Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Cracker Fly-In Best Monoplane

by Brian Friday, July 17, 2015

Every year EAA chapter 611 throws nice sized fly-in at the Gainsville (KGVL) airport. We've been a couple times and it was always fun so Keith and I went this year for pancakes and planes. When we arrived I was given a tag to hang on our prop to give some info about it and I was asked if I wanted the plane to be judged. I said "sure, why not" on a whim. Well today in the mail we received an award for best Monoplane, yay! :) What a great surprise. Its a really cool looking award too because its got half of a piston on it. We proudly put it on our mantle, which is a nice fit with the other aviation stuff we have up there.

Bahamas 2015

by Brandi Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We made it to the Bahamas for a second time in April, as a flight of 3 RV-10s. For the first half of the trip, we stayed at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club in The Exumas. We'd been there before but we had to go back because it's amazing! However, the runway there was temporarily closed for repairs so we landed in Black Point and took a 10 minute boat ride back to the other island. We chose a new location for the second half, Fernandez Bay Village on Cat Island. Both places were wonderful and so was the flying!

Here's a video of our trip =)

Washington DC Hockey Trip

by Brian Saturday, February 21, 2015

My buddy had 4 tickets to Caps vs Flyers so off we went in the adventure machine up to Manassas. We got there a day early and did a few touristy things in DC then had Korean BBQ with my friends Ben and Mari that live in the area. We crashed at their house for the night and caught the game the next day. The flight out there was a nice 2.5 hour smooth flight with 20kt tailwinds. The trip back was 30kt headwinds. Scratch another arena off the list towards the goal of watching an NHL game at every arena. 

Visit to see Justin, Jess, and Ayla

by Brian Friday, February 06, 2015

We havent flown a whole lot lately, unfortunately. We did, however, recently have a really nice flight and visit with our friends over near Montgomery, AL. I helped Justin get the wing root fairings and flaps trimmed, Brandi visited with Jess, and Lucy played with Ayla! We all had a great time. It was really fun flying into 00AL, which is a private grass field at 2300 feet that Mr. Epps owns. I think its the oldest official airport in Alabama. I'm glad to say Lucy is still a great flyer. She is very calm the whole time and fell asleep on the way home. 

Flew West again

by Brian Thursday, December 04, 2014

Brandi, Lucy, and I piled into the -10 for yet another trip out West. What should have been an 8 or so hour flight turned into a much more full day of flying since we had to dodge some weather in TX, not to mention the 60kt headwind on the second half of the trip!

I have found that pictures of clouds and scenery never do any justice to the actual experience - never the less we flew past some spectacular views so I will put the picture on here anyways with the caveat that it was breathtaking and that must be taken on faith or experience. 

Lucy got some good flight practice in on the way up. She normally is stuck in the back with Brandi but I sometimes get Brandi to pass her up front so I can play with her for a few minutes. 

We visited my Granny in Show Low, AZ. Brandi and I flew to Phoenix one night to catch an NHL game (Coyotes vs Avs). Mark one more NHL arena off the list and many left to go. We also went to the Petrified Forest National Park while we were there. It was awesome! It was a little windy while we were there so all the photos of Brandi looked about like this: 

We then flew down to Guaymas Mexico to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of my family. Lu played in the sand at the beach for the first time and enjoyed it very much. I got lessons on how to kite surf and pulled myself through the water with no board for my first session. It was a blast!

The whole family piled onto my Grandpa's boat and we fished and had a great time. I caught a ~12lb yellow tail and others caught yellow tail too. We ate some of it on the boat and brought some home with us for later. Yum!

The trip back home was scenic through central and North Eastern Mexico. Its pretty uninhabited but there were some neat little towns we flew over where there were rivers and farm land. 

Another wonderful adventure in the family adventure machine with many more hopefully to come. 


Mexico boarder crossing

by Brian Wednesday, December 03, 2014

We made it back from our trip to Guaymas Mexico without much incident. The only exciting thing that happened during the flight, which happened to us last time we went to Mexico as well, was that we had a hard time reaching ATC/FSS while trying to re-enter the US. We climbed up from 9,500 to 11,500 feet and finally reached FSS to relay for us and get us a squawk when we were about 2 miles from the boarder near KPRS. It really surprises me they dont have a radio tower closer to the boarder. The closest one was 40 miles from the boarder so trying to hail someone at a reasonable distance out was no joy. 

Our experience at the Guaymas airport was much better this time since we knew what to expect. Plus the agents there spoke a little English this time which helped a lot. I made 3 copies of all paper work - aircraft registration, airworthiness, pilots license, etc and stuck them in a folder. The Customs process in Guaymas seems a little unorganized as you bounce from area to area and paying fees and doing paper work. Overall, it was a good experience. 

