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  #1  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:12 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Smile RV-8 trip from VA to WA

It is always a pleasure to travel across the greater United States of America in an RV. Every time it is different. Weather, destination and mission have driven me along different paths. This time there was a need to get a newly purchased RV-8 from 53VG, Salmon Farm Airport, in Virginia, across the Chesapeake Bay, over the Appalacian Mountains, over the plains of the Mid-West, through the Rockies and finally across the Cascades, into the Seattle area for it's new home on Boeing Field (KBFI).

The journey began right here on VAF, with a casual private message and note in a "wanted" ad right there in the classifieds. It is a fixed pitch, 180 hp RV-8 with a Garmin G3X and all the bells and whistles. There was a long line of interested pilots. It helps to have a commercial pilot's license and some serious cross country experience. Insurance requires tail wheel time and time flying an RV-8.

Overall the trip took 17.8 hours of flight time over the course of three days. I stopped short of the Seattle side of the mountains to meet the new owner for transition training. This RV-8 has rudder extensions for the back seat pilot, a throttle and stick. I don't know how many have completed their transition training in an RV-8, but the new owner and I gave it a go. The back seat of an RV-8 was where I flew my first RV hours with a CFI RV-8 owner before I solo'd in my RV-4 I bought flying years ago. Being a CFI and tail wheel instructor helped and the new owner had 350 hours in a J-3 Cub. We accomplished his training over three long days. Technically advanced aircraft, leaning, RV-style wheel landings and cross country flying/planning were all accomplished and the new owner solo'd late in the morning on the 3rd day. We then ferried the -8 to Seattle (KBFI) since we had a break in the weather allowing us to get it there.

The prebuy had been completed by Vic weeks prior and several minor findings were corrected before I showed up. A friend of mine delivered me to the penninsula bound airport to save me a ton of time getting from a commercial airport to the Salmon Farm. Thank you Robert!

Remember to build in some "good bye" time for the seller to come to terms as they part with something that has been a big part of their life for a long time, especially if the seller is the builder.

Here's the whole photo album for those interested. I'll see if I can coax Google into letting me post a few here in the thread below.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ptA2w5Kbr3do6tr59
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Launching from SC45

Last edited by FlyinTiger : 02-21-2020 at 04:58 PM. Reason: Pictures
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:18 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Smile Obstacles

The biggest challenges associated with a trip diagonally from coast to coast is the weather. Finding a window that works in a three day period is the most challenging part of a continuous trip. Knowing my personal minimums and all the VFR flight rules was essential, since the well equipped aircraft was operating under VFR rules.

Flight following was helpful when traveling North on the Eastern side of the U.S. A few days later Seattle told us they didn't have time for us, so we had to stay clear of a bunch of airspace and dodge traffic on our own.

Pictures are linked.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ptA2w5Kbr3do6tr59
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Launching from SC45

Last edited by FlyinTiger : 02-21-2020 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Pics
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:29 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Smile the AUX tank

This RV-8 is equipped as described in the Kitplanes article about a rear seat AUX tank installation and usage. The previous owner had a nice set up with quick disconnects and a tray where the tank sat in place of the rear seat. We put the rear seat in front of the tank and had room to stuff some lighter "baggage" around it. Thankfully the front baggage compartment is rather roomy too, so we got everything that went with the plane delivered as one package.

A careful weight and balance calculation for full fuel and empty kept everything safe and CG well within the operational range. I can see with the large rear baggage compartment it could be easy to get too far aft.

Oxygen bottles were strategically placed in the foot-wells along with snacks and bottles of water. I wore my warm, comfy shoes during the ferry and even borrowed some really warm wool socks at the second overnight, to keep my feet warm. The heater worked really well in this -8, but not well enough to handle the -7 F OAT while cruising at 12,500 feet.
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Launching from SC45

Last edited by FlyinTiger : 02-21-2020 at 09:59 PM. Reason: I can’t spell
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:36 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Smile General route overview

The trip started at SC45 while I waited for a thick fog bank to clear for a few hours. I then hopped up to KTTA to meet Robert, who was seeking an adventure and some training on grass strips with challenging approaches.

We left 53VG as a flight of two so Robert could keep an eye on the ferry aircraft as we worked our way back to his home airport, KTTA, for the night and let some precipitation pass through.

It quickly became late in the day as we spent the necessary time on a throough pre-flight and question/answer session with the seller. I landed at KTTA while the sun was setting. I made sure I was night proficient and ready to fly when the weather was the best, regardless of the sun's position relative to the Earth.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:44 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Smile Overview continued...

