Thursday, November 10, 2016

When the time comes to part with what we hold dear

I can't remember a time when I didn't refer to N614EF as her.

From the moment the preview plans arrived in 2001, she was always her.

"Touch it once per day," Van's builder support expert advised me early on. Except I didn't touch it. I touched her.

And when she finally flew, I'd greet her every time I walked in the hangar with, "How you doing, baby?"  And before I turned off the lights and locked the door, she always got a goodbye kiss.

She treated me well and now that I'm in the process of selling her, I feel I have failed her somehow.

We had a thing, she and I. She took care of me. I took care of her.

She kept her end of the bargain. Other than those first flights in the test area when she choked on something stuck in her #3 nozzle, she never missed a beat. I'd talk to her on those long trips to New England to see my mom. She'd talk right back.

I don't  know -- yet -- who's going to buy her. Someone is coming to look this weekend.  We'll go over the usual things people go over when they sell airplanes, I suppose. And if things work out, maybe I'll ask the only question I really want to ask:  Will you love her? Cherish her? Take care of her from this day forward?

It's an important question, because right now it feels like the last guy who said he would is forsaking her.

An aside:  My colleagues at work left a card on my desk on Monday. I guess they knew that the coming moment is a painful one, a sympathetic one. Because they signed it.

In the innards of my plane, there are signatures of the people who worked on her. Some have messages. All have autographs. They meant an awