BRIAN MEYETTE'S RV-7A BUILDER LOG SITE

 


INTRODUCTION

Welcome to my aircraft builder's log site.

This plane was being built in Cornish, NH using renewable solar and wind power.  Click HERE for more details.

Use the INDEX in the Table of Contents in the LT panel to search for things you want to find on this site.  Just use Ctrl-F in your browser and search for keywords.  You can also use it to view daily activities, but it's especially useful (I use it myself to find things I know I've done, but not sure when) as a basic site search engine.  The Table of Contents also lists activities under the headings of major component areas. 

If you've hit this page as a standalone web page (without frames and Table of Contents showing), click here to bring up the full page, with frames.

Look around - there's a LOT of info here - over 100MB, with over 300 pages and 3000 pictures. 

There are MANY links here to info located on other people's sites.   Unfortunately, many of those links go stale over time.   If you encounter any bad links on my site, please email me, and I will keep them cleaned up.


STATES IN WHICH I'VE LANDED:

map created at epgsoft.com


NEWS

April 1, 2016 VERY SAD NEWS:  Pete Krok, fellow RV bulder and Eggenfellner engine owner, originator of subenews group, passed away April 1, 2016 in Chico, CA.  Godspeed, Pete!

  Pete Krok, the very nicest of people!

  These are a couple shots from a subenews party Pete threw for the group at AirVenture a few years ago.

 

June 17, 2013 - see my new Pilot BluLink Bluetooth aviation headset adapter product review HERE

 

 

Feb 7, 2013 - As anyone who has seen LAPD in action knows, they are dangerous armed thugs.  I used to like to visit Venice Beach when I went to SoCal, but I quit doing it because of the roving gangs of armed, menacing, and highly belligerent thugs roaming throughout the crowd - the LAPD.  I've seen them many times, wandering around with huge chips on their shoulders, harassing people at random, going up to people and hassling them, demanding people's IDs, bullying people, trying as hard as they can to start something.  On my last visit there, I found a cellphone on the beach.  I picked it up and took it to one of the police officers.   As I walked up to a group of them, one of them jumped out from his little gang, straight-armed me in the chest, and demanded, in a most belligerent way, that I tell him what I wanted.  After I said I only wanted to turn in a lost cellphone, he then demanded that I show him my ID.  I just walked away from him.  I've often wished I'd gotten his name, so I could file a complaint against him.   But at the time, I just wanted to get away from this nutjob before he shot me.  That's just one of dozens of cases I've seen of LAPD abuses.

Christopher Dorner was an LAPD cop.  After the LAPD forced him out for exposing abuses, he went on a rampage in SoCal.  HERE is his unedited manifesto.  Based on all the innocent people LAPD has already shot in the panic to kill him, I believe what he wrote is true.  If anything, the behavior of LAPD and other nearby police departments has done nothing but prove his allegations.  In the first day of the big manhunt for him, LAPD and Torrance PD opened fire on multiple vehicles that vaguely resembled Dorner's, without even finding out first who was inside.  They have already shot several civilians who did nothing and had nothing to do with the case.  I don't condone what Dorner's doing, because two wrongs don't make a right.

  This blue truck belongs to a couple women who were out delivering early morning newspapers when LAPD opened fire on them for no reason at all - other than that they were driving a truck that VAGUELY matched Dorner's.   Dozens of bullet holes.  This was only one of TWO such incidents in Torrance alone on Feb 7, where police opened fire on completely innocent drivers just for driving a pickup truck.  The other truck was a Honda, so obviously it didn't take much of a match for LAPD thugs to start shooting.   Details HERE

 

 

NOV, 2012 - All year long, but especially at this time of year, we’re besieged with requests for money from charities.  Some charities do very well, others are notorious for spending all or most of the money they collect on either paying out for professional fundraising (those people who call you at dinner to say they’re collecting for xxx, a fine sounding charity) or for huge salaries to the people running it.  Like American Cancer Society, for example – the CEO pulls in over 2 million bucks a year and they spend about 1/3 of the money on administration and fundraising costs.    Some others, especially some police & fire charitable organizations, are even more egregious – spending single-digit % on charitable programs, while spending percentages in the eighties and nineties on fundraising and admin/salaries.

