Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Asheville, NC to LaFollette, TN and everything in between


by Brandi Thursday, November 08, 2012

Last Friday we took the day off and flew to Asheville, NC for a little ski trip. Cataloochee Ski Area got a little snow from Sandy and they've been making snow on top of that so we decided to take advantage of the early season. I had never been skiing before and it was Brian's second time. Turns out I'm pretty good at it and we had a great time!

On Saturday morning, we got up early and flew over the Great Smokies.

During the flight, we flew past some hot air balloons!

We landed at Deerfield Resort in LaFollette, TN for the RV Nation Fly-In.

It was the first of many RV Nation Fly-Ins and there was a pretty good turn out. The food and company were excellent! 

On the way home, we stopped for cheap gas at Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. The runway was surrounded by water on three sides. It was a pretty cool landing.

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 :)

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. 

Savannah & Tybee Island


by Brandi Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We flew down to Savannah, Ga last weekend to meet up with our grandparents, from Arizona, who have been touring the country in their motor home. We left Kennesaw, GA around 9:30am Saturday morning and arrived at Savannah International Airport one hour and 15 minutes later. The weather and the flight were great. I absolutely LOVE this airplane! =D

Savannah Airport wasn't as busy as I thought it would be, we were cleared to land about 8 miles out and only saw one other jet land while we were tying down the plane. We parked at SheltAir, on the opposite side of the field from the main passenger terminal, for the night. They were very friendly and the facilities were really nice. The lady inside surprised us by knowing what type of plane we flew. Most of the time we get people asking what it is. It was $13/night whether you bought fuel or not. Don't plan on buying fuel there, though. That was the most expensive fuel I've seen to date. While it's $5.40ish/gal around the rest of the state, it was $7.45/gal in Savannah!

We spent the day walking around Savannah's Historic District, down River Street and eating wonderful food with our grandparents. That evening, we stayed with them in their RV at Skidaway Island State Park. The park was very spacious and full of gorgeous Savannah landscape. It's a little bit outside of town but well worth getting to. It would be a great place to pitch a tent!

On Sunday, we headed to Tybee Island. We walked down to the beach, out onto the fishing pier and visited the marine life exhibit near the pier.

When we were tired of the beach, we headed to other side of the island to check out the lighthouse. We climbed 178 stairs to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view out over the Atlantic and across the island. 

Afterwards, we headed back to downtown Savannah for a late lunch at The Pirate's House (highly recommended) and some more scenic driving around the historic district before it was time to head home. Around 5pm, we headed to the airport, said our goodbyes and took to the skies. On the flight home, we stopped just outside of Savannah at Plantation Airport (KJYL) for some cheaper gas ($5.35/gal). 

I've lived in GA for over 30 years and have never made it to Savannah until now. It was a first for our grandparents too. The trip was amazing and I can't wait until our next one!

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!

Fall leaves tour


by Brian Monday, October 31, 2011

We had the privilege of flying on the Falcon squadron 'Fall Leaf Tour' and let me tell you, it was AMAZING! Great folks, beautiful scenery, excellent food, a wonderful learning experience, and even 2.8 hours of log-able RV-10 time to boot! Our friend Vern was nice enough to let us fly with him and he even let me take the plane for a lot of the trip. I got some practice flying in a somewhat loose formation and it is a lot of hard work to keep the right spacing. I started getting the hang of it a little bit near the end but its one of those things that needs lots of practice. That type of flying is the pinnacle of building and a motivator like no other.