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Old 06-02-2021, 02:53 PM
ravenstar ravenstar is offline
Join Date: May 2021
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 12

I'm in the same position as all of you describe, 124+ hrs 20 years ago. My current plan is to join the local flying club to get my flight review and build some recent time, then go to a flight school that uses RV-12s but is a 2+ hour drive each way to get transition training and experience prior to my first flight. Sounds like some of you have gone that path before me which is reassuring.
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Old 06-02-2021, 02:56 PM
Robert Sailor Robert Sailor is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Nanaimo BC Canada
Posts: 94

I think you should spend some time on the books and air regs as we tend to hold our muscle memory and lose our general memory of detailed items. Things change as well. I had a 20 year hiatus from flying and my flight check was 1 hour but I had thousands of hours total flight time. I didn't even know how to operate a Garmin glass radio, had never even seen one as I was a guy from the Narco, King and Collins days.

Even with your low total time you will still have a reasonable amount of muscle memory left and that doesn't take long to start to get it back....between flying and visualizing you will do better than you might have thought possible but unfortunately that doesnt work as well with air regs, charts,navigation and weather. You can get these back by just getting your nose back in the books.

The RV6 I bought has an advanced glass panel, lovely piece of gear. My problem was I had over 10,000 hours using a six pack and the transition took much longer than I would have thought. Here is my advice...the RV7A is not a hard aircraft to fly...if it concerns you then sure go put in a couple 3 hours in a 172 just to help your confidence level and then find a real good RV instructor and fly the RV....certainly no harder to fly than a 172.
Another person on the forum suggested using the 6 pack option on your RV....not a bad idea. That's what I did and I guess I flew it for a dozen hours before switching back to ticker tape be honest I think it took me close to 30 hours flying for it to be intuitive, certainly never unsafe but I had to break a long, I'd never go back but when I get into a friends 6 pack its intuitive as well, so win, win.

You'll do just fine, don't make your job too complex, hit the books...costs you nothing and then go flying with a good'll do fine and you'll have nothing but fun. You'll probably want insurance...make those training hours RV hours.
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Old 06-02-2021, 03:45 PM
BH1166 BH1166 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Eatonton Georgia
Posts: 454
Default 17 year gap flying

What I did was first decide what medical I wanted and checked that box off.

I found a non young CFI and flew a newer 172 till I was comfortable. Then found a 6A and bought it. I got a few hours transition training from a RV owner builder....


Congratulations on your accomplishment......
RV6A Purchased N72TX
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Old 06-02-2021, 04:48 PM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 642

I went through this, but after a considerably longer layoff. After all that time when I decided to start flying again, I first reviewed everything I could find online (and there's a lot) in preparation for a BFR. Then, I actually signed up for a BFR. I breezed through the oral portion despite all the changes in FARs and studying had paid off. The flying took longer...about 5 or 6 hours in a 172 before my CFI signed off. I then flew about 20 hours over the next couple of month until I got comfortable with navigation etc, and at that point bought an RV-9A with the help of a good friend and very experienced pilot/CFI. He became my transition trainer and it was THEN that I found out how rusty I actually was. We flew about 15 hours before I was at a point where I was ready to fly that plane alone. It was partly the flying but a lot of it was actual airmanship that I needed to re-acquire. I learned a lot from that transition training and I'm a much better pilot probably than I ever was. A less rusty pilot probably would have transitioned to the RV in less time than it took me, but I was in no rush and had a lot to learn. I still have a lot to learn, but at least I now have a more solid framework from which to do it.
RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IFR certified
AFS 5400/3500, G5, 430W, some other stuff

Last edited by MacCool : 06-02-2021 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:32 PM
Draker's Avatar
Draker Draker is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 517

Solid stuff, lots to take in here. Thanks a lot. Sounds like I'm on the right track. Maybe fewer hours to regain proficiency and I don't need specific mountain training.
Ryan Drake
Livermore, CA
Donated 12/31/2020
RV-7A (N12VD): Everything done that can be done at home. Waiting for hangar to finish up.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:39 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,533
Default Current

Keep us posted please. I'm almost exactly in the same boat.
Same airplane, time. Maybe a few flights since I started building.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 06-02-2021, 06:44 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 666
Default Another rusty pilot experience

Some good advice above! My profile was similar to yours, 110 hours TT and a 14 year break.
Midway through transition I asked for help on VAF, and got it:

There was a lot to take in at once; unfamiliar airport, unfamiliar airplane, higher performance airplane, forgotten procedure details (radio call formats, ground handling, circuit procedures). The actual flying part away from the airport was not too hard. I completed the transition, all in the RV-9A, in about 6 hours, but subsequent learning is ongoing. It also helped that I rode in the right seat with a couple of RV buddies in their planes and picked up quite a bit that way.

