last 3.8th flap retraction. Hope that makes sense. If you have built a -6 or -6A I suspect it does.

Yes, I would still have enough of the forward curl to get at least 42 degrees of down flap even if I trimmed off about 3/8th of the forward part of the curl. I would probably feel compelled to then rivet on a new 90 degree lip on the forward edge of the cut curl.

Has anyone else had to do this? Did you rivet on a 90 at the end 0r bend a new 90, or leave it straight?

Would you just leave it as is, and live with the 3/8 below the fuse at the aft point of the flap?

P.s. a pic of the laser to check sweep.



March 30, 2020.  Issue #5,050.  (Need a contract pilot or right-seater?...DFW area)

Milestone: Trailer Time!!! ...laserman

After 18 winters.. She is ready to go to the EAA hanger at KFZY (OK maybe one more quick polishing")


The RV Heroes Among Us ...Bob Collins

I'm fishing out old articles I've written that are no longer available on the Internet. This one, from March 2007, is as pertinent to me today as it was then. I haven't had stick time in an RV since I ferried N614EF off to its new owner in late 2016. There are heroes who walk -- and fly -- among us. Here's the story of one of them. Who are/were yours?

(Mar. 31, 2007) -- After I graduated from college, not being able to get a job in radio news (it was a lot tougher back then thanks to Woodward and Bernstein), I went to work for my Dad in the insurance industry. I'm sure it was one of the happiest days of his life because a few weeks ago, my son got a fulltime job where I work, and it was sure one of mine!

I would have enjoyed the insurance business a lot more except for one thing: I really don't like asking people for something -- especially money. It's just not something I have ever been able to do. My career in the sales business was a short one and in the subsequent age of venture capitalists and movers and shakers, no doubt I also missed any chance to become a wealthy man -- well, that and the fact I had no marketable idea. During my radio career, I've also never asked for a raise. That's 32 years and might explain why I've moved so often. 


Flap Repair Help ...mfleming

Back on March 14th I put up a post about dropping my wing in the shop

The aileron has been fixed and I kicked the can down the road on the lower wing skins and end rib.

Talking to Van's tech support, they said re-skinning the flap is doable but take a crack at fixing it first as I have nothing to loose.

I thought I would canvas the best minds in the RV game to see how you would approach this repair.  continue


Get a dehumidifier for your cockpit! ...Pilot135pd

Get yourself a cheap dehumidifier for your cockpit, where you have those expensive radios, to keep them dry, to keep those seats smelling fresh, and to keep the leather in top shape.

It's unbelievable the amount of moisture in there, and I live in East Texas which isn't thought of being that humid, but all you need is a day raining outside and look at all the water my $23 dehumidifier removed !!!!  continue


RV Build - Take Two ...tfoster100

After selling my last project I had immediate sellers remorse. Basically before it was out of the driveway.
So about a year later I begin again. This time with quite a bit of head start thanks to a great builder in Colorado.

My RV-14A project has begun - or at least the waiting stage. It's at the QB stage in wings and fuse and the emp is done. Now I'm waiting for shipping- hopefully sometime in April.

I am passing the time organizing the shop and building a bench and wing stand. This time opting for the shorter wing stand that doesn't take up as much shop space.

My wife will remind me not to sell this time as I have promised her some good cross country flights at some point.


Oregon pilot (Van's employee) wins Richard L. Collins Writing Prize


Show Us Your Tool Chest ...bruceh

Show us your tool chest! The more stickers the better. I'll start.


Garmin Webinars

With the cancellation of several marquee aviation events, Garmin is bringing an educational line-up of webinars to its customers. Ranging from an overview of its latest products, such as the GI 275 and GTN Xi series, to cost-effective autopilot upgrades, these free webinars offer pilots and customers a broad overview of the latest Garmin has to offer, while also providing a general operational overview of its vast product line.

Garmin aviation webinars are scheduled in Central European Summer Time (CEST) or Central Time (CT) to accommodate customers' schedules around the world. Select webinars are presented in German. Depending on their time zone, customers can sign-up for a variety of webinars via either links below:


Aviation Webinar Descriptions
The Latest Products from Garmin: GI 175, GTN Xi and more
Check out the latest avionics available from Garmin, including the powerful GI 275 electronic flight instrument and the faster, brighter GTN 650Xi/GTN 750Xi touchscreen navigators.

Autopilot Retrofits
The GFC 500 and GFC 600 retrofit autopilots offer reduced maintenance, as well as safety-enhancing capabilities such as Garmin Electronic Stability Protection (ESP), underspeed/overspeed protection and coupled approaches. This webinar will focus on the features and benefits of both autopilots.

Cost-effective Avionics Upgrades
Learn about upgrading an aircraft panel with cost-effective avionics such as the GPS 175, GNC 355 and GNX 375 navigators, G3X Touch and the GFC 500 autopilot.

Garmin Services Overview
Learn how cost-effective Garmin services, including Pre-Departure Clearances, eAPIS, and international trip support, can simplify international flying.

Garmin Avionics for Experimental Aircraft
Check out experimental avionics options from Garmin, including the G3X Touch flight display and the G5 electronic flight instrument, GMA 245 audio panels and more.


Time Lapse Video of RV-8 QB Delivery...A36Lee


Tail Wiring ...Pilotjohns

So I am trying real hard to get the turtle deck on the tail. But first I decided I would install the wiring to the tail and the ELT mount; basically as much as I could before covering up the tail section. I really dread the thought of having to crawl in the tail to do systems installation.

So the pitch autopilot servo is in and wired, and the Canbus to the tail mounted GMU11 magnetometer is installed. I also installed a DTM connector in the tail for the electric elevator trim.
Lastly I installed the ELT mount kit from Vans. Of course there was a slight mod so that the mounting hole pattern would fit both of the most popular ELTs.

All that's left is the ELT wiring, and the doubler for the ELT antenna, then I think I can install the tail's top skin, or turtle deck.


Best Shop Fan Paint Job Ever ...a 22 second video.

...A&P Extraordinaire Randy 'Monkey' Richmond at 52F (card)



March 27, 2020.  Issue #5,049.
  Wishing you and yours a safe and happy weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Laserman's 'Pretty Complete' G3X System Layout ...laserman post

Here is a pretty complete G3X system Layout.. (wired and operational)   Could be a basic start for any RV..   I only had room for one GDU...  
But its easy to wire in a second... For what it's worth.  Full wiring details as well.. (Hate to waste the effort on just one RV)   continue


First fiberglass attempt - lower empennage fairings ...amaris

Since I just took the Sportair Workshop for RV fiberglass, I thought I'd practice some before I get to the canopy so I made some lower fairings. This is my first attempt at making anyting on my own. (my wife is starting to get plenty of ideas though!)

I need to trim it to have a nicer line in the lower left corner, but it fits really well otherwise. No idea how I attach it though. There's only room for 1 platenut on the left and so it would need a few on the underside of the HS to hold it. Any other ideas?

Love to hear thoughts from some of the fiberglass experienced.


When is Good Enough Good Enough?

...revisiting a wonderfully written piece of text by Mr. Bob Collins.

(Dec. 24, 2006) -- One of the things I enjoy about building my RV is how the project has made me particular about approaching various tasks in search of perfection. One of the things about building my RV that has frustrated me no end is how rarely I find it.

A few weeks ago I was wandering along the flight line at the Minnesota Wing of Van's Air Force meeting, looking at some truly fine examples of workmanship. My friend Warren Starkebaum was with me.

I was telling Warren about my experience building the "new" rudder on my 7 last winter (the one with the AEX wedge trailing edge rather than the single-piece bent skin trailing edge). "I worked very carefully to get it perfectly straight and it came out OK. "It didn't come out perfect, but it came out OK," I said. But I wasn't finished telling the story.

"And then I went to Oshkosh last summer and looked at all of these beautiful RVs," I continued. "And I looked at all of the trailing edges on the rudders and they were dead-on straight. Man, did I feel like the world's worst builder after that."

As we looked over Paul Hove's beautiful (and almost ready to fly) RV-7A, I was waiting for Warren to lecture me on stuff I already knew or should've known. But Warren's not the type of guy to rub it in.

"You gotta stop looking at other people's planes so closely," he said.  continue


Garmin GPS175/GNC355/GNX375 Software Available For Download ...g3xpert

We are happy to announce that we are making software updates for the 2" series of certified IFR navigators (GPS 175, GNC 355, and GNX 375) available in our EAB Software Download Area. The software can be downloaded directly from our website to an 8 GB SD card and loaded into any unit installed in a non-certified aircraft.

Anyone wanting to update the software for these units will want to first download Service Bulletin 2048 and review the software update process. After reviewing the service bulletin, download the software loader image, and create a software loader card for the update. There is only one software download, which includes the files required to update all 3 units listed above. The current download link will update the Main System Software to 3.10.

Please feel free to send any questions or concerns our way at G3Xpert@Garmin.com.


Firewall Vent Assembly ...Mudfly RV-14A

I recently completed the assembly and installation of the two vent assemblies in section 28 of the fuselage kit for my 14A project. However, while looking through the revision updates on the Vans website, it appears the vent assembly gets modified in section 48. The attached picture is from page 48-04. It shows two blind rivets that need to be drilled out, and the installation of a cover plate (FF-00084) that is sealed with RTV.

I thought this may be a mod for the tail dragger only, but it is tough to tell not having that set of plans yet.

It seems it would be much easier to make that modification now, since everything is easily accessible, than to wait until later when the engine is mounted.
For those that have completed this section, can you help me with the "big picture"?


Level D Simulators and Smartwatches

Thursday's D2 PX heart graph below.  I'm halfway through sim week in the Phenom 300 (Supporting Crew Member program).  So looking at the graph below, give a guess as to when I was on the OVC008 KJFK VOR 4L circling to 31R approach for the first time?  Really gets your attention!!!   With any luck I'll be 'sim right seat qualified' on Sunday, ready to read your checklist and flip to the correct QRH page when something explodes or goes wonky.  If you're getting your initial or recurrent at CAE that is <g>.

I've learned more in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 years.  The top of my head is actually hot and has those squiggly heat lines rising up... ;^)



March 26, 2020.  Issue #5,048.   (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Back to the Future ...PaulvS -6A Slow Build

I'm back on the tools and building again now, after a 20 year break, and picking up where I left off on the part-build fuselage. Before moving house for the third time, I took pictures of the fuselage skeleton to help with putting it back together again at the new workshop. The old workshop was 14 feet by 20 feet and I found it a bit awkward to build efficiently in a small-ish place.  continue


An RVator is Moving on to Bigger Things! ...catmandu post

An RViator is moving on to bigger things!
My friend Christine is the daughter of my friend Ed (N40ES). I have been blessed to be able to provide them with my CFI services, first in their family Cardinal, and eventually in their family RV-10, which perhaps I may have influenced them into buying.

Along the way, I gave Christine her first RV ride in my -6A, with some obligatory upside-down time. I believe she liked that.

But Christine was a bit of a slacker. She was ONLY a Private Pilot and a Volcanologist, travelling the world to see molten lava while taking my texts as I drove through the Sierras, with questions only an Earth Scientist could answer.

She decided there might be more to do in life, and found herself looking to become a commissioned officer for NOAA. Granted, driving a boat and not driving the science was not exactly what she wanted, but there was another plan: three years as a deck officer and she could apply to be NOAA Aviator! So, she worked through the process, and was accepted for 17 weeks of Officer Training, done concurrently with the US Coast Guard OCS in New London, CT.

Tonight was billet selection night in New London, where the Officer Candidates learned their first assignments. Ever the slacker, she apparently convinced NOAA that three years was too long to wait, she was selected to go straight to Pilot Training!

I'll let her proud Dad tell you of her future slacker plans.


What blind rivet did you use here? ...Ender -14A

There is a really tough to access rivet. Many folks online have said they either had a really nasty buck, or they blind riveted it.

I'm curious what blind rivet you used if you went that route. The grip is pretty long, so I think I can only use a cherry (can't use a Mk-319). I want to confirm if the NAS1097 cherry is the right one to use (considering its a 3/32 hold that is dimpled for a 426-3).



Multi Purpose Storage Box ...Bicyclops

I built a carbon fiber box to hide my fuel pump/filter, cover a PC680 battery, provide some tool storage and glove box, and mount my O2 bottle. When I've got the bottle installed, I put my cannulae in there. If I don't need the bottle for a flight, I save 12 pounds and leave it behind. When baggage is heavily loaded, the bottle helps to keep the CG in limits.


Regarding Web Store Upgrades in the Works ...Greg@Mothership

Wish list functionality is already programmed and will be part of the new store. Quite a bit of work left to do so don't expect this to happen real soon (especially with this COVID situation). But it'll happen!

You'll also be able to log in to your own account, save payment and address info, and a more. I'll save the "more" details for later. ;^)


Mysterious Oil Pressure...AlexPeterson

Today I planned a local flight. The engine was preheated, with its temperatures at about 70-80F before startup. The startup was nominal, oil pressure normal. The taxi to the departure runway is maybe 250 feet. I did the runup, and on bringing the power back down to idle I noticed the oil pressure was low. Ran the rpm back up, pressure 80+. Below is the data. Note the oil temp and oil pressure are both graphed against the left hand vertical axis. One can see the relative divergence of the pressure vs the rpm as the oil warmed up. I've never seen anything like this in 18+ years of flying it. The previous flight was 10 days ago.

Even though the oil only got to 120F, the idle pressure was way lower than normal. In fact, it was lower than I've seen it even when oil temps are above 200. Obviously, I didn't fly and instead taxied back to the hangar to scratch my head. Seems it could be a leaky relief valve, but I'm not sure. I'm going to go out again tomorrow and let it warm up longer, as well as to verify the sender accuracy. (Confession...I've long been an advocate of putting mechanical oil pressure gauges in as backups. I have one. The way the pressure was tracking so well up and down with RPM it never occurred to me that the indication might be false. So, I never looked at my mechanical gauge, which is sort of out of the way in the upper left corner of the panel. I will look at it tomorrow. )




March 25, 2020.  Issue #5,047.
  Pushed out Wednesday's edition early.  Hang tough, Earth.  Stay positive, watch videos of cats and dogs getting along and dream of flying RVs.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-8 Tailwheel Steering Geometry

I recently found quite a bit of wear in my Aviation Products tailwheel attach block with 1500 hours on it. This is allowing the fork a fair amount of fore and aft motion that I'd like to stop.

I called Karen and ordered the parts. My airplane currently has a 20 degree attach block installed (see photo attached) but this puts the top of the steering shaft forward of the fork...which I gather is less than ideal. I don't get any tailwheel shimmy, but I can feel the wheel spinning around the instant I set the tail down until I get some weight on it.

API also offers a 10 degree unit, which would put the steering closer to the correct geometry, but I understand will make steering stiffer...I'm concerned about added wear to the steering system if that is the case.

What angle API blocks are you guys running with your chain setups?
Evan Levesque
RV-8 N88MJ


Revisiting the Center Storage Area ...RV10Pilot

Not mine, but I was thinking of creating something like it for my 10. It is from the RV7/7A forum.


Rent your Portable Camper to Rob 'Smokey' Ray for a bit?

I'm reaching out to the RV community to rent for an extended period, buy or potentially trade for an under utilized or unused 'RV' camper!
Not picky, Class C motorhome, Airstream, what have you? Contact me via email:
Smokyray 'at 'rocketmail.com


Fuse Dollies ...some examples

(Richard Connell)




South Florida Sport Aviation is Open ...VAF advertiser

Hi All,

Just a quick note from all of us at South Florida Sport Aviation.

In this changing time, we are here for you. South Florida Sport Aviation is open for business. We have moved some of our staff home. We are here taking orders, shipping and posting online.

Joseph Campbell said 'Follow your bliss.' For most of us, it's building & flying aircrafts.

Let's be proactive. Let's build. Let's fly.

We wish you all the best. Stay Safe.

Thank you,



Problem with the elevator trim travel ...Mark Browning RV-14

Hi everyone

Just wondered if anyone could offer a solution as to why the elevator push rod doesn't seem long enough ?

I hooked up the servo to the elevator trim tab. With the trim set in the neural position and the servo on mid travel the push rod is too short ?

i have to run run the servo motor almost fully out so the clevis pin fits


RE: MCA's Aircraft Wiring Guide ...VAF advertiser

(Marc Ausman)
"The book is sold both electronically and in paperback.

The paper version is printed and distributed worldwide by a third party, and books are digitally printed when ordered. The book is also distributed through dealers like SteinAir, EAA, Vans, Aircraft Spruce and others.

The electronic version is sold through Apple iBooks and Amazon Kindle. This covers almost all of the electronic readers and devices.

As you can imagine, each of these entities is independent of the other. I would love nothing more than to offer a package where you can view it electronically and get a paper copy too. However, I have yet to figure out a way to get the different distribution platforms to work together on this. And balance this with the time needed for family and work. I'm open to ideas!"
Marc Ausman
RV-7 980 hours, IO-390, VP-X (sold)
RV-8 (flying a friend's)
Thinking about low and slow backcountry build.



March 24, 2020.  Issue #5,046.   (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Confined in your country? Solution: fly around it...DeeCee 57

Admittedly, the country in question is Switzerland, this little speck in the middle of Europe... neighbored by Germany, France, Italy and Austria. What's it shape like? Well, I remember too long time ago at school, the question was asked and the answer obvious: a cow patty! Unfortunately and in opposition to that patty, Switzerland's contours are really jagged since the mountains played the arbitrator.  continue


PC680-powered RV-6 dragger/tug ...JordanGrant

Hello RVers. For years, I've wanted to build an electric RV-6 tug to drag our airplane up the gentle slope into the hangar. I've thought that maybe a retired Odyssey PC680 battery could have enough juice to do the job for an airplane the size of an RV-6, but I wasn't sure. Well, I'm happy to report that it can be done! See below for my version of the battery powered RV tug.  continue



Buddy James Walsh's newly updated RV-4 is pretty full of Garmin gear these days after a panel change, and his brother John took these pictures yesterday.  From James, "Was testing out Connext integration with everything.  It's amazing how this thing communicates and shares info across so many devices."

Note G5, G3X Touch, GNX375, Garmin Pilot on iPhone and Garmin D2 Delta PX watch.  James flies a Gulfstream in his day job.


My RV Weekend ...various

With the COVID-19 restrictions setting in, I am thinking that maybe there was more building in the garage being done than flying, but there's a lot of the country still unrestricted, so .. let's hear it!

And, an argument could be made that flying your RV alone or in formation with others is the best form of social distancing, couldn't it?? Hard to transmit anything to others when you're alone and aloft.

I digress .. I worked yesterday, San Diego to Tucson in the work plane. I then drove home (445 miles, but it was surprisingly painless, and a pretty quick six hours). This morning, I wanted to go topoff the RV in case it sits for a bit with tighter restrictions. So, flew to a neighboring airport to get it topped off, and then put it back in the hangar.

We primered and dimpled the horizontal and vertical stabs. Got the horizontal front and rear spars riveted together. There's plenty of time for the build right now....I think the girlfriend updated the website so please check it out. Could always use some input.

My RV-8 flew again!
In mid January, I started condition inspection. First thing I did was pull the magneto and send it off to Champion-Slick for the SB1-15A treatment. They told me turn-around was 1--5 weeks just depending on how many come in during any period.

In the mean time, I replaced the O-rings in my brakes with Viton, and replaced the Mil-5606 with the Mil 83282 fluid.
I replaced both my throttle and mixture cables with custom McFarlane cables.
And, of course, I did the rest of the condition inspection.

Last week, my magneto finally made it home from South Carolina, and Saturday, 3/21, my airplane flew again for the first time in over two months.
Beautiful spring day to fly.

Heck yes! I flew a recon mission on Saturday followed by a 7 hour hike on Sunday. I brought those monster antlers from 8,000 feet on foot. That was a challenge. Anyone has an idea on the best mountain hiking boots?

Today my good Russian buddy Ivan made a first flight of his RV9 dragon tail. Congrats man!

Flew "around the block" from Torrance Beach to Huntington Beach and back. Overheard someone telling ATC "glad to find some normalcy up here". Amen brother.

(John Tierney)
Repositioned my RV-7A from a tie down on the ramp at Madisonville, TN (MNV) to a hangar at Crossville, TN (CSV). It is a 1.75 hr drive from home but the plane is under roof now. It's really hard to do any maintenance on a ramp. At only 54 hrs on the hobbs, I'm still tweaking stuff.
John Tierney
Vonore, TN
RV-7A - N777JT Flying

Flew over some random airport....

I did a short flight yesterday.

This was the first flight since installing the pitch servo. Had an interesting moment as I found out while accelerating after leveling of, that the servo installation reversed the trim command... Pretty proud of how quickly I recognised the problem and started trimming in the opposite way
RV-14 kit #140138
Flight testing


My New Panel ...Latintan1


Gumption Found ...David Paule -3B Update

I laminated the canopy fairing today, all by myself. Took all afternoon and went fairly well considering everything. I must have gone through half a dozen pairs of gloves.

Right now the epoxy is curing. I'll leave the laminate in place for at least a couple days, don't want it to warp after I remove it.

After I was done, I noticed that the cup with residual epoxy, about 3/4" of it, was getting warm. I checked with my IR thermometer and it was 118 F. A moment later it was 127, so I carefully took it outside and left it on the patio, away from anything. Shortly afterwards, it measured 337, but the next measurement was less. Evidently I missed the peak. At least it didn't ignite; I'd wondered if it would. The fairing itself was roughly at shop temperature and now, an hour later, does seem to be curing.

And here's what it looks like. The peel ply is still on, and the various defect artifacts seem to be related strictly to the peel ply.


Cylinder 1 EGT and CHT rise and fluctuate ...Dayz

I believe we have an issue with our #1. Today at runup our CHT and EGT went up high, faster than the other 3, engine ran not perfectly ( there was a miss if you listened properly).

Everything seemed to stabilize after but stayed higher the whole flight than usual.

Sensors were acting as if they were going bad, giving all sorts of random data. But in this case, the miss, and the fact that CHT and EGT were giving random numbers at runup is puzzling me. I pulled the data and will post it if I can figure out how.

I was thinking of pre ignition? But why, I was full rich at idle. Maybe pieces of hot carbon stuck on a valve that would preignite?

Let me know. We need to find this issue.



March 23, 2020.  Issue #5,045.
In our currently upside down world, here is some uplifting news to hopefully make you smile as much as we did.  Audrey Reeves is engaged. :^)
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


Ground Shot ...Paul 5r4

Here's a picture of my RV 7A. I first flew it April 1st 2012. It's been to Petit Jean several times, Atlanta, Birmingham, Sun and Fun repeat offender. New Orleans, Graceland... I love flying this plane. I hope to retire at the end of this year removing the "Have to get back to work" restriction from my license. If I end up stuck someplace because of weather and called in... my bosses would say "Pretty sure Delta is still flying!" :-)
It's a solid day/night VFR x-country auto pilot equipped machine.
Building and flying your own airplane... simply one of the high lights of my life.


Last time round Matterhorn....DeeCee 57

Took the -6.9 for one last spin around this majestic peak. Very emotional flight when one's field is closing due to a virus... already missing mountain jumping in the magnificent Alps


Status Report ...David Paule -3B

Cutting Fabric

Lately it seems as if all I've been doing was cutting fiberglass fabric for the canopy fairing. I'm using the same lay-up that I used on the avionics shelf, 1 uni, 3 bid, 1 uni, with peel ply this time on both sides. At the front and the back, the unit runs laterally, but on the sides, it follows the contour of the fairing, very roughly parallel to the canopy edge. Let's make that very, very roughly. 


Just Want to Say Thanks

This is my first post and I just want to express my appreciation for everyone that contributes their experience and expertise to this site.

I'm a long-time lurker and would not have had the confidence to make the leap into aircraft building were it not for the existence of an online community. I can't count the times I have used the advice found in these forums to get over a hump - and I'm just on the empennage. At the moment I'm feeling especially grateful for the trim tab threads. Last night I completed the end tab bends using the flat bar technique and had good results.

Thanks again, and please stay safe.
Scott Anderson
RV-9A Quickbuild


Lots of Extra Time Lately ...schristo

...for shenanigans!


3D Printed Parts and Molds: Update ...aX-O

Been working on some other projects but wanted to continue with this one yesterday.

I was trying to figure out how the air filter would seal on the cone flange. The filter has a small ridge. Figured I would mix some micro and make a perfect seal.  ...


Airplane Art ...RV7A_Flyer

I recently took a class in neon art, and made this design which I just hung in my hangar. Being an engineer and not an artist, I'm pretty proud of it! It doesn't show up well in photos, but the propeller is a krypton-filled tube with a "beading" transformer that makes it look like it's moving (and yes, it's "rotating" the correct way! )



March 20, 2020.  Issue #5,044.
Shout out to the mods who are helping me carry the load a little as I push through Phenom 300 Initial (the plane uses a Garmin G-1000 and I'm crushing the avionics labs....the G3X in the RV-6 pays dividends again).  I'm less reachable for next few, as you know.  To the readers/posters who are raising their civility game during this trying time, making my VAF world (and the mods) less hectic, thank you too!!!  We're gonna get through it OK.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Milestone: Passed my Commercial Checkride ...thompsonbr87

Caught enough of a break in the weather yesterday evening to squeeze in a checkride with Catherine Cavagnaro. She runs Ace Aerobatic School out of Sewanee, TN (KUOS) and was just named the GA Award's 2020 National CFI of the Year. I've heard other folks have had difficulty finding a DPE who would give checkrides in experimentals. If you're in that situation, I would recommend reaching out to her.

Super excited about it despite the current global economic landscape. I graduated from college at the end of the 2000's at the height of the "Great Recession", so I guess timing has never been my strong suit.

That said, if anyone has a line on any low-time, wet-ink opportunities near Middle Tennessee while I contemplate my next move, I would certainly be grateful!


RV-12iS Service Bulletin 20-03-16 - Check terminal wire colors on AV-60000 module

Van's has published a service bulletin for all RV-12iS aircraft/kits, along with an updated KAI Section 42MiS/U (Common Electrical).

Page 42, Figure 1 from that section has been updated to identify proper screw terminals on the AV-60000 Power Module. In the original version of this document, the Yellow and Blue terminal descriptions were illustrating the wrong terminals. The wires going to the Yellow and Blue terminals will need to be examined and, where required, swapped to match the updated plans page.

Note that each of these terminals are connected to 30-amp fuses. But, in order to ensure the fuse labels on the panel indicate the correct function, it is important to ensure the wires are connected as described in the updated plans section. This can become very important in the event of certain aircraft emergencies where the pilot needs to pull the correct fuse to mitigate a risk. Because the original KAI drawings were in error, builders/owners should anticipate the likely need to swap the wires on the two affected terminals.  ...


Peachtree RV'ers

Just wanted to make a gigantic tip of the VAF hat to the gang in Peachtree City/Brooks area for some reprieve from the viral sequester at my niece's place in Brooks area for the past 2 weeks. Every VFR day you folks are out formating and buzzing around the farm I'm camped on...I LOVE IT!!! Thanks too for the withdrawal symptoms...jonzin for my -7!!! Can't wait to pull her out of deep freeze in MT in a few weeks. Fly safe all!!!


Milestone: Panel is Built ...rvanstory

Just got this pic from Aerotronics today of my completed panel ready to be shipped! Can't wait to see it in the plane.

Can't say enough good about Andre Todd and others at Aerotronics. They have been so good to work with so far (and see no reason for that to change). Very responsive and helpful as we designed, changed and finalized everything.


OUTSTANDING - Up North Aviation ...74-07

I am constantly amazed at the customer oriented suppliers/vendors that help us with our RV projects. Vans, Vetterman, WhirlWind, Dynon, TS Flightlines, and many others have been great to work with when we needed something for one of the three RVs we've owned. Recently, we decided our recently acquired, steam gage, RV-8 needed to be brought into the electrical age. Not a high dollar, IFR panel but rather just a great VFR panel with some electronics replacing the steam gages. After reading about Bill at Up North Aviation, I gave him a call. Bill agreed to help us design and eventually cut our panel. I had no idea of the level of service and attention to detail he was going to provide. He and I sent many, many, ideas, drawings, and measurements back and forth. After each discussion, within an hour, I would receive a new, updated drawing. Twice he sent me full-scale drawings that I mounted on foam board and took to the airplane to be certain everything was like I wanted it. This panel was a little more challenging because I am panel mounting a Garmin 796 without the AirGizmo dock. The cutout had to be perfect. He took the time to scan my unit and then perfect the cutout on scrap.

Yesterday, Bill cut my new panel and immediately sent me photos. It is perfect beyond any expectation. Along with those photos, which I would love to include but I am VAF photo challenged, Bill sent a very reasonable invoice.

So, in short, if you are planning a panel upgrade that will require a new panel, Bill at Up North Aviation has my absolute strongest recommendation. You will be amazed at the level of service and the quality of the finished product.


Feedback for "Aircraft Wiring Guide" Book ...Marc Ausman

I'm looking for feedback from those that have read the Aircraft Wiring Guide (see link in the signature below) and wanted to get any input about:
- new topics to include
- updates to existing topics
- fixes
- useful comments in general to improve the book

Please comment below or send me a PM.
Marc Ausman
RV-7 980 hours, IO-390, VP-X (sold)
RV-8 (flying a friend's)
Thinking about low and slow backcountry build.
VAF Advertiser - Aircraft Wiring Guide
Book to help with experimental aircraft wiring.



March 19, 2020.  Issue #5,043. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

More Denali Photos ...mbauer

Andy, those are some fantastic photos!!

More photos from my Saturday Flight. My RV-6 does not have a working heater, going to fix that on the next condition inspection this month.

For this flight Army surplus canvas mukluks with felt liners and warm winter gear was the ticket, Oh, and the heated seat covers I made a couple of winters ago. With the sun providing warmth it was quite comfortable despite the outside temp of -10c. Didn't wear gloves until on the ground.

One of the photos I'm going to post has some ice crystals forming on the canopy....Total of 479 photos taken.


RV-6 Rebuild Update and More ...jamlip

Some fiberglass stuff and a few other odds and sods arrive from Spruce. Once the cowling is done, the aircraft will be ready for a Condition Inspection.

I have sort of been ignoring the last detail up till now - I need to start thinking about selling my beloved RV-4. I have so many amazing memories attached to it and I don't feel ready to let it go, but I can't have (shouldn't have, don't need) two RVs.

I'm not going to advertise it properly just yet because I have a few little things to fix up on it. But if you're in the market for a decent 180hp RV-4 and have found this, perhaps this could be the aircraft for you...

General overview: Built 1987, 1050 hours TTAF (has incomplete logs from before my ownership), GRT Sport EX glass, Catto three blade prop, KLX 135A GPS Com. California aircraft since built, with neat Bakersfield / Harmon history. Flies as an RV-4 should - beautifully. Willing to deliver anywhere in CONUS at cost. $49k.

Writing this makes me want to cry...


NYC Hudson River Corridor - Covid-19 ...RV10Pilot

Great weather and clear skies and no one is out flying. It was a perfect day to take a flight through the hudson river corridor with my son. There was so little traffic we had to check the radio to make sure we were on the correct frequency. One helicopter flew over us and we heard 2 others make position reports. Other than that the entire hudson river was our. It doesn't get better than this. ...


Initial Contact ...Matt Bolick

Hey guys just wanted to introduce myself. I'm just about to jump off of this RV cliff. I ordered a squeezer and the toolbox kit so no going back now! I'm a private pilot flying an old C182 in Winston Salem with 2 kids and a lifelong dream of building my own airplane. I've managed to get the kids addicted to LEGOS which I see as the stepping stone to getting their help building an airplane with me. I recently started cleaning up the garage and tool shopping which is probably the builder version of a pregnant woman cleaning house and buying onesies.

I'm leaning towards an RV-14 since I already have access to a competent family hauler and I love the combination of cross-country comfort and light aerobatics. I'd love to find anyone in the reasonably close area that is either in the process of building a -14 or has a finished one I could buy dinner to take a look at.

I'd also love suggestions, opinions, advice, warnings and other ramblings. Talk me out of this!


Lane A and B generator failure on 2nd flight ...jcboon RV-12

I did my first flight on February 6th. Before that I accumulated 1 hour on the engine in testing, working the brakes and swinging the compass.
After a few weeks of poor weather I planned a second flight three weeks ago. Immediately after starting the engine, both lane lights started blinking. And afterwards Skyviews error read-out showed "generator failure".

I bought a dongle and borrowed a simulator. Today, running the engine with the simulator the error was confirmed. Rotax is looking into it, and I am waiting for their input. But I thought in the mean time I might ask if anybody on the forum has any experience with this. Any suggestions in finding the origin of the error are much appreciated. 


*******RESCHEDULED********* ...AX-O

passing this info on behalf of Tank, Slick and I.

With the numerous virus restrictions imposed and the safety of our friends in mind, we will be rescheduling the WCFC 2020 to a future date. Date is TBD at this point to allow for the "New Normal". Once restrictions are lifted and our health is at much less of a risk, we will reschedule.

Please remember to cancel your hotel reservations.


Need help with alternator theory ...paulsteger

I have a 6a that I bought used 3 yrs ago and recently found out if I turn off the master switch with the engine running, the main bus still has power and all electrical stuff stays on. Not sure how long it's been like this because my usual shutdown sequence of electrical, mixture, master, mags doesn't detect this. Here is what I know. It appears to be wired like Van's sample wiring diagram, except it has no separate voltage regulator, so regulator must be integral to the alternator as car alternators have been for many years. Looking at the schematic it looks like when you shut off the master, the master relay opens up which causes the + side of the battery to disconnect from the master bus. Meanwhile the alt side of the spit master switch disconnects the alternator field from the bus. Without 12 volts to supply the alternator field, the alternator output should drop out, so it also no longer supplies the bus, so bus should go to 0 volts. Mine doesn't. My master relay does drop out as it should. I can hear it clunk at a low idle. The alt side of my master switch does open up and drop +12 to the alt field. If I start the engine with the field wire disconnected, then the master does shut off the bus, but the battery is discharging with the engine running. So it appears to me that once the field is excited as in a normal start situation, the alt keeps supplying output as long as the engine is running, even if the field input loses its 12 volt input.the alt does charge the battery and supply the electrical needs as it should.
I removed the alternator to have it tested by a car parts jobber. It has no identifying data plate. What company made it? Car place couldn't test it because he didn't have a field connector to fit it. It has 3 male spade lugs in a U shape inside a round cavity. Is it from Vans? Lycoming? A paper barcode sticker on it gave no google hits either. I'm grounded till I get this fixed



March 18, 2020.  Issue #5,042.
  Reminder:  The Thu edition might be a couple hours late.  Don't panic ;^).
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend ...Andy612

north west of the Northwest
I've been a long-time lurker, but this is my first attempt at posting a story. A rare (for March) huge ridge of high pressure over the Yukon and South-east Alaska gave me the opportunity to do some local site seeing this weekend. And beautiful it was. Super clear skies and almost no wind or turbulence. The air was smooth as glass. Very quiet radios, hardly any traffic. 


New Vinyl Striping on RV-9 ...PH-SCP

After flying this RV-9 for around 10 years I am getting a little bored with the colours. The aircraft is basically all white and the current stripes and tailnumbers are applied in vinyl.


Escaping the Apocalypse in our RV-7A (Trip Postponed, Hunkering down) ...Capt Sandy

Hello VAF'ers, (A departure from my usual fun-having posts)
Roy and I were out trekking in our RV-7A the last few weeks. We left Arizona and visited Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Weather and visiting folks had us in Tennessee for much of a week. Last Thursday, March 12th, I started having a lot of anxiety for obvious reasons. We decided that we would both take a break from watching the news for a day, and Friday the 13th seemed a bad day to make big decisions, so we decided not to decide if we would continue our trek or head home (home for now being our Airstream in southern Arizona, about 2 hours south of Phoenix). By the end of day Friday, we decided to decide anyway, and heading home seemed prudent. Our intended trek was to go to N. Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the Bahamas. Being on this side of the fence seemed like a good idea, and being in our own space even better. We had a very small weather window to launch, as weather was closing in from Texas to Tennessee.  ...


My RV Weekend ...mbauer

14Mar20 Local 400 Mile Flight to Mt Denali
Flew to Denali again for some photos. The peak was covered in clouds, however the lower mountains were absolutely stunning. 


Cracks in skin around rivets on rudder ...blackbeard10

During condition inspection I found these two cracks in the rudder skin on the right side. None visible on the left side and the rest of the tail showed no cracks either in the skins or structural members. My plan so far is to use MEK or acetone to remove all primer and paint around these two crack to better visualize the extent of the cracks. If they are limited to around .75 inch or 1 and are only over the ribs, I will drill stop holes and widen the crack lines with dental burr, apply fairing compound and repaint. 400 hours on my rv 4. Comments appreciated.



March 17, 2020.  Issue #5,041.
  Reminder:  The Wed edition might be a couple hours late.  Don't panic ;^).
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

N112DR First Flight ...rolick22 RV-12

The first flight of N112DR on March 14, 2020.

The aircraft was slightly right wing heavy and the AHRS was not keeping a level attitude, also I need to adjust the AST trim indication. Anyone know if the stall horn is supposed to stay on for 5 second after recovering from a stall?  ...


My RV Weekend ...catmandu

I was in Maryland this week. My friend there has a new to him -10. First oil change done at 50 hours gave an oil analysis that was, different. Blackstone mentioned all their historical data for this particular model of engine was based on 30 hours average oil time, so the thought was let's target 30 hours for the next couple of oil changes to have a better chance at comparing something. The plane is headed to Vic's shop week after next for a condition inspection, and needed some oil time to get very near the magic 30 hour mark while in Georgia. I asked if I could rack up some time doing a good deed, and was told "Of course!"

Jumped on Pilots 'N Paws and found a trip that fit the bill: Kitties in NC needed to go to New England. Did some quick coordination via text and launched out Saturday morning. Picked up some lucky cats and headed north. One was a bit noisy so I brought him out of the crate to get a view. Not sure if it helped or not.  ...


RV7/9 Subpanel Layout- Garmin

Hi all,
i am looking at my subpanel layout for my RV9 and want to know what everyone thinks.

My equipment not on the panel is all Garmin:
G3X displays (GDU 430)
GNX 375 GPS/ xpnder
GNC 255 Com1 / nav
GMA 245 Audio panel
GMC 507 Autopilot controller
G5 backup attitude

Behind the panel:
GMA245R (GTR20) Remote Radio
GEA24 Engine interface
GAD 29 ARNIC interface
GAD 27 Airframe Interface (flaps, etc)

Here is my layout.
Please provide comments on the layout, especially the pieces on the subpanel.


Baggage Floor Dimpling ...BobbyLucas RV-12

This will probably seem obvious sooner than later, but the dimpling in step 4 is meant to be flush on the top side as shown, correct?


RE: Denting your Wing in the Shop ...Mothership Greg

Well, I have to admit that I've done as bad or even worse. In fact, I recently did. Two wings damaged at the same time, with both wingtip-end leading edge skins and outermost ribs bent when the cradle they were stored in broke and came apart, dropping them onto the concrete floor. Ugh. At any rate... No one is immune, and know that you have some moral support from those of us who suffer similarly. You're not alone in the wing-dent-repair club!


Cracks in upper cowling

Hi, I have a problem with the upper cowling of my wonderful RV4. It had cracks on the right side, directly behind the spinner/prop. Last winter I grinded everything out, placed many, many new glass-fibre mats on/in it, used a lot of filler, painted everything. it looked really nice- but after 2 hours the cracks are there again. Any recommendations for the next repair? Thanks!


My RV Weekend...Vlad

Saturday was one of those rare days. I wish we had a deice truck.


My RV Weekend ...tfriendshuh

Gitche Gumme



March 16, 2020.  Issue #5,040.
Friday I attended orientation at CAE for their Phenom 100/300 Supporting Crew Member (SCM) program.  Lanyard and ID issued.  Ground school starts Tuesday, so for the next two weeks and change VAF editions might be pushed out later than their usual time, and my brain may seem a little mushy (more than usual).
  I don't know this to be fact, but a friend suggested that with enough notice clients can request a specific right-seater for their sim rides.  If that is true, and you do request me for your DFW Phenom initial and/or recurrent sim sessions, we can most definitely talk RVs during breaks and lunch ;^).
  I suspect this new part time gig will impact how I approach operating our family's RV-6.  My hunch is it will be eye-opening, and could provide ideas for promoting a more safety-oriented mindset on VAF.  Win win!
  Hope you had a nice weekend and got to do something with your RV.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend ...petehowell

Moxie and Kate!
I got an early start on the weekend Thursday afternoon. Moxie and I did a river scouting mission. She is to the point she thinks she is Puppy-in-Command...  ...


SnF Info from the Airshow Director ...Greg Gibson

New VAF friends - I've been telling everyone I can what a great forum this is. Very forthright and candid, with great input and dialog. I really like being here and am just thrilled with the great ideas I've read in such a short time. Please keep the PMs and emails coming. I've already shared them with my team and we are getting some traction.

I'm pleased and terrified to confirm what was recently posted on our new dates. It's a big deal to move an event like this, but we are going to go for it. I'd like to ask you all to consider coming and bring your friends. This virus has sent the world into madness, and has put our little Fly-In in jeopardy. We've built a war chest since 2012 that was designed to help us get through an economic downturn, bad weather, or sequestration. But we've never planned to not have the event at all, or try to relocate it. All of our programs are at risk, and even the Fly-In itself. The DOD stand down is another hurdle, so now to boot we will have no military assets. So guess what? I'm betting there is a ton of room for homebuilts! I am redrawing the field and redesigning the airshow as I write this. Hopefully everyone we had in the show will be able to come and we can fulfill our commitments. With no military we have about 30 minutes a day back from the airshows. FAA, ATC, and all components have confirmed they can support the new dates, and I am resubmitting the waivers and rewriting the NOTAM.

By the way, I have gotten word that we will have a Pilot NOTAM from the FAA that will allow non-ADS-B Out aircraft to come to SnF unhindered. I will post it here on Monday or Tuesday when I get it. They really want to help us.

We're on, but it will be interesting to see what turnout we get. I'll be a little busy for a while, so please don't think I have just tuned out on you if I don't post for a while. If the virus has started to settle down and you feel it is safe to do so, I hope you can all join us May 5-10. We need you!

Thanks for the warm welcome!


We got some rain Fri/Sat/Sun in N.Texas...on the ramp 52F


Bad Day in The Shop-Damaged Wing ...mfleming

Today was supposed to be a good day in the shop but it was horrible. After initial fitting of my wings and completing a slew of chores, I was ready to remove the wings.

Well target fixation shot me down in flames...  continue


Avoid or accept a bird strike?

So yesterday I'm trucking along on final approach in the RV-9A, 350 ft AGL, 80 knots (fast because I'm cleared for a long landing), when this stupid turkey vulture decides not to abide by the right of way rules. Having practiced vigorous low speed maneuvers in advance, I achieved a 55* bank and 13* nose down, recovering at about 200 ft AGL. Digital data after the fact showed that I had plenty of margin in airspeed, AOA, and g load for a more vigorous recovery to avoid hitting the ground, had that been required. In any case, that bird avoidance commanded my full attention.  ...


Initial Contact ...Raymond and Laura

We ordered our RV-7 empennage kit on 03/05/2020. Super excited to get this project rolling. Already have the complete Cleaveland Aircraft tool set plus a lot of extra tooling ready to go.


Does Your Airplane Have a Fire Extinguisher?...s10sakota

Hey all, I don't post much here since I've sold my RV-7, but I'd like to get the word out about the importance of having a fire extinguisher in your airplane.

If you don't think it's important, or didn't yet 'get around to installing one', check out my new video...


