Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Picking up our survivor

by Brian Sunday, October 29, 2017

Hurricane Nate survivor, Bubbles, was parked in Vic's beautiful hangar in Malards Landing. Brandi, Lucy and I all drove down to pick her up. What a treat when we arrived, we saw Vic and a friend of his doing formation flights with the Stearmans. Also, just parked out in the grass near his house was a visiting Corsair. Shesh! 

Vic has a business, Base Leg Aviation, by the way. Check it out if you ever need anything aviation related, especially RVs. 

Sailing Belize to Pensacola

by Brian Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Falcon Squadron friend, Bill Gilmer, bought a 39' Catamaran in Belize and asked the squad if anyone wanted to help sail it back. I jumped on the opportunity quick as it sounded like a blast! I had never been on a sail boat before, but I figured i could learn and help out in other areas too. I flew Bubbles down to Pensacola International at about 3am in order to catch my 6am commercial flight to Belize. It was nice arriving so late/early? and it was nice not having to deal with heavy [air] traffic. I tied down Bubbles, snoozed an hour in the pilot lounge, and then off I went.

As fate would have it, hurricane Nate spun up just South East of us and we waited it out an extra couple of days in San Pedro island in misery (scuba diving, walking around the city, enjoying drinks and dinner, etc). Brandi had to organize a rescue mission for Bubbles since Nate's landfall was going to hit Pensacola and the FBO wouldnt commit to hangaring us. Our amazing squadron mates sprung into action and rescued our plane. Thank you so much Scott, Mark, and Vic! 

Solar Eclipse

by Brian Monday, August 21, 2017

We were extremely excited to see the total solar eclipse so we flew to Cleveland, TN airport KRZR. We got there early in the morning because we thought the airport would be swamped, but it turned out to be a decent size crowd but not over crowded. Lucy made best friends with a little girl that just so happened to have the exact same shirt as her. Two aviation friends of ours ended up coming to RZR to watch the eclipse, plus we by chance ran into Don Smith, who was the one who painted our plane. Joseph Chambers and his family came out in their 182, and Bill Tomasson and his son flew their -10 out. 

The eclipse was breathtakingly beautiful, awe inspiring, and more. It was a great family adventure and left us with great memories. We plan on flying out to TX or somewhere for the next total eclipse in 7 years or so. 

Airventure 2017

by Brian Tuesday, August 01, 2017

We enjoyed our 7th in a row EAA Airventure in Oshkosh. Its striking how each time has been unique. This year's twist was that my Grandparents drove their RV Camper from Tucson up there and met us for the week. Staying in the RV instead of a tent was nice, although tenting near the plane is still a wonderful experience that we wont dread going back to in the future when having the RV around isnt an option. As Lucy gets older each year its more enjoyable to share the experience of it all with her. She really enjoyed spending time with the other kids there, Kidventure, and just the excitement in general. If a picture speaks 1,000 words then here is a brief photo/video compilation, which speaks volumes. 

Joy riding

by Brian Wednesday, May 31, 2017

We recently flew a few laps around the lake for some joy riding. My sister wanted to fly around and show her boyfriend the plane, so we did! Lucy tagged along with and upon take off was squealing into the mic with joy "Yay, we're flying way up high in the sky!!!". We had a great time. Lucy wanted to fly the leg home after the fuel stop, but she isnt instrument rated, so I had to tell her no this time. 

West 2017

by Brian Thursday, April 27, 2017

We recently completed an awesome adventure out west, which included about 25 flight hours, over 4,000nm, and an immeasurable amount of fun and memories. We started the trip out with a fuel stop in West Georgia on a beautiful day.

We stopped in Austin, TX for a couple days to visit my good friend Lee. We did big things while in Texas, as it should be. Lucy went shopping for an ATV, played in the park and chased the birds, made friends with the neighbor girl, and had fun eating oranges and Hawaiian rolls thanks to Jeff. Lucy loves to eat and Jeff knows the way to her heart. 

Next it was on to Tucson, AZ to visit some family. Lucy was glad to see Grandpa and try to resume her nap that she had started on the last leg of the flight. 