In hindsight it would have been beneficial to put more effort into studying the procedures and doing an hour or two of circuits and aerial work in a Cessna or Piper to refresh on the general stuff. Maybe you could do that, possibly with a constant speed prop. I had a previous CS prop and retractible endorsement, which took about 2 hours to get at the time.

Another really important thing is to find a good instructor who is patient and will help instill confidence.

Don't worry too much, you'll be fine.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Wings and tail complete, working on fuselage
Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build

Last edited by PaulvS : 06-02-2021 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:02 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,520

Originally Posted by bruceh View Post
The glass panel stuff took quite a while to get up to speed with. There is a lot of information on the screen, and you need to train your brain on where to look for what.
AMEN! The glass panel could easily be as big a deal as getting your stick and rudder skills back up. Beg, borrow or steal some time in the same kind of glass, regardless of what kind of airplane it's in.

I've tried to push the idea of training in similar glass for situations like yours, but the feds and vendors are opposed, for whatever reason.
RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
Too many safety posts purged without notice...
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Old 06-02-2021, 07:20 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 866

Let me take a run at it from the flight instructor prospective.

With your low time and long lay off it couldn't hurt to go through the entire private pilot ground school as a solid review. Lots of things have changed in 13 plus years and in the long run it will be much cheaper and probably have more complete instruction than one on one. If you can't commit to the schedule of an in person ground school then the various online versions would be a good second choice.

As for materials, I can't fault your decision on a paper chart to re-familiarize yourself. Maybe an electronic version of the FAR/AIM on the iPad might be better. Easily searchable. What will you be flying with when you get to the RV? If you plan to fly with Foreflight or some other electric chart app then you may as well start using it/learning it now when you are flying other airplanes. When you get to the RV you want as much brain power available for flying the airplane and you don't want to be distracted by also trying to figure out how manipulate your electric charts.

Your training estimates might be a little padded. For example, it should take one, maybe two lessons to become comfortable with a prop control.

Regarding learning to fly with glass panels. There are two hurdles to overcome.
1. Becoming comfortable with where the information is displayed and being proficient in interpreting the data. It takes a little time to do both but it isn't hard.
2. Resisting the urge to stare at all the cool stuff on the panel. That is very hard for some people to do. The siren call of the displays, especially now with ADS-B traffic, is hard to resist. I find the younger or more tech savvy the pilot is the more difficult it is for them to not stare at the displays instead of out the window.

I can't recommend getting some dual with Mike Seager enough.
I had 14,000 hours of total time and already some RV time when I went up there because a friend was going to add me to the insurance on his airplane and the company demanded 5 hours dual RV time. I could already fly the airplane so we were just checking a box so to speak but it was still great fun. Mike is a great instructor and I came away with a few little tidbits of new knowledge. It was a great way to spend a weekend.

Big picture. There is nothing about the RV that makes it a hard airplane to fly if you are in control of the aircraft. What I mean by that is if your head is in front of the airplane then the wonderful flying qualities will make each flight a joy.
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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Old 06-02-2021, 08:00 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,557

A couple of others have sort of touched on this, but the only person whose opinion really matters is...the insurance company. Give a broker (I use Gallagher) a call and ask them what the insurance companies want to see, to get “reasonable’’ rates (in quotes because, with your low time, your choices will be high or absurdly high). My opinion: get dual in a 172, learn how to land again. Get a flight review. Learn how to use your avionics sitting on the ground (get a power supply or older battery). As a vfr pilot just make sure you know where the airspeed and altimeter are, everything else can come later. Get -7 dual with Mike.
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