Monday, May 06, 2013
When we first decided to build an airplane one of our big bucket list items was go fly down to the Caribbean. During the time frame of our build, Brandi and I attended a flying to the Bahamas seminar that was held for free by the FAA. They asked who the youngest pilot was in the crowd of about 40 people and guess who won it, yours truly. So they gave me charts to the Bahamas as a prize. We hung these on our wall of the garage for inspiration during our build. I'm overjoyed to write that the dream goal finally came true this past month. Last year at Oshkosh we had the great pleasure of hanging out with Tim Olson and his awesome family and they suggested the idea of a Bahamas trip. Brandi and I were on board with the plan for sure! Tim did most of the planning and we had a group of four of us RV-10 families who were going. Tim and Andrea Olson and family (myrv10.com), Sean and Hollie Strasburg (Planearound.com), Scott and RaNae Schmidt and family, and Brandi and I.
Since this site is mostly about airplane stuff, I'll keep this post short and focused on mostly that.
As a flight of four RV-10s, we departed Ft. Lauderdale, Florida headed for the Bahamas. It was a sunny beautiful day and excitement was in the air as each of our wheels left the ground to soon be over the ocean. We climbed to 8,500 feet over the top of clouds and headed for our destination of Staniel Cay of the Exuma Islands. The night before, we had all filed our EAPIS plans in order to cross the boarder of airspace of the USA and into the Bahamas.
The further we went, the more breathtaking the views became. No picture or words will capture the awesome sight of the panoramic beauty that the birds eye view provided us. Despite knowing that photos could do the experience no justice, we took some anyways to try to capture even a small glimpse of the shades of blues and the sense of freedom.
Before our final destination we would stop at San Andros to clear customs. All went well there and we were in and out fairly quickly.
We arrived at Staniel Cay and were shuttled via golf carts over to the Yacht club, where we would be staying for the next four nights. It was a charming place with great views, good food, and plenty to do for fun and relaxation. Brandi and I had the orange cottage, which looked out over the ocean with the most enjoyable porch views ever. We scuba dived, boated around and found spectacular beaches, swam the Thunderball grotto, biked around the island, kayaked, had long wonderful dinners with great company, and much more. It was perfect.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Last month Brian and I flew down to Kissimmee, FL for a work conference that was being held at one of the Disney World Resorts. We had to leave a day early because of weather coming in at home. It was crappy flying around Atlanta but we found a hole in the clouds and popped up just south of the city.
We spent our extra day visiting Epcot Center. It was pretty chilly for FL but we managed. That night, we went back to Epcot for "Drinks around the World" and dinner in Germany. All of the food there is amazing! Here's Brian enjoying his liter of beer!
Since we were there during the week, I took my laptop and worked from the room during the day while he was at the conference. The view was awesome!
The last night we flew down to Pompano Beach where another RV-10 builder, Lenny, lives. We meet him and his girlfriend at the airport and then headed to the Panthers vs Jets Hockey game. Brian and I are huge hockey fans (we even play ourselves) and we miss going to NHL games greatly since we lost our local NHL team a few years back. =( We decided when we built the plane that we would fly to an NHL game in every city. We have one down and 29 more to go! =D The Panthers just happened to be playing our old team (now the Winnepeg Jets) so it was great to see all of the players we used to follow so closely.
Here we are doing our favorite thing outside of airplanes... watching live NHL hockey! =D
The flight home was great but SLOW! We had a 60 kt headwind the ENTIRE way at every altitude we tried.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Below are links to a few documents that we created, or modified. We're sharing them to the community in case it helps anyone. I think it would be a great starting point if you didnt have any of this yet or at least needed some ideas.
Here is a .zip file of all of the files below:
Wiring spreadsheet. Lists buses, wire gauges, wire numbers, amp chart, switch names.
Wiring Diagram. Based off Bob Nuckols Z-13. Modified to include avionics switch.
RV-10 Airplane Checklist. Formatted to print into a nice little checklist booklet.