Brandi and I had a brilliant plan to take a mini vacation and leave Lucy with Grandma while we had fun in beautiful California. The flight was very scenic and we saw some really interesting things. One thing that stood out was this very distinct line between CA and AZ right on the border near Blythe. 

We did a lot of amazing stuff in CA like attend two hockey games (Ducks vs Flames and Kings vs Flames), walk down Redondo Beach and Pier, visit Catalina Island, and more, but perhaps the best part of all was the surprise tour of SpaceX that I had plotted for Brandi. It was very difficult to get a tour as they are not available to the public. We were blown away by SpaceX. It was/is amazing and inspiring and overwhelming and wow. I am very thankful to our new friends Dmitry and Amy, who we shared a really great time with. Thanks guys, you rock!

It wasnt all fun and games though as we had to troubleshoot a malfunctioning electric pitch trim issue once we arrived in CA. We removed the pilot seat, empennage fairing, inspected wires and tested various conditions, and finally narrowed the issue down to the Autopilot head, which also had trim relays. Dynon support was amazing as they worked with us and over nighted a replacement module to our hotel! Thanks Dynon! Brandi and I both agreed it was actually pretty fun working on the plane together like that again since it has been years. Felt like old times in the garage during the build. 

We headed back to Tucson and enjoyed spending time with family and especially enjoyed watching Lucy and her cousin Levi playing together. We went to the desert museum, picnic in the white mountains, parks, dinner with family, and more. It was really nice spending a chunk of time with everyone even though it went by too fast. 

We flew up to Show Low, which has a very beautiful scenic flight over some canyons and visited Granny. Lucy LOVED playing with the cat, but I'm pretty sure the feeling was not mutual. We enjoyed time at the park, cooking, playing dice games, flying a kite, and generally just peaceful mountain atmosphere with great weather. 

When it was time to head home we decided to make the long trip in one day. With good weather and decent ~25kt average tail winds we set off home. 

We got home late that night safe and sound with another great trip thanks to our adventure machine! It was good to be home. I sure am glad we decided to build this airplane and perhaps most importantly, have the ability to use it for such joyful journeys that enrich our life. A bit sappy, I know, but its really great and I always want to remain thankful about it and not take it for granted.

St Patricks Day 2017

by Brian Friday, March 17, 2017

We flew down to KFFC again this year for St Patricks day and had a blast, as always. The flight was a little bumpy on the way there, and Lucy said she had to poopoo about 5 minutes into the flight, but fortunately we made it without incident. The potluck food that everyone brings each year is amazing, and this time was no exception. It was great catching up with all the falcon folks. Once we had our fill it was getting dark and Lucy was tired so we hopped in the adventure machine and home we went. 



Lunch outing

by Brian Thursday, March 16, 2017

I recently made a new friend, Jason, who is building an RV7. We met up at the airport and enjoyed a quick flight over to the restaurant at LZU. It was a little choppy up at 4k feet, but otherwise a very enjoyable trip and nice to get out in the plane since it had been a while. Thanks for lunch Jason and keep making good progress on your build! 


Columbus, OH

by Brian Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lucy and I hopped in the plane this past weekend to have a nice little visit with our good friends Ben and Mari and their 1.5 year old, Max. Brandi got a nice break and took a stay at home vacation. We caught a Blue Jackets vs Rangers hockey game there, which was awesome for several reasons. It was Lucy's first NHL game. It was a close and hard fought match up with the home team winning. Matt Calvert took a slap shot to the face, got 30+ stitches, came back to finish playing the game, and scored the game winning goal, which was a short-handed one to boot!! WOW. Perhaps just as exciting, at least for a pilot, was that we happened to luck out beautifully on timing of the weather. A low front was coming through so we got 30+ knot tail winds on the way to Columbus, AND the way home too!! Was so awesome doing over 200kts round trip. 


Lucy and Max played so well together and had a great time. We all went to an indoor arcade type of place that had a huge climbing/slides/ball pit area for the kids and let them run around and wear themselves out. 

Fall Leaf Tour 2016

by Brian Monday, November 07, 2016

Every year the Falcon RV Squadron does a scenic flight to enjoy the turning of the leaves, some good fellowship, and great fun. This year was another great one as we headed up to 24J in N. Carolina for lunch. The trouble was, all the wild fires in the area caused a ton of smoke and poor visibility, so we diverted to Ashville, which turned out to be pretty fortuitous, because we ended up at the Sierra Nevada brewery, which I had no idea was there. That place is amazing and cozy, but quite unfortunately we couldnt enjoy any of the beer since we were on a day trip flight! We had a great time never the less, and even started the flight off right with a proper cleaning. Lucy was tasked with all the low spots on the plane :)




Philly Flyers

by Brian Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My buddy Steve is a huge Flyers fan. He's been my hockey line mate for years and we love catching NHL games together, so imagine how excited I was when his Dad and Wife stealthily planned a surprise Birthday trip up to Philadelphia to catch a Flyers game. One really remarkable thing about the start of this trip planning was I noticed a private grass field near where we wanted to be, so I reached out to the owner. He was a fellow RV pilot and super nice guy. He gave us permission to land on his field, and even more, he loaned us a car for the weekend! Amazing people you find in aviation!! Thank you Keith! 


We got Philly Cheese Steaks at famous Pat's restaurant, caught the Flyers game with amazing complimentary VIP area that Steve's dad arranged, and finished off the night with a little bit of action at a Harrahs Casino. What a full day! The next day we enjoyed Reading market, which was amazing. The food there is to die for! Mark another hockey arena off the list. This is one we'll have to go back to again someday soon though since it was so much fun. 

Charleston fishing trip

by Brian Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My buddy from Sweden, Andreas, was visiting with us and we decided to hop in the -10 and go on a fishing trip to Charleston. I really love Charleston and if you've ever been, you likely agree its a charming city. I had never fished there before and wasnt sure what to expect. We did an AirBnB for the first time and it was a great experience. We ended up directly across the street from a great little dive bar place with really good food and beer selection. We did a half day inshore fishing excursion for red fish, and man what a blast!! Those suckers are super fun to catch and we snagged about 6 each! After a couple days of enjoying the fishing and the town, we hopped in the plane and cruised on back for a quick journey home. Chalk another great trip up in the books. 

Airventure 2016

by Brian Friday, August 05, 2016

We had a blast as always! This was the 6th year in a row that we have made it up to Oshkosh for Airventure. It was a little different of an experience this year since we had 2 year old Lucy in tow. A lot of the time was spent exposing Lucy to fun and cool things she would enjoy, which of course did include looking at airplanes, so she wasnt the only one having fun. We got to hang out with all our RV friends and it was great catching up with them, even if it was only briefly this year. We had to cut things a little short because Lucy caught a cold and also some weather was rolling in, so we left Wednesday morning, having arrived Sunday early afternoon. We enjoyed the Nasa building, innovations pavilion, air shows, KidVenture, museum, and all the usual fun, only this year in quick 2-year old attention span bursts :) 


Lucy wanted to help with the tie downs, so I let her with a lot of caution while she had a hammer near the plane. 


Oshkosh kids!

Lucy and Mommy enjoying the airshow with a great seat in the shade.


Columbus, Ohio friends

by Brian Thursday, July 28, 2016

We went up to Columbus to visit our friends before heading on to Oshkosh. We landed at Bolton Field KTZR and it was a nice airport with a restaurant right next to it so we enjoyed some BBQ as a late lunch after we arrived. The lady at the FBO gave Lucy a little stuffed animal airplane, which she loves! 


My buddy Ben and I had a good time chasing Pokemon Go and the little rug rats had a blast jumping, swimming, playing in the park, and running around like wild little toddlers lol. 



St Patrick's Day

by Brian Tuesday, April 05, 2016

We had a nice enjoyable flight over to Falcon field for a potluck dinner this past St Patrick's day. The food was delicious as usual, and it was really great catching up with some of the squadron since we havent seen them a lot over the last few months. Lucy had a good time and can enjoy outings like this more and more as she is getting a little older. 

Nashville Predators

by Brian Saturday, February 06, 2016

Scratch another hockey arena off the list. My good buddy and line mate, Steve, along with his wife and their friend Dom, had a nice quick 1 hour flight up to Nashville to catch the Predators vs my current favorite team, the Sharks. We had a nice enjoyable flight to John Tune airport and took an Uber car ride to downtown for some delicious BBQ. The game was good, although my Sharks lost unfortunately :( The night flight home was peaceful and the adventure machine was put to bed in her hangar once we arrived back home. We all said our good nights and parted ways until the next adventure strikes. 

AZ/Mexico Thanksgiving 2015

by Brian Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Lucy, my sister Hannah, and I all went out west to visit family for Thanksgiving. Brandi opted to have a staycation and skip this trip since she was a little bit over all the traveling we have done lately.

We had a great flight out to Austin, TX to visit my friend Lee. We hung out, ate good BBQ, and caught up on what's been going on. We stayed the night and got an early start the next day. We headed to Show Low, AZ, where my Granny lives. We enjoyed a nice visit with her, some good meals, and as usual some challenging scrabble matches. Lucy especially loved playing with the two cats and dog. 


We then departed to Guaymas, Mexico, which was the third time we have flown there now. It was a nice smooth ride down there and the 2 hour flight sure does beat the 6 hour drive! When we arrived it was a nice warm 80 degrees and Lucy even played in the ocean a bit. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset, hung out with family and were having a great time. Poor Hannah was sick to her stomach but she hung in there like a trooper. The next day the whole family went out on my Grandpa's boat and we enjoyed the entire day out on the ocean. The fishing wasnt good that day but we had a great time anyways. Lucy played with her cousin Levi, who is about a year older than her. We went out fishing again the next day but again, not much luck, which is unusual but it happens from time to time. We had planned on staying another day but weather dictated that if we didnt leave immediately then a storm front would block us from getting home for several more days. We loaded up quick and headed for South Texas. We cleared customs in Brownsville with a little trouble because they couldnt find my EAPIS, despite the fact that I had definitely filled it out earlier that day and even had a confirmation email. After that the plan was to get fuel and get ahead of the weather that was in central Texas. 

Upon landing at Port Aransas for fuel, we had developed a flat tire on the left main! What a nightmare. The tire was in great shape and no sign of puncture. I didnt know what was going on until later inspection showed the stem had sheered off the tube!! What the hell! How does that even happen? Since it was Friday night when that happened and no maintenance on the field, plus everyone around the area seemed to be gone for Thanksgiving, we had a really hard time finding a tube. I finally got one from a really nice old mechanic out at Corpus Cristi Intl. The weather was IFR anyways so we were stuck. We ended up getting a rescue flight from my good friend Bill Thomason (Thank you times a million, Bill!!!). He brought a jack and was going to fly us all home. Bill arrived and rescued us and reported VFR on top the whole way back to GA. We made it out through a small break in the clouds and finally got home after an exhausting journey around the country. Everyone loved seeing Lucy so it was worth it. Hannah was a big help with Lucy and I couldnt have done it without her. Thanks Hannah!

Hockey Eh?

by Brian Monday, November 16, 2015

This year, at Oshkosh, while enjoying the company of our friends, the Branch family, we made an innocent comment like "we should come visit you in Canada sometime." We decided to make an actual plan out of it and discussed how late October might be the best time, due to weather and the hockey season starting up. One of Brandi and my bucket list items when building the plane was to watch an NHL game in every city that had a team. This would be a great opportunity to cross a couple off the list. 

We had made plans to visit the Kranz family last year, but because of weather, that fell through. So, we figured we would bundle that into a big sweeping trip up towards Canada. We were intending to depart on a Tuesday morning but weather was going to get bad at home, so, we decided on the spur of the moment to leave Sunday afternoon and go early. We landed at Red Wing, WI later that evening after a pleasant flight. We stowed the bird in Ed's nice big hangar and headed for his home. It was really great being able to spend several days with Ed, Colleen, and little EJ. While we were there we did all kinds of fun stuff like went to the Science Museum, Mall of America, got to drive his friends Tesla, enjoyed playing fetch with the dog, feeding the chickens, and also went for a ride in Ed's -10 (incredible panel by the way). We caught a Wild hockey game at Xcel Energy Center, which was great fun and another one off the list. Lucy LOVED playing with EJ, the dog, and the cat. 


