Wednesday, September 19, 2012
We flew down to Savannah, Ga last weekend to meet up with our grandparents, from Arizona, who have been touring the country in their motor home. We left Kennesaw, GA around 9:30am Saturday morning and arrived at Savannah International Airport one hour and 15 minutes later. The weather and the flight were great. I absolutely LOVE this airplane! =D
Savannah Airport wasn't as busy as I thought it would be, we were cleared to land about 8 miles out and only saw one other jet land while we were tying down the plane. We parked at SheltAir, on the opposite side of the field from the main passenger terminal, for the night. They were very friendly and the facilities were really nice. The lady inside surprised us by knowing what type of plane we flew. Most of the time we get people asking what it is. It was $13/night whether you bought fuel or not. Don't plan on buying fuel there, though. That was the most expensive fuel I've seen to date. While it's $5.40ish/gal around the rest of the state, it was $7.45/gal in Savannah!
We spent the day walking around Savannah's Historic District, down River Street and eating wonderful food with our grandparents. That evening, we stayed with them in their RV at Skidaway Island State Park. The park was very spacious and full of gorgeous Savannah landscape. It's a little bit outside of town but well worth getting to. It would be a great place to pitch a tent!
On Sunday, we headed to Tybee Island. We walked down to the beach, out onto the fishing pier and visited the marine life exhibit near the pier.
When we were tired of the beach, we headed to other side of the island to check out the lighthouse. We climbed 178 stairs to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view out over the Atlantic and across the island.
Afterwards, we headed back to downtown Savannah for a late lunch at The Pirate's House (highly recommended) and some more scenic driving around the historic district before it was time to head home. Around 5pm, we headed to the airport, said our goodbyes and took to the skies. On the flight home, we stopped just outside of Savannah at Plantation Airport (KJYL) for some cheaper gas ($5.35/gal).
I've lived in GA for over 30 years and have never made it to Savannah until now. It was a first for our grandparents too. The trip was amazing and I can't wait until our next one!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
This past weekend we went to the Triple Tree fly-in and had a blast! We headed out in a little bit of rain at our local airport but made it to clearer sky soon after takeoff. Our hangar mates Bill, Keith, and Dan took off ahead of us in the Twin Cessna 421 and we followed them in very loose formation to Triple Tree Aerodome(SC00) in South Carolina. We arrived around noon and this was the first time I had landed on grass. Grass strips dont get much better than this at 7000 feet long and nicely kept grass. The whole area was beautiful.
We ran into the [VAF] infamous Dan Horton and walked around with him for a bit and checked out the huge lawn mower they designed to cut the field in only two passes. We also ran into fellow RV-10 owner Wayne Gillipsie, our local RV buddy Jeff Rhodes, RVNation's Scott Brown, and plenty of other awesome people. The people involved in aviation are always top notch people and its one of the best parts of being a part of this great hobby.
Brandi and I walked around and checked out all the airplanes including this tiny little one called the hummingbird. It sure did look cramped in there!
We also saw the DC-3 that is normally parked at Falcon Field and we got to go inside it and sit in the cockpit. We both thought the plane was really cool. Here is me doing a presidential wave as I deplane :)
The weather was looking pretty iffy and there was a big scare that a hail storm was headed our way. We sweated that for about an hour and then the sky cleared up a bit and it looked like we were in the clear. There was a little rain that came through and cooled things off really nicely. We enjoyed a really delicious dinner that evening and then went over to the 'party parachute' that Dan Horton and his wife brought. We brought our chairs over and a couple beers and enjoyed really great pilot and builder company. It had been a long day and so when the rain started coming back down later that evening we headed back to our tent that we had pitched by the plane and enjoyed listening to the sound of rain on our tent as we drifted off to sleep.
Here is Brandi getting a few things out of the plane. She found that she could crack the door open and get in without taking the cover off.
We woke early the next morning and had some breakfast. They had a catering company in there that made pretty good food. We checked out some powered glider planes, walked around a bit more and then decided to head for home later that morning. Brandi got some more stick time in and did her second in a row day of radio calls to the McCollum tower. She is doing so well! It was a really great experience and we will definitely look forward to going back! We're living the aviation dream for sure!
