Choice and Consequences

It’s all about the choices we make—and the consequences of those choices. In this case, our choice was to build an RV-3 – an airplane that we have thoroughly enjoyed for just about 600 hours of flying now. The consequence – an RV-3 has very little room between the back of the engine and the firewall. Space is at a premium, and when you add a constant speed prop and an oil filter to an IO-320, you start working back there like a surgeon through a microscope. Continue reading "Choice and Consequences"



I remember the very first LONG cross-country I took as an inexperienced pilot, flying my new (to me) Grumman Yankee from Houston to Minneapolis, VFR, with a single Narco MK III Omnigator radio and an engine that turned out to be burning a quart of oil every three hours. Crossing the center of the country south to north with no weather information, flying by hand in the sweltering summer heat and humidity, visibility was rarely better than five miles. I think there were five fuel stops (the Yankee had short legs) and I made it to southern Minnesota before getting stopped by a wall of weather, finishing the trip the next morning. It wasn’t quite like barnstorming, or the Cub flying I did a few years earlier to get my license – but it was an adventure! Continue reading "Enroute"

Full Swivel!

With just one more hour to go before our RV-3 reaches 500 on the clock, her Silver Bullet tailwheel steering arm decided it had seen one too many cracks in the various taxiways we had visited.



Well actually, it wasn't the Silver Bullet that failed - it was the Heim bearing that screws into the Bullet that fractured. This left me with no tailwheel steering, and from the cockpit, this manifested itself as not being able to get the tailwheel to lock in to the rudder - effectively, it felt like a full-swivel tailwheel. When I got out to have look, the steering arm was all the way up against the tailwheel spring on the left side - I think this is why I had a full swivel instead of one that was locked in place. Continue reading "Full Swivel!"

Junior Takes Wing

Have to share the news. The RV-3 that KITPLANES contributor Paul Dye and his wife, Louise Hose, built has flown. According to Dye, the first flight was textbook. The second ended in an off-airport landing with no damage. They flew it out and have continued testing; a mere burp, nothing horrible. Dye says he could probably write a book (or at least a chapter) on how to prepare for a first flight, and how that preparation pays off, as it did on this first flight December 10. Here’s his account of that first flight.

Continue reading "Junior Takes Wing"