Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Cruise vacation out of New Orleans


by Brian 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.

B17


by Brian 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.

 

Your in flight movie sponsored by McGyver


by Brian 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.

R. Door cover complete


by Brian 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. 

Mom hates airplanes


by Brian 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 :)

Fall Leaf Tour 2012


by Brian 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. 

Mallards Landing and Thomasville


by Brian 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. 

Huntsville, AL to visit some -10 builders


by Brian 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:  https://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 :)

Traveling RV10


by Brian 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!

Pensacola, FL


by Brian 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. 

Triple Tree Fly-In


by Brian 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!

Florida Keys


by Brian 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. 

Delta TechOps Facility


by Brian 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!

15 minutes of fame


by Brian 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. 

https://n42bu.com/audio/EAA-Radio-BrianBrandi-2012.mp3

Oshkosh


by Brian 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 (https://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!

Jekyll Island trip


by Brian 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!

Oshkosh bound!


by Brian 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!

27 hours in


by Brian 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. 

11 hour mark


by Brian 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.

Taxes :(


by Brian 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...