Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

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! 

Greenville, SC


by Brian Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Brandi and I flew up to Greenville, SC this past Saturday with two missions. Visit her cousin, who goes to school there, and visit a fellow -10 builder, named Yuri. We had a great flight there - Brandi worked the radios and took-off and flew most of the flight (and did wonderful at all of it). The control tower operator at KGMU was super friendly and helpful. He directed us to the restaurant on field, which was really wonderful because of good food and nice views. Not long after we got there, a couple other RVs showed up. We recognized one of the guys, Bill Repucci, from Osh and we all had lunch together. The two guys each had their sons, who were around age 4, fly in with them. After a nice visit and a few hours later, we decided to head back home to beat afternoon pop up storms. On my landing back home I exclaimed to Brandi 'how about that huh!?' and she goes 'Oh, I didnt know we were on the ground yet!'  Nice. 

The First Year


by Brandi Sunday, June 16, 2013

Today marks the first anniversary of our first flight! In the past 365 days we've flown 239 hours, gone to 59 different airports in 14 different states and 2 other countries.

Afternoon trip to Wisconsin and back


by Brian Monday, June 03, 2013

My buddy Keith wanted to pick up some tailkit parts for the -7 he is building. We were out having lunch on this past Sunday afternoon and were trying to work out a time when we could go to Wisconsin and pick them up. We were looking at our schedules and trying to make plans when Keith was like, how about we just go right now?! So we did! What better way than to hop in the -10 and make an adventure out of it! We drove back to the hangar and departed at about 230pm local time, 3.5 hours later we arrived at 5K6 (Wilmot, Wisconsin), met Doug and his nephew Joey, gave them a ride, packed up the gear then headed home. We flew over beautiful clouds that spanned nearly the entire route. Flying near clouds is one of the most enjoyable things to me.

The reflection off the wing gets really hot! Keith made a make shift hat and I kept laughing every time I would glance over at him. We need to get this plane painted! We have some sticky sun shade things but I couldnt find them in flight. Will have to make sure they are more accessible next time :)

We left Wisconsin and enjoyed some beautiful night flying near the end of the trip. We flew back at 11,500 feet and near the second half of the flight we equipped oxygen masks for better visibility of the stars and also just to feel better since we were doing about 7 hours round trip at pretty high altitudes. We got back at 10:30pm. It was a great time and one more example of why it rocks to own such a great traveling machine!

Bahamas Trip -- Ft. Lauderdale to Staniel Cay


by Brian 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.

 

Disney World + Panthers Hockey


by Brandi Sunday, April 07, 2013

Last month Brian and I flew down to Kissimmee, FL for a work conference that was being held at one of the Disney World Resorts. We had to leave a day early because of weather coming in at home. It was crappy flying around Atlanta but we found a hole in the clouds and popped up just south of the city.

We spent our extra day visiting Epcot Center. It was pretty chilly for FL but we managed. That night, we went back to Epcot for "Drinks around the World" and dinner in Germany. All of the food there is amazing! Here's Brian enjoying his liter of beer!

Since we were there during the week, I took my laptop and worked from the room during the day while he was at the conference. The view was awesome!

The last night we flew down to Pompano Beach where another RV-10 builder, Lenny, lives. We meet him and his girlfriend at the airport and then headed to the Panthers vs Jets Hockey game. Brian and I are huge hockey fans (we even play ourselves) and we miss going to NHL games greatly since we lost our local NHL team a few years back. =( We decided when we built the plane that we would fly to an NHL game in every city. We have one down and 29 more to go! =D The Panthers just happened to be playing our old team (now the Winnepeg Jets) so it was great to see all of the players we used to follow so closely.

Here we are doing our favorite thing outside of airplanes... watching live NHL hockey! =D

The flight home was great but SLOW! We had a 60 kt headwind the ENTIRE way at every altitude we tried. 

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.

 

Thanksgiving in Mexico


by Brandi Monday, November 26, 2012

Brian is from Tucson, AZ and this year we decided to go have Thanksgiving with his family. So, on Saturday, November 17th, Brian, myself and our 17 yr old sister, Hannah, jumped in the RV-10 and headed west!

Our trip out there included a restroom/stretching break in Danville, AR (32A), a fuel stop in Hinton, OK (2O8) and lunch with my mom in Watonga, OK (KJWG) before reaching Granny's house in Show Low, AZ (KSOW).

Saturdays flight was perfect. We didn't see a single cloud until we hit New Mexico and even then they were pretty high. Didn't really a have strong headwinds to deal with until New Mexico either. We chased the most gorgeous sunset for 2 hours as we flew west from Oklahoma.

We spent a few nights in Show Low, AZ before heading to Tucson, AZ on Monday, November 19th. This is one of my favorite flights because of the terrain.

Upon arriving in Tucson, AZ (KTUS), the tower squeezed us in behind a group of 2 F-16's and in front of a group of 3 F-16's. We sat on one runway waiting for the last 3 to land on another runway before we could taxi to parking.

On Tuesday, November 20th, we left our little sister in Tucson with our sister and flew to Guaymas, Mexico (MMGM) with our uncle to be with family that was in Mexico for Thanksgiving. The trip over the border and down into Mexico was rather uneventful.

The Mexican military and their dog came to visit us as soon as we landed. They tried to get the dog to get into the plane but he wouldn't so they took a photo of him standing by the step and left. We went inside and got our visa's, filled out some paperwork and payed some fees. Our grandparents were there waiting on us when we arrived so we hopped in the car with them and drove a few miles down the road to their home in San Carlos, Mexico.

The next few days were filled with awesome family, wonderful food and gorgeous days on Catch 22 beach.

We had planned to return to the states on Friday, November 23rd but we just couldn't pull ourselves away so stayed another night and headed home early Saturday morning. Leaving Mexico was harder than getting in. They checked all of our luggage by hand, then x-rayed it, then sent us through a metal detector, and charged us more fees. They also brought the dog back out to the plane and kept asking how old we were. ;) Once in the air, we asked ATC if we could fly over San Carlos on the way out of town. They granted our request and we headed up the coast. We found the family on the margarita deck of their home waving bye to us as we flew over head. =D

Back at Tucson International, we taxied to Customs. We were the only ones there and it only took about 10 minutes before we were free to go. They checked our passports and brought a Geiger counter to our plane. I was expecting so much more - especially after everything we just went through to get out of Mexico.

After we cleared customs, we taxied to Million Air FBO to pick up our sister and start our journey back home. Just a few feet from the FBO, we spotted a tail of an RV-12 in an open hangar. We tried to go over and say Hi to the builder but the FBO guy came and hauled us back saying something about fines and international airports. I guess you're not allowed to hang out at international airports. :( Anyways, we picked up our sister, flew to Ryan Field (KRYN) for gas and then headed back east to stay with our friend in Georgetown, TX (KGTU) for the night.

Sunday afternoon we loaded back up and flew the entire way home with a 30 knot tailwind and not a cloud in the sky. :D We dropped our sister off in Ellijay, GA (49A) and stopped for fuel in Canton, GA (KCNI) before landing at KRYY around 6:30pm EST.

It was an awesome adventure! Great weather and zero problems. We love our RV-10!!

Here are some stats from our trip:
Fuel burned: 249 gal
Miles flown: 3380 nm
Hours flown: 21.6 hrs

Link to the photo album.