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Old 10-22-2012, 09:49 PM
NM Doug NM Doug is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 160
Default RV performance - thank you

When I rode a motorcycle, I appreciated that my ability to out-accelerate problems could sometimes help me get out of developing situations. I recently had a similar experience in the 9A.

I was taking off from an uncontrolled airport at a quiet, residential airpark. The preferred runway for calm or low wind is 27 - it's about 1% uphill. We're in the desert southwest, and the density altitude was maybe 8000, and the wind was slight and out of the east.

I listened on CTAF during taxi, announced my intentions on CTAF, and looked around before departing. On takeoff roll, with my nosewheel a few inches above the runway and still a few seconds before lifting off, I thought I saw something heading toward me, but I couldn't be sure. A couple seconds later, I saw an aircraft about 20 AGL heading the opposite direction.

The runway is only about 30' wide, I have only 15 or so hours in the 9A, I was probably going 55 kt, and I didn't know if the oncoming aircraft was taking off or I didn't abort the takeoff but continued, lifted off, and made an immediate jog to the right away from the centerline. The oncoming gyrocopter passed me within 2-3 seconds and made a radio call, "traffic now in sight." My guess is that the other pilot heard my call, ".....departing 27, northbound departure...." and assumed I had already taken off and was already turning to the north.

Now I know I might have departed on 9 if I were in a 172, but I would have been in even more of a bind if another, also unseen airplane were landing 27. Being in an RV instead of a 172, I lifted off considerably sooner than I would have and was able to make a controlled evasive maneuver. It was a dangerous situation, but I know the RV's performance helped me do what I needed to do.
Doug Dunston
Adopted RV-9A N191PF
Grateful VAF supporter 2021
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:07 AM
gtmule gtmule is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Macon, GA
Posts: 507

Good post. I think this applies to a lot of things with RV's. You're much more likely to have good options on an engine out scenario 1min after t/o if you're at 1000ft instead of 400 ft. You've got a better chance of out climbing terrain, birds, other airplanes, etc. I typically do my T&G's on a 5k ft paved runway, and feel like there's almost no point where I couldn't either land straight ahead on the runway (even if i'd run off the end, which is nice friendly grass) or make easy turns back.
Macon, GA (KMCN)
RV-7, Niner Fife Victor
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:58 PM
flyboy1963's Avatar
flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is online now
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,434
Default what's the lesson learned?

[quote=NM Doug;710139]
I listened on CTAF during taxi, announced my intentions on CTAF, and looked around before departing. QUOTE]

This is a great example that we can all learn from....glad it had a favourable outcome this time.

I think at uncontrolled, quiet fields, we thing we're going to see ANY activity, and or hear the one, solitary radio call way before there is any conflict.

I empathize; a little gyro coming head on would be a very tough target to pick wingspan, tiny frontal area without any contrast etc.

So what could be done? Maybe you CFI's out there can suggest something.
my $.02 would be to make SPECIFIC radio calls, ( "XYZ is ROLLING runway 26......") use the landing lights at all times...strobes on etc. etc.

thanks again for sharing.
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:28 PM
rv9aviator rv9aviator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 1,505

For me it's strobes and wigwag landing lights on on takeoff and landing. I operate out of an uncontrolled airport and have have multiple issues with other aircraft. The strange thing is most were with planes that have radios. The ultralights and old planes with no radios have never been a problem.
Jim Wright
RV-9A N9JW 90919 SoldArkansas
"It's a brutal struggle for the biscuit."
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