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  #1  
Old 05-11-2020, 07:46 AM
bill.hutchison bill.hutchison is offline
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 317
Default Hello VAF

Hi there, VAF people.

I was encouraged by a couple of RV owners to read and join here with questions.

I'm in the very early stages of identifying what I want in an RV - the biggest decision has been just getting to the point of wanting one!

I'm a part-time CFI and full-time cog in a large software machine in the northern VA area near DC, and I'm very interested in owning an RV. Right now, I'm leaning toward an RV6 or RV7, but would go with the right -A model if it presented itself.

Yes, I am looking for a flying RV - do not have the space to build one.

I'm just reading and shopping for the time being but I do have a nagging question:

How do you fine folks go about finding a mech with RV knowledge for a proper pre-buy experience? Do you post here, or in your regional forum? Is it word-of-mouth?

Just curious.

Wanted to say hello. I have much reading to do. Please be gentle as I ask dumb questions.

Bill
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2020, 09:05 AM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Foley, Al
Posts: 632
Default

Let me be the first to welcome you to the good ship VAF.
You won't be disappointed with either. I have a 7A.
__________________
Paul Gray
Foley, Alabama
N729PG..... 500+ hrs
RV 7A, Lycoming 0 320 D1A, Sensenich FP propeller
pilotforfun2001@yahoo.com
VAF supporter $$$
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2020, 09:14 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 3,270
Default

Bill,

Drive down to Dogwood (VA42) and take a look at the RVs here and get hooked into the local RV gang at Shannon.

Carl
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2020, 09:45 AM
bill.hutchison bill.hutchison is offline
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 317
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
Bill,

Drive down to Dogwood (VA42) and take a look at the RVs here and get hooked into the local RV gang at Shannon.

Carl
Carl - that's a great idea. Love to.

Since strange people wandering around looking in airplanes is probably a great way to raise suspicion, is there ever an open house event or something that I could show up at? :-)

Last edited by bill.hutchison : 05-11-2020 at 09:49 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-11-2020, 09:47 AM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,576
Default

You're right, a good pre-buy inspection is important. But when you buy a homebuilt, you're not only buying a piece of machinery, you're also buying the skills and attitudes of the builder and any subsequent owners.

The story I tell is that you could take an airplane to a white gloves shop on one side of the airport for an annual inspection, then take it across the airport to another white gloves shop and they'd find a few things the first one missed.

I think this is even more true on homebuilts where system design, especially electrical, can be all over the place. For example, on my plane, the avionics were installed by a "professional" shop. Much of that wiring had to be replaced at an avionics upgrade. I showed a piece of CANbus to the Garmin folks at AirVenture, and they laughed out loud because it was so poorly done.

Bottom line is that you should count on at least one major problem with your new plane, even after a great pre-purchase inspection. The more documentation on the airplane -- what components were installed, part numbers, where purchased; wiring diagrams; test documentation -- the better. In the real world, though, very few builders seem to pay attention to those details because those are things that don't show, and many builders aren't familiar with those aspects so they get less attention.

I've owned six airplanes now, four of them RVs. Two of the RVs were pretty close to trouble free, but some day when you've got a week, I'll tell you about the other planes.

All this is not to discourage you -- the same can happen with a factory built airplane -- but to help you have realistic expectations. Personally, I find the rewards are worth it.
__________________
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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  #6  
Old 05-11-2020, 10:42 AM
bill.hutchison bill.hutchison is offline
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 317
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Wischmeyer View Post
You're right, a good pre-buy inspection is important. But when you buy a homebuilt, you're not only buying a piece of machinery, you're also buying the skills and attitudes of the builder and any subsequent owners.

All this is not to discourage you -- the same can happen with a factory built airplane -- but to help you have realistic expectations. Personally, I find the rewards are worth it.
These are good points, Ed, and it's the thing I find most daunting: the unknown unknowns. Thus all the reading I'm starting with.

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:05 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,109
Default Welcome to VAF

Bill, welcome to VAF---good to have you aboard.

Give Vic a call for pre-buy https://baselegaviation.com/
__________________
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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  #8  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:24 AM
Dugaru's Avatar
Dugaru Dugaru is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Richmond VA, USA
Posts: 598
Default Pre-buy word of mouth

I'm based not that far from you (W96 near KRIC). John Sanders at Sanders Aviation in Elizabeth City does my condition inspections. He's really good, knows RVs, and delivers on time and on budget. The longer I'm involved in GA, the more I appreciate those qualities. He'd do a good pre-buy.

You could also call in a world-class RV expert like Vic Syracuse from Atlanta. He's definitely capable of saving you a TON of money and headaches, easily justifying paying his travel costs. Ask me how I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill.hutchison View Post
Hi there, VAF people.

I was encouraged by a couple of RV owners to read and join here with questions.

I'm in the very early stages of identifying what I want in an RV - the biggest decision has been just getting to the point of wanting one!

I'm a part-time CFI and full-time cog in a large software machine in the northern VA area near DC, and I'm very interested in owning an RV. Right now, I'm leaning toward an RV6 or RV7, but would go with the right -A model if it presented itself.

Yes, I am looking for a flying RV - do not have the space to build one.

I'm just reading and shopping for the time being but I do have a nagging question:

How do you fine folks go about finding a mech with RV knowledge for a proper pre-buy experience? Do you post here, or in your regional forum? Is it word-of-mouth?

Just curious.

Wanted to say hello. I have much reading to do. Please be gentle as I ask dumb questions.

Bill
__________________
N929JA, 2007 RV-9A
Based W96: New Kent International Aerodrome
(near Richmond, VA USA)
2021 Dues Paid
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2020, 11:26 AM
mchargmg's Avatar
mchargmg mchargmg is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Palmer Lake, CO
Posts: 243
Default Suggestion on how to find mechanic

Bill,
Welcome! You ask a really great question about how to find a good mechanic. I think there are as many answers as people that have ever bought an RV. Let me suggest what worked for me.

Go find some RV folks near you, and talk with them. It sounds like there is an active group near you. I did that, and was introduced to a guy that is now a great friend and mechanic. Jeff had built his own RV-7, and was at that time a new A&P. He is now an IA. He knew first hand the ins and outs of RV's having built his own.

We do the conditional every year together, as well as routine maintenance like oil, filter, and tire changes. This has worked out really well, at least for me. Jeff did the pre-buy for me when I bought my 6A.

I never would have met Jeff if I had not gone out to the local airport, and just started looking for RV pilots to talk with. I found almost all the RV folks I talked to wanted to discuss their birds, and generally gave really good advice when I decided to buy.

All the best of luck.

Geoff
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2020, 12:47 PM
SMRacer's Avatar
SMRacer SMRacer is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 608
Default Mechanics and inspections

8 years ago I purchased a flying RV4. Back then there wasn't nearly as many second owners of experimentals. Getting a condition inspection or pre-buy then could be a problem since many A&Ps didn't have any experimental experience and others simply refused to work on an experimental.

But much has changed. Experimentals have gotten some street cred. There are tons of second and third owners, and many A&Ps have gotten to like the relative simplicity and uniqueness of the aircraft.

We have an active RV community at Leesburg (KJYO). 2 RV12, 2 RV8, 1 RV4, 1 RV7A, 1 RV10 flying, and an RV8 and RV14A under construction.

Let me know if I can be of help. Hard to get a ride these days because of COVID precautions.
__________________
Jim
Leesburg, VA (KJYO)
RV4 N444JT (sold)
RV8 N37PK
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