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Old 09-17-2009, 11:30 AM
jerryab jerryab is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Posts: 40
Default New Pilot, 900 ft grass

NO, you should not plan on landing on a 900' strip, especially an unimproved one. With over 40 years of experience, I could, but would not land there, unless a real need arose. A good pilot has good judgement, and that comes with experience, not luck. A new pilot has no experience and can hurt himself depending on luck.

Best wishes,
Jerry Martin
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:45 AM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

Why not look at the -9?

It can land shorter, slower, and take off in less space than the -7. (Unless you put in the 200 hp engine in the -7 but that restricts your useful load.)

Other than giving up acro, the -9 is identical to the -7.

That said, the plane I would buy for your mission is the Highlander by Just Aircraft. Granted it is much slower than the RV's but it also stalls down in the mid 20 mph range which allows it to operate out of a few hundred feet. Truely a good STOL bush plane with a 700 lb useful load, is a blast to fly, and is wider on the inside than our RV's!

With the 29" bush tires on the three that I flew, you can drop it in from almost any height and not damage the thing. This is one very cool plane!

PS. Welcome to the VAF forum.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC

Last edited by N941WR : 09-17-2009 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:18 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 15,705

Well, in your original post you were asking specific questions about RV's, which I tried to answer.

But, seeing as the idea of other planes has been brought up, I must agree that your criteria is going to be better filled with something other than a RV.

Take a look at the Bearhawk for a real workhorse of a homebuilt bush plane.

Good luck in whatever you choose, personally, as long as I am spending your money, I recommend both the Bearhawk, and the RV7.

Different missions.

Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:21 PM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
Posts: 4,514

Originally Posted by diamond View Post
I'm new to aviation and am looking for a kit plane to start building in the next year or so. I have done some preliminary research and like the RV7, among others. I'm very green at this, so please excuse the dumb questions.

1) One of the main roles of a plane for me would be to make frequent trips to my hunting land, which is 250 straight miles away. I would like to be able to land on a grass runway, which is yet to be constructed, but could be about 900 feet long. Is that long enough for an RV7 to land and take off comfortably? Even more important, would it have to be kept in pristine condition, or can the RV7 land if the grass gets a little high and there are a few mole holes that emerge between trips over there. I know a bush plane would be ideal for landing, but I want to travel faster than what most bush planes can do.

2) I did the cost estimator on the website and cost comes out to be 70k and up. Does that sound right? I had hoped to get it lower, but don't want to skimp too much on components.

3) Is the quick build kit worth the extra 10k? How much time does that save me in construction? For that matter, what is a good estimate on RV7 build time for a person that has good aptitude for building things?
Your mission would be better filled with a big SUV and they are cheap right now.

The dream of flying to and from a hunting site without regular attention to a 900' runway on the other end won't work. Snow, ice, rain, wind, falling trees, weeds, badger holes and uncut grass will make the trip a stressful event now and then. If the weather is perfect one day, it can be totally different 3 days later. You may spend a week waiting to get out while your flashlight and cell phone batteries run down and you are a no show at your job.

Personal flying is useful for many missions but sometimes it does not fit. If its just about traveling to and from this private hunting property, you will be disappointed. Flying in and out of 900' is a challenge. It may be a while for a new pilot to get spun up enough to do it.
RV-12 Build Helper
RV-7A...Sold #70374
The RV-8...Sold #83261
I'm in, dues paid 2019 This place is worth it!
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:00 PM
flyboy1963's Avatar
flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,423
Default new guy ?

hard not to want an RV, I did!!!!
now that I've had it just 1.5 years, and 30 hours, my comments.......
you say other planes 'aren't fast enough'.
I find that I spend an hour planning, loading, pre-flighting, fueling etc. for a :40 flight, then the same unloading, parking, arranging the rest of the 'mission'.
airspeed is almost a non-factor!
I agree you should investigate the classic high-wing, fat tired bush planes for your mission!
..and why not make one of the great STOL mountain flying courses a part of your will live longer, happier, and bend less metal!
you might even be able to buy insurance!
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:45 PM
tinman tinman is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 496
Default Welcome to Aviation, New Guy!