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Scratch another item off the bucket list. I flew myself and three buddies down to Key West a few weeks ago for some scuba diving and relaxation. Going down to the keys to dive was one of the big motivators during the build and finally being able to have done it was great! We went lobstering but they were pretty sparse. I managed to catch two lobsters but the second one we caught we realized it had eggs and so I released it. We rented a 22' center console boat for the day so we were able to boat around all day and go wherever we wanted. The trip back we faced some storm cells ahead and managed to cut through a clear spot thanks in part to the on-board XM weather and being able to see out the window and match what we saw on the radar screen. It was a great trip and the plane performed nicely. Highlight of the flight was probably getting cleared through naval airspace at Key West and being notified 'Traffic 12 o'clock opposite direction two F-18's'. I said 'roger'. What else can you say? lol. Seconds later they blasted by as they turned off our right wing a thousand feet or so above us. It was definitely cool.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Brandi and I toured the Delta TechOps facility at Hartsfield-Jackson airport this past weekend. It was AMAZING! I had a hard time wrapping my head around the scale of everything. It was so neat to see all of the different sections of the facility and to fully appreciate many of them after having become more aware of aircraft assembly and maintenance. We were treated to a personal tour by a really cool guy that I met through a friend at work. We walked for 4 hours straight and saw much of it but apparently there is a second and third floor that is just as big. We would sometimes come across a worker in their particular area and they would always take the time to be friendly and explain in detail some of the things going on in their area. It was a very educational experience and if I would have done the tour pre-college I think I would have went into aerospace for sure.
One of my favorite parts was a room that our friend accurately described as a scene from the Roger Rabbit movie where there are big tanks of acid and such. It was the dipping room where they had dozens of pools of different chemicals to treat various components. One of the neat things about it was I realized the floor we were standing on was grated and you could see it went down like 2 stories. Well it turns out that each dipping pool goes down like 12 feet!
We got to go inside a Boeing 777 and look all over the place. I sat in the cockpit, went up in the crew quarters, roamed up and down the isles. It was kind of weird being in a plane all by ourselves like that. It felt kind of like when you go looking at houses [to buy] and you kind of feel right at home on some of them like its yours or something.
We toured the composite shop and Brandi was like a kid in a candy store when she saw a huge rack of carbon fiber, and other composite materials that I have no idea what they even were. A worker there showed us some fairing repair he was doing with vaccum bags. The engine rebuild area was really amazing too but we didnt get a picture of that, unfortunately.
After we were done with the tour we were exhausted and starving so we went to the OK Cafe, which has really good southern style food. I used to live right near there so it was a nice treat to go visit it again. What a great trip!
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
We were privileged enough to get to chat with Bob Collins on EAA radio while we were at Oshkosh. Below is the audio clip of it.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Oshkosh trip was a huge success! The flight in was easy and none of the horror stories that we heard about came to fruition. We had a great evening of fellowship at the RV-10 potluck dinner the evening we arrived. The next evening was the vansairforce beer tent gather. Brandi and I won a gift certificate for being the lowest time RV to make it to Osh at about 52 hours on the hobbs. We also got to hang out with our Falcon squadron buddies, which was really awesome. Tuesday night was the Vans banquet dinner - it was cool meeting a few new RV peoples there but for the most part it was just jam packed and kind of boring. Monday during the day was hot hot hot and Tim Olson and his wife Andrea invited us to go swimming at a rock quarry that was about a 20 mile drive away. We had a GREAT time with them and their kids, Ed, and Lenny, which were other youthy RV-10 builders. It was really great to meet Tim after leaning on his really great website for so long during our build (http://myrv10.com) I had to go to Louisville, KY Wed and Thurs for a work event so Brandi stayed behind and had to deal with some crazy wind activity. She had to re-pitch our tent and then had to move it to avoid the 'blue river' from encroaching on our campsite because the porta-poties near us got blown over in the high wind!! Friday we had a 15 minute radio spot on the EAA radio. It was really fun! We got to talk with Bob Collins about our experience as a relatively young builder couple. We're E-Famous! The radio booth was on a two story tower right near the runway and we were invited to sit up there to watch the airshow that was taking place later that day. It was an amazing view to watch the airshow from! We had dinner with several good friends Friday night and then Saturday morning we left for Lacrosse, WI where our friends Ben and Mari live. We ate amazing German food for lunch and walked down the river. Then we grilled out and watched a movie outdoors and played frisbee and other outdoor games. The next day we explored the Niagara cave in Harmony, Minnesota. It was finally time to fly home and we made it all the way back in one shot and enjoyed 25 knot tail winds the whole way.