Milestone ...walter

I built my RV-7A in approximately 2 years. This 8A build is a little long in the tooth in comparison. I ordered my ill-fated XP-400 in March 2015. The engine was returned to Superior and the case was sent to Barrett for a 390 conversion. 5 years since the original XP-400 was ordered Rhonda at Barrett delivered this beauty. Thank you Rhonda and team!


Mr. X

...somewhere over the Pacific Ocean

full size



March 13, 2020.  Issue #5,039.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Hangar cleaning 52F 3/12. (full size)
(6) RVs in the shot...but one is hard to see.


My RV Weekend ...Paul Bonorden

Flew 521NM non stop from VCT (Victoria, TX) to ELP (El Paso, TX) to see my son and his family. He is a Chinook pilot in the Army. This was my first long trip in the RV-6A. The trip took 3.5 hours and burned 25.6 gallons. I still had 12.4 gallons of fuel left in the tank when I arrived. This aircraft has got some legs. Very thrilled with its performance and looking forward to longer flights.

El Paso approach had me following a commercial jet for a #2 slot for landing and asked me to slow down to 150 knots. Never had that happen to me when I used to fly my Cessna.


RV-8 Status Report ...MDeCraene13

I have parts that look like a wing now.  I did run into some challenges with my wing fixture, mainly where the skins overhang the outboard most rib. I was able to work around them though.


Mothership Response to COVID-19

...no factory tours. 
...no demo flights.


Rotax 912iS - Abrupt Drop in Oil Pressure ...R.E. 'Ernie' Butcher

Abrupt Drop in Oil Pressure - RV-12iS w/Rotax 912iS Sport engine
Occurred during run-up phase on 1st flight attempt.

The chart above (SavvyAnalysis) reveals an abrupt and significant drop in oil pressure at about the 6min mark. The agreed opinion of the knowledge-base at Lockwood and Leading Edge was that the problem is likely caused by trash entering the oil pressure regulator. Their explanation; unlike the the oil pump on the 912ULS which feeds the integral pressure regulator 'filtered' oil, the new design pump on the 912iS Sport feeds the integral pressure regulator 'unfiltered' oil.

Resolve: Removed oil regulator; found 3-small specks of what appeared to be manufacturing filings and no scoring on piston. Cleaned parts, reassembled, problem solved.

Aside: Based on personal experience, I strongly suggest that you verify the spark plug gaps on your factory new engine. And if you haven't already, download and become familiar with the Rotax MML and MMH manuals available free at Rotax-Owner.com.

The information presented herein is for reference only and is based on our experience.

Have a great day!


Updated Panel Draft ...David Carter RV-7A

Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions. I read them all, and have incorporated many into this draft.  I have decided to go ahead & have the engine control bracket cut to accommodate a prop control for a later project to convert from fixed-pitch to constant-speed.

Please let me know if you have any additional feedback on this draft. I feel like this one is very close to complete. It's going to be very scary declaring this "final" & committing this to production. Electrons are easy to change, atoms much less so.


Carl Froehlich's Rig for Checking Static Leaks

Here is a simple rig to check for static leaks. Harbor Freight parts and some assembly. I just used this on the new RV-8 project to verify the system tight - and sure enough found a fitting not well seated. A few minutes later it was fixed and saved me the pain of paying to get a failed pitot/static check.

Credit goes to Tom Doran (N716RV)

For pitot I use a $4 manometer to verify airspeed accuracy and pitot line tight. This setup is amazingly accurate. Use google to find the PDF file for the airspeed grid.



March 12, 2020.  Issue #5,038.  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

"Goin' Down the Bayou" ...crabandy trip write-up extraordinaire

Last November I pitched an idea to my wife, "How about a destination half marathon trip to see your sister in Louisiana?" After a 5 second pause she said "I don't Hate the idea......"

The ladies decided to do the 5K while the brother-in-law and I were going to try the half. We started training plans and went to work sharing accountability posts/texts several times weekly. I had done a half about 10 years ago with a time of 2:00:34, I had my sights set on under 2:00:00 and wasn't going to shave till I shaved those extra seconds below 2 hours. We just needed to find a city in Louisiana that had a half marathon on the weekend I was off.  Much More and Many Pics


High School Students Building An Airplane | TangoFlight (video)


My RV Weekend

Flew 521NM non stop from VCT (Victoria, TX) to ELP (El Paso, TX) to see my son and his family. He is a Chinook pilot in the Army. This was my first long trip in the RV-6A. The trip took 3.5 hours and burned 25.6 gallons. I still had 12.4 gallons of fuel left in the tank when I arrived. This aircraft has got some legs. Very thrilled with its performance and looking forward to longer flights.

El Paso approach had me following a commercial jet for a #2 slot for landing and asked me to slow down to 150 knots. Never had that happen to me when I used to fly my Cessna.
Paul Bonorden
RV-6A Airworthiness Inspection 8/10/19


Mr. X ...Yucatan Peninsula Cancun

(full size)


My RV Weekend ...Roy Thoma

KDWH T31 KORK KBDQ KXNX KTHA KDKX.  We flew just under a thousand NM for the "weekend".  We left Houston KDWH Thursday (3/5) mid day and flew to Aero Country (T31). Overnight stop to pick up gear and short visit with Taco and Cannon.

Friday another short hop to North Little Rock to have dinner with Slats. Bill, Sandy and I went to Doe's and shared a 3lb steak. YUM. 


Flash's 18th Annual Inspection Begins ...instabag pic

AeroLED Pulsar wing strobes that have been on my shelf for too long are going on this time around (18yr old Whelens going to a farm team somewhere).


Garmin Pilot + FltPlan.com

I have been using Garmin Pilot for nearly a year and despite having an account with FltPlan.com, I have not been able to sync up my accounts so I can file flight plans thru FltPlan.com.

I was wondering if there is a trick or something that I am missing in the process. I have sent multiple e-mails to FltPlan.com to give them authorization for filing.

Any help would be greatly appreciate it.


200kt GS Club  ...Kurt W. 9A

Finally joined the club yesterday at 5000' in my 9A with a nice tailwind


Q: What is this part?

Looks like an electrical connector to me, but the description makes no sense. ES-00313 "Round Tongue Stud #8 Screw Size"
A search of the electronic plans turned up nothing. :/

A: Molex connector. ...used on the autopilot servos, at least on the Pre-iS ULS. The iS could have other uses for it, I suppose.



March 11, 2020.  Issue #5,037.  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Rod VonGrote RV-8 52F


RV8 Static Port Location? ...laserman

Can anyone supply a link to their photo or description of installation of their static port location on a RV8 ? I have an older set of plans (Circa 2002) that does not seem to have details on the (dual) ports location.. I could bother Vans... But it looks like a location rear of the wings - Mid fuselage seems reasonable .. I have read the posts on offsetting the Tee fitting .. Photo Below.. Many thanks.. AL


Amp reading ...Allan

I am not reading any amps on my GX3 engine screen. I do have voltage. Could someone provide me with how you wired up your shunt? I think it is wired up correctly but I want to see how others wired it in.

I put the shunt in between the alternator wire and the wire going into the avionics buss. With two wires screwed onto the top of the shunt.


This is the wiring diagram for interfacing a shunt to the GEA 24:

There are fuses installed in line with the sense wires.

It sounds like the purpose of this shunt is to measure alternator output? What configuration setting are you using for the shunt input?


Landing Gear Camber Angle...Piper J3 RV-12

I'm in the middle of my Annual Condition Inspection and replaced tires and brakes. With airplane raised up, it is a real eye-opener to see how much camber angle is built into the landing gear. I measure 11 degrees camber...


IFR RV-4 Thoughts ...GHARBEN and Smokyray

Just started flying N12HR. An RV 4 with 800 hours.
Do most people 3 point od wheel land in crosswinds. Also is it legal to file IFR in a properly equipped RV 4?

Hey GH,
I started flying my early model short gear Four when we had to shoo dinosaurs off the runway before taking off!
My dos centavos has always been to wheels land on pavement, especially in a cross wind (better rudder authority, visibility) and three point on grass, soft turf or dirt. Better prop clearance, less chance of flip over, even distribution of weight etc..
As far a filing IFR, remember what's written on the canopy bow "Experimental" RVs can never be certified IFR since they were never certified in the first place. You can comply with the FIH requirements for operating in IMC which are:
A. Way to determine attitude
B. Way to determine altitude (within IFR tolerances)
C. Way to determine the final approach course of a non precision approach
D. Pitot static system and mode C certification by a qualified shop with associated logbook entry.

You have chosen wisely...

PS: If you bump into Jentezen Franklin, tell him hi for me!


Mr. X

...somewhere in the flight levels somewhere over the USA 3/10.


Brake Flange - Hole Pattern

I am looking for the dimensions of the standard hole pattern for the Cleveland brake flange on an RV-4. I was not able to find it on the Vans drawings, nor in a Cleveland documentation. Does anybody know the exact dimensions or where to find it?


Ice Cream Social PIREP ...Mothership Greg

What a great weekend! I was incredibly lucky to see some people I have not been able to spend time with in a long time, which was awesome. Plus, I got to meet a whole bunch of new faces and talk about RVs, formation flying, maintenance, service bulletins (go figure hah!), what sorts of things people wish we'd do at Van's in the future, and lots of other great stuff. Heck I even handed hats to RV folks at Santa Paula airport on Friday and then saw them again over at Inyokern for the party! What a great crowd.

The airplanes and people were terrific, and the party was awesome. Seriously, Alisha put in a huge amount of work - and she and Lori really pulled it off not just one day, but two!

And of course: Happy birthday, Axel. Your bday tradition has really turned into a great RV get together!



March 10, 2020.  Issue #5,036. 
  James Walsh's RV-4 is back in the air at 52F after a panel upgrade.  In addition to the obvious avionics improvements, the Flyleds combo leading edge landing/taxi lights on final were the brightest I think I've ever seen at our field.  Down the road I may be looking at those.  James told me that there are (8) blink patterns you can choose from.  I wondered if you could program them to blink your initials (didn't know).  One light does the first name...the other the last - you know, let your friends know it's you and all <g>.  -.. .-.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

from the vaf instabag page


Braided line inspections/failure ...Bill E.

We all trust those SS braided lines and other flex hoses on our aircraft will seldom fail, and and give them all the standard inspections relevant to the yearly health check or when we have access. I, as an RV builder, A&P, and IA, got the wake-up scare this weekend that sheds some different light on the "normal" inspection. Here is the scenario.. I went to Fla to pick up and fly a recently purchased RV-4 home for a friend who is not yet checked out to fly it. The aircraft was recently condition inspected, regularly flown and didn't seemingly pose any threat to a 3 hour flight back to NC. After the more than normal walk-around pre-flight, I mounted up to depart, with the new owner and a friend standing to the side observing. Boost pump on, 3-4 blades and I get signal from them we have something coming out the cowling. Turns out it was fuel..alot of it, right on the exhaust. De-cowl and find the SS flex line from the carb to the fuel pressure indicator is nearly porous, and weeping out all over. It certainly is undetectable without pressure. This could have been a fireball ! I will add too my inspection criteria, all fuel lines will be checked with pressure applied, and periodic pre-flights will get the same with me not in the cockpit. It would never be seen by someone just going out to fly with no bystander...lessons learned every day. We did get it fixed, and the rest of the adventure home was uneventful...check/replace those flex lines!!
Bill E.

(T. Swearengen feedback)
Generally speaking, because in experimentals anything goes ---within reason-- 'rubber' lined assemblies use reusable, field attachable screw on hose ends, verses the crimped collar style more commonly in use for teflon assemblies. YES ---there are teflon assemblies that use reusables--Aeroquip Super Gem series fittings--and a few others out there--Earls Performance, Russell, Goodridge, etc, but most of what you'll see is crimped versions.
The resuable type fittings generally are blue and red anodized aluminum for stainless braid rubber type, and gold or blue collars with black steel and blue aluminum nuts for cotton covered H8794 (Aeroquip 303) type hose. Aftermarket 'race car' hose and fittings can be most any color you want. So suspect 'rubber' when you see them.

The types of reusables that are assembled on the rubber hoses are NOT used on teflon. Various reasons why, but generally the threaded stem and collars are of a different ID and OD to be compatible with teflon. Part of that ID difference is in the hose itself. Take the same ID hose in teflon, Rubber (like 701) and 303, and the difference in construction is obvious. Thicker liner wall to enable a good working pressure, tightly woven stainless braid, and or a nylon and steel braid reinforcement with a cotton cover overbraid. All of that contributes to the working pressure of the hose. Teflon doesn't expand like a rubber hose, so the wall can be a lot thinner, and with the stainless braid the overall OD can be smaller. Similar or greater working pressures for the same sized rubber hoses.

Word of caution. Because we all are dealing in experimentals, what you see isn't necessarily what you get. We've seen some rubber lined hoses with crimped hose ends done by the local hydraulic shop. At the same time, we've seen teflon assemblies that were not using a conductive liner for fuel systems. It all about knowing what is acceptable and what is not. As a general rule, all teflon hoses should be conductive especially those where fuel is used. Brakes may be an exception because you aren't moving brake fluid for consumption like fuel. Oils don't pick up a static electrical charge, but its still great practice to use a conductive hose. MOST industrial hose shops don't stock the conductive hose.

If there is any question, you can call us and we'll help you identify the assemblies.


Some Pics from the Ice Cream Social ...Plummit


Second Fiberglass Practice ...David Paule -3B

The fiberglass layup of the avionics shelf reminded me the hard way of several things I'd forgotten. As a result, it is barely useable and I haven't decided whether to make another or fix this one.

Some of the details are -

1. Leave enough extra peel ply that doesn't get epoxied so that you have a handle by which to pull it off.

2. Ditto with the perf ply, if you're vacuum bagging it.  ...


My RV Weekend ...pazmanyflyer

Started the dirty job of sealing the air gaps at the inter-baffles. Looking to finish the FWF in the next few weeks.


Some New First Flights

...reported on the mothership.



March 9, 2020.  Issue #5,035.  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Almost Complete ...cderk RV-10

4 years and 3 months to the date of when I first started, I was able to start my engine (vid). As it stands, my Airworthiness Inspection is scheduled for 3/21 (coincidentally my birthday). I think it would be pretty cool to have the "birthday" of my new baby on the same day as mine.

Its been quite a ride getting this thing built, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There have been so many folks on here who have provided guidance throughout the build - the RV community is truly amazing! 


Best Mnemonic Sentence I'll Ever Create

"I braked, stopped, shutoff, manually dumped and evacuated batteries."

Sophomoric but easily remembered...;^)

Spent most of the weekend studying Phenom limitations and the (17) Memory Item checklists that I'm required to know cold at the upcoming part time sim gig.  I believe I finally came up with a study method that works for the way my brain best retains information:

1) a spreadsheet that color codes duplicate steps (note mnemonics bottom of spreadsheet in a few of the columns / number of steps at top)

2) iPad screen grabs of the panel with the flow drawn on top with my Apple Pencil.

It's starting to make better sense now, and I would be wise to do something similar to this for the RV-6 down the road.


Tyler's Formal Introduction ...Newcastle, OK

I've skimmed the forum here for right at ten years and figured it was time to introduce myself as the factory now has some access to my checking account. Building one of these airplanes has been a goal of mine after learning how they performed compared to the typical single engine airplane. I'll be building -14A number 754 in true "homebuilt" fashion in my garage at home. Beyond the building, I look forward to the new friendships that will go alongside this new venture.


Sweet Flight to Sedona ...Capt Sandy

Not too many gals have the pleasure of being flown to romantic Sedona for Valentines Day. How awesome that my Darling Hubby is also my own personal Pilot! An ulterior motive here - one of our Top Five favorite places to eat in the Entire Country is Elote Cafe in Sedona. Not to be missed. If you go, get there about 4:30 pm, stand in line, get your name on the list and say you'll be back in an hour. Go next door and have a beer or a Margarita there - then come back and they'll put you at the top of the list for a table. If you get there after 4:30, you may wait up to two hours for a table. The video says the rest!
Fair Winds!
Video of our trip:


WDYDWYRVTW ...SPX starts the convo

Since I am often the starter of these threads, allow me to start this one on Friday rather than Saturday or Sunday...

Because of some pending rain, I opted to fly today. I hope to go to the Ice Cream Social in KIYK tomorrow, but it sounds like the ceilings may be too low. We'll see.

Sooo... I decided to go to Corona, CA (KAJO) for lunch today. It was a mediocre lunch, but a good excuse to fly anyhow. From there, I decided to go get some gas at Flabob (KRIR). Pretty quiet there, other than a Navion and a Pitts flying around. (BTW -- Does anyone know if the restaurant at Flabob is any good?) Fueled up, and headed back home.

Total was only about 1.2 hours of flying, but it was great to get the RV out. Hoping to get it out again tomorrow for KIYK, but seems unlikely based on the current forecast...

I hope that everyone has a great weekend of flying and building. Looking forward to hearing some updates!


My RV Weekend ...Vlad 9A

Brought oil temperature to 180F before wx hit my mountain.


Hearing Aid PIREP ...Jim Stricker

I just bought new hearing aids from Costco - Philips HearLink 9010 Behind-the-Ear. I have been wearing hearing aids for 25 years. I have profound hearing loss and these aids are superb. The hearing aids are Bluetooth and have a Telecoil which is normally used with a land-line telephone handset.

I had the audiologist give me a special program selectable from my iPhone that we titled "airplane". This program enables the Telecoil and also shuts off the microphone in both hearing aids. Shutting off the microphone prevents feedback when the aviation headset is placed over the ears. Zero feedback of any kind. The Telecoils in the hearing aids sense the electromagnetic field from the speakers in the headset earcups and reproduce the sounds thru the hearing aid receivers in your ears. The sound is very high quality and word recognition is very good.

In addition to the Telecoil for normal comm and intercom communication, I will also use the Bluetooth capability to connect the LightSpeed Zulu3 to my mini iPad running ForeFlight in order to hear alerts such as Traffic and Terrain warnings.

I have an extended cross-country planned for tomorrow to try these features in the airplane. My situational awareness should be greatly improved. Should be a big day...

(later flight data)
Today I flew a 4 hour x-country with my new hearing aids and Zulu3 headset using Telecoil program per above post. My observations follow:

- Zero feedback of any kind
- ANR works fabulous
- Comm/Intercom volumes are both very good
- Word recognition and clarity are both excellent
- ATC is easy to understand
- Headset ear cup sealing not critical because no chance for feedback with hearing aid microphone turned off
- My situational awareness is greatly improved.


Custom Snorkel Intake Progress....goatflieg



March 6, 2020.  Issue #5,034.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Daryl Sahnow at Mothership Retiring

"Greetings all,

I have been an employee of Van's for over
36 years and have been representing Van's at many airshows for the past 20 years plus.  Now is the time to move on, sad time for me.  It has been my pleasure to be able to serve and help all of you in your dreams of building your own airplane.

I have met a countless number of people in the process, and am in total awe of all of you.  I will admit I am not good at names, but do remember all your faces which means you left a lasting impression - mostly Good ;^)!  During the process, I have made many , many friends in many countries and will remember all of you---you all know who you are--- for also giving me the time to get to know you.  It has created lots of lasting memories again, Thank You.

This moving on creates more time for me to enjoy both (pic above), more fishing, trap shooting, travel ----I will be OK! ;^)

My last day working for Van's will be 4-15-2020------If any of you wish to keep in contact (Daryl.Sahnow 'at' gmail 'dot' com) you are always welcome at my house, if you like a puppy!

Cheers, Blue Skies and Tail winds

Enjoying Spotted Cow at Kelly's after a long
day at OSH.  9:40pm.  7/27/2009.  dr pic


Mnemonics Generator...to aid with memorizing checklists

While trying to figure out a better way for memorizing memory items on the Phenom 300 (my upcoming sim extra paper route) I found mnemonicgenerator.com.  You can put in letters (separated by spaces) and it will generate sentences.  With a scratch piece of paper, and hitting 'Generate' multiple times to show more sets of words, you can create a pretty easy to remember sentence with little effort.  Two examples I worked up below, and there are obviously RV applications...

"Old Dorky Geeks Consumed Objectionable Donuts Effortlessly."

Smoke Evacuation

"Saintly Angels Ignored Bruises And Guarded Toddlers Aggressively."

Emergency Descent


SloMo#7 ...N325AL RV-14

...just slow and sound....and a little doppler effect.



Pancakes: Waco, TX ...Phil

Date: 3/7/20
Time: 8AM - 10AM
Place: EAA Chapter 59's Hangar - McGregor Executive Airport (KPWG)

Kick off March with us at EAA Chapter 59's Pancake Fly-In Breakfast. The food will begin coming off the griddle at 8AM and we will continue to serve through 10AM.

There is aircraft parking available at our hangar and anyone who brings in an airplane will receive a ticket for a free breakfast.

If you are not familiar with the location of Chapter 59's hangar, you can easily locate it when you fly over the field. The hangar is located on the SE side of the airport, it has EAA 59 painted on top, and it will be surrounded by numerous drive-in vehicles.

For those who are looking to add more aviation to their day, we are going to be holding our monthly safety meeting at 10AM based on EAA's IMC/VMC Club programming.

We are looking forward to seeing you!


Nashville Tornado Damage ...PHOTO01

My brother and a friend took the RV-6 up yesterday evening after the winds subsided and took these photos. Both of us went to school at Tennessee Tech, and for those familiar with the region he stated that the storm track stopped just prior to campus. As the images below show the damage is widespread, and it is truly a miracle that more people were not killed or seriously injured. Unfortunately late last night I received word that I lost a friend whom I graduated TTU with, his wife, and their son when their home was hit by the storm early Tuesday morning.

For any aviators in the middle Tennessee area I would caution you to please monitor the airspace closely for the next couple of days. Just this afternoon the FAA has posted a TFR for the area just west of Cookeville, and with the upcoming POTUS visit on Friday the airspace will only get busier.

Yesterday the guys stayed high (~5k AGL) for their flight, squawked the appropriate codes, and checked in with ATC as necessary in order to remain safe and predictable, but these specific airspace closures are not a knee-jerk response. Instead, they are a direct result of several specific incidents of pilots flying very unsafely and creating a hazard to aircraft actively engaged in relief efforts..


Curiosity's 1.8-Billion-Pixel Panorama of Mars

[Not RV but too cool not to spotlight.  If you have the monitor real estate and you view it full size, it's breathtaking.  dr]

"NASA's Curiosity rover captured its highest-resolution panorama yet of the Martian surface between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019. A version without the rover contains nearly 1.8 billion pixels; a version with the rover contains nearly 650 million pixels. Both versions are composed of more than 1,000 images that were carefully assembled over the following months.

The rover's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, used its telephoto lens to produce the panorama and relied on its medium-angle lens to produce a lower-resolution panorama that includes the rover's deck and robotic arm.

Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego built and operates Mastcam. A division of Caltech, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington and built the Curiosity rover."


717 MB (29,164 x 8,592 pixel) TIFF

2.25 GB (88,797 x 22,958 pixel) TIFF



March 5, 2020.  Issue #5,033. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Pic from Mr. X

Mt. Shasta...

full size


Heard on Freq in N. Texas Coupla Days Back

"RV-6 had just landed at KGLE and cleared runway. I call "RV-8 short-final 36, full stop, Gainesville."

Flight school dude says, "N*** departing runway 36, Gainesville."

End up going around, and ask the guy, "Did you not see traffic on short final?"

He replies, "Yeah I saw it, but I thought I had enough time."

About 5 seconds of silence goes by, and I hear a voice come on freq and say:
"You thought wrong, bro."


Mo's Fly-in Pics ...Lycosaurus post

Gorgeous weather (clear skies in the morning), about -7C, however there was a stiff cold wind. We were on our way out when we met Terry arriving in his RV6A.

An avid photographer (Jean-Pierre Bonin) took many photos, but better than mine.


Happiness Is....

...your daughter sending you a pic of the family business 'card' being used for what it was designed for.  She went to 'guitar night' with some of her co-workers a few days back.


Brake Sticks When Hot ...Joe Wilber RV-10

About to do some maintenance on my RV10 and have an issue I'd like to address.

Last year I over-heated my right brake and an O-ring failed. Ever since replacing the O-rings my right brake sticks pretty badly when hot. When cool I can apply the brake and release and no problem. After a flight, pushing back into the hangar is very difficult. I remember taking note when I replaced the O-rings last year that the center piston seemed pretty tight. I'm guessing something got deformed a little during my over-heat event and now when things get hot and expand the piston doesn't want to go back in. Once it all cools down everything is great again.

Anybody have some advice? Preferably something that doesn't involve replacing the whole brake assembly. These are matco brakes, by the way.


Steinair ...Bill Woods

Be careful when ordering from Stein, they will definitely create more work to an already busy aircraft building schedule, but end result after 3 coats of polyurethane is a piece of ultimate Man Cave art!!!



Fiberglass Repair/Love Advice ...Bruce Hill

I would fill the holes completely, then lay up some glass on the bottom cowl to make a new tab. It isn't hard or itchy! Let me know if you want help and I can bring my fiberglassing stuff and get it started.

I have some photos of my cowling and how I built up some tabs for the outer sides of the cowl overlap, and my hinge pin covers, which are flush mounted. The overlap on the outer sides helps with keeping the engine cool. It keeps the pressure differential high between the baffled/unbaffled sides of the engine.


New Guy: Initial Contact ...waswas39

Hello everyone,

I am currently based in DFW on reserve and often find myself with some extra free time and nothing to do while I'm here. Would love to find someone working on a project and donate some free (unskilled) labor to assist them. I would love to learn more about the building process as I eventually would like to start one of my own. Cheers.


12th Annual Ice Cream Social ...AX-O

Less than a week out.  Register if going and learn the arrival.


RV-4 Panel Replacement Timeline ...Scott Hersha

I just replaced the panel on my RV4. I bought a new blank from Vans ($55), and cut it out with my jig saw (20 minutes), using my old panel as a template. It fit perfectly. Then I marked my new equipment and cut those holes out with my jig saw - maybe 2 hours with the saw and a vixen file. These holes would also have to be made if you made individual panels as you suggest. I mounted nutplates for attaching the EFIS screens and radio rack, and I was done - aside from painting it. All in all, it doesn't take that long, and is easy to do.



March 4, 2020.  Issue #5,032. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Mark Dickens RV Weekend

On Sunday I flew a Pilots N Paws mission down to Shreveport Downtown airport and back to home base. Picked up 8 puppies and one larger young dog named Ruby. The puppies rode back in the soft sided crate. All delivered safe and sound to a local rescue.

Side comment is that the winds were strong and I hit 215 kts ground speed on the way home!


Night Ops  ...KJBSouth

The alarm went off at 3:00 AM. Dolly heard it an woke me.

The plan was to regain nighttime currency, three takeoff and landings to a full stop at night. We wanted to fly to St. Petersburg (KSPG) the next day to see the Kratt brothers show at the Mahaffee theater, a short walk from the airport. The return would be at night.

Everything went just as it should. The tires and tanks were full; all the nuts were on their bolts. I taxied from the hangar pad and clicked the mike to turn on the taxi and runway lights...clicked the mike to turn on the taxi and runway lights...clicked the mike to turn on the taxi and runway lights....clicked the mike to turn on the taxi and runway lights. No lights. I tried both tower and ground frequencies. I tried three, five and seven clicks. No lights. Frustration and a nice photo.

Stupid me. I didn't try Unicom . Fixed that and became current in the evening while the tower was still open. <g>.


My RV Weekend ...crabandy RV-7

I've somehow managed to maintain Instrument currency (very seldom proficiency) without the hood for a number of years, pretty humbling to be back under the visor for some approach work! I need to do this more often.


Mothership Job Opportunities


Mar/Apr Issue Online (PDF)


Dissection of a failed AK-450 ...laserman

Because interested minds like to know...

So with a non operational AK-450 ELT .. and a cold winter day..

Not saying this was the only reason for unit failures...

But its hard to make a good solder joint to spring steel with RA/RMA flux

No need to "Flame" me on all the other manufacturing issues the AK-450 might have had..

Just never could find any failure analysis of the AK-450 online..

Lastly: The AK-450 main board solder joins all look fine..

But its a good guess.. Who ever did this soldering.. Did lots of other units...



March 3, 2020.  Issue #5,031. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)



Real Men Don't Paint  ...Piper_J3

I'm starting my Annual Condition Inspection and needed to access the transponder wiring for ADS-B. While I had the Avionics Bay Cover removed, I decided to strip the paint and apply 3m 2080 Gloss White Vinyl. Easy job - just take your time. Looks like white gelcoat on a high-end fiberglass boat.
I use Stainless Steel conical washers so flathead screws won't twist the vinyl on tightening...


My RV Weekend ...Planecrazy232

Flew two more Young Eagles with our group at EAA 66. First flights for both!


Panel Thoughts ...turbo

i would ditch the vacuum stuff and recoup some $$.  i love my G5 upgrade. very bright, less expensive for experimental aircraft.  see all your options in flight if possible and understand things change but you are just vfr.  being vfr you don't need an expensive unit to drive the AP, it will fly to a degree in heading.  good luck.


RV-7 #74017 Update ...rmartingt

Engine build!
Last week I started building my engine under the supervision of an A&P friend from work. Got to the oil pump buildup and realized I didn't have the oil pump drive shaft--it's not shown in the IPC! Or more specifically, it's not called out for an O-360-A1A, which is what my engine started life as. (note to future builders: Figure 10, Item 4... should list 61174 as the part number per service instruction 1164B). So while that's coming in today, I've been checking ring gaps and prepping cylinders for installation.


Old Panel New Panel ...FlyingBanker

Flew my plane home from the avionics shop on Friday afternoon with my brand new G3X Touch-based IFR panel. Spent most of the day Saturday on the ground, hooked to aux power, learning the new system from top to bottom. The winds on Saturday were quite sporty so didn't take her up. Took her flying on Sunday for a good bit to apply what I learned on Saturday and check out any bugs/quirks/squawks that need addressed.


RV-8 Windshield Fairing ...Champ

My windscreen fairing is pop riveted to the fuselage. Its been a while but I think I also sikaflexed it. The pop rivets are countersunk and filled so they don't show at the surface. If I ever have to remove it I'd have to locate and drill out the pop rivets and pry it from the sikaflex.

Here are some pictures of the finished product.



March 2, 2020.  Issue #5,030.  0001Z.
  Spent the weekend doing web-based training on the Phenom 300 and studying limitations and memory items.  Visited the RV for a bit Saturday morning just to say hi.  Setting goals for the next week.  First mowing of the season Sunday.  75*F.  Allergies.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

First Flight ...kbalch

My RV-14A project, having received its airworthiness certificate from Vic last Saturday, became an airplane yesterday.

The first flight went very well. The plane handled as expected: it was nimble, agile, and well-controlled. All temps and pressures remained in the green.

It was a typical busy day at KISM, with lots of training and warbird activity taking place during my flight. The tower controllers were great - kidding me on the frequency about having done something right since it flew (this, about 300 feet up on climbout), checking on my progress as I circled the field about 400 feet above pattern altitude (below the overlying Class B shelf), and congratulating me on rollout after landing. Well-done, guys, and much appreciated!

Despite it being quite a bumpy day, the -14A was relatively stable. Much more so than my -8 would have been. Not sure if that's down to the different wing, but it was a noticeable (and positive!) difference. I even managed a good landing, so that was a nice bonus.

Thanks to my wife, Jean, and my group of -14(A) friends and fellow builders: Alex, Mark, Shane, Dan, and Glenn. You guys have all been fantastic throughout the process and I appreciate your being here for me on multiple occasions. I'm looking forward to reciprocating - in the RV!!


First Flight ...ecurington RV-10

N104EW received its airworthiness certificate on Jan 31 2020 and flew first flight Feb 17 2020. Slow build kit approximately 3000 hours build. All work completed mostly by myself including wiring and paint. Wife and sons did help with impossible do it yourself tasks.

First flight was mostly non event. I did get 5 mile radius over the airport for the first 5 hours on my operating limitations.


Wallpaper Calendar For March

John Walsh photo of Alan Lancello's RV-14 at 52F.

Photo by: John Walsh
ishootyourproperty.com & johnwalshphoto.com
johnwalshphoto@icloud.com  972-533-5079



Believe it or not VAF has an Instagram account (created 7 years ago but rarely used).  Before you get your social media hopes up this new incarnation is only going to contain pictures of my VAF baseball cap enjoying the RV hobby in various states of dirt and fade and RVation.  No humans.  No beaches at sunset.  No yoga poses in front waterfalls.  Just the VAF cap I'm currently wearing in various states of decay...with RV hardware.  Mostly RV hardware.

Some feedback from a fake review farm I established in international waters:

"It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the iconicity of the gesture makes resonant the accessibility of the work."
-- James Walsh RV-4.

"I find this work menacing yet playful because of the way the mechanical mark-making of the narrative makes apparent the remarkable handling of light."
-- Randy Richmond RV-6/8.

"This sucks chunks.  Unsubscribe!"  
     -- Gary Platner RV-8.

Picture #1 below.....the first VansAirForce.net cap ever made (the 15-yr old prototype).  Retired after the washing machine finally broke off the bill.  Lives on my shelf...staring at me...kinda creepy like.

It was a good start...


My RV Weekend ...SPX

This morning, I decided to take the RV out and grab some breakfast. I ended up flying over to Cable (KCCB) and had a very good breakfast (I'd recommend it, if you haven't been). Cable was a very busy airport this morning. After breakfast, I flew back and put the airplane in the hangar. Rain is coming tonight through Monday, so that's going to do it for my RV weekend..


Glare Shield Mount for GMC 507 Update ...Tony Kirk's design.

Tony sent me some slightly revised pics over the weekend and said he was going to mail me the 3D printed rough draft to me this week.  Very exciting!


My RV Weekend ...Steve

Four of us flew over from KOGD to KENV for lunch at the Salt Flats Cafe on Friday


Status Report: 6A ...Paulvs

RV-6A Very Slow Build, Western Australia
A younger version of me started this slow build RV-6A just after Oshkosh '92. I completed the empennage and wings in my spare time and got started on the fuselage. Then other things in life took priority and the RV project went on hold for 21 years.

We've moved house a few times and the fuselage frame had to come out of the jig for the most recent shift. I'm now getting the workshop organised and ready to start building again.

Back in '92 there were only three RV models to choose from. And Van's was just talking about quick build kits. The plans are hand drawn and the only factory made holes were in the wing spar. The new kits look way easier and it would probably be quicker to assemble a new project than to finish this old one, but I kinda like this orphan relic from the 90's!


RV-6 Rebuild PIREP ...jamlip

Next thing on the list - this one makes me feel really itchy...

I heard, somewhere down the line, that this aircraft was built for the first owner by a Vans serial offender. As such, the overally build quality is really nice.

Allegedly, the owner (clearly not a serial offender) then finished the project himself (including wiring, which is how I ended up buying the aircraft as as rewire project).

There are lots of detail bits that let the aircraft down, and these screw points at the front of the cowl are one of the worst.  ...


Looking for Panel Feedback ...David Carter


My RV Weekend ...Vlad

Elk spotting. Attention shed hunters it's almost time.


My RV Weekend ...TShort

Went for a "leap day" flight on 2/29, to exercise the -10 and top off with cheap gas before work.

Flew over the airport where I first soloed and took off for my checkride just 2 weeks short of 25 years ago:


Milestone: Canopy Cut ...Foghorn



February 28, 2020.  Issue #5,029.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My President's RV Day ...PHOTO01

On President's Day I got up early for a morning flight north to Cambridge MD:


Service Bulletin SB 19-09-09 Published - Inspect RV-10 gear leg mount lug

Van's Aircraft has published a new Service Bulletin for the RV-10, SB 19-09-09. This bulletin directs RV-10 owners to inspect the inboard attachment lugs on the RV-10 nose gear leg for potential cracks at a specific location. If no cracks are found, the gear leg is serviceable and you may continue to fly the airplane and re-inspect each year at the annual condition inspection. Replacement is not necessary in that case.

If a crack is found, owners are directed to order a kit that contains an updated RV-10 nose gear leg and associated hardware. This is described in the service bulletin document.  continue


Europe Formation Clinic 2019 ...lucaperazzolli

Finally, I found the time to edit a bunch of videos taken during our FFI Italian Meeting. Me and Franz hosted the RV group at our airport (LITD) in September 2019 with the support and energy of Tobias Treichel (he had been in West Coast Formation Clinic The WCFC in Madera) who probably will become our European FFI coordinator

We had the great opportunity to work with Steve and Stephen that jumped the Pond from California Republic giving us a solid standard in Formation Flying.

We flew in our local area and in Venice too.



RV-6 Rebuild Project Update ...jamlip

I've been ignoring the project. My RV-4 ate a cylinder, so I replaced it, did the hour of power and remembered how much I enjoyed flying just for the sale of it. So I did a bit more, then went to the Arizona Flying Circus fly in. A few days later, an RV-7-owning friend visited from the UK and we flew basically all week.

I really love my RV-4. It's that wonderful combination of being easy to fly but tricky to master. It's going to be hard to sell it once the RV-6 is finished.

Anyway, went to the hangar today. Called for fuel and had the guy fill my left tank two gallons at a time as I calibrated the gauge. Pulled the top hose off the oil cooler, loosened the spark plugs and pulled the prop through to get oil pressure. Retightened everything, set the Emag timing, and hit the starter...


My ****ing starter solenoid is dead.

So I hand-propped the motor. After a couple of whumps and bangs it sprang to life. Oil pressure is good, prop makes all the right noises (I've never owned a CS prop before). I ran it for ten minutes and shut it off. Major milestone reached.

So now my to-do list looks something like this...

Get a starter that works and fit it to the engine
Install intercom & radio
Patch some of the redundant holes in the firewall with stainless
Fill, calibrate and check right wing tank
Repair the cowling where someone has done a hash job of of the screwed-together bit at the front
Connect-up nav light wiring
Get a condition inspection

And on my non-urgent list:

Fit gear leg fairings and pressure recovery wheel pants (I have all the parts)
Make covers for seat cushions (the old ones are basically turning to dust)

I'd also really like to fit electric trim to this - since I removed the centre console thing under the panel, the cable is all in the way and looks ugly as ****.

It looks like there was a kit available some time ago, but the cable part has been discontinued. Any leads greatly appreciated!


Article in Flying on John Stahr's Paint Designs


2,000 hr iridium plugs ...turbo

my second engine has had these champion iridium plugs in since new or 2,000 tach hrs. running car gas in cruise tank and 50/50 gas and 100LL in take off and landing tank this is what they looked like after removing. the gap never changes, brush off the threads, no lead balls, lube the threads, rotate and install. fly safe.


Grapevine, Az Fly-In ...Capt Sandy

More Arizona Flying.
Roy recently tapped in to happenings with the Arizona Pilots association. There's a Fly-In gathering at Grapevine Airport the third Saturday of every month during the "cool" season. We decided to go check the place out and see what was shak'in. The first part of the video captures the following week - note there are no other planes there, and on the weekend of which I write, there were a couple tents and planes gathered. The runway was fine - maybe even better condition than Ajo (base for the winter).
About 30 planes in all. The fly-in is intended to be a camping trip, but the low night temps dissuaded most, and most - including us - only stayed for lunch.
The airport is REMOTE - no water, no facilities, other than a pot-a-potty, firewood, fire-rings and a few picnic tables. We learned that the runway was abandoned, and the Arizona Pilots Association raised PRIVATE funds to have the runway paved and put in the few amenities that are there.
Most of the planes were certified-type, so the tribe a bit different than our usual RV tribe. Still, all passionate about aviation, and therefore all great folks.
Roy and I returned the following week and camped there... but thats a tale for another time.

Fair Winds!


An Article in Kitplanes on Buying Used RVs



February 27, 2020.  Issue #5,028.
  Any non-VAF free moments Tue/Wed were spent nibbling away at a 20hr web-based training course for my upcoming sim extra paper route.  From what I've read so far, the Phenom 300 is an amazing aircraft.  Started recording the limitations and memory items on my phone's Voice Memos app so I can listen to them in the car via bluetooth through the speakers on drives.  This worked well for me in the past prepping for orals and writtens.
  On a tangent (finances), are there any DFW area dentists that read this site?  We're looking for a new one that maybe doesn't require a second mortgage to get a cavity filled <grin>.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Emma (Eddy Tohikian photo)


Inspection passed! ...kbalch

My RV-14A project (#140494) officially became an airplane (N114KB) on Saturday.

Thanks to Vic for flying down and giving a thorough look over my work of the last 21 months. Several other -14(A) builder friends of mine were in attendance to familiarize themselves with the process and I think everyone went home reassured that it's not a root canal, but a friendly, low-key look at the airplane. Plus the paperwork, of course. Lots of paperwork in triplicate.

Between sorting out a lingering P-mag issue (done!), a prop low-pitch adjustment (to be done tomorrow), and two days of mid-week rain, I'm hoping to get the first flight accomplished on Friday.

For those keeping track of such things, I began the project in late May 2018 and put in just under 1,200 hours of hands-on work (plus, no doubt, the usual couple hundred hours of unlogged research & reading time online) on the entirely standard, non-QB, kit. I'll be flying it unpainted until delivery to the paint shop after SnF.  ...


3D Printed Parts and Molds: Part III ...AX-O

Used West system epoxy mixed 5 to 1 with slow hardener.

Items laid on the mold were:
-3 layers of carbon fiber with multiple overlaps on the nose to make that stronger for a clamp.
-1 layer of peel-ply
-1 layer of perforated plastic
-1 layer of cotton

That was placed inside a hand made bag (plastic and tape, that was another trick I learned at Catto's place).

A vacuum was placed on the bag via a pump, approx 25 PSI. That entire assembly was placed under a moving blanket and a small portable heater was placed inside. That kept the temps inside at 118 deg during the curing process despite an OAT of 55 deg.

Little dots you see is the resin coming through the perforated plastic. 


PANEL SUGGESTIONS Please ...Gyrodoug

My vacuum pump died. I want to toss the system. I'm strongly considering the Garmin G5. But since I already want to upgrade my steam gauge panel, the vac system death seems like the nudge I need to make some moves.

But I'm a noob with regards to avionics and what talks to what... on the side... I have an iPad with FlyQ that I'll always have with me as well.

I have an uninstalled TT Digiflight ii I want to install. I also have a panel mounted Garmin 196 that has to GO!

Do I go with a Garmin G5 and Aera 660 gps to run the autopilot


Double the investment and go with the GRT Horizon 10.1...



Avionics options are truly daunting to think about.

I'm looking forward to your opinions!

Thank you.


Now What!? ...3y3Flyer

Dimpled an extra hole right next to the one I was supposed to dimple. Thought about pounding it out, then dimple the correct hole and using a little filler...but I worried the rivet will not set properly and I create more of a mess of the situation. It's on the VS skin of an RV8A...I can't be the first idiot in history to ever make this mistake...Any ideas? BTW, I have learned through this process that my 4 lettered vocabulary is much greater than anticipated!


Cooling Tips for Cylinder #6 ...RV-10

My #6 CHT is a good 10 -15 degrees higher than any of the other 5 cylinders. The EGT is in line with the others.

Thoughts on opportunities to assist with airflow?

I improved the sealing on the oil door and made some improvements to the baffles and that helped a bit but looking for more. I also looked in the area and sealed a bit more on the inboard rear with RTV to force the air over the cylinder.

My oil temp is running about 180 so I may try to block a bit of the flow to the cooler and see if that helps.

Other thoughts?


