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JackinMichigan 11-02-2017 09:22 AM

RV-10 Test Pilot in Michigan area
Our RV-10 is ready to fly. We have our certificate of airworthiness and the plane has been gone over stem-to-stern by a half-dozen qualified builders and A&Ps. I have complete confidence in the airplane and my abilities as a pilot to fly it, but I'd like a much more experienced hand to take it up on its maiden voyage. Someone that might be able to tell me things I wouldn't figure out on my own.

Anybody know of a decent test pilot in the Detroit area?

rvdave 11-03-2017 12:54 PM

Dick Sipp from Midland sold his 10 but you might check with him.

9GT 11-03-2017 06:33 PM

Have you had transitional training in an RV-10? If you have, as someone who has been there and was scared to death of making the first flight in my RV-10, doing it was with out a doubt the most rewarding part of my build. If you have not yet had transition training in the RV-10, I would highly recommend it.

JackinMichigan 11-03-2017 06:57 PM

Yes I have had transition training. Got 12 hours under my belt in the second RV-10 ever built in Oregon with Mike Seager. But that was in April. We originally thought the first flight was going to be June/July timeframe, but we had a couple setbacks. Turned out to be more work than we thought.

The primary reason Im fishing for a test pilot is Id like someone to help me tune the airplane and ensure Im not introducing any unnecessary drag. Also, the airport ceiling I fly out up is only 3,500 feet (Detroit Metro class B airspace is directly overhead), and doing stall testing at that altitude fills me with butterflies, which Im told you need to do to establish approach speed.

Ron B. 11-03-2017 07:20 PM

If you are not comfortable doing the first flight, get someone else to do it. It's not worth the risk.

RedneckRoyalty 11-04-2017 08:54 AM

I don't know anything about your total flight experience, but, you if you have had transition training in the RV10, you are probably more qualified than 99.9% of the pilots out there.

For what it's worth, some recommendations:

- "Real" test pilots don't just jump into the plane and "aviate all over the place". Flight Testing should be organized and methodical.

Before you fly the first flight, you should put together a flight test plan. Make a list of everything you need to do in the plane and every performance parameter you need to prove out. (THINGS YOU DO: raise/lower flaps, increase/decrease Prop RPM, switch fuel tanks, etc...PARAMETERS: V speeds, engine cooling, cruise speed fuel flows, etc etc)

This plan should list each Ground Test Event and Flight Test Event and the tests (from your list above) that will be done on that event. Prior to each ground test or flight test event a "test card" should be put together for the "test pilot". This is a list of what he/she should test for during that given event. The Test Pilot flies the test card and the results are recorded.

When your testing is complete, everything on your list should be checked off..

- Have you considered moving the plane to Pontiac during your first 10-20 hours? If you have an engine failure right after takeoff there aren't very many good options at 1D2...At Pontiac, if you use Rnwy 27 you depart over white lake and heading west are soon away from the urban sprawl..

JackinMichigan 11-04-2017 09:50 AM

RedneckRoyalty (LOVE the name) -

I will be flying out of Willow Run (KYIP), not Mettetal (K1D2).

I do have a comprehensive test plan including exploring the flight envelope at all speeds, monitoring every engine sensor (especially CHT), stall testing, slow flight, calibrating airspeed indicator (the primary reason I feel the need to do a stall test on the first flight), trim settings, performance and fuel consumption at various power settings, and (later) max gross weight testing and flutter testing. But the first two hours is simply going to be taking off and flying around at 75% power setting for an hour (the setting recommended for breaking in a new engine), making sure the airplane is set up properly, and then inspecting everything after landing - particularly the engine for oil or fuel leaks. These are the flights I want an experienced test pilot for. I can pretty much take it form there.

9GT 11-04-2017 12:16 PM

Well, whatever you decide for your initial flight testing is up to you. I am just relaying that I was apprehensive of doing my own, and kept putting off that first flight until I got tired of "driving" it on the ground. And when I did get the nerve to finally get airborne, I found that, and subsequent flight testing, to be the most rewarding part of my build. Congratulations on your airworthiness certificate!

Terry Lutz 11-04-2017 02:18 PM

RV10 Flight Testing
I am an active test pilot in the Lansing area and would be happy to assist you with your first few flights. Send me a PM and we can connect and see what might work best for you.

springer 11-04-2017 10:24 PM


Originally Posted by Terry Lutz (Post 1216333)
I am an active test pilot in the Lansing area and would be happy to assist you with your first few flights. Send me a PM and we can connect and see what might work best for you.

I just saw this thread and was going to recommend you Terry.

Terry is a graduate of USAF Test Pilot School and was a test pilot for Airbus. He built the RV-8 that was parked under the A380 that he flew to Oshkosh in '09. In another life, I was his wingman in the AF.

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