Thursday, January 1, 2015


I stopped by the hangar to pick up my headset. I noticed the flap indicator light was lit. Not good. Following the cockpit demonstration done the previous evening for a prospective student I had forgotten to turn off the Master Switch. But no time to deal with that now. It was time to go flying.
It's a two-seat all-metal side-by-side airplane with a large cabin that seats the occupants ahead of the wing spar for maximum room and superb visibility. 
The RV-12 meets the certification standards of the Light Sport Aircraft category and the RV-12 is eligible to be licensed as a LSA: E-LSA for aircraft built from one of our kits or S-LSA for the factory built model. RV–12 General Information
Arriving at the FBO the RV was already in the pattern. After a few turns I realized that he was burning off some fuel so that we would be within weight limits for my ride. Two "big" guys and just over 16 gallons of Mogas still kept us under the 1320 pound LSA restriction. Mark and his brother had spent two years of weekends putting her together. The fit and finish were superb. Similar to Sally in many ways including the ROTAX engine, there are noticeable differences as well. Mark has a single panel SkyView (I like SkyView!) in addition to a number of other wonderful "bells and whistles". Plenty of leg, shoulder and head room. The V speeds are within 5kts of Sally's. Visibility is outstanding. I felt right at home flying over the Pennsylvania countryside. (Thanks for the recommendation David.)

After I watched Mark depart I sat in the office for a few minutes to plan my activities for the rest of the day. Sally came first. I attached the engine pre-heater and went back to the office to make some phone calls. I told Mike about my battery problem and he offered his charger for me to use if needed. I called Harry and made another appointment for a Condition Inspection and fortunately he had saved me a slot for next week. Then the FAA arrived.

Nice guys, but they do have a way to clear a room. "We're from the FAA and are here to help" just doesn't encourage a lot of pilots to stick around and talk. Two new "Operations Inspectors" were making the rounds to the various airports in their district. When I asked what their new duties would be I got ...well, a government kind of response (ie Make sure operations are safe, check paper work, etc. Kind of like a ramp check for an airport.) The lead guy, Bill, seems pleasent enough. Asked me a bit about LSA, how the business was doing, etc. He took one of my DVDs to look at. (I sure hope I haven't documented anything incriminating!) Everyone breathed just a bit easier when they left.

I went back to the hangar and disconnected the heater, pulled her out into the warming sunshine and finished the preflight. I turned the switches on and got nothing. I pushed her back in and went looking for Mike. I borrowed the charger off the back of his truck. I disconnected the red lead from Sally's battery, hooked up the charger and set the timer for 45 minutes. Back to the FBO for pilot chatter.

Warm flying jackets
After 45 minutes I went back to the hangar, cleaned up after the maintenance and prepared Sally for a start. Cough and chug, it took two tries but she started. After all of that you know I had to take her for a check flight.

Video Notes: Battery Check 

I mixed video speed with this one. I like the effect. I also annotated with "call outs" and am pleased with that functionality. Finally I added a "custom setting" to return to the blog after the video ends.

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