RV Grins in Formation
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The best way to get a spouse to approve a RV building project is to get them directly involved. A fly-in such as the Central TX RV Fly-In was just the ticket. I've been wanting to build a RV for about two years now, and after this weekend I've definitely got the go ahead!
We drove in from Oklahoma City and arrived around 12:30. We were too late for the BBQ. However, we were awed by the enormous turnout. Even though some planes were starting to leave, there was more than enough RV's to gaze upon. We slowly made our way to Van's RV-7 demo plane to try it on for size. There's plenty of room for the two of us with an ample baggage area. Filled with excitement, my wife immediately asked Gus (from Van's) for a test drive. He was unable to fill the request, but Doug Reeves could see the enthusiasm in her eyes. He promised he would get her a ride. As it turns out, he did one better, he got us both a ride in formation! Casey Roszell & Rob Ray came to the rescue in their RV-4's. We were in good hands with these two TVRVBG members; Rob is a commercial airline pilot who flies F-16s in the AF Reserves and Casey is a biz jet jockey. This is going to be great!!
Later that afternoon, during pre-flight, Casey found that a bird decided to call his RV-4's air box home. After a quick removal of his cowling and cleaning of his air box, we were ready to go. It was about 4:30 and most of the crowd had departed, so we basically had Scott Field to ourselves.
Rob and I were # 1 for departure, with Kim and Casey close behind. As we made a u-turn at the end of Rwy 17, Rob lit the afterburners and we were airborne in less than half of Scott's 1900 ft. sod runway. Climb performance was incredible and rapid which Rob attributes to his O-360, med. Climb prop and keeping his RV as light as possible.
Throttling back, Rob allowed Casey and Kim to form up on our right side as we made a few passes over Scott Field. Rob called Waco Regional (KACT) to request transition for "flight of two" into their airspace and over Lake Waco. While flying over Lake Waco and commenting on what fun the boaters were having, I couldn't help but think what a great first RV flight this was! As we made a gentle turn back toward Scott Field, I asked Rob to call Casey and let him take the lead. Casey obliged, pulled ahead, while Rob used the "taxpayer's money" from F-16 formation training to get us in a tight (maybe 10 ft or less) formation. Damn, these guys are good!
We flew over Scott again in tight formation and set up for a high-speed, tree-top level pass down 17's centerline in a slightly looser formation. Between the steep banking dive and the sharp pull up at the end of the pass, Rob's G-meter reported +3 G's. Funny thing is, I didn't even feel it!
As we swung wide to allow spacing for landing, I couldn't help wondering how Kim had faired during the flight since she gets car sick every time I drive. Rob made a flawless 2 point landing and stopped as quickly as he had taken off, proving what a truly remarkable aircraft Van's has (and what a great pilot Rob is!).
While we were parking a crowd had gathered around Casey's airplane to cheer Kim on. No sooner than Kim had gotten out of the cockpit, she shouted "I'll take two!! Here's my checkbook"! Doug Reeves retorted with "I've got witnesses!". I think Doug was as excited as she was. We relived each exciting moment all the way to Oklahoma. We look forward to starting our own RV-7 very soon!
Thanks again to all that made this fabulous weekend possible!!!
Scott & Kim Luckman
Oklahoma City, OK