RV-10 Pilots Operating Handbook. Started with one that Mike Andresen (azcloudflyer.com) created and we modified it a bit for our needs.
RV-10 Weight and Balance. A great spreadsheet for RV-10 weight and balance. Someone else created this.
Checklist .ace file. For a Garmin 696, customized for our airplane but a good starting point. Make sure to get the Garmin Aviation Checklist Editor software to go with this.
RV-10 Cost Planner. Help estimate the total cost of the various kits and accessories and helps plan when to order the items.
Flight testing document. Phase 1 fly off period should be structured. Following a test plan such as this help. I think this was created by Mike Andresen originally.
Monday, March 25, 2013
When landing, after the nose wheel comes down the nose wheel kind of shimmies a bit and I didnt like that so I decided to tighten up the nose wheel tension. Previously I set it by the book at the 26 or so lbs of break out force. I tightened it up one more notch since it can only go in increments based on the cotter pin fitting in the next castle nut notch. Well, that fixed the problem, however now its a little harder to taxi around and involves riding the brakes a bit more. So I think I'll put it back to what the plans call for and just put up with the unpleasant shimmy. Just wanted to share in case anyone comes across the same issue.
Friday, March 22, 2013
This past Sunday we flew down to KFFC (Peachtree City, GA) for the Falcon RV Squadron St. Patrick's Day potluck and to get our prop balanced. The potluck was amazing, as usual, and the prop balancing was neat to learn and take part in.
First we removed the top of the cowling and bolted a small sensor to the engine. He then put a piece of reflector tape on the prop to mark 0 degrees.
We ran the sensor cables down the wing and connected them to the handheld receiver. Then, Brian got in the plane and ran it up to about 2400 RPM. Once the RPM was stable, Brian gave the thumbs up and we grabbed a reading from the receiver. It took all of 5 seconds to get a reading.
At the first reading, our prop came in with a vibration level due to mass imbalance of 0.25 IPS (inches per second) (low end of rough) @ 111 degrees. We drilled a hole in the back plate of the spinner and installed a bolt with some washers @ 291 degrees. After putting the spinner back on, Brian got back in the plane and we recorded our second reading. The second reading was much better: 0.07 IPS (good) @ 219 degrees. We could chase this all day but we decided to stop here. Tommy, the expert prop balancer at KFFC, told us that any change under 0.10 IPS wasn't noticeable.
After the potluck, we got in the plane and headed home. At this point, we had both almost forgot about the prop balancing. At least, until we took off. Oh boy! What a difference!! I didn't think our plane was THAT rough to begin with but I felt the difference before we were 1000 feet off the ground. A few seconds later, Brian looked at me and we both just smiled. We knew the flight home was going to be the best one yet! =D
This plane is so amazing... and so are the views!
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Yay, finally installed sun visors. Have been holding out due to money reasons but found a really great deal on a pair of the Blue Sky visors. They are normally $200 a pair but we bought some from one of our -10 friends, Bryan Douglas, who opted to go with the Rosen visors. The Blue Sky are $200 a PAIR where as the Rosens are $200 each. I was a little concerned that they would not be big enough, especially compared to the Rosens cause the Rosens looked much bigger but after having installed them they are PLENTY big. In fact, with the seat scooted up pretty far (cause we're kinda short :/ (5'8")) they can cover a large amount of sky. Even for taller folks they would be just fine. In fact, I wouldnt want them any bigger than they are now. The install was easy. I fret over the fact that we had used a little filler to smooth out the contours of the cabin top where these visors are suppose to mount but in the end I just installed them and they're fine. I had a chance to use them right away too. I was landing 28 at LZU into the sun yesterday and popped the visor down and it worked like a charm. I'm a little too excited about these visors I think, but then again, we did fly 170 hours without them, so it sure is nice :)
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Brandi and I flew over to Alabama a few weeks ago to visit our friends Justin and Jess, who are building an RV-10. We banged a few rivets, met their new baby girl, and enjoyed the day with them. It's very enjoyable to be involved with other builders!
