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Old 04-10-2019, 05:30 PM
Sparrowhwk Sparrowhwk is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Prescott Az
Posts: 46
Default Introduction - RV curious, and looking for local experts in Northern Arizona

Greetings all
I have just recently joined this forum in an attempt to find out more about the RV world.
I think I am most drawn to the RV 8/8A. (Mainly because of tandem seating and aerobatic capability).

I currently drive an "18 wheeler with wings" for a living (B747-8), and it's been way too long since I have enjoyed the passion for aviation that brought me to this career. It's time to rectify that!

To be completely up front - I am not an aspiring builder. I would enjoy learning to tinker with, and work on the aircraft, but I am just not cut out for the commitment that building requires.

I looked at RV's at Oshkosh last year and have had the pleasure of chatting briefly with Ron Schreck by phone. Obviously I have heard nothing but good things about RV's!

As I try to learn as much as possible about the world of Amateur/home built aircraft, it would be wonderful to try to connect with some owners who are local to me that would be willing to share their experience and insights.
I am in Prescott Az (KPRC), and I would be extremely grateful to hear from anyone in the area who would be open to assisting a curious newbie.

While it may be obvious, there is one issue that I can't stop nagging at me. How do I get past the amateur built vs certified peace of mind/quality concern?
Reading these forums, I know there are several folk who can assist with a good pre-buy inspection, but I am also aware of how many variations to design, construction and materials etc are out there.
While I know that no-one goes out to build a sub-standard aircraft, its the unknown and unforeseen consequences of a builder decision that I am concerned about coming back to bite me.
Anyone else work through this?

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to learning more, and who knows - possibly becoming the next vociferous supporter of the RV.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:46 PM
MercFE MercFE is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Posts: 273

Welcome to VAF!

As a person that does production flight testing on those "18 wheeler with wings" that you fly, I would say that your thought about "amateur built vs certified" can just as easily be turned the other way around...

Every plane, experimental or certified, is built by people. While certified typically have the advantage of an assembly line repetition to the build, the people on the line are changing CONSTANTLY. Quality fluctuations are one of the biggest reason each aircraft needs to be flight tested prior to delivery. Every one of those -8's that I get a chance to go up on has a different issue that might need to be addressed.

A good prebuy is the best bet you have for ANY aircraft purchase, experimental or certified. And while a Van's might be a "one-off" build, over 10,000 of them flying with a community like this for support definitely takes a lot of the what-if's out of the build.

And I bought my RV-9A flying... Great prebuy, and it's been a great 3 years of flying!
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:38 PM
Tankerpilot75's Avatar
Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 683
Default Here?s a thought

Most certificated aircraft on the market at a reasonable price today are in excess of 20+ years old. How many owners have had A&P friends sign off work that they’ve done or done work and not logged it. Not all annual inspections are thorough and not all A&P/IAs are equal.

After an aircraft is ten years old it’s probably have several questionable people work on it. In my mind, certificated airplanes will always be better when new but quickly join experimental build and maintenance standards level after just a few short years.

Your best defense - a thorough pre-buy by a knowledgeable A&P/IA who is experienced with the “type of aircraft” you’re thinking of buying. In regards to RVs, I was once told that Quick Build kit aircraft at least minimize builder issues/concerns when looking at purchasing a flying Vans RV. But remember, the empennage is the first thing builders start with and that is not a QB kit item. A little extra attention there is always a good idea.

Of course, if you’re used to EFIS systems then you’re going to pay big bucks to get an EFIS system in a certificated aircraft. The STC’d EFIS won’t be near as capable as the E-AB EFIS system - too far behind in development. Just food for thought.
Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Custom Interior, New TS Flightline hoses, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!

Last edited by Tankerpilot75 : 04-11-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:46 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,573

If you want peace of mind, don't buy any airplane...

I tell folks that when you buy an airplane, any airplane, you can have a white-gloves shop annual it, then taxi the plane across the field to a different white-gloves shop and they'll find something to fix.

When you buy a homebuilt, you will be surprised by something. Count on it. Pre-purchase inspections can tell you what needs to be fixed right now, but they won't protect you against surprises. Same for other airplanes.

Your best bet when buying a homebuilt is to consider the character and reputation of the seller -- you're buying that as much as the machinery.

BTW, I have a nice RV-8 for sale. PM me your email address and I'll send you the info.


BTW, I used to live in Prescott and would love to move back. It's been long enough that I've lost most of my contacts, might have one left.
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
Vaccines kept me out of the hospital but COVID still cost me a month of living, all told...
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:35 PM
Sparrowhwk Sparrowhwk is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Prescott Az
Posts: 46
Default Thank you - still looking to make contact with N Az RV'ers

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the informative and well considered replies. By posting on this forum, I never expected to get "warned off" the RV experience. I was probably hoping to hear exactly what was posted, but it's still nice to have confirmation and rational opinions to back up my interest.
I am still hoping to find some RV operators near Prescott Az, it seems a bit of a sport flying desert up here .

Thank you to everyone for your generosity with sharing information - it is very helpful for potential newbies like myself.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:05 AM
FasGlas's Avatar
FasGlas FasGlas is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Idaho ID40
Posts: 781

There's plenty of RV's and Rockets at PRC. You might want to spend a day or two driving around the hangars and meeting the locals. The bottle necks is a great starting point.
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