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Thu Oct 31  1154z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Flying to the Copperstate Fly-In ...Jenny Hickman

We’ve returned from another successful Copperstate Fly-in. We flew there and back with Scott and Deana McDaniels in the Van’s RV-14. It’s the perfect distance for RV flying- a little over five leisurely hours each way. It certainly seemed to go by fast, but that could be because I tend to be asleep most of the time. I guess that’s a testament to the smooth flying of the RV-10. Thankfully, Rob is always thoughtful enough to take LOTS of pictures of me passed out in the copilot seat.  continue

The RV Community Mourns the Passing of Bob Axsom

...the lives he touched keep chiming in.

From the factory....

It Just Works ...Rhino889

"It just works"

"Exceeded my expectations"

This is what I answer when someone asks me how the plane turned out.

Keep riveting boys and girls!

Transponder Antenna Fairing ...912ry

With the addition of my ADSB antenna, I decided to dust off my fiberglass skills and clean up romeo yankee's belly. I bought the cheap antennas so it started looking like a forest under there. I highly doubt that any performance gains were made, but I had fun.

Tommy's -8

With the excitement of all the assembling, I have not made any effort to start and regularly update the progress of my build on this site.

I have thoroughly enjoyed following along with so many of you folks and your building experiences I thought it was time to pay it forward if you will with my build.

A quick story of about me getting started. Last fall through my friends and kids, we gave my wife the opportunity to be the airport hero and get me an -8 tail kit for my birthday. Well when my birthday was done she didn't come through with my thoughtful gift. But she didn't exactly say no either. She just felt she wasn't capable of making all the decisions that come with ordering such a thing.

So...... with all my best intentions, last February I thought it would be a great idea to get her an -8 tail kit for her birthday.  continue

Color PIREP ...Andrews, GA

Not a mirror image....actually two people.

'Rocks' and 'Plaster' sporting their Navy-colored VAF caps.
Gold bars, white lettering, Navy wings on back. (ex A-7 guys)



Wed Oct 30  1154z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Our RV Friend Bob Axsom Has Passed Away

The RV community mourns the loss of a talented aircraft builder, air racing aficionado and VAF Forum contributor (5,700+ posts).  While we miss our online friend, Bob is with his beloved Jeanine again.  Tailwinds to Race #71.  dr

Bob and Jeanine in happier times (Jeanine passed in Jan 2012)

(from Paul Dye) 
The next time you turn on your GPS and see a terrain map....or look at your Synthetic Vision on your fancy EFIS....I want you to think of Bob Axom. Bob was an important engineer at JPL when they built a radar system called SRTM (Space Radar Topography Mapper). We flew that monster payload on STS-99 and mapped (topographically) all the dirt on the planet between 60 degrees North and 60 degrees south. That data set will serve as the basis for ALL topographic mapping for the next 100 years.

Bob was instrumental to making that work. A racer? Yup - he did that too - but I will be forever grateful for what he did before he retired.

Bob already knows the way to Heaven - he helped map it.

RV-7 Checkout Completed! ...John Courte

There is no person I'm more grateful to at this moment than Mike Seager. Last week I had some of the most intense days of flight training since getting ready for my PPL checkride back in 1998.

I am not a very experienced pilot, and there are those who might justifiably argue that the RV-7 is too much airplane for me. On Tuesday morning, I would have agreed wholeheartedly. Constant speed props are new to me, using an EFIS in flight is new to me, and the RV-7 is about as far from the 115hp Citabria as the Model T is from the AC Cobra. At least that's how it seemed at the time.

it soon became apparent to me that flying a Citabria through a lot of power-off approaches at Compton airport is not the same thing as working the RV-7 by the numbers, and the first day left me with an impression of "wow, I suck at flying." Everyone said, "oh, you're flying a Citabria, the RV will be a breeze, it's much easier than the Citabria." I didn't find that to be the case at all.

This is why I can't thank Mike enough. He got me up to speed with not only the basic airmanship skills that had degraded over time, but with getting out in front of the rapid succession of tasks and checks the RV demands in pattern work.

Once I was able to get ahead of the airplane, the experience was much more enjoyable. I could appreciate the way it flew and the way it felt to be the one flying it.

I won't say or pretend that by the time we were done, I had it nailed. I can operate the RV-7 safely enough, but there is room for improvement: I tend to overcontrol, which is a big problem with something as responsive as the RV. I still need plenty of practice doing takeoffs and landings. I spend more time inside the cockpit than I'd like, but that will decrease when I learn my engine's sounds at various power settings.

Like Mike says, never be satisfied with "good enough." Always do better. Thanks to Mike, I now have the opportunity to do better in my own airplane in the very near future. And Mike, if you're reading this, I promise to remember the flaps on base and not to try to land by looking over the nose.

It wasn't all a constant stream of testing Mike's patience with my ineptitude; we stopped at Van's Aircraft to drop off some paperwork and I got the nickel tour of the Mothership! And flying over NW Oregon in the fall on a sunny day is one of the most breathtaking experiences I've ever had. The countryside is amazing to see. I wish I'd been able to take some pictures, but I had other things to attend to just then.

RV-14 Fuselage Kit Update....factory FB page

RV-14 Fuselage Kits….Our Engineering crew is working diligently to prepare all the plans pages and make finishing touches to individual parts drawings. Once that’s done, the parts drawings can go to our Production department and then on to shipping. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work that goes into getting these kits ready to go out the door. We really appreciate everyone’s patience while we make it happen.

While it’s still a bit early to pinpoint a ‘launch’ date for the RV-14 Fuselage Kit, we’re hoping to ship the first of the Fuselage kits very early in 2014 (Jan-Feb). As we progress with the kit, we’ll provide more definitive information.

Thanks for your patience!
Van’s Crew

2013 Summer is over ...Vlad



Tue Oct 29  0955z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

On the workbench at Avery Tools.
Just like an episode of 'How It's Made'.
click to enlarge)

The Big Flight ...Dgamble

I doubt if I am alone in this: during the building of my airplane, there were a number of people who lent support throughout the entire process. One of those for me was/is my father. Without his intervention, my project would have never left the ground, both figuratively and literally. As many of you probably know, my overall build time was increased by a factor of roughly 25% simply because every single time I worked on the airplane, I wrote about it.

The primary purpose of that writing was self-aggrandizement, of course , but nearly as important was keeping my dad up to date on the progress of the build, if for no other reason than it gave him something to talk about with his buddies at the track during the morning horse training sessions.

Not surprisingly, I often thought of the day when I would be able to give him a ride in the airplane that he made possible. That opportunity arose yesterday. Not only was this his first time seeing the plane in all of its splendidly colorful glory, it was also the first cool, clear, and smooth flying weather that would ensure a comfortable, low stress ride.  continue

If you arrived late morning...

Happy Halloween VAF Style

Status (RV-7) ...Gil Brice



Mon Oct 28  1143z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

   Morning!  Pictures from the Petit Jean fly-in this weekend are starting to trickle in. By the looks of them it was a really good time.  Bill S. texted me that all customer-flying RV-models were represented.
  Segueing into surface transportation, might someone reading this happen to work at a Ford dealership?  I have a question or three regarding the F-150, and am trying to get my ducks in a row before the boy takes over my Ranger in a couple years (yes, he already calls it 'his' truck).
  Hope you had a great weekend and that your Monday goes swell.

The ramp at the Petit Jean RV fly-in / campout on Saturday.

Petit Jean RV Flyin 2013 Pics

Bill S's PIREP

Safely Back Home from Petit Jean

Kate and I Flew to Lunch

Eagle's Nest--the good, the bad, and the ugly

With a Norwegian -7 across Sweden and to a Swedish Island
  Fall has arrived in Norway and it's time to look back at this seasons cross-country flights. The wifey and me had some very nice trips in our trusty -7 so I want to share one with you; when we went to a Swedish Island named "Řland", situated just outside the SE coast.

Another RV-8 cabin heat option

RV Plates

Oil leak
  I have an oil leak. It originates between the crank case halves just above the oil pan/intake plenum. Will torqueing these bolts a bit more seal this or is it a bigger problem?

Donations list updated this past Sunday...this small business owner (and family) thanks you



Sat Oct 26 1941z SPECIAL ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

(from the Petit Jean '13 RV Fly-in)

Fri Oct 25 2018z SPECIAL ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
The TeenFlight RV-12 Auction ends early, as it sold for the 'Buy It Now' price of $105K.  The money is being used to fund a new RV-12 kit, to be constructed by another group of eager teens!   fmi: www.VansAircraft.com

...from the factory.




Fri Oct 25  1142z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Scott/Charlie's RV-14 wing resting in their pretty amazing shop. (click to enlarge)

First Flight: MarkW RV-9

Received my Air worthiness yesterday morning and spent the rest of the day putting it back together and getting another weight. 1081#. 6 pm with the weather calm and the traffic low and no one around I snuck it out for about 6 laps around the pattern 1500' and 142 knots for engine break-in. Temps were great and plane needed no trimming. Only squawk was no sidetone on the radio or at least I could not hear it with the RPM's up. Man is that a pain to talk on the radio when you can not hear yourself. Did not have time for a glamour shot but hear is one after I put it back in the hanger.

Work Day ...hydroguy2

Mike, my Supervisor said we needed to go to a Emergency Action Plan meeting for 2 of the upstream Dams. He said he would leave Helena about 0800, be at my place around 0830, so we could make the 1000 meeting in Ennis MT. 2hrs each way for him, 1.5hrs for me. Yuck. The weather has been fabulous lately, so I mentioned, how about I pick you up at KHLN and we zip down there in the RV.
(continue / pics)

E-Mag Isnitions PIREP: Smokey Ray

I recently was blessed with a pair of new E/P-Mags from RV4Bill. I mailed them back to Brad Dement at E-Mag Ignitions to have the latest upgrades installed as they were from the original lot ("block" for us F16 guys)

Brad completed the upgrade but let me know that the E-Mag was no longer produced due to sales overwhelmingly supporting the P version (a $350 upgrade). So, he simply upgraded my E to a P gratis, thanks to my service and involvement in missions. As I told him, "I'm speechless"! As tough as it is to maintain a small business (much less aviation related) in our current economy only accentuates the gesture. Brad also donates directly to this site with any new purchase. Needless to say I am a customer for life.

Anyone who goes above and beyond the call deserves thanks and support. E-Mag Ignitions certainly have mine...

