First Flight

Successful first flight.

Took off from CJR on Sunday 8/13/2017. Flew around for 20 minutes and landed without incident. …. Only issues were high CHTs because I left full power in too long (excitement got the better of me) and my flap breaker on the VPX tripped. I elected to continue what an observer later called a “picture perfect flaps-up landing” and debug on the ground.

Thanks to John Trollinger who gave Zach and me a “dress rehearsal” flight immediately prior in his RV-10, Dick Koehler for inspecting my airplane and doing the SB-632 work on my engine, Todd Stovall for answering many questions over the years. And a very special thanks to Ralph Hoover who helped me with just about every part of the build from inspecting my empenage work to first flight advice.

Most of all I thank my wife and kids. This was a family project for us as the pictures recorded on this build log show. Lastly, I’m grateful to the Living Lord Jesus Christ who calmed my nerves and showed great mercy in bringing this sorely unqualified pilot back on the ground safely. May He see fit to do it many, many more times.

Also thank you to Dennis and Andrew Crider for their support on the day of the event and for the great pictures they took, which are shown below.



A picture show of the work done to satisfy SB632. No bad bushings were found. Once I get the baffling reinstalled, all the wires re-plugged in, and do another 3 minute ground run, we’ll be ready again for flight.

Three local guys with about 120 years of experience between them (including Dick Koehler of EAAs “Hints For Homebuilders” fame) came over to do the work. It was very instructive.




Total time: 3030 hours.
Misc: 20.0

Got our special airworthiness certificate! This marks the official end of the build. There is still work to do, but since in the eyes of the state, I have an airplane I can legally fly, I will no longer be tracking my time.

Now just have to sort out a few squawks and we’re ready to fly.

  • Prop Governor issue (was bad cal in tach)
  • replace overhead air servo
  • fuel flow test
  • arm and test ELT
  • clean fouled plugs
  • plug unused nutplate in firewall
  • verify GPS getting to ELT
  • fix fuel leak in tunnel
  • FAA inspection
  • Recheck flap/aileron rigging
  • Adjust oil line to avoid rubbing on air box
  • add some “cushion” to the forward stops in the engine controls.

… Update … Service Bulletin 632 was just released by Lycoming. Looks like our first flight will be delayed for a little bit longer.



Engine start and other stuff

Total time: 3010
Firewall Forward: 95.6
Misc: 65.5

Too much stuff to mention in detail. And not too many pictures. Most notable, as of this date (6/30/2017) the engine has been run for 0.4 hours. No issues.

Here’s a general list of things done.

  • trim on window interiors
  • configuring skyview
  • EarthX battery connect and battery fault testing
  • Interior scat vent tubes
  • Interior front panels
  • Interior center console
  • Wing tip wiring
  • Pitot install
  • Fix short circuit in left nav light (was just a bit of aluminum shaving that got caught in a connector.
  • Secure wiring in wing root
  • VOR antenna in left wing tip
  • EFIS setup
  • Flap position calibration.
  • Reposition engine controls (big job here to fix interference with original engine control layout)
  • Had an EAA inspection.
  • Fixed binding in right aileron
  • Painted elevator counerweights
  • Calibrated trim positions
  • Wing root fairings
  • Calibrate fuel tanks
  • Had avionics shop inspect Pitot/static system and VOR and got an IFR instrument checkout

Moving Day

Rusty’s Towing Service of Culpeper county moved the airplane for me. Pricey, but well worth it, The driver (Chris) was professional and knew how to be careful during the whole process. Before hooking up or doing anything, really, he checked with me. He even understood we’d want to secure the prop to prevent any possibility of it windmilling. Got it on the truck, drove to the airport, got it off the truck. Easy. Took less than an hour including a 30 minute travel time.

We moved the wings in a U-Haul a few weeks earlier.

Very nice to have it finally at the airport.

Air box & FWF

Total time: 2846.5
Filtered Air Box: 41.0
Firewall forward this time: 32.5
Total Firewall Forward:  69.6

Did the filtered air box and the air channel from the lower cowl to the air box. Had to do the air channel twice but that was the only real issue with the FAB.

For the FWF the prop was torqued and safety wired. FWF wiring has been completed, throttle body complete. Cabled complete. Fuel lines and oil lines complete. Several issues with the control cables documented in the pictures but all is well now.


Total: 2773.0 hours
Baffles: 73.0 hours

These baffles took a lot longer than I expected based on the reported times from other builders – about twice as long. I’m not sure why. I had no particular problems or serious time consuming errors. I did put things on and off a great number of times making very small cuts and adjustments each time. That might explain some of it. Or maybe I just work a lot slower than most.

As mentioned, no serious problems. More details in the pictures.

A note about the rubber baffle material. There is no guidance in the plans about how much to overlap or how much should stick up above the top baffle edges so I asked Van’s. They indicated with a consistent 1/2 inch gap between the top baffle edge and the top cowl (as I have), the material should go 3/4 inches down, 1/2 inch overlap from section to section and 2 inches above the top. They said this “usually works pretty well.” I went 1″ down, 1″ overlap and 2″ above the top edge. … Just gave a little more tolerance I felt, in case of an error somewhere.