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  #21  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:33 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
......I will always remember seeing my first plane, the RV4 flying that first flight. Seeing all the parts working together, under the skilled hand of an excellent pilot, is extremely satisfying.
Now that you mention it.....I have never seen my 1999 RV-6 in flight. I suspect standing on the ramp and seeing it fly for the first time would have been an unforgettable memory.

As it turned out, I did the first flight and it was quite boring (that's a good thing....).
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 06-17-2018 at 07:45 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:47 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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I also agree with Mel but have another reason to get a Test Pilot to do the first flight.

Most builders have only time in one or two different makes and models of aircraft. Thus it makes it difficult for them to adapt to instrument placement, switch placement, and most importantly, different handling characteristics.

With the rules that allow you to have two people in the plane with you, let someone else fly it and then you fly it with them.

Good luck with your first flight!
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  #23  
Old 06-19-2018, 12:07 AM
RFSchaller RFSchaller is offline
 
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Iíve built 4 planes, and I admit that as the first flight loomed as a reality instead of a far off dream I got butterflies. In the end I did each first flight and it was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I think itís a decision that each builder has to make based on their own personal situation. I have been asked by two builders to do their first flight. One I turned down for liability concerns and because I donít know the quality of his work. The other is a life long friend and thatís the only reason I would consider it.
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  #24  
Old 06-19-2018, 02:47 AM
DRMA DRMA is offline
 
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Default AC 90-116

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
PLEASE read AC 90-116 very carefully. It is quite restrictive as to the qualifications of all pilots on board.
I have read re-read this, and believe my first flight plans fit within the rules. The individual I have talked to as my QP is fully qualified for that role in the RV-10. And as the BP I am also qualified. The rules also recommend discussion before each flight to clearly establish each Pilotís roles for the flight, including who will act as PIC.

So am I missing something.

Thanks
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  #25  
Old 06-19-2018, 03:54 PM
N49ex N49ex is offline
 
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I could not recommend either way whether to hire a test pilot or not - it is a too complicated and variable decision and depends on the particular situation.

However, I will explain how and why I decided to make the first flight myself.

I tried to prepare myself with a thorough reading of all the available FAA first flight guidance and made a simple first flight 'before and during checklist'. Then and probably the most useful, I got several hours in friend's same type, same engine/prop equipage planes, including multiple landings, so I knew what to expect. And I flew the routine in my head countless times...till I could hardly wait to do it for real.

As far as the plane goes, it had gone through several fast taxi tests and fuel system examination by a very knowledgeable A&P. Finally, and what I considered most important, in my mind it came down to, did I trust my work and preparation, and if I did not or wasn't sure, why would I want to endanger someone else? Even if they are an "experienced test pilot", if something drastically failed or came apart, they too might likely not be able to do anything about it. Anything else, the plan was "circle back down to the airport". As far as flying the plane was concerned, it should behave like the other two I already flew - and it did! One minor electrical squawks - an EGT that didn't indicate, and that was it.

It's great that AC 90-116 now exists. At the time I did my first flight it didn't, but surprisingly enough my FAA AW examiner literally told me "What do you think 'the crew required for the safe operation of the flight' means?" I took the hint and after the first flight alone, took a qualified pilot friend along, I flew, he took data. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
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  #26  
Old 06-19-2018, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N49ex View Post
....but surprisingly enough my FAA AW examiner literally told me "What do you think 'the crew required for the safe operation of the flight' means?" I took the hint and after the first flight alone, took a qualified pilot friend along, I flew, he took data. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
While I understand your reasoning, for others reading this, This flight WAS illegal. The FAA AW examiner does not have the authority to interpret, or "bend" the rules.
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  #27  
Old 06-19-2018, 05:55 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
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expanding on Mel's point....
If what the ASI told you was true, why would the FAA have gone to all of the trouble to implement the second pilot flight testing program?

It is unfortunate that a lot of FAA personal do not know what the FAA's official position is on a lot of subjects (then again there is a lot of them).
As Mel mentioned, not knowing, doesn't give them the authority to make up their own definition of the rules.
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  #28  
Old 06-19-2018, 09:10 PM
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Phantom30 Phantom30 is offline
 
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[quote=N49ex;1267920] did I trust my work and preparation, and if I did not or wasn't sure, why would I want to endanger someone else? Even if they are an "experienced test pilot", if something drastically failed or came apart, they too might likely not be able to do anything about it.

i think you mis-interpert the issue.. Most of us; following Van’s plans, will have built a solid aircraft. Along with the FAA airworthiness inspection (and “test pilot preflight inspection”) will farit out any “construction issues.

What is of concern are “rigging issues”; which could have a rather dramatic handling effect for a low time pilot. When Mike Seager took mine up for a first flight; and upon return, stated “don’t change anything...it flys perfect”.

That was more than enough reward for the three years of building...and I could be confident I had a safe stable plane.
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Last edited by Phantom30 : 06-19-2018 at 09:14 PM.
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  #29  
Old 06-19-2018, 09:28 PM
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If you have done all your preparations as others suggested and decide to do your first flight yourself, you picked a good plane. Iíve done several first flights and flown four 12s and they all seem to fly the same, like jumping into a Cessna.

Plan on a heavy wing that can easily be adjusted and use a long paved runway since solo initially all will float. Iíve helped several pilots transition and even with coaching all to 55 knots on final they all need a few thousand feet of runway for initial flights. With experience you will learn to manage your airspeed and land in short runways.
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  #30  
Old 06-20-2018, 05:16 AM
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snopercod snopercod is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmillhouse View Post
...use a long paved runway since solo initially all will float.
On my first landing, I floated for 4,000' During my transition training we always landed at 85 Kts and I decided to add a few for good measure. It turned out that my static ports needed some adjustment so my ASI was reading 10 Kts. low. I probably came in at close to 100 Kts, which wasn't a problem because I was on an 8,000' runway.
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