We paid approximately the following costs: 

$130 for a multi entry permit (good for the airplane for 1 year) 

$30 for 4 days of parking

$7 for landing fee

$24 per person (not pilot/crew) entry visas

$5 per person exit visa (non pilot/crew)

$4.82/gal fuel

+tip for the nice guys who helped with baggage.

Hockey trip

by Brian Sunday, November 02, 2014

Scratch another hockey arena off the list. While building the plane one of the dreams of using the -10 was to see an NHL game in every city. Went down to Tampa, FL with a few buddies and caught Flyers VS Lightning. Great game and had an awesome trip. I really liked Amelie Arena. They had this tesla coil and set that thing off every time they scored. During the game we sat next to a very nice old lady who exchanged some trash talking when each of our teams would score a goal.

On the flight home it was about 1am and we got cleared to go over the top of ATL at 4500. Cool! Never seen it at night before. The pic doesnt do it much justice but here it is anyways. 

While we were visiting Jesse Saint at X35 we got to see this Maverick flying car. It was pretty rad! 

Fall leaf tour

by Brian Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We completed our 3rd fall leaf tour with the Falcon RV Squadron this past weekend and it was a blast as always. We had an impressive 16 ship gaggle up to Hendersonville, NC. There was a really great little museum on the field. After that we headed back over the top of ATL and landed at Falcon Field for some BBQ. Brandi, Lucy, and I returned home late after a wonderful Sunday of flying. 


Maybe its a dreamliner not a -10

by Brian Friday, October 24, 2014

I was on baby sitting duty at the airport while I was tinkering and Brandi was running some errands. My good pal Keith was there so we decided to go fuel up the bird. I loaded Lucy in and told Keith she would probably be asleep before takeoff but that girl fell asleep literally 30 seconds after we cranked the plane! She slept the whole way there (10 minute flight). We stopped, got out and got fuel, cranked back up and tookoff. She remained asleep. We landed, got out, I washed the airplane a bit and she was still sound asleep. 

Charity golf trip

by Brian Friday, October 24, 2014

My buddy Steve invited me to a charity golf tournament that is near Richmond, VA. I went last year and so this was the second year I attended. Its all in good fun and for a good cause, which is key because I am terrible at golf. I did sink a really nice putt and have a few drives to remember. (Our team got 5th place woohoo!)

Just by coincidence right after we showed up this awesome little trio arrived. I think a B-18, a B-24 (liberator), and a P-51 Mustang. They were giving rides for the weekend and stuff. There was a huge crowd when we arrived and I was wondering why they were there but a couple minutes later when the heavy equipment showed up it was obvious :)

Guys trip down to Key Largo

by Brian Friday, October 24, 2014

A couple buddies and I cruised down to Largo for some diving and fishing back in August. We piled in all our gear with no trouble in the -10 and blasted down there in like 3.5 hours. Rented a sweet little house, played out on the ocean all day for a few days. Good times! 

Around the country

by Brian Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The day finally arrived when we eagerly set out for our adventure around the country! With kid sister Hannah and our sweet baby Lucy in tow, it was sure to be a great time. We prepped our travel machine ready to accommodate 3 adults, 1 baby, and a crap load of gear. Here we go!


How about a rest stop in Missouri for picking flowers and touring caverns? Yes please.

Beautiful Midwest prairies en route to Nebraska.

Interesting discoveries along the way. Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. 


Fuel up in beautiful Wyoming and enjoy some lunch in a charming small town in Hot Springs County.

No trip North West would be complete without an obligatory stop in Yellowstone. The mountains are breathtaking as we navigated through.

Emergency procedures on the Yellowstone regional airport tarmac.

Hot springs are neat!

Lucy is having a blast so far.

We stopped in St. Maries Idaho to wait out a storm, which subsequently hit that city and knocked out power while we were trying to enjoy dinner. It passed soon enough and on to Spokane Washington we went!

Spokane had a couple really nice parks to enjoy. One of which had a monster slide that Brandi wouldn’t let me take Lucy down :)

Off to the mother ship, Vans Aircraft in Aurora Oregon. It’s our plane's first homecoming.

Hannah has been co-pilot in training and is doing a great job. 


Next stop is down through California to Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately there was this nice little storm system directly over the area but we made up for it with a great little RV lunch fly-in with our new buddy Mike.

Pro tip: don’t park near helicopters near the fuel pumps. This is the small one of two helicopters that were there!

Yay, my two awesome sisters or should I say two awesome Aunts. 

Portrait time.

Lucy and her little cousin Levi get along just great. 

Granny loves her great grand babies!


Lucy is peaking over the giant beach towel that enveloped her after her second swim ever.

On the way home the lights of Huntsville light up the clouds in a spectacular way.

