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Old 03-22-2018, 12:27 AM
Davy8or Davy8or is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Discovery Bay, CA
Posts: 24

Originally Posted by Lars View Post
Dave, there are a lot of RVs in your neighborhood. I can personally offer you a ride in my RV-7 out of KDWA or O88 (depending on day of the week) and there are lots of others, 6, 6A, 7, 7A, 8, 8A, 9A (no 9s around here, they are scarce) in NorCal if you'd like to give one a try. To fly one is to understand.
I would love a ride in a 9/A if you know anybody near by. I figure I should ride in the plane I'm thinking of buying.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:39 AM
Tag Tag is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Phoenix, AZ and Senoia, GA
Posts: 47
Default RV-8 Successful Ditching

I recall reading a story of someone ditching an RV8 off the coast in the Hawaiian Islands. It nosed over; he struggled with the slider canopy but eventually got it open and escaped. I always wonder how it would have gone with a tip-over...
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:25 AM
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Dugaru Dugaru is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Richmond VA, USA
Posts: 252

Originally Posted by Davy8or View Post
I have been thinking seriously about trading my Mooney for a Vans RV-9/A.
I tell people my RV-9A would have a lot in common with a mythical 2-seat Mooney 201.

My ideal Vans would be the 9/A with an IO-320, CS prop and either a tip up, or slider, I haven't decided. It would also have to have a nice, standard layout panel with at least two axis auto pilot, dual coms, WAAS GPS, engine monitoring and a good audio panel. ADS-B in and out and a 406 ELT would be great too.
This is how my RV (which is a slider) is equipped. It does have an EFIS rather than the standard six-pack in my previous ride. Took a bit of time to transition to the EFIS, but I definitely wouldn't go back.

Unfortunately there are four serious things preventing me from pursuing this plan.
I don't know enough about engineering or Mooneys to comment meaningfully on the safety difference, although I will say that ditching seems like a pretty rare event.

My guess is that the wife issues will be dispositive, easily eclipsing everything else, and that you will therefore be happiest sticking with the Mooney. Which is hardly a terrible outcome. Be thankful you have a spouse that will fly with you!

If you somehow do get her buy-in--and are confident you can keep her buy-in (an entirely separate issue)--then you need to figure out if the airplane fits the two of you (literally), obviously.

If all that is in gear, you are correct that a good RV-9A, equipped in the way you describe, will be expensive relative to most legacy Mooneys with six-packs. I spent a long time looking for the right RV-9A. There aren't a ton of them out there relative to other RV models, and they hold their value well, I think because of all the capabilities you've identified. When you find the right one you may need to act fast.

At least if you find a good airframe and engine, you can upgrade an RV panel for much lower cost than upgrading a Mooney or any other certified airplane.
N929JA, 2007 RV-9A
Based W96 - near Richmond, VA USA
2019 Dues Paid
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:30 AM
RV7ator RV7ator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 967

See you at OSH!

By then you'll likely have flown somebody's 9, and hopefully you can arrange a ride or two for your wife. Just be sure the pilot isn't a yahoo who will scare her with the greater maneuverability of an RV. The 7, by the way, is the same fuselage so it will serve a fit check. The RV's are going to be noisier, so ANRs are definitely required.

The obvious: ditching isn't an issue if you don't fly beyond gliding distance, yada, yada. Our trips up the AK coast offer a choice of trees or water. I'll take the trees, thank you. A ferry pilot I chummed with always flew low wingers from the right; that's the side the door's on. The pilot needn't crawl over pax or pedestal in the RVs, so getting in and out may actually be easier for you.

A slider is [i]easily[i] modified to make it tip up for easy baggage loading/extraction. My squeeze and I can only carry additional on some trips by grinding it up and sifting the dust around the other cargo. Much can be stored under your knees, also. A slider has greater clearance between the seat backs and canopy (no roll bar) if you want to reach behind you. The RV might feel tighter until you appreciate the wonderful visibility. Then there's no going back.