Status Report ...KazooRV-9A

Hard to believe I haven't posted an update for a year!
Lots of build progress has occurred.
In the big picture we:
-Completed the sliding canopy (90%), what a job that was... Just need the latch installed and a couple of small things.
-Completed the wings/Ailerons/flaps including installation of Autopilot servo and a late decision to add stall warning.
-Installed the wings on the fuse temporarily to set all things that required adjustment or rigging or connections.
-Completed the front structure including installation of the Aerotronics panel. Enough wiring was completed to power the panel to see the pretty lights and display.
-Installed aileron trim servo and Altitude hold servo.
-Purchased the Van's re-designed front engine and gear leg mount. Managed to find a guy who needed my original design parts and sold them to him. The new parts installed nicely.
-Installed the tail feathers to set rigging, cables, etc. It will come back off for paintwork.
-And the exciting installation of the Poplar Grove assembled O-320. That really added some visual progress!

We accomplished this among other activities like flying our vintage 1946 Cessna 120, restoring a 1972 Triumph 500, Airventure Oshkosh, Motorcycle trips, and numerous other things in life. N951AC is coming along well. We're currently wiring firewall foreward, want to get that done of course before installing the forward skin. Then will get up on the mains, the next big visual progress item.  ...


Not RV, but a lot of RV folks in this area have an interest. ...like me.

March 12-15, 2020 at KGLE.  FMI: LoneStarSTOL.com



February 26, 2020.  Issue #5,027. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend ...goatflieg

Flight with Leo Knowlden
On Friday I was invited to fly with Leo Knowlden as he flew off his last few hours of Phase 1.

Departed KPTK to KRNP for fuel, then wandered around Michigan within the borders of his 50nm radius before returning for pattern work. Took a break for lunch, then out to overfly Y47 and 1D2 before calling it a day. Almost four hours of flying, and loved every minute. Took hundreds of photos and hours of video; I'll share just a taste here. Thanks Leo!  more


From the Mothership


Panel Improvement Needle Moves a Bit

Thanks to the help of Danny King (he has done this screen upgrade in his RV-8).  The new G3X screen holes are widened, the new mounting holes have been drilled, the new nutplates have been riveted in.  Touch screen functionality is on the horizon.  Slow (all due to me), but progress nonetheless....



3D Printed Parts and Molds ...AX-O

Part 2

The next phase was to plan out the work. This is similar to painting. The better work you do on the front side, the better the part ends up at the end.
I cut the carbon fiber are required to cover the mold. This particular carbon fiber is the left over stuff from my Formula One race plane. Side note: This type of fiber is Bid. But not the standard Bid. It was discovered by Paulo Iscold while building one of his race planes. A boat manufacturer had excess material and they needed to get rid of it. They made Paulo an offer that he could not refuse. The nice thing about it is that the fibers are not interweaved, they are laid on top of each other then stitched. So you can cut it and pick it up as you desired and it does not lose its shape. Paulo passed the gouge to Craig Catto and the fabric is now used on all his props. And now on to an experiment for an air filter "box".  more pics


My RV Weekend ...PHOTO01

Last Wednesday I flew our family RV-6 from eastern Virginia back home to Tennessee prior to an upcoming deployment. I was scheduled on an FCF at work starting at 0700, but after getting cancelled in the afternoon I made the drive out to Hampton Roads for preflight.  contine


Foot Powered Dimpler ...Paulv

This foot-operated dimpler takes standard dimple dies and has enough depth to dimple wing and fuselage rivet holes. It is home built from mainly steel offcuts.


Elevator skin (E00901B), small crack when bending trim tab closing tab down. ...jdog0411

Hey everyone,

I bent the closeout tab down on the E00901B elevator skin, and it bent down fine and I was able to get it to bend 90 degrees, but it didn't bend right on the relief cutout in the corner and cracked slightly in the corner of the bend. I'm emailing Van's but will this require a new skin? It's a little difficult to see in the photos, but it's a hairline crack right in the corner.


From Superior



February 25, 2020.  Issue #5,026. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Youthful Exuberance ...Matt Ziemann

I know this actually isn't a great RV photo because Dan is so low he blends in with the background, but this was my daughter yesterday watching Dan Horton take off. We came out to just get something out of the hangar but she wanted to stay, sit in the RV pretending to fly, and then as we were leaving a few planes were heading up to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Harper wanted to stay and watch and didn't want to leave. I wish you could have heard her saying "Go Mr. Dan!", waving, and cheering, but I think you can gather her excitement from the photo.



My RV Weekend ...Av8safe

First flight for my right seater
Well, since the weather was just too good to stay on the ground, my wife and I decided to take the new bird (Still needs a name) to see our daughter in Charlottesville. First flight in the 7 for my right seater. She was a trooper, especially on the 3:30 return with the headwinds. Hopefully the first of many great trips in our new time machine!


AOG PIREP/Update ...Sibirsky

Let me start with saying the solidarity in the RV community is amazing ,
thanks to all who replied , texted and called me!  I got home safe , today made my first night flight in my RV9A , I departed KMHT at 17:30 local time , VFR direct to Brookhaven with half a radio , (I could only receive) .
I will post more tomorrow, I am exhausted , have a good night !


Trip #1 Mission Take Momma ...ty1295

Having been a VAF reader for many years now, and only a flying airplane owner for 6 months its my turn to return the favor and hopefully provide some motivation to keep pounding rivets.

This weekend was the first trip out of phase 1 and a very successful one.

Bit of backstory first. 5 years ago I meet Becca and her and I became a blended family of sorts. She has 1 son, and I have 1 son and 1 daughter. Her son will be 20 next week, and joined the Airforce 1.5 years ago.

My daughter will be 20 in July, and now lives in Tacoma WA going to school. (where I grew up and where all my family is)

My son is just 11 and lives here in Louisville Kentucky.

Becca and I got marries in December after having been "dating" for 5 years. With only 1 child around part time, and the other 2 off starting life we have a lot of chances in the future to put this time machine to work. This weekend was the first having just completed my 40 Hours in my RV9A.

Becca's son Michael is graduating Friday from Weather school in the AF at Biloxi Mississippi. Both our schedules were free this past weekend, and the weather was looking to be perfect for a trip, stretch the airplanes wings and my own pilot wings with a long cross country.

Friday morning Becca got up and worked from home until noon, while I flight planned and quadruple checked my weather predictions. All was looking good, the plane has been flying flawless, all lights were green.

Depart KLOU (Bowman Field Louisville Kentucky) at 1pm EST. First leg is to Winchester Municipal Airport in southern Tennessee for cheap fuel $3.8X. Being this was only Becca's 3rd time in my airplane, the just over 1 hours would be a good test.  ...


3D printed parts and molds: A how to guide (of my experiment) ...AX-O

This thread is to document a project that I have been making and maybe show other folks what they can also do. I wanted to challenge myself and learn new skills.

Please lets not go into the there is no alternate air source or not enough media to filter on the air or world is going to end because there is a carbon fiber parts in the vicinity of an aluminum aircraft. This is a project to learn new skills, fail and build.

I chose to make an air filter enclosure. The reason was because the room in the cowl is restricted to the mold line, the shape would require contours, it would force me to find a way to mount the enclosure and nicely bring that air into the fuel servo. It would also force me to learn how to use technology that i don't use.

My previous version was made out of fiber glass and was made off a wooden mold that belongs to Dave Anders. Looks like this.  ...


West Coast Formation Clinic 2020, Apr 17-19 - WCFC 2020 ...AX-O

This year's West Coast Formation Clinic will be Apr 17-19.

We are behind time line for this event. Therefore, applications will be closed by the end of the day on March 1st.

Like every year we are expecting that we will receive more applicants than we can safely support. The management team will evaluate applications and contact participants as soon as possible after the application period closes.

Please remember that the management team does this for fun and to help the RV-community be safer when performing formation flying. This is NOT our job; please give us time to figure out this complex event. There is a lot that goes into making this a safe event.

To apply and/or for additional details, visit the WCFC 2020 website shown below.

Date: Apr 17-19
Location: Madera, CA (KMAE)
Website: WCFC 2020
If you have any questions, please contact me or any of the POCs shown on our web site. Hope to see you there. Thank you.


From the Mothership


From Hartzell




February 24, 2020.  Issue #5,025. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-8 Birthday Present ...Rob Traynham

Today is Jacob's ninth birthday. He loves flying in our RV-8 and he's been building up his G tolerance. Today, on his birthday, he and his dad, my son (ex A-10 Warthog pilot), took N478KT up for a morning session. Jacob wanted to see if he could beat his historical high G load of three Gs. Today, on his ninth birthday, he went to four Gs! If you ask him how it was, he'll tell you, "Don't get your head down!" We just love our RV as it is always adding new grins! BTW, Jacob's initials are JET.


Valentine's Day Weekend ...Roy Thoma

Sandy and I decided to start Valentines Day early. We flew to Sedona to on Feb 13, had lunch at the Mesa Grill at the airport, then hiked the full "airport loop trail".  ...


RV-8 trip from VA to WA ...FlyinTiger

It is always a pleasure to travel across the greater United States of America in an RV. Every time it is different. Weather, destination and mission have driven me along different paths. This time there was a need to get a newly purchased RV-8 from 53VG, Salmon Farm Airport, in Virginia, across the Chesapeake Bay, over the Appalacian Mountains, over the plains of the Mid-West, through the Rockies and finally across the Cascades, into the Seattle area for it's new home on Boeing Field (KBFI).

The journey began right here on VAF, with a casual private message and note in a "wanted" ad right there in the classifieds. It is a fixed pitch, 180 hp RV-8 with a Garmin G3X and all the bells and whistles. There was a long line of interested pilots. It helps to have a commercial pilot's license and some serious cross country experience. Insurance requires tail wheel time and time flying an RV-8.

Overall the trip took 17.8 hours of flight time over the course of three days. I stopped short of the Seattle side of the mountains to meet the new owner for transition training. This RV-8 has rudder extensions for the back seat pilot, a throttle and stick. I don't know how many have completed their transition training in an RV-8, but the new owner and I gave it a go. The back seat of an RV-8 was where I flew my first RV hours with a CFI RV-8 owner before I solo'd in my RV-4 I bought flying years ago. Being a CFI and tail wheel instructor helped and the new owner had 350 hours in a J-3 Cub. We accomplished his training over three long days. Technically advanced aircraft, leaning, RV-style wheel landings and cross country flying/planning were all accomplished and the new owner solo'd late in the morning on the 3rd day. We then ferried the -8 to Seattle (KBFI) since we had a break in the weather allowing us to get it there.


Milestone: 1400 Hrs ...John Bender RV-12


Initial Contact ...Sanch627

Just like to say hi, I'm beginning a build of a RV4, I built a 8 years ago an am looking forward to the 4. Sence the 4 design is 40 yrs old this year. No prepunch or match hole construction, it's a homebuilders delight.. semi retired from nursing after 27 yrs.. stay tuned .


800hr General Engine Inspection Pics ...Steve Melton

nothing needed. cleaning the air filter thru the inlet. this has to be heresy.


Status Report ...David Paule -3B

Aft Deck & Fairing Compound Curve.  The fairing mold is nearly there. I'm currently working on eliminating waves in the surface from the sanding. Even though I'm using longboard sanding, I'm still getting them. Fill and sand, and they're improving.  The photo shows the compound curve in the surface that I'd mentioned.  ...


Forward Fuse Top ...PilotjohnS 9A

The forward fuselage of my slider is a little tricky.

There is a slight bend in the sub panel near the bottom; without this, the fit is terrible. I marked the bend, used an 18" brake on the outside, and a block of wood clamped to the table for the center section's bend.  ...


My RV Weekend


Flying Canuck

DeeCee 57



RV-4 Elevator Damage ...mfalcon

We've had some minor damage to our port elevator due to a pole falling from a hangar roof. Thankfully the damage appears relatively minor (it initially appeared there was no damage), but there is a crease in the lower skin next to the trim tab and a small crack. Any hints or suggestions on how best to deal with the crease (we'll be stop drilling the crack), or do you think replacing the elevator skin completely would be best? Will be speaking to Vans support for advice too...



February 21, 2020.  Issue #5,024.
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Ed Hicks photo


The RV6A and I love Winter ...AlexPeterson

Well, maybe one of us does... Some ramblings:

Aside from being cold when pulling planes out, while risking life and limb on ice and dealing with snow, winter is a wonderful time to fly. I haven't cleaned bugs since about late October. One hasn't truly experienced their RV in maximum climb mode until you've flown with really cold temperatures. Today it wasn't too cold, with the surface temperature about 10F, light winds and clear sky. I should have done a screen capture (I was too busy grinning, even after 18+ years...), but the VSI was between 2500 and 3000fpm, at a pitch angle of about 15 degrees sustained. I hit pattern altitude (about 1900msl) just after leaving the airport boundary:  ...


Lisa Nimmo of AntiSplat ...Rest in Peace

"...I am so saddened to have to let everyone know that this last week I lost my wonderful wife, lover, soulmate, and mother of my children. Her kind and loving little heart just stopped beating as she passed away in my young daughters arms,  with no pain or suffering, and I am certain that was just where she wanted to be.

She was my flying buddy and attended many events, most airshows etc., and was able to acquire literally hundreds of friends and acquaintances associated with aviation.

Thank God we have a very large and wonderful family that is there for our children and myself at this sad and trying time in our lives. I'm not so sure we could do it without them and their support. Our world is greatly diminished with her passing, but she will always be with us until we see her again. The memorial services will be held this coming Monday, 10 AM, 2/24/20 at Bobbitt Funeral Home, 1299 east Highland Ave. San Bernardino 92404. She will be interned on a lovely, beautiful spot at Hillside Memorial Park in Redlands, California until I am chosen to go join her.

You all take care, and cherish every single moment you have with the people you love.

Best to all,



RV-14 Throttle Quad Prototype ...Aircraft Specialty

Here is what we are currently working on in our secret lab! Many thanks to Mike L for helping us out with the beta testing.


Fleeing the cold! Tropical RV Winter Getaway ...NovaBandit

As I'm typing this, it is 111 degrees F colder than where I was this time last week (92f vs -19f)! Why do I live here??

We loaded the kiddos and an unreasonable amount of baggage into the flying family truckster, and flew down to a FLORIDA BEACH HOUSE that we rented with some others from our RV10 family!

Here is the first (of two) trip recap videos!


Mission Creep ...airguy

I think I need help, I need to talk to some people or maybe start going to group meetings or something. I may have a problem.

So I took my airplane down for annual inspection, and SDS EM-5 installation. That in itself is a big upgrade and required cutting a new hole in the panel for the engine controller. But that hole was going where my current passenger warning is printed on the vinyl overlay on the panel. So I would need a new vinyl overlay to put it somewhere else. Since I have to pull the entire panel to lay up the vinyl on it, I might as well make some other changes at the same time - so I ended up completely recutting the panel to shift things around to make more real estate, and added the Dynon autopilot controller and knob panel while I was at it.

Then this evening I was just doing some deep-diving into the manuals for some of the hardware already in, and soon to be going in, to my plane... And I realized that I can move a couple contacts around to different locations on my Dynon EMS module, and free up a high impedance Class C input on pin 31 to accept a variable voltage signal, that would allow me to put a high pressure transducer on my oxygen bottle and magically teleport the bottle pressure onto my Dynon screens for monitoring - no more twisting around in the seat and squinting at the 1/4" gauge on the bottle while in flight and trying to guess how accurate it was. Now I can set an alert on the Dynon to tell me when the oxygen is running low, and I can see the actual pressure value. And then I went onto the Digikey website and bought the Honeywell transducer to do that. It'll be here on Monday.

This has to stop at some point. I mean, literally - I'm out of available inputs on the Dynon system now, and they don't make an expansion module for more. It has to stop. I have to finish this and get it back in the air.



February 20, 2020.  Issue #5,023.
Of note:  The Mothership has (7) open employment positions.  A/C Systems and Structure Assembler, TIG Welder, CNC Punch Press Operator, Drafter/Technical Writer, Engineer, Sustaining Engineer and Manufacturing Engineer (link FMI).
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

"Buck's" replacement comes home ...Av8safe

Well, the story finally comes to a happy conclusion, as I returned home on Friday with my new RV-7 to replace the one I had a deer strike with in November.

This gem was crafted by a retired orthopedic surgeon who was an electrical engineer before he went on to medical school. Roger is now 86 years young and slowing down a bit...I am honored to become the new steward of his fine work.

Many thanks to those in this community who helped me along the way. Especially thankful to DR for putting my story front and center when I first shared it on the forum. [ed. My pleasure Sir! dr]  That lead to Oly Olson reaching out and helping facilitate the match, thanks Oly. Then there is Vic, who came out for a second time to do the pre-buy. You cannot help but be impressed with Vic and his passion for safety and this sport. Finally, thanks to my friend Terry who was with me when I took out the deer (and first RV) for agreeing to come down again and fly off my insurance familiarization with me.

Beautiful weather Friday in the Midwest for the solo flight home...but a tad chilly even for a Minnesota guy! Went up today to do some pattern work and still smiling as I make this post!

Now it's time to learn some more about this beautiful bird and make some great memories.



RV Flight Time-lapse Video ...Michael Jensen RV-7A

Heres another time-lapse of a recent flight to get some cheap gas. Filmed with the GoPro Hero 8 and undistorted in post.

Bonus points to anyone that can guess the airports.


Build Update ...Todd N. RV-14A

Rudder assembly Part 2b
I put a strip of painter's tape down the trailing edge then labeled the holes 1 through 10 and then repeating. I also taped the edges of my back riveting plate to avoid scratching, even though I have already rounded them off and polished them.

Now for the task I had been apprehensive about. I loaded the holes with rivets, applied rivet tape and flipped it over. Starting in the center, I partially set every tenth rivet following the instructions in Section 5. After the first few, I started to get the hang of the process, starting perpendicular to the back rivet plate, then smoothly pivoting to perpendicular to the trailing edge wedge in one motion. After each round of rivets, I eyeballed the trailing edge to ensure it didn't start creeping out of straightness. So far so good.

After getting all the rivets 90% set, I went back over the trailing edge and finished setting them in the same every-tenth pattern, checking for straightness along the way. I ran my fingers along the rivet line, finishing any that felt like they were proud of the surface more than others. The final results turned out better than I expected. I suspect the tank sealant and the leisurely cure time helped keep everything together well during the riveting. Nothing shifted at all. Any tank sealant that squeezed out was cleaned up with acetone, and the rudder was put on the shelf with the other mostly-completed parts. On to priming the elevator and tailcone parts and waiting for spring. In the meantime I am starting on a PVC tubing spray booth in the garage.


My RV Weekend ...Flash

Quick 3 ship run for petrol to Lago Vista on a beautiful day! Only bad thing was no pics of the photo ship!



February 19, 2020.  Issue #5,022. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend: Max's Glider Rating  ...RV8Squaz




Garmin Pilot v10.0 ...announced.

Below are a few highlights:

  • With the latest Garmin Pilot upgrade, pilots experience a near-seamless transition between Garmin avionics and the Garmin Pilot app when performing common functions
  • Pilots now have the option to load or activate departures, arrivals and instrument approach procedures within the Americas
  • Using the vertical planning feature within Garmin Pilot, pilots can more easily input and adhere to crossing restrictions in a flight plan
  • The new visual procedure selector allows pilots to simultaneously view departures, approaches or arrivals on a map alongside a flight plan so it's easier to visualize and select the most appropriate procedure
  • Pilots now have the flexibility to easily build customized holding patterns within the app
  • Route data packages within Garmin Pilot help ensure pilots have downloaded all of the data required for a flight plan
  • The newest release of Garmin Pilot on Apple mobile devices is available immediately

Video: https://youtu.be/utQXERhBf_s


Panel Status ...kiljoy RV-14


Why we have engine monitors ...douglassmt

I haven't posted in a while but thought this might be of interest. I fly an RV-10 Aerosport Power IO-540 with a slick mag and a Lightspeed Plasma III ignition. Everything has worked flawlessly for 1300 hours until a recent flight. I didn't notice the behavior when it first started but on a subsequent flight I was descending into my airport, lean of peak but still plenty of throttle, when I noticed the #6 EGT went into the yellow - high temp while all the others were normal. I downloaded the data and saw this:


Panel Milestone ...Bill Woods 7A

Arrived today, Got plenty wiring to do now. Steinair is the best.


My RV Weekend ...bruceh

Flew up to Santa Monica on Sunday to deliver some repaired wing tips. Got those installed, and we were interrupted by a pre-TFR fly in of the Marine One (sans POTUS) and the backup helicopter, along with 3 Ospreys. It took forever for them to open up the field again for arrivals/departures. I was idling in the run up area for 30 minutes!


Pine Bluff, AR Formation Pics ...Mark Burns


Upcoming Webinar ...vic syracuse

Just a reminder that I will be giving another EAA RV maintenance webinar this coming Wednesday, Feb 19, at 7 PM CST. I will highlight some more areas, clarify some common questions from the last webinar, and discuss new issues not covered in the prior webinar. Hope to see you there!



February 18, 2020.  Issue #5,021. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

What did you do with your RV this Weekend (2/15-2/16) ...crabandy

I was fully planning on working on my master bath renovation project but, the wife needed her glasses at work and we were out of dishwasher tabs. Pie and I loaded up to deliver the glasses and stop by Wal-mart for dishwasher tabs. On the way out of Wal-mart I saw several familiar cars at Burger King for the 3ish coffee break. The hangar talkers usually meet at BK in the afternoon and Pie was able to score a couple "sympathy" dollars to buy a soda.

A little hangar talk along with mid 50's led to "I probably better stir the oil" and a .5 flight with Pie, calm winds and a greased on wheelie to finish it off.


Make sure to check your tire pressure! ...greg_gfeller

I feel the need to tell this story so others don't have to.

First of all a little context. I had been laid up with ankle surgery and had not flown for the past 3 months. My goal after being released to full weight bearing was to get my 12 back in the air before my condition inspection which expired February 1st and charge the Dynon back up battery so I could do the annual battery test. Excited to finally get back in the air on a clear cold January day I preflighted the plane, glanced at the tires (which always look low under the wheel pants and went flying). After getting the backup battery charged I returned to the airport and landed. Upon landing I noticed the plane decelerated faster than normal and taxied off the runway. While taxiing down the taxi way my plane made several 360 degree turns around my left main landing gear. I thought it was my brakes but instead it was my completely flat left main tire and I was grinding up and cracking my wheel pant. Laying on a cold frozen taxiway trying to remove my wheel pant was a total pain, but finally got it removed. Since I didn't have any appropriate way to jack up the wheel and was blocking the taxiway I was lucky the airport staff was able to assist me lifting the wing by the handhold on the end of the wing while I shoved a dolly underneath the flat wheel. Wasn't at all keen on how we lifted the airplane but all went well and towed the airplane back to the hangar. Turns out I spun the tube. So after a new tube, some fiberglass repair and color matched paint I am back in the air. It would have so much easier to lay on the cold hangar floor and check tire pressure before the flight!


Turner Billingsley's RV-14A Power Module

...Van's part #AV-500003)


IAS Error ...RV7A Flyer

Flying next to a friend in his new-to-him RV-6A (I believe he has an O-320 FP prop), I asked why we were going so damned slow...I was showing 100-110 KIAS, and he was showing 20 knots or greater *higher*. I *know* my airspeed is correct, by comparison with numerous other RVs in formation flights, at all sorts of altitudes and power settings. So this is a problem with his airspeed. But what?

BOTH his mechanical ASI and his D-10A were showing the same IAS. He has just had a pitot/static/XPDR cert done and passed, but I know this won't detect installation error that can only be found in flight.

He performed some stalls in order to find the *indicated* stall speed, for safety of flight on T/O and LDG, and says he stalled at around 65-70 KIAS, clearly way too high.

What could cause this? FWIW, his static ports are flush rivets, but I've only heard of problems with flush rivets causing an IAS that is too *low*, and it's almost impossible to think of an installation error with the *pitot* tube that would make it read that high.

Anyway, looking for troubleshooting advice to help out a buddy...TIA!


Upcoming Webinar ...vic syracuse

Just a reminder that I will be giving another EAA RV maintenance webinar this coming Wednesday, Feb 19, at 7 PM CST. I will highlight some more areas, clarify some common questions from the last webinar, and discuss new issues not covered in the prior webinar. Hope to see you there!


New Guy: Initial Contact ...Gregg Larson (Canton, GA)

I'm just beginning my RV 7A build, though I purchased a second hand nearly completed empennage kit and wing kit. I'm looking for someone in my area who might be interested in being a mentor for me as I get started.


Trial Fit ...David Paule -3B

The aft deck needs three holes cut in it for access or lightening or something. The location of those depends on where the horizontal stabilizer goes. With the aft deck clecoed to the longerons, I pulled the stabilizer down from the rafters and clamped it into position. Except for fore and aft, I made no effort to align it. I even left the protective bubble-wrap on.

The forward flange of the inboard nose ribs on both sides are flush with the skin. These interfered with the aft top skin, the turtledeck. The interference was small, maybe .090 spanwise and perhaps 1/4 inch long, and just on the bottom of the stabilizer. I trimmed these with a Dremel and a sanding drum, finishing with a small fine file.

Later, talking with my mentor, I learned that this is common on RV-4s and Rockets, too.

After clamping the stabilizer in place I measured where the various mounting parts will have to go and took this photo.

While I was tempted to bring the vertical stabilizer down from the rafters and clamp it on, too, I refrained. We all know where that would lead: lining these parts up and hanging the elevators and rudder. One of these days, but not today. Instead, I put the horizontal stabilizer back up in the rafters for now.



February 17, 2020.  Issue #5,021.
  This past Friday I was offered a part time right seat gig a couple mornings a week at a local DFW simulator in their Embraer Phenom 100/300 program.  Maybe the occasional evening.  This to aid in my lifelong quest for continuous family food and shelter, and hopefully some retirement.  So this will be concurrently-running job #3 (VAF 80%, PC-12NG side work 5%, Sim 15%).  The life of a self employed person is never dull <g>.
  The second 'interview' was 0700 Friday in the sim complete with V1 cut and ILS - managed not to embarrass myself too badly (first V1 cut in a modern sim).  Exciting stuff!  The Caravan side jobs last year laid great groundwork.
  If I'm honest, our family's RV-6 glass panel really did help prepare me for this - a LOT of that Phenom panel felt very familiar.  I thought he was crazy when two years ago a friend said if that I got my instrument and commercial in my RV I could easily get side work.  I guess all this is food for thought if you're living in the movie 'Office Space' like I was back in the day.  I very much did use my RV, which I thought was a hobby for years and years, as a vehicle to take a sort of career side tangent.  Another unintended consequence of getting into the world's greatest hobby!!!  You never know where RVs will lead ;^).
  This sim side gig should not affect VAF in any way, but it will give me possible side work opportunities down the road (you can 'cash in' 80 sim sessions for a PIC type rating).  Self-employed long enough to jump at those things that reduce financial and career risk.  Grateful and Blessed.  Grateful and Blessed.
  Hope you had a wonderful RV weekend. 
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Ready for First Engine Start ...kbalch

Ready for the first engine start yesterday. Inspection is scheduled for next week (2/20).


Trek to Nogales - More AZ Flying ...Capt Sandy

Ahoy VAF'ers!
More Arizona fun! Roy and I heard from a (Cessna pilot) friend that its an easy trek across the border to Nogales. The possibility of finding good street tacos appealed, so we headed that way.
Very fun to fly by Kit Peak observatory.
There's no courtesy car at the Nogales airport. I negotiated a round trip taxi fare. There is a circle drive where folks are dropped off and picked up at the border crossing (lots of shuttle buses to Tucson). Super easy to walk across the border - in fact no one looked at our passports.
We walked around town, did a little shopping, and found a terrific restaurant for lunch. We did not get tacos. Always a good sign when we are the only gringos in the place.
Lunch for both of us was $12 (plus tip)
Purchased two Mexican "hoodies" $20
Taxi to and from $40
Fuel... well, let's swag $75 (round trip from Ajo)
Pretty close to a $100 hamburger, but tons more fun.
(Note - getting back to the U.S. was not so easy. Global Entry cards made it easier.)
On our way back we flew over a mine just south of Tucson, that was so huge, the entire state of Delaware would probably fit inside. There are many open pit mines in Arizona, but that was definitely one of the biggest we've seen.


Valentines Day ...crabandy

I know there's a thread around here somewhere about RV tools being used about the house but I couldn't find it.

We tend to avoid the crowds on V-day and cook at home. I destroyed the kitchen shears trimming fiberglass years ago.......Happy Valentines Day to all the significant others that put up with this airplane hobby!


RV-3B Status Report ...David Paule

Waiting for drywall compound, aka "mud," to dry means that I needed to find something else to do for a while. The F-319 (or it might be F-317 or F-318, it's called all of those. But on drawing 22, it's F-319) aft deck was cut out a while ago but not drilled for installation. It's intended to be riveted to the longerons and the F-309 bulkhead. On my plane, it'll be attached with screws so that I can remove it for access to the area.

I measured where the holes should be and marked some to avoid drilling until later, just in case the horizontal stabilizer blocks a portion. Then since the .040 aft deck was opaque and I couldn't verify the longerons under it, I overlaid a bit of that .030 Lexan that I'm using as patterns and transferred the hole locates to that. Placing it over the longerons, it was obvious that I needed to shift the hole locations just a bit outboard for better edge distance. No problem, since I could see exactly where to put them.

The .030 Lexan is sourced at McMaster. It comes with a matt plastic protective layer, much like the blue vinyl we enjoy so much, except that it's translucent. It easily holds the Sharpie marks and the sheet is stiff enough that It makes superb patterns.

Once the Lexan template was overlaid on the aft deck, I used my handy Verits optical hole punch to punch through the Lexan into the aft deck. The next step was to drill the holes to #50. Why #50? Because that's small enough that if necessary, I can walk the hole to a slightly better location, and also because a Sharpie just fits and I was able to mark the longerons with the hole locations.

Removing the aft deck, I checked the hole locations on the longerons and verified that they were acceptable. Then I pilot-drilled through both the aft deck and the longerons with a #4The large access holes still need to be made.


Dynon is Looking For People ...Dynon

We're growing!

Dynon currently has career opportunities available across the company.

Open positions include:
Software Engineer in Guidance, Navigation & Control
Software Development Engineer
Aircraft Mechanic
Avionics Repair Technician
Staff Accountant
Supply Chain Manager
Facilities Specialist   ...


RV-8 and the Day Off Work ...ArlingtonRV

Monday 2/10 was far too nice a day to spend at work, so I decided to call in healthy and go flying instead. It was the best day of the year, so far. We went to Richland for lunch, but took a different route. We went south to Monroe, Duvall, Carnation and past Snoqualmie Falls and followed I-90.

With all the rain we have had this year there was a lot of water on the ground in those areas. It turned out to be a really nice trip.


New optional kit: ACCESS PANEL KIT for 7/9/10/14 ...mothership

Hi All,

There's a new optional kit available to order form the Van's web store as of last night. We have several in stock now. It's called "ACCESS PANEL KIT" and is designed for use on the RV-7/9/10/14. It can be used during new construction, or as a retrofit installation (in which case you'll drill out two applicable rivets so you can fit the template).

The kit sells for $19.00, so let's face it, it's a freakin' bargain. Try that, certified world!

This particular kit was initially the work of our friend Joe Blank, who worked in technical support here at Van's and unfortunately passed away a few years ago. We were able to pick up his work and finish it off so we can share it with you.

This kit was created in response to customer desires/requests over the years. Our engineering team has worked recently to select and deliver a handful of these smaller enhancement requests when they can find a few cycles (and that doesn't happen often - did I mention we are hiring engineers?) with the goal of delivering options that people can choose from if they wish. Other recent examples include this kit, the cowl louvers kit, the AHARS mounting bracket kit, RV-12 step plugs and optional style throttle handle, etc. You'll find those on our web store in the "New Products" section.

What this kit does: Allows the builder to put a couple of access panels in the skin ahead of the windscreen, which can be removed in the event there's a need to get into the area between the firewall and the subpanel located at the back of the avionics bay. Some builders want this so they can get access without having to contort themselves upside down under the instrument panel while doing maintenance. You do need to use a sealant when installing the panels, so the primary tradeoffs here are easier access vs. the potential for leaks if not properly sealed when closed up.

The instructions page (OP-43) is linked from the kit's web store page, and that document should answer any questions you have about how one applies this kit and how the parts fit, etc. There are template instructions for each of the airplanes it applies to, all explained in the OP-43 document.

Again, this kit is designed for and includes templates for the RV-7/7A, RV-9/9A, RV-10, and RV-14/14A.


Mothership Closed Monday



February 14, 2020.  Issue #5,020.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

N1402 is Officially an Airplane! ...azflyer21

-814 Days (QB)
-Several Pints of Blood
-Gallons of Sweat
-Many Sleepless Nights
-Threw-in-the-towel (numerous times)
-Maybe even a few tears

100% satisfaction receiving my Airworthy Certificate!


Time to Build ...asw20c

I figure it's time to re-calibrate my expectations again. I'm building an RV14A slow-build, and currently have over 1100 hours expended, and I'm only just now getting close to finishing the wings. Granted I had to build the flaps twice and lost about 3 months doing so, but the Van's website says the modern matched-hole RV14 kit might take someone 1000-1300 hours to complete. Based on my experience so far, that is wildly optimistic. I consider myself a very careful builder, but not obsessive. In other words, I want everything to be airworthy, but gave up on perfect a long time ago. Mine will be a very capable aircraft (i.e. autopilot and fully IFR), but I'm not adding any capability that most other builders aren't. So far the only thing I've done that is "off plans" is installing the heated pitot with AOA, and yes, that ended up taking a lot more time than I would have guessed. I'm also priming everything that is interior to the aircraft, so I know that is adding to the build-time, but I figure it will be well worth the investment when I'm too old to fly anymore and it comes time to sell.
Looking ahead to what is left (fuselage, engine, avionics), and basing it on my progress to date, I'm guessing I will have at least 2000 hours or more before it leaves the ground. I'm even planning on leaving it unpainted until after it has been flying and all the bugs worked out so paint isn't factored into the build time. So, what's a realistic build time for the 14A? Just curious what other builders expended now that we have several 14s flying.
Empennage Complete Except for Tips
Wings Underway


Micro Consistency Update ...Trent Stewart

Thought i would update the thread with my massive learning curve - satisfying when i get a nice smooth surface though!


Erratic RPM sensor - Saga continues could it be the Lightspeed

Ok am so perplexed by this. I believe my RPM sensor is built into the Plasma II+ CDI with Direct Crank Sensor. Would that be correct. I haven't not been able to trace a RPM sensor anywhere else. I am running a Slick Mag and the Light speed. for the 4-500 hours my RPM gauge was spot on, now it has been slowly becoming more erratic, now bouncing between 0-3000 (it is def just just sensor/monitor, and not prop). It is wired through my GRT 4000 and and the GRT Horizon WS screens with the first problems showing at the GRT 4000. I have cleaned all the spark plug wires and thought that might have fixed it but to no avail. Now I am thinking it may be the Direct Crank sensor and a bad electrical lead (however the engine is running great and mag checks are normal).

What am I missing? Sometimes I hate electronics.



Panel Porn

100% FAB'd center console upgrade for RV-4.  Randy Richmond's work on James Walsh RV-4 panel improvements.  Fuses inside...

click to enlarge


Mothership Closed Monday


Antenna Question ...asw20c

Q: I figure there are folks on this forum that understand antenna voodoo and can explain something that makes no sense to me. When I started on my slow-build wings, I knew that I wanted ground-based navaids as a backup for satellite navigation and approaches; i.e I wanted to be able to navigate by VOR and make ILS approaches if I had to. Stein was happy to sell me a Bob Archer VOR antenna that fits in the wingtip (pick one) that they said would do VOR navigation and ILS approaches.
Fast forward and I'm now at the stage where it is time to install the antenna. I did a quick internet search and found that VOR frequencies are 108-118 MHz, and the instructions that came with the antenna say it covers that range and more (I think 108-136MHz) so I know it is good for both VOR navigation as well as localizers. However glide slope frequencies are 329-335 MHz which clearly this antenna was not designed to receive.
I called Stein today to ask them about this and they said that if you have a modern navigator, like a GTN650, that it is able to sort out the localizer and glide slope frequencies from this one antenna and that they said other people have been using these same antennas with no complaints.
Can anyone explain this? Is there a misunderstanding between me and Stein? Can anyone here vouch for the fact that they have one of these antennas and can make an ILS approach? i.e. a PRECISION approach?

A: The Glide slope frequency is near the third harmonic of the localizer frequency and antennas perform fairly well on odd harmonics, an antenna designed for 108 to 118 MHz will also be useful on 329.3 to 335.0 MHz.
The ground based Glide Slope antenna beams most of the 40 watt signal toward the aircraft which is only about 5 miles away so it does not take much of an antenna to receive the signal.

A: As Don said, antennas that are resonant at half-wavelength are also resonant at 3/2, 5/2, etc., wavelengths, so they work well at 330 MHz. The 50 ohm matching network may be off a bit, but, as Don said, the GS is relatively strong. There are 1000's of flying airplanes with dipoles for 110 MHz up on their tails that also use the same antenna for 330 MHz GS. My SL30 doesn't even have a separate GS antenna input - it expects to use the nav antenna. BTW, I have an Archer in my wingtip, it works fine - vor, loc, and GS.



February 13, 2020.  Issue #5,019. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Engine Failure Video: RV-12 ...Felix1973

Hello fellow RV-12 pilots:

Yesterday I had an engine failure right after takeoff. I turned around, declared emergency and landed her safely. It was pretty scary though.

This happened at 300ft and all engine instruments were in green. I did do pre-flight and run-up and had no prior indication for that. Ambient temperature was 82 degrees with 70% humidity. I am running 93 auto-gas.

I uploaded a short video of that incident I would like to get your feedback, maybe anyone can determine from sound of the engine what kind of failure this may have been?



Emergency tire repair in the boondocks????

Having a flat tire in an RV in an out-of-way place can be a nightmare...envisage no tools, no jacking equipment, no spare tube....and maybe no people prepared to provide assistance.

Is it possible that any of the current automotive tire repair kits could be used to fix a puncture temporarily so that the aircraft could be flown home or to an airfield where there is appropriate maintenance support. We're talking here about tires with tubes, which is what most of the RV fleet has.

Has anyone had success with any of the tire sealants such as Slime etc?

I'm interested in all comments on this subject.


My RV Weekend ...Roy Thoma

Sierra visited us in Ajp for the first time. Friday, when asked if she would like to fly over the mine to see it she said SURE! First time Sandy or I can remember her going for a flight "for fun" rather than to get somewhere.

Saturday I flew to Copperstate and had a nice time. The dirt parking lot was dusty, not rough. It was nice to say HI to Shane from uAvionics and Kevin from Tosten Manufacturing (aircraft stick grips). Nice low key show.


RV7 IO-360 M1B Engine Mount Query


I have the IO-360 M1B as supplied by Vans with the matching firewall forward kit and I am currently bolting up the engine to the mount. On the bottom 2 isolators and mounting lugs they are not sitting flat as the oil sump casting sticks out past the flat engine mounting face as you can see in the photo attached.

In my firewall forward kit I received the 4x isolator kits which each included a large flat washer which is under the head of all 4 bolts and mounts, and then separately with the engine mounting bolts in the Vans kit there were 2 slightly smaller diameter large washers included, as you can see in the second photo.

My thoughts are that I could use these 2 washers on the front side of the BOTTOM isolators to space the engine mounting lugs out and clear the sump casting .. but I am conscious I could be adding up-thrust by doing so.

What are you guys doing with this?



Houston area monthly lunch (February 2020)

The time cometh again. Aviator's Grill at DWH, this Saturday (15th), 11:30.  Last month we had a pretty good turnout - let's keep it going!


Panel Update

Progress slow due to the cold I had, some fam vehicle issues I'm working on fixing, the normal computer things and more.

Tony Kirk sent me an updated 507 mount pic slightly lowered to facilitate easier wiring.  Like it!  Maybe next week I can make a dent in the project some more - the Wx here has been lousy and cold for days (rain finally stopped Wed afternoon).  That hangar is cold.



February 12, 2020.  Issue #5,018. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Quick flight to the OR coast to see the king tides from the air...mill2978 RV-8

During a break in the clouds on Sunday AM I got a quick flight out the coast to see the surf. Density altitude was reporting at -2300ft, the Dirty Bird lept off the ground.


RV-10 Status Report ...andrewtac

Getting started, hopefully picture comes through


Tail Wheel Fairing Update ...lucaperazzolli

Hi everyone,

yesterday I finished the tests of the fairing and from now the company is ready to ship it.

First of all, I checked the first pre-production (X) - great in shape but a little too light. Strong but with vibration (0.22 lbs/100gr.)

I added some American Tape and vibration disappear.

Here the videos

Takeoff : https://youtu.be/JNRstSSjuxo
Gs and Vne : https://youtu.be/tUjjSdDzmeI
landing: https://youtu.be/G41yInZ0z6A

Then we added more layer to increase the weight and after some prototypes and flights, the right one is #2 wit a final weight of 0.35 lbs/158gr.).


Taken just prior to first flight ...leok

Keep workin'. Like getting old, one day you look up from the work bench and realize you are done!

I have 15 1/2 hours on the plane. It would be more if the weather would cooperate


Nice connector for stick wiring ...Draker

After some searching, I think I found a connector I'm happy with for wiring the Ray Allen grip on my -7's removable co-pilot stick. My requirements were:
Both male and female connectors to fit entirely inside the stick tube
At least 6 contacts
Reasonably weathertight

Enter the Switchcraft EN3 series. 6 soldered contacts, keyed so they fit one way, and locking. And everything fits right inside the stick grip.



February 11, 2020.  Issue #5,017. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Fresh Paint ...Aviaman 9A (KLOU, Louisville KY)


What RV For Me? (New Member)

Hey all,

Been lurking for a while and finally joined to start posting. Recently graduated college with my mechanical engineering degree and have started work. Im working on my private pilots license still so building may seem like a jump to some so let me explain.....I have always had a passion for DIY and building.I have pretty extensive experience restoring cars and building a wide array of things by hand (current project is the renovation of my first home). New and unknown things are a challenge I enjoy diving into and learning. As such I want to build my first plane to have the experience and learn. I am well connected in my local aviation community via my work (in aviation) and have several people who have built many planes to access for help and guidance. I wanted to come here to ask a few questions as I begin to gather and plan to start this project in the coming year or so. Below are my thoughts and points to consider for picking the right RV:

1) My general mission for the plane will be fast cross country, I live in Ohio and have friends in DC, Michigan, New Mexico, and Florida and want to make the time gap between us as small as possible, so speed is a strong desire. Most flights will be solo but I want the ability to take a passenger in relative comfort and still fit a bag for each of us for the weekend.

2) I plan to get my IFR rating after completing my private and I want the plane to be a good IFR platform and am looking for suggestions for avionics.

3)I plan to take 5-6 years to finish the plane

4) Obviously I will probably be pretty low hour when the RV is finished ~200-500 im guessing based on my plans to fly rentals available to me. So the RV I build needs to be friendly to someone without 1000s of hours.

5) I plan to buy the kits in succession, that is I plan to buy one kit and as I build it I will save for the next. So the air frame will be paid for when complete but I need to figure out financing to afford engine, avionics and prop. I am an engineer so I have some means but im not in a position to rock up to lycoming with 37k in cash for an engine.

So I am looking for advice on what RV is right, and then what Avionics, engine, and prop to pair with that RV to best fit my mission as well as advice on how you paid for your project.


Panel with Lighting Now ...Dave Ford


3D Audio Yaw Cues ...Vac

To avoid an unintentional loss of control, the pilot has to properly control AOA, sideslip and energy. Our basic tone logic addresses AOA and energy; so recently, we've begun experimenting with 3D (stereo) audio cuing to move the tone with the ball in the slip/skid indicator to provide yaw (sideslip) cues.