Visit Justin and Jess' Builder site: http://buildingrv10.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Our Wisconsin friends, Ben and Mari, talked us into another February trip to somewhere warm. This is like the 5th annual 'help the Wiscos escape the snow' trip :) We booked a cruise that departed New Orleans and invited another couple, Abby and Chase, to join us. We decided to fly there if the weather allowed or drive otherwise. We lucked out and weather was a go for flying - barely. We beat a front in by half a day. Chase and Abby flew with us from Atlanta to KNEW and it was a quick 2 hour flight away. We sure do love our traveling RV-10!
lol, good photo:
We were on the Carnival Conquest and coincidentally diverted to the broken down Carnival Triumph to help give them supplies. Sure glad we weren't on that ship! Dodged a bullet!
We had friends, food, fun, adventure, and exotic destinations. How could a blog post explain the awesomeness of all that? It can't! Enjoy some more pictures:
Delicious lunch at Scotchies in Jamaica after roaming the streets of Montego Bay and getting hassled all day. It was a great escape to go out to the non touristy area and have really great food. Brandi your face is funnier than usual!
7 mile beach in Grand Cayman. A perfect day at the beach.
And finally, we finish things off by Brandi sacrificing me at the Mayan ruins in Cozumel, Mexico.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
My hangar mate needed to drop his plane off at Cherokee County field and so I flew up there to give him a ride back. It was a nice treat to see the B17 on the field. Its sometimes there anyways because they keep it there for maintenance I think. Anyways - there were lots of people checking it out so we walked over to have a look for ourselves. We were able to go inside it and look at everything and it was very awesome! Its the first time I've ever been in a bomber.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I have to laugh about this one - on our trip to AZ we did some long legs with plenty of time on our hands. I wanted to watch a show that I had put on our iPad. Well, I wanted everyone to be able to see it and also so I could keep my head up the whole time and make sure everything was going smoothly on the flight. What ensued was me taking apart the sunshade for its two suctioncups, then taking the strap off of Brandi's camera bag, and finally rigging up the iPad to stay put on the dash. I think we might need to purchase a proper mount one of these days lol.
This sure did the trick though, despite the fact that I did all this and realized we couldnt find the audio cable to patch it in to the audio panel so I ended up plugging it directly into my headphones and watching the show myself.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Brandi worked really hard to make a fiberglass overlay of the door. She then got it nice and smooth and used contact cement to glue on some foam. Next she covered it with ultra leather. It turned out really great! Here is a shot of her working on it while hanging out with our airport buddy Walt.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
My mom hates airplanes but you cant tell from this pic we snapped of her seeing and then sitting in our plane for the first time. I think we'll get her up in the air one of these days despite the fact that she said she never would :)
Monday, November 26, 2012
Brian is from Tucson, AZ and this year we decided to go have Thanksgiving with his family. So, on Saturday, November 17th, Brian, myself and our 17 yr old sister, Hannah, jumped in the RV-10 and headed west!
Our trip out there included a restroom/stretching break in Danville, AR (32A), a fuel stop in Hinton, OK (2O8) and lunch with my mom in Watonga, OK (KJWG) before reaching Granny's house in Show Low, AZ (KSOW).
Saturdays flight was perfect. We didn't see a single cloud until we hit New Mexico and even then they were pretty high. Didn't really a have strong headwinds to deal with until New Mexico either. We chased the most gorgeous sunset for 2 hours as we flew west from Oklahoma.
We spent a few nights in Show Low, AZ before heading to Tucson, AZ on Monday, November 19th. This is one of my favorite flights because of the terrain.
Upon arriving in Tucson, AZ (KTUS), the tower squeezed us in behind a group of 2 F-16's and in front of a group of 3 F-16's. We sat on one runway waiting for the last 3 to land on another runway before we could taxi to parking.