Check out that charity HERE before giving them money

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

I was about to send some money to a charity I supported last year, but then I checked them out here & decided to put my money elsewhere.

 

AUG 13, 2010 - The RV-7A is SOLD.  This web site will stay up, as lots of people have told me it's been a source of good info for them.  See my parting advice below for tips on how to make sure your project gets finished.

See HERE for details on the RV-7A project being sold, and its replacement, RV-6A N16RK:

  My new (to me) RV, N16RK, an award-winning RV-6A built by Ralph Koger.

 


 

  The Old Crow P-51 pulled in to its new hangar next to mine, summer 2011. 


SOME OF MY TRIPS:

NOVEMBER, 2011 - see HERE for my report on our trip to Copperstate fly-in at Casa Grande, Arizona, just southeast of Phoenix.

FEBRUARY, 2012 - see HERE for a 90 minute local flight in the Challenger, condensed to 9 minutes.  It's also on YouTube HERE.

MARCH, 2012 - see HERE for a 7 minute sunset flight excerpt in the Challenger, in real time.  It's also on YouTube HERE.

APRIL, 2012 - see HERE for my report on my trip to Sun N Fun, Lakeland, Florida

AUGUST, 2012 - see HERE for my report my trip with my wife to AirVenture 2012

 


 

HISTORY & SELECTION

After getting my Private Pilot license in May, 2002, I soon found that renting was not a viable option, mainly due to the minimum daily charges for renting a plane overnight.  I began looking for a better solution, such as buying into a partial ownership.  I flew a rental into Oshkosh 2002 with Tate Picard, and we new pilots had a blast.  I studied all the kit planes, especially the Van's RVs.   I wanted a plane that was aerobatic rated, and that would be good for local flights, as well as cross country trips.   I ended up choosing the Van's RV-7A.   

After my experience building my Heritage Building Systems steel barn, I was leery of another "kit" manufacturer.  But, from everything I could find out, Van's has the best reputation in the industry, so I decided it was worth the risk.  I have never been sorry about that decision.   Van's is superb; both in the quality of their kits and in the quality of their support.   HERE is a picture made by Jim Piavis on the VAF site, showing the locations of RV builders in the USA at that time. 

I also don't have a whole lot of spare time, so I wanted one with the most advanced quick build kit.  It's still going to be a lot of work, but I decided I could manage it with Van's wings and fuselage Quick Build kits.  Neither the QB nor standard kits come with engine, propeller, instruments, paint, interior, or all the extras required to complete the electrical, fuel, or vacuum systems.   Here's what the kit looks like.


 

BUILDING OVERVIEW

I took an EAA sheet metal course in October, 2002.  In November, 2002, I went to the Alexander Technical Center in Griffin, GA, where I did a weeklong course on building my tail.  My tail is complete (except for the fiberglass tips), and all the mounting of the tail to the fuselage and tail control surface rigging is complete.

Then I had to wait half the winter for the Quick Build kits to arrive.  They were scheduled to ship in March, 2003, but I got them Feb 10.   Van's is SO good at meeting (usually beating) their time estimates.  That's one of MANY reasons Van's is such a great company to do business with.   Over the fall of 2002, I got my garage fully cleaned out and ready for the plane project as soon as it came in.  I also had it insulated, which made a big difference in working there during the dreadfully long and cold northern NH winters.

The wings are mostly done, although I haven't closed up the final panel or done any of the fiberglass tips yet.  I began working on the fuselage, installing cabin components, plumbing, wiring, instrument panel, canopy, mounting the wings, and rigging flight controls.  I received my Finish Kit, about 10 weeks earlier than quoted, and I've purchased some of the required additional accessories, like flap & aileron trim controls, fuel plumbing, wiring, lighting, antennas, seats, grips, etc. 