Back home 10 days and around 5,000 miles later. Whew! What an awesome trip. It’s good to be home. 4 more days until Oshkosh.... here we go again :)

Clouds. How remarkable.

by Brian Monday, March 10, 2014

Our trip down to Orlando was 75 degrees and sunny, a welcome break from the icy winter we've had. On the way back we saw the most beautiful clouds. We've been flying around for like 2 years straight without ever coming down except for avgas and so we've seen plenty of clouds in our day. Its remarkable then that we were completely entranced by the beauty and awesomeness of it all on our way back from Orlando. Its remarkable because its still so enjoyable and inspiring that we try to capture the moment and keep it forever despite the fact that we know taking photos of clouds, the Bahamas, and really much of anything, ever does the moment justice. I thought it would be more appropriate to try to capture the moment of us trying to save the awesome feeling of soaring among the clouds. Its my favorite part of flying and brings joy to me every time. 

Here is Brandi trying to snap a photo of a stretch of clouds we flew near that was a 5,500 foot puffy-wavy blanket below us and an overcast layer above at 10k with bright blue sandwich filling :)

EAA 690 & Orlando departure

by Brian Monday, March 10, 2014

I had a work conference at Disney World in Orlando (poor me) a week ago and so Brandi and I jumped in the adventure machine and scooted on down there. Before we went, we stopped at EAA 690 pancake + RV event at LZU. We enjoyed some very nice presentations by fellow RV owners and builders. There were lots of great people to hang out with and lots of awesome RVs to look at. 

One unexpected treat was that a professional aviation photographer (Aerographs) happened to be there and snapped a few shots of our bird. How cool! Loved the way they turned out.


We left LZU and joined several RV buddies for lunch over at Winder (WDR). The food was yummy and the company was great. We even got to see the only RV-1 currently flying!

Look at these crazy sky divers dropping down in front of the gas pump! We had a great view and a cautious-nervous time watching them to make sure they didnt fall on a moving prop! They seemed to know what they were doing. Looked fun but I'll stick to keeping my takeoff count equal to my landing count thank you very much :)

Christmas in Arizona

by Brandi Thursday, January 02, 2014

We did it again... another wonderful trip across the country and back in this amazing machine we built together. Only this time, she looked pretty too. ;)

Around noon EST on Monday, December 23rd, the skies finally cleared up here (KRYY) enough to find a few holes in the clouds so we quickly grabbed a bite to eat and loaded up the plane. We didn't leave with full fuel because we found some on ForeFlight that was much cheaper in route (even though it turned out not to be - oh well). That left us making two fuel stops instead of one but, with me being 22 weeks pregnant, I wasn't complaining about stopping and walking around a bit more. Turns out that the headwinds were so bad that we would have had to stop twice anyways. We did a 2.5 hour leg to Pine Bluff, AR (KPBF), where we made our first fuel stop, then another 3.5 hour leg to Plainview, TX (KPVW), where we made our second fuel stop. From there we flew 3.3 hours to our destination, Ryan Field (KRYN), in Tucson, AZ.

It was about 9pm MST when we arrived at Ryan Field. Our grandparents picked us up from the airport and we spent the next day and a half in Tucson enjoying the time with family and the nice warm weather. On Christmas day, we packed up and headed to Show Low, AZ (KSOW) to spend a few nights with Granny and Brian's sister's family.

Before we departed Show Low on Friday, we loaded Granny up in the plane and headed for the Grand Canyon! She loved it. :)

On the way, we stopped in Sedona, AZ (KSEZ) to check it out. It's definitely on the top of the "Coolest airports we've been to" list. There was another RV-10 on the field but I didn't recognize it and we didn't see it's owner.

From Sedona, we headed to the Zuni Point GA Corridor at The Grand Canyon. Having never been there at all, I was super excited. What an AWESOME way to see the Grand Canyon!!

By this time, we were getting hungry so we flew over to Marble Canyon, AZ (L41) and had lunch. Another super neat place to fly into!! There really isn't an airport here; Just a Chevron, where you're supposed to register when you land, across the street from the landing strip and a small restaurant in the back of it.

After lunch we flew back to Show Low to drop off Granny, refuel and start our 4.6 hour trip to Austin, TX (KEDC). We spent the weekend with our friends in Austin and headed back home around 11am CST Sunday morning. We had a pretty nice tailwind and made it home in 3.8 hours.

The entire photo gallery of our trip can be found here.

Falcon Field airshow

by Brian Friday, October 25, 2013

A couple of weeks ago was a big airshow at our beloved Falcon Field. We always have such a great time at airshows when they are at FFC because all our squadron mates are there and we hang out, have good food, and enjoy great company of each other. Brandi snapped this nice photo of Team Aeroshell, her favorite airshow team. We had to drive down there since our airplane was and still is in the paint shop. We sure did get spoiled to traveling in the -10! Atlanta traffic was hellacious and due to traffic our normal 20 minute flight took like 2 hours! It will be great to be back in the air and enjoying the birds eye view of all that nasty traffic. 