Turns out the human brain is remarkably good at picking out the direction that a sound comes from. In this case, the Gen 2 box uses EFIS input or internal accelerometers to measure yaw, and when yaw is present "slew" the sound of the tone to provide the same information as the ball, i.e., what rudder input is required to eliminate sideslip. To minimize sideslip, you "step on the tone" the same way you "step on the ball" to center it up.

This feature requires either a stereo ICS or stereo headphones with bluetooth capability. The gain (i.e., how much and how perceptibly the tone moves) is adjustable. Since I'm used to flying the tone, my preference is subtle, accurate cueing; but some folks might prefer more (or less) perceptible shift.

Here's a short video clip of the system in action (you have to use a stereo speakers/headset/ear buds to hear the tone shift): https://youtu.be/3HRWToFA0dM. In some of the video, it's not possible to see the actual ball in the EFIS display due to lighting conditions, however I'm flying down-sun and my shadow on the instrument panel is helpful as is noting the motion of the aircraft nose relative to the horizon.

Thoughts or comments on the yaw cuing logic are appreciated.




Fuel line - severe abrasion

A second owner aircraft. previous A&P inspection. flying for a couple of years. owner inspection found severe fuel injected fuel line wear abrasion. in true honesty, perhaps the best inspector is the guy behind the stick. not much time left for this hose.


Canopy Latch - Supertracks ...SuperCubDriver

I had the Supertracks Canopy Track Extension laying around for over a year now. My prop is removed for an overhaul so I thought this is a good time to do the installation.
It all went smooth however I'm missing a canopy latch to hold the canopy open a few inches during warm weather taxi, the one I had cannot be reused with the track extensions.
So I came up with two solutions, here is the one I finally realized:

I reamed the WD-644 canopy roller just a bit for a smooth inner hole. I then fabricated an aluminum slider which goes inside the canopy frame and is springloaded. It is hold in place with the AN525 screw and can slide a litle more than 1/8 of an inch. The slider is held in the up position with a springloaded round handle which locks itself in a small cutout in the canopy frame. Pulling the handle out a bit lets the slider pushed down by it's spring and a locking pin locks the canopy in a drilled hole to the C-657 Canopy Roller Track. The locking pin is actually a set screw and can be adjusted with an Allen key from the inside.


First Flight at Jay Pratt's RV Central


My RV Weekend

I flew my homeward commute on Friday afternoon in the Carolina ugliness that Catmandu mentioned in his post.

Preflight was interesting in the high wind. I had to think about which tiedown to leave for last so I could unhook it and scramble into the cockpit to get my feet on the brakes.

Fully moderate turbulence as forecast but it slackened a bit west of Winston (INT) which reduced the workload for about 15 minutes. It started picking back up as I approached the mountains. The Mt. Mitchell complex looked down right menacing. Dark. Rocks all the way into the shredded cloud overcast.

I hedged south of my normal route to distance myself from them. I've been severely banged around by that set of mountains before.

Landed with little fanfare. The AVL valley really guides the wind straight down the runway. Parked and plugged in the heater.

This morning, on the commute out I matched my highest groundspeed at 230 kts with a glass smooth tailwind. Not nearly as high as others have done but it did make me smile.
Bill Pendergrass


Panel PIREP ...RV10Man 9A



February 10, 2020.  Issue #5,016.
  Spent the weekend battling a monster cold and up to my eyeballs in computer hardware and software.  Yuck!  Making progress on both.  Hope you had a nice RV weekend.  I'm hoping to work on the RV-6 panel this week some.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

N84TH Flies! ...sapeloson

April 23rd, 2010 the tail kit for my RV8 arrived. After almost 10 years of building, she flew for the first time yesterday. Even though I have had my transition training and are quilified to fly her. I don't have the tailwheel experience nor the understaning of the intracacies of engine performance "should and should not's". Knowing I would have Vic Syracuse be the DAR, I had him come down a few years ago to make sure I was headed in the right direction.

Last month when I put in the paperwork for an inspection, I asked if he would be the "test pilot" for my maiden voyage, he agreed. Yesterday, I received my "airworthiness certificate" and Vic flew the plane. All was good! I plan to get a few more hours of training over the next few weeks and begin phase 1.

Huge shout out to Vic and "BaseLeg Aviation" for keeping me headed in the right direction! 


Dog Gone Good Day! ...petehowell

Saturday was cold and clear in America's favorite Twin Cities, so Bernie and I decided it might be a good time to turn liquid BTUs into decibels and fun. We even brought some friends along for the ride!  ...


RV-8 and the Day the Rain Ended (Briefly)...ArlingtonRV

It has been a really wet winter here in the upper left hand corner. Today was only the second day this year I have been able to fly. At that, I didn't think I would as it still didn't look very good, but Carl suggested we try and that turned out to be a good suggestion. Our original target turned out to be not practical, but an alternate presented itself along the way.

It was a bit gloomy looking getting back home, but it all worked out well.


What did you do with your RV this weekend (2/8 - 2/9'ish) ...SPX

So, what did you do with your RV this weekend? Flew it? Built some more of it? Just went to the airport to look at it? Let's hear it...

Me? I flew from my home airport (CRQ) to San Diego Brown Field (SDM) for the Young Eagles event. Flew two Young Eagles around San Diego, both who seemed to enjoy it very much, as did I. Everywhere I go, the RV attracts attention...

Flying the work airplane tomorrow, so that concludes my RV weekend. But, looking like two, possibly three RV flights coming up this week/next weekend, one of which will introduce a corporate pilot friend of mine to the RV. He thinks that he "might" want one. Who wants to take a bet on how long it'll be before he owns one??

Vlad's entry...




RV Stories: Guil Barros and his RV-9A ...mothership vid


Status Report ...David Paule -3B

Mud on Foam
After some more work shaping the foam, I was ready to seal it. The main issue was that I'd shaped it a bit too far on the sides in the middle, losing some of the compound curvature that you ca see in the top center. I needed to build that up and fill in some gaps that remained in the foam mold.

Drywall compound is the answer. It allows a build-up, the consistency is the same across multiple layers and that avoids sanding discontinuities. Also, it's cheap and I didn't have to mix it. Normally, I would not permit this anywhere on the plane, but since this is a mold, not a flight part, it's okay here.

This is after I'd just started on the right side. Previously, I'd verified that the drywall compound will stick to the foam. I'm just using a yellow plastic epoxy squeegee for this instead of my drywall tools. They can't handle compound curves.


James Aircraft Update

James Aircraft, home of the Sam James Holy Cowl has had a tremendous year of change. Mark and I, Mike, purchased the company from Sam and Will James in February of last year. I thought it would be good to update everyone on what's been happening with the company since we acquired it.

Mark and I both have nothing but gratitude to both Sam and Will James whom we purchased the company from. They are awesome people and have been there for us any time we have called for help or just to chat. Sam is now officially retired and refurbishing his boat at his home in Florida. Will moved to Vermont and is enjoying a life of nature, cold weather, and snow.

After purchasing the company, we moved everything from Sam's place in Florida up to Maryland and set up a new shop. By the time this was accomplished we were well into May and sitting on a huge backlog of orders that had accumulated since well before we took over. This presented some extreme challenges for us. Sam and Will spent a week training us in Florida but we still had a lot of learning to do on the product manufacturing techniques and on accelerating production throughput. All this had to be accomplished while more orders continued coming in.

In our first six months we manufactured and shipped a large number of cowls, plenums, induction systems, and wheel pants to customers all over the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Our customers included builders of RV's, Mustang II, Glasstar, Glassair, Bearhawk, a variety of canards, Reno air racers, an air show performer and another kit manufacturer. With the help of our distributor's tech rep, we re-evaluated the resins and processes that we were using. One of the big changes that we made was to move from a very difficult to work with high temperature epoxy resin used on the plenums to a hard to find and obtain high temperature vinyl ester resin that retains the strength and heat characteristics while at the same time reducing weight and working viscosity. This helped significantly in wetting out the fabric and in improving product quality. It also lays the foundation for moving to vacuum infusion.

We have a number of changes and projects on our plate right now:
- We very quickly outgrew the relatively small space that we have been leasing in a large community hangar shared with a maintenance shop and aircraft owners. On March 1st we will be moving into our own substantially larger and fully insulated hangar which will house the business and our two RV's. While we may have to temporarily reduce our production volume during this move, the new facility will benefit us tremendously as we scale up our production volume.
- We are also collaborating with a couple builders in the design and development of a cowl for the RV14 and RV10. Computer aided design and simulation will be used during the development of these new products.
- We are sourcing new materials and resins to improve product quality and gain efficiencies in production.
- Several molds that we have been using need design improvements or are at the end of their useful life so we are making new molds that can be used for vacuum infusion of fiberglass and carbon fiber parts.
- We have plans to purchase a larger curing oven so that we properly ramp cure some of the resins we are moving to and also the ability to produce parts from carbon fiber prepreg.

At times we get an abundance of calls and emails which we try to get answered as quickly as possible. Please give us a ring back if you have not received a response from us in a reasonable time. It is difficult for us to break away while manufacturing parts so please leave us a message if you get our voicemail.

Thank you to all our customers and if you plan on becoming one please order them early in your build. There is currently about a six-month backlog in our production queue. We do not take any payment up front so it does not hurt to get your name on the production list as early as possible. We look forward to the future and to the opportunity to provide products that perform well and look great.

For more information please visit our website www.jamesaircraft.com


RV-8 25th Anniversary this year at OSH ...mothership

The RV-8 turns 25 years old this year, and Van's and EAA plan to work with members of the community to celebrate the anniversary at AirVenture in Oshkosh! Planning to fly your RV-8 to OSH this year? Sign up at this link to join in the celebration.

Note that when you're filling out the form if you see a reference to "RV-4" just double it and pretend it says "RV-8." That'll get fixed sometime soon.

We will announce events and plans here as they solidify.

This year will be the first one in many that we have had an RV-8 in our Van's booth. John Stahr plans to be at our booth his well-known and amazingly painted RV-8.

We look forward to seeing everyone there!


New RV-14A Build Site ...kbalch

While my project is nearly done (inspection scheduled for 2/20/20), I've only recently completed a build site for it. Prior to this, I've been posting photos to my personal Facebook page and sharing those posts with the Vans RV-14 group.

The URL is: RV-14a.com

Take a look; I hope it's of use to the many -14A builders still working on their projects.


Mounting a removable tablet in my 9A panel...MrNomad

I finally replaced my Lowrance with a Samsung tablet for ADSB In and Out using echoUAT, Avare, Garmin GTX 327, CMAX serial to Bluetooth, sniffing, wifi, Dynon 100, 180 & AP74.

I preferred a method which enabled me to remove the tablet after each flight for charging and update. Here's a pic.

Second, I prepared a WORD narrative during the gradual installation of ADSB. I am not an EE so lots of the jargon was foreign to me. As each step was accomplished, and as my understanding of the components improved, I constantly rewrote the narrative. Anyone with the same equipment who would like a copy of my narrative, PM me and I will send it out.


Flap motor arm cover ...Carl Froehlich

A good friend and RV-8A driver, Tom Doran, came up with this slick cover. It needs a #8 nutplate on the arm rest and a #6 nutplate on the rear seat bulkhead. It shares a #8 screw on the top aft of the side panel cover.

Attached is a template I used to make this out of 0.032" aluminum. 



February 7, 2020.  Issue #5,015.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Went Shopping 2 ...Vlad

Very recently I've moved. My village doesn't a grocery store residents usually drive to either Vernal or Green River WY to shop. I looked at the map checked the turbulence forecast and decided to fly to Lander KLND. Road to my airport was passable.  continue


SB 20-01-17 -- Safety Wire Engine Plugs (RV-12/12iS)

Van's has issued a short Service Bulletin, SB 20-01-17, which directs owners to safety-wire specific plugs on the Rotax engines used on the RV-12 and RV-12iS.

"The magnetic plug, oil pressure regulator plug, and oil tank drain plug on Rotax 912iS and 912ULS engines should be safety wired to prevent loosening."

We've also published the respective kit assembly instructions (KAI) pages, which now include the steps to safety-wire the plugs. The timeframe for execution of this service bulletin is at or before the next annual condition inspection (or next 100-hour inspection for RV-12s under a commercial 100-hour inspection program). This relatively simple set of steps to follow can be done when the engine cowling is off the aircraft.
For RV-12iS using Rotax 912iS engines, perform all steps on KAI page 46iS-11 to safety wire the engine plugs.
For RV-12iS using Rotax 912ULS engines, perform all steps on KAI page 46U-17 to safety wire the engine plugs.
For RV-12 using Rotax 912ULS engines, perform all steps on KAI page 46-22 to safety wire the engine plugs.


RV6A Dynon panel ...Zero4Zulu

I've been working on this RV6A rebuild on and off for many years. I mounted the Dynon HDX recessed in my panel with some custom machined brackets. Switch guards are my design and possible product for sale. Not sure whether that is worth while. Getting closer to flying this thing...


Seat Rail Advice ...rvanstory RV-10

Installing seat rails today. In the process I had 2 of the corner nut plates "bend" as I attempted to insert the screw to hold them down. Removing these is a little bit of a pain, not to mention the repair of the 2 corner nutplates which are in the worst possible position. Question.... Would you build on and simply have 2 missing screws (one out of left seat, one out of right seat), or would you take the time to replace? I'm leaning toward leaving as is, but thought I'd get others opinions first. Here's some pics...  more


Status Report

Slowly but surely Vlad.



February 6, 2020.  Issue #5,014.
  Friday's edition might be a couple hours delayed - I have an interview Thursday afternoon at a sim here in DFW to be a body-when-they-need-one if they have an odd number of students during dial-a-disaster sessions.  Throw the gear, read checklists, get 'em a new spoon if they drop theirs, etc.  Potential extra paper route $$$ and continued learning that the RV-6 started. 
  Haven't been on an interview in 27 years.  People still shake hands and smile, right?  Hope so. ;^)
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

From the vault. Smokey Ray in the 'X' (full size)


The Mystery of the Missing Brake Fluid ...bkervaski


Last October during a taxi I noticed my brakes getting mushy.

Upon inspection, the brake reservoir was empty.

This is the Beringer brake system.

I check the brake fluid at least once per month and the last check, a few weeks prior during the annual, it was the normal 3/4 full.

Here's the mystery: Beyond one tiny drop on the reservoir connection there was no leaked break fluid anywhere. I checked everything. Every connector in the airplane, the entire path of the lines. Nothing. Just a small drop on the back end of the reservoir but nothing pooled up. No stains in the plane or on the hangar floor. Nothing.

I didn't post then because I wanted to see if it would happen again and it hasn't, the reservoir has maintained 3/4.

The only conclusion I can reach is that perhaps there was a large volume of air somewhere in the system that finally cleared itself, however, prior to the magic disappearing brake fluid the brakes were working great, no issues and very consistent.



Tips needed for dimpling completed firewall ...dwranda

I am trying to hang my oil cooler and would like to put nut plates in so removal will be easier in the future. Want nut plates behind everything on the firewall to ease removing from the front only. I would need to dimple the firewall where there is the angle support behind it. Obviously I can't just use the dimpler that uses the rivet puller. Is it OK to countersink these even though the firewall is so thin?


Engine quit while practicing stalls ...Strappe

On a clear sunny Groundhog and Super Bowl Day I went for the first test flight to set up SV-AP-Panel and AoA system.
Barometer was 27.81, OAT 54℉ on the ground, winds calm.

2015 RV-12
Dynon Skyview Touch with 2 axis-AP
SV-Knob Panel (installed 5/2019)
Gen3 HACman mixture control (installed 7/2019)
Silent Hektik VR (installed 9/2019)
SV-AP-Panel (installed 11/2019)
AoA retrofit kit (installation finished 1/28/2020 - required removal of wings and fuel tank.
In level flight at 6500 MSL, OAT 29℉, electric fuel pump on, HACman mixture set to full rich, I lowered engine RPM to 3,000 and began first stall to calibrate AoA. With RPM at 2500, nose up steeply and near the stall, the engine RPM fell and the engine began to run roughly. I lowered the nose right at full stall, logged the stall in Skyview (of course), lowered the nose, eased throttle forward then leveled out after full recovery. Engine recovered full RPM and smooth running, but only after 30-45 seconds of roughness with nose level.
I decided to add a second stall to the calibration. Entry to stall was similar, but of a longer duration and at full stall, RPM began to fall and in 2-3 seconds, the engine quit. By full recovery from the stall, the prop stopped. Initial attempts at using the starter failed to restart the engine. I did the usual system checks (fuel on, electric pump audibly clattering away and making good fuel pressure, all active engine monitors in the green, HACman still full rich) and began to set up an approach and landing at the paved airport less than 3 miles away. My altitude by then was over 5,000 MSL, about 3500 AGL. After several more attempts with the starter, the engine roared to life after about 3 minutes in glider mode. I re-established cruise RPM slowly and leveled off, only to have the engine quit again. This time it restarted within 10 seconds or so of running the starter.
I flew back to my home airport (> 30 miles away) without further incident, did a full stall landing. The newly calibrated AoA and the stall warning agreed on the moment lift was lost. The engine ran fine during landing stall and taxi.

The electric fuel pump appears to be running fine, with good pressure at all times (although, I did not check it during the drop in RPM/rough running moments; only after stall recovery). The fuel tank was full at takeoff and I have no evidence of any leaks in the fuel system, but I have not yet removed the cowling or floor boards to do a full inspection. I completed last CI in late August and two carb floats were heavy, so I replace them with new.

I emailed Green Sky Adventures on Monday and am awaiting a reply. One local RV-12 owner with HACman installed has never noted any issues like this. Reading the install instructions and operational information (and warnings) however, engine stoppage from what they state are incorrect installations can occur. Obviously, I need to check the entire fuel system if I can't find an issue with the mixture controller. Carb floats seem always on the list of suspects. This doesn't seem like an ignition issue, however. Or does it?

I'm looking for suggestions. I do not want to fly the plane until this is resolved.


Thank You Again

Occasionally somebody will include a note with a donation, and sometimes it will reference Ace and the Tater (nicknames for our kids). I want them to share in the kindness, so I took a picture and forwarded.

The VAF family brings our family great joy and happiness, and I thank you again for that. We are Blessed.



February 5, 2020.  Issue #5,013. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Status Report ...Vernh59


3-Blade Sensenich Prop - Now available for RV-12is/RV-12 ...mothership

Van's has published updated RV-12/12iS powerplant kit order forms, a new plans section (47AiS/U) and a service letter (SL 19-12-31), all of which are related to the now-available optional 3-blade Sensenich propeller kit.

We displayed this prop on a stand in our booth at Oshkosh last year and flew it to the show on one of our factory aircraft. It garnered quite a bit of interest. Now that the engineering has been completed and testing of the final install package is all wrapped up, the three-blade prop and spinner kit is available to order as an option on new powerplant kit orders (you'll get to choose either a two-blade or three-blade prop when you order). You can also place a stand-alone order for the prop without the rest of the Powerplant kit (just use the powerplant kit order form and select only the 3-blade prop option in that case).

Note that when building your airplane, in order to register ELSA the parts - including the propeller - must be bought directly from Van's and tracked in our records under that aircraft serial number. Once an aircraft has been licensed and registered ELSA you may, of course, make any changes as you wish.

People will, of course, want to know what's different between the two-blade and three-blade prop. Our testing experience showed that:
Cruise performance was the same (at lower altitudes)
Climb performance was greater
Propeller braking action was slightly greater, which allowed a slightly steeper descent angle in the pattern
The sound/pitch is different, although the measured noise level is about the same (they are the same diameter).

And, of course, there's the aesthetics: The blades are wider on the two-blade prop. Some folks prefer the look of three blades, while others prefer two. Some people like a thinner blade, while others prefer the "beefier" look.  more


Big ole dent in prop leading edge ...JackinMichigan RV-10

...I noticed this little surprise during my condition inspection. It must have just happened because I didn't notice it during my last preflight, and I make it a point to check the prop leading edges.

This is an MT constant speed 3-blade composite prop with all of 53 hours on it. The edges don't feel sharp and it didn't break thru the protective aluminum leading edge, so what should I do about this? Do I do anything?


Ground Question ...AndyRV7

I've mounted my ads-b equipment under my panel and run my power and ground wires toward the avionics bus. I've also added a wire from the harness to my GRT efis for "IN." I've also installed the GPS antenna. I'm very happy with the result so far but locating an appropriate ground is keeping me from powering the system.

I pulled the cowl and mapped out my electrical system as needed. I have no grounds returning to the firewall in groups or individually. My battery is grounded to the air frame at the upper, passenger side engine mount bolt. It does not project in any way by jumper or otherwise, to anywhere on the cockpit side of the firewall. So my individual ground wires seemingly have to be terminated at some location on the air frame (in groups or individually).

I am going to attempt to cut open some of the wire bundles this weekend so I can attempt to trace a ground from a single avionics device, from the unit to its termination point. This has been very difficult so far but I hope that opening some of the bundles of wire might help in that regard.

I have 2 different types of "junctions" for groups of wires. One is a metal unit that wires screw into at individual screws. If I check continuity from any single screw, wire, or the junction unit itself, to the firewall, they indicate ground. I presume I am not learning anything from this other than that that block of wires is grounded "locally" thought the metal block. The other type is a plastic looking unit with pairs of screws in two rows. Some of these screws indicate ground while others do not. So I am assuming these pairs of screws are merely isolated links in some part of a given circuit. Some ground and some power. These can probably be viewed in my original pics. Some have already commented on them.

My question is is this a normal and acceptable way to wire a plane's electrical system? And if so, what is the logic? If everything is grounded locally to the air frame, I would presume you would have a ton of noise in the system.

When I began trying to figure this ADS-B install out, I figured I would just have to trace one installed ground wire to locate a good ground for ADS-B. But it has proven to be much more difficult than I thought it would be.

Lastly , it seems as though I am not going to discover a mythical central ground. If that's the case, Should I just ground the ADS-B next to the unit, or possibly all the way back to the firewall near the battery??

Sorry for the long and confused post. Thanks again. Andy


201kt GS ...Justin RV-10

Went up the other day and noticed a strong went so decided to make it a tail wind!



February 4, 2020.  Issue #5,012. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Formation aeros

Eddie Seve, Mal Kains, Glenn Bridgeland and I brought Jeremy Miller and Michael Jorgensen to train us in formation aerobatics this weekend.

The most intense training experience I've ever had. 115*F in the shade on Saturday, shooting 30 minute sorties all day. Very early starts to "beat the heat." I lost count of the number of water bottles and Hydralite tablets I went through on Saturday. We worked hard for this rating.  ...


Roll Bar Bolts

I'm suprised you couldn't hear my cursing all the way from Estes Park.
The Aft bolt (1/4") on each side of the 7 roll bar has a washer and nut installed under the longeron. It has a special aluminum shim then washer then nut. It was easy with the fuse upside down but right side up, gravity is not helping. Somehow this has to be done in a space barely big enough to get my catcher's mit fingers in the space. The aluminum shim stays put pretty well without persuasion, but the washer wants to fall off before the nut can be slipped into place.*
I needed a trick. Neodymium magnet to the rescue. This time two of the uncoated magnets. Place the magnet on the bolt head. Slip a washer on the bolt and it stays put. Slip the nut in the space. Say a prayer to the Nut Gods. Stick your toungue out so words don't offend same Gods, then gently rotate the bolt with an open end wrench (magnets are stuck on the bolt) till it grabs a couple threads.
Yes, I've heard of builders glueing the assembly then turning the bolt into the part, but one mistake there and a cross thread nightmare ruins the day. After years of wrenching in cars, I learned to always use human fingers to feel the threads engage properly.
Larry Larson


2019 Ground Tracks ...Dee Cee 57

Finally found the time to compile the 2019 data courtesy of the bad weather around here. Who's next?


 Trek to Eloy, Arizona ...Capt Sandy

Hello VAF'ers, There is a long time lag between our treks to getting the video posted due in part to poor WiFi and too much fun-having doing other things. Roy and I have been having FUN here in the Arizona sunshine, including taking advantage of clear, calm air, and exploring the neighborhood. We recently went to Eloy (E60) where there is a HUGE sky-diving center, complete with restaurant, swimming pool, massage studio, and gear shop. Food was good - not great. The real fun was watching people jump out of perfectly good airplanes.
I hope the video shows the highlights.
(Disclaimer - I'm new to the Go-Pro thing, and its a bit of a learning curve.)


Upholstery input sought ...Bill Boyd

I'm deciding on interior for the -10 build now. Some time back I snagged a "deal" on rear seat back frames originally made by Cleaveland but no longer in production. I was hoping to have these covered and have rear 60-40 sets matching the profile of the fronts. After research I've learned that none of the major vendors besides DJ at Cleaveland will do this for a price within market.

I have enjoyed talking with DJ and feel she would be easy to work with. I'm just not sure I like the way her 10 seats look in photos. Something about the horizontal seams in the center part of the seat backs doesn't look right to me somehow. I think since I'm not willing to experiment with finding a local shop to do the rears and try to match/complement aircraft vendor-done front seats, I'd be better off selling these rear seat frames unless I have Cleaveland do all four seats. DJ has offered to bid just doing the rear seats. AeroSport has declined to do only the front seats - no reason offered. South Florida Sport Aviation never answers the phone and has not returned by voicemail message from a week ago.

This has proven to be the most challenging part of the build to out-source professionally, and I really don't want to be stuck with buyer's remorse on this. I'd appreciate private message honest feedback about RV-10 seat experience from those who've 'been there.' I'm not interested in calling anyone out or starting a vendor-bashing thread. I'm sure they're all great folks who bring unique things to the table. I just want some good honest feedback before I jump in. PM me if you have some advice. Answer publicly if you wish, just be constructive.

Thanks, VAF hive


azflyer21's Panel Pic ...14A


 Annuals, broken parts, and assistance request ...airguy

I'm currently in the process of conducting my annual inspection and installing the SDS EM5 engine management hardware, and associated with that I needed to pull the flywheel to drill and tap it for trigger magnets. To pull the flywheel I need to loosen the alternator belt first, and as soon as I took a look at the alternator, before I even loosened the first bolt I knew something wasn't right. The belt angle was wrong and the alternator was obviously not hanging correctly, and as soon as I started to loosen the first bolt the problem was obvious.  ...


Rudder malfunction??? ...mturnerb

So today the "genius" operator of my aircraft learned something new. I did my usual pre-flight and started up the airplane. On the taxiway by my hangar (stopped and holding brakes) I did part of the checklist that I don't like to do in the run-up area as the airport is crazy busy on a beautiful VFR day like today. One of those items is an autopilot test (G3X touch) to check that I can overcome the servos and that my red button (autopilot disconnect) works as it's supposed to. So far, so good. My next action is always to turn off the flight director as the G3X autopilot leaves it on and I find it annoying while taxiing. Today I forgot to hit that button until a bit farther down the taxiway.

As I approached the point on the taxiway where I usually contact ground control (they have no visual contact with hangar area taxiways), I noticed that my rudder pedals felt "stuck": gentle force against the pedals gave me the sensation that the cables were caught/trapped. Strange, since I checked them on preflight and they seemed fine, and felt good when I got in the airplane to start up.

So I called up ground control and taxied back to my hangar using brakes. As I turned on the taxiway to my hangar I turned off the avionics and autopilot switches. Suddenly, rudder pedals are "free and correct". It's about this point that I realize I hit the yaw damper button instead of the flight director button (or both, not sure). Yaw damper servo engaged on the ground pretty much feels like a stuck rudder cable, I learned today!

It was a perfect day for the flight that then ensued after shutting down, checking everything on the ground fully, and making my way back to the starting point....
Turner Billingsley



February 3, 2020.  Issue #5,011.
  Saturday the Wx was as good as you could ever get in North Texas.  00000kt and CAVU for hours and hours.  Not a cloud in the state.  As you might suspect, the airspace was clobbered with people going through their flying toybox.  Danny and Ned launched for a lunch up around KGLE and I caught their takeoff in slo mo.  Link below.  Saturday (23+) Starlink satellites came over the house after sunset in trail around magnitude 3 - right at the edge of what I can see from our near-the-city location.  If you're in N.TX HERE are the orbital elements through the 11th.  Dig around at the link to adjust for your location.  Pretty neat to see so many satellites in a line.
  Hope your RV weekend went swell.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Watch Video "SloMo#6"

Exhaust hanger critique

Wanted to see if the more experienced than me on here thinks I did this somewhat right. It's a Vetterman trombone exhaust. Upper support connected to oil sump bolt. I tried for at least 1/2 inch of clearance around anything. I'm not sure how much this will move on start up so is 1/2" enough? There are some temporary bolts holding things together so don't critique me on using the wrong hardware . Thanks!!  more pics


Van's Engineering and other positions just posted ...mothership


"We've just posted three new engineering jobs at Van's. Many may realize that these positions don't come open often, but we are growing our team - so if you know someone that should be aware, let them know!

We are also currently recruiting for a couple of experienced welders, plus technical drafting and aircraft assembler jobs.

We have a great team here, and we're looking to add some more great folks!"


Titan specific engine for VANS Aircraft

The VANS community has many options other than the traditional engines that are offered by VANS. Continental Motors manufactures the Titan engines that have many beneficial features that increase durability and reduce weight. Continental has configured some of the Titan engines with that, dimensionally, are the same as the VANS standards. Information on those is found HERE.

The Titan engine can also be built with a variety of upgrades of both performance and modernization. The basic engines at the link are available at very competitive prices. We don't get a lot of traffic on that site so this post is to increase awareness.
James Ball (J.B.)
Continental Aerospace Technologies


Maintaining Sanity ...ShortSnorter

How to maintain sanitry when you realize you've already had dinner, watched a movie, and realize you still have 10 hours of the same left....


Leaking primer solenoid ...Joe

On a refurbishment project I installed a new fuel primer valve, a Parker 12V solenoid valve from Aircraft Spruce (part number 05-04368). From the get-go, in the "OFF" position (no voltage to the solenoid) it leaked badly causing the engine to run excessively rich.

I removed it and can verify it leaks sometimes and it seals at other times. Aircraft Spruce is willing to give me an RMA but it will take 4-6 weeks to hear back from Parker and issue a credit if they deem it defective. I'm inclined to just order another and get on with it but first ...

My question for experienced users of this particular valve is this: could it be an installation issue (e.g. is one port an input and the other an output). An additional question: how does one non-destructively open this particular valve to examine the viton plunger and its sealing surfaces? I don't want to apply any heat to break the locktite for fear of melting something inside.


RV-7 Video ...SuperCubDriver

Couldn't sleep tonight and the weather is miserable so I put some RV-7 footage together:


A Journey of Self Discovery  ...frankbrown

Building a plane is a Journey of self discovery.
What I've learned so far:

*I can't rivet.

*Vans is really great with sending new parts!

*Changing one thing can really lead to a lot of work.

*I need to loose 50 lbs to crawl around the fuse like a teenager.

Decided to go with fuel injection.
Led to new fuel pump, learning soft tubing skills, cutting and building for new housing for new fuel pump, changing to electric trim since I would need a larger trim cable any way.
New lower cowl for the FI engine is also in my future.
I would say '1 step forward, 2 steps back....but I have not gone forward'

I have been soldering my Fly LED's for the wing tip lights and that has been really cool. That is a really great kit if anyone is thinking of them.

What will I learn next week?


Eyes Inspected

Been five years since the last visit to the eye doctor.  I have an interview this week for some possible part time work in a sim to help the fam out (fingers crossed), so I thought it might be a good idea to get the eyes looked over beforehand.  Checkup Friday.  New glasses ordered, fresh prescription and the OptiGrab 1000 checked to look for problems in there - all good (pic below).  Boy, glasses and visit and the works are expensive.  Nice to know at least the vessels and retina are good. 

She didn't find any evidence of a brain.  I asked.



RV-4 runs rich at cruise. ...71459

Hi, was wondering if anyone here could help with an issue re a rich-running RV-4.

Airplane starts right off, idles fine, run-up is perfect. T/O proceeds alright, maybe power isn't 100% there, but good.

After about 1/2 hour, engine starts to run rough. Gets rougher over time. Able to smooth it out by leaning, but shouldn't have to at 2000'. Airplane has run perfectly smooth for years, but now something is not right. Head back to the field pronto. Back on the ground, plugs are completely blackened with soot - definitely showing over-rich mixture.

Recently changed out to new plugs, new harness, new mechanical fuel pump, and overhauled carb. I did open the carb and change the float to the blue epoxy model. Float level checked 10 times - seems to be perfect (on the ground).

Did I screw up the float installation? Is the overhauled carb the wrong model for an RV-4? But it's the same model I've used for years without any trouble (10-5009).

Out of ideas, getting nervous to fly it.

Thanks for any insight..



January 31, 2020.  Issue #5,010.
  Well it finally happened.  I got an AARP membership application in the mail Thursday.  I'm gonna go watch Golden Girls and then it's off to bed at 7pm.  My childhood is officially over.  ;^)
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Wallpaper Calendar for February

...Ed Hicks photo.


Ridge in Grove Rim ...Janekom

Posting on behalf of a friend. He is in the process of installing Grove wheels on his RV10. The question is if the ridge that can be seen in the rim, will damage the tube by any chance? That is the ridge running through the stem hole. Thanking you in advance.


Oil Change Time Lapse Video ...PixelWorker

I recently had some new camera gear to test and naturally made my RV the subject. So not wanting to let the footage go to waste I threw together a time-lapse edit of the RV getting the oil changed:


New Guy Chimes In ...RV-14A Build in KY.


Build Status Report ...vernh59

Many pics...


1998 RV-6 'Choud Chasers' ...mbauer

Here are photos of "Cloud Chasers" after adding a graphic design.


Tail Art ...ShookieRV7A

This is to go with my Arizona Flag theme....



January 30, 2020.  Issue #5,009. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend ...crabandy

Loaded up the RV with lots of Lake Cabin supplies and headed south for sunshine and warmer temps. My first weekend (Mon/Tues) in months without OT, Lil' dude called in sick from pre-school to join me.....  more

[ed. I missed this yesterday - apologies.  Obviously top shelf story!  v/r,dr]


12th annual ice cream social at Inyokern, CA on March 7th ...AX-O

The 12th annual ice cream social will be held at Inyokern, CA airport on March 7th from 1100-1400.

The ice cream social is just an excuse to get together, eat some free ice cream and fly.

If you would like to attend, please email me at axel"underscore"alvarez "at" hotmail "dot" com. Use "Ice cream social" on the subject line of the email for spam filter reasons. If not, it will end up in the "trash/recycling bin" and I won't know you are coming. The head count will be used to figure out how much supplies my wife and I need to buy. All I need is your name and the number of people attending by March 1st. Please DON'T wait until the last minute. This happens every year and we have to flex last minute.

-The airport's web site is http://inyokernairport.com/

-Our preferred calm winds runway is 33.

-Runway 20 is the only runway with non-standard traffic (right pattern).
-Click 3 times on 122.8 for AWOS info.


Tube Update ...Dean Pichon

I just fixed my flat by replacing both tubes, both tires, (and brake pads for good measure). I inflated both old tubes (the one that flatted and the one on the other side) to 8-10 psi. Neither showed a leak by submerging. After 7 days, I could not discern a pressure difference between the two. It's still a mystery to me.

To what level can a tube without a tire be pressurized without rupturing the tube?


Slick Inspection - Do I Need a New Distributor Block Assembly? ...avrojockey

I'm upgrading one mag to a P-mag and need to swap the tach pickup to the left mag. Since the plug was hard to get too I decided to remove the mag and do a 500-hr inspection IAW L-1367F.

All looked good but there is obvious contact happening between the electrode towers and the electrode finger on the distributor gear. The electrode finger on the distributor gear is not loose and there's no signs of cracking in the gear. Also, there's no cracking in the distributor block. There is, however, some slight play in the gear when assembled in the distributor block, which leads me to believe the olite bearings are worn.

Does anyone know if contact between the gear electrode and the distributor towers is cause for replacement? The overhaul manual is vague...
"Inspect the brass electrode posts for signs of physical wear. Replace block assembly as necessary."

Manual says bearing should be 0.246 +.002/-.001 so I'm checking that next.


My RV Weekend  ...Roy Thoma

Lunch flight to KMZJ
We (FINALLY) finished installing a new prop cable on N174RT about noon on Sunday. Sandy and I were both ready for lunch so we flew to Marana (KMZJ) for a nice meal. Fuel stop at Ak-Chin (A39) on the way back to P01. Brought home the last three slices of apple pie they had.*YUM!


7A Rebirthing Update  ...kentlik

Finalized and installed fuel manifold and lines.  ...



January 29, 2020.  Issue #5,008.
  There was a bird in the hangar when I arrived Tuesday morning.  It was in the low 50's outside so I wanted to leave the door down for another hour or so until just before lunch.  I'll let it out then.  Turned on the space heater, pulled the laptop out of my backpack, logged into work and started to go through the morning list. 
  Three minutes later a blob of bird shit landed on my shirt.  From 22' up.
  On second thought I think I'll open the door now.  James later said it's considered good luck in some cultures, so I got that going for me....which is nice.
  About-to-order-RV10-kit David L. got after the panel with the grinder and drill (pic) while I wiped up bird feces.  He wanted the practice and I didn't.  Win win! <g>
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Imperial Valley ...Chino Tom

It's nice to be able to use the RV in some work related activities. The Imperial Valley in California's south east is one of the most fertile ag areas in the US. Also, home to many future rib-eyes. Feeding those is part of what we do....


Glamour Shot...Colin P. RV-6A


Q: Pushing and pulling via the prop.

Hello all,

Just getting an idea on if it's bad or not to gently push/pull the airplane by the root of the prop close to the spinner to move it around. Airplane in question is an RV-6A with O-320 H2AD fixed catto prop.

Thank you!

I push and pull my RV-6A by the prop and was told to do so by my mechanic. Think about it, the prop is pulling the plane through the air so there is much more load on it when flying than you could put on it on the ground. Now I do like you said and push/pull near the hub not way out at the tip, even though I doubt even that would cause any issues.

Approximate percent of people who use prop to pull their Hartzell (and others) equipped RV's is 100%

There is a thrust bearing in the engine but on the ground it has no oil pressure.
If you can push or pull without turning the prop it's probably ok but if it turns as you are pulling it could damage the bearing. So why not just push on the cowl and pull with a tow bar?


RV-12 Service Bulletins 19-08-26 (New) and 16-05-23 (Updated) Published: Nose gear leg and fork replacement


Homemade gust locks...

...like these are what we used on Navy flying club aircraft for years. Cheap, easy to make and spreads stress loads from sudden big gusts over larger areas:


Garmin GTN 6XX/7XX Software 6.70 Now Available for Download (1/24/2020)

The GTN V6.70 EAB Service Bulletin and software were loaded to the EAB Software Download Area today.

There are two different links on the download page for Service Bulletin 2010. The first link is the Service Bulletin documentation. The second link includes the software file. Please see the Service Bulletin documentation for complete details and make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the software update process outlined there before attempting it on your own aircraft. If not, the option of seeking assistance from a dealer is still available.

We mentioned when V8.40 was released that you can now view and tune the NAV radio on the GDU (as shown below), much the same as you could with a COM radio, but that the feature was only available for the SL 30 NAV radio. With a successful update to GTN Software 6.70, NAV tuning will now available for the GTN 650 and GTN 750.  ...


How Mickey Coggins ...

...wired the ignition on/off switches for pmags to allow to check to see if the internal alternator is working



January 28, 2020.  Issue #5,007. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-6 Rebuild PIREP ...James

With the kind assistance of fellow RV owner (and builder, and ex C5 crew chief) Curt Pullen, I moved the battery to the engine bay. We built a rather beautiful box for it, and attached it to the right side of the engine mount with Adel clamps.

Photos to follow when I remember to take some.

In the meantime, here's a shot of my 4 looking lonely


What did you do with your RV this weekend? (1/24-26/2020) ...SPX starts the thread

How did your building/flying go this weekend?

Friday was a clear day at CRQ, so I gave the boss of my wife a ride in the RV for her 74th birthday. We went southbound along the coast, over Coronado, San Diego Bay, and then reversed course back to CRQ. She mentioned it being nothing like she had imagined, claims it's even better than a massage, and can't wait to go again. She wasn't the greatest passenger, as she would grab onto the stick, and press the rudder pedals occasionally, but she has a blast, so I am not complaining!!

Today was about 1500' OVC, so the options were more limited. My wife and I decided to head south along the coast, over Torrey Pines to see the golfers playing and the crowd watching, then came into Montgomery Field (MYF) for some Mexican food for lunch. After lunch, we headed back north along the coast, and stopped in Oceanside (OKB) for fuel, and for some aerial sightseeing. Shortly thereafter we headed back to the hangar in Carlsbad (CRQ)...

Great weekend, one new RV grin, and two old ones

Headed down to Bermuda Dunes for the local EAA fly-in on Saturday. A very nice turn out of Experimental, Light sport, and Spam cans. My friend Richard showed up in his very nice Skywagon, along with Ted and Cindy Gablin in their RV-7A and this beauty:

I had set the hook on a new-to-the-RV-world recruit last month with a ride down to Houston for lunch with the D.W. Hooks crowd, and this weekend I gave him another ride down to Houston (La Porte this time) to inspect, buy, pack up, and ship home a partially built 9A kit purchased from Mike Miller.

Please welcome Mike Crowley to the fold, mcrowley screen-name on here, as he ventures into the RV-snobbery we all enjoy.

After that, I proceeded to do major surgery on my engine, installing the SDS system.

Another Allentown PA trip
IFR on the way up from New Kent International Aerodrome (W96) -- freezing level was high enough to mess around in clouds if needed, although as it turned out we were VMC the whole way, albeit with a touch of rain that left a bit of water in my baggage area like it always does.....

VFR on the way back Sunday -- freezing level wasn't nearly high enough to chance any IMC. But the ceilings were high and stable.

Sometimes the most scenic trips around the Chesapeake Bay area are under a broken or scattered cloud layer:


Foam Continued ...David Paule -3B

I'd noticed that the foam block was sliding side to side as I carved on it. Not surprisingly, since the bottom was flat and resting on the fuselage longerons. Its shape prevented fore/aft motion and rotation but nothing kept it from shifting laterally.

Two small foam blocks took care of that. This photo shows the bottom with the foam blocks in place. We're looking at the bottom and the back of it. I'd brought it into the house for the glue to set up, the house being warmer than the shop.


Blocked Pitot ...me too.

I did the same dumb thing recently. I have Dynon HDX and a backup Dynon D6. I realized just as I was lifting off and decided to continue once around the pattern. I got GPS assist indications on the HDX and the D6. The only other thing of note was the Dynon giving me a warning to turn on pitot heat (I guess it assumes it is iced over). .... Classic distraction during preflight inspection kind-of-thing. A non-event, but I don't plan to repeat the "experiment".
-Joe Wilbur (N520LW)
Phase II - 11/2017


Wear on spar rib angle rivets

I'm currently doing the annual inspection on my 10 year old 320hrs TT RV12 and discovered wear on the LP4-3 rivets that connect the inboard rear rib to the left main spar. .../more pics


After an Unairworthy Condition Inspection ...Pilot135pd

Was hangar flying with a friend the other day and the topic of the Annual Inspections and Condition Inspections came up.

On a Standard Airworthiness airplane the Inspection is done and there are 2 options that usually happen:

1- the discrepancies (or squawks) get fixed and the Annual Inspection is signed as Airworthy and returned to service.

2- the discrepancies get written up (squawk list) and the logbook is signed as Unairworthy with discrepancies given to owner. Then at least an A&P will correct the discrepancies and sign the logbooks with their certificate as done. That brings the plane back to Airworthy.

Then we started talking about Experimental airplanes:

All maintenance on my Experimental plane can be done by me. I'm not an A&P and don't have a Repairman certificate of any kind.

In Experimental airplanes the Condition Inspection must be done by at least an A&P.