This is the abbreviated version of the whole trip. It was AMAZING and way more stuff went down than I'm going to sit down and write about. Its an absolute joy to be able to travel all around in our newly flying airplane. We have 69.9 on the hobbs now!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Now this trip is what building this plane was all about! Brandi's birthday was this past weekend and I had planned a little surprise trip down to Jekyll Island. We arrived at the hangar around 9:30am Saturday morning and all the guys were already there busy cleaning things up. We pitched in and then I did an oil change on our bird. Bill generously loaned us a case of oil and Walt saved the day by having an oil filter we could use. We took off, got fuel at a nearby airport for $4.99/gal and off we went. There was some weather between ATL and Jekyll so we climbed up to 10,500 feet, which was high enough to get over it all. We did jump up to 13.5 briefly to dodge some taller clouds. The view was spectacular. I have always loved flying among the clouds. We cruised at 170 knots (195MPH) most of the way there. As we got closer we began to see some really pretty scenery as the river and wetland area permeated the area.
We landed and got all tied down and rented a 'Red Bug' (electric car similar to a golf cart) for the day. Rich, a very nice gentlemen at the FBO was helpful and friendly and chatted with us about a few things on the island and later about our plane. He was very complimentary and enthusiastic! So off we went to our campsite with our camping gear loaded up. We got our tent all setup in a quaint little area that had picturesque trees that I call Savannah Trees (because they have that mossy stuff hanging from them, no idea what its actually called). Then we had a delicious dinner at a place called Driftwood that had some really excellent southern cooking. Next, Brandi and I had a nice long walk on the beach (oh how cliche). The weather was perfect and the water was warm as we had our shoes off and were walking just along the edge. We drove around the island some more and found a huge soccer complex that was empty except a family of deer. We then went over to the Marina and 'window shopped' at all the nice boats and pretended like we had to pick one out to be ours. I liked ones that tended to have a nice big open area on the back for fishing/launching for scuba. Brandi was eyeballing a gorgeous sailboat. Next we toured the historic district, which had some impressive old plantation style homes of some big names from the past like J.P. Morgan and Rockefeller. We then walked along the fishing pier hopeful to see someone hauling in a big catch but it was pretty uneventful. It was starting to get dark and we were tired so we decided to head back to the tent. We had packed a cooler with a couple beers so we grabbed them and enjoyed them in the tent because we had to hide from the mosquitoes lol. The camping trip was a surprise to Brandi so in our last minute packing (30 minutes by the way, nice!) we neglected to bring a flashlight. We also only had a sleeping bag as padding to sleep on. Oops! Could have been a better evening but the next morning was gorgeous weather and scenery to cheer things back up.
We had a delicious breakfast at the golf course and then decided to head home to beat the weather. We had an amazing weekend and both agreed we want to go back again. After having put so much hard work into building our plane, it was such a reward to have a nice get away weekend like this. The biggest problem we have now is that there are so many great places to go visit!
Thursday, July 12, 2012
The evening storms have been pretty bad here this week so I'm taking the opportunity to work on the interior some more.
I'm in the process of fitting the fiberglass side panels that I made. Maybe I can get them covered and in place before OSH. The plan is to cover the glass with 1/8" closed cell foam (like I used on the glare shield cover) and then wrap that in the same black Ultraleather that I'm using on the seats. I've only got one of the rear seat side panels made at this point and I've yet to come up with a good way to incorporate the rear side vents into it. So, it's probably going to be a little while before I get those finished.
I'm also working on the carpet. First I made templates out of poster board for each area that I need to fill. I then laid the templates (wrong side up) on the back of the carpet and traced them with silver sharpie. Next I cut out each piece and fit them in the plane. The only thing I have left to do is trim them to where my interior panels stop and attach them with Velcro. I had originally planed to tuck the carpet under my interior panels but it's much thicker than I remembered and, while it might work on the outboard side panels, it's not going to work for the tunnel cover panel. So, I've decided to trim it just to the edge of the panel and see how that works.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Operation Oshkosh is a go! Brandi and I attended our very first Osh ever last year. We had a BLAST! This year is going to be probably 5x better I think. Not only are we going to fly our own plane there, which is a dream goal come true, but there are so many great Vans oriented events and people that we have met or made acquaintance with that we are looking forward to seeing. We're going to be camping near our plane in STYLE this time. Last year we had a 2 person tent that was cramped to say the least. We slept on little blow up floats for a pool (and they never held air for long). This time Brandi found a super great bargain on a bigger tent and we have a real air mattress we can actually bring. Last year when we flew commercial and had to schlep our gear all around on our backs, lots of ammenities was just not an option. Now, we can carry the kitchen sink! With Brandi and I and full fuel, we can carry 475 lbs of junk in that trunk. Nice! I love the -10!
Monday, July 09, 2012
And I finally got to fly! =D It was awesome!
Monday, July 02, 2012
27 of the required 40 hours of the test phase have been flown so far. Loving every minute of it! I got in 6 hours today, which was draining but I enjoyed all of it. Much better than yesterday's 5 hours because yesterday's high was 105 degrees, ouch! I took a short clip today with my phone. Tomorrow I'll bring the GoPro camera that our buddy Keith loaned us.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Brian's been in Texas for the past week so I took the opportunity to finish up the intersection fairings. They're a LOT of work but coming along nicely.