Eagle's Nest Projects - One student, One school, One community at a time

(R.E. Butcher) Please join us in welcoming Denbigh HS Aviation Academy to Eagle's Nest Projects growing family of campuses, and take a moment to view the short YouTube video of their ribbon cutting ceremony. You'll have a better day after watching the video... I promise!

Fuel stain on carb - normal?

During my last oil change I noticed a bit of blue staining around the nut on the bottom of the carb (I'm not sure what it's called). I think it's probably been gradual enough that I just haven't noticed it before, and it doesn't seem to be much of a weep or leak, but what might cause it and what should I do, if anything, to address it?

From Trio Avionics, Inc.

"We are now including our fuel management system and Auto-Trim feature in the basic $2,995 price for the Pro Pilot and the GX Pro."   fmi: www.trioavionics.com



Thu Oct 24  1149z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Flying in to Mustang Island, Port Aransas, TX ...Jay Honeck video

Finally got round to mounting the GoPro on the wingtip facing forward for a flight into our lovely home 'drome. No aerobatics this time, just a pretty flight down the ship channel from Ingleside (KTFP) to Mustang Beach (KRAS). Other than a little jello effect, I think it turned out well.

FS- Surplus Avionics, Garmin, King, TruTrak, etc ...Stein

"We have some more surplus goodies for sale at reduced prices. Note that I’ll be adding to this list over the next week so check back as items will be added/removed. As always, first come first serve – prices are cash/check and shipping is not included. Here’s what we have."

My ELT activated in-flight causing panic to family and friends

So yesterday was my son's birthday. He is at university in Winston-Salem, NC so I figured I'd fly down from Philadelphia in the AM, have lunch and be back by sunset. Due to headwinds, flight was planned for 2 hrs and 40 mins. Apparently 40 minutes into the flight my 406 Mhz ELT activated. This ELT also has GPS data as well. This prompted the Air Force SAR Center in Florida to call my listed contacts. Needless to say my contacts got very spun up. Thankfully I was in the system, using flight following in continuous contact with the many ATC centers along my route. IN ADDITION, I had my APRS tracker operating.

My upset fiancee called my flying buddies who quickly went online to view my APRS track and also FlightAware. The APRS track data gave everyone some comfort that i was likely not in peril. In the meantime when I landed 2 hours after the activation, my cell phone was loaded with missed calls and text messages. With that I tuned to 121.5 and sure enough, I could hear the distress tone. I immediately hit the reset button and it silenced. BTW - Return flight was uneventful with a nice tailwind - home in 2 hrs. Monitored 121.5 the whole way home when I could.

So help me with a few questions:

1) What would cause my ELT to activate in flight? Air was smooth, no turbulence.
2) I appreciate the matter of urgency the Air Force has when reacting to a distress signal, but why don't they contact the FAA too? I was in the system, the FAA could have provided some info as well as contacting me to silence the beacon.
3) I called the Air Force for further information as to how the event was handled. They told me my beacon was received by the satellite with my GPS coordinates. I asked whether they received multiple locations given that I was moving and at a steady altitude. Their comment was that they received one alert and then acted, when another alerts were received (AFTER ANOTHER SATELLITE PASS) they said that they tend to assume one of the locations was in ERROR!!

Lessons learned:

1) Monitor 121.5 when possible during all flights.
2) I was very happy that I had my APRS tracker turned on - gave friends and family more data to understand my fate. Be sure to let family and friends know how to track you online.
3) A personal locator or APRS tracker is a great tool - however would love to be able to send and receive messages through the APRS tracker. SPOT has this feature which really allows for confirmation of situation.


From the mothership facebag page....



Wed Oct 23  1152z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

PVC Floor Lamp ...Moondog

Here's my PVC floor lamp. Since the hangar is not mine, I can't modify the lighting, so this works very well. It can be moved and positioned easily with one hand. And the owner, who graciously allows me to use his hangar at no charge, appreciates that I never turn on his sodium vapor lights.  more

TruTrak Announces New Ownership and Leadership

Springdale, AR October 22, 2013- "TruTrak Flight Systems is pleased to announce a new President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Barker. Andrew has been with the company since its founding and a partner with founder, Jim Younkin for seven years. Andrew and Jim have jointly designed every major TruTrak product. After more than 50 years working in aviation, Jim has decided to sell his portion of the company to the other existing owners and retire from TruTrak.

Along with this change, a new board of directors has been elected from within the company. The newly elected directors have been working as part of the management team for many years. Along with existing board members, Andrew Barker and Christina Peterson, there are two newly elected members, Carrie Barker and Lucas Massengale. These new directors will bring many years of knowledge and experience to the leadership of the company.

“We are very excited about this new direction and the opportunities that will be made available with this new management team.” said CEO Andrew Barker “ The future of TruTrak is brighter than ever, and we have many new ideas that we are currently pursuing.”

Founded in 1999, TruTrak is a leader and innovator in the experimental and light sport aircraft autopilot market. TruTrak has designed and manufactured many cutting edge autopilots and the now standard autopilot servo for use in this market."

fmi: www.trutrakflightsystems.com

Lots of fun with L-29 - Pitts and RVs

Another successful Rotax engine start ...Brent Connelly (NJ)

Introducing Garmin Tactix Watch


October is online

Expired SikaFlex Products - an experiment ...Bruce Swayze

I have something interesting to share with everyone. I'm getting ready to install the rear window on my RV-7A. While digging through my stuff in the shop the other day, I pulled out my leftover SikaFlex supplies from my tip-up canopy job that I did back in April, 2012. That was over a year-and-a-half ago. I used less than one tube of Sika 295 UV on my tip-up canopy. The leftover cartridge has about 2" of material left in it and has been sitting on my shelf for 1-1/2 years. I figured it would have cured hard as a rock a long time ago. It expired in Jan 2013, 10 months ago. So out of curiosity I got out my tin snips and cut open the cartridge. Imagine my surprise when I found the material inside as soft, fresh-smelling, and gooey as brand new! continue



Tue Oct 22  1152z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

(from this thread)

Filled out my first NASA report yesterday ...N546RV

Short story: I may have inadvertantly slipped into the Atlanta class B. I didn't get a phone number or anything upon returning to PDK, so I imagine I'm probably OK. Still, there are lessons to be learned about complacency here.

The long version sort of starts about a year ago. My partner's nieces were in town, and she'd asked me if could take them up for a little sightseeing flight locally. I ended up calling that flight at the last minute because the winds were pretty stiff that day. Since then, I've wanted to take them up another time they were in town, and this weekend was the perfect time.

My plan for the flight was pretty simple: Take off, head over to Stone Mountain, run up to Lake Lanier, and then back home. A short local flight, and not really going anywhere I haven't gone plenty of times before. Well, sort of...while I've flown around Lanier and used it as a practice area frequently, I've never really specifically flown around Stone Mountain for sightseeing. Let's call this mild unfamiliarity factor #1continue

Crack in the inside corner of the left fuselage skin (F-1270L)

After 260 hrs., I have an approx. 1.5” long crack in the inside corner of the left fuselage skin (F-1270L) where the Upper Firewall (F-1201A) meets the Firewall Shelf (F-1201B). See photos:

Old RCAF paint shema

Mentoring those with 'the spark'.....update

Petit Jean Five Day Update ....the last one ....see you there! (Bill S.)

Wow, we thought this week would never get here …. And we only hoped the 4 day forecast could be this good! (not saying that out loud yet but it’s OK in small italic’s :-) The Petit Jean RV Gathering is upon us and it’s going to be a heck’uva good time. I think it’s going to be a very special weekend. Hikers are going to love mid-60’s and dry hiking weather and the rest of us are going to love just sitting around the campground and doing what we do best …. talking RVAviating, meeting a new RVAviator type friends, and catching up with last years “new” now old RV friends. Based on continuous email updates and virtually no cancellations so far, we are expecting a full house….. please work with us and remember it’s all about the gathering. We would still ask the courtesy of an email if you do cancel later this week but we have already committed for meals and we’re ready to rock and roll. (see attached chart for anticipated aircraft types … those darn narrow bodies (RV8’s) are still leading the charge…. Cooome oonnn 7a’s and where’s that 3?)

We have attached an ARRIVAL document and we would ask that you review it closely. Also attached is the Grub Hub document which might be important to you …. It’s the rough agenda (not that we really have one) and a briefing on ETA, ETE, and ETDs. (That would be Estimated Time of Appetizers, Estimated Time to Eat/Entertainment, and Estimated Time for Desert!) We would have had a ETF (Estimated Time to Fly) but we’re not sure we’ll have time for that J Obviously, we will provide the lat/long coordinates to dial into your GPS (GroceryPositioningSensor) so that you know where the rest of your buddies are chowing down!

So let me leave you with a few thoughts:

1. First of all …. do PLAN on having a good time! We’re all here to have fun and it’s nothing more than an all-volunteer gathering of friends. Thanks in advance for your help! One of the nice things about Petit Jean is that you can actually be part of the crew! Our only rule here is …. If someone needs help… please help J It’s supposed to be the easiest fly-in in town!

2. Do read the ARRIVAL document. There is no taxiway so please pay attention to the radio and listen for advisories. AirBoss Jerry (Homie) Homsley will be on 122.9 – call at least 10 NM out.

3. There will be a parking crew in yellow vests to guide you in. Be careful of prop blast, we will push to final parking positions.

4. We are supposed to have 4,000 gallons of fuel in the hopper this year! Fuel should not be a problem.

5. This whole show gets set up starting early Friday morning and the field is empty by Sunday at noon. IF you get there before we do … and 6 did last year! Just hang on… we coming!

6. Our SWAG WX system says the weather is looking good with calm winds but please bring Tie-Downs anyway and chocks if you need them.

7. It could be cool at night on the lake but we will have plenty of firewood.

8. All meals are well covered but you might want to bring your favorite beverage just in case what we have doesn’t match your taste ….. (it is a state park but ….)

IF YOU”RE HIKING …. Please review the trail info so you know where you would like to go: Trails, maps, and more : http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/things_to_do/trails_overlooks.aspx

On behalf of local EAA Chapter 165 North Little Rock, EAA Hot Springs, and the MidSouthRVators… we are all looking forward to your arrival! Smile for the camera’s!

See’ya Friday and fly safe!