Here's were we got stuck. Say an A&P does my Condition Inspection and finds some deficiencies. Can he sign the logbook as Unairworthy and give me a squawk list like a Standard airplane or does he have to repair anything and sign it as Airworthy?

If he can sign it as Unairworthy and give me a squawk list, can I fix the squawks and return it to service or does it have to be another A&P?

Please include FARs with your replies so I can research it further and learn from you. Thanks !

(*** In MY specific case it would most likely get fixed by another A&P because depending on what it is I probably don't have the expertise, but I'm asking in general terms. ***)


RV-4 Five Point Harness Pic Request ...Stewbronco

Forgive the nastiness that is the Tunnel, it is in the middle of being cleaned.



January 27, 2020.  Issue #5,006. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)



Foam Fun ...David Paule -3B Update

The fiberglass canopy fairing needs to fit the skin, and there were clecos poking out of it, holding the front top on. Time to screw it down. On the RV-3B, this skin is attached with a lot of #8 screws. The side screw holes got dimpled for #8 screw heads as you'd expect. The instrument panel flange wasn't wide enough for #8 dimples so I decided to use NAS8702U1 8-32 screws instead. These screws are really good: the material is 160 ksi A286, strong enough to survive a number of installations and removals, corrosion resistant and very tough - cracks don't propagate easily in that material. It's the material that many spacecraft screws are made of.

This particular part number has a #8 body and a #6 head. I had to get a special dimple die for that, and Cleaveland came through.

In this photo, the instrument panel screw, on the right, is in a #6 dimple as it should be. But the screws on the bottom (the side of the fuselage) are #8 dimples and these screws just don't fit. I included one of the standard #8 screws for comparison. Since this is merely to temporarily replace some clecos, the use of the wrong screws here is okay.  ...


Blocked Pitot ...Jpm757

Took off today with my Pitot cover installed. I am running dual Dynon ADAHARS and dual AFS 5600t's. Other than no airspeed or AOA, everything else functioned normally. I had always been curious how a blocked Pitot would effect the system as a whole. Stopped at a local airport and replaced my now ragged cover with a new one with a big red banner. Lesson learned!


Quick Fuse Update ...Pilotjohns

So I have been working on the tail fairing now that the tail mechanical attach is done. I figured I would get it done before the tail comes off. The stock fairing fits really nice; much better than older posters have led me to believe. I used the cut lines, but these were too severe in the rear, so next time, I would leave a little extra there and trim, fit, trim, fit, etc. Nothing major for mounting, just takes time to find the underlying holes in the fuse. I measure the location of the holes in the fuse without the fairing; added the fairing, marked the hole locations on the fairing, then drilled a #50, then a 3/32 hole in the fairing, cleco'd and moved on to the next. Next I will enlarge the holes to #40, countersink the fiberglass for the #6 flathead screws, then enlarge the holes to #6, remove the fairing, and install the riv nuts.


N420PW Preliminary Report

...when the final report comes out I'll let you know.  Prayers to all involved.  dr


Weekend Panel Love

Susie and I spent most of Saturday at the hangar fiddling with stuff.  I made a little more progress on widening the holes for the upgraded G3X touch screens.  I work slow. ;^)   Lots of people on the field aviating and a nice lunch. 

Smokey Ray stopped by, the usual suspects were doing RV stuff and it went too quick.  Saturday was nice.





Fuel Tank Leak ...jahoosafat

Hi - My 2013 RV-10 is about to be re-painted,*and I found multiple fuel leaks on both the right and left tanks just as I dropped it off at the paint shop in Alabama. I previously had a few leaks, and my A&P applied epoxy to the tank exterior in order to avoid the higher cost of removing and re-sealing the tanks.* This approach worked ... until now.* My question is what's the best course: 1) Remove the tanks and send them to Paul Beck (http://www.weepnomorellc.com/), reinstalling them before final paint work. 2) Remove the tanks and buy new tanks from Vans, getting an A&P connected with the paint shop to build and install them.* 3) Something else?* Since I'm an owner rather than a builder, could anyone provide info about potential timeframes for Weepnomore to turn these around (I've emailed Paul and am waiting to hear back) or a decent A&P to build/install new tanks?* Thanks for any info!


DanH Annual PIREP

Annual time, so as promised, I stuck a borescope down the fuel servo and intake throat to look in the sump plenum. Ran it for a hot leakdown, then took the photo 30~60 minutes after shutdown.

For those new to Lycomings, the horizontal intake sump has an upper chamber full of oil, and a lower chamber for intake air. Unlike the vertical draft sumps, the air passages do not pass through the hot oil. Instead, the intake tubes enter the air plenum from the sides.

Part #10 is the sniffle valve.  ...


Left Tank Leak - Looking like a new tank ...Saville

Well this was the year for the prop inspection and as that was going to take several weeks I decided to so the annual 4 months early - lousy flying weather in January and February anyway.

But the other reason I downed the plane was that I had developed a small leak in the left hand tank. You'd wipe the underside of the wing clean and the next day there would be a track a few inches long. Nothing major but enough to bother me.

So the prop came off and and the annual completed (few minor adjustments to be made), and the tank came off.

The leak is in the lower seam about 3/4's the way outboard:  ...



January 24, 2020.  Issue #5,005.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

From the photo vault:
4 RVs left downwind Big Creek, ID.


RE: Formation Clinics and Cards? ...Check6

I have had a couple of conversations around Falcon Flight's Formation Clinic coming up in April. I wanted to write a universal response:

Stu "Falcon" McCurdy started Falcon Flight in 1993 as a way to demonstrate the precision and safety of flying in formation. Falcon Flight was the first FFI team. He would soon thereafter start FFI (Formation Flying Inc.) to set a "standard" and get more pilots flying formation safely. I believe the history and legacy of Falcon Flight continues because of his dream to teach, demonstrate, and provide a resource for those motivated to fly formation.

The questions have ranged from "What if I don't want to be a "Carded pilot"?" to "If I don't have a "Card" I can't be in the "club". The goal of FFI is Not for everyone to get a card and we are not a club. I think I can speak for most FFI formation clinics with the exception of the advanced clinics which are designed to get pilots carded for Airshows/routines. So you do NOT have to be a carded pilot to fly formation! The goal of FFI is spread the precision and standard of flying formation to those interested in learning a new skill, training to the same standard and holding those they fly with to the standard. This allows the pilot to show up with others that have been trained to the standard to get together and go formation flying safely - That truly was "Falcon's" goal! There are lots of reasons to fly formation, which I will not go into here - that is for a clinic.

There are those who want to get a card as it demonstrates a lot of energy, effort and training to get "carded" as it is not an easy process in that it takes time and lots of practice. But here again the only reason you MUST have a card is to perform in TFR's and/or Airshows. So if you have 4 RV buddies in this case that have been trained to the FFI standard and you wanted to go do a local missing man for a veteran etc. none of you would need a "Card".

Hopefully, this answers some of the questions/perceptions around RV Formation Clinics and will serve to encourage more aviators to learn this skill. Please feel free to take a look at the upcoming Falcon Flight Clinic in the above posts or any others that are held around the country. I think you will have lots of fun, be challenged and learn/polish up a great skill.


Build Update ...vernh59


A Little Progress

The swap out of first gen G3X screens with touch models and other panel love continues in Flash.  You drill out the old rivets and clamp on a steel jig that shows you where to drill the new holes (and how much of the corners you need to nibble out).  Where's the punch?  I need a 30 and 40 drill bit.  I need a sheet so I don't get aluminum filings all over the place.  Dang my knees hurt.  And it's lunch time...

At least I got something done. ;^)


RV-8 Status Report ...Foghorn

Still working on the FB canopy frame. Applying dry micro for sanding. Should I do the micro all the way up the insides or just smooth it out and skim the sides with epoxy?


RV-6 Rebuild in Palm Springs PIREP ...jamlip


Recent Mothership First Flight Announcements



January 23, 2020.  Issue #5,004.
  The plan was to work on the panel for a couple hours during the rain showers Wednesday, but the 25+year old garage door opener on my side give up the ghost Tuesday.  So, Wednesday was spent installing a factory referb belt driven replacement.  Boy have garage door openers improved over the last two decades.  No oiling, silent belt drive, wireless controls, web app and plug in cameras and parking lasers (not kidding).  It's possible this thing gets the History Channel.
  The old unit was rebuilt at least three times with new gears.  If you look close you can see aircraft safety wire below holding a contact in place for the up/down micro-switch contacts.
  It was a good run...
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


AOA confession ...sailvi767

As a Navy trained pilot I have had AOA available in most aircraft I have flown. My first RV was a RV6 with AOA. I liked it but never had a occasion where I felt it provided any type of save or a warning that the aircraft was not in the state I wanted it at. Still I liked having the extra level of protection.

I purchased a F1 Rocket that did not have AOA or any stall warning. That bothered me a bit but I quickly found the aircraft to be very honest and easy to fly in the patten at the proper speeds. I had planned a panel upgrade shortly after purchasing it that would include AOA. In Nov when the aircraft was getting a new panel I considered dropping the AOA option to avoid a pitot change and cost. In the end I kept the AOA. (Dynon HDX system with Dynon pitot)

On Tuesday I was out flying after a frontal passage. On return to my home field which involves a slightly overshooting approach as the norm to avoid tall trees I needed to also compensate for a strong overshooting crosswind in the pattern. (30 Kts at 1000 ft). On base to final I found myself with more overshoot than planned and wrapping the turn up. Normally I would have been at 75 knots at this point but was actually targeting 80 knots with the bumpy conditions. Just after crossing the gap in the trees still turning to align with the runway at about 250 AGL I got a beep from the Dynon AOA. Unloaded, leveled the wings and went around. Glancing at the airspeed I was at 67 knots. In one G flight I get the first AOA beep at 56 Kts. I was slow, wrapped up and visually 100% outside watching the trees. I should have abandoned the approach prior to that point and gone around. I now embarrassingly have my first AOA save in 7 years of flying RV's.

I don't know how much margin was left but I am now very glad I went with the AOA option. I fell into a trap many pilots get into and needed the AOA tone to jolt me back into reality. Spend the money and put a AOA system into your aircraft!



2020 first flight, a Van's RV-8 celebration ...lucaperazzolli

We traditionally fly the first day of the year, in the early hours when people try to mitigate the effect of heavy drinking the night before (we don't ). [in the sense that we don't drink LOL]

This year we offered the first flight to our homebuilder 8 friends.  More / video


Can this be fixed (belly sheet metal bend)? ...Cannon

I finally got my second-hand RV-8 on a rotisserie, and when we spun it upside down, I could see that the belly skin that becomes the lower wing root fairing was creased.

It looks like the previous builder set the fuselage on some padding and bent the belly skin where it extends past the fuselage sides.

Would something like a wood block and some light taps with a flush rivet set work? It's on the belly, so I'm not really concerned, but if there's an easy fix I'm all ears.


My $17 mistake ...bruce

I am building an RV-14A. Over the weekend I made a mistake that will cost me $17. I have to buy a six foot length of piano hinge (again). I am pretty sure it is an error in the plans rather than my own screw-up.

I was wondering if there is a place on VAF for people to log suspected plans errors. If not, do you think it would be a good idea?

Does Van's track possible errors in the plans?

More info on my mistake:

The plans call for the piano hinge for the upper cowling to have a reference line drawn the length of the hinge 3/16" behind the hinge eyelets to be used to ensure the hinge is straight on the firewall. I drew the line where it was supposed to be. I followed the instructions that said the line had to be parallel to front of the top skin. I placed the hinge such that the reference line was exactly on the front edge of the top skin even though the index hold didn't line up. I then match drilled each of the holes into the piano hinge (based on holes that were already in the top skin). When I took it apart I found that the holes were way too close to the edge of the piano hinge (only about one rivet diameter away). The only way for the holes to be in the center of the "meat" of the hinge would be for the reference line to be up under the top skin where I wouldn't be able to see it. So I suspect the plans have the reference line drawn in the wrong place.


Issues are tracked and investigated ( that is easier to do if you mention a plans page and step #). There is a stickied thread at the top of the RV-14 subforum that has been used to log /report suspected issues.


757 Wake Turbulence caught on vid in 7A ...3min 46sec mark in Sid's new vid



January 22, 2020.  Issue #5,003 (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Creative Tail Trim Tab  ...Carl Froehlich


My RV Weekend ...RV8Squaz

I had a productive weekend.

I departed Thursday morning for a 3-leg day. First was a stop in Marianna, FL (MAI) to visit Air Prop Specialists. I've been using this shop for 12+ years. My Hartzell has an old hub which has an AD that requires an Eddy current inspection every 100 hours or annual whichever comes first. In my case it works out to about every 9 months. It's really not as obtrusive as it sounds. It's about an hour flight, takes me 5 minutes to remove the spinner, 10 minutes for the technician to do the inspection, 5 minutes to install the spinner, and 10 minutes for the paper work. The cost... let's just say I can do a lot of inspections for the price of a new prop! I usually combine it with a BBQ lunch or a visit to the nearby Florida Caverns State Park. Not this time though; I had places to go and people to see.

The 2nd leg took me to 28J, Palatka Muni to see a couple of Extra's that were for sale and being re-assembled. It was great to see them with all of the panels removed so that I could inspect everything. They looked good!

The 3rd leg (my first VFR leg of the day) took me to PMP, Pompano Air Park in S. Florida to visit with my brother and his family for a few days. PMP is home of the Good Year blimp. My brother and I enjoyed some seriously good donuts.

Yesterday I came back in two legs. Had to depart IFR due to the Trump TFR in Palm Beach and the weather at my fuel stop at FIN, Flagler Co Airport just north of Daytona Beach. I don't normally stop for fuel going to or from S. Florida but Flagler's fuel was $3.99. I couldn't resist! I had hoped to see a couple of Extra's at Spruce Creek and St. Augustine, but I wasn't able to coordinate with the sellers. BTW, I never experienced any of the proposed GPS outages across the SE. I finally got past the front just north of Jacksonville and had a beautiful evening flight home for the last hour. The 30-40 knots on the nose gave me more time to enjoy the gorgeous sunset. ...


Q: Removing T-708 plate from gas tank

Got left gas tank off on my RV-6, undid the screws to T-708 plate, applied heat in the form of a heat gun, then tried a 250 watt heat lamp for 15 minutes, using a flat putty knife to try to get under it, and some gentle tugs of various screw drivers, still not really getting anywhere.

Any suggestions? Seem like somebody may have used piano wire?

A: (rvbuilder2002)
1" wide putty knife

Round the corners very slightly so they wont gouge the aluminum.

Sharpen the end slightly using a disk sander.

Tap it under the cover and then around the perimeter using a small hammer.


Some Circuit Help Please ...AndyRV7

I'm trying to figure out how to power my ADSB equipment but I feel completely electronics illiterate. Maybe you guys can help me.

I have installed a Uavionics Echo and a GRT Safefly gps to be in/out compliant. My intention has been to pull power from one of the circuit breakers on my avionics bus. Here are some pictures of my panel and behind the panel. These were the best I could do in tight spaces. ...


Adding holes in F-402B bulkheads ...RV-4

It is very, very tempting to mount switches, etc. in the F-402B bulkheads.

I see that Steve mounted two switches on each side, plus the ELT remote control there:

Any clue as to how many, how big and positions of holes one can safely make in those bulkheads?



My RV Weekend ...bruceh 9A

Busy Holiday weekend. Saturday did my first formation flight as a two ship with a safety pilot in my right seat. I did better than I had feared! Still have lots to learn and it will take a while to get all of the controls working via muscle memory.

Sunday my wife and I took off to Paso Robles for a wine tasting overnight trip for her birthday weekend. Had a great tailwind and we got up there in record time. Got to cross LAX Class Bravo via the Coliseum Route at 8500'. The airport (KPRB) cleared up to VFR as we got close and then we had breakfast at the diner on the field, which was excellent (Joe's one-niner diner). We got our rental car from ACI Jet and then we hit several wineries and did some other shopping/dining. Back to the airport diner the next morning for another great breakfast, then we took off to head home. Cloudy high overcast with a few low clouds below, and some brutal headwinds the whole way, so we stayed lower along the coast and crossed back over LAX via the Coastal Route at 5500'. I can't say enough good things about SoCal TRACON and how helpful they are, even when it is super busy. We probably spotted and dodged 30+ airplanes just on the way back.

Another 5.2 hours in the logbook.



January 21, 2020.  Issue #5,002 (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Motivation  ...jrtens RV-12iS

Beautiful today in Utah - here are the Timpanogos mountains.


O-320 Help! ...8213C

I am having issues with my EGTs on my O-320 . My mechanic looked it over and concluded that I needed to have the carb replaced. So I did, flew, and this was the result. I could never get #3 cylinder to go under 1500 degrees even in cruise at full rich and, 2400rpm. My temps are, #1 1380, #2 1260 #3 1510, #4 1378 full rich. On takeoff on the ground it wouldn't rev past 2200 rpm, where it use to be 2350 with the old carb. She seemed super gutless in climb out and takeoff roll. In the climb out now, I saw 1605 and 1590 on #3 and #4. I'd have to throttle down to 2200-2300 rpm to get #3 into the 1470s in cruise at full rich; she feels real rough overall and more so on the left mag. I tried different power n mix settings for about 20 minutes but no change, just higher EGTs. I had the mags sent off and one was rebuilt right before all this at the time of the new carb install. Twice now I have been told she runs great, and the mechanic has released it like this. On the 1st test flight attempt, it was backfiring bad on run up with one mag dropping 500, so I didn't even fly it. They then cleaned the brand-new plugs which have barley 50hrs on them and richened it some. I don't understand why the plugs would be fouled already since I always lean on the ground and always lean out for cruise but anyway no bad mag check or misfiring with mags dropping 100 on both L & R. Now still the EGT issue. They are higher temps then I had before and a greater spread between hottest and coldest. The other thing is my highest temp cylinder before the carb was #4 at about around 1500. Also, when I kill it now, it has a slow drop and no rise at all.

My compression is mid 70s and had no metal in the oil. The engine has about 800hrs SMOH. At this time, I had the 4-cylinder EGT gauge installed and I realized it was too hot and was told to change the old carb out for a new one would solve that issue. I have flown it 55hrs since the annual and now decided to go for it and replace the carb in effort to help those EGTs. I feel like I should have just left it alone at this point.

My mechanic seems to not be sure what to do right now.
Do I just need someone who knows how to tune this thing or any other advice out there?
Why would #2 be so much colder?
Why is just once cylinder so hot?
Why the lower RPM on the ground after being richened up?


My 'Sonic Window Tray'  ...ArlingtonRV

In the past I had made a diving board by clamping a board to a tool cart and parking it near the airplane. This worked OK, but it was a good bit down the side of the fuselage and was relatively narrow and very easy to knock things off of. Since gravity has yet to be repealed, anything I knock off goes right for the wing. Also, I have to be careful not to hit the flap with the cart. So, while it worked, it was not ideal.

Went from...

To this...


RE: The Annual Price Increase ...Greg Hughes

The price adjustments we make, when necessary, generally take place in the late spring. Last year we were delayed a month or two. We do everything we can to keep the prices affordable, in pursuit of why we're here: to make uncommonly awesome airplanes available and accessible to (relatively) common people.  :^)

Most adjustments are substantially related to changing cost of materials. The more significant increase that David referred to was on the RV-3 and RV-4 a few years ago and was related to cost of manufacturing and support given the lower volume of kit orders. We had to make an adjustment to not be underwater, so to speak.

The RV-10 is currently the second most popular kit. No volume-related issues currently with that one. :^)  We're just working hard to keep pushing them out the door!


Mothers weekend made possible by RV ...Flandy10

Finally got to stretch the legs (wings) a little.

Left Friday right after the wife got out of school. Dropped her at Tampa Executive to spend time with her cousins and their moms (aka Girls Weekend around my house). It was a short hop from there to Sebring where I spent the weekend with my mom.

Monday morning, time to reverse the route.

Great weather both directions.

6.5 hours on the tach and 56 gallons on the truck meter.


Hangar/Base/Home Radio Rigs ...various


Almost finished ...Allan Stern

After 19 calendar months starting June 2018 until January 2020 minus @4 month waiting for quick build kits to come and back ordered Lycoming engines and a month vacation my RV14A, N507PW was given her airworthiness certificate on Friday January 17th by a DAR.

So my quick build kit took me about 14 months to put together. Almost daily work. I now have to put all panels back on and my Clasic Aero interior in and it should be ready to fly.


RV-7 AOG West Memphis - Solution was a new cylinder ...VIN2020

A quick update:

I learned how to do a compression check by pulling the prop through (Thank you Walt). I realized the number four cylinders intake valve was leaking. I could hear the compression stroke air come out through the carburetor (something to add to my check list before l start long journeys).

I ended up buying a brand new Lycoming cylinder (so long to one of my four ECI cylinders with the 50hr AD inspection requirement)

Justin at Ultimate Aircraft Services (M01 - General DeWitt Spain Airport) was awesome. He replaced out my number 4 cylinder and did the initial run.

A few days later when I could make it back to West Memphis, I did the initial 30min break-in flight at full takeoff power (I have never done that before and man does that RV-7 go).

De-cowled and everything looked good, got back in the plane and flew it for 6 hours (Memphis to Midland to Fort Worth).

The plane never stumble again, so it seems fairly clear the whole stumbling issue was because of the leaking intake valve.

Thank you all for your assistance. It was very humbling for all those who reached out to help and cared what was happening (especially for a fiercely independent person as myself).

What a great community of fellow aviators we have.



January 20, 2020.  Issue #5,001 (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

First Flight of N20GL ...leok RV-10

Short take off roll, a little waggle to confirm controls, then up to 3500' to orbit until everything stabilized.
Only surprise was when the panel went blank and rebooted without the #2 radio. I'll have to sort that out- perhaps a loose connector. I had anticipated the possibility of EFIS glitches, so it was a non-event as far as flying. I had my iPad ready at hand but the system rebooted before I even had time to reference it.

Landing was smooth as well.


Latest ...SeanB RV-7


3 Months In ...Earl Findlay RV-14

Tail - DONE
QB Fuselage & Wings - DONE
Finish Kit - Waiting for delivery
Engine - Ordered. Delivery 7/2020
Avionics - Ordered. Delivery 5/2020

We stand a good chance of flying before the year is up. I CANNOT WAIT to fly the RV-14. I have a RV-9 I am flying now, and if the RV-14 is as fun, I am going to be in love!!!


My RV Weekend ...sapeloson

"getting the data plate engraved..."


Update on VideoBobK ...RPorter

As some of you may have seen in a previous thread, the founder of the high school build program, Aviaton Nation, and my mentor Bob Kelly known in these parts at videobobk, has not been in good health the past couple months. I have visited him in the hospital as much as I could, and after my latest visit last Tuesday I figured it was time for an update and some much needed good news! Bob is back to his old self, ornery, witty, and sharp as ever! He remarked about the litany on medical equipment he's been hooked up to, saying he feels like a transponder with all of the beeping going on! He should be returning home sometime this week, and although he still has a long road ahead to get back to building and running the day to day operations of Aviation Nation, he has made leaps and bounds and we are all very encouraged. Although he did not specifically ask me to post this here, he is incredibly thankful for the amazing support system he is surrounded by. God is good!


Small Tools Tray Project ...fl-mike

Saw something similar (but more complicated) posted on the Redstar FB and thought it looked handy, so I designed my own. Might be a common thing, but I never noticed them in use. Literally took 30 minutes to make and I can tell already that I should have made this ten years ago! $6 cafeteria tray off Amazon and about $6 of sch 40 1/2" PVC pipe and fittings. (the pipe insulation I think is repurposed from Vans crate packing)

No more lap, glareshield, seats, and reaching over to pick up stuff off the wing (and risking having it roll off)

Could be modified to compensate for taildragger slope, etc.

I wouldn't put a lot of weight on it, but screwdrivers, wrenches, small tools and fasteners should be fine.

BTW, I went all plastic because metal has a way of finding my paint. I may put some liner material in the tray to prevent sliding of tools. A work in progress.



January 17, 2020.  Issue #5,000.
  Today is a bit of a milestone for our family's small business here.  The best I can calculate, this is the 5,000th edition of what is currently known as the 'Van's Air Force News'.  It goes back 19.25 years to the first M-F online editions of the 'Van's Air Force - North Texas Wing'.  If memory serves, for over a decade I would wake up at 0445 and work on 'the site' until 0545 (many years with a 9600 baud modem), then shower and go to my I.T. job at 0630.  Don't wake up the baby!  Work on the RV in the evening a little and then some more 'site work' before bed.  VAF has been my full time job since 2007, and a wonderful teaching tool for my kids on what hard work and determination can achieve (like building your own plane!).

  Let's do 5,000 more - I'll be 73 in 19 years <g>.  I started this at age 31.  Thank you to all those who make this place so special.  I'm honored to call so many of you friend, and I'll keep trying my hardest to bring you a quality product.  One of the great joys of my life is how many friends I have made through all this.
  Wishing you and yours a safe, happy and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


Homebuilt Accidents: Focus on Van's ...Kitplanes

The RV series has an excellent safety record. By Ron Wanttaja -January 15, 2020 (with Van's sidebar)


Random flat tire / tyre? ...Glen

What might cause the following:
Went to the hangar and one tire was flat.
It wasn't flat the day before or the day before that.
I had flown 7 days prior.
Put air in the time and it's been 24hr and it's still at same pressure. (will continue to monitor for multiple days.)
No externally visible signs of trauma.
Local weather has been moderate. Hangar temps have remained in the range of 48F-64F.
No climatic evidence on the airplane.
No visible stresses evident on the plane.

I want to monitor for another 48 hours before I remove the wheel and do a soap-bubble test.


System Holes in Wing Ribs ...iamtheari RV-14

I began drilling the systems holes in my left wing ribs tonight and realized that I should make sure that I have enough room for the systems my plane will have. I am not doing anything that hasn't been done before, so probably someone has already sorted this out.

Here's the inventory of what needs to go through the wings:
* Standard wiring harness
* 2 wires in left wing (pitot heat ground, taxi light)
* 1 wire in right wing (taxi light)
* Coax cable in right wing for nav antenna in wingtip
* Pitot and AOA tubing in left wing, all the way to the subpanel since the ADAHRS will be there
* Garmin magnetometer in left wing ADAHRS mount

I think that I can run the pitot line in the upper aft systems holes of the left wing all the way to the root, the AOA line in the lower aft systems holes, and the nav antenna cable in the lower aft systems holes of the right wing through the first 8 ribs and the forward systems hole in the remaining 6 ribs.

The only conflicts I see in that plan come from the ADAHRS wiring harness, which connects to the magnetometer in the Garmin installation. That is supposed to run in the lower aft systems holes in the second, third, and fourth ribs of the left wing. It seems likely that the wires will be long enough to run it along with the main wiring harness in the forward systems holes.

In the right wing, there is no conflict, the coax cable would just cross over the main wiring harness between the sixth and seventh ribs.

What have others with Garmin avionics and a wingtip nav antenna done?

I used some PEX to make a conduit for both wings: It came in handy running cable for Archer wingtip antenna as well as heavy 14Ga wire to pitot heat. Plus a bit of future flexibility.


RE: Flutter Testing (Not RV but eye opening)

"...Fourth point, reflected in the FARs is if you have a trim tab on a control surface, the Vne series should be repeated with the control arm (actuator) to the tab disconnected to determine if a broken connection will not contribute to flutter..."

I would HIGHLY discourage this kind of test...from personal experience.

I had a C-421 that had a "failure" of the bolt connecting the right elevator trim tab to it's linkage. (The failure was due to negligence of the company that did the annul inspection.) The failure occurred at 16,000 feet climbing to a cruise altitude, at a speed SIGNIFICANTLY less than Vne.

When the bolt came out of the linkage, the right elevator began to flutter in a divergent mode, resulting in an airplane that was nearly uncontrollable. Luckily, the two elevator torque tubes are joined in the middle with bolts through a flange. These bolts sheared, separating the elevators. It also stopped the flutter.

This happened in the space of about 5 seconds.

The aircraft was flown to a successful landing with one elevator in control and the other in trail...lucky to say the least.

Flutter is nothing to mess around with, and it doesn't matter if you THINK you are the ace of the base...
Aerospace Engineer '88


Today's View From the Hangar ...RV-6 rebuild project

With the aid of the same kind neighbor that helped me install the wings two days ago, I pulled the left wing. It turns out the end of a drilled rivet was what was pushing the spar leaves apart - especially annoying as I fastidiously vacuumed in there before sliding everything together. ...



January 16, 2020.  Issue #4,999. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-6 Rebuild Project in Palm Springs ...jamlip


New RV-12iS Throttle Handle Option Available ...mothership

Van's has released a new, optional throttle handle/grip that is now available for all RV-12iS aircraft. The new handle is an alternative "blade" style design that can be used to replace the "T" style handle that is standard on the aircraft/kit, and has proven popular with some of the factory pilots while testing.

Installation of this new handle, which is compatible with the R-12iS airframe only (not an option for the original RV-12) is simple and a kit is available from Van's that owners can use for retrofit. Order "KIT 12iS THROTTLE GRIP" form the Van's online store.

ELSA customers may order and install this option immediately. The kit includes installation instructions as well as the necessary parts.

For SLSA customers, documentation approving and allowing installation of this optional kit on RV-12iS SLSA aircraft is available on the Van's Safety and Service Information page for the RV-12iS under SL 19-10-30 (note: link added)


Falcon Flight Formation Clinic 2020 Update

Falcon Flight will host a Formation Training Clinic on April 24/25/26 2020 at the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport - KTPL, in Temple TX. The weather-out dates will be 1-3 May. This clinic will fly under the standards of Formation Flying Inc. - FFI.

We have created a group at HERE to handle the logistics. Use the link to request membership in this group, then add a line with your information to the Clinic Signup Table. We will be using this group for all information distribution, including hotel info. Please watch that site closely for further details and updates.

A limit of 30-35 participants is in place. All formation pilots are welcome, whether newcomers and advanced. We will conduct mandatory safety briefings and a formation ground school, and we'll also go over 8900.1 rules that apply to carded pilots when operating within a certificate of waiver (airshows).

All hotel information is found in the FILES section of the group (updated soon and often). We have two hotels supporting this clinic: Residence Inn Marriott and Holiday Inn. If you intend to participate, make sure to get your room booked early before the group rate expires. You can cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival at no penalty.

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX


Garmin's New GI 275


Houston area monthly lunch (January 2020)

Time to start another year of BSing over lunch. Let's hit up the Aviator's Grill at Hooks again, this Saturday (18th) at 11:30.

I think somebody wanted to get a look at my Flyleds landing lights (Bjorn maybe?), so hopefully I'll actually remember to bring them this time...
-8 fuselage in progress



January 15, 2020.  Issue #4,998. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-12iS Service Bulletin - SB 19-08-06 - AV-60000 and AV-60009 Recall ...mothership

"Van's Aircraft has published a new Service Bulletin (SB 19-08-06) that describes steps to be taken on certain RV-12iS aircraft, in order to capture detailed photographs of two electronic components and then send the photos to Van's for review.

In limited cases, solder on AV-60000 and AV-60009 electronics modules may not have been heated sufficiently to ensure a strong enough solder joint. In those cases, there exists the potential for intermittent electronic issues.

Photographic examination of the components will allow Van's staff to visually determine whether or not the module's solder joints are properly formed and acceptable. In the event the soldering of a module in the field is determined to be insufficient, the module will need to be shipped to Van's for service. In this case, Van's will pay the shipping costs to return the defective module to Van's, and to deliver the repaired/replacement module to the customer.

When taking the photographs, please ensure that 1) plenty of light illuminates the subject - a flashlight or similar source may be used, and that 2) the photos are close-in, sharp and taken in high resolution. Most modern smartphones should be able to produce acceptable images.

Note that Van's has identified and confirmed the root cause of this issue and has made changes to its manufacturing processes as a result."
Greg Hughes - Van's Aircraft - Community, Media, Marketing


How to get plane into hangar up ramp slope

I just got a hangar for my RV-12 (a brag-worthy accomplishment in Southern California). I love having the plane in a hangar. But I have to muscle the plane up a slight incline to get it inside. I can do it using a tow bar to push and steer, but it's very tough. So I am looking for some electric power assistance.

I can install a winch (with a remote control on/off switch) to pull the plane in. But I wonder whether I'd damage the plane if I attach the winch cable to the tail tie-down ring.

I ask about using a winch because it would be dramatically less expensive than an electric airplane tug. Even for a plane as light as an RV-12, the least expensive tug I've found is $1,500.

Information about your experience, and your opinions, will be welcomed with thanks.
Lon Sobel
Santa Monica, CA
RV-12, N58CV


RV-7 Status Report  ...nilberg


G3X Touch Software Update 8.61 (1/14/2020) ...g3xpert


We released G3X Touch Version 8.61 to the Software Download Area today. After updating the software in the PFD1 with the SD card, the display will reset, and at that time it is best to hold down on the Menu button while it starts up in Configuration mode. Go to the System Information page on the PFD1 and watch all devices completing the software update before taking the PFD1 out of configuration mode and verifying proper operation for the updated system.

This is a maintenance update to address an issue with the GSU 25D in which airspeed would be invalidated at airspeeds over 300 KIAS. In addition to this, we provided a correction for the calculation of oil pressure in Rotax 912 and 914 engines with the Rotax 456180 oil pressure sensor.

Changes from V8.60 to V8.61

- Improve airspeed range reporting for GSU25D installations in aircraft exceeding 300 KIAS
- Update Rotax 456180 absolute oil pressure sensor to compensate for standard atmospheric pressure
- Includes update to GSU25C/D software version 2.20
- Includes G5 software version 6.40
- Includes G5 boot block software version 2.20
- Includes GAD13 software version 2.00
- Includes GAD13 boot block software version 2.00
- Includes GAD27 software version 2.30
- Includes GAD27 boot block software version 2.30
- Includes GAD29 software version 3.20
- Includes GAD29 boot block software version 3.10
- Includes GDL39 software version 4.81
- Includes GDL5x software version 2.13
- Includes GEA24 software version 3.70
- Includes GEA24 boot block software version 2.20
- Includes GI260 software version 2.80
- Includes GI260 boot block software version 2.20
- Includes GMA245 audio software version 2.20
- Includes GMA245 Bluetooth software version 2.00
- Includes GMA245 software version 2.70
- Includes GMA245 boot block software version 2.30
- Includes GMC507 software version 2.90
- Includes GMC507 boot block software version 2.30
- Includes GMU11 software version 2.00
- Includes GMU11 boot block software version 2.00
- Includes GPS20A software version 2.30
- Includes GPS20A boot block software version 2.10
- Includes GSA28 software version 4.50
- Includes GSA28 boot block software version 2.20
- Includes GSU25/B software version 3.90
- Includes GSU25/B boot block software version 2.20
- Includes GSU25C/D boot block software version 2.00
- Includes GSU73 software version 3.70
- Includes GSU73 IGRF database version 1.03 (Base Year 2015)
- Includes GTR20/200 software version 3.30
- Includes GTR20/200 boot block software version 2.30




A Wide Angle Camera Test ...

My new iPhone (6 to 11) came with an 'ultra wide lens', so I thought I would test it out.  Click image for 2,560 x 1,828 pixel version.

2,560 x 1,828



January 14, 2020.  Issue #4,997. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Almost ready to fly! ...leok

Well after 5 years and 4 months I'm almost there. I got my airworthiness inspection yesterday! There wasn't anyone there to take a picture so this is the best we could do. My DAR said I didn't look very happy in the photo. I told him that was my happy face!  ...


Airport Weather Station ...Vlad

I will be based at an airport without weather reporting station. It is in rural area (Intermountain Utah 33U) and aviation weather is very unique. I am wondering if there is a portable weather station on the market I can buy and install in the immediate vicinity? I understand there maybe some sort of FCC permit required. Did anybody install similar at your private strip or knows the process? Would appreciate any intel or reference.


Let the Crawling Under the Dash Begin

I need to run a wire from my 430W out to my GTX330ES for ADBS-B OUT.....which means pulling everything out so I can get my hairy, semi-arthritic, wrinkled hands back there.  I haven't taken all this stuff out in years and years.  Forgot how 'fun' it was. ;^)

2,560 x 494


Avionics Installation for Experimental Aircraft Course - February 17-19, 2020

Greetings VAF! ...g3xpert

Once again the Aircraft Electronics Association will be hosting an Avionics Installation for Experimental Aircraft course, on February 17-19, 2020, at their headquarters in Lee's Summit, MO (Kansas City Suburb). For complete details and registration information, please visit the AEA Course Website.

This has been a popular training opportunity that includes hands-on wiring and avionics installation fundamentals, heavily focused on the Garmin G3X Touch system. Many VAF members have attended this course in the past! It is a 3-day course at a registration cost of $499. There are a limited number of spots available and space fills quick!

Let us know if you have any questions!

Best Regards,



Panel Porn ...leok

Here is the best photo of my panel that I have. The PFD and G5 are a little washed out. The panel is all Garmin G3X touch.
Not a 6, but I guess it's ok to show a 10 panel?


Jan/Feb FAA Safety Briefing ...38pg free PDF.


Looking for Panel Thoughts (and update) ...jamesdavid

Now that I know the big-ticket items, I am trying to figure out the best way to organize switches and breakers. This is what I have come up with. Apart from the general layout, some of the specific questions I still have are:
Should I put the GAD 29 on the Avionics bus, or the Main Bus? It is only needed for the Avionics (GNX 375 and GNC 255), but other examples placed it on the Main bus...
I have a breaker and a switch for the GAP 26 Pitot Heat. Any reason not to just use a Switch Breaker?

Thoughts and input appreciated...



January 13, 2020.  Issue #4,996. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

GMC 507 RV-6 Glare Shield Mount Update ...dr

Tony Kirk at Van's (proto shop guy doing this on his own time) sent me an email on Sunday with his first 3D printing of the 507 mount idea.  He said he wanted to tweek something and print it again, but he gave me permission to post this pic.  How dang cool is this thing going to be!?!?!  Very excited!!!!  Per Tony's wishes, when the bugs get worked out the SolidWorks file will be hosted here for free download if you want to print one yourself.

enlarge / panel upgrades


Panel Update ...DeeCee 57

"...latest iteration of my panel. Loads of fun painting and working on a riveted (yes, non-removable), panel <g>"


Long Term Review of the CQ1 Headset + Comparisons to the competition ...Guy Prevost

About a year ago, I wrote a rave review about the CQ1 Headset by Card Machine Works.  I'm likely biased in my opinion, but such bias is hard won and isn't always a bad thing. I've known Scott and Tanya for years. I think very highly of them. I've met few individuals with their combination of integrity, drive, intelligence, and capability. To find a pair of them marching forward together in life is a true gift. Enough of the disclaimer, on to the review.   ...


VansAirForce.net Charity Cap Sighting ...Planecrazy232

At the auction of Steve McQueen's 'Bullitt' Mustang.


RV12iS interior pics ...Barry B.

Q: Wondering if anyone can post some pictures of the complete installed interior on the RV12iS (including floor, side panels, baggage compartment, etc.). I'm interested in knowing what will need to be painted.

A: (jrtens)


$13 at Lowes ...new lease on life for the air tank.

$13 at Lowes and I had a new, longer hose for my portable air tank (original hose is too short and cheap).  A pair of small locking vise grips replaced the stripped plastic knob for shutting off the air, and I have a nice refurbished solution for the hangar tires. 



Real World Numbers, Am I Missing Something? ...OneTwoTree (9/9A)

Let me start by saying long time lurker first time post. My mission is to travel and get my IFR ticket (for safety not for necessity). So naturally the 9 comes into picture. The 14 is a bit too rich for my blood. I want to be done at 80K with an IFR machine not 100K. The 9 is attractive, but I'm still dumbfounded that it only has a 36 gal capacity. Imagine my excitement when I find the Hotel Whiskey extended tanks. Then I ran the numbers:

empty weight 1050 (middle of average according to Van's site)
fuel weight 216 = 1266
A/C weight 48 = 1314 (Not negotiable according to the treasury)
HW ER Tanks 10 = 1324
ER fuel weight 60 = 1384
pilot weight 200 = 1584
co-pilot weight 150 = 1734

This leaves 16 pounds for bags ......... not good

When I run the same numbers for the 7 I get:

empty weight 1100 (middle of average according to Van's site)
fuel weight 252 = 1362
A/C weight 48 = 1410 (Not negotiable according to the treasury)
HW ER Tanks not needed
ER fuel weight not installed
pilot weight 200 = 1610
co-pilot weight 150 = 1760

40 pounds of bags.

You can't have it all. I know that. I could have the ER tanks installed and if they are unfilled I've added 60 pounds that I could carry (76 total for baggage).

Overall I'm just suprised that the 9 only has a 36 gallon capacity. I get that it's a cross counry maching for many reasons, but that is not one. Using 8GPH I'm getting 3.5 hrs aloft with a 1hr saftey buffer.



January 10, 2020.  Issue #4,995.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend ...Northernliving RV-8

Not quite last weekend, but one of my last weekends flying in 2019. Took a flight out to Chatham, MA on Cape Code to take my bride to brunch. First shot it of the Chatham historic Lighthouse with the airport in the distance (CQX), followed by the Cape Cod National Seashore in Wellfleet, followed by the tip of the Cape - Provincetown Aiport(PVC) and then flying through the BOS Bravo back home.


Extended Squitter (ES) Upgrade ...ADS-B out....CHECK!

My Garmin GTX330 transponder arrived back from the factory after getting its ADS-B makeover - my 330 is now a 330ES and ADS-B complient.   I'll put it back in the RV this weekend, finish the oil change, and go fly next week to verify stuff while I build some cables for other things (507, etc).   I got it back quicker than I thought I would.



Status Report ...vernh59 RV-7

Been busy with the holidays and such but still working. more



Rob's Dedicated Air Cart

Rob and Scott across the runway from me use this to air up everything around the hangar, and it's growing on me.  Rolls it to whatever, plugs in the extension cord and air.  Trailer, tractor, Airstream, RV-7, motorcycle and more.  You don't have to move stuff around and you don't have to maintain a long air hose.

I may have to modify my taco cart - I sure do like this.  Just plug into the nearest outlet.



Epoxy and Microballon Practice Begins ...David Paule RV-3B

It's been a while since I worked with epoxy and microballoons and foam, and since I had enough stuff to work with, I decided to make a practice kit.

Starting at the far back, is a roll of fiberglass cloth which I didn't use today. Just in front of that is a bag of microballoons, left over from the sailboat I had the first decade of this century. Then the tall can is some epoxy resin, Rhino or Jeffco 1307 LV, and to its right is a quart of the associated medium hardener. At the right of the hardener is my mixing cup and the two pieces of scrap foam that I glued together with the microballoon and epoxy mix.

In the foreground we can see the gram scale and the syringes I used to meter out the resin and hardener.

This is the first time I'd used this resin system. Steve Smith recommended it, and so far, based on this one trial, I like it. It's available from Aircraft Spruce. Previously I'd mostly used the West Systems epoxy.

The gram scale measures and reads down to 1/100 of a gram. The closest I could get to the goal weight was about .03 grams and that took some doing. Frankly, I don't think that precision was necessary, but that's a guess; I don't really know.

The mix had the consistency of peanut butter. I could have made it drier and if I repeat the experiment, I probably will.

I'll let this cure completely and then carve and shape it and sand it to see how it feels.


Recently Reported on the Mothership



January 9, 2020.  Issue #4,994. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend  ...Bob Kuykendall

Not that weekend, but in the days leading up to it, Steve Smith flew me from Ashland down to Montague in his RV-8 to see the skunk works shop where he and Bob Mills are making the tapered carbon fiber wings that will be going onto Bob's Rocket Six. The day started with an overcast, but cleared up for a beautiful trip across the Siskiyous.  ...