I remember my Mooney days (loved seeing the flap pump handle in your posts) and if the rest of your M is just as nice as the panel, well, you've a tough choice. The big swinger for me is the ease and substantially reduced cost of maintaining an amateur built. Our 172 is relatively cheap, but the regulatory nonsense and certified parts costs are becoming really repulsive, let alone labor costs. What are your plans for ADS?

John Siebold
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:16 AM
RV7 To Go RV7 To Go is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 123

Originally Posted by Davy8or View Post
I have been thinking seriously about trading my Mooney for a Vans RV-9/A. It better fits my mission which is mostly me flying around by myself in good weather with no particular place I need to go. I think it would save me a bit of money in fuel burn, replacement parts and upgrades and it would be newer with not so much history, mechanics, repairs, annuals and the like on it.

My ideal Vans would be the 9/A with an IO-320, CS prop and either a tip up, or slider, I haven't decided. It would also have to have a nice, standard layout panel with at least two axis auto pilot, dual coms, WAAS GPS, engine monitoring and a good audio panel. ADS-B in and out and a 406 ELT would be great too. Unfortunately there are four serious things preventing me from pursuing this plan. In order of seriousness-
  1. Safety. I like the 9 because it has the lowest stall speed and that means the slowest touch down in an off field landing scenario, but it seems that if you land a Vans on anything that isn't hard and prepared, you end up upside down, hanging from your harness and most times trapped by a stuck canopy. Ditching a Vans in water sounds like suicide, or at least very, very slim chances of a good outcome. I feel much more confident in the Mooney's ability to land off field and in water. I also feel very confident of the Mooney's strength in the airframe. I'm not so sure about the Vans.
  2. The wife. I mentioned in passing that I was thinking of trading the Mooney and she was ho-hum about that... until I told her I was thinking of an experimental! She was pretty strongly against that idea! It will take a lot of convincing that it is just as safe and I first have to convince myself.
  3. The wife. The cabin in the Mooney is tight, but I think the Vans cabin is even tighter. It feels very narrow to me. As we get older, neither of us is getting any skinnier. There is also poor baggage area access, or capacity. While it has only occurred three or four times in the last seven years, it would be nice to keep the ability to take the wife along for a weekend. I'm not so sure how well the Vans can handle this job.
  4. Money. I don't think I can get anywhere near enough money for my Mooney to get a nice clean, well built RV-9 configured the way I want it and then do all the things that will need to be done to make it mine. I will have to sell my Mooney and then likely pony up even more money. While I have the money and could do this, right now is not a financially great time for me to do it.

What do you guys think?
Based on your later posts you seem to have much concern over ditching. If your mission is still a lot of necessary flying over water or rough terrain I would keep the Mooney. Much better possibility of a successful outcome with the gear retracted in an engine failure situation.

I fly regularly with an M20J owner in our group of RV3s, 4s, 6A, 7, 7As, 8, and one 9A. I find the Mooney cockpit less comfortable with 2 of us than my 7 (meaning more confined). Both require some agility to get in and out of. Visibility in the Mooney is very restricted compared to the RV. The Mooney is more solid in rough air due to the extra weight. The RV is more fun to fly due to it's agility and lightness on the controls. Less complexity in the retracts, speed brakes or turbo limits. Much lower annual inspection cost on the RV. My 7 full hull insurance cost is less than his M20J.

In terms of safety, IMHO this depends on the pilot/owner. If you purchase an RV that is well built and maintained, has been inspected by someone who knows RVs and maintain it properly, an RV is as safe as any well maintained certified aircraft. In terms of crash safety I believe the Mooney has the advantage, assuming flying it into the crash and depending on terrain, of being able to do a gear up possibly resulting in a better stats, just my opinion.

With the boost limitations on my friends M20J on his IO-360 turbo my O-360 7 is faster with lower fuel burn below 5000'. It upsets him greatly that most of the RVs are as fast or faster with less burn. He has talked, like you, of getting an RV himself although I doubt he ever will as he likes the generally perceived "status" of the Mooney. His Mooney useful load is about 500lb with full fuel and mine is 460lb in the 7 with full fuel.