On Tuesday, November 20th, we left our little sister in Tucson with our sister and flew to Guaymas, Mexico (MMGM) with our uncle to be with family that was in Mexico for Thanksgiving. The trip over the border and down into Mexico was rather uneventful.
The Mexican military and their dog came to visit us as soon as we landed. They tried to get the dog to get into the plane but he wouldn't so they took a photo of him standing by the step and left. We went inside and got our visa's, filled out some paperwork and payed some fees. Our grandparents were there waiting on us when we arrived so we hopped in the car with them and drove a few miles down the road to their home in San Carlos, Mexico.
The next few days were filled with awesome family, wonderful food and gorgeous days on Catch 22 beach.
We had planned to return to the states on Friday, November 23rd but we just couldn't pull ourselves away so stayed another night and headed home early Saturday morning. Leaving Mexico was harder than getting in. They checked all of our luggage by hand, then x-rayed it, then sent us through a metal detector, and charged us more fees. They also brought the dog back out to the plane and kept asking how old we were. ;) Once in the air, we asked ATC if we could fly over San Carlos on the way out of town. They granted our request and we headed up the coast. We found the family on the margarita deck of their home waving bye to us as we flew over head. =D
Back at Tucson International, we taxied to Customs. We were the only ones there and it only took about 10 minutes before we were free to go. They checked our passports and brought a Geiger counter to our plane. I was expecting so much more - especially after everything we just went through to get out of Mexico.
After we cleared customs, we taxied to Million Air FBO to pick up our sister and start our journey back home. Just a few feet from the FBO, we spotted a tail of an RV-12 in an open hangar. We tried to go over and say Hi to the builder but the FBO guy came and hauled us back saying something about fines and international airports. I guess you're not allowed to hang out at international airports. :( Anyways, we picked up our sister, flew to Ryan Field (KRYN) for gas and then headed back east to stay with our friend in Georgetown, TX (KGTU) for the night.
Sunday afternoon we loaded back up and flew the entire way home with a 30 knot tailwind and not a cloud in the sky. :D We dropped our sister off in Ellijay, GA (49A) and stopped for fuel in Canton, GA (KCNI) before landing at KRYY around 6:30pm EST.
It was an awesome adventure! Great weather and zero problems. We love our RV-10!!
Here are some stats from our trip:
Fuel burned: 249 gal
Miles flown: 3380 nm
Hours flown: 21.6 hrs
Link to the photo album.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Last Friday we took the day off and flew to Asheville, NC for a little ski trip. Cataloochee Ski Area got a little snow from Sandy and they've been making snow on top of that so we decided to take advantage of the early season. I had never been skiing before and it was Brian's second time. Turns out I'm pretty good at it and we had a great time!
On Saturday morning, we got up early and flew over the Great Smokies.
During the flight, we flew past some hot air balloons!
We landed at Deerfield Resort in LaFollette, TN for the RV Nation Fly-In.
It was the first of many RV Nation Fly-Ins and there was a pretty good turn out. The food and company were excellent!
On the way home, we stopped for cheap gas at Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. The runway was surrounded by water on three sides. It was a pretty cool landing.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
To my wonderful husband,
My love for you grows every single day... through sickness, health, and airplane projects. =P
PS. I'll build another airplane with you any day! <3
Sunday, October 21, 2012
This was our second year attending the Falcon Squadron 'Fall Leaf Tour'. One main difference this year was that we flew our own plane! It was a blast! Brandi's Dad went with us and we departed Kennesaw and met up with all the other RVs in Dahlonega Georgia (9A0). There was a big festival going on and we roamed around and enjoyed that for a bit and then headed over for a tour of an old gold mine. It was a really neat tour - you got to pan for gold, then go down into the mine and hear all about how they used to extract gold. Brandi loved the little tiny bats that were hibernating in the mine, I loved the huge jackhammer that had been under water for 80 years or so and still worked!
