View Full Version : Another RV-9A Pilot n Paws point!

05-23-2010, 10:08 PM
I've been inspired by those of you involved with Pilot n Paws. To the point I even drove a little Jack Russell puppy from the Dallas area to Austin when work had me on the road. But this time I got to fly!

It all started with an email request from a foster mom near Galveston who was trying to get a 1yr old Jack Russell to its new home in Midland. It'd be a bit of flying, but there's nothing like a good excuse to fly. The weather this Saturday was cooperative enough at altitude, but we had to time the early morning broken/scattered low cloud layer wisely.

After waiting for adequate cloud clearance to open, Angie and I left Kestrel (1T7) near San Antonio and requested flight following like is routine for us on XC's, but this also allowed the parties involved to track us. We enjoyed smooth air at 7500ft until we approached the Houston Bravo airspace. They then directed us to 5500ft or less, but I wasn't sure we'd have cloud clearance at that altitude. I went down low to stay clear of the clouds, staying just under 2000msl for the last 40 miles or so. And we felt the humidity, heat and (less so) bumps for every minute down there. Landed at Pearland and starting looking for a dog to greet us.

Met Ruby at Pearland (KLVJ) and she was barking at the engine noise as we approached. She settled down and Mary told us a bit about her background.

I disassembled the crate to get it in the cargo area of our 9a,
and then reassembled it with only a four bolts while it was back there. Tried to keep a hold of this energetic terrier while on the wing to load her up. Ruby snuggled her way in her crate with her Pooh blanket and never made a sound as we departed for Midland.


Well outside of San Marcos, flight following sent us 15 degrees left and we got to see a free-falling skydiver off in the distance at our four o'clock. A rare moment that my wife caught on camera (zoomed in quite a bit). Probably won't show up, but look 1/4 way down from the top of the clouds, slightly to right of center, against the white cloud background. Trust me... :rolleyes:

Almost halfway to Midland, we stopped at our home field to refuel and swap passengers. (I co-purchased the 9a flying and wanted to spend some time flying with the other owner, Carl, to talk shop. Flying over west Texas provided just the right setting.) Carl was smart enough to bring a burger for me -- I needed it and the dog enjoyed a couple of stray patty pieces, too. My wife had done her share already going for the first half of the trip on this muggy day, but she started falling for that spunky little dog. She eventually said good-bye.


Carl and I left San Antonio, headed for Midland at 8500 and then 10500msl. We talked through the whole panel -- sharing tips on how to extract the most out of everything on the panel (D10A, Garmin 496, GRT EIS, engine settings, battery back ups, etc.). Time well spent. A fair amount of the 230 nm was well above broken-overcast clouds, but it was clear skies in Midland as we approached. Thankfully the 496 XM Wx helped reassure us while en route that the forecast didn't lie.

While 12nm out, we were cleared to land for this not-so-busy Class C airport. Cracked me up. With a strong headwind slightly off the runway heading, I made a rare right seat landing and it pointed out my need to practice more from that seat. The yaw/alignment sight picture I was accustomed to wasn't there for me. It was hot here too, but Carl helped get the dog and crate out of the cargo area and we headed inside.

We brought Ruby inside to meet her new family and there was a greeting committee of like 7 people, including a Russell Rescue rep, new doggy mom, grand kids and other relatives. They were all so determined to express their appreciation to us for helping out. Ruby loved the kids and seemed at home in about half a second. Defintely some kind-spirited Texas folks out there! (Too bad my flash was off for this pic, a bit blurry for anything moving.)

The return trip to San Antonio allowed for some more shop talk about our RV9a and upcoming panel upgrade, etc. All said, I traveled 800nm , made some folks happy in west Texas and was home well before sunset. Love these machines!


(Tinypic saved the day -- adding the pics worked!) :D

05-24-2010, 09:10 PM
Used tinypic with ease -- no joy with the pilotvid suggestion. This PNP trip was a great day, even worth missing the Hard 8 BBQ fly-in since I can go there almost any day. Thanks for those of you who gave us the idea!


Pat Hatch
05-25-2010, 06:45 AM

Here is a carrier that I found that works great in the baggage compartment of my RV-6. It fits snuggly between the aft bulhead and the seat back and takes up about 75% of the baggage space, just enough room to load the pups in from the front of the carrier.

I got it at www.on-line-superstore.com, item # NDP1011-L. About $60. Comes totally collapsed flat and in a portfolio bag.


It zips up and you can load it partially zipped and finish up once it's in place in the rear. Good quality. Here's another picture that sort of shows the carrier in the back to give you an idea of space.


05-25-2010, 09:14 PM
Hey Ryan,

I just saw your post and thought that plane looked familiar. A quick N number search and it is confirmed that you are the proud new owner of the 9A that my cousin "in-law" built a few years back.

It's great the see the plane looking in top notch shape.


06-03-2010, 08:25 PM
Thanks to the replies I got a suggestion for an easier transport crate for my RV's cargo area, and I even got a phone call from the builder of our RV9a, n9612S! There's something special about talking to the builder of the plane you enjoy so much. Shoot, he's only 80 flying minutes away -- we'll meet up some time soon I'm sure.

Gotta recommend Pilots n Paws to anyone considering it. You can even write off a portion of the expenses as a charitable contribution -- makes relatively inexpensive RV flying even cheaper! Plus you feel good doing it for reasons beyond the usual RV reasons. :cool:


06-03-2010, 08:38 PM
Great job and it is hard saying bye to the dogs after spending some flight time with them.