Bill S



Mon  Oct 21  1154z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

It's Not Always About The Flying ...Scott Mills
  The one thing Deb and I have learned in our eight years of flying 339A, is that the RV is more than just a vehicle for transportation. We've made many good friends as a result of this hobby. On that note, Deb has always been a big fan of the autumn season and while at LOE this year, we bemoaned the fact that we hadn't had a hangar movie night in quite a while. Gary made a suggestion to do something for Halloween. Like Dracula on a plate of warm liver, Deb seized upon this idea and set about making plans for a Halloween-themed hangar party. Welcome to the first annual Mills/Zilik "Hangar-ween" Bash.
  We had a great response to our invitation with a total of 31 adults, 3 kids, and a dog in attendance. This included current builders from the Denver and Colorado Springs area, some non-aviation friends, and two of our favorite out-of-state fly-in fiends (I mean friends), Jim "Jimmy B" & Vicki Baker.  continue

  Officially an airplane builder.  The 15 year old plastic film comes right off. I wonder if the older clear stuff is somehow less of a problem than the blue stuff.

Fall Colors ...rzbill
  Diane and I woke to a beautiful CAVU Sunday morning.  We decided to go to the Runway Cafe at GMU for lunch.  more

Jasper, TX Race results

Grove, OK Air Race 10-26-13

Welcome Experimental Goodies
   ...new VAF advertiser
Experimental Goodies (EG) is based out of Huntsville, Alabama and is owned by two Engineers who have a passion for flying and building experimental aircraft. During the building phases of their aircrafts and being the engineers that they are, they were looking at ways to automate some of the functionality within the experimental market to include the automation of controlling the oil temperature on an aircraft without having to continuously adjust the oil cooler air shutter or air box door. In addition they saw a need for the controlling of other equipment such as cowling doors and cabin heat vents without having to install the old method of push/pull cables into the avionics panel. With this in mind, the first product, an Oil Temperature Controller (OTC) was developed and tested. Other products such as an RC servo-to-RAC servo converter currently under development will allow the interface of other worm driven servos such as the Ray Allen servos to allow controlling larger oil cooler controls such as those in the Vans RV10. EG is always looking for new experimental products to develop and wecomes any suggestions that might be of interest to the experimental market.
fmi: www.experimentalgoodies.com

Charity Hat Sighting ...DMZ

Best way to fix this
  Looking for suggestion on how to fix this crack where the fiberglass meets the metal.

Living the Dream - An RV Weekend ...Peter McCoy trip write-up

Here we go again...  Six flights, three passengers and 4.2 hours logged makes for a great weekend in the RV!

#1 - Flew the wife and our family dog up to Big Bear (L35).
#2 - Flew down from Big Bear to Ramona, CA (KRNM)
#3 - Motivational flight for fellow 9A builder, Bruce Hill. Nothing better then paying it forward by taking up a fellow builder who is still pounding rivets.
#4 - Back up to Big Bear to spend the night at our cabin.
#5 - Early morning sight seeing flight for my friend Mark Rosenfeld. What an awesome morning to fly around Big Bear. Cool temps and no wind. Amazing.
#6 - The wife and I flew home to Chino. Moved my plane from Cable to Chino a couple of weeks back.  continue

RV Plates

RV8's over Kyle Field Today

Your best shot on the ground .

OK, I reluctantly joined the club today


Re-Birthday flight

A year ago today I was lying in an ICU, hooked up to a ventilator, with a crew of puzzled docs trying to figure out why I was dying and they were seemingly unable to stop it. Fortunately, they did figure it out in time for emergency mitral valve replacement surgery to save my sorry life.

Today I got up, had coffee with my amazing wife, went shopping for some nice wine, went to the hangar and went flying in my RV6A, now named "Second Wind" in honour of my new lease on life. By choice, it was a solo flight, with time to reflect on all that has transpired over this past year, and how lucky I am to be here. Cracked a celebratory beer back at the hangar after.

Tomorrow night our family will celebrate my "Re-birthday" with a special meal and a couple of bottles of particularly nice wine we've been saving for the occasion. Life is good!
Gerry Julian
Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
RV6A "Second Wind" C-GERZ (born N242UL)

Clean Floor / Happy Floor
   A thrifty and productive Friday.  $2 in Zep floor cleaner and a friend's rotary floor scrubber and burnisher.  Three hours later and 25% of the hangar (my CPA calls it a rental property for tax purposes - I have renters) is all nice and pretty.  I did my corner first.  It'll take some time, but the floor is going to look sweet.  Only out about $10 for a bottle of floor degreaser and some electricity.  Going thrifty for a bit, compensating for the son's recent stitches bill, has its up side.  What is it about a clean hangar floor that is so appealing?  I gotta say I stared at that floor smiling longer than I would have had I flown.  Neat freaks of the world unite!
  Oh yeah, and good morning! 



Fri Oct 18  1154z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
  I woke up this morning wondering what the splash image would be for the weekend.  Then I saw this vid AX-O posted of the Chiefs/Raiders flyover looking backwards.  Well that was an easy decision!  Grabbed a frame.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  

First RV 10 project in Chile
   ...welcome Jorge Arrue of Santiago (and a great idea for a shop!)

Dear friends, I wanted to show the first Rv 10 project in chile. We did the work shop based on a 40 feet container.  We are building the vertical stabilizer and the rudder.  We hope many tips for having a successful home built aircraft.


Instrument Panel Plan ...Justin Twilbeck SolidWorks model

I used rub-down transfers for...

...my panel. Worked very well. I used Visio to generate the artwork. Note that the page sizes used are often standard photo sizes, i.e. 8x10, 11x14, etc., not printer paper sizes. Make multiple copies of each transfer so you have a spare if you mess up installation. Nest things like an old model decal sheet to maximize use of area. I actually did not put a clear coat over mine as I found I never actually touch the legends and it makes modifications easy. A toothpick or similar can scrape off the old legend if you want to change a switch function. (you can see the CB I changed). Of course, install the legends before you mount the switches.

Flightline Interiors new product

Flightline Interiors is now offering an avionics cover for your tip-up canopy to protect your avionics.  Please visit our website on the Accessories page to read more about this product www.flightlineinteriors.com, email at flightline@tds.net or call 262-364-6166.

Thank you!

First Flight Suspected Engine Failure Video

Below is a link to the video from inside the cockpit of my first flight a few months back. If you watch the dynon you will see a dramatic rise in the CHT and then it suddenly falls off. The EGT's on the right also acted very odd however that was a settings error in the way the sensors were reading. After this 3 minute flight we spent 3 days digging into everything imaginable trying to find a solution. After talking with numerous A&P's, Superior as well as a well known engine builder who is local we determined the Number 1 Cylinder fuel line was partially blocked during takeoff, as i turned crosswind the Cylinder became fully blocked which made the cylinder loose power and drop off, this also reduced the overall RPM by nearly 1000rpm. Almost immediately the cylinder cleared itself and returned to normal operations unknown to me at the time. The aircraft flew for 85 hours without a single incident until it was sold a few weeks ago.

Please critique, I would love to hear what others think of the diagnosis or how the situation was handled. Since I am starting a new aviation career next year this could help out significantly.



Thu Oct 17  1146z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Fish eye lens.  Chiefs/Raiders flyover.  (pic credit)

By popular request I'll be...

(Walt) ...bringing my prop balancing equipment if you feel like doing that as an extra curricular activity instead of hiking.  [ed. The Petitt Jean Mountain RV Fly-in]

Left timing pin in magneto and turned the prop - what now?

(John Courte) I've been debating bringing this up here, because it's truly embarrassing and the kind of thing that doesn't reflect well on my skills as a builder.

Last Saturday when I was retiming my mags (rt mag way off, lots of afterfiring) I left the timing pin inserted in the distributor block when I went to pull the prop through for buzz box timing. At this point, the right mag is totally inop. No backfiring or other indication that it's even working at all.

The "timing pin" in question was only a 3/32 pop rivet, but it was bent up pretty good when I finally extracted it.

What happens now? Have I ruined the magneto and just bought myself a $1000 lesson in checklists and details? In your experience, what's the usual damage from this kind of event?

Control Room Video ....Chiefs/Raiders flyover

A day in the sun ...how the flight came together.

Network Upgrading October 19th, 2013 10pm CT - 11pm CT

(from my ISP)  "...Infrastructure team will be continuing the Data Center Modernization project on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 beginning at 10pm CT.  ISP connectivity will be intermittent for up to one (1) hour during this event.  Thank you."



Wed Oct 16  1146z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

2013 donation list status.

Sorry to start your day here with a commercial - I'll keep it short.  No emails.  No junk mail.

1,379 donations sent in during 2013 as of yesterday (7.6% if you compare it to the 18,026 registered forum accounts - 3% if you use all the I.P. addresses hitting the site, which would include 'lurkers').  We are 78.6% done with the year.

We're doing OK and paying the bills, but I need to remind folks to please pay sometime during the year if this site is part of your usual internet scan.  College bills looming.  VAF is an American small business and everything we have is riding on it - the state of our economy isn't helping! 

Back to your regular site...and thanks for donating if you already have.  If you choose not to donate and don't fit into one of the exempt categories, my mom is going to come beat you up.

How to donate / exempt categories 

TeenFlight RV-12 Auction

...auction ends 6pm Pacific Time Friday, Nov 1, 2013.  Current high bid on the factory front page (link).


(more photos)

Eleven Minutes Away by RV… ...Paul Dye

Alpine County Airport (M45) is just a hop skip and an RV-jump away from our new home site here in Dayton valley, NV. Just across the border in California, it is just a couple of miles from Markleeville, but seems as remote as you can get. There is nothing but a long paved runway and a tie down area – plus an unimproved camping area.  continue

Small town air shows are fun for everyone ...Hans Miesler video

GREAT Video of the Chiefs/Raiders RV Flyover

(Brent Taylor) "Americans historically and by nature have always found a way to overcome adversity. Yesterday in KC, at Arrowhead Stadium, that can do American spirit was on full display. Not able to call on our military for flyovers of events, due to budget battles and politics, a group of civilian pilots put together the largest formation flyover (49 aircraft) of any sporting event in history. Add to that the fact, these were aircraft constructed from kits (RV's) by individuals in their workshops, hangars and garages makes this even more impressive. But wait there's more !! All the aircraft trailed pink smoke as they flew over as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  To all who were involved in making this happen........Well done, very well done indeed !!!"

[ed. Grand slam gang!!!!!   I sent that clip to my whole family tree.  Outstanding!!!  dr]

Petit Jean Update ...from Bill S.