Pine Mountain Dinner with Falcon crew

by Brian Monday, September 23, 2013

The Falcon crew all flew down to Pine Mountain (KPIM) for an evening of fellowship and some good southern cooking. Keith flew with us and we managed to get ATC to give us 'Over the top' of Hartsfield. What a beautiful view. There were over 20 of us that flew out! Great turn out and was really wonderful to see everyone and catch up. 




Triple Tree Fly-in

by Brian Monday, September 23, 2013

Brandi and I attended our 2nd annual Triple Tree Fly-in and it was just as awesome as the first time. We flew out there with our hangar mates as a 3 ship loose formation - Bill, Keith, and Radar in the Golden Eagle, Dan and Janell were in the T-34, and Brandi and I of course in the RV-10. Its such a great environment between the beautiful grounds to great food and amazing people. We brought our tent and slept under the stars. I kept remarking about how I sometimes forget the stars are even there since we cant really see them well in the city. We saw lots of neat planes, had a great dinner, hung out with some old friends and met some new ones. That's the good life right there. 

AirVenture 2013

by Brian Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Brandi and I attended our 3rd in a row AirVenture. We left out on a Friday afternoon to make it there early. We departed and climbed up high above the clouds as the usual summer pop up storms were about to do their thing. It was smooth sailing above until near Chicago, where we had to dip down to about 1800 feet to go under some overcast clouds. We found a break in the overcast and so did a plane that had been paralleling our track a few miles off our wing. We both shot up through it to some nice sunny skies. Our on-board XM weather let us know there was a big storm line coming up soon that we would have to beware of and once we popped up through the clouds we could see the monster off in the distance towering up to probably 25,000 feet. We had a few options - land somewhere and wait it out, go way around it, or, since we noticed a valley and a break between cells, try to go over it! We made the decision to go over it and let me tell you the -10 handled wonderfully for this even fully loaded. Our neighboring plane must have had the same idea as we both started climbing to hit the top of this storm. We both started around 2,000 feet and long story short is we blasted up to 14,500 pretty quickly and just cleared the clouds. The view was amazing and it felt pretty neat to climb over that the top like that because we could do it. Our neighbor hit about 6k and was nowhere near keeping the climbing pace we had set and they must have aborted that idea because they were lagging behind and then leveled off and we lost track of them after that.

We got to Osh and were one of the first planes in the homebuilt camping area. There were hardly any planes arriving so the arrival procedures were very easy. We have found that the early part of the event is the best because that’s when its mostly pilots and hardcore aviation people, as opposed to a winding down event that puts on a great airshow that attracts lots of locals. So we were glad to have arrived Friday and were planning on departing Thursday morning. When we arrived it was SO cold. We did not pack warmly enough at all. Last year it hit 100 degrees and this time the high was like 62, what up with that, Mother Nature!? Later that week we were enjoying 70 degree days, which were perfect.

It’s neat how some things remain the same every time and some things are different. We enjoyed meeting up with all our friends and making new ones. We also really enjoy hitting up SOS Bros (aka Bikini Bar) for delicious whitefish, fried cheese curds, sweet corn, and beer. Falcon squadron was well represented again this year. Enjoyed some good fellowship with them - more next year for sure. Our buddy Kyle proved to be a great camping companion again this year as he was a couple rows away from us. 3rd year in a row where tent rescue of some sort was required whether it’s ours or other peoples. 

We were inspired by the innovations pavilion. Loved the night air show. RV-10 headquarters in Camp Scholler was full of good people and good fun. A real blast all the way around.

Thursday came around way too fast and so it was time to depart. We left out of there with no problems and great weather ahead of us. We stopped by the beautiful Poplar Grove airport to pick up our buddy and fellow squadron mate, Mike B., and headed home. Mike and I chatted aviation stuff the whole way back while Brandi enjoyed a book in the back seat. Mike is a Delta captain so it was ironic that we were flying him home! He did a great landing at Falcon field and treated us to dinner. We left for home, exhausted from the week’s activities and ready for our nice comfy bed. We unloaded the airplane and wished we would have taken a photo because we were amazed at how much stuff we were able to pack in the plane!

I'm already looking forward to next year!

Oshkosh coming up soon!

by Brian Monday, July 22, 2013

We're so excited! Oshkosh is nearly upon us once again for Brandi and my 3rd AirVenture in a row. If you're going to Osh and you happen to see us or our ugly duckly (because its not painted yet (after Osh)) come say hi!