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  #1  
Old 10-28-2013, 06:32 PM
John Courte John Courte is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 634
Talking RV-7 Checkout Completed!

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.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2013, 07:10 PM
luddite42 luddite42 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Courte View Post
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.
Congrats on the checkout. Don't listen to anyone who says any airplane is "easier" or "harder" than anything else. There's no such thing. The easiest airplane to fly is the one you are are current in, and have lots of time in. The only "difficult" airplane is the one you're new to. The RV takes no more discipline or skill than the Citabria. An airplane is an airplane. You can fly the RV just as much "seat of the pants" (rather than "by the numbers") as the Citabria. You'll get there in no time. Enjoy.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2013, 07:10 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,728
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Good job, John. As great (read: patient) as he is, I too left Mike knowing I still had a lot to learn. It does continue to get much easier to stay ahead of the plane and, more tangibly, to land it more gently! Hang in there!
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2013, 07:09 AM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,314
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Congrats on the completion of training with Mike. I was there last month doing the same and came there wondering if this old noggin' could learn fast enough to complete the training. He had just the right pace for me.

Mike is a skillful trainer. He knows just how to trick one in to learning. Can't say enough good things about Mike! After I get a couple hundred hours in my book I would love to do that training again and get a MS degree, (More Seager) as apposed to the BS, Basic Seager.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:40 AM
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Neal@F14 Neal@F14 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Posts: 2,182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Courte View Post
... the RV ..., it's much easier than the Citabria."
Well, technically the RV really is much easier than the Citabria.

The amount of force/pressure you have to apply to the stick and rudder pedals, is way lower in the RV and also you don't have to move the stick nearly as far to get the same degrees of bank or pitch up/down out of the aircraft as you do in the Citabria..... thus that makes the RV truly the "easier" to fly of the two.

Quote:
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.
That's the trick, right there... learning to get ahead of, and stay ahead of the RV. For myself, after flying a Cherokee for a decade, learning the RV was almost like learning how to fly an airplane all over again from scratch.

Congrats!
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:42 AM
Chuck Hagerty Chuck Hagerty is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Posts: 105
Default Be safe!

Congratulations John on being one who "knows what he doesn't know" and who is proceeding with caution. Van has a good article on "how to land an RV". If you haven't already read that, I'm sure you will appreciate his advice.
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First flight 1-29-13
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2013, 07:19 PM
glasgowboy glasgowboy is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 8
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Thanks for sharing this John, a friend just sent me this because I am going through a similar experience with the new RV-7A I purchased. I thought what the heck, I used to know how to fly, but then again I had never flown an aircraft whose wheels were off the ground before I had the throttle all the way to the firewall. This is not your fathers Oldsmobile, or in this case, his 172!

Thanks...

John
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2013, 08:25 PM
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wjb wjb is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 1,120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal@F14 View Post

That's the trick, right there... learning to get ahead of, and stay ahead of the RV. For myself, after flying a Cherokee for a decade, learning the RV was almost like learning how to fly an airplane all over again from scratch.
This is me! Flying Cherokees for 10+ years and the mighty Citabria for 4 ... I really loved my primary training ... and now looking forward to doing it again!
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2013, 10:30 PM
spinomaly spinomaly is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 8
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Congratulations! I did transition training with Mike a couple of months ago for the 8 I am currently in. The view of the cockpit from your web page is engraved in my mind. As well as landing on the grass airfield.
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  #10  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:07 PM
John Courte John Courte is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 634
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Thanks for the encouragement!

Now I'm really itching to get my project into the air..
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