We departed 9A0 and flew around the N. GA mountains taking in the breathtaking views of the fall colors. We flew in a lose formation back to Falcon Field (FFY) and got to fly over the top of Hartsfield, which was the second time in a month we got to do that! They catered in Moes for dinner and we hung out at the squadron hangar all evening and enjoyed everyone's company. Later that evening we had a nice tranquil night flight home. It was a day of pure joy.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
We had a really busy flying weekend and attended not one, but two fly-ins. One of which we camped out for the night! I love it! First, we went to Mallard's Landing, which is an air park community where our friend and DAR, Vic, lives. There are really nice houses, but more importantly, really big hangars attached to these nice houses! Brandi and I were getting drooly as we want to live at an air park one day. They had really good BBQ and lots of planes and people and good all around fun. They had a spot landing competition and flour bombing competition.
On the flight out there we made a request to ATC to fly over the top of Hartsfield and to my surprise they granted!! First time over the top and it was really sweet.
We got to see Robin and Max's recently completed AirCam. It was really awesome to watch it take off. We asked him to pull up to the line where they were doing spot landings so we could measure how long till he was airborn - well let me tell you it was like 10 feet no lie!! It was amazing.
We Departed Mallards for Thomasville and had a nice flight out there. Our friend Kyle was already out there so we met up with him when we arrived and walked the line and checked out all of the planes. We met great people, as usual, because pilots are great folks! We got to ride in a vintage Stitson 108 and it was the first time Brandi or I had ever been in a vintage plane. It was really cool! We were cozy in the back seat together and enjoyed it a lot. We enjoyed a nice dinner and then a movie and some beers later that evening - they were showing Battle of Britain.
We took Kyle up for a flight the next morning since he hadn't ridden in our -10 yet. On our way back in we did a low approach and zoomed up to 1500 then entered the pattern for a full stop. It was a lot of fun. We met some -8 owners, Janice and David, who were really nice and we chatted with them for a while. They live in FL at airport 49FD so we'll have to go visit them one day soon. We could see them waving wildly as we did our approach.
On the flight back I practiced some formation flying a bit off Kyle's wing. After about 40 minutes of that I got exhausted and broke off. It's hard work!
Another adventure in the books. When we were putting up our plane Brandi randomly proclaimed, "I love our plane!" We're having way too much fun with this thing.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
We recently made some great new friends, Justin and Jess, from Huntsville, AL. They are building an RV-10 and are our age. So we packed up and flew out to meet them and check out their build. It was a really nice flight out there and we landed at Madison County Executive. They came and met us at the airport and looked at our plane for a bit then we went back to their house and checked out their build progress. They just started in March but are making really good progress! Here is their site: http://buildingrv10.blogspot.com/ We went flying around for a while and got Justin some PIC time in the -10. They seemed to enjoy it a lot and had all kinds of questions. It was really neat to see how excited they were - it reminded me of Brandi and I when we got our first ride with Geoff Combs in his -10.
We didn't snap too many photos, unfortunately, but I did manage to sneak this one :)
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I put together a quick video with a few small clips of some of our traveling. We are enjoying our RV10 from sun up to sun down!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Brandi and I recently traveled to Pensacola, FL as part of a trip that Ed Martin, of our Falcon Squadron, organized. After having just flown down to Savannah to meet up and visit with my Grandparents, we were lucky enough to have worked out another rendezvous with them in Pensacola. They picked us up from the airport and we went back to the state park where they had their RV (the motor home type) setup. Later that evening we went to McGuires, a famous Irish pub, and met up with the Falcon crew.
The next day we watched the Blue Angels practice and then enjoyed the naval museum. It was really great because I followed John Goodman around, who was a pilot in the Navy, and got all kinds of interesting details and stories. Brandi and I got to sit in an A6 cockpit and push all the buttons. I felt like a little kid! More so than usual even! :)
We enjoyed a calm and scenic twilight flight home later that evening. Another amazing adventure! Worth every second of effort to build this amazing machine.