Big picture (no pun intended), the ferry route took me from KTTA through JPU to get around a front, then KZEF, KLWD, KBYG, where I needed a little fuel to make it to KBZN with my personal minimum of one hour fuel remaining. Bozeman, MT was where I slept for the night. Montana hospitality is amazing! The buyer's dad picked me up from the airport where the RV-8 spent the night in a cozy hangar, took me out to dinner and put me up in my own room for the night.

The next morning the buyer's dad also dropped me off at the airport, his mom packed me some snacks for the remainder of my journey.

KBZN, KDLS (tax stop, he he), then KYKM. With such good weather all week in Yakima, the buyer decided it would be best to take advantage of a sizeable runway, friendly FBO and light winds to transition to his newly acquired RV-8. I agreed it would make training fun to have all that sun and training opportunities.
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2020, 11:58 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Thumbs up Transition training...

We had a blast learning how to fly the RV-8. Coming from a Cub there were several things the buyer needed to get out of his transition training. He had a strong sense of keeping the fuselage down the runway from his Cub experience, but it is easier said than done with the springy gear on the -8.

We spent about 4 hours with him in the back where things looked similar to the Cub. He flew by feel, sound and learned what "right" looks and sounds like from the back.

Next he moved to the front with me in the back, guiding his flying and ground handling mostly verbally. We flew a cross country to work on the G3X panel and how to use the basic functions. Leaning, descent planning and systems review was the focus enroute.

After some airwork to learn to turn, stall and fly slow, we proceeded to some narrow runways to hone the centerline confidence. Humility drove us back to the wider runway at Yakima where many more patterns and landings were accomplished.

Two things: one, the rear seat rudder extensions have much less leverage than the front rudder pedals. I don't recommend putting a low time tailwheel pilot in the front expecting to override them on the rudder. This 350 hr tailwheel pilot was on top of things and his own toughest critic.

Two, save the narrower runways for top off training after the buyer has some success flying solo on the larger runway if possible. The normal training curve involves some regression and lining up a narrow runway and training back-pedaling is a less than ideal situation.

After about 8 hours of dual instruction I felt I was only holding back some progress by having the CG so far aft while I was in the back seat. I got out and of course it was a whole new airplane! Solo flights went well and proved that the RV-8 is a ton of fun to fly solo and real simple to land when the CG is forward. He flew two flights solo and enjoyed the practice.

The next step is to keep practicing then go visit Mike S. when time and weather permits to polish and glean more from the guy who knows much more than I.
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Launching from SC45

Last edited by FlyinTiger : 02-21-2020 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Grammar
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2020, 12:07 AM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Smile Finishing the ferry flight...

To finish the trip to Boeing Field (KBFI) we got an oil change the first thing on the last day through the FBO's friendly maintenance shop who were familiar with RVs. What a helpful shop! With the oil and filter changed, leak tested and buttoned up, ready to go the weather was clearing in Seattle just in time for a little cross country.

We planned several routes to use, depending on the weather in and around the mountains between us and Seattle. The Southern route looked to be the most promising. We got above the bumps and found clear air at 12,500 feet, which helped us to cut a few corners and arrive outside the Class B airspace early. ATC had no time for us with all the traffic departing SeaTac, so we flew around, between and over the crowded airspace.

Flying up the right side of the "river road" we flew the "Bootleg Arrival" VFR across the water and into Boeing Field. Quite a lot was going on but I could tell the new RV-8 owner was in his element as he ran the radios and pointed out the sights.

This RV-8 is the right airplane for a trans-continental flight and I enjoyed the journey.
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Launching from SC45

Last edited by FlyinTiger : 02-21-2020 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Is it ever done?
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2020, 06:37 AM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
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This is a very nice write up Al. A combination of ferry, training and having fun. Thank you Sir.
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Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2020, 10:57 AM
rplittle rplittle is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 19
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Thank you for the excellent write up, and congratulations to Seth on the new airplane!
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2020, 04:38 PM
FlyinTiger FlyinTiger is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gilbert, SC
Posts: 296
Thumbs up It was a good time and the RV family grew by 1!

If anyone faces the challenge of transition training in an RV-8 as an instructor or a student please feel free to ask any questions. Writing out pages of "experience" would not be helpful, but if I can answer a specific question maybe it will help. Seth will be in here occasionally to answer questions too I bet.

Here she is tied down for the night at Raleigh Exec, resting for a big trip the following day.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/dV9NwVaguJnaTVfc7
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Last edited by FlyinTiger : 02-21-2020 at 10:12 PM. Reason: grammar
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