RV9A 90374 - N169AK first flight

The day dawned clear and cold Sunday February 23, 2003. With the inspection over, the planning done, checks and double checks finished, fuel added, it was time to fly. Pulling the plane from the hanger people started showing up. My wife and I had the plan in mind, but it was great to see a few of my local EAA buds from the chapter show up just because they knew that I was going to fly today…


Engine starts easily, and a quick trip down to the pumps for 5 more gallons of gas. Now it's run up time. 2200 RPM static full throttle on the ground is good for the Sensenich FP prop. Everything is still looking good, so out to the runway we go. Lineup full throttle, with no flaps I am off in a very short amount of time. I run a bit on the main gear with the nose in the air as the RV9 has such a large tail and good elevator control. Lift off is smooth and climb out is brisk. It's about 40degrees and I am seeing 1600fpm at 100+mph! Still turning about 2250 RPM during climb out.


Pitch felt good, ailerons needed just 2-3 taps on the electric aileron trim. Hey this is just too cool… The RV grin is starting! By downwind I am at 2000agl and climbing, level off at 3000 and start the racetrack around the airport. I flew about 20 minuets of just turning right and left in circles around the airport. Next came slow flight, everything felt nice a easy at 70mph, so I dropped the flaps to half and then full. Everything still nice and balanced, controls are now much lighter in feel at 70mph. Everything looking good I accelerated back to cruise.

At 3000agl with 2400RPM I was indicating a solid 160mph with no gear leg fairings or wheel pants. Not bad, this baby is going to cruise nicely. Well everything is still looking good, so it's time to let down for landing. Pushing the nose downhill winds the airspeed through 185+ very quickly, pull the power back and float down onto the 45. Downwind established at about 120mph, pull the power to idle abeam the numbers and start feeding in flaps as I come through 85, full flaps on base and capture 70mph and about 500fpm descent. Sweeping around to final and holding about 70 gives a nice approach for this first one, everything is lined up and working great… as I setup the landing flair from memory of my training in the RV6A (Thanks Mike Seager) I hold the pitch attitude and wait, however I was used to the 6A which sits quite a bit lower than the 9A, so next thing I know the wheels hit and I get a little bounce out of it, holding attitude the speed bleeds off and the second landing is smooth… YEA first flight is a success!

Post flight inspection did not uncover any leaks, or anything else that needed working on. So what's a guy to do, but a second flight. While I was orbiting on the second flight a friend from the EAA chapter came up in his RV6 to do some formation inspection and video camera work. We had a great 30 min of air to air shots and compared airspeeds etc. Great fun!

All in all 1.5 hours TT today and my face is still hurting from the famous RV grin!

As in those famous words, Keep pounding those rivets, because you are going to love this plane!