So here are some highlights above and beyond the usual just plain hell'uva good time with your friends:

· We will have flight bags of goodies for the first 60 airplanes to arrive. Better than last year and last year was really good …. Remember the BMW flashlights, coolers, cups, and other stuff!

· We will have parking directors on golf carts so please follow them. We would like to have a spotter with any running aircraft while in the ramp area.

· Friday arrival lunch (12-2:30) will be some very special grilled “on the spot” sandwiches made to order while you smell it on the grill!

· Friday night dinner (6:30 PM) will be a large Italian Spread with da’ salad, da’ pasta, da’ meat sauce, da’ lasagna, da’ ziti, and da’ desert J We are expecting 140 for dinner in the StockBarn Room at the Rockefeller Conference Center. There will be a cash bar for those that like to bar J .

· After dinner we’ll …… well, we’ll tell you when you get there J

· After that, we will have live entertainment with our favorite singer Randy Mason. Dancing and singing until you drop or… hang around the campfire and visit while you watch the stars….it’s beautiful !

· Saturday Breakfast ( 7:00 to 9:00) is at the Conference Center. We will have a very light continental breakfast at the campground but we encourage campers to jump in the transport vans and come on over where the real spread is!

· Saturday Lunch (11:30 – 2:00) is at the campground.

· Saturday night dinner (5:30 PM) will be a southern style BBQ at the campground with pulled pork, ribs, potato salad, and all the fixings. Some kinda chocolate suicide thing for desert J

· Before Dinner Saturday night, we will be playing Tail Number Bingo for some really nice prizes including a $1,000 gift certificate …. From Tru-Trak Flight Systems, and a $200 gift certificate for a smoke system from Hensley Smoke Systems to mention a few.

· Sunday Southern Style Breakfast (7:30 – 9:00) will be at the Campground. Bacon, Eggs, Sausage & Biscuits, Breakfast Tacos, Coffee, Muffins, etc.

· We will collect for all meals and ramp/camp fees at registration so you won’t have to mess with it again. (Refunds of course if you leave early)

Just some reminders:

· As always …. This is a 100% volunteer RV group effort so any and all “helper” volunteers are greatly appreciated!

· Transport will be available running on a continuous loop to the lodge and scheduled to the trails. We have around 50 folks going to the trails so far.

· We will have water available for hikers but you will need to carry it yourself J

· Firewood will be available for campers courtesy of EAA Hot Springs but it’s not unlimited. If it gets cold…. an extension cord and a heated blanket are nice J

· There are five large campsites with a table and electricity and we generally put 4 to 5 around each of them. First come first serve. Nearby wooded area is available for overflow.

· All meals are available on site but if you have special needs you might want to bring it.

· We can’t have visible alcohol at the campground or Conference Center ……. !! (State Park Regulations)

· We will have coolers, ice, and cozies … J

· We will have a lot of chairs but I would bring folding chairs if you have room.

· We will have 100LL fuel available on the airport.

· PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO BRING TIEDOWNS! About half the parking is in the grass! We have large hammers

fmi: Thread on Petit Jean '13

Should I replace?



Tue Oct 15  1144z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

'Dressing' the 48-ship RV Flyover Prior to the Chiefs vs Raiders Game
   ...3min 33sec video.   [ed. Watch every second of this! dr]

"Instead of being in the formation, my wife and I got to dress the formation prior to going over the stadium. Here is my perspective starting 2 minutes prior to pink smoke on!  ....I am having to locate the problem plane, then find them on the diagram to get their call sign, then dress them on the radio, while looking up. Definitely some of the coolest flying I have ever done!"

 Video clip of Team AeroDynamix flyover @ Charlotte Motor Speedway
   ...link emailed to me by Virginia Reeves (my mom)

More Pics of the 48-ship flyover

- Bob Mills (I)

- Bob Mills (II)

About the Smoke System Used ...Bob Mills

Chino to Santa Rosa ...pmccoy

Since the 9A has been completed, I have been taking most of the flights with friends or fellow pilots. My wife had not been to big on the idea of flying in what she likes to call 'Alpha|Bravo' or "aluminum bitch".

This past weekend may have been a turning point. For the first time she went with me for a long cross country. We flew from Chino to Santa Rosa.  continue

Van writes an article on the future of GA

Petit Jean Mountain 2013 RV Gathering Registration Update

fmi: event thread

E-Z Out Console Caddy from Aircraft Extras, Inc. ...from Rich Meske
Please go to www.aircraftextras.com to check out this product and the rest of our standard products!

Charity Cap PIREP ...and charity picked.

(Tom Guzman)  I ordered a couple of hats with your VAF logo for my wife and me several weeks ago from Embroidery King. Talking via email with Ana at Embroidery King was pleasant enough but I still wasn't quite sure how the actual transaction would proceed or if I would even like the hats. Well I'm pleased to report that they were ready to receive my payment over the phone and the person that I spoke to even knew that I would be calling. I was surprised at the excellent customer service. In keeping with your request, I have made a donation to the Shriner's Hospitals for Children. By the way, Shriner's is set up to take Paypal donations. Thanks for your efforts with the website. I have a good place picked out for a picture for the “hat sighting” thread but I’m waiting for them to turn off the fusion reactor...

SD card wallet storage on the cheap

There are some existing products out there that do this, but I'm not spending $7+S/H for one piece of plastic.  Not on something I can use an old ATM card for.  Drew a line around the SD card, then cut out with a scalpel.  One piece of tape across the back to hold it in place.

Every six months or so I walk around the house with a camera and take pictures of each room and closet.  Garage.  Hangar.  Those 20 or so pictures are on the card also, in case the house is lost to fire/tornado/etc and I need a accurate record of what we had in there for insurance.

1 piece of tape across the back to keep the card from falling out.

New 'Left Seat': Is the Homebuilt Fleet Growing?

"One of the few specific indicators of E-AB building is the counter on Van’s website that shows the number of RVs completed and flying. That number was 8,424 on Monday, October 14, but even that is not a complete statistic because it represents only the Vans builders who report finishing the airplane. I would think most RV builders add their airplane to the counter, but certainly some don’t."



Mon Oct 14  1152z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Gary Sobek sent me this pic.  RV flyover at the Chiefs/Raiders game.

iPhone pic of my TV showing the RV flight getting worked into the show.
Click to enlarge.

More video and pics of the flyover:
- Found a site with video clips
- More pics
- A WONDERFUL DAY OF FLYING ...Rosie pic links
- Rockwoodrv9 pic link

N410BL - Flies! ...R.Leffler
About 5pm at KDLZ, N410BL took it's first flight with me as the pilot. Geoff Combs, Phil Newlon, Renee Leffler, Zac Holcomb, Lynn Coriell assisted me with the first flight. I did a couple touch and goes with Geoff in his RV-10, then it was my turn. I want to thank everyone that helped me todaymany pics

Surplus Avionics, Garmin, King, TruTrak, etc ...Stein

Canopy Mistake
  Ok, I've messed up! I drilled the front latch hole (for C-409) through the canopy frame and into the instrument panel (F-403). The problem is I managed to align the hole exactly with the nutplate that attaches the fwd top skin (F-421). Anyone have any clever ideas how I can get myself out of this mess? I might be able to use a thin stop nut instead of the nutplate but I doubt it. In any case the screw and nut will interfere with the nylon block (C-410). I've included a few pictures to show my predicament.

More Team Aerodynamix

A true inflight emergency - a tale of true horror! ...and it's more common than you might think (military friends tell me this)

Concrete arrows (airmail route)

RV-3 Modifications ...Paul Dye
  "After 300 Hours of flying our RV-3, I ran across these notes that i prepared early on to share with others who might be coming on along behind us....the file was lost in cyberspace all that time, but now it is found."

Teenager for 36 hours:
   ...that comes to $491.62.
  On the family front, Tate wiped out on his bike while terrorizing the neighborhood Saturday, enough to require four stitches in his left elbow at the local doc-in-a-box.  It's why we didn't get to watch the end of the TX/OU game on TV.  X-rays of pelvis and elbow, stitches, meds, replacement towels for the neighbor they knocked on the door of - call it a half grand out of pocket.  A couple of days back I showed you a picture of Tate flying the RV.  Today I thought I'd include a more recent one - he's smiling because they are done with the needles and thread.  Seven strawberries all down his left side, pretty much identical to the scars on me (apologies again to my mom, who I know will read this).  Circle of life and all that...
  Avgas budget blown for a while, maybe I'll just wash, wax and vacuum everything real good for a bit.  Hoping your weekend was a little less bloody than ours (rimshot).

PS:  That Chiefs/Raiders RV fly-over was jaw-dropping amazing.


Fri Oct 11  1145z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!

Dave Gamble RV-12 Status: Painted

Milestone: 18,000 Registered VAF Forum Accounts
   ...thanks for goofing off at work.  18,000 was David Burnham of Madison.  Username 'DaveN64FN'.

7A Status: Joe Gepner (Overland Park, KS)

Finished my vertical stabilizer tonight! Woohoo!  Step 1 complete, 99999 to go!

Guinness RV Formation Attempt 13 October 2013 ...Gary Sobek

The KC Flight Team is putting together a 48-RV flight over Arrowhead Stadium for the Cheif's vs Raider's game on Sunday 13 October 2013. It will be a BCA flight with everyone having PINK Smoke. TOT is 11:58 CDT if everything stays on schedule.


48 are signed up and should be in the air if no mechanical or other issues.

Last year, there were 17 Airplanes. fmi: http://kcflight.org/history.html

T-shirt draft...

IFR in the flight levels with the RV's? ...Bob Axsom

I got my instrument rating in 1984 and from 1988 through 2004 I flew to work daily in the Los Angeles basin an a Piper Archer II. Very stable airplane with an autopilot but I never used it. My wife Jeanine and I built out RV-6A from 1996 through 2004 when I retired. I decided that I never used the autopilot so I did not install one. I flew it for a year IFR that way. The workload to me was very demanding. After a particularly difficult approach to Winston-Salem, NC I knew I needed the autopilot and installed a TruTrak Pictorial Pilot and Altrac altitude hold - tremendous improvement.

I originally installed an SL-60 panel mount GPS nav/com, a SL-40 Com and a Terra Nav radio with an electronic display similar to the dual Bendix BX 2000 that was in the Archer. It worked and met the requirements for ILS, Localizer and VOR approaches but switching NAV frequencies to get step down fixes during approaches was not a pleasant experience in an airplanes that is as fast and maneuverable as the RV. To improve this I replaced the SL-40 with a SL-30 and an additional GS/LOC/WOR display.

