Van's Air Force
Western Canada Wing
From: Austin Tinckler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 09/24/01-07:40:29 AM Z
Went flying today in an RV, for the first time in 3 years,....and
it was glorious.
It was an unplanned occasion, because the weather was forecast for rain,
which here, means low ceiling, cruddy day and poor vis.
But at 6:45 a.m., I rolled out of the sack to stick my face out the
window for my customary Met briefing, and what do I see, but a clear
silhouette of all the tree line, standing out a crisp black against a red
band of horizon sky and azure blue above that.....
Can you believe it ? Met guys are wrong again and a perfect day for flying
breaks over the Pacific, and the warm air from the Japanese current has
given us another day of Indian Summer...
I wait for my friend at the field and I gaze up into the CAVU and see an
Eagle riding circles on a thermal about 4,000 feet up.......Gawd, my glasses
work good !
My pal arrives and preflights and we climb aboard and start up and
A couple of early Cessnas are ahead of us and we break off and turn on our
heading early lest we run them over.
Great fun in an RV to see how quickly you overtake another airplane.
Not often do you overtake anything.
Normally, we would take a run " ovah za bordah ", as Franz would
say, but ATIS tells us to keep clear of US airspace.....this is, remember ,
the 22nd...the day of the supposed 2nd attack..
F18s will come up to see who and what you are about if you infringe, and
yet, in normal times, all we would disturb would be seals lying on
All the fun cannot be held in check though, so a fast low pass over
one of our rebel strips in the outback is greeted with some guy in the
middle of the strip, waving like mad, his grin evident even from where we
sit.......and another thing.........I remember we are a trike, something new
for me....but I cannot see the nose wheel from where I sit and further, the
airplane doesn't seem to know nor care either....
Flies the same way.
No feet on the rudder...just bend the wrist a little so, and our heading has
changed a lot.
A yellow plane which turns out to be red in this sun casts a shadow along
the sand bars of the river, barely 100 feet up as best I can tell.....shadow
and airplane are not that far apart.
Smoooth today, and we climb to 2500 just for the heck of it, turn toward the
hills and shady vision and play among the gaps and out to the river and see
180, point her down a bit and blast over the ferries laying wakes in the
We touch and go at a country strip and what a sweet landing...no
shimmy at all, and off and up we go again....too much fun to stop and
eat...........this engine sure sounds strong and smooth....
Everything in this airplane is just a finger tip away...all the
trim and pumps and dials and switches and an hour has flown almost as fast
as we have....
The usual weekend traffic has some pilots getting re-reads and slight
reprimands from the controller for touch and go when he was supposed to full
stop and clear the active, or using the wrong call up point or runway or
both, but we all fit in and are cleared straight in from 2 miles.
They don't even ask who we are because the transponder shows an airplane
faster than you know who, showing a small target and it just has to be that
We are actually asked to slow down, and we line up from far out and just
wait and watch the end of the black strip with the numbers come up to meet
Again, just holding off while she sinks has us touch the blacktop like
a brush on a canvas and surprise !....our vision forward stays great
!......wonderful for short guys, and then I remember the nosewheel
again........what a classy touchdown...what a great view forward !
This airplane is so slick that she taxis a tad too fast just at
throttle idle, but she can turn on a dime to park and when we get out, just
a straight push back has her in exactly the spot she belongs in....
Headsets off, canopy back, fresh air in the hair....ears unplug and
our engine ticks the cooling ticks and the grins begin to hurt your
Cessnas and Pipers taxi by and their engines sound the good sound and the
sky gets busy all over again.......
3 years is way too long to be out of the seat of an RV......
Back home I spent countless hours doing the dirty filing, sanding, filling,
sanding of the fibreglass stuff, misery only made bearable because it is the
finishing touches to get more speed and slippery flight and airborne that
much sooner in my own RV.
I screwed up the courage to test my strobes and wiring and they are OK.
This after weeks of waiting to get the courage up again after I let the
smoke out of a bundle of wires and fried a couple of diodes....electric
thingys are akin to black magic........
I did also, look out at the wings while along on this ride, and
appreciated just how nice a job the paint was, wet looking and very shiny,
close enough to reach out and touch with a finger tip.
Done by the builder, and just as nice as any portrait.......hope I can do it
Keep working and putting the time in....that is the only way you will
get up in the air in the early morning in your own speed
machine.........then you will forget all the hours and labor you spent to
Best of luck to all the builders and dreamers.....
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