How to fix RV-6A that needs large changes in elevator trim ...mtnflyr

I bought a 6A some time ago and need some help understanding what changes I can make to it to reduce the need for large changes in elevator trim.

On final, I can't trim out the stick force with full nose-up trim. It's manageable, but I like to trim to a stable hands-off state and I can't do that today.

For takeoff, flaps up, the airplane rotates nicely with a fair amount of nose-up trim, and I have to trim aggressively down as the airplane accelerates. This isn't a huge deal for a normal takeoff but makes the airplane a handful on a go-around.

The trim movements I need to go from 80 mph to 120 mph are significant - much more than I'd like to have to do.

What should I check? CG comes to mind - I'm guessing that the airplane has a CG that is further forward than optimum. Would forward CG cause the need to trim more than a properly balanced aircraft? I don't want to start messing with stuff without understanding the aerodynamics causing the behavior I'm seeing.

The set up: Lycoming O-360 with a Hartzell constant speed prop. Battery on the aft side of the firewall.


Status Report  ...jamlip

May have jumped the gun on this - it's still a long way from flying. But I wanted to get the wings on it, so off it goes to the Palm Springs International Airport...


Panel Cut / Fit  ...nilberg

I managed to finalize my layout and get the panel cut, painted and engraved (Steinair).

I also managed to use all my savings money on avionics, sans GTN-650, as if I knew GTN-650XI would come (which I didn't, I just ran out of cash and got the GTN mounting bracket only).
I was fun though to unpack and inventory everything except GTN-650 only to wake up this morning to find out about the 6xx Xi series....

Of course I had to test the fit:


SB 12-11-09 Query / Update? ...Piper J3

SB 12-11-09 - Center Section Modification

I bought my RV-12 early SN (120058) from the original builder with 48TT knowing that SB for Center Section and Fuel Tank were not completed. I flew for a year before completing these two service bulletins. I guess I was having too much fun and the RV smile wasn't wearing off. So, in my case the Center Section Modification was completed at 205TT. No cracks were found during the work. This area is given extra care for visual inspection during Annual Condition Inspection. No cracks at current 521TT.

The reason for resurrecting this thread is to see how this fix is holding up to the test of time. I fly off of a private grass strip that is not very smooth. The runway has not been rolled for the past two years and frost heave in the winter has worked its magic. I would imagine my landing gear has been subjected to near maximum abuse short of training flights and really poor landings.

Has anyone noticed new cracks forming or propagation of existing cracks that were stop-drilled during the SB?

As a reminder, the attached photo is included in SB 12-11-09.


Garmin G5 Software 6.30 Now Available (1/8/2020) ...g3xpert

We released G5 Software Version 6.30 to the software download area today. While the majority of the changes are behind-the-scenes improvements, there are a couple of items worth mentioning.

When a GAD 13 is installed in a G5 system, OAT data will be transmitted to any connected Garmin Navigator through the GAD 29 ARINC 429 Interface.

This software update includes the necessary support for G3X Touch MFD only installations, as outlined in a previous post.

Changes made from version 6.20 to 6.30:
- Added support for G3X system configurations with no ADAHRS LRUs
- Added support for sending GAD 13 OAT data over ARINC 429
- Improved SD card flight data logging
- General improvements to system operation
- Includes update to GAD 29 software version 3.20
- Includes GMC 507 software version 2.80
- Includes GSA 28 software version 4.40
- Includes GMU 11 software version 2.00

As always, please let us know if you have any questions regarding this software update.



January 8, 2020.  Issue #4,993. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My RV Weekend ...KatanaPilot

Flew with my son and did some formation with a neighbor in a Cessna 195. One of the other pilots took a few photos.


My RV Weekend ...bruceh

Saturday: Gorgeous day, so up for an hour of messing around practicing some lazy-8's and over to Carlsbad for a landing.

Sunday: I got to ride shotgun with BillC and the Ramona Formation flying gang. That was very cool. I expect now I'll have to join them and continue the fun and learning everything formation-wise.
After that I was hungry so I flew solo off to Hemet for a quick lunch special (BBQ beef sandwich was tasty). I got an email asking for some potential assistance fixing a busted up wing tip that met its fate against a car which carelessly backed into the airplane (RV-6A). Did a detour to Santa Monica around and under the LAX Bravo to take a quick look at the damage, and then on the way back I stopped for gas in Corona.

3.6 hours (not counting the right seat time).


New Product Announcement: GTN 650Xi & GTN 750Xi Series IFR Navigators (1/6/2020) ...g3xpert

We are excited to announce our new GTN 650Xi and GTN 750Xi as the latest addition to the Garmin product line of touchscreen IFR navigators.

Designed as a direct slide-in upgrade to the previous generation GTN 650/750, pilots can preserve their panel and modernize the cockpit with the new GTN 650Xi and GTN 750Xi. Available in five different versions, the GTN Xi series matches its predecessor in providing options with or without COMM or NAV radios. The all-in-one GTN 750Xi GPS/NAV/COMM boasts a large feature-rich multifunction display and can integrate with new or existing remote-mount equipment such as a transponder or audio panel. Dual-core processors and modern hardware also prepare the GTN Xi series for advanced capabilities in the future. The GTN 650Xi and GTN 750Xi have received FAA approval and are available immediately for fixed-wing single-engine and multi-engine piston, turbine and experimental aircraft.  more


AOA Sensor Probe ...how Sam B. did it.

Very easy to make a probe with 1/4" copper or aluminum tubing. Here is a pitot static probe I made for one of my aircraft:

To make an AOA probe from this basic design, eliminate the small holes and plug in the static probe and bend the lower ram probe down at a 45* angle. The top tube will now be the high pressure port and the bent, lower probe the low pressure port. You may need to slightly bend the lower tube via flight test to get your LRI to indicate properly at stall AOA. The design of this probe can be tweaked to make it look better....make the tubes closer together...fill in the gap with epoxy...etc.....

The indicator referenced in the above post is the same one used in the LRI system and works as well as the Lift Reserve Indicator I've been flying for nearly 20 years in my RV-6. The LRI is my primary indicator for max performance takeoffs and landings.


Nuckolls Z-13, but with a real standby alt vs. SD-8? ...N546RV

My questions will continue until morale improves...

First, for reference, the aforementioned Z-13 schematic, since I'm sure few of us can recall these things on-demand (click for larger image):


Here's a Few Weight Saving Ideas ...Tdeman

I've been trying to save weight wherever possible on my RV-6 build and will share a few of the things I did. Now, I have a running bet with a few guys on what my empty weight will be, so you'll notice some of these get increasingly maniacal. I'll spare you the full on weight-psycho stuff until I weigh in and either have to use it or not.

A lot of people mention the wood prop saving 25-30 lbs, but then go and put a 18lb crush plate on the nose for CG reasons With that in mind, I focused my weight savings at the tail. Ideally allowing me to run a composite prop without a weight up front.

Starting at the tail:
-Using the classic RV-6 VS and rudder (no counterbalance) (sorry 7/8/9 builders, not an option).
-Built a new set of .016 elevator skins using RV-7 counter balance arms which are longer, and position the CW horizontally, thus requiring less counterweight. (The combination of elevator counterweight and skins will be nearly a 2lb reduction alone)
-Turned a titanium tailspring on the lathe (1lb saved).
-Planning to do a billet tailwheel fork and Ti axle.
-Scallop the mating flange of the fairings and pop rivet instead of screw on.
-MS-21042 instead of AN-365's
-Round and taper those corners on your 1/8" angles and straps in the tail.

I'm hoping that by pulling 4-5lbs out of the aft-most point on the aircraft, I'm able to run a ground-adjustable composite prop without any extra weight up front (saving another 10-15lbs). Engine is a carb'd O-320.

Then of course are all the easy ones throughout the rest of the aircraft:
-Build a taildragger
-MS-21042's instead of AN-365's
-Minimal interior
-Single EFIS Glass Panel with LRU's mounted as close to power/data hub as possible.
-Careful and efficient wiring throughout (See AC-43.13B for calcs and help on minimizing wire size).
-Fuses instead of circuit breakers
-Single (or double) set of seat back hinges. Single seat back angle per side on the cross bar (speaking of which, lighten that piece of angle up!)
-Lithium battery (Easy 10lb saved compared to an Odyssey, 20lb lighter than a concord).
-Aluminum battery box (see RV-14 battery box if using an odyssey).
-Aluminum hard lines instead of rubber hose wherever feasible.
-Single set of brakes. (And throw those master cylinders in the lathe or mill to get rid of all the extruded material between the ports.)

Sometimes I ask myself if it's worth it... However, flying a heavy and lightweight RV back to back often reminds me that it is not in vain.


My RV Weekend ...PHOTO01

Last week I (finally) managed to get some photos of our family RV-6 in front of the WWII-era hangar at KTHA:



January 7, 2020.  Issue #4,992.
  Welcome to Tuesday.  The Wednesday edition, which would usually be pushed out around 0000Z, will instead be pushed out sometime in the 1300-1400Z timeframe.  I'm working a supplemental income side paper route in the PC-12NG Tuesday.  Learning hat on.  I'll be far too confused, possibly lost, to type.
  Sid put out a food trip vid in his 7A recently, and Monday I happened to be near both the tripod and radio when he entered the pattern.  "Touch down at Charlie if you can."  Within about six feet of the center of Charlie is pretty dang good. 
Slo Mo video.
  See you Wednesday morning sometime.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Weekend RV Activity ...DanH

evening in Alabama, so I got in some formation practice. Quick over the shoulder shot from Stan Tew, passenger in Kirk Harrell's Mustang II:


Weekend Mx ...crabandy

I noticed the brake pads getting a little thin during the condition inspection (450 hours), 2nd flight after the condition inspection my main alternator voltage was venturing above 15 volts. She needed a little more love.
I do not like to rush my aircraft maintenance, it's about balancing research during lunch breaks at work and ordering parts to coincide with free time to put things together at the airport. I ordered new pads, brake rivet tool and regulator. Thanks to Allen at Hartzell Engine Technologies for listening and answering my questions about my PP Alt.  more


First Time Post and Buyer

Hello new friends.

I am about to complete my private pilot certificate. I'm also about to graduate veterinary school and am heavily considering taking a job around 600 miles from home. They want me to work part of the week, and I'm considering going back home and working/being with family the remainder of the week. I wouldn't do this every week, just kind of depends on the weather.

Because of this, I'm heavily considering buying a plane. My mission would be 600 mile cross countries by myself. Want something quick, fuel efficient, and a good plane for IFR conditions (plan to get instrument certificate soon after private). Right now considering 6, 7, or 9's. Prefer the side by side seating, prefer a tricycle gear but I'm willing to get tail wheel endorsement for the right situation.
So my main question, how difficult would it be to overhaul the panel on some of these older rv-6's or cheaper built rv-9's? Adding auto-pilot? I'm pretty handy for the most part, decent on electronics, but I'm pretty good at problem solving and finding a way to get something done.

Any input on any of this is greatly appreciated.
Thank you.


Slo Mo #5 ...


RV-6 engine replacement ...pros and cons

My RV-6 is on about 1830 hours. I'll have an annual condition inspection in October, then I think there'll be engine work in 2021.

Current engine is a carburetted O-320-D2A with a Sensenich fixed-pitch cruise prop.

I didn't build the aircraft.

The current fuel system has plumbing feeding an Andair valve supplying the suction side of a Facet fuel pump on the inside wall of the fuselage between the pilot seat and the rudder pedals, with the pump discharge feeding a gascolator on the engine side of the firewall, which in turn runs to the engine-driven fuel pump.

It's still more than a year and a half away, but planning is good, and the direction I'm tending towards now is to take the O-320-D2A off and replace it with some variant of an IO-360, probably also with a fixed-pitch prop.

The change from carburettor to fuel injection is going to involve fuel system modifications: I'm anticipating that the Facet pump will end up in the trash, with a new high pressure fuel pump and new plumbing.

I'm sure someone has gone down the path of carb to fuel injection before, and if anyone has advice I'd love to hear about it.

Are folks generally keeping high-pressure fuel out of the cockpit, so where's the right spot for the electric pump? Is the gascolator necessary? Considerations for routing fuel lines to avoid vapor lock? How are fuel systems handled in modern certified aircraft? Anything else I'm not thinking of?


- mark


Got the panel put together ...Rons

Nothing is wired yet but I cut the panels, covered them in flat black vinyl wrap, and labeled them. Then I got everything mounted. Tada!

Thanks to Jared Solomon for the inspiration on this (Okay... I more or less just copied his panel with a couple minor changes. It's hard to argue with success. )

Let me know what you think.


Possible mistake on RV-14A Rudder Spar Reinforcement Plates ...jdog0411

Wanted to get the forum's opinion on the following...I've sent this to Vans technical support for their opinion as well, but in the meantime thought I would ask here also.

I recently completed riveting the Rudder Spar Reinforcement Plates onto the rudder spar for my RV-14A. I riveted them to the spar with the shop head on the spar side of the spar, when in retrospect I probably should have riveted them with the shop head on the plate side of the spar since that is the thicker material. The plans didn't specify, so I didn't think it would matter one way or the other.  more


Hartzell Engine Technologies Press Release



Under the partnership agreement with Lycoming, beginning January 06, 2020, Lycoming factory overhauled and rebuilt engines will no longer be shipped to the end-customer with alternators or accessories. Going forward, customers will now purchase Plane-Power components directly from Hartzell Engine Technologies.

Montgomery, AL (January 06, 2020) --Representatives of Hartzell Engine Technologies (HET) announced today that the company has partnered with Lycoming to now be the exclusive direct-to-customer provider of Plane-Power alternators and alternator assemblies for a factory overhauled and rebuilt engine.

"As the manufacturer of Plane-Power alternators and components, we have been providing alternators and accessories to Lycoming for all of their factory overhauled and rebuilt engines for a long time," stated Keith Bagley, President, Hartzell Engine Technologies. "The primary reason that we are now transitioning to the direct-to-customer supplier for these components, including full alternator assemblies and pullies, is to provide much better delivery and direct factory support to the end-customer."

"By eliminating the added steps of shipping to Lycoming and then to the customer, we can respond to the customer's needs, and correct any problems, faster and more efficiently," he said. "In addition, should an owner/operator want to upgrade their Plane-Power alternator, the factory-direct order model will make that process a lot easier."

Bagley also explained that while customers will now buy their Plane-Power alternators and assemblies directly from Hartzell Engine Technologies in the majority of cases, there are some unique situations where, depending on engine model and configuration, alternator brackets and belts will continue to be installed and/or supplied with some Lycoming factory overhauled and rebuilt engines.

Because the transition is happening very quickly, Bagley provided additional details that will help clarify some key points:

- Customers who take delivery of their Lycoming factory overhauled or rebuilt engines, prior to January 06, 2020, which include Lycoming factory-supplied alternators are still required to return an alternator with their exchange core engine.

- Customers who order Lycoming factory overhauled or rebuilt engines on or after January 06, 2020, may keep their existing alternators or replace them at their discretion based on either the condition of the alternator or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) where applicable.

- Lycoming Service Instruction No. 1154, FAA-Approved Starters and Alternators, will continue to be an active document.

- The next revision of Lycoming Service Instruction No. 1154, (S.I.1154W) will provide additional HET part numbers for alternators and alternator assemblies available directly from Hartzell Engine Technologies.

"The end-goal of this process is to ensure that aircraft owner/operators and their maintenance providers will enjoy a greatly improve overall customer experience when ordering and installing our Plane-Power alternators and components," Bagley said. "In addition, should they ever experience an issue, having direct contact with our technical experts here at the factory will make that whole process easier and more efficient."

Link to Lycoming Service Letter No. L277 explaining the transition: here

Dale Smith
Media Relations Representative
Hartzell Engine Technologies



January 6, 2020.  Issue #4,991. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV Flying I Did in '19 ...plehrke

I did not do any cross countries in 2019 but did do a lot of local flying around STL.  49 flights, 50.4 hours, >7000 nm.  Not a typical year due to loosing 3 months of flying due to airport and hangar flooded this summer.  Can you tell where the control tower airports are in STL?


Time for year 13 numbers! ...petehowell 9A

The morning was a bummer with the funeral for a co-worker's fiance, but clouds were clearing off, and I thought I would take the -9A up to get some yearly performance numbers......

Lower layer moving East - pretty nice day up at 7500! Pic looking south, you can see KANE in the distance.....  more


New Years Day 2020 ...newt in Australia

Our formation group has established a bit of a tradition over the last few years, of meeting up late in the morning on January 1st and flying somewhere "interesting," usually for a spot of lunch.

This year was slightly different: Glenn volunteered to lead, and planned to take a 6-ship around Sydney Harbour.

It started with a formation briefing, six pilots and six passengers. Half a dozen RVs departing runway 11C at Bankstown in two elements of three, with yours truly leading the second element.  ...


Oil Change Results

Still waiting the Blackstone results for this change but wanted to share my results and get some feedback...

No air-oil separator on breather
~30 hours on oil
Used about 1qt in that 30 hours with level kept at 6-6.5 qts.

Prior analysis showed "upper end" (Blackstone comment) corrosion which coincides with limited use while the aircraft sat for sale with limited flying last year. Jug was pulled during pre-buy to look at cam and tappets, which were normal.

I flew aircraft for 45 mins and drained oil. This was an easier than expected, but a little messy pulling screen.

Here's what I observed...
Oil was remarkibly clean looking for 30 hours. With the limited burn I would guess this means the upper end is runing tight with limited blow-by.
Screen caught a small amount of carbon and what seemed to been some old rubber gasket/seal material. Total...it was an immeasurable amount with no metal
Oil filter - Filter media inspected and run over with strong magnet, no metal found
Oil filter media washed with mineral spirts and fluid was strained in coffee filter, no metal, and only few small specks of carbon found
Strong magnet was placed in jar while washing filter media to pick up anything ferrous. Only a very small amount of ferrous material was found (see picture).
The ferrous material collected by the magnet was very fine...like dust, but there was a couple small flecks of metal < 0.5 mm wide and very thin. 


My 2019 flying stats ...Bruce Hill 9A

I got a chance yesterday to add up my logbook hours for 2019 and review some of my flying memories.


Slo Mo #4 ...


Status Update ...David Paule -3B

Here's the stack with some work ahead, like gluing, filling, shaping, smoothing, etc. You know, like all the work. But at least the void is filled.


RV-6 Rebuild Project Update ...jamlip

Still going with this thing...

Removed and de-sloshed the fuel tanks. They've been built oversize to 28 gallons each side, and when you stand them on their end, they're about as tall as me. It took me about ten hours per tank, and I used $150 of MEK.

Today I fitted new wing spar cover panels. The aircraft didn't come with any, depite there being evidence that there were once some fitted. Took ages - really annoying. At the same time, I made a centre section for the floor, since I've done-away with the standard battery box.  ...


Initial Contact ...Phil

Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on these forums for a number of years now and have gathered a ton of knowledge from all of you. There is a lot to absorb and I can say that this forum was one of the reasons I finally decided to start my RV-7 build.

I ordered and received my empennage kit back in the spring of 2019 and have been (very) slowly progressing on the build. I started with the wing and toolbox practice kits and learned a lot working through those "tutorials". Currently I'm working through the horizontal stabilizer, which is teaching me even more!

Being up here in the Great White North, the colder temperature in the shop in these winter months slows progress a bit. Working with what feels like (and probably is!) frozen aluminum requires a few more breaks back in the house to warm up!

Thanks again to all for sharing your experiences on the forum, it is an invaluable resource for RV builders!

Anyhow, just wanted to give a quick intro and I know I will be posting with more questions during the course of the build!



Mystery Airstrip ...Vlad


Is this a reasonable way to wire up my landing/taxi/wigwag lights? ...N546RV

The struggle to nail down my electrical system continues; let's talk about how I want to do my landing and taxi lights.

The light units will be Flyleds combo units, one in each leading edge. For those unfamiliar, each unit has four projectors, one of which can be separately switched and aimed to act as a taxi light. Since I'm building a TW aircraft, I intend to use that functionality. I also want to have wigwag functionality for these lights, and I intend to use the Flyleds wigwag module to do this. What I want is to have two switches: one three-way switch with OFF/TAXI/BOTH positions, and one two-way switch to enable wig-wag.

The first source of interest here is that the wigwag module only has single power outputs, one for the right wing and one for the left. I want the wig-wag function to power both the landing and taxi units, which means at that point the landing and taxi circuits must be tied together - which means I lose the ability to apply power only to one of those circuits when I want the TAXI/BOTH switch on.

The second is sort of the other side of that coin; if I want to have a single switch for OFF/TAXI/BOTH, then the power outputs there for landing and taxi are electrically tied together, which prevents the wigwag module from being able to only apply power to one wing.

Basically, the issue is that every circuit can backfeed every other one.

Now, I'm a bit naive when it comes to electronics, but offhand this seems like a problem that can be solved with diodes - strategically placed diodes prevent any leg of the circuit from backfeeding any other one. The only practical problem I see is that I'll incur a voltage drop at all times to these circuits. But some annoying part of my brain wants to think that this isn't the way this should be done.

So what I'm asking is: is this a reasonable approach, or not?


Initial Panel Ideas ...kentlik



(Vlad)  I was exploring new to me vicinities. Looking for a good ice in Wyoming

(rongawer) I modified my air intake.  Ok, so it's not earth shattering, or even sexy in any way, but I've been slowly modifying my intake to get the best performance, which I measure by air intake temperature and by manifold pressure.

What I did this weekend was put a scoop (cut and folded 0.032" scrap I had on hand) over my intake. No, it's not as aerodynamic as it could be or even aesthetically pleasing, but gets the job done. The idea was to validate for myself the difference between a NACA duct and scoop. I can tell you the scoop makes a huge difference.

(goatflieg) Still chipping away at the cowling and baffles. Started trimming baffles; getting closer... but I just don't see how RV-8 builders manage to get their oil cooler to fit in the stock position. If any -8 builders want to share photos of their finished baffles on the left side by the oil cooler, or if there are any -8 builders within 100 miles of Clarkston, MI that would be willing to allow me to inspect their cowlings and baffles, I'd be very grateful. (Hopefully Terry Lutz is reading this; then we'd finally get a chance to meet up! )

(tfriendshuh) Took advantage of some warm(ish) weather and flew out over the Apostle Islands



January 3, 2020.  Issue #4,990.
  It's amazing what you can capture in slow motion with just a modern smartphone and a tripod these days.  The mic picked up the tire squeal...pretty neat sound in slo mo.  These from my home field (52F) and my phone hardly trying - I'll work on my technique.  Simply amazing.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV filled weekend. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Slo Mo 'Crazy Woman' RV-8 Landing

Slo Mo Kay F. RV-8A Takeoff

Slo Mo John Goodloe RV-8 Takeoff


A Silence ...Scott Chastain RV-8

The sun was already high up and shining brightly when I finally decided to get out of bed. It was the year 2020, and the percussion of mortars from the night before still punctured my memory like the blind bursting of complete darkness, of a part of my life that had been blown away, hopelessly and irrevocably, as into a void. There was that hollowness in the gut that often precedes a flight where uncertainty must have its way no matter how well-planned the flight is. The mortars reverberated in my brain as if exploding on some great battlefield where the world itself was tenuously hinged, and as I packed my gear and headed out the door, my dog was whining because she had to stay home without me.

I was airborne out of Merced (MCE) less than an hour later heading south at 11,500 feet. The Sierra Nevada range rose snow-capped to the port side, and further south, a portion of the San Joaquin Valley lay buried under a pale scab of fog.  continue


RV8 going IFR ...Jimmie Kemp

Q: I'm installing a pair of garmin G5s and a GNX 375 in my RV8. I would like some advice on where to mount the garmin antenna and magnetometer. Thank you.

A: (rv8ch)
For the Magnetometer, I went with the end of the left wing. I've got a GRT, so not 100% sure that Garmin wants theirs to be as far away from ferrous metal like GRT, but physics are physics.

The magnetometer is attached with double sided tape inside the 2nd hole in this picture.

A: (g3xpert)
The GMU 11 is an extremely sensitive magnetic sensor, so it is important to choose a suitable installation location, and properly align the unit when installing it. This table outlines the recommended separation from various types of magnetic interference.

You can basically use this as a way to prioritize what is most important to avoid. For a wing mounted unit, it will be important that any lights installed in the wing are not grounded to the air frame out in the wing. You will want to run a dedicated ground return back to the fuselage. Also any electrical conductor running through the wing, should be twisted, shielded, and routed as far away from the GMU 11 and its wiring harness as feasibly possible.

Feel free to reach out to us directly if you have any other questions that come up.


Recent Additions to Mothership First Flight Page



January 2, 2020.  Issue #4,989. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Last Flight of 2019 (RV-14) ...Georges Grenet pics/vids


Spoiled Rotten ...Robert M

While in the midst of helping my wife get some "Pinch Hitter" training at a local airport, I let MY BFR lapse. So, I set up an appointment with one of the local flight school instructors to renew. Went through the usual "ground school" chat and headed for the C-172. Again, the usual pre-flight. Taxied out, rolled onto the runway and started the takeoff roll. Oh my gosh, was I dragging the fuel truck? Was the engine not delivering full power? I was concerned we weren't gonna be able to even rotate the nose wheel before running out of runway.

AND......during the initial ground roll, I told the instructor; "in my RV, we'd be off the ground by now". And when I got the 55kts to rotate the nose wheel, I told him; "in the RV, we'd be above pattern altitude by now". Then there was the, (what felt like), endless climb to the maneuvering altitude of 3,000 ft. Jeez, I don't remember it taking that long back when I rented 172's.

Please understand, I wasn't trying to brag although it sure sounded that way. No..... it was more like I was complaining. I have been so spoiled with how quickly the RV-9 can get up on the mains, rotate for takeoff and climb to altitude. Spoiled Rotten!

In retrospect, I can see more clearly that things happen SO much faster in the RV and a greater need for due diligence is required for all aspects of operation.


RV-4 (After Flight) ...Camillo (Italy)

Here is my new RV-4. Tail kit has been bought in 2011. I just made 3 flights and he flies straight. Power is more than adequate. He mounts a Lycoming YIO-320 160HP, a Catto 3-blade prop and a Christen oil system. Empty weight is 958 lbs.  more pics / video


Thank you all ...Tom Swearengen of TS Flightlines, LLC

I just wanted to take a minute to thank all the VAF family for the outpouring of support shown after Suzanne's passing. It was really unbelievable.
Its been a couple of weeks now, and yes its getting easier. I'm doing more cooking now, ( well ok Me and Zaxby's, Subway, etc) but as some of you have noticed, I've been working alot more. Yes it helps! My role has actually changed alittle from doing most of the hose assembly building to more of a concept/creation thing. I want to give a selfish plug to my business partner Steve Tschurwald of Aircraft Specialty, and our joint company AS Flightlines. Without him, alot of things that transpired the past 2 years would not have been possible.
When we came up with the idea of merging some parts of our 2 companies to better help all of you, neither one of us dreamed --or had a nightmare, depending on your position, that the merger concept would actually allow me to spend a bunch of time with Suzanne, and get her the best medical care available. If I was doing everything like I was at one point, she would probably have suffered MUCH more than she did, and at the same time, all of you clients possibly would have too. So, Steve---a toast to you my friend.
When bad things happen we sometimes dont have a clue who is affected. Suzanne didnt know alot of you, or had any actual contact with you. But she knew of you, and I can speak for her in saying that she appreciates the outpouring of love an support you have all shown. Its made both her and my transition easier. House is still quiet, but its feeling warmer, and I think its because shes near.

OK----so 2019 is leaving us, and 2020 is tonite. Steve and I have several new things that we'll be releasing. A few of which have already gotten out there. I wont go through them all, but some are already on the joint website asflightlines.com. LOL---my tsflightlines.com website is so outdated, and gee I'm not a computer guy so its just kind of sitting there. So most of the newer things ar on the AS Flightlines site. A couple of possibly relevant things-----I'm going to finish my 7A---Sue said she'd kick my butt if I didnt. Gee that means I have to straight out the shop, but it also creates more room. The intent here is to build several full scale mockups so we can do more R&D inhouse to speed things up some. These might include from baggage bulkhead to engine mount the cabins of 7A/9A, 10, 14A, and several other aircraft. In addition, due to popular demand, engine and accessory mockups for IO360, IO390, and IO540. Lots of different sump/servo combinations that you just cant plan for unless you have an actual engine sitting there equipped with the accessories youre trying to build data for. So, the idea is to have some of this here, so we can bolt on a sump and servo and get actual data on things----to make your lives easier. And at the same time, actually install the engine on the mockup and get real live dimensional data. Sounds crazy, and we probably could do it in Solidworks, but need the data to begin with. And---well its experimental, so everyone has a little different take on how they want their plane to be.
So we may be asking the VAF group if you have parts you want to sell/donate etc. Anyone priced a Superior cold sump lately? Or an Avstar servo---see it adds up FAST. All of this in due time---but its something that we think will be a huge benefit to all of you.

So--2020 will be here shortly---it will start off sad because my beautiful Suzanne is in heaven and not here, but knowing she beat cancer, and is better now gives me alot of peace. With the things we have in the works and planned, we will be busy, and that helps too. Several NEW projects are in concept stage now, and we'll be able to work on them.
One last note--Many of you over the years have asked about us doing a booth at AirVenture. Due to expenses, and time away from the shops we havent done one. But---with the new things we will be releasing, and some skunk works things too, maybe its time to do a booth. Those of you that do exhibit there know the money part, the time involved, and the total effort to make it happen. Some have said its a loosing proposition. Maybe so, but we think its a great way to get the word out, and let you see whats happening. Might surprise you!
More later on that--
Again thanks to all of you my friends, for all the kind thoughts and expressions of support over this difficult time


Status Report ...goatflieg


Panel Layout Feedback ...N546RV

OK folks, I think I've finally firmed up this panel design to the point where I want to get some feedback. Intended use case will be primarily day/night VFR. The aircraft will be IFR capable, even though the pilot probably won't be for another couple years.

Broad strokes of the setup are pretty self-explanatory: two 10" Skyview HDX displays, plus a Garmin GPS175 to fulfill the TSO'd GPS role. After much thought, I decided against a second COM radio; it's not depicted on this image, but there will be provision for connecting a handheld transceiver into the ship's antenna, and that'll be my backup COM solution. Other redundancy will be provided by the Skyview backup batteries and dual ADAHRS. Also seen here is a controller for the SDS CPI2 ignition, which will also be equipped with its own backup battery.  more


Jan Wallpaper Calendar

...Ed Hicks pic


Status Report ...jcarne 7A

It's been cold in the garage lately but no excuse not to get out there!

Decided to finish up the FlyLEDs kit. Soldering these things together is probably the funnest part of the build to date. Very well thought out kits and I highly recommend.

The classic inside view. Those heat sinks mean business!


300mph Groundspeed ...sailvi767


Leaking Fuel Tank Rivet ...f14av8r

Okay, so I've tried all the tricks to get this rivet to quit leaking. No amount of pressurized cattle syringe injection of any type of sealant has worked. They slowed the leak quite a bit but have not stopped it completely. So, I'm ready to take the plunge, drill this sucker out and replace it with a new, sealant coated rivet so I can get the leak stopped and the paint back in order!

The plans call for a AN470AD4-4 rivet. Obviously, I'll need a blind countersunk rivet for the replacement. To save me having to learn all about Cherry Max rivets again, would one of you rivet wizards tell me what I should use here please?



December 31, 2019 - January 1, 2020.  Issue #4,988.
  Dec 31 is a sad day for me now - my dad passed on this day in 1999 age 69.  I was 34.  Today it's twenty years, and it still sucks.  So today, as I've done for the past two decades, I once again tell the world how incredibly grateful I am for the RV community and Van's Aircraft.  This company and these people have kept my life full of cheer, amazement, hope, compassion, wonder and fulfillment.  I'm continually amazed at my good fortune to be associated with such people.  Both my family and I are indeed Blessed to be a part of the world's greatest hobby.
  I'm taking January 1st off just like the mothership (actually I'm flying right seat as an unpaid 'intern' in a King Air 200 for experience), but I'll be back on Jan 2.
  Happy New Year everybody and God Bless all of you.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Harness Porn*

The more I look at these didn't-give-it-a-seconds-thought pictures I took the other day, the more I like them.  Click on full size to make them your wallpaper.  SteinAir does amazing work, and I couldn't think of a better splash image to ring in the new year.  Going into buddy James' RV-4...

*If 'Harness Porn' isn't a thing, I call dibs.  v/r,dr

Full size

Full size


Initial Contact ...Chris F. RV-12

Hello VAF! I've been working on an RV-9A project for the past 2 years but have recently reevaluated my mission and have concluded that the RV-12is would be a better fit for me. So, I have switched gears and have started on the -12. The information and discussions in these forums were extremely helpful in making this decision. Thanks to DR and all of the contributors for this great resource!


Status Report ...jcarney RV-7A

I finally have some grips in the ole bird! The installation of the Tolsten grips was easy peezy. I did have to take off about 1.5 inches from the stock length of the sticks which I really didn't want to do. I wanted to keep the sticks as long as possible but there was interference with the controls. Sounds like a lot of people have this same problem and 1.5 inches is very common. Now the wiring of the grips commences, ok I really just have to connect the wires. lol   many, many more pics


Motivation Pic...74-07's RV-8


Christmas Pic for the RV ...Gagarin737

I bought myself a Christmas present; an insulated engine cover from Aircraftcovers.com. The red bag is the storage bag. I'm really impressed by the quality and fit (even a protrusion for the exhaust). The Reiff preheater is switched by a WiFi switch (DRH-704). Will take some temperature measurements next week.


My birthday present ...agent4573 (Paul Mantegna)

Got this from the girlfriend today. We've been talking about building a plane for a while now, and about a month ago I asked her this question. We placed the deposit 2 weeks ago for an RV7.



December 30, 2019.  Issue #4,987.
  We're in the flare in 2019 now, and Susie, Audrey, Tate and I hope you enjoyed our family business here over the last twelve months.  We thank those that sent in their honor system donation, those folks helping us keep it online while we try our hardest to motivate and entertain this amazing RV community.  We will keep on keeping on to bring you a quality product worthy of your kindness.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-8 and the White Christmas ...ArlingtonRV

2019 brought about the kind of white Christmas that I prefer. The kind where I go to the white and not have the white come to me. Snow is fun to see in its natural habitat, but I don't like it so much down in the lowlands where I live. That's not entirely true, I enjoy it for a day or two, but after that I have to leave the house. People around here don't know how to drive in good weather, throw in some snow and it's best to stay on the sidelines.  more pics / video


First Flight ...lr172 RV-10

N11LR took to the sky today for it's maiden voyage. One hour flight went without incident. Seemed to have a bit of left wing heavy, but later realized that I had burned off way more fuel in the right tank with all of the ground run in, and by the end of the flight was levelling off a bit, so too early to tell. Barely a 1/3 of a ball off, so not much rudder trim will be required. Thanks to the 40* air temps, highest CHT didn't go north of 380. I was expecting an initial CHT drop in that first hour, but never got it. Oil temps climbed to and remained steady at 193 for the whole flight.  more


Old Dog, New Tricks

2020 is the year I'm turning four bigger non-flying things that don't get regularly used into four or five smaller things that will. I'm converting both a '67 motorcycle and '83 scooter, along with a couple of electric guitars from my teens that I don't play anymore, along with some (hopefully) commercial flying side jobs into some much needed avionics and interior upgrades for our 2002-era RV-6. It's been needing it for years - the outgoing avionics are off to a new home and a new life.

First up is the easiest to upgrade...around 40 seconds...the audio panel. Replaced the GMA240 with a GMA245. My installation video and lengthy caption: HERE.

Garmin's promotional video: HERE.  Touch screens are next (replacing first gen non-touch GDU470 screens containing slower processors with touch screen versions that are faster. These can tie into a GMC507 dedicated autopilot control.

The 330 transponder is off to Garmin for ADS-B Out love. Back in a few weeks.

Later the GMC 507 install and an GDL 52R for ADS-B IN (Wx, traffic and backup attitude out to my Garmin Pilot app - Garmin promotional video HERE).

More to come...


Clarifying What You Get With the RV-14 RE: Baffles ...greg and scott


RV Holiday RVating ...TShort

Flew to IA for a couple days before I had to work the holiday (KUMP->8C4)  90 minutes in the RV is far better than 5.5 in the car each way!

Sunset crossing the Mississippi over Quad Cities:


N14ZM New Panel ...Danny (F1)

N14ZM is finally flying again with her new all Garmin panel. This was a major project that (as always with me) had some major scope creep. The original panel was a mix of 1st generation Dynon, Tru Trak, and Garmin radios. The electrical system was all CB's located on the panel. What originally was planned as a Dynon display update and ADS-B install quickly turned into a completely new all Garmin panel, which then turned into a re wire of 90% of the airplane. Every switch was replaced and the electrical system split between a new fuse box and a few panel mounted CB's. Lots of work for sure but well worth it.


Slow Cranking Results Found ...74-07

Read up on all of the other threads. RV-8, 320 hours, IO360 200 hp., one blade and stop then, next try would crank. Used all the info here and once again, like many others, found starter contactor burned and pitted. Replacing both contactors. I do have one question. The airplane has EXP2 Bus system. Starter contactor has diode but master does not. Any reason they both shouldn't have a diode?


Stall Spin in the Base Turn Video ...Vac

Recently there was some excellent discussion regarding slipping RV's that evolved into discussion about stalling while slipping. As a result of participating in that thread, I thought it might be helpful to put together a short video demonstration of slipping and skidding "departures" (the airplane doing something I don't want it to do) in the base turn:  more


Battery relocation, G3X Wiring diagram ...jamesrw2002

Monk found a brilliant fix to a possibly sticky scenario, the plan for the center radio stack pretty much hinged on relocating everything under the floor that would be affected. So the Battery and relays needed to move - the firewall seemed like a good place because this would help with the aft CG of my airplane and free up some much needed space. The only issue is, apparently on my airplane there isn't any room to do this so Monk devised a genius plan and mounted it on the engine mount, it will sit in the cheek of the engine cowl. Barring any unintended consequences of placing it here, it should be perfect!  more


Only an RV-9 Can Do This ...Steve Melton

Wichita full tanks, 36 gal
Cincy travel 3:43 hr, 610 nm, 20 kt tailwind
then local flights:
local flight 1
local flight 2
local flight 3

and still 9.6 gal in the tanks.

that means all of that flying on 26.4 gallons.

Three Cheers for the 9!


On Fire! ...Square Feet

The last time I was in the RV-6, it was on fire. *That was 12/26/2019 about seven hours and three beers ago.

I headed out west to the Lake Michigan coastal airport of Frankfort to fly the RV a couple weeks ago. *There was a small, dried puddle of something around the right wheel pant and the right brake pedal was mush. *The right line from the master was visibly white, and empty to the reservoir. *I removed the right pant and inspected the caliper and brakes in place. *Line and fitting were dry - the caliper had fresh 5606 drops dangling, the pads were wet and there was 5606 mud in the bottom of the wheel pant. *But no real culprit at this point. *I clipped the safety wire and plucked the caliper thinking the piston o-ring must be misbehaving.

Incidentally, the return from annual inspection was the last flight, and more than a month ago, where we had installed new tires, tubes, etc., and packed wheel bearings. *At the time, the left brake pads looked new, with the right showing slight wear, but definitely serviceable.

Back to the shop a week ago, an inspection of the cleaned brake assembly showed absolutely no signs of wear on the piston, nor the bore of the caliper. *The original o-ring had no visible defects, or stiffness, but it was likely 20 years old. *While I was at it with a new o-ring, just for good measure, I installed new brake pads at the shop then took the clean, fresh package out to install in today's 50+ degree balmy weather. *With the hangar door open, the bright sun lighted my workspace and warmed the recently-frigid wrenches and pliers to the bone. *The classical music station (keeping the mice out, because mice have no class) still played Holiday music; even the day after. *Bing, and Nat. *I was loving life.

We know that our phones will answer any question on the spot. *This would be a good time to take a micrometer to the brake disc, and compare to minimum thickness from Cleveland's specs. *The mic in the box was metric, but translated to .175-ish on a couple spot checks with min. spec for the 500x5 in the .160's. *Installed, the pad-to-disc clearances looked like a new installation.

I gas-ragged the 5606 mud (dirt and hydraulic fluid) from the belly of the right pant, pumped new brake fluid into the right bleeder, tested the right pedal until rock-firm while letting the volatile blue 100LL flash off before final installation of the pant. *Many brake cycles, no leaks, so on went the pant.

Now, back to the phone for a reminder of the Cleveland brake lining conditioning sequence... Oh yes, taxi 1500 feet with engine at 1700 rpm and brake(s) applied. *Stop. *Let cool 3 minutes, then test the brake-hold at a full power run-up. *If it holds, go fly. *If not, repeat process.

So that I did. *Sort of. *The frisky wind on the 15-33 runway was 200-240 at 12G22, so I thought maybe I'd just break-in the brake today instead of fly. *AWOS was showing an enticing downward trend of wind however, and I was being tempted to fly as I taxied in the stiff-ish left crosswind. *Dragging the right brake for the prescribed 1500 feet I couldn't hold 1700 rpm. *That's nearly take-off power in an RV-6 with a 160hp Lycoming 320. *Sub-1400 rpm *was getting me there just fine. *And largely because I was only breaking one brake in, (the right) as the left pads were fine, remember? *Everything was splendid. *The right brake was holding my taxi straight in the stiff left crosswind. *And braking was firm and effective. *I probably *ran an extra 500 feet to the run-up area with the break in procedure to generate glazing heat because of the cold.

When I finally slowed, then stopped at the runway end I could, not surprisingly, smell a little heat from the right brake side. *Then maybe a glimpse of smoke? *Or was that my imagination? *Nah, couldn't be that hot. *Then, at this stopped position the right brake pedal suddenly went limp. *#*!$$@. *Now what's going on? *And I'm 3000 feet down the runway from the barn. *Well, the now-right crosswind was a blessing having no right brake, I was able to idle very slowly, cautiously and carefully back to the hangar-ish. *All left turns, and all very slowly, and deliberately, because once the tailwheel unlocks, any asymmetrical braking situation, as in this case, makes this plane spin about aimlessly like a dazed housefly. *I was actually wondering about my insurance coverage as I straddled this delicate situation.

I did seem to get an occasional whiff of heat on the way back, but certainly no additional heat could be generated by the now-dead right brake.

I taxied to within 50 feet of the hangar before I ran out of directional wind benefit, and it's maneuvering luck. *I stopped, and now saw another puff of smoke. *Or not? *Could it be? Fuel off! mixture lean! electrical off! *key off! I hopped out and rounded the beak only to see the right wheel pant of my favorite airplane burning like yesterday's Christmas hardwood in great-nephew Kenny's home-heating fireplace. *I mean really burning, and right under the wing tank. *Yes, very momentarily, but there was again denial on my part. *Then an immediate *sprint to the hangar looking for something wet - yet not frozen. *Nothing in the wash bucket... Windex won't be adequate... WD40? *McGuiars won't ever put a shine on this again... the 5 gallon can of 100LL avgas sure ain't gonna help this situation!

"You idiot. *You have a fire extinguisher in here somewhere." And there it was., by the door, where it's supposed to be. *Dated, but there. *I grabbed the extinguisher, pulling the pin as I sprinted to the burning airplane. *You know, an extinguisher about 4" in diameter and 18" tall isn't quite adequate to put out a wheel pant, and now, tire-fire. *In retrospect, I wish I had choreographed this moment ahead of time to include time for a quick photo, or video, or selfie of this persistent, olympic torch. So a sprint back to the hangar for the bucket hoping the frost-faucet at the terminal building is working. Then a sprint back to the rekindled campfire with five gallons of water. *Boom! went the new $350.00 tire and tube combo with the five-gallon surgical douse of cold water. *And it wasn't out yet. *So, another sprint to the terminal building and another wet five, which got things under control. *Then one more, walking this time in disbelief of what just happened, and what nearly happened.

Well, with a little neighborly help, Richard, the Airport Manager, and another neighbor were able to help get the right gear on a dolly and back into my hangar before dark. *I still have a plane, but also a boatload of redundant, needless work.

The way that fire-retardant 5606 hydraulic fluid and fiberglass combo burned has me re-thinking the aluminum vs. composite construction world. *My wheel pant was very difficult to extinguish, and turned into a literal dishrag that I simply ripped from the mounts before dollying.

What a day. *Now, I need to think about *the root cause of this event. The quick answer may be that there are times "to go the extra mile" but riding the brakes on break-in, or ever, ain't one of 'em. *Funny, it could even happen in a fiberglass sailplane with no fuel aboard. *Some have disc brakes, and of course, that flame-retardant 5606. Dang, I always felt safer with no gas aboard. Does that even make sense?

Parachutes, Baby!
Happy New Year.




December 27, 2019.  Issue #4,986.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

In the RV Over the Holiday ...RV8JD

Christmas Eve proved to be a great day for a sightseeing flight over the central Washington Cascades while listening to Christmas music on the iPod. It was clear, smooth, and quite serene. Beautiful, actually. The low Winter sun angle illuminated the South facing slopes of the mountains well.  many more pics


Dynon Pitot Heater Module ...Surfdoc RV-9

Q: Just wondering for all those that installed the heated pitot from Dynon in their -9. Where did you mount the heater module? Any photos or advice is greatly appreciated.

A: (airguy) Just like this, with the screw heads facing the inspection panel so you can remove it if needed.


G3X ESP Learning Experience ...Aaron RV-10

Thought I would share a recent experience with the G3X in the interest of safety. Last Saturday, I got distracted during the preflight and forgot to remove the pitot cover. Realized my error on the takeoff roll but decided to continue the takeoff and return to the airport. I know the sound and feel of the plane well enough that flying without airspeed is not a big deal.

At 500 feet the ESP system kicked in. It seems like it saw the zero airspeed, and aggressively started to push the nose down. It automatically turns on the autopilot to do this. Best I can tell it then started to trim nose down as well when I started fighting the autopilot. Fortunately it appears you can override the G3X trimming with the trim button on the stick, so I trimmed nose up, and then pulled the trim circuit breaker.

At this point, I was on downwind and still fighting the autopilot. My first thought was to turn off the master and kill all the electronics, but then I remembered the ESP turn off switch wired on the panel. Flipped the switch and all was well from there.

So my lessons learned:

- Make sure you understand the ESP system and how it works
- Know how to turn off the system, especially if you don't have the cockpit switch
- Know how to quickly turn off the trim motor. I have a yellow cap on my circuit breaker that allowed me to quickly pull the correct breaker
- Make sure the autopilot torque is set so you can override in flight
- Fly the plane

I consider myself lucky that I have significant hours in the RV's and had the bandwidth to fly while dealing with the issue. It all happened very quickly and near the ground. For this to happen on a first flight that near the ground, it could have quickly become dangerous.

(g3xpert reply) Agree with Walt that we would like to review the log file to confirm what happened with this aircraft that was flown with no airspeed.

Back in V8.50 software we also made improvements in the ESP logic to prevent use in a blocked pitot scenario, so it will also be good to learn what software was being used in this aircraft.

ESP correction activities do not result in auto-trim being run like would happen when the autopilot is engaged, so it is unlikely that any pitch trim changes were occurring.

A reminder to everyone that pressing and holding the AP DISC button that everyone has on their stick activates circuitry in the GSA 28 servos that physically disables both the servo motor drive circuit and the trim motor drive circuit, so no matter what the servo processor might be trying to do, there will be absolutely no way for any control forces to be initiated by the servos.


Mr. X Early Morning Thursday ...over the Gulf of Mexico


Fuselage crack RV4 ...Stewbronco

Hi and seasons greetings. I recently bought an RV4 with O-360 and the newer style fuselage weldments. Wish I could post a picture but there is a vertical crack in the right fuselage skin that extends about 2-3 rivets above and below the lower edge fibreglass cowl cheek extensions. It is JUST aft of the cowling . Of course looking to fix but wondering how extensively ( if at all ) I should extend the patch (.040) past the standard 3 rivets beyond the crack . The fibreglass cheek extension will have to come off and be modified to go over the patch .
Once again. Wish I could post a picture but I thought that given the perpensity for hard landings to wrinkle firewall maybe something that goes a bit lower picks up the rivets that tie skin to lower weldment might help ? The minimum upper limit will be about 2/3 of the way up inside the cowl cheek extension to extend 3 rivets past the end of the crack .But maybe higher to balance load .... structure still needs to flex for sure . Obviously will be stopdrilled .
I have a picture of problem and outline of my proposed fix that I can gladly email to anyone willing to offer an opinion and again apologies for not being able to post that picture.
Could be just overthinking this but I believe that overkill is right where I like to be ! Many thanks in advance Stew. stewhansen 'at' shaw 'dot' ca


Birds Wing In Sync With Frame Rate (video) ...DanH sent me this


Rare for KDFW...the other morning.  0 miles viz.



December 26, 2019.  Issue #4,985. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

My family described in one picture. ;^)
One gift tag...four years and counting!  dr


Buck Meets RV....the Next Chapter ...Av8safe

Well today Santa delivered a check from AIG for my RV7. I am told the aircraft will be going up for auction on the AIG site in January. If you are a builder (and I wish I was) looking for a project this would be worth checking out. The avionics and engine alone would be a bargain...

N5559B is sporting a dual Garmin G3X Touch system with a GTN650 navigator and an XIO-320 (360 case, 320 cylinders, angled valve, fuel injected, P-mag) engine with less than 140 hours since overhaul.

As for me, I am going to begin the search again. Quality craftsmanship is the top priority, with IFR current panel that is either a Garmin integrated system or similar. Vic will be doing the pre-buy...again, so that tells you how much I value his experience and safety mindset. Check your jam nuts (and everything else on his recent video) before we arrive! So if you have an exceptional RV7 and are eyeing that RV14 kit to start building, or you're just looking for a new home for your pride and joy...pm me.


Mr X Pic

"Worst rime ice I've seen, yesterday...."



RV-7 AOG West Memphis

Need suggestions!

RV-7 configuration
- 0-360 Titan
- Constant speed prop.
- 900 hours
- Left standard mag
- Right electroair electronic ignition
- upper spark plugs Bosch Automotive
- lower spark plugs Regular champion aircraft

- Engine stumbling on cruise power settings, max power seems better.
- Stumbles - power loss for 1to 2 seconds and then runs smooth for 45 seconds (all times are not exact and varies unpredictably).
- Fuel pressure reads good and even during the event.
- Manifold pressure drops during the event.
- Doesn't seem Mag dependant. Run-up mags check fine.
- Run-up no problems.
- #1 cylinder few hundred degrees higher EGT than other three on takeoff and climb out

Things checked and flew again with same symptoms.
- Gascolator checked filter -good
- Carb checked filter -good
Both little debris was found but nothing concerning.
- Lower Spark plugs cleaned removed and cleaned - normal for hours
- Very careful checked manifold pressure lines aft of firewall and all good.

Currently talking with a mechanic on field but will not be able to help for several days.

Hospitality has been great and someone is loaning us a hangar while trying to figure this out.


HS-609PP ...RV701775

I just finished rounding and beveling the edge of the HS-609PP that fits against the rear spar. I am curious if I beveled it too much where it could have removed too much material. I still have 1/4in edge distance to the last hole, but the thickness at the edge is only 0.14in vs. 0.1875 in thickness. I did not want to bevel it too little, but it was difficult to judge what was sufficient.

I would appreciate any feedback



Lycoming Engines Vans Fly-In/Tour ...May 15th. 

Mark those calendars!

(Devin Albrecht - Sr. Design Engineer Small Engines. Lycoming Engines, Textron Systems)
Good morning and Merry Christmas VAF-ers!

I am organizing a fly-in/tour of my new employer at Lycoming Engines 652 Oliver St, Williamsport, PA 17701. I have locked in the date for the tour with Lycoming Marketing as May 15th, 2020. The current plan is an arrival on Thursday May 14th in the afternoon/evening and then a 9am plant tour of the engine shop and manufacturing facility May 15th. Those choosing to fly into KIPT will have ramp space at the Lycoming hangar available for the weekend for as many airplanes as we cant fit at no charge (bring tiedowns and chocks). Overflow can check in with Energy Aviation. I would also encourage an evening out on the town Friday night followed by maybe a fly-out to breakfast Saturday morning.

I have also arranged for a tour stop in the Lycoming Thunderbolt build area, known to us as the ATC, to see the custom engine shop not typically seen during tours. This portion of the tour will only be permitted to US Citizens.

This is going to have to be a group effort for sure depending on the size of the group. It is important to note that Williamsport is a small Pennsylvania town. I will get with the Lyco Marketing team and talk to them about an associated hotel in the downtown for a group rate but I cannot make any promises regarding lodging or ground transportation. That information will hopefully come in later posts. Ground transportation will have to be a coordinated effort as well being that Lycoming can't help us there. Once we have a rough number, going into the spring, I can coordinate with a hotel.

Doug will be making a post in the VAF calendar so that the date is posted and it is possible that we may even have some Mother Ship representation.

I kindly ask you to RSVP to my work email using the subject "VAF Lycoming Tour RSVP" Please RSVP ONLY if you will be joining us for the tour and also let me know if you will be flying in. (please keep the messages on topic and brief keeping in mind that this is in fact my work email) If you are a "Maybe" or "interested" please save me the email traffic and only RSVP once you can definitely make the commitment.



December 24-25, 2019.  Issue #4,984.
  Susie, Audrey, Tate and I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.  We thank God every day for the friends we are Blessed with, and wonderful people we get to interact with in this amazing hobby.  We are a lucky, lucky bunch.
  As I was typing this I got an email invite for an interview in six weeks at a local sim for some possible side work that could maybe lead to some possible jet SIC side work.  And the kids are both home.  Did I mention how grateful I am?  Now where did I put that suit...
  God Bless you all and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Merry Christmas!


RV-12 Build ...mwjohn63 video

One year after my first flight and 80 + hours later, I finally have a video of the build. The plane is still flying great and currently going through the CI, but hope to be back up soon. I still can't wipe the grin off my face thinking that I'm flying something that I built. Over the past year I completed the all test cards, made it to Oshkosh (survived the storms), gotten the plane painted, and made it over to the east coast a couple times to visit family. This plane was a joy to build and even more to fly. Thanks to all those who supported me along the way.


Mothership Hours

[ed. Related, no VAF edition Christmas Day. v/r,]


RV-12 In-flight Photo ...mwardle7

RV-12 over Canyonlands National Park - Maze District (Utah)


James' Christmas Stuffed Toy...courtesy Cathy (hand made)


Deaf pilots ...Bob Collins questions

Just wondering if there are any pilots here with severe hearing loss using two hearing aids who've come up with a solution to properly amplify the radio.

I ask because yesterday I flew with a friend in his RV-7 for the first time since I lost (most) hearing in the remaining "good ear" and while I could make out what he was saying on the intercom (it helps that I could see his lips while trying to make out what he was saying), the calls on the radio were another story entirely.

We could boost the radio to a higher level (I had the level on my Zulu II headsets pushed all the way up), but at that point, it was too distorted to be able to understand anything.

The hearing aids I have can receive a Bluetooth signal, which I use with a device (ComPilot) for my cellphone, pushing the audio directly into the hearing aids, but I'm unaware of any similar device for flight radios.

I know deaf pilots are probably a very small number but I'd be interested in any experiences anyone on here has had on the subject.


Santa Checks His RV Sleigh ...TimO

(Tim) "Every year just before Christmas, Santa has to take his sleigh out for a pre-Christmas check flight. Sometimes that fat and jolly old man has a lot of fun. Enjoy watching this pudgy and jolly moron play around for a couple minutes."


RV-8 Interior Finished ...rv8ch

Really happy with how mine turned out - only took a bunch of years (won't even say how many). Can't believe it's done!



December 23, 2019.  Issue #4,983.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

The back of the Christmas card AX-O
sent our family.  It's on the fridge now ;^).


B-double-E-double-R-U-N Beer Run ...petehowell 9A

Nothing says Christmas like a few rounds of New Glarus' finest, and what makes it more fun is you have to FLY to get it. You know what that means.....BEER-RUN!

1)Daughter Kate in tow - check
2)Bernie on the wing - check
3)My college buddy Ken and his son Justin (Kate's college buddy) inbound from Iowa- check

We had the makings of a fine day in Badgerland!

The scenic Upper Mississippi was our guide on the way down. We were IFR....wait for it.....I Follow Rivers......  more


December is Pledge Drive Month ...one week left in 2019.

Totals updated 12/22/19 1946Z

Dear VAF site/forum readers,

December is pledge drive month and as you know we use the honor system. If you are a regular VAF reader and haven't donated yet in '19, PLEASE consider it (
how to). Working VAF full time while trying to get a part time commercial side gig thing going (haven't broke even yet but am embracing the suck) and putting some resumes out there for a possible third part time gig in a sim (fingers crossed). Small business owner life is stunningly expensive and 24/7, and there is very little down time (flown the RV 39.8 hrs in '19).

Bill Gates I ain't and donations really, really matter in our family.

Please take two minutes to read the 'Support VAF' page if you haven't, and thank you if you are one of the
1,908* people who have sent in a little over $27K after taxes so far this year. We're approaching 28,000 registered forum accounts. Call it 5% donated so far, half that if you include unregistered 'lurkers'.  Pie chart at right...

I'll never swamp you with emails, letters or pop-up ads. I'll NEVER track or sell your keystrokes and clicks like all the other social media sites, and I'll never ask for more than $25. Two bucks a month...a cup of coffee...for a nice, civil, non-politics (a rare thing) virtual watering hole promoting the greatest hobby and people on earth. 

Please help me keep it afloat.

I hate having to even have a pledge drive, but without it we're in the red as a business. The margins are that tight. Thanks again to those who help keep this site going...and my family fed and sheltered. I'll keep trying my hardest to bring you a quality product.

Kindest and best,
Doug (and Susie, Audrey and Tate).

*as of 12/22/19 1946Z
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


Status Report ...kentlik 7A

servo brkt: Got some time away from figuring out electrical to pound a few rivets. I had to use some existing holes for the servo brkt so not quite even but it will work just fine.  ...


Surgery Update ...Mel Asberry

Well, It's time for an update. I had total knee replacement 31 Oct.(Right knee). Surgery went well except that my prostate didn't play well with the anesthesiology.

Prostate surgery 18 Dec. Surgery also went well but recovery will be slow.

Hopefully things will improve and I will be back in service by mid January.

Not one of my funnest Holiday seasons.


Status Report ...jcarne 7A

After a bit of travel for work I am back to building. I have actually been doing things here and there but not much to show. I did however get a couple antennas installed.

You can see here the ADSB and XPNDR antennas installed in the aft fuselage. A little over two feet apart so they are good to go according to Dynon. ...


What did you do with your RV over the holidays? ...it begins

I will start... The condition inspection on my RV-9A was wrapped up last weekend, and flew it from Oregon to San Diego last Sunday and Monday. Today I took it down to San Diego Brown Field (SDM) to get some cheap gas. From there, I flew over to Montgomery Field (MYF) to get an iPad mount so I can easily use my iPad Mini 4 with ForeFlight while flying. After getting the mount, and a small lunch, I headed home to Carlsbad (CRQ) and put the airplane back in the hangar.

During the condition inspection, I installed the SkySensor, which is a companion to the SkyBeacon from UAvionix. The SkySensor is basically an LED nav/strobe that also provides ADS-B IN via WiFi. I am really happy with it, and find that it works great feeding either the iFlyGPS, or the iPad for ForeFlight. No doubt that it works great with other GDL90 compatible EFB applications.

Also during the inspection, I installed an Infinity grip, and I am really enjoying that. It's great having so many functions available, all on the grip.

I hope that everyone has a safe, enjoyable holiday season. I am eager to hear what you've done with your RV over the next week or two!

(Colin P)
I'm planning to depart Dallas Sunday morning, headed to Phoenix. After Christmas I am going to LA, then back to Dallas just before new-year. Hopefully the weather cooperates.

Loaded the 10 up with 3 dogs 1 cat luggage and Christmas presents for a week with the in laws. Love the flying family truckster.


Santa Visited...

Santa visits my neighborhood ...dr



December 20, 2019.  Issue #4,982.
  The RV-12iS demonstrator reflecting blue sky and clouds during a Texas visit awhile back - might make a nice wallpaper for your desktop (proof mine).  Click on pic below for full size.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

2,560 X 1920 enlargement


RV-10 Engine Data Review ...RV-10

I had and episode yesterday in the -10. Entering the pattern, the engine started running very rough and had a significant loss of power with EGT spikes over 1600 on four cylinders and EGTs gone cold on two cylinders. Understand there is a user on VAF named "Marion"?? that is willing to review engine data logs. I would like to pass these logs on to him/her for review.

Thanks to all


RV8 Video - in 360 view ...sjhurlbut

Hope you enjoy the latest video. Its intended to show the capability of the 360 camera. While its good at adding cool views to a video it can get a bit overwhelming (the cuban 8 is barely tolerable). I won't post every video like this but the post processing (labour intensive) is a significant amount of work. Enjoy share and subsribe to the channel.

The rudder movement on landing is more than expected hahaha


Vernatherm Oil Leak ...Mark Dickens

I have an oil leak around where my Vernatherm screws into the oil filter adapter. It's a 90 degree adapter. I've retorqued it to 25 ft/lbs and it still leaks. So I bought a replacement gasket and I note that, like the spark plug gasket, one side is flat and one side has a little bulge to it. Is it correct that the flat side of the gasket is against the Vernatherm flange and the bulged side against the oil filter adapter? Or do I have that backward?
RV-8 #81077 Super Slow Build


Robert (Bob) Snedaker GONE WEST ...Steve Barnes post

With great sadness I received the news that Bob passed away this morning at 80 years from a short illness. Bob was living in Everett WA near his family. Bob was the founder of Fairings-Etc. and supplied hundreds of builders with various fiberglass intersection fairings for their RV projects till 5 years ago when the business was sold. R.I.P. BOB


Crack Discovered During Install of AOA Retrofit Kit ...Strappe

Yesterday, while routing 1/4" tubing during the installation of the AOA Retrofit Kit, I discovered the crack (complete break) in the bearing brace Part# F-1206F affected by SB 14-12-06. We bought the plane from its builders in 2017 and have put about 200 hours on it. The aircraft documents reflect compliance with the SB via replacement of the brace. I have done two condition inspections, most recently in September, and never noticed this crack, though I admit I was not looking for it. I had checked the torque seal on each occasion, but I believe the crack would have been hidden behind the flaperon push rods.

This break looks to me to be the result of a rather violent force. The support tech at Van's thought it the result of a direct blow of some sort. He shared the photos with their engineers, and they arrived at the same conclusion.

That seems very odd. That's not a place where it would be easy to strike the brace with enough force to break it. Even so, the dent in the brace away from the crack and what looks like a scrape in the metal are hard to dismiss.

(I have also posted an image of a problem I found at the last inspection in September where 3 of 4 rivets were missing from a rib.)

Anyone have other thoughts?  ...

A major abnormal load event would have had to occur to cause the damage visible in the photos.

I think the flapperons and the entire flapperon system, including all hinge brackets, etc., should be very carefully inspected.

missing rivets - In the photo it looks like all 4 are missing. Were any loose rivet pieces found loose in the bottom of the tail cone? An abnormal, high localized load applied under the bulkhead (such is lifting from below) could have sheared all the rivets


Carbon Plug&Play Tailwheel Fairing ...lucaperazzolli

After a long development process, I'm happy to let you know that I've completed the Tailwheel Fairing with the plug & play installation on the very common Screaming Eagle Retrofit Tailwheel Fork from Flyboy Accessories.

You catch the fairing, enlarge a bit the axis hole, probably file a little bit the top big hole (just to clean the fiber) and you are ready to install.

This is the first production prototype ready to start the test period in the concrete and grass airfields.

Let me know your opinions.



December 19, 2019.  Issue #4,981. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

From the vault...


N11LR is officially an airplane ...RV-10

Brought the plane to the hanger a couple weeks ago and received my A/W cert yesterday. Very exciting. I hope to be doing the first flight this weekend or early next week. I will post a pic once I get the hanger door open later this week.

Would love to hear any pearls of wisdom on first flight. I have read numerous docs on the subject, but was hoping for some specifics related to the 10. I have a few hours in another 10, so comfortable with the transition from the 6.



New SidVid  ...Veterans Day Flight


Sent by a friend today...dr


John Bright receives Van's $750 "Golden Ticket"... donates it to ENP!!!

Eagle's Nest Projects
December 17, 2019

This was the year of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' at Van's Aircraft with Charlie being played by none other than our very own John Bright (johnbright on VAF). Like most of us, John ordered his calendar in the usual manner and with little hope of also receiving a Golden Ticket. John's calendar arrived postage paid by Van's a few days after he placed the order. Upon opening the envelope, John noticed something peaking out from behind one of the calendar pages. Yes!, it was a Golden Ticket... and not a ticket for just a shirt and cap. It was the big kahuna... $750 towards a new tail kit!

"The rest of the story" is that Eagle's Nest Projects received an email from John offering to donate his good fortune to help in the continuing success of our program. Thank you John!!! The kindness and support from individuals like John is what keeps our program strong; inspiring and empowering high school students to become good citizens and leaders in their chosen field.

In appreciation of John's generosity and in recognition of the support this forum provides to our community, we've forwarded a portion ($100) of John's generous gift along to Doug in hopes of keeping VAF and our community strong. From the entire Eagle's Nest team... Thank You, John!!!  [ed. Thank you!!! both John and ENP!!!!  v/r,dr]


Anthony's RV Weekend ...RV-6A

Ok, a little late to the party here, but on Saturday myself and a safety pilot went practicing under the hood for an hour and a half.
Three RNAV approaches at 3 different airports with a hold and circle to land. I let the autopilot take the easy parts and hand flew down the glideslopes. (you can tell by the squiggles) Fun stuff!!


Flying with the dog: funny but serious ...Ed 9A

From NASA ASRS: I departed this morning on a Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) flight plan, and my intention was to maintain 1,400 feet until [laterally] clear of [Class] B airspace, which would keep me clear of the Flight Restricted Zone and all [Class] B airspace. At approximately 1,200 feet in my climb, my dog, which had been harnessed in the back seat, leapt into the front passenger seat. In doing so, he hit the dash, somehow managing to clear my flight plan out of my Garmin 430. He pulled my GDL 39 out of the cigarette lighter (my backup navigation), he knocked my tablet (also my backup navigation) onto the passenger side floor, and he ripped the microphone port of my headset out at the connector. I didn

t initially realize that had happened, and I could still hear the radio because the listening port was still plugged in. In trying to keep my dog off of the controls, and flipping the autopilot off to hand-fly, I inadvertently made a climbing turn to 2,200 feet and may have broken into Class B airspace. Upon recognizing this, I immediately descended and made my initial radio call to Potomac. At the time, I thought they had acknowledged my call, but in retrospect, I don't think they did. A few minutes later as I was still trying to re-trim the airplane, Potomac was trying to reach me, and it was clear to me they couldn't hear me. It was at this point that I realized my microphone port had been unplugged, and the cord was now wrapped around my 50 pound dog, which was dead weight on top of it. I finally freed the cord and made contact with Potomac. In doing so, my concentration was broken, and when I looked at my position, I was either in or very close to violating the FRZ. I immediately turned around and again made contact with Potomac. At this point forward I stayed clear of Bravo and the FRZ


Rudder Cable Chafing ...avrojockey

After watching Vic Syracuse's webinar on eaa.org the other day I did an extra detailed preflight to catch any of the common maintenance items talked about. Didn't find any loose nuts but I found the rudder cables chafing on fuse skin where they exit under the cable fairings at the tail. I didn't take a picture but I can tell you that it's been happening since the airplane was built 600 hours ago.

The cables look okay other than the coating of aluminum built up over time. The fuse skin has worn down to sharp edge where the cable is chafing. There's no mention of this issue in any of the conditional checklists in the aircraft records.

Is there an issue with galvanic corrosion with the buildup of aluminum, assuming the cable is stainless or galvanized?
Should one worry about the stress point on fuselage skin? Repair or monitor?
What fixes are folks employing to prevent chafing? I've seen a couple solutions in the picts below...



December 18, 2019.  Issue #4,980. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

New Build Site ...Bruce Lane RV-14A

"I am building an RV-14A (or more correctly I purchased a partially built project).  I hope to be flying by late summer 2020.  Here is my builder's log: http://RV14A.brucelan.com

Bruce (Richmond, VA)"

[ed. You know, sometimes you see a picture and you think, "There's no way this isn't the splash image in the next edition."  v/r,dr]


New RV Stories Video ...mothership (Robert and Gail Cutter)

"When you watch Robert and Gail Cutter of Columbia, South Carolina tell the story of building their RV, you'll understand what we mean when we say RV building can be a truly amazing and personal experience! You'll never meet two nicer people, and we're so glad they're part of the Van's Aircraft family!"  watch


GMC507 Mounted on my RV-6 Tip Up Glare Shield

Tony Kirk sent me an updated SolidWorks model last night (Van's employee working on this after hours at home).  This thing is getting pretty close to drop dead awesome.  I'll let you know when I have a GMC507 in hand with a 3D printed prototype mount.  Expect pics.

(5) full size pics HERE.
Related: What is a GMC 507


Houston area monthly lunch (December 2019)

Last one of the year! With the demise of Weiser, I suppose we're going to be sticking with Hooks for the foreseeable future, at least if we want to preserve the possibility of flying in...

With that in mind, let's grab some B-52 burgers at the Aviator's Grill this Saturday, the 21st, at 11:30. And wonder of wonders...I'll actually be there this month, and I have actual airplane building to talk about.

See you all there!


Cool Old Clamp Seen on the Bench ...at Monk's


Waiting for the warm weather ...(7A)

Bad timing: I'm ready to start working with canopy plexiglass but it's in the freezing middle of winter. Nope! Gotta look for some other stuff to do in the mean time. Looks like there is plenty of canopy related work, but the plans have you doing them after the plexiglass is in place. Any reason that some or all of these can't be done before the plexiglass work? Canopy reinforcement brace kit, side skirts, canopy lift struts, aft canopy latch lugs (the parts that engage with the latch "fingers"), interior canopy handle. Do I really need the plexi fit to do these?

If I really have to wait, I guess I can set the canopy frame aside and work on the engine mount or something. Or start fiberglassing the empennage. Or start installing avionics. Or the wiring harnesses. Or the stick grips. Or pull the trigger on a panel. Come to think of it there's plenty of stuff to do at this stage!
Ryan Drake



December 17, 2019.  Issue #4,979. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Hangar floor reflection.  dr pic.


GMC507 Glare Shield Mount Update (related: thread)

Tony Kirk, Van's Aircraft proto shop guy, sent me a few screen grabs of a 3D printable housing for a GMC507 that he mocked up over the weekend from home (non-Van's time).  A work in progress, and a few back and forths via email, and I'll keep you in the loop.  If I can make it work in my plane and there aren't any hiccups, Tony would like to share the model with the community.  There are many business that will do the 3D printing for you if you hand them a file.  I'll keep you in the loop.  Very exciting.

Tony's 6A build pics (link)


Pete's RV Weekend ...petehowell 9A (MN)

Little Lunch Down South
Temp was a little above zero in Minne, but we had not flown in a while, so we set up a lunch with a RV7 builder and college buddy down in Iowa where it was a balmy 10 or so.............
Gotta Shovel out......
Minne looks awfully cold........


With pics: EarthX EXT900-VNT in aft battery location...jliltd

I have been following the Earthx discussions and have a friend whom I helped install an EXT680 on his RV-8 firewall after Oshkosh 2017. It has worked great for him.

My RV-8 had the aft battery location with a Concord AGM aircraft battery. The airplane was down for a few months while Barrett Performance went through the engine. The battery didn't fare so well sitting around and had to be replaced. I opted to try one of the newer vented battery versions of the EarthX, the EXT900-VNT. I chose this vented model because of my battery location and wanted any smoke that might arise to be contained and vacate the fuselage. I added the optional EarthX vent adapter kit that takes both vent tubes and combines them into one larger tube. Included with this option is a machined vent port to send any smoke overboard.


Fluting Issue ...BobbyLucas

These parts are far from flat/straight and the instructions say to flute, but how in the world are you supposed to flute material that doesn't exist due to the scallops? Am I supposed to flute closer to the holes? Or do I need to grind down the tool so it reaches further in on the flange?


Paint Work and Canopy Done ...Sibirsky


Jim's RV Weekend ...jliltd

Dana and I flew to Prescott, AZ to watch my niece graduate from Embry Riddle with an Aeronautics degree. Weather was awesome. Winds stiff out of the West. Hit 260mph ground speed on the way home.


sjhurlbut New Video ...Canada


Status Report ...LCampbell RV-10

I was going to let the last update stand for the end of the tailcone work but thought someone mind find some use out of this addendum fiberglass update...

I will totally come clean that when it comes to aluminum metal working, I'm at the bottom of the learning curve. But when it comes to fiberglass, I've been working with it for ages... different cloths, e-glass, s-glass, carbon, Kevlar, different resins, additives, micro-balloons, cabosil, cotton flox, vacuum bagging, etc.

So, after spending the last year being blown away with the incredible accuracy of every prepunched, bent or formed piece of aluminum, I was surprised that the fiberglass wasn't up to similar standards. Two photos below show how out of shape one of the worst was. I know that shipping or not storing it properly can deform it over time, but still, some of these were quite out of shape. I decided to solve it 3 ways... First I clamped it for several days in the shape it should be. Then for the worst of it, applied gentle heat while clamped and pushed into the shape it should be. I've found you have to be incredibly careful here, but it can help. For example, the HS leading edge fairing pictured below, I applied 150 degrees (the most I would feel comfortable with) for about 5 minutes with a heat gun (monitoring with a temp gun), then let it cool down on its own for the next hour with the clamps still in place. After that process, it retained about 80% of it's new, proper shape.


First Flights Added...mothership


James' New Panel ...on-the-bench pics courtesy SteinAir



December 16, 2019.  Issue #4,978. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Chris Johnson (9A) from the 'What did
you do with your RV this weekend?
' thread.


Close to First Flight (RV-7).  Question ...Kays

Hi All,
i started the standard build 7 back in 2009. Made good progess but then i stopped working on it for seven years due to life and stuff. Last year i called a buddy of mine who had a truck and we picked the airplane up from the farmers barn where it was sitting in the corner for all those winters. Since then i worked on her a lot and now she's really not far away from first flight anymore. Wings are mated, all systems (seem to) work and there are just some "cosmetics" left, like sanding some fiberglass here and there. At least i think so.

Long Story short...after seven years of zero acticity on the project it was not hard to dig in again. Just needed several weeks and i was back on track. Problem is that i forgot all those things that i wanted to check before first flight. So my question: Is there some technical checklist prior first flight for the RV7 available? Like "check bolt so and so, put this piece into that place etc..."?


Status Report ...David Paule -3B

Thanks to a couple of friends, Dave Dooley and Glenn Potter, the last skin on the plane was riveted today. It'll still be a while until I can do some riveting, so these guys came over and finished riveting the turtledeck to the fuselage. They riveted the right longeron and all four bulkheads. The left longeron had already been riveted, thanks to Dave Dooley, who helped me do it.

Here's Glenn riveting one of the bulkheads. 


Uncommanded Trim Tab ...beneditoangelo RV-12

My RV 12 has just over 35 hours flown
Everything was working fine but on the last few flights I've been having trouble stabilizing the plane.After takeoff and with the plane in level suddenly it assumes a strong nose down.Using the trim up I can stabilize the plane but the same happen again other times. Can someone help me?


Don't Do This ...Plummit

A few weeks back I had a dead battery (don't ask) So I pulled out my trusty jumper and connected it in to a charged Odyssey 925 battery. The jumper cables and my plane have the Cessna/Piper 3-pronged plug. I had used this once before in 2015 but this time it didn't work. The Volt meter showed no voltage at the plug so I opened it up:


Annual Findings and a Question ...Tacco

Annual - wow, that took a while!

Found I had not primed inside counterbalance arm but no corrosion visible. Left it for now. Anyone else forget to do this?

AoA failed leak check. Tracked down the fitting at the ADHRS box. Just reset it, passed fine.

Do yourself a favor, replace the Phillips head screws on all the cockpit panels with Torx....soooomuch nicer to deal with.


Autopilot Guidance Panel on Glare Shield ...Mona44

I did exactly that with my Dynon boxes when I upgraded the panel. The location works very well from an ergonomics POV and doesn't impede on visibility in any way, regardless of flight conditions. Including aeros.



December 13, 2019.  Issue #4,977.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Kicking Around an Idea I Have For My RV-6 ...dr

I'm thinking of maybe mounting a GMC 507 dedicated autopilot control in a cutout on my glare shied - centered in the middle.  For the last decade I've been turning on AP modes with a series of soft keystrokes at the bottom of the PFD.  Hear me out on this for a bit before you form an opinion.  It's only an inch deep, weighs almost nothing, and I think I might be able to find somebody in the interwebs to 3D print me a mount that would allow both securing the 507 in the mount, and the mount to the glare shield.

While talking with Brad from Garmin over lunch he mentioned something about some people 3D printing switch housings for stuff.  Later in the day it dawned on me I could use this maybe as a GMC 507 solution.

The edges could be tapered down to a point on top and bottom to make it look a little more professional in appearance.  You could put holes on the side for pencils.  Horrible rendition here...

- will it compromise the structural integrity of the glare shield.  I don't think so but I'm not sure.  I'll call the mothership during non-peak hours.
- will it impact my FOV on T/O and landing (NO - I made an actual-size cutout and sat in the plane (more pictures HERE).  Put the camera lens right in front of my pupil on one of the pics.
- will it impact my ability to see the switches (NO - see above)
- it would travel up/down as the canopy is opened/closed.

Anyway, I'm still thinking this through.  It sure would make interacting with the AP more similar to the stuff I've been flying lately on extra paper routes.  99% of that flying is spinning HDG and ALT knobs and pushing buttons on that panel.  Commonality of workflow...

Has anyone done this in a side by side RV?  Fun to think about.

More to come and happy to hear feedback.  I created a thread.  v/r,dr

Supporting images:

AFCS control panel on Pilatus PC-12NG

Guidance panel on Falcon 900 (EASy II)

Flight guidance panel Cessna Caravan


Old Farts Flying Club OFFC '19/'20 Season  ...turbo

"...this is all from our fearless leader roger. florida flying at its best every thursday wx permitting. message me and i will get you on the email list for the greatest show going. Turbo out.

Old Farts...
Here's a quick recap on our Thursday, December 5th Lunch at Aero Acres (FD88). The weather was just about perfect... so 52 fixed wing and three whirlybirds showed up. WOW! All went without a hitch. The food was catered by the nearby Carter's Grocery. It was incredible. If anyone went home hungry, it wasn't our fault. Ribs, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, green beans, collard greens, cornbread and peach cobbler. The early arrivals went through nearly 100 cups of coffee and two big trays of pastries. When we tallied up the money... it showed that we fed 110 people and cleared $130. That goes into an Old Fart reserve, to help cover the dreaded event when WX causes a bunch of no-shows and a catering bill to pay."  continue


Seen at Monk's

I took this picture of a mod'd brake fluid bottle Randy uses around his shop (he goes through a lot of brake fluid working on planes).  He added a valve so he can easily pressurize the bottle.  Said that 30 pounds is perfect - if you put in 31 the escape valve on the right side pops up.


James' New Panel

...it begins (RV-4).  Out with the old.  Developing....



December 12, 2019.  Issue #4,976.
  Brad and Justin from Garmin were in the area Wednesday visiting dealers (Walt at our airport) and looking for BBQ.  Some of the locals tagged along and had a nice visit over good food at Hard 8.  We discussed a little shop, like me finally getting off my buttocks and squaring away an ADS-B OUT solution for my RV-6 before the end of the year.  World's worst procrastinator, this guy.   I've got a plan now on ADS-B OUT, AND got to eat BBQ with interesting folks.  A good, productive day.
  Justin and I have some similar interests in space it turns out.  Always nice to meet another astronomy/space fan.  Made me think back to the time 22 years ago I tried to stuff a 10" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope into the passenger seat of my under-construction fuse in our garage with dreams of flying to dark skies.  If I tried that today I'd need a new spine, not to mention I sold the telescope two decades ago. ;^).  A guy can dream...and I miss that telescope sometimes <g>.
  You meet nice people in this hobby.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Southern Arizona Teen Aviation | Tucson, Arizona
RV-12iS #121042 ...reported on mothership

Congrats to the Students and Mentors of Southern Arizona Teen Aviation who completed their new RV-12iS!

We are an organization that works with High School students. Thank you Eagles Nest and Teen Flight for the inspiration and coaching. Over the course of 2 1/2 years 15 students and 7 mentors worked on the plane. With much fan fare, with about 50 parents, students and donors watching and the TV station cameras rolling our first airplane took flight. Our #2 airplane has a tail, wings, a 50% complete fuselage and a finish kit on the way. We are having so much fun we ordered a tail kit for our #3 airplane.

More first flights on Van's mothership


Tom Checks In ...his wife passed recently

All---again thank you so much for the very kind thoughts and support during this very difficult time. It doesn't matter if you have a loved one pass suddenly or have 2 years to prepare, the void is very real. Some of you already have known that, and have offered much appreciated advise. In laws left for home this morning---house very quiet. Even her dog is looking for her. (Guess thats why I'm up at midnight writing this.)

Suzanne beat cancer at it own game-----it can't hurt her any more, cant weaken her because she's in heaven---or at least has a ticket to go. Right now she's flying higher than I ever have, looking down on us. At least I believe so.  Babe----make room for Tim----he's on the next shuttle--.

For all of you----I'm working. I may not be myself, but will try to give the best service I can----Steve and our team have been awesome and have given me the flexibility to take care of Suzanne, and now me during this time. But---we must go on. The one thing constant in life is change as we all know. Mine just changed dramatically, but I'll come out better, stronger, probably not taller, but better able to help all of you. Going to take some time, and I greatly appreciate all the texts, emails and phone calls.

Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
Teflon Hose Assemblies for Experimentals
Proud Vendor for RV1, Donator to VAF
RV7 Tail Kit Completed, Fuse started-Pay as I go Plan
Ridgeland, SC
www.tsflightlines.com, www.asflightlines.com


RV-4 Oil cooler location vs cowling

I heard Vic Syracuse at Oshkosh say NOT to mount the oil cooler on the cylinder 4 baffle (I think he meant for any RV model), but Van's baffle kit (RV-4, Lycoming O-320, fixed pitch, carbureted) was so straightforward I put the oil cooler there anyway. Now starting the cowl fitting, I don't see any way the top cowling will fit with the oil cooler there. I've begun trimming the top of the baffle metal and there doesn't seem to be any way to leave the oil cooler on the baffle. Would anyone share their experience with this issue? I can fairly easily move the cooler, but maybe I'm missing something simple. Thanks for any feedback.

lots of picture in the "engine" section of my pics. Look below at my signature for the links. 260 hrs in this configuration. I did re-enforce the baffles around #4. Currently remaking the baffles as I am in the process of installing a 360, but I am doing the same thing.


Taxi with Doors open? ...RV-10

Q: If you own a RV-10, then you know all the other door issues. My questions concern taxiing.

1. Is it safe to taxi with the doors open slightly? If so, do you hold onto the door handling while taxiing?
2. I've heard that some pilots taxi with the doors fully open. I would think that adds far to much stress to those 2 hinges at the top, and a gust could potentially take a door off. Also, the prop wash could stress the door hinges. Thoughts?
3. What do you guys do when taxiing and it is really hot?

A: (rvbuilder2002)
The factory Demo RV-10's are regularly taxi'ed with the pilot side door slightly open and held by the pilot.
Taxi'ing with the passenger side door slightly open might be done if the seat is occupied by another factory pilot or experienced employee, and they are holding the door.

The doors are never fully open for taxi or engine start.


Engine Out Pictures

(RV4/6 owner DeeCee 57)
"...had an engine out experience a few years ago on a Falco equipped with a Lyco O-320 coupled to a Hartzell prop, pics HERE.  Conrod failure during climb out with associated oil loss. Prop kept windmilling and the resulting braking effect had us rejoin Terra Firma in a short time. The ROD was way higher than anticipated = rapidly diminishing options...

Still thanking my guardian angels."

[ed. Takeaway:  I need to practice engine outs more often.  Amazing pictures sir.  Thank you for sharing.  v/r,dr]



December 11, 2019.  Issue #4,975. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Hello World: Joseph Rodney Haines ...'goatflieg' first grandson

It was a tumultuous weekend for me. At 0230 EST Saturday, Pearl Harbor Day and coincidentally my father's birthday... it was also the actual birth day of my first grandson. Joseph Rodney Haines has landed safely; he and mother Naomi (the rosy riveter that helped me put the top aft skin on my RV-8) are doing well.

After not much sleep and the usual Saturday morning breakfast with the PTK gang, I paid a visit to Naomi and Joey at the hospital before heading over to Windsor to get an hour of instruction in the CH2A Chipmunk; if you're interested, check out the video on my YouTube channel. When I got home Saturday afternoon, it was definitely Beer O'Clock; rested and basked in the glory of the day. Sunday we visited with Joey... and through all this I did manage to get some work done on the RV-8 this weekend. The bottom cowl hinges were dialed in and the cowl hung on its own for the first time. Now working on the Skybolt flanges along the top edge of the bottom cowl. So... yeah... good weekend.

(BTW I've been to the Tennessee Museum of Aviation; very cool place.)


Maxing Out the Fun Factor ...Vic S. on Kitplanes.com

For those who have experienced it, the fun of going on a flying trip with your friends and their families in the airplanes you built comes pretty close to maxing out the fun factor for many of us. What really makes this experience enjoyable is being able to share it with a group of competent pilots who understand that the key to making the trip enjoyable is all about the preparation, especially as it relates to maintenance. Having just returned from one such trip again where we had 100% dispatch reliability across 11 airplanes over the course of a week and 25+ hours of flying, I want to share with you some ideas, learnings, and observations for those of you who might be considering such a trip.  read more


RV-8 Gear Legs - Free plus shipping, etc. ...David

"Steel RV-8 gear legs left over from a build that went with the lightweight legs. You must have been one of the 1650 who have already donated by December 8th , and donate another $25 this year , and pay ground shipping (They are a bit heavy, but I'll look for the best deal). These are the flat RV-8 legs, not RV-8A legs. Each leg has two U shaped milled brackets.

If you're exempt like this poster, you still must meet the above criteria.  The idea is to reward those who donate on a regular basis.  Photos, etc. available on request by email (click my username to access my email).

Cheers, David

[ed. They were gone the same day.  I wanted to thank David for this creative and uplifting way to give back to the community.  Much appreciated David!!!  v/r,dr]


Aileron Pushrod length question ...Terry Shortt RV-7

On the old 2006 vintage wings I bought, the print says to cut the tube 65 25/32" The new preview plans I have call out a longer dimension, presumably to deal with the problem I've read about on here where people were finding them to be too short.

The callout on the new preview plans as pretty fuzzy and isn't any better on the electronic version, but I believe it says 66 26/32"

Q: Can somebody verify that from a set of full sized new-ish plans? I get that the idea is to make it about an inch longer than it used to be, but it just seems weird that they would increase it by 1 1/32"

A: (Larry Larson) 65-25/32" on my plans. I cut them 3/8" longer. 66-5/32".