Following a race in Llano. TX earlier this year there was a severe weather forcast for damaging hail in that area and the weather back at Fayetteville, Arkansas where I now live was forecast to be VMC. My solution was to file IFR and get on my way. No alternate was required and I only had 38 gallons of fuel and would have had to do some fine calculating to get to FYV do a missed approach fly to the alternate and still have 45 minutes reserve and the incoming weather did not permit me the time to do that. I did know that Springdale, Rogers and Northwest Arkansas Regional were nearby and I would have no trouble getting to them if necessary. As I neared Fayetteville I learned via ATIS that the airport was below approach minimums so I called Razorback Approach told them the situation and asked for the ILS approach to Springdale. I was told that both Springdale and Rogers ILS were out of service and that the only ILS available in northwest Arkansas was at XNA. I said that I needed to go to XNA and fly that approach. XNA ATIS was calling the ceiling at 300 and low visibility. I flew the approach in ragged form, knowing that this approach must be completed or ... there was no option. At 300 feet I saw the glow of the approach lights through the haze and everything worked out OK but it was not easy and it was not a routine confident flight operation. This experience should alert you to several things:

- RVs are not simple to fly IFR airplanes with a lot of performance margin.
- Some times the weather forecast is wrong.
- Actual conditions can be such that you have to rush to get airborne.
- Ground based navigational aids are not being maintained reliably
- Glass panel navigation is best probably but obsolescence and product support threats exist

Last week I flew to Waupaca, Wisconsin for another air race on Saturday 10-5-13 and the weather was marginal. I could go whenever I wanted and the weather was supposed to get worse later in the week so I decided to make the trip on Thursday. I had to decide whether to fly IFR or VFR and I said to myself just take the time and replan the flight for IFR. I found I could go direct to Razorback then V63 to Oshkosh at 7,000 feet. I thought I could land there or continue to Waupaca depending on conditions. I took off and all went well until northern Missouri. There, Kansas City Center told me they could give me a vector around some weather but they said there is a cell to the right and another to the left of your course and if you continue that line it appears you will avoid the bad weather. I said that I would just continue my current course. In the past I have scoffed at concerns for turbulence. I flew into this big solid white cloud on autopilot and the turbulence was so bad that I didn't know if the airplane would survive it. I had Jeanine's headset on with the thick leather and wool pad on top because my mic performance is getting marginal. At one point I was smashed into the canopy so hard that I might have been knocked out without it - I have hit my head in rough weather before but nothing like this. I did not know if this was the way my life would end in the next few minutes or not but I knew that I had to do my part correctly for any chance of survival. When I entered a momentary clearing I cancelled IFR and descended below the clouds around Hannibal, Missouri. There I could see the massive black formations on the left and right of my course and deviated north around the back of the one on the right and refueled at Burlington, Iowa, From there I flew at about 1,000 ft AGL to Waupaca deviating many times to avoid weather. More lessons learned.

IFR allows you to fly when the VFR only pilot is grounded but it can kill you. The ground elevation on this trip was around 800 feet. I the past two years have flown to your part of the country eight times (16 oneway flights) for races in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Reno (not as a racer) and there is no way I would fly there in IMC with an RV. The victor airways are not always the best routes for example, the direct route from Goodland, Kansas to Sheridan, Wyoming is much safer than Goodland - Cheyenne - Muddy Mountain - Crazy Woman - Sheridan

It is often said (by instructors especially) that getting an instrument rating will make you a better pilot. I say that it will demonstrate that you focused on a goal and persisted until you got the rating. I think it exposes you to additional knowledge and procedures but it is a transient skill that must be exercised regularly to maintain and it exposes the pilot to greater risks in exchange for the convenience.



Thu Oct 10  1137z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Tate Reeves: Teenager
  Our son turned 13 at midnight - we now have two teenagers (one in college).  What do you even say?  Pray for us (rimshot).  Happy Birthday my amazing, caring son.  You are a gift from Heaven and I'm the luckiest Dad in the world.

Patrolling the Texas airspace.  Nomex bad@ss Tate Reeves.

Area tightwads drop everything to buy dollar avgas...

As they should...

Just about the whole airport flew to San Marcos yesterday for .99 avgas.    They said it was wingtip to wingtip on the ramp down there.  1hr 45min wait for gas.  Kay in the -8A, Bob in the -4 and somebody (I think Stevens and Grody) in the -8.  Did I spell Grody right?

Old joke: You ever hear how copper wire was invented?  Two pilots got in an argument over a penny.

NationAir Visits theVanCave

Jenny Estes of NationAir Aviation Insurance is in DFW for the AOPA Summit, and stopped by the theVanCave (with Eric Van Hoff of U.S. Specialty Insurance Co.) for a quick visit in Eric's RV-4, followed by BBQ at the Hard Eight in Roanoke.  Rosie, I know you're jealous <g>.

LOE'13 Pics ...Russ Daves

Additional Pictures HERE

200kt GS Club Entry ...Bryan Douglas RV-10

Rivet Flight

Well, Central Ohio has a new four-ship. Rivet flight is: left to right Jim Wilson, Brent Owens, Rick Blaes, Dan Hempy.

We've been having a blast terrorizing the skies north of Columbus. We even did a local homecoming football game overflight a couple of weeks ago.

Lots of fun, lots of learning!

Dynon D2 Pics In Flight ...Rob Hickman

Here are some pictures of the new Dynon D2 in my RV-10. I replaced my D1 with the D2 in the RV-10 and it works awesome with WingX. I have the D2 permanently wired to the aircrafts power so it comes on with the avionics switch. The D2 is the perfect IFR backup, it will run on internal power for up to four hours and does not connect to the aircrafts Pitot or Static system.

I only have one complaint, it is too easy to remove from the plane and my neighbors keep borrowing it for their certified planes.

Exercise Bob's Plane For Him

RV-14 Build Status ...Tom 'propsync' Beiser (Tampa, FL)

Charity Hat Sighting ...Brian 'hydroguy2'

Kris and I at 8th grade football game with our star player Austin (grandson)



Wed Oct 9  1137z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Pano of Sid "ScrollF4" Mayeux's hangar.

(click to enlarge)

Land or Climba.k.a. I think I helped.

Pipeline N1234 is 7.1 miles out to the NNE inbound on one mag.  Straight in approach runway one seven.”  That was what I heard on the radio yesterday while on a two mile initial to runway 17 at my home field.  OK, let's do some quick thinking.  Do I hurry the landing, go straight through the pattern and exit to the south, climb, talk or stay silent?  Can I help?  While thinking about this for a few seconds, I got an update, “Pipeline N1234 is 6 miles out straight in one seven on one mag.”

Climb and talk was what I decided on.  If I hurried the landing, or had a blowout, or whatever, I could foul the runway this guy is counting on.  I don’t need the runway right now, so don’t use it.  Hanging around retired ex-military pilots has its benefits, I think.  The phrase one of them drove home one day at lunch came to me:  ‘Only chime in if you have information they NEED and don’t currently have.'  I had that - I was in the pattern and knew it was empty except for me, and I could see the whole runway.  Things a guy on one mag would probably want to know at an uncontrolled field.

“Pipeline with mag issue, RV is orbiting the field at 2,500’.  Pattern is empty, runway is clear.  High wing on the north run up area no factor.  Here if you need me.”   Now I shut up and let this guy deal with his issue.  From that short call he now knows:

1.  The pattern isn’t clobbered, or isn’t hiding a NORDO Cub.

2.  There is a plane on the run up area, and I’ll deal with it if they start to move.

3.  Eyeballs confirm the runway isn’t fouled.

4.  Where I am, and that I know where he is.

He chimed in with a ‘Thanks RV.  Four miles out.  One mag.’  I dialed up 121.5 on my standby freq, and turned my EFIS #2 to the dedicated traffic screen, zooming in to the 6nm range rings.  There’s his white triangle, 500' below me, right where he said he was.  I continue to shut up, and turn about 20 degrees to the right of where he is approaching from.  I can see another high wing on both the EFIS and with my eyeballs that is transitioning the area from north to south a little east of us.  I’ll keep an eye on that guy in case he turns toward the pattern.  The high wing on the ramp continues to stay put and off the radio - it might contain an instructor and student, and this is a teachable moment.

By this time I’m about two miles NE of the field and have a visual on the pipeline aircraft, mile and a half low at my 10 o’clock.  I begin a turn to the left to parallel his arrival.  I look for smoke (none).  He's keeping it high, but if he lands short I can make the call instantly.  I stay 1,500’ above him at his 5 o’clock until I see him touch down.  “Pipeline on the ground RV.  Thanks.”   Looked great.

Landed and taxied in, reflecting.  My .1hr flight turned into .2hrs.  Was it the right move?  I think so.  I know it was better than rushing my landing flow.  I was struck by just how much the dedicated traffic screen helped.  I was impressed I thought to preload 121.5 in standby, and that US Navy training material made it into the brain of a Baylor business school grad slash cubeworm.

Good experience for my knowledge bucket.  Especially the part about shutting up. 

Last sunny days ...Luke in Northern Italy

Grass field and RV-8 with a taste of VAF equipment ... what else ?

Here in Ozzano (Bologna-ITALY) in September.

VAF Charity Logo At Work ...Jeffrey Rich


Thanks to your friends at Embroidery King, my hat showed up in the mailbox today. Looking forward to wearing it when I take my kids (16 and 13) on their first GA flight in a 172 on Wednesday. (Too bad I didn't have it last Friday when I took my wife on her first GA flight.) Alas, we're still years away from finishing our RV-10. We just started in May, and the vertical stab and rudder are complete. Today was 5.5 hours of drilling and deburring the forward spar and spar caps for the horizontal stab.

But I digress.

I'm a pilot for UPS, and our in-house union, the Independent Pilots Association, has a charitable arm cleverly named the IPA Foundation. Its mission, copied straight from the web site is:

The IPA Foundation is dedicated to providing for the well being of children and their basic needs with a focus on making life changing differences for children with exceptional medical requirements.

Because the trustees are volunteers, the overhead costs are next to nil, so nearly every penny donated goes to a child in need. If you're interested in reading more, the web address is: www.ipapilot.org/foundation/default.asp

So, in keeping with your wishes, I just wrote out a check to the foundation.