We had planned on going up to Winnipeg to catch a Jets game up there, but bad weather kept us from going, so we stayed an extra night with the Kranz family. Thanks again guys! 

We had a long flight out to Montana and it was pretty bumpy the whole time. We landed at Cut Bank, Montana to some INTENSE winds. They were something like high 20's gusting to 52 kts. I've always done fine in wind and it was mostly down one of the runways so we went for it. Taxiing was pretty interesting and pretty difficult. We fueled up and got the heck out of there! Too much wind! Off we went for Lethbridge, Canada, where we cleared customs by getting a confirmation code over the phone without seeing a single person! Super easy! Off we went to CEN4, High River, Alberta Canada, yay! We were a little behind schedule arriving and had plans to catch a Calgary Flames game that night. Once we landed, the Branchs handed us hockey tickets, some Tim Hortons Coffee and doughnuts, and watched Lucy for the night, as Brandi and I drove up to Calgary to watch the game! Its great having such wonderful and kind friends! The hockey game was really fun as it was a rivalry match between Flames and Canadiens. It was the night before Halloween and lots of people were dressed in costumes, which was pretty fun to see. 

We had Edmonton Oilers tickets for the next night and decided to drive rather than fly. It was a nice scenic 3 hour trip up there and again, the Branchs played with Lucy and even took her trick-or-treating! It was nice being able to get away and enjoy some 'us' time, since that is a rare treat. Lucy loved playing with Emma and Gavin. They are such great kids. 

We were supposed to leave Canada to head home on Sunday night but due to weather we had to sit it out until Wednesday! Better safe than sorry! We were eager to get home, but had a great time anyways and made the best of it. The Branchs have a beautiful house and a really awesome wave pool that we played in one evening. We enjoyed great food, learned more about Troy's exciting Carbon Cub build, played outside in unseasonably warm weather, and overall enjoyed Canada.

We finally caught a break in the weather and headed back towards home. There was a storm front that was moving across the country, so we had to make our way back behind it slowly, but surely. We ended up back at Cut Bank to clear customs (no wind this time!). Then we shot for Billings, Montana to stay the night. We got a nice hotel room and found a random BBQ place nearby, where I had the best brisket of my life!! We were tired of traveling and ready to be home, but we wouldn't be able to get all the way back the next day. We had to stop in Manhattan, Kansas to wait out the weather. We ended up with a big rental SUV (Nissan Armada), got a hotel room, and rested. On Friday, after having been gone for 12 days, we finally made it home through a fortuitous gap in weather, that would later prove to cover everything up for again for several more days soon after we got in. We were glad to be home!

Thank you so much for your hospitality Kranzs and Branchs! Go Wild! Go Flames! Go Go RV-10! :) 

Triple Tree Fly-in

by Brian Thursday, September 24, 2015

We made it out to Triple Tree fly-in this year, which was I think the 3rd time we've gone. It was a blast as always! Its so beautiful and relaxing there and this year we had a great camping spot with our good friends the Twilbecks. 

Oshkosh 2015

by Brian Saturday, July 25, 2015

We just got back from our 5th year in a row at Oshkosh and it was a blast as always. It was Lucy's 2nd year and despite only being 14 months old, she did great. We camped out in a tent next to our plane in wonderful weather most of the week. Brandi managed to get so much stuff packed into the plane and still keep us under gross and within good CG. We got to see lots of friends and make some new ones. Lucy Charmed everyone she came across as she waived to them and beamed her great smile. We had a great time at the usual places such as the RV-10 dinner social, Nationair beer social, Bikini-Bar (aka SOS Brothers), airshows, hanging out at camp Olson, visiting exhibitors, and much more.