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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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!