I'm looking forward to taking some pictures with the hat on my travels around the world. I'll be sure a couple make it to you.

Thanks for such an outstanding resource. Keep up the great work.

Jeff Rich
VAF handle: Freightdawg

Our trip from KS to LOE'13 ...Ray Doerr

We had a blast on our trip from Gardner,KS to Loveland, CO for the LOE 2013 and then on Sunday we did a day trip to Leadville with our friends.

Birds at night ...Mike Elliott

It was a nice night tonight so I flew up to a local chapter meeting. On the return at 2500' I hit a bird! It miraculously made it thought the prop and hit the lower right cowl, flexed it enough to leave a 3" crack in the paint and maybe the fiberglass, I will not know till tomorrow.

I would like to know if anyone knows what kind of bird flies at night at this kind of altitude for the life of me I can't figure out what it might be. It had gray feathers, kind of like a pigeon.

I feel very lucky that it did not go through the canopy, I was thankful to have formation support, sort of. I flew with another guy from my airport, not night formation but 1.5 mile in trail I kept track of his strobe and we had altitude separation. Had I needed to make an emergency landing it was nice to have him there on the radio.

Ran through things logically, first, fly the plane, okay it is flying straight so no damage to control surfaces. Next, actually simultaneously scan engine instruments, all is normal. Next, fuel levels not sure if it hit the leading edge, actually in flight I thought it was maybe the wheel, I saw it just as it entered my landing lights and that sure was too late to react. So with everything normal, I made an uneventful landing and taxi back to sort out the damage.

We were only doing 125kts to save on the fuel burn so that sure helped minimize the damage. Any bird experts out there, I sure would like to hear from you! I just whet over 168 hours in my first 10 months of flying. I had my first main tire flat day before yesterday so someone really does not want me flying this week.

AoA Mystery – fixed, but not solved… ...Paul Dye

I love my AFS Pro AoA system. But about a month ago, I was beginning to think that “Betty” needed therapy – or at least needed to cut down on the caffeine. I was getting warnings on almost every base to final turn – and when I looked at airspeed, I was above the white arc! This didn’t make any sense. I traded notes with Rob at AFS, and he suggested checking for leaks, so I pulled the wingtip, pulled an EFIS so I could get at the brain box, and checked the hoses, What I found was that the upper (blue) hose was blocked – and no amount of compressed air would clear it.  continue

200kt GS Club ...Gary Sobek entry.

I had a 235 K Ground Speed over Lake Michigan once and wish I had a photo of that. I do occasional get a good tailwind..

Red Bull Air Races coming to Dallas, TX and Las Vegas in 2014



Tue Oct 8  1146z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Field of Yellow...seen yesterday at Richmond Aircraft Service in N.TX.
I thought it was a nice pic showing old and new.  dr

Rollout of N987J...Brice Johnson

Put all the last pieces together (except fairings) and had a mini roll out ceremony last Saturday! It is getting close now.

Wow it is a Tall Airplane Now! ...IowaRV9Dreamer

Nothing earth shattering in these photos, but I thought maybe they'd motivate someone.

Plug Cleaning

Yesterday I helped Randy clean some plugs.  If you've never seen how much crud you can scrape out during an annual, here is the stuff after 8 plugs.

The deposits...no, the dime didn't fall out of the plug ;^).

All cleaned, gapped and with anti-seize...ready for install.

Garmin D2 Pilot Watch ...tells time too!

After a storm ...

.......passed thru it cleared up Saturday evening in time to get a quick hours flight in. The colors that were, were now brown. Some still to change but it's not going to be a great year for colors here in the Rockies.

Cleveland, Texas Air Race Status ...10/12/12

Oct 15th is the Deadline ...possibly no 2014 calendar

HonorPoberezny.com ....brought to my attention by Dick VanGrunsven




Mon Oct 7  1136z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
  The spousal unit is visiting her mom and the son spent the night at a friend’s house, so I woke up Sunday morning and drove out to the airport for some ‘me therapy’. A front had passed through the day before, so it was 50°F and a million viz. Little traffic and the airport empty. Taquito and Dr. Pepper from Whataburger’s drive thru.
Ed Hicks photo.  I love the RV-6. If I get the trim just so during the pre-flight, there is a one or two second window there on the takeoff roll where the tail is up and tracking, the constant speed prop is hunting a bit to find its happy place, and the plane is semi-light on the gear but still planted on the ground nicely, even with our field's runway...which is in all honesty a steaming, hammered turd.  The first cold air flight of the season. Cold for Texas anyway.
  The sun was still low, so without much effort I spotted the long silhouettes of two deer in a field east of the runway. A quick ‘Good Morning!’ pass at my friend Ken’s property, then off to Lake Grapevine. Some thin, light wisps of fog pointing off to the DFW skyline in the distance, and beyond that the rising sun. The unanticipated highlight.
  Three more deer over by the lake, that low sun really helps, and then low groundspeed flight pointing into the 39kt wind at 1,800’. Cyclists and joggers on the roads between the lake and the airport, all sporting 50’ shadows.
  About 20’ AGL over the fence the crosswinds smoothed out. Bravo exit. Field still to myself. Twelve minutes on the stopwatch.
  $6 in avgas, $4 in truck gas, $4.31 for breakfast.  Cheaper than golf....but I can certainly understand why some folks like golf.  Home by 0915, ready to watch the Korean Grand Prix that recorded while I slept. It wasn't as satisfying as the flight.  The Denver/Cowboy game nearly was.
  What an amazing airplane.  And good morning...

-PIREP from Russ Daves
The turnout was light because of the weather but we still served about 100 dinner at the banquet, including about 20 Kamtz family members.

Even with weather problems for the third year in a row we still raised $6,100 in raffle sale tickets and cash donations. In addition Ann Daves convinced the liquor store where we bought beer and wine for the Friday and Saturday social (paid for by Aircraft Engines) to make a donation of a bottle of wine. A 5 liter glass bottle of imported wine from Chile. Ann aka "Trouble" also said it WAS NOT going to be a raffle prize but she was going to auction it off after the raffle. It went for $315.00 dollars (pooled by friends of the Kamtz's) and then they gave it to Russ & Carol's daughter Sarah.

In addition to the beer and wine from Americas Aircraft Engines the Grimms mini brewery donated 12 gallons of the brew and a local brought some home brew pumpkin beer. We ran out of beer at dinner and Joe Baldwin made a run to the liquor store and bought more.

Clint from Vetterman Exhaust brought 2 exhausts down, one for the raffle and another to deliver to a customer who was coming to LOE. The customer won the Raffle Exhaust and Clint had to take the one for sale back home. Go figure the chance of that happening.

I will try and get pictures posted later this week

- From Larry Larson
Weather was beautiful but a but windy. I can't speak for those who flew in but Sweetie and I had a good time, ate good food, conversed with good friends, won a prize and met so many nice people. It was well worth the 150 mile drive from Estes Park. We can't complain about the drive as we planned a trip to Loveland anyway so we took advantage and stocked up. The drive was very pretty. Driving back in the morning after throwing a few quarters at the slots in Blackhawk.

- Missing man formation for Russ/Carol w/Taps ..GrayHawk

- A nice tribute
A nice tribute.  I arrived Sat around 1000. Stopped to say hi and have a nice lunch. Great airplanes to see, and met alot of VAF members. Always a good time.
  Stiff winds, and lite to moderate turbulence near and over the mountains when I left LOE and flew over to Larmie to visit the new grand baby.

Great job on the NASCAR flyover in Kansas today
  Great air to air video footage of the RV flyover at the Kansas NASCAR race today on ESPN. I thought I had it recording, but didn't. But here is reaction by people on twitter

500.9 hours ...Bill R.
So after landing yesterday, I realized I was at 500.9 hours.

This prompted me to remove the cowling and go through everything firewall forward. Call it a mini condition inspection, if you will.

Besides an oil change I elected to pull the P-mags and inspect them.

My right wheel pants where wobbly and I found the bolts that hold the bracket to be lose. They really need the metal locknuts rather than they nylocks that Van's recommends. (I put new nylocks on and will order some metal locknuts and swap them out in the spring during the condition inspection.)

To replace the nuts, I had to pull the wheel off. So, that gave me the chance to inspect and repack the bearings. Not a bad thing since I live on a grass strip. All was fine and no unusual wear was noted.

One thing I did realize and call it a big DUH moment for me was while changing the oil filter I realized it was much easier to put the tail of the safety wire at the top of the filter rather than at the base where is it a challenge to twist it. Why didn't I think of this five years ago?

Vlad's Tribute to Tony

Operation BIG MOVE ...Mike Messer

Last rivet done! ...crabandy
My dad and I just drove the last 20 rivets on the RV!!! Last airplanes he riveted on was repairing B-52's in the 60's.

Dynon Press Release

Fuel injection problems yesterday ...Turbo.
Coming back from the Race to Ridgeland in South Carolina yesterday, my -10 suddenly showed highly elevated EGT's for no apparent reason. I had been running 23"/2350 RPM and ROP, around 1330 EGT and all of them suddenly went to 1410/1430 without me touching anything. I had been running 15.4 GPH, so I enriched the mixture to lower the EGT's to near 17 GPH.  more

Flyguytki Ground Pic

Customized Headsets
...got me thinking

Way better than video games ...aarvig
  Lucky me! It was raining all day today in Minnesota so that meant the outdoor honey-do list got put on hold and I got to do some building. Today my two boys spent the entire morning out in the shop with me drilling J-stringers and hanging wing skins. Levi (7) and Chase (5) managed to entirely hang the bottom skins all by themselves (with a little help from the old man of course). I am proud of these two. A very productive morning with two fully entertained boys and NO ELECTRONICS!!

