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From: Austin Tinckler (
Date: 04/15/01-09:33:38 AM Z

What follows is an outline only for those who are still building and
probably have low time, or none recently. The rest of you, don't even
read this.

Like all other builders, I read all the magazine articles on how to
handle an RV. Nothing really prepares you for an RV, so the best you
can do is talk to those who have flown and try to get some rides and
dual. Nobody is likely to let you take it off or land it.

Step 1: Take-off

Mounting up is fun in itself. You get comfortable and strap in and
these surroundings make it self-evident that you are aboard something
really different. After all the checks are done and you are ready to
roll, feed in the throttle gradually and you will find the thrust to be
fairly strong. You feel it in your back. With this will come the
tendency to pull left, which you will be prepared for, and you apply
right rudder as needed. After I mastered this, I found I was dropping
right wing on lift-off. Others did the same. This is because I was so
keen to get an arrow straight liftoff that I was holding in rudder too
long. The aircraft will lift off by
itself and if you have a tailwheel, raising the tail improves the view
and makes you feel like a hot dog, but you don't have to do this unless
you want to.

Step 2: Climb and cruise.

Once you are climbing out, you will find that the controls are light but
not snaky and you can move them around gently while you decide when to
level out, turn, or whatever. When you throttle back (you get to height
quickly), it gets quieter and you have time to do a scan and enjoy life
a bit. Tooling around will let you feel how much response is there and
what you feel you like to do. Not much else to say here.

Step 3: Landing

If you stay in the pattern, you may not get too much speed up, but if
you fly away and come back to join up, you need to think about slowing
down. This you will get to learn quickly and easily and there is more
than one way to do it. Downwind should be about 100 mph, base slower to
80, final to 75 and 70 and 65 once you get good.

I only use one notch of flap because until I changed the flap handle, no
way could I get the second notch on. (I had cut it down 2 inches--big
mistake.) I am used to it now and it works for me. I use 2nd notch
rarely and only if I am too high.

I do not practice touch and goes because I want to save the wheels and
brakes and I can make two good landings followed by a bummer, so I feel
any landing is a keeper and that suits me.

When to turn final is the big question and depends on wind and traffic
and your height. I try to get it slowed to 75, know I have the runway
made. By 70 I am nearly there, and I quit looking at the airspeed and
keep a steady descent.

I round out gently at a height that tells me it is time now ( I really
donít know if it is 20, 15, or 10--sorry). Then I keep the spinner up
moderately, no more, and she will settle on the mains. If I keep
pulling back like a Cessna, she will rise up and drop in. If you are
short, an addition of throttle will carry you to the numbers. If you
are a bit high and chop the throttle, she will settle kind of quick.
All this is a description of approach on a short runway. Ours is 2000í.
 I donít need the brakes until the end for turn off.

The RV thankfully tracks very nicely and straight which is a big help
for a novice. If you have a long runway, then life should be even
easier for now you can keep power on all the way, settle as you like,
and just let the tarmac come up to meet you and you roll out. No brakes
needed. I just like to land as dead stick as I can because I was taught
that way and I think it could be valuable. Pros can send their flames
as they choose. This is only a guide for amateurs by an amateur.

I was way out of date with my flying and was nervous more about the
systems than about myself. I had 1.5 hours checkout in my RV then went
solo thereafter. I am still learning of course. I just thought this
would be of encouragement for those who hope to strap in and take the
challenge sometime down the road.

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