First, you have already shown good judgement by asking the questions to those who have gone before...keep asking questions and learning. This simple exchange of information could end up saving you a world of heartache.
Second, pilots are the most opinionated group of people on the earth, so you will never have a shortage of advice...sometimes conflicting

I am a low-hour (150 hours) pilot who has just started flying my -8. There is NO WAY that I would consider dropping her into a 900' strip unless my engine were dead and there were no other options...I am not that good ... yet.

The key is surviving your formative years is to slowly build on your flying skillset without overstepping and balling up an airplane. Keep asking great questions and weighing the options...enjoy the ride!
Don Alexander
RV-8 Finished After 8 1/2 Years (2496 hours) of Loving Labor
Summerville, SC
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:11 PM
twsurveyor's Avatar
twsurveyor twsurveyor is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ridgetop, Tennessee
Posts: 134
Default Short Field RV-7(A)

I consider myself to be an "average" RV pilot. I have 465 hrs in my RV-6A. I can honestly say there is NO WAY I'd attempt to land on a 900' grass strip!

Van's performance data is "Take off distance & Landing distance" not REQUIRED RUNWAY LENGTH.

I hope you decide to do a 7(A), you won't be dissapointed, but please plan on taking the Suburban 4x4 to deer camp! I would hate to see you hurt yourself and/or bend your new airplane. (:>).

Tommy Walker
RV-6A, N 350 TW
465 Hrs & "Climbing"!
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:02 PM
diamond diamond is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 710

Thanks for all the great info. Geez, with the great support on this site, that's a huge reason alone to want an RV. OK, so 900 feet is a "no go" for landing an RV on grass. I'll have to see if there is another stretch on my property that offers twice as much distance. I also like the suggestion that maybe the RV9 would be better, requiring slightly less landing distance. I'll tell you what would really be handy for me right now would be a way to do side-by-side comparisons of performance and spec data for the various RVs and also other kit planes. Does anyone know if the Vans website has a tool that lines the data up side-by-side for easy comparison? Or other sites that do this with other lit planes? Thanks
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:29 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,488

Also check out Rans 7, it does not have nearly the sort of a speed of a RV but it is more suiting to your applications and needs and price range. It is a very good and capable plane.

Mehrdad RV-7A
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:30 PM
bhassel's Avatar
bhassel bhassel is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 964

Originally Posted by diamond View Post
I'll tell you what would really be handy for me right now would be a way to do side-by-side comparisons of performance and spec data for the various RVs and also other kit planes. Does anyone know if the Vans website has a tool that lines the data up side-by-side for easy comparison? Or other sites that do this with other lit planes? Thanks
There's nothing like an Excel spreadsheet for that and web pages of spec's.

There's been some great suggestions on alternatives for you - Glastar/Sportsman, Murphy Rebel, Bearhawk, etc. Just hit those web sites and fill in the data on a spreadsheet. The numbers will speak to you themselves.

I've often thought about the Glastar/Sportsman myself just for going into outback places and seeing things I wouldn't be able to see otherwise. Of course it's a little slower than the RV's. In the old days of the Glastar under Stoddard-Hamilton, there was an info tape out that showed the flight charateristics, on floats, nose pulled up and plane hanging in the sky still fully controlable, heady stuff for someone used to a Cessna with one wing falling off on a stall (figure of speech here).

However, my mission really is more of cross country flights and making long weekends really fun in far-away places. So for me the RV makes sense. I'm not a hang upside down kind of guy and I'm low hours so an RV9 or RV10 makes sense for my mission and skill levels.

Work the numbers on a spreadsheet and think about how you might actually use the plane. Flying to your land and doing some hunting is one mission but is it enough to justify the cost and expense of an aircraft? Of course is anything?

Flying is an addiction and one you can't shake! Have fun and even if you don't build/buy an RV - this forum is a great resource for help, ideas, great people and just plain fun.

Oh, and try and make the LOE flyin sometime - it's great! I'm planning on driving down from Santa Fe this year - can't wait. You'll see plenty of RV's there and if that doesn't stoke your dreams - you're already on the other side!

Bob Hassel

Subscription Paid for 2020

Home is where the hanger is...
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