RV-7 Status ...Smilin' Jack

Failed color flight! ...Paul K
  Here in west michigan the trees are starting to turn really fast! Thought I would take advantage of a brake in the rainy weather to try to get some color shots from the air. It ended up being too cloudy with not enough direct sun light making it to the ground but, what beautiful cloud formations".  more



Fri Oct 4  1146z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
I'll compile LOE photo links as I find them, and will spotlight up here Monday.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 

LOE'13 Begins! Event site | Thread | Oct 4-6 | Fort Collins, CO (KFNL)

LOE'13 Event Schedule (tentative)

3:30pm – 6:30pm Registration
5:30pm Beer Thirty! – Wine / Beer / ? - $5 BBQ
8:30pm Last shuttles to the Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express

8:30am First shuttles from Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express
10:00am – 4:00pm Registration
12:00pm $5 BBQ Lunch
1:00pm Grimm Brothers Micro Brewery Tour
1:00pm Loveland Sculpture Park Tour
3:00pm Grimm Brothers Micro Brewery Tour
4:30pm Beer Thirty with Wine / Beer and good friends!
5:00pm Rocky Mountain Renegades Missing Man Formation Flight.
6:30pm Nordy’s BBQ Banquet
7:00pm Raffle Tickets LAST CALL!
7:15pm Raffle drawing following the banquet
8:00pm Shuttles begin to Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express

7:00am First shuttles from Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Express

Weather forcast:
Friday Rain and snow, mainly before noon. High near 40. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 14 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Friday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 28. Blustery, with a north northwest wind 15 to 20 mph decreasing to 8 to 13 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Saturday Sunny, with a high near 56. Northwest wind 8 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 17 mph. Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 33.Sunday Sunny, with a high near 65.Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 39.
(a chance the weather may move farther north than expected)

Another RV8 airshow video ...jthocker

Still "Jone'sing" for our next Team AD airshow! Got to keep in practice somehow. Here's how some of us do it!.  Still learning to edit the Go Pro, and will try to shorten these up.

Last year's West Coast Raven's at Mather ...Saber25

Last year on a weekend in September, the West Coast Ravens flew a large formation demonstration consisting of sixteen RV’s at Mather AFB. This was the Capitol Air Show which included many well known performers including the Thunderbirds. I had the opportunity to participate and video from the slot position while flying in the flight led by Spike. Tank was the overall flight lead and he choreographed an exciting show for thousands of spectators present. I don’t remember who my wingmen were since I recently edited this video but they performed very well and I’m certain they will recognize their ride. Since the Capitol Air Show did not include the Ravens this year I thought it was time for an encore.

Walt's Jam Nut Tightener

Here's the tool I made for the nuts, hurts to cut up a snap on but it was for a good cause
P/N: XS1618.

Good news from Italy! ...factory FB page

Davide Rosa took home the prize for best homebuilt aircraft in his native Italy with his beautiful RV-7, registered (appropriately enough!) as I-DAVE.


I am pleased to inform you that last week my plane won the first prize at the trophy "ROTONDI". The trophy "ROTONDI" is assigned by our aviation authority, the best homebuilt airplane in Italy during the year ... In 2013, The Vans RV-7 Serial I-DAVE, is the most beautiful homebuilt aircraft! I want to thank you and all the staff VANSAIRCRAFT.

Soon we will have to hope for 2 customers, build an RV-7 and a RV-10."

Davide Rosa

UUUggghhhhh ...Av8torTom (9A)

I just noticed on the plans that F-711C gets tapered for tri-gears. Why is this? I don't see it getting in the way of anything.





Thu Oct 3  0910z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

First Flight...Brian Steeves RV-10

Did this day really happen? It has been a few days now and it still has not totally sunk in. When you look back at years of construction and all the major milestones, it is amazing of what comes from all this work each and everyone of us put into these projects. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. And I finally get to realize that that all the work, time and frustrations are all now worth every bit.

This came to realization this last Saturday, 9/28/2013 when my RV-10 left the ground for the first time after 4 1/2 years of building.

For years I have been reading stories of others first flights and the feelings that brought, thinking will I ever experience that. All I can say is I have, and so much more. As everyone before me have said, these are great aircraft. Note to those still building - get back to work and get that airplane done.

Maybe someday in the far out future, this new RV Grin may fade, but very little. I think I will have it every time I fly it.

We Have a Hangar Slab! ...Paul Dye / Louise Hose

That should hold at least three RV's (and a future project to be named later), don't ya' think?

For all our RV friends looking for a place to retire, note the open lots surrounding our new project at Dayton Valley Airpark (A34). No income taxes, reasonable property taxes - and Lake Tahoe is 8 minutes away by RV!

That asphalt at the top of the picture isn't the runway - it's the parallel - the runway is 75' wide....

Copperstate RV-10 nest 2013 ...planning stages

I am in the early throws for planning the sixth (and last) RV-10 Nest at Copperstate (AZ) 2013. Hopefully the seventh and last will be next year and my airborne RV can join the land based one.

My land based RV will be there for the duration and serve as a crashpad for nesters with lots of shade, seating, cold drinks, etc. Tent campers are welcome to use my facilities as needed.

Carne Asada lunch will again be noonish on Saturday. The last couple of years we have had several vendors join us for lunch and that has been popular. Reps from Van's, Dynon, Advanced, Approach Stack and others have joined in and great conversations have ensued. We even got a write up in the RVator.

The hardest part of the whole thing for me is provision planning. Those planning on coming for lunch please let me know, and yes, friends and family who are not RV-10ers are welcome.

Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome.


1st RV-14 Emp-Tailcone Kit Delivered! ...from factory FB page.

Repeat offender Jerry Engel was the first builder to officially lay hands on an RV-14 Emp-Tailcone Kit today. Jerry, from just north of us in Indianola, WA, drove down to visit us here at Van's and to save on some shipping. Jerry has previously completed an RV-12, RV-6, and an RV-9A.

Just to distinguish this a little, several other RV-14 Emp Kits have already been shipped but are not likely to the customers yet. It's just a matter of time though...

The question now is who will be the first to complete a RV-14 Emp Kit? Stay tuned...

Van's Crating Department guru's Brian Hathaway & Matt Baughman load Jerry up for the trip home.

$0.99 Avgas ....PIREP

Check Composite Spinner Bulkheads ...ongoing maintenance.  Paul Dye

I was cleaning up Tsamsiyu today for an airshow this weekend, and as I was cleaning bugs off the spinner, I noticed that it seemed a bit loose - it had a definite (small) wobble to it. Further examination revealed that the rear bulkhead of our WW-151 prop spinner appeared to be moving slightly relative to the hub. After removing the top cowl and spinner dome, it became apparent that the six AN4 bolts that hold the bulkhead to the hub were a little loose. I cut all the safety wire and tightened them up, then spent an hour resafetying them (as ad as prop bolts).

My conclusion on this is that the hold the bulkhead to the hub by essentially clamping the composite to the hub. The bolts couldn't loosen - they were wired - but the material probably gave a little. The lesson here is that these bolts probably need to be checked every couple of hundred hours (ours has 300 at this point - and they weren't loose at the last annual) - either the composite is getting crushed, relieving the torque on the bolt, or it is flowing with the same results.

For those without WW props - the prop comes with the spinner and the composite bulkhead - this does not apply directly to Van's spinners.

Fail ...spotted by DanH

10/2/13 colors.....flyinmonque

From Turbo



Wed Oct 2  1150z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)

Colors changing....slowly ...flyinmonque

We're about three weeks behind "normal" and not changing to the vibriant colors we usually get. Some that were changed last week in my post are already gone. Should peak next week sometime, maybe mid- week could get broken up by weather. Calling for more snow Friday. Might not be the best year for color change, not sure I would suggest coming from a long ways away if it's a once in a life time trip. Some turning brown as soon as the change. (lotsa pics)

The Bird Leaves the nest

N66UN made its first flight today after 2 years of building and 2200 hours the Vans RV6 flew hands off and a Big RV GRIN was seen. Time to send in my pledge as it made the build go so much faster .A big thanks to Doug and anyone that answered my questions.

Emergency Dead Stick Landing
    ...MedFlightDoc shares so we can learn.  First person account.

I hate to have to write this, but I've been urged by many to put this out there for others to heed warning. It's tough to even talk or write about, but I hope others might learn something.

My aircraft is a 1991 RV-6, with an O-320 and fixed pitch sensenich prop, with about 1275 hours total time and ~780 SMOH. Pretty standard set up. I've owned for about a year, and flown regularly including two flights the day before this all started and multiple trips in and out of OSH during EAA a few weeks before.

Flight #1: Nighttime cruise home after picking up my daughter from the grandparents house. Easy flight from Milwaukee Timmerman to Middleton Morey (KMWC to C29). Heading west at 2500', checked in with Madison approach, talking to my daughter when the engine suddenly stumbles and starts to lose significant RPM. I immediately knee jerk thought I had run a tank dry and reach down to switch tanks. As I'm doing so, the engine picks back up and acts as if nothing had happened. So quickly in fact, that I didn't think that the switching of tanks had even kicked in yet. I had almost full tanks, so a dry tank was of course not the culprit. Rest of flight proceeds uneventfully with no issues. Leaving me perplexed. CHT, EGT, mags, RPM's, volts, amps are all normal when I get home and do an extensive check and run up.

Flight #2: The next day, go out to airport in afternoon to check things out again. All is normal. No issues with temps, pressures, run up or static RPM. Ambient temps were in mid 80's (about 83-85 or so). Take off seemed normal until about 250-400' or so when engine stumbles badly, lose significant RPM. I do something I probably should not have (no need to chastise me, I've done enough of it already in the last month) and make the impossible turn and get it back on the runway. I chose this option mainly because I was taking off on 09 at Morey-Middleton (C29) and the city of Middleton and Madison is to the east. I didn't want to go down in the city. At this point however, the engine is still turning over as I sit on the runway and taxi off. The FBO mechanics heard the engine cut, piled into a pick up truck and came racing down the taxiway expecting to find me off the end of the runway in the field to the west.

I do a runup, and all seems normal now. CHT, EGT, amps, volts, run up and even full static run up are all NORMAL. Taxi to the FBO. We pull the cowl and nothing seems amiss. Sump the gas, no debris or water. Start to think if vapor lock might be the culprit? This aircraft does not have baffling to the gascolator, but does have sleeved fuel lines from the gascolator to engine driven fuel pump to carb.

The mechanics look thru as much as they can over the next day and a half. The fuel vents are clear, gas is not an issue. Everything seems normal. Start it up again and on the ground all the temps and pressures are normal, normal run up, full static run RPM check on both tanks (per the mechanic) were all normal with one exception: there seemed to be low fuel pressure gauge readings of barely 1 psi with the engine driven fuel pump, but would increase to about 4 psi (normal) with the electric boost pump on. Running it up to full power with the electric boost pump on would also then see the fuel pressure gauge drop some but the engine was running normally the entire time with no stumble or dropped rpm. We were starting to think the engine driven fuel pump might be failing, but this scenario seemed unusual (their experience had been that they usually just fail, not a "soft" failure with things still running normally).