Update from Terry:  Thats odd. These wings are from 2006 and the 15A print that came with them definitely shows the old 65 25/32 dimension.  However when I look at my new preview plans they show the bigger dimension, even though the title block shows that it hasn't had a revision since 2003.  I put a screen shot of the new callout in my build log.


G3X Touch v8.60 Install PIREP ...Spirko

This morning I installed v8.60 (never installed v8.50)

MFD took approx. 30 seconds.
PFD took approx. 30 seconds.

All other components (including all below) loaded in approx. 5 minutes total.
-GSU 25
-GEA 24
-(2x) GSA 28
-GAD 27
-GAD 29
-GMA 245
-GMC 507
-GEA 24
-GMU 11
-GTR 200

Glad to see AGL back in the Data Bar, helpful practicing Eights on Pylons.


Fumoto T202N Quick Drain PIREP ...bruceh

You can drill a small hole on the flange in order to safety wire it in place. Buy some 1/2" hose at your auto supply store and use it to direct the old oil into your drain pan.


Tater Early Christmas Present ...

(Encouraging the technical skill set)

I bought him a new screen (was cracked) and battery (was almost dead) for his phone off iFixit.com.  The catch was he had to do the swap out.  He watched the online videos, read the instructions, and absolutely crushed it.  He was done in about an hour.

Of note the piece of paper with tape folded over sticky side up to hold the screws in place.  That iFixIt.com site is pretty awesome if you've never heard of it.



December 10, 2019.  Issue #4,974. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Grinning Again  ...JTJones RV-14 (Haleiwa, HI)

Well, after removing my engine in January in compliance withe the XP-400 Recall/Buy-Back I have finally received my replacement engine. I went with an IO-390-X built by Barrett using my Superior case and sump. First flight on the new powerplant was 12/07. Flawless. It has been a long wait but I got the grin back!


My RV Weekend: Operation Good Cheer  ...Dennis Glaeser RV-7A

I joined about 250 of my close personal friends flying Christmas gifts for foster care kids all over Michigan for Operation Good Cheer. My flight was from the PTK base to Holland MI, (KBIV).

We were blessed with good weather, and a whole bunch of controllers with a huge amount of professionalism and patience


My RV Weekend: Finished up the Condition Inspection  ...crabandy

Finally finished up the condition inspection (5 weeks), my lil' dude helped me grease wheel bearings and inspect the landing gear portion of the inspection.  more


Learning for Almost Free ...

There are some sites online that will generate flash cards for study, and I found a few for the PC-12NG limitations (the plane I'm 'interning' on now and hoping to start getting paid down road in for some side money).  Problem is, understandably, these sites want $$$ to show me the answers.  They show me the questions, but not the answers.  Soooo, I went to the Pilatus site and downloaded the 1,336 pg PIM PDF for free and got those answers on my own.  Now I have something productive to do when the urge to look at the phone pops up.  Surprising thing:  They work!  I'm coming up to speed fast on the limitations.  Behind that 'Max ITT T/O Temp' card?  850*C <g>.

Set the pile in my lap and begin flipping over towards me.  Answer to the previous card appears magically.  No internet connection needed.  Write the page number of the answer in the bottom left for more detail.

I should have made hundreds of these for my instrument, commercial and multi ratings.  Total outlay....about a dollar on flash cards from Walgreens (lifetime supply).  And I bought a candy bar...SKOR.  Tate called it an 'old man candy bar'.  What does he know...


RV-9A Status Report  ...PilotjohnS

It has been a while since I posted; its been a fun summer, not much building thou.

Brakes are in as shown below. Still have a question if I will stay with the plastic, or move towards the AN lines. I guess the first fill tests will determine if there are any leaks. I used the solid stainless rods for the brake pivots. The brakes are very nice with good return force. I have a set of helper springs which I do not plan on installing; the pivot rods worked out so well, I don't see a need for helpers.  more


Stearman Field Update: KS ...swaltner

Just an FYI that they've recently poured some more concrete to roughly double the ramp parking here at Stearman.The parking issues should be addressed.

Watch out for the VASI lights on the East side of the runway that poke up through the center of the new concrete area between the restaurant and the runway.

This was done due to all the jet traffic that is here during the week. They were always short on overnight parking for the jets that would get staged on the ramp for early morning flights.


Christmas Ideas from Aircraft Extras, Inc.  ...Rich Meske

"Center Consoles for RVs
A new batch of center consoles just arrived. Purchase now before price increases in 2020! Please check out our NEW Center Console for the RV-14. We now have two models of the E-Z out center console. They will fit the RV-6, 7, 9, and 14.

Tip-Up Slider
We still offer the Tip-Up-Slider option for RV-6, 7, and 9s. This is a great add on for already flying RV aircraft. It allows you to load all that baggage with great ease.

We offer seats, stick boots, armrests, and center consoles. If you haven't seen our interiors lately, please check out some of our new pics.

Stocking Stuffers
Don't forget our Stocking Stuffers! - No Weld Grip Handles - Tire Valve Extensions - Relay Boards, and more. . .

For details and more GREAT PRODUCTS, please visit www.aircraftextras.com."



December 9, 2019.  Issue #4,973. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV Smiles!  ...Rob Traynham pic

"My son had the next generation of family pilots at the airport today helping to get our new (to us) RV-8 even cleaner! In exchange, they get a little stick time. With RVs, even hangar flying brings on the smiles!"


Rest in Peace:  Mrs. Suzanne Swearengen

(from Tom)
All of you are family, so I wanted to let you know that my wife Suzanne passed this morning. It was a fight to the end, but her passing was peaceful.  She loved aviation, experimentals, and loved interacting with all of you. She did meet some of you at various events, and considered you all family.

So as family, I just wanted to thank all of you for the calls, emails, and cards of support. It means so much to us.

Yes----I'm ok--and will carry on the work of TS Flightlines/AS Flightlines--she helped get it going and was instrumental in keeping me straight. She insisted that I work during her illness---That our clients deserved the best effort we could give. WE will carry on the promise we made to her to do just that.


Steve H Build Video


Rest in Peace: Mr. Dwight Smith

(Mark Dickens post)
I haven't seen anyone post this yet, so I thought I'd just let everyone know that Dwight Smith of Williston, TN passed away last week. He built and flew a very nice RV-4 and was based at our airport at Fayette County, TN (KFYE). Dwight acted as a Tech Counselor in the local EAA chapter and was active for many years. (Obituary)


What did you do with your RV this weekend (12/8-9/2019)?

(Greg Niehues 9A)
Made a hot round trip from Midland to Houston and back yesterday to sign the papers on a shiny new ride for my wife. She'll pick it up in a couple days. You can't do that without an airplane!

17,000 on the way down there with 30 knots on the tail, 10,000 on the way back with about 15 on the nose, 5.2 hours roundtrip.

(Dan Langhout)
A group of us from Moontown (3M5) planned a flyout Saturday down to Gulf Shores, AL (KJKA) for some seafood at LuLu's. Problem was, the weather turned crappy in south Alabama. What to do? Why - fly north instead to Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge (KGKT) at the foot of the Smokies of course!


Greg Walker RV-8A First Flight

What a day! Conditions could not have been more perfect. After almost 20 years of off and on building the time finally came!

Configuration: Lycoming IO-360A1B with Dual EMags and Backup Alternator, 3 Blade Catto Prop, Dynon Skyview, iPad running Foreflight and Stratux as backup instrument.

Started the day tidying things up in the cockpit, making sure cowl was secure, and fueling up. Did a short high power run to make sure my recently overhauled fuel injection servo would hang in there. (ACI at Clark Field in Justin, TX does great work!). Did a warm up flight flying right seat in an RV-7A to fly the first flight profile and remind me of emergency landing sites. Upon return checked cowl and underside for any oil or fuel leaks.

Took the runway at KGDJ and climbed up to 5500 feet and made many laps around the airport. Don Christiansen pulled up behind me in Yellow Bird to look things over. Andy Duff provided ground support. Oil temps stayed 190-200F. CHTs 330-350F. I do have a very heavy left wing that will need a remedy. Descent, landing, and taxi back were uneventful.

One Duh moment. Kept the plastic on Dynon Skyview since build. Screen looked great with it. Thought I would take it off for first flight. Could not see anything with polarized sunglasses! Put plastic back on but it came off in flight with cockpit air. Another pair of glasses to buy!

So many people to thank:

Ed Stout - Uncle who gave me my first airplane ride and taught me a bunch
Don Christiansen - Tech Counselor
Patrick Richardson - RV Transition Instructor
Pat Stewart - KGDJ Airport Manager
Kliff Black and Andy Duff - RV Building Motivators
Chapter members at EAA 983

Greg Walker
RV-8A (N528GW)
Aledo, TX


Large baffle leak ...vernon smith

The picture below is the baffle at the rear of the engine with the top motor mount protruding through it. I'm looking for an easy effective way to plug up/cover this huge pressure leak.


Webinar on RV MX  ...Dec 11 7pm CST (Vic Syracuse)

Vic Syracuse will help educate builders and non-builders on the various common problems across RV aircraft that he sees as a DAR, prebuy inspector, and maintenance shop owner. The presentation will educate and motivate attendees to go take a close look at their airplanes.. Vic is a designated airworthiness representative, and has built 11 airplanes, and is chairman of the EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council. Qualifies for FAA Wings and AMT credit.


Borescope #3 - Any comments? ...Ross


My #3 has burned cooler than the rest since I bought the plane. The temp difference is around 50-70 degrees. 1, 2, 4 all seem to run pretty similar. I ruled out the sensor.

Just wanted to see what people thought of the borescope. Specifically the oil on the top of the piston, and jagged edges on the valve. (last shot)

My airplane uses lightspeed ignition with automotive plugs on top and mags with aircraft plugs on the bottom. Top plugs look new. The bottom is a bit oily but not fouled.



December 6, 2019.  Issue #4,972.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Cold Lake, Long Shadows ...petehowell (MN)

Good to get out on a short day.......


N86TF First Flight ...Zazoos RV-6

I was very excited and nervous but the weather was perfect for my first flight today. I received tail wheel and transition training with Jan Bussell last week and that was a fantastic experience. I highly recommend it. I had never even flown in a tail wheel aircraft prior to meeting Jan. We flew 10 hours over the course of 3 days and it really paid off for my first flight.

I would say the biggest stress factor of the first flight was the glass panel. My limited flight experience has always been with conventional instruments. I managed it but for the next flight I am going to have the Dynon display the traditional six pack on 1/2 of the screen and the engine monitoring on the other half. I had the map up on the first flight but really didn't need it as I was just circling the airport at 2500'. After I get a bit more comfortable I will transition back to the tape layout.

I did have a fair amount of shimmy at about 20kts on takeoff, but it lessened around 40kts. Thinking maybe the tubes where getting situated in the tires. Pressure set to 38psi. No shimmy noted on landing.

Fuel pressure with boost pump on and rpm's low in the pattern result in a high pressure. Around 8psi. Is that ok ? If so, for how long? If I turn the boost pump off the pressure drops to about 5 psi. Otherwise engine parameters where all good. (0-320)

I flew about 45 minutes and while I didn't really do any testing the plane did fly very nice and didn't seem to have any issues.

Looking forward to the second flight.

Thank you to all the VAF members for all the help.
Trent Flemming
Hallsville, TX


RV-8 Status Report ...goatflieg

Been awhile since I contributed to this thread. I'm between blogspot updates, but thought I'd share a recent panoramic photo I took with my iPhone during initial cowling fitment.


RV-10 Build Status Report ...LCampbell

When coming to a close of the tailcone section, you really have a sense that you're building an airplane, which is fun when it starts to come together. At this point, it's all done except a little of the fiberglass work, which should be done in short order. My Tech Counselor suggested that I leave the top rear skin only clecoed in place for now, to simplify access to wiring and other things for later. Since he's navigated numerous RV's and several RV-10's specifically, it sounded like good advice.  continue


No oil door.... judoka5051

I was hesitant to post this. What seems like a great idea to one guy... Anyway my recently finished RV8 doesn't have an oil door. It does however have an oil access hole; with a gas cap in it. Not only will I never have an oil door pop open, if I ever break or lose a gas cap it's no big deal, got a spare right there! I figured I'd post this since two other Rv'ers wandered into the hangar and thought it was a good idea.

Truth be told, I went a little crazy on a number of things. Moved the baggage door to the left side, made my own fastback turtledeck, hinge pins go in from the back, fiberglass wing fairings etc.

Just got it flying, and yes, I'm wearing the grin!


Milestone: Emp kit ....... Finished. ...Pittsartist

My 5th build / 2nd RV.

Planning a '7 with Slider / 180hp V/P and Night VFR clearance here in the UK.

I'll do wings next winter and Fuz & finish the winter after. No rush as I have my '6 and a Pitts to fly meanwhile.

The '7 kit is noticeably better than the '6 I built in 2016 ... I'm guessing things will have moved on again if I ever do a '14


Panel Upgrade Experience: Very Positive ...RhinoDrvr

As I've posted earlier on the forum, I am the happy owner of N88MJ, Michael Robbin's RV-8 built in 2002. I bought the airplane from Mike in 2017, and have been flying it for 2 years all over the Western US, and to Oshkosh twice. It's been a terrific airplane, and dispatch reliability had been excellent.

With the upcoming 2020 ADS-B mandate, I wanted to bring the airplane into the 21st century with a glass panel, and see how much weight we could scrape off her somewhat portly 1177lb empty weight. I did countless hours of research during my two trips to Oshkosh, and settled on a Garmin G3X touch system for the airplane.  continue



December 5, 2019.  Issue #4,971. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Charlie Kearns photo.
Dawn flight. (full size)


First Flight Video ...Chris McD

This is a video documenting the first flight of my Vans RV-7 and the years leading up to it.


RV-12iS Mandatory Safety Directive SD 19-12-03 (supersedes SB 19-10-11)... mothership

RV-12iS Safety Directive SD 19-12-03 was published this afternoon by Van's Aircraft. This document directs owners to newly-updated Rotax documentation covering mandatory replacement of affected fuel pumps on certain Rotax 912 iS aircraft engines.

Note that this Safety Directive refers to the same Rotax 912 iS electric fuel pump issue as, and supersedes, previously-published Van's Service Bulletin SB 19-10-11.

As was indicated in the Service Bulletin, compliance per Rotax is required and must take place before further flight on affected aircraft.


RV-8 Build Status Report  ...MDeCraene13

Started this summer on an RV-8. Sort of had QB empenage since I bought a partial kit. Working on the wing rear spars now.


A pretty impressive use of the internet

RV-4 buddy James Walsh sent me this link he found to help in my search for PC-12NG study aids online.  Just so happens their demo is the PC-12NG (a plane I'm hoping to do some side gigs in for extra $).  You click on buttons and switches and it shows you how items in each system is changed.

Got me thinking how cool it would be to have some graphics like this describing some of the RV systems.  RV-12iS electrical, constant speed prop, etc.

Anyway, I thought it was a cool use of the internet.

PS: If anyone has PC-12NG manuals lying around (QRH, AFM, etc) I know a guy who would like to borrow them <grin>.


Her Name is Lexie  ...flysrv10


A Day in the Life of a Formation Flying Team

Teresa De Mers travels to the Wings Over Camarillo air show to take us backstage with the Lightning Formation Team. Team lead, Bob "Nasty" Mills, describes the events, and team members introduce themselves. ....the team flies a fleet of experimental RV aircraft.


More milestones achieved! ...Daniel McCaffery (about to order RV kit)

Passed my written exam today! And the concrete foundation for the shop is supposed to be poured today. And big shop tools were purchased on black friday. Things are getting closer!

Edit: Oh! Forgot, I have also requested a N-Number reservation.



December 4, 2019.  Issue #4,970. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

RV-6 Oil Cooler w/Adjustable Exit Setup

...a pic from an RV out at Monk's the other day.  If you have the monitor size, 
2,560 x 1,920 pixel version HEREdr


B&C Alternator on IO-390 Bracket Issue ...TimO RV-14

After just installing B&C BC460-H alternators, I ran into a consistent problem in mounting on the RV-14's IO-390 and I thought I'd mention it here in case any of you used that alternator on your install.

The issue is this: When you order the alternator for Boss mount, you choose if you have a dual groove or single groove pulley, and that determines which U-shaped boss mount bracket you get. The 2 brackets they have, have slightly different fore-aft hole alignments that determine how well the V-Belt centers in the grooves of both pulleys. If you are not in alignment you will for sure wear the belt worse, but also have a much higher chance of belt breakage.

When I ordered my alternators, I ordered the standard Single groove bracket because that's what I have on both my IO-390 and IO-540. My IO-540 is a narrow deck older engine, but my IO-390 is new from Lycoming in 2015.

In fitting the alternator to the engine, the only way you will get a good accurate look at the alignment is if you use some sort of alignment tool. Eye-balling won't get it, because you can move your head around an convince yourself that you're off to the forward side, dead on, or off to the aft side, all by just moving your head a little or switching eyes. Fortunately the alternators ship with a flat but dog-leg bent adjuster arm that makes a decent tool to verify the alignment. You can lift the alternator to its highest position, and run that tool around the large pulley and see where it hits in the alternator pulley.  continue


RV-10 Begins in Boulder, CO ...AlpineYoda

The adventure begins! Just gave my credit card number to someone at Van's for a Tail / Emp kit, and to a tool maker for a full set!

If anyone has any reason why this man and this plane kit should not be together, speak now or forever hold your peace.

I chose the RV-10 because I need something that will clear the mountains in CO for family trips with MEAs of 16,500, can carry my wife and at least one kid, plus ski gear or the dog. I can't afford a Cirrus or Bonanza and I love to build stuff - I've built or remodeled major parts (incl water, electrical, HVAC) of three houses in the last 20 years and I'm hoping that this isn't too much of a stretch for my tool and construction skills.

My plan is:
- Quickbuild wings and fuselage - cutting a year or more off this schedule seems like a good spend of $15,000.
- iO540 Thunderbolt - 260 hp. Unless Bye comes out with a compatible electric system really, really soon.
- Dynon IFR capable glass cockpit with synthetic vision (I'm IFR and Multi-rated already)
- BRS parachute - there are very few places to land engine-out between my house and most of Colorado.
- Maybe or maybe not will do therm-x for the wings. Not sure if 85 pounds is worth it for some ice protection that falls short of FIKI. Probably better to avoid the ice altogether! I've heard about ice-resistant paint. Not sure if it is real thing yet.

If you see anything in the above that I'm missing - or anything I shouldn't do, please let me know before I get too far down the path. Will update here as I go.


RV-8 low pressure plastic brake lines ...rv8ch

I have not been able to fix this leak for some reason. Left leaks, right does not. Tried both the plastic insert and the brass. Cut the hose to ensure a straight connection. Made sure it's clean. Very strange.  continue



December 3, 2019.  Issue #4,969. (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Starting the RV-10 Rudder ...vinzer

Lots of cutting is involved in this part Looks like VAN's moves me to a new level where I have to cut parts out of bigger parts and at some point I will not be surprised to see one huge part for complete step and instructions: Cut to your needs and use file to make it to desired shape <g>


Buck meets RV...looking for QB wing ...Av8safe

[ed. Putting out feelers to hopefully help our friend out.  v/r,dr]
"You may recall my post in lessons learned a couple of weeks ago about my deer strike with my RV7. I am posting this inquiry to see if there is anyone out there with a left QB wing available for purchase or trade delivery positions for a replacement? This might help me get going on repairs faster, given the back order time for a QB wing. Quotes for building up a standard wing, as part of the total repair estimate, may be prohibitive due to labor cost. Hope to find the best way to get quality repairs without having the insurance company push to total the aircraft.

Send me a PM if you have a spare wing <g>"


RV-8 and the Day After Thanksgiving...Steve Rush video

It is unbelievable how beautiful the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend was in the ordinarily drab and rain drenched Northwest. Most years I am lucky to get one day of flying, this year I got three, just over 8 hours in three days.

Friday we went out to Forks for lunch and up the coast to Tatoosh Island and Cape Flattery. The low sun angle created some interesting shots along the north coast.


Monument Valley Webcam ...Larry Woodall

New webcam at Monument Valley at Gouldings.  Can see runway and parking, restaurant, lodge, and John Ford museum area.

webcam link


Tubing Swaging Dies ...Sam Buchanan

..."Here are the tubing swaging dies I made from aluminum angle to make a swage that isn't prone to stress cracks"

Put them in the vice and squeeze the tubing.

3/8" steel (not the soft, easily bent stuff) brake line purchased from the aviation aisle at the local auto parts emporium makes great exhaust hangars. I carry a pre-swaged and drilled piece in my flight kit for away-from-home replacement.


Dan Horton Custom Exhaust Hanger

...from the 'cracked exhaust hanger' thread.



December 2, 2019.  Issue #4,968.
Dear VAF site/forum readers,

December is pledge drive month and as you know we use the honor system. If you are a regular VAF reader and haven't donated yet in '19, PLEASE consider it (how to). Working VAF full time while trying to get a part time commercial side gig thing going (haven't broke even yet but am embracing the suck) and putting some resumes out there for a possible third part time gig in a sim (fingers crossed). Small business owner life is stunningly expensive and 24/7, and there is very little down time (flown the RV 39.8 hrs in '19).

Bill Gates I ain't and donations really, really matter in our family.

Please take two minutes to read the 'Support VAF' page if you haven't, and thank you if you are one of the 1,397* people who have sent in a little over $27K after taxes so far this year. We're approaching 28,000 registered forum accounts. Call it 5% donated so far, half that if you include unregistered 'lurkers'.

I'll never swamp you with emails, letters or pop-up ads. I'll NEVER track or sell your keystrokes and clicks like all the other social media sites, and I'll never ask for more than $25. Two bucks a month...a cup of coffee...for a nice, civil, non-politics (a rare thing) virtual watering hole promoting the greatest hobby and people on earth. 

Please help me keep it afloat.

I hate having to even have a pledge drive, but without it we're in the red as a business. The margins are that tight. Thanks again to those who help keep this site going...and my family fed and sheltered. I'll keep trying my hardest to bring you a quality product.

Kindest and best,
Doug (and Susie, Audrey and Tate).

*as of 11/30/19
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


Wallpaper Calendar for December

...Jay Pratt photo


Because I Fly! ...Scroll's new videos

[ed. Our 52F buddy Sid is pursuing a side hobby of his (video editing, etc), and these two videos are his first stab at it using his RV-7A.  Multiple cameras, nice audio and more polished than anything I could do.  Sid's the man!  v/r,]


Grass Strip PIREP: Cedar Mountain Utah  ...Vlad the Amazing

18 nm southeast of Huntington 69V at 7600 feet elevation there is a well groomed airstrip over two thousand feet long. It's called Cedar Mountain if you are ever in Utah and looking for an adventure go there you won't regret. Just know your aircraft limitations.  continue / many pics


Update Bob Kelly  ...Ross Porter

Small update, I've been visiting Bob when able around my crazy work schedule. He is slowly but surely making progress, he has made a lot of big strides from where he started. God is good, continued prayers.....


Thanksgiving Sunset  ...ArlingtonRV post

My flyin' buddy, Carl, looked far and wide to find someplace that was open for lunch on Thanksgiving. He found it, in Albany, Oregon, at the Cascade Bar and Grill. They are open every Thanksgiving from 11:00 to 3:00. Hey, it's only 220 miles, about 90 minutes by RV. Let's go!

Since we headed home late in the afternoon (3:00), the sun was at a really good angle for Carl to get some shots of his old plane, my "new" plane. Taken from his "new" RV-8.


Cracked exhaust hanger ...Bruce Hill

I was doing an oil change today, and as usual, I give the entire engine a really good look over. I found one of the exhaust hangers had cracked.

The hanger is made from thinwall stainless steel 3/8" tubing. I know I can source this stuff locally, but making the end flattened looks like it might require some special skills/tools. I don't want to just beat it flat with a hammer. My vise is probably not sufficient to pinch this, and I don't have a hydraulic press.

Any tips, or should I just call Vetterman Exhaust and get a replacement?

Would you replace all hangers, or just the one that is cracked?


Panel Status Report  ...Al Karpinski

Yep.. The center panel is removable...

Used two 24 Pin vibration resistant plug/receptacles
PT#'s on wiring diagrams in google photo drive...

One feeds all power and grounds..

Second for "Signals" (Audio/CAN)

As it turns out I have all the avionics except the two GSA28's roll/pitch servos...
The GEA24 and GMU11 mounted on/behind the main center panel.

So basically .. only audio in/out and CAN needed to come off the "Signal" plug
(See PDF's of wiring )

... Progress coming fast now...


My first serious Oh S&^*%$ moment ...blucllrplt

Have gotten thru the empennage with only a couple of tiny smilies with minimal drilling out poorly set rivets. Received my wing kit in August and have made it to the top skins on both with only a couple of "character" marks in the skin; one where my father-in-law was daydreaming and started bucking a rivet without me calling out "Ready" and another when I dropped my tungsten bar into the leading edge. None of these were significant and overall I have been pleased with my progress.

I have skipped the fuel tanks for now and started work on the ailerons. Making good progress during my break from work and congratulated myself yesterday on how nice and straight the trailing edge turned out on the first specimen. Got the top skin riveted on number 2 aileron and was admiring how good I was getting at bucking rivets. The 470 4-4 rivets holding the main rib to the spar were a little tricky to set on the first aileron so I decided to ask my wife for help holding the bucking bar. She's not a good bucking bar holder and during the operation the bar slipped and created a split rivet. No problem as I could just drill it out as nothing was damaged.

I got impatient and rather than wait for help I decided to attempt the task using my offset rivet set. I had to hold the gun in my left hand and bar in the right due to the orientation of the main rib. I wasn't holding the gun with the rivet set perfectly on top of the rivet and put a huge smiley into the side of the main rib which telegraphed into the spar. As past posters have observed, you feel all kinds of emotions after a major oops.

The rivet was able to be cleanly removed. I took some detailed photos of the damage and have sent to Vans for their opinion. Certainly not the worst mistake ever made but sure did knock me down a few rungs. Building will sure keep you humble.


RV-8 Interior Update ...Chris Pratt RV-8

After 14 years it was about time to refresh the seat cushions in my RV-8. I've been extremely happy with the sheepskin covering of my original seats - my Goldilocks seats as I call them -- they have never been too hot or too cold but just right. The sheepskin has never torn and has held up extremely well. I figure, however, the foam has probably deteriorated over time and certainly the original sheepskin coverings have faded.

As a side note, I'm surprised more builders don't opt for the sheepskin - not as sexy as leather but they sure are comfortable. Price is about the same as leather.

I opted for Flightline Interiors to produce the new seats and I can certainly recommend them (see photos below).

Abby did a great job and I appreciate the quality of the build and the advice in selection. I discussed using the comfort-foam for the core material as opposed to regular foam. Abby advised me that for the RV-8 Flightline uses comfort-foam as standard for the upper layer of the build and it was unlikely I would notice the difference to add it for the lower layers. [Note: I'm not sure if this holds true for the side-by-side aircraft seating.]

The lateral and lumbar support of these seats is a big step up from my previous set. They are very comfortable and fit like a glove. I hope I don't fall asleep when flying . I know my wife will like them.

Kudos to Abby. Thanks for the great work. I'm ready for another 14 years of RV fun. Perhaps new side panels will be next on my wish list ;^).  more pics



November 29, 2019.  Issue #4,967.
  Execute CONSUME LEFTOVERS Subroutine.....
  Orange/walnut/cranberry and peanut butter half sandwich.  My family thinks I'm weird.  I think they're weird <g>.  Hope you and your family and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving and wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


Trim Cable Routing ...ORen RV-10

I routed the trim cables as shown in picture attached . through the small hole, while seen other routing through the big round lightening hole.  Is this acceptable?  It seems like vans also changed the rib over time, it had only one hole once.



Pro Tip ...rockwoodrv9a

I have been using hotel type card keys for years to spread epoxy, bondo, and pro seal. They work great.


Tips for Filling the Front Canopy Skin ...some ideas

Saw a cool solution for the skin-to-tube fit in Bruce's build log here. I think I'll give something like that a try. Looks like it relies on a "friction fit" against some aluminum epoxy for the pull rivets.

I took a slightly different approach and filled the void with flox (the coloring it's just me testing and not needed).


7A Rebirthing Status Report ...kentlik

I had a bit of time and ran my AOA and Pitot lines. Hope this works as not sure of the throw of elevator bell crank...



Thanksgiving Day, 2019.  Issue #4,966.
  The mothership is closed Thu/Fri for Thanksgiving:   "The Van's Aircraft offices, factory and phones will be closed this week on Thursday and Friday, November 28-29, to allow our staff to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. We will re-open as usual bright and early on Monday, December 2nd.
   At Van's, we give thanks to all of our customers, partners, friends and the Van's Extended Family. We would not be the company we are today without you! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!"
  That last paragraph?  Ditto!!!  Chances are better than good I'll push out a Friday edition, FWIW.  Home office and all...  Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers of VAF and hope you get to spend the day surrounded by family and friends.  I'm thankful for all of you...
(Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)


So, Did you Ever See That Episode of 'The Office' w/the Golden Tickets?...mothership

"So, we've stuffed all these Golden Tickets in our 2020 calendars, and there's something we want to explain. Some of these tickets may or may not have fine print on them, which may or may not entitle the holder to something more than was originally intended. Are we in Scranton or something? Sure feels a bit like an episode of The Office!"

Order a calendar HERE


Whit and I flew the VFR Corridor ...Nived17 RV-4

This past weekend, I flew my RV-4 from WBW to N43 to Pick up Whit while his RV-4 was down getting new brake lines. He flew me from N43 (in my plane) to breakfast at N40. From there we swapped seats and decided to fly the VFR corridor in NYC. Whit is a 767 FO at United Airlines. He's very used to the view only 4,000 higher on the visual into JFK. We also flew the coastline at 400' in the small area that allows you less than 5 miles away from JFK without talking to anyone. Pretty awesome experience and we've already began to plan a four ship RV-4 formation flight up the corridor in the spring. We will surely share those pictures when the time comes!  more


Q: Why Castle Nut on Vert Stab & Rear Spar attach?

Why are Castle nuts used on Vert Stab and rear wing spar attach points? I am following the plans but trying to understand why a standard Nylon lock nut is not used? Is there some type movement between these mating parts?

A: Self Locking nuts are not used where rotation of the joint is possible. The wing can flex up and down in flight depending on weight of the aircraft and load on the wing. This can over time, loosen the rear spar nut.

Yes you have self locking nuts called out on some of the control bellcranks. The location of these self locking nuts are where bearings are used and the bearing take the rotation and not the bolt - nut.

A: The fasteners you mentioned can be subject to rotation (as Gary already mentioned).
We often think of bolted assemblies on aircraft to be entirely static but they can move under certain load conditions.

For example - Under high G's, wing tips can deflect up to 1.5 inches or more depending on load and model. If the wing is deflecting, there would be a very slight movement at the rear spar clevis joint, so a castelated nut and cotter pin is used.


Seen From the RV  ...RV8JD

A Ballistic Missile sub (and its entourage) returning to Naval Base Kitsap today: more


DIY Tail Lift  ...DeeCee 57

I have a bad back which as as strange as it sounds doesn't heal with age. Since Tailmate has gone awry, I decided to build a replacement whilst trying to minimise the amount of work...

Bought a MoJack EZ - Residential Riding Lawn Mower Lift as they call it, and had some welding done to it.
Christened it yesterday for a 50H inspection and this gadget works real good <g>.


Initial Contact: Brian McGrath  ...RV-10 future builder

This is my first post on VAF, but I've been here lurking and (I hope) learning for a little more than 6 months.

Initially, I wanted to build an RV-14A, but in the ongoing conversations with my better half, the mission has moved somewhat to favour the RV-10 (potential for grandchildren and friends travelling with us vs. the ability to do limited aerobatics from time to time - I'm 65, after all).

I am fortunate to have a large 2-car garage and am in the process of prepping it as my workshop. I have joined the local EAA chapter. I've run the numbers for both AC as carefully as I can based on the experiences that have been shared here at VAF and the plan is realistic. I know it's a daunting prospect, but I'm also looking forward to the whole thing!

So I've got some questions for those who are well beyond my stage. First, tools. I live in the Niagara area (Southern Ontario) quite near the US border, so I wanted to ask the community whether it made sense to buy tools from a Canadian supplier, or order from one of the popular US suppliers. I could easily ship to a US address nearby and import it myself, but I'd like to hear about other experiences before pulling the trigger. Also, did you buy the full RV kits or get a starter kit and then get additional tools more or less as you needed them.

Second, shipping. I'd love to hear experiences about having Van's ship directly to your shop vs. bringing the kits across the border yourself vs. acting as your own broker to clear the kits from the bonded warehouses.

Third, before I pull the trigger on the tail kit, I'd love to have the opportunity to see an RV-10 up close. YouTube is a great resource, but nothing beats sitting in the aircraft and talking to the person who squeezed all the rivets. I know there are a few RV-10s in Southern Ontario and my wife and I love to take long drives together. I'd be happy to come to your hanger if anyone is interested in showing us your pride and joy.

Anyway, thanks for reading my rambling and thanks in advance for your comments. I have learned that people who build airplanes are some of the most helpful and engaging people I have met.



Chekov Checklist App ...VAF advertiser

I've had several beta users of FlightView ask about integrated checklists, so I've been working on adding checklists. Just displaying a checklist is pretty cool, but I thought it might be more useful to make the lists interactive so...

I ended up building a voice-enabled interactive checklist system. You create lists using a simple editor which lets you set both the display text ("Master on.") and the audio prompt ("Set master switch on."). When you run the checklist you can respond to the audio prompt by voice, saying either "check" or a custom acknowledgement. (E.g, prompt: "Set flaps to 20 degrees." response: "twenty" or "set".)  more


The 2020 Van's Calendars are in stock and shipping!  ...mothership

The 2020 Van's Aircraft calendars have arrived and are now shipping! Randomly inserted into the 3000 calendars we've received are more than 60 Golden Tickets, which represent prizes including $750 or $250 off an emp/tail kits, a couple of our new Light Box Signs, a few $100 Van's gift certificates, and a whole slew of shirt/hat giveaways. We sold out of calendars last year, so we ordered about 500 more this year. Be sure to get your orders in early!
- $5.00 each
- $4.50 each if you order 5-10
- $4.00 each if you order 11 or more
The prices are the same as last year and shipping's included. We've kept the prices low for ordering multiples, and hope you enjoy the calendar and give some to your aviation friends - including people who don't (yet) have RVs!



Nov 27, 2019.  Issue #4,965.  (Need a part-time contract pilot?...DFW area)

Deer on Runway ...Steve H.


Initial Contact...Brian Shrader

I wanted to take a second and quickly introduce myself and say just a word of thanks for all of great information I've received on the forum so far.

I joined the website several years ago...long before I finally got my PPL and thought "wow, wouldn't it be great to build your own airplane".

Fast forward a few years, add a great and encouraging wife, and I now have a PPL, instrument rating, and an RV14 empennage kit, unpacked, and currently being inventoried in my shop.

I really do appreciate the help and indirect encouragement so far and have no doubt I'll be asking for A LOT more in the coming days and months.


Seen at Monk's (Richmond Aircraft Service) ...patina

Came off an RV.  Of note the corrosive effects of rotors getting too hot....heat burns off paint, corrosion sets in.  No post-processing...this is the original as shot.  Enlarge/Whole Pic


Please Pray for our Friends Tom and Suzanne Swearengen

  "For all of our friends, clients, and members. I just wanted to give you a brief, non RV related update on Suzanne's condition. As several of you know we took some time off to celebrate her life and allow her to see Hawaii, one last time. WE had a great time, seeing the Na'Pali coastline from the air--Thanks to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. Little did we know that it was probably the last really beautiful place she'd visit on earth.
  We knew that her cancer was beginning to overcome the treatment, but really were stunned to see the blood tests and the CT scans. The amount that this spread in 6 weeks is unbelievable. So with it zapping her strength, the chemo dropping her HG levels, and the CT revealing new and fast spreading areas of damage in her ribs again, Suzanne made the decision to stop the chemo. Seems the treatment was probably going to be worse than the disease.
  She went on Hospice this morning--although we all know that its a formality and not indicating anything is immanent. She's comfortable, or as comfortable as I can make her. One day at a time-----her vitals are about the same as they have been for the past 6 months. Good sign in my book.
  So what does that have to do with the VAF and Experimental community? Well, of course she comes first, BUT there is the wonderful invention of a laptop and something called the internet that allows me to continue to work--mostly-- and take care of her. I'll still get to do tech support, and as I can some prototype stuff. So, even though I may not get to the shop for extended periods like I do, I can continue to service you. Steve and I actually considered this (and other possibilities) when did our merger 3 years ago. So orders get processed despite a family emergency. So for most of you, you wont notice much of a difference.
  I just felt is was necessary to let you know the situation, and to let you know that things will carry on. I'm not going anywhere.
  Thanks to all for your support, thoughts, and prayer in this really trying time.
Tom and Suzanne."


My RV Weekend ...various

(Malndi - Australia)
Red One in the right seat
We had the honour and pleasure of being joined by a former RAF Red Arrows lead who flew right seat with Eddie for some formation followed by a nice lunch at the HARS museum.  https://hars.org.au   A thorough gentleman and very generous with his knowledge. His insights were greatly appreciated and will no doubt assist us to enhance our own flying.  A new RV grin was firmly installed!

Flew the newly acquired RV-4 from Bishop, TX (07R) to Fredericksburg (T82) to check out the Hanger Hotel and eat breakfast at the diner then on to Uvalde (UVA) topped off and back to Bishop. I was trueing out around 170 kts at around 8,000 ft at 2400 rpm and 21 in burning about 9.5 gph.

(crabandy - a weekend of MX)
I strategically waited till the wife was at work to sneak the seatbelts into the washing machine after a brief pre-treat, they made a lot of noise but came out nice and clean! They were pretty dry out of the washer but I laid them over a chair to air dry completely. Pretty sure the only dirty spots came from maintenance.

Finally cut the two wing spars bolt that were found loose on inspection. The washers were not put on so you could never tighten them to torque specs. I have the RV9A so getting to them was difficult, forming a wrench to fit into the opening was a task. We got the right side off but the left side nut was rounded. Had to use a Dremel with an extension, a few carbide bits, two hours of laying in a difficult position, and finally got the nut off. New bolt, with a washer, and nut tightened and torqued. Huge step out of the way. Finally can get the mechanic back out to approve the changes.


Grease Gun Woes ...cdeerinck

Ok, I admit it, in some areas I seem to be a total fool. So I'm asking for some advice as I obviously have no clue on this one.

I have a grease gun, with appropriate grease for my wheel bearings. I also have a grease packer, that worked great. I filled both with grease when putting my wheels on a few weeks ago.

When I look in the packer today, the grease looks just like it did when I loaded it. So I know that nothing was exposed to unusual heat.

Next to the packer, in the same toolbox, is the grease gun. I bought a new one, because my old gun leaked. This new gun has now made a mess of my toolbox. It appears as though some of the grease in it has turned into oil. A little ran out of the threads near the top of the gun, and a ton just poured out of the back end. If I pump the gun, good grease comes out.

Q: Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong? Am I not supposed to store the gun under pressure? Why did the grease turn from a gel to a thin fluid?

A:  I learned this the hard way too.

When you're not using the grease gun, make SURE you pull the plunger back and lock it so that there is no pressure on the grease. If you keep that constant spring pressure on the grease, it will eventually separate the oils in the grease, and you will be left with grease that is not only too thick, but lacks some of those oils.

The first time this happened to me, I was sure the reason my grease gun wasn't working was that it was a crappy gun. So I bought a couple nice new ones. Turns out that didn't fix it. The grease had lost it's ability to easily be squeezed. A fresh tube fixed that.

A:  Live in AZ and find keeping the packer and guns in a Frig works like a charm. Rubber gloves, batteries and ETC. as well.

A:  All my grease guns and grease tubes reside in a 5 gallon bucket, and in clear plastic bags. Never do I leave it in hot place..stays in the cool as much as possible...and FAR from any toolbox !! Grease is like Proseal..just look at it and your guaranteed to have some kind of mess.


Garmin G3X Touch (GDU 4XX) V8.50, Nov. 25, 2019 ...g3xpert

We released G3X Touch Version 8.50 to the software download area today. Please note from the list at the bottom that many devices have new software including G5, GSA 28 servos, GEA 24 engine module, GDL 5X ADS-B receiver, GMC 507 autopilot control panel, and GMA 245/245R audio panel. After updating the software in the PFD1 with the SD card, the display will reset, and at that time it is best to hold down on the Menu button while it starts up in Configuration mode. Go to the System Information page on the PFD1 and watch all devices completing the software update before taking the PFD1 out of configuration mode and verifying proper operation for the updated system.

While the majority of the changes are behind-the-scenes improvements, there are a couple of items worth mentioning.

Simplified Fuel Flow Calibration
All of us have probably gone into configuration mode, done a little math, and made adjustments to our fuel flow calibration (K) factor to make the fuel totalizer more accurate.

This is significantly faster/easier now since you can do this after fill-up from the normal mode fuel calc engine page. Just press Menu on that page and select "Calibrate Fuel Flow" and a pop-up window will show you the fuel used and allow you to enter the actual fuel added to correct the calibration. In this example, the fuel totalizer measured 35 gals since our last fill-up, and we just added 33.5 gals to fill-up.

You can do this as often as you like until the desired accuracy is obtained.

Improved NAV Radio Tuning Support for GNC 255
We mentioned when V8.40 was released that you can now view and tune the NAV radio on the GDU (as shown below), much the same as you could with a COM radio, but that the feature was only available for the SL 30 NAV radio. We are pleased to now offer this capability for the GNC 255 using currently released V2.20 software in that unit. We will add this support for the GTN 650/750 when new software is available for those units.

Touch and Change Wind Speed Field
We have received quite a few requests to be able to touch the wind speed/direction field on the PFD and quickly change the format between speed/direction and heading/cross-wind components. This can now be done.

Changes from V8.40 to V8.50
o Add support for fuel flow calibration adjustment from Engine page
o Add option to change fuel calculator units (e.g., lbs/hr)
o Add configuration of fuel type
o Add ability to touch PFD wind field to toggle its display mode
o Add support for Piper Altimatic IIIC autopilot
o Add ability to display weight & balance envelope as moment versus weight
o Add ability to configure best-glide sink rate based on distance versus altitude
o Change low-airspeed ESP to remain disarmed until airspeed exceeds minimum limit
o Improve GSU 25C/D static pressure calibration procedure
o Improve configuration for Beechcraft 102-389012 fuel flow sensor
o Improve autopilot operation during on-ground tests
o Improve engine gauge visibility configuration on 7' displays
o Improve display of GPSS data field on 10' displays
o Improve selection of AGL height data field
o Improve NAV radio tuning
o Improve verification of LRU software update data
o Improve editing of complex weight & balance envelope points
o Improve ADS-B status display in config mode
o Improve traffic data processing and display
o Improve checklist file processing and display
o Improve chart data processing
o General improvements to system operation.
o Includes update to G5 software version 6.40
o Includes update to GDL5x software version 2.13
o Includes update to GEA24 software version 3.70
o Includes update to GMA245 software version 2.70
o Includes update to GMC507 software version 2.90
o Includes update to GSA28 software version 4.50



Typical good Van's support and lesson learned!

We found an aileron bracket issue on my condition inspection that was unexpected. We could not find anything obvious amiss, but I took some video and photos and sent some links to support@vansaircraft.com this morning. I got a reply this early afternoon, and all is well. BUT, during all this, I got a call from an unidentified number, which I of course ignored, since that is always spam, right? On reflection, I googled the nu