Friday, June 22, 2012
After eleven hours of pure blissful flying I'm happy to report that all is well. There are a few squawks but nothing major that cant be fixed. I flew over to Peachtree City (FFC) for the first time the other day, which was a milestone for us because thats where the Falcon squadron is and we have made some very good friends with the group since we began our journey. It was anti-climatic at first because I didnt call anyone to tell them I was coming so naturally I wouldnt expect anyone to be sitting at the hangar when I showed up at 10am on a Wednesday. Well, luck would have it that Robbin saw me at Aircraft Spruce, where I was picking up a couple things, and said to come over to the other Falcon squadron hangar. To my delight, John and Jerry were there and later Waldo showed up! They congratulated me and we checked out our plane and everyone was very complimentary of our accomplishment. It was nice to be able to show off our bird and I really look forward to some of the adventurous trips that Brandi and I will get to take part in soon.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Dont forget to budget for taxes. The state/county does not waste any time to hold their hand out upon seeing someone receiving an air worthiness certificate. They want their 6% of the value of the plane. After spending our own hard earned (and already taxed money, by the way) to build something from nothing it is a disgusting notion to have to pay the government a large sum of money in this manor. Oh well, what can you do...
Friday, June 22, 2012
First year insurance costs are pretty high but they are sure to come down next year once I have some RV-10 time under my belt. We ended up with a $4100 annual cost this year and I expect that to drop by at least a grand or more by next renewal. At the time I got coverage I had about 135 total flight time. Insurance mandated that I get 5 hours of transition training, which I would have done anyways. We went through NationAir and our agent, Jenny, is fantastic.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Brian and Brandi's RV-10, N42BU, took its first flight on 6/16/2012 after 20 months and over 2300 hours of construction. It flew like a dream come true and is everything we hoped it would be. Outfitted with standard engine configuration. Avionics include two 10" Dynon Skyview EFIS, Garmin 430w, Garmin 696, SL40, PS8000B audio panel.
This has been a project that we took on together as a team. Its been an incredible journey and we are thrilled to think what lies ahead for us yet. As both our initials are "BU" this airplane is "For Two BU" or N42BU.
Compilation video below.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
I'm day dreaming about flying the plane and my mind wanders. I was chatting with Brandi as seen below, which turned into me doodling a comic. The crazy things I think up to keep my mind occupied until first flight... ;)
Brian: I was sitting here thinking - hmm on Sat if I did my first flight.. if I had the choice would I eat BBQ lunch first as a 'last meal' or would I say , "no! I dont get bbq until I make it back safely" so then my lol moment was out loud I said Barrrbbeeequeeeeee as I imagined that would be my 'battlecry' as I took off on my first takeoff. Tower would just be like? ?
(Click to view normal size)
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Our airplane is officially certified to fly the skies now! We used Vic Syracuse as our DAR (FAA representative to do the air worthiness inspection) and he was excellent. Better than excellent. You couldnt pick a better person to look over your build unless it was Van himself! Vic has built 7 or so planes, including two RV-10s. He did a very thorough inspection and pointed out some things we had to fix and some things that were recommendations. We didnt have anything majorly wrong except I had the trim hooked up backwards! That was an easy fix but OOPS! I feel shame. The elevator trim should go the opposite direction of the elevator. For example, nose up trim should deflect the trim tab down. What a nasty one to have to have found out in flight, whew. What a relief to have that part out of the way. Now we look forward to first flight. Our good friend Pierre who is an Agricultural pilot (crop duster) and also owns a 10 offered to do our first flight. Since I'm a low time pilot it is wise for me to take him up on that offer despite the fact that I miss the symbolic first flight in a sense. I will still get my own first flight and I know its going to be amazing!
Friday, June 08, 2012
A BIG thanks to Keith for staying super late to help Brandi and I do one more look over of the plane from nose to tail in preparation for our inspection. Also thanks to Glynnis, his wife, for putting up with him :)
Friday, June 08, 2012
We performed our initial flight weight and balance thanks to the help of David and Keith over at EAA chapter 268. They were nice enough to loan us some scales. We came in at 1541 lbs empty weight, which is pretty good I think. We'll pickup probably 50 more lbs as we add the rest of Brandi's interior panels down the road and then paint. So we'll have to redo the W&B then but for now we're in great shape. If we stay around 1600 when its all said and done then we'll have an 1100 lb useful load. As advertised this is enough for 4 people, fuel, and some baggage. Sweet!