This then led to the question of what exactly was going on. We also only had one more day to fly, as the annual was set to expire. The mechanics didn't have it pinned down and it couldn't be reproduced on the ground as everything appeared to be working normally...

I make the decision to make one more test flight to see if we can narrow it down more and get more information as we don't really have enough go on.

Flight #3: Evening flight the day after Flight #2. Do it all over again, completely thorough pre-flight, check gas, check everything. Starts fine. Warm up, taxi, all checks are completely normal as is the run up and even a full static run up with the exception that the fuel pressure gauge on the engine driven fuel pump is low (~1) but comes up to ~4 with the electric boost pump. My plan is to stay directly over the airport.

Decide to take off, slightly down wind on Rwy 28 so as to take advantage of open farm fields if something happens...

Take off, fully expecting to put my glider training to use and...nothing happens. Normal take off and climb. Orbit over the airport and everything is normal. Boost pump off, then on. Full RPM speed run, banks, turns...nothing happens. All is normal.

Decide to call Madison approach and get a transponder code to climb up over the airport, which they give me and I then try to provoke it by doing a full power climb with boost pump OFF to see what happens. It climbs right up to 4000' msl without any hint of trouble or stumbling. The fuel pressure gauge is still doing the same thing however (~1 without boost pump, 4 with it on) so at this point I'm thinking that the engine driven boost pump is dying and will need to be replaced. Call up Madison approach again, sign off and descend.

Then, at probably the worst possible time, getting to pattern altitude or slightly below, about 2 miles from airport (I had drifted out and away while descending) then engine stumbles badly. Quick electric fuel pump on, get a brief surge, then stumbles again with loss of significant RPM. Cycle it again quickly while turning back in towards airport and get a brief surge and then the engine DIES. At this point my speed had started to decay while I was trying to troubleshoot at very low altitude, so I abandoned further efforts to relight in order to concentrate on flying.

Thought I was going to make it to the runway by turning a very quick and sharp base to final while sweating my altitude and best-glide speed in the turn. I was approaching the runway about half way down, at about a 45 degree angle from the runway heading, heavily banked to try and make it when I realized it wasn't going to happen. Rolled wings level while still about 20-30 degrees off the runway heading and tried to dissipate as much energy as I could in a full stall landing in the rough prairie grass and farm field adjacent to the runway. Came down pretty hard, probably stalled a few feet too high but was doing ok for the first 50 feet or so but the vegetation and/or the lip of the runway concrete caught the gear, wiped it out and as I transitioned to the concrete came up on the nose as I thought I was going to go over on it's back. Slid the last 50 feet or so up on the nose on the concrete. So I actually did make the runway...AND when the engine died, the prop had stopped horizontal, so not a scratch on the prop...

All switches off, canopy open, exit very quickly...

Part II:
After exiting the airplane, I realized there was not going to be a fire, so went back and gathered my things and especially grabbed my handheld I keep in the cockpit, to warn off anyone else as I was sitting on the side of the runway.

Called the Madison tower, told them that Morey runway was obstructed. Called the airport manager, who called FSS to get the runway NOTAM'd as temp closed. Got the airplane off the runway and out of the way.

Did all the usual things one is supposed to do in these situations. Spoke with the FAA and insurance. I can tell more about that process if anyone is interested.

After a sleepless night replaying it all in my head, two gentlemen from the Milwaukee FSDO came out the next morning to interview me and inspect the airplane. Both were utmost professionals, and were airworthiness guys. We talked at length about what had happened and they then pulled the cowls and started to dive into things to try and get to the bottom of what may have happened.

We talked at length about the various theories: vapor lock, engine driven fuel pump failure, gas contamination, etc, etc. It seemed to revolve around fuel to the engine, as the engine itself seemed fine in all of this. They had tools, and came prepared, so we then pulled fuel lines at the carb, then the engine driven fuel pump, then the gascolator (working backwards) and there seemed to be paltry fuel flow with the boost pump both on and off (couldn't really crank the engine up and check the engine driven pump for obvious reasons) and we couldn't get much fuel pressure to show on the gauge. We started thinking about a failure of the electric fuel boost pump as it had been making loud noises when turned on, but this seemed unlikely with the reading we had been getting.

Then there was an "aha" moment, asking about which tank I was running on. As is my habit, I usually start off on the left tank when I have full tanks and I'm solo to balance the wings out. We then checked left tank vs right fuel flow (just eyeballing the pressure gauge and how much fuel appeared visually from the line as we let it drain into a gas can), and there appeared to be a noticeable difference of right tank vs left. They then made a call to Van's and spoke to one of the engineer's about the fuel system take up in the tanks (I might add that I did not build this plane). We then shifted to inspecting the fuel tanks themselves and there did appear to be sealant possibly coming off of the far corners of the tanks from what can be observed, which isn't much I might add. The only counterpoint to this theory is that the mechanic who had done the troubleshooting is absolutely sure he tried the run up on both tanks...

The other counterpoint is that these events happened in three completely different phases of flight (cruise, hight power take off, and descent).

So the leading theory right now, until a post-mortem is done on the fuel tanks, is that there might have been an intermittent obstruction of the fuel line somewhere that then became complete, possibly from sealant coming off the walls of the tank and getting into the fuel line itself. We will see and I will post what is found out for sure here, but suffice it to say that everyone should go out and check that their tanks don't appear to be sloughing off sealant on the inside.

The two FAA FSDO gentleman I might add encouraged me to write this up (as have others) and post it on this forum (with which they were familiar) to generate some discussion and make people aware. They were the utmost professionals. I asked how often in their investigations of incidents and accidents do they encounter a mechanical "who dun it" mystery like this and they said only about 15% of the time. 85% are pilot error related. They were very complimentary towards my flying, which made me feel slightly better...

The damage to the airplane was primarily limited to the gear, and the engine mount (which many of you obviously are aware that the gear connects into). The bottom of the cowls got scuffed up as well. It is classified as an "incident", not an "accident" by the definitions of the FAA and NTSB. I will also NOT have to go through a "709" ride as it was classified as mechanical in origin.

Despite this, my days of flying experimentals may be over and it will be put up for sale as a project. The airplane will be going to Myers Aviation in Oshkosh, WI per the insurance company to get repaired. They will also need to look into the fuel system as well to get the final answer. I will put it in the classified section as a project for sale. Someone may get a good deal on an RV-6 project that will have a new engine mount and gear, but require attention to the fuel system.

Contact me if you might be interested in the airplane as a project. I'm open to offers or I might part it out.

I will post some lessons learned about this whole experience as well as a debrief...

Part III
A few lessons learned...

For those of us who didn't build, having a good working relationship with your mechanics is important. The FAA FSDO investigators went out of their way to go up to the FBO and talk to the mechanics and reassure them that they had not done anything wrong or missed anything.

Know your emergency checklists cold. You WILL NOT have time to pull it out (and it was right next to me within easy reach) if you have a low altitude emergency. The emergency part of my last flight was (at best guess) only about 30-45 seconds from start to hitting ground.

DO NOT spend much time at low altitude trying to trouble shoot at the expense of flying the airplane. In the first few seconds I was just stunned it was happening again, then the next 5-10 seconds flipping the boost pump on and off and trying to see if that would work (as I was semi-convinced at that point it was the engine driven fuel pump that had failed). When I did cross check the ASI, it was precipitously dropping past 60. I immediately pushed the nose over, and devoted my full concentration to flying the plane the last 30 seconds or so. I am absolutely convinced now, that many stall-spin accidents in these situations are guys trying to trouble shoot too long. On the other hand, had I had about 10-15 more seconds I might have been able to switch tanks and that might have helped, but I'll never know for sure.

Have a canopy smashing tool very close at hand. NOT in back, not behind the seat, VERY close at hand. I very nearly went over on my back and that was what I was most fearful of is getting trapped with the fuel now ON TOP of me (although I was wearing my nomex flight suit and boots from my work).

Pay for good insurance!

I'm sure I'll think of more...  [chime in....like maybe THANKING Ryan for sharing all this! dr]

Tank Taking a Leak

Randy pulled a leaking tank off a red -6 yesterday and I had the icamera.  If you've never seen what it can look like, here you go.  dr

OT: A story about what my wife does made the DMN:
    ...it's the last part of the article.  dr



Tue Oct 1  0657z ....some interesting tidbits plucked from the VAF forums (posting guidelines)
Calendar Wallpaper for Oct Now Online

RV Formation Video

We had an impressive showing of RVs in formation at the Easton Airport Days event on Saturday. Six of us participated in a 22 ship formation organized by the Red Star guys. I caught some cockpit video during the formation and edited it down to this.

Staying Flexible - Across the Desert Southwest ...Paul Dye

This weekend was a great example of the utility we can get out of our RV’s - so long as we stay flexible. With me living in Nevada (watching over our new airpark home project) and my wife Louise still back in Texas (can’t retire for a few more months – but about to be furloughed by her insolvent employer), we are always looking for ways to get together. This weekend we took advantage of a meeting of the Explorer’s Club at the McDonald Observatory in far west Texas – an out of the way place by any measure. While many of the attendees had to drive the ten hours from Dallas or Houston, we were able to utilize the RV’s to meet up – with much greater ease. Louise had a nice “short” 450 nautical mile trip in the RV-6 from Houston while I had about 980 miles to fly from Carson City.  continue

RV-6A Operating Costs ...estimated and actual.

Vulture Strike RV-10

An RV-10 based at LEX- Lexington, Ky hit a Turkey Vulture on Saturday 9/28/13 going 150 kts at 2000' agl. Thankfully the injured pilot and plane made it safely back to home base!

related: So, you know that helmet I occasionally wear? 

Slider Canopy Frame Screw Up
  I was attempting to bend the slider canopy frame lower rail (the box section) to conform to the shape of my fuselage. I guess I shouldn't have clamped one end in a vise between a couple boards and pried on the other end... I ended up kinking the section. See the attached photos.
  So what's my best bet? Should I swap the canopy frame out for a whole new one? If replacing the whole frame is overkill, what's the best fix for this?
  I also sent an email to Russ McCutcheon, who fabricates these...

Evergreen Flight Museum ...trip write-up

Cleveland, Texas Air Race (near Houston) 10-12-13

This race over low level flat countryside is a pleasure. The previous airport manager has retired but Linda Street-Ely (veteran racer)  has stepped in to make sure there is a smooth transition. Everyone that races will have their race flight included in the SARL race flight database  that now includes 1799 individual race flight data records.  more