August 13, 2009

How could I?

HOW COULD I?

After spending 18 months building and 6 years flying across most of America I sold my RV9A… I’ll stop a minute and let that sink in…

So parting with the RV was hard I’ll admit it. What was the most difficult was making the decision. It made me physically sick for a week before, but then once the plan was set I became at peace with it. You know if things change down the line I can always build another RV. I built this one in 18 months so the next one could be even faster.

It was a bit strange flying for the first time in 700 hours from the right seat and checking out the new owner in “his” plane, but I kept busy with inspecting my new plane and was thinking about the return trip home. My new plane was down in Las Vegas so I flew down on a Saturday, spent all day Sunday doing inspections and work on both planes with an A&P on the Ramp in the heat. Then got up at 4:30am Monday and left at first light in my new Kitfox 7. Really had a blast flying home. Flew low, much lower than I have ever done a cross country and watched the sights unfold. I would climb over a small ridge and found wild horses running through the desert on the other side! By the time it heated up enough to get really bumpy I was all the way north to Bend Or. Then crossed over to Aurora and Scapoose, back up the usual road home and greeted by rain north of Olympia.

I’m already diving in and working on stuff. Had to get the controls loosened up a bit as they were really stiff for some reason. Replaced the com radio with a new Icom A210, panel mounted my Garmin 495 gps (I kept it from the RV). Started a wiring cleanup / removal of non needed stuff. I have plans to put it on a diet and clear out quite a bit of stuff that the builder put in. Stuff I don’t think are needed for a simple LSA. Dual batteries, dual alternators, etc etc etc… I also have the gear to put it on tundra tires with a tail wheel which I plan to do once I get a few hours in it as a tri gear. You can switch between both setup’s in a few hours. I did the first condition inspection up at Arlington with Jim Scott of Aircore Aviation. I plan to take the E-LSA maintenance class later this fall which will allow me to do the annual condition inspections just the same as if I had built the plane. There are some neat features of this new LSA category.

Cruise is 120 mph the way it’s pitched right now, at 80 mph or less you can fly with both doors open. Just swing them up in flight! Stall is in the 40’s. Can haul 150 lbs in the baggage area inside of CG, however it’s easy to bust the 1320 LSA weight with too much back there. Holds 27 gallons in the wings and with the Rotax 912 burning just 5gph you have 4 hours of range.

Here’s some pictures

http://www.flickr.com/photos/akarmy/sets/72157621936677233/

So the question asked HOW COULD I, but I have found that there is no one single answer, and it’s best if we continue to adapt to the circumstances and curves that life throws our way. Flying is still fun, and in the end it’s the people you meet through aviation that have left the largest mark on me, not the specific planes I’ve flown! So let’s get out there and fly and those of you considering a LSA in your future, come on over and let’s take a flight!

May 17, 2006

About

I started construction of a Vans RV9A (SN 90374) in July 2001.
The first flight was February 23rd 2003!
N169AK
Progress was steady for about 18 months. I used all the standard build kits from Vans Aircraft. Starting with the tail kit, then wings, next fuselage, then finally the finishing kit. FWF included a new Aerosport 0-320-D2A and Sensenich metal prop.

As the years and hours go by this plane just gets more and more fun to fly. We have taken trips all over the USA over the last 2 summers, traveling both to Oshkosh and Virginia and many points in between.

– Andy