I received my Blue Mountain Avionics EFIS/One system in July, 2004, and installed the BMA autpilot.  My backup EFIS, from Grand Rapids Technologies, was received in Sept, 2004.  I also decided to add the Dynon as a third backup EFIS, instead of a Turn Coordinator.  I received the Dynon EFIS in December, 2004.  From July, 2004 to April, 2005, I worked on the canopy system, and it's nearly done. 

In April, 2005, I received my supercharged Eggenfellner Subaru STi engine, and by the end of June, 2005, I had it bolted on, with the plane standing on its own 3 legs.  I screwed around with the engine all summer and fall of 2005.   In the fall and early winter of 2005, I was back on the fuselage details, as well as more engine installation work, including extensive fitting, upgrading, and reworking of the FWF components. 

During the later winter of 2006, I worked in the house, on the instrument panel.  For spring thru fall of 2006, I was back out in the garage, working on engine and electrical, as well as console, trying to get the engine ready to start.  On Jan 7, 2007, I finally was able to start the engine, almost 2 years after I received it.   Throughout 2007, I was working mostly on more engine-related details and on electrical/avionics. 

As 2007 went on, and into 2008, I found myself working on the plane less and less, due to discouragement over the never-ending Eggenfellner engine problems, as well as a variety of competing issues.   I currently tell people the plane is STILL at that "80% completed, 80% to go" stage.  In May, 2008, I began moving the plane pieces, as well as tools and supplies, over to my recently-completed  hangar.  I also bought a  Quad City Challenger II LW, took transition training for it, and I've been loving flying that at every opportunity.  I also began "de-Egging" the FWF.  In July, 2008, I moved the RV to the hangar. 

In 2009, I continued working on "de-Egging" the engine and FWF.  By June, I had the engine running again, with all new parts & configuration.  In July, I found out Blue Mountain Avionics had gone belly-up, leaving all of their customers in the lurch, which substantially damaged the motivation I've been trying to resurrect for this project.  In August and September, I installed the brakes, mounted the prop, ran the engine under prop load, and then back to the avionics wiring in October thru December.  

For 2010, I was working in CA for the first half of the year, so next to nothing got done on the plane; just a bit of fuselage & avionics work.   In July, I thought of biting the bullet and hiring an avionics shop to do the avionics wiring and get me over that hump.  I enjoy wiring, but my panel layout is so complex, I seem to run into a question or roadblock with every wire I touch.  In August, I also looked into hiring someone to finish the plane for me.  One highly recommended guy in Oklahoma didn't return my call, but by the time I found out I'd been given the wrong phone number for him, the plane had sold.   Another guy in Ohio I contacted about finishing the plane for me seemed to have a history of producing show quality planes, but my impression of him was of a major BS artist who talked a LOT and never listened at all.  In mid August, I sold the incomplete project at a huge loss ($70K in FWF and Blue Mountain EFIS/AP alone) to a man from Kansas, and immediately bought a flying RV-6A.


 

ENGINE

My engine is a supercharged Subaru WRX STi engine.  I bought it as a FWF kit from Eggenfellner Aircraft, but it contains few remaining Eggenfellner parts.   I started off with great enthusiasm about the Eggenfellner Subaru engine, as you can read about in my engine pages.

The Eggenfellner STi engine turned out to be a nightmare for all the people who bought into the single batch of them produced by Eggenfellner Aircraft.  The package turned out to be very poorly thought out and executed, with many severe workmanship and design problems, and most of its R&D left to the customers.  Each STi customer's overall building time was extended more than 4 years because of this engine and all its problems.  

Nearly all the original 25 STi customers have quit the Eggenfellner FWF.   There is also a group of early H6 owners that the notoriously prickly, temperamental Eggenfellner factory has lost interest in supporting.   Many other H6 owners have announced they are abandoning their Eggenfellner engine.  I've lost count of the number of Eggenfellner customers who either sold their plane or engine, or just wrote off the $40K cost of the FWF and abandoned it in favor of a Lycoming.  Stories also abound of props paid for years ago and never delivered.  The Eggenfellner factory always blames all problems on its R&D Department; the customers. 

For details on all the Eggenfellner problems, see the engine pages, beginning HERE.

Click HERE for manuals, procedures, data, etc for LYCOMING


 

SUMMARY

My plane will be IFR-capable, all-electric, with dual batteries and 3 busses, and an "all-glass panel".  It will be powered by a supercharged Subaru WRX STi engine, with an electric constant-speed MT prop.  My previous goals were to fly this plane to AirVenture 2005/6/7/8.  At this point, I really don't know when it'll get finished.  I've been struggling with engine issues (see ENGINE summary above) for over 5 years.  

I need to document my work to the FAA, as I will have to prove I did at least 51% of the tasks on the plane in order to get the plane registered as Experimental Amateur-Built and to get the Repairman Certificate for it.  You have to have an A&P (Airframe & Powerplant) license to work on planes, but there is an exception (for that particular plane only) if you build your own plane, and do at least 51% of the tasks on it.  I will also need to document my work in order for the FAA to let me begin test-flying it.  I decided to document my work here on this web site.  The other purpose of this site is to keep interested friends and family informed about my progress, as well as to hopefully help those following in my path.


 

HANGAR

Throughout 2005 and the first half of 2006, I was trying to build a  hangar  at Claremont Municipal Airport (CNH), to house my new airplane.  It was truly the hassle of a lifetime, dealing with the obstructionist bureaucrats of the City of Claremont, New Hampshire.  I ended up cancelling the project after more than a year of harassment from the Claremont bureaucrats.  The City of Claremont also built a municipal hangar with FAA funds toward the end of 2006, and cheated pilots on the waiting list by ignoring the waiting list and giving the leases to the Airport Manager's preferred insiders. 

In the first half of 2007, I built a hangar at Springfield, Vermont (VSF).  Dealing with the people associated with VSF (and other local airports) was 100% night-and-day difference compared to the horrid people and hostile attitudes in Claremont.  Springfield has been great to deal with!  In July, 2008, I  moved the plane from my garage in Cornish, NH to my hangar in Springfield, where I also keep and fly my new Quad City Challenger II LW.


 

SOME PARTING ADVICE

SEPT, 2010 - As I reluctantly end my RV-7A project, I offer you some hard-learned expensive lessons to help you avoid this position.

1.  As someone's VAF signature says, it isn't tools or skill that complete projects, it's the will to do so.  Make sure you start with that will and try to assess yourself if you can retain that will through life's inevitable interruptions.

2.  Especially if your plane building project is your first, try to resist the urge to make it the ultimate in perfection, features, and customization - just build it plain, simple, and light, according to Van's plans.

3.  While there are many people out there flying behind auto engine conversions, be aware that the vast majority of builders, especially RV builders, use a Lycoming engine.  An RV with a non-Lycoming engine will always have less resale value than one with a Lycoming.  An auto engine conversion will always add at least some more time to your build project, and is more "experimental".  If you like tinkering and experimenting, go for it.  If you want to FLY, I'd strongly suggest sticking with tried-and-true Lycoming.

4.  Keep the project at your house and delay moving it to a hangar for as long as you possibly can.   Even 15 minutes a day while waiting for dinner is progress; progress you won't be making if the plane is at the hangar.

5.  Delay buying avionics and autopilot as long as possible.  Look carefully before you buy and carefully consider what the majority of other builders are using.  The "go with tried-and-true" advice I gave concerning engines applies here, too.  I sure wish I'd listened more closely to Stein Bruch at SteinAir when I was choosing avionics, and not gone the Blue Mountain route.   At the time I was buying my avionics (thinking I'd be flying within a year or so), I didn't realize it, but Stein's advice is golden.

6.  Be aware that having a flying plane while you're building will be fun and will keep your flying skills sharp, but will also make your project take longer.  It'll also cut down on your sense of urgency to complete the project.


 

MORE AIRCRAFT INFO

Get Van's Aircraft Service Bulletins HERE

The bible for aircraft building is FAA AC 43.13, available in print from various vendors like ACS (Aircraft Spruce), and available free as a series of PDF files from the FAA.  Be sure to also get the March 3, 2008 AC 43.13-2B update HERE.

See my AVIONICS page for many links to great wiring docs.

See NASA Workmanship Standards HERE, and especially the the NASA wiring workmanship standards HERE.

See HERE or HERE for a tutorial on working with fiberglass.  HERE is Bob Collins' article on fiberglass.

Click HERE to read an important document on Mickey Coggins' web site about how to torque bolts and especially how to torque the new TTY Torque To Yield bolts.

HERE is a link to Mike Stewart's download page, with all sorts of other good info to download; just about ALL Garmin manuals, POH, flight test procedures, IFR tests, inspection checklist, formation flying info, etc

Be sure to also check my Builder Support page for lots more builders' resources and info like this.

Click HERE to read about the Learjet that went missing for 3 years while on approach to Lebanon, NH (KLEB).

Click HERE for an overview of the building process and general info especially useful for someone considering building an RV plane.

Click  HERE for trip reports of flying a Cub around the US

Click HERE to see a series of great pics of airports around the world.

Click HERE for a video of low & slow Cub flying by VAF people.

Click HERE for a great story on a natural fighter pilot.

See my TRAINING page for info on that all-important RV transition training.

See HERE for very interesting detailed info on the theory and dynamics of flight.

See my CUSTOM page for links to great info I discovered, concerning how to use electrolysis to completely remove rust, without removing anything non-rusted.

See HERE for the Weathermeister site - an excellent source of flight planning weather overview

Lycoming info HERE

See my TRIP REPORTS page for text & pics from several trips I've taken, as well as a couple videos of low & slow flight in my Challenger II LW

see my new Pilot BluLink product review HERE

 


 

OTHER BUILDER SITES

DISCLAIMER:  This web site is not an instructional web site, and I make no claims that anything I present here is the correct way to do anything.  It is here to document my work to the FAA, to entertain and inform others, and to help people avoid some of the mistakes I have made.  I assume no liability for the work of others.


OTHER INFO

 

Click for Lebanon, New Hampshire Forecast

Local Weather Summary


Kiva - loans that change lives

Have you heard about all the benefits of microcredit and how important it's becoming?  At Kiva you can directly participate in helping others through microcredit, on a one-to-one basis.  Give people a hand up, rather than a hand-out.


 
Fight against corporate bullying:
Fighting For Our Freedom

Even though less than noble interests killed the electric car, a new company has come up with this incredible new all-electric high performance sports car, the Tesla.  2007 production is already sold out.  2009 update - see this movie, and you'll get an idea of why bailing out GM for its bad behavior and shortsightedness is such a bad idea.


HERE is info on how the banks rip off all of us every day.  OCT, 2011 UPDATE: after we got legislation passed in 2011 limiting how much the crooked banks can gouge the merchants with "swipe fees" (which of course they pass on to us), now the banks are going to start gouging the consumers directly - details HERE.


Are you concerned about the food you eat?   See The Meatrix video and the movies Food, Inc. and King Corn to see where your food REALLY comes from.   HERE is a perfect example of the increasingly prevalent kind of people and companies supplying America's food.  Also, watch labels for "Made in China"; it's getting more & more prevalent.


See what (if anything) I'm currently selling on  EBAY  OR GUNBROKER


             

Defend your Second Amendment rights; support the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America


See my original personal web site for details about me personally.


See bluehost for inexpensive web hosting services and great customer service


Dec 15, 2006 - switched over to Statcounter software

March 31, 2009 - dumped Starband & switched over to meyette.us domain via bluehost - a wise and long overdue choice

March 24, 2010 - changed background colors for a fresher look

 

  visitors since Dec 15, 2006

this page last revised April 4, 2016

 

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Brian Mayette, Bryan Meyette, Bryan Mayette, Brian Myette, Bryan Myette