Went on a week long trip to the Udvar-Hazy museum last year in a 7A with a friend. CG allowed for 40 lb ea of luggage plus canopy cover, tie downs etc. No issues with CG, weight or storage. Just do your planning.

Unless your wife has a change of heart, don't do it. My wife has no issue flying in our 7, which she occasionally helped with during the build. She would never fly with me if she felt unsafe in the plane.

All the best with your decision.

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Old 03-22-2018, 10:21 AM
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bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 896

Perhaps a 10 or 14? Sell her on size and comfort.

I think safety is more decision making than aircraft, even when you have failures. In that regard, the safest aircraft is the one you are most experienced with.
#140376 RV-14A QB IO-390 Thunderbolt
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:58 AM
Lars Lars is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Davis, CA
Posts: 1,057

Originally Posted by Davy8or View Post
I would love a ride in a 9/A if you know anybody near by. I figure I should ride in the plane I'm thinking of buying.
To get a feel for flight characteristics, yes, absolutely. For fit, keep in mind that the fuselages of the 9 and 7 are mostly identical. There are several 9A's around here. I could probably arrange a ride.
Lars Pedersen
Davis, CA
RV-7 Flying as of June 24, 2012
700+ hours as of October 1, 2018
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:04 PM
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RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tuttle, Oklahoma
Posts: 2,510

Others have commented quite effectively on your concerns. I will only expound upon one. The perception of lack of space in the 9A vs Mooney. As a data point. I am 6'1" 260. I have no problems with the cockpit space with my wife. I would give her info, but. . . well I like my current job as her husband. Just suffice it to say we do not have issues fitting in the cockpit. We load up the plane going to OSH. It is always stuffed full of camping gear, etc. You cannot carry an anvil in the baggage area but you can carry pretty much most anything you and your wife would want to carry on a normal outing.

I have had many occasions to fly with other men who are similar in size to me. Though I have yet to fly with one as big or bigger than me, many have been close. Indeed when I am flying with, say someone in the 200+ lb range, there is considerably less shoulder room. However, I would expect that to be true in a Mooney as well. At any rate, I do not consider the cockpit space a substantial handicap in my 9A.

Good luck with your decision. Actually, it kind of sounds to me like you think you should maybe keep the Mooney. Maybe so, but only you can answer that for sure.

Live Long And Prosper!

Live Long And Prosper! 🖖🏻

Last edited by RVbySDI : 03-22-2018 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:23 PM
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YellerDaisy YellerDaisy is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Mountain Southwest
Posts: 144

First off, I'd suggest you stop calling it an "EXPERIMENTAL" to your wife. That stirs fear and in most everyone that doesn't know any better.

Call it 'owner built and maintained' or even 'amateur built' or even just a 'Van's RV'. You probably don't refer to your Mooney as a "STANDARD" (category), right?

Given what I have observed (friends with certificated aircraft), you are likely to save a large fortune with an RV (in maintenance and parts). Of course, that always depends on you (the owner) - and, as you said, buy/sell costs.

All opinion here... Having flown amateur built aircraft for the last few decades, I cannot imagine any pilot wanting to fly a certificated aircraft (in the category/type that we are talking about here). The feel of the controls, visibility, and performance of certificated aircraft is sooo disappointing. Obviously, different strokes for different folks.
RV-4 - O-320
RV-3B - O-320 - "Daisy" (sold)
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:45 PM
kaweeka kaweeka is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Roseville
Posts: 239

I have a -9A and live in Roseville. I'd be happy to take you flying, let you get the feel for the plane. Mine is an IO 320 with CS prop, G3x and G5 with all the bells you stated. I used to have a Socata Trinidad and my wife and I have never looked back after getting the -9A. Give me a call anytime. My coordinates are listed on my profile.
RV-9A N435KR Vans calendar March 2018
IO 320 B1A, Dual LS Plasma III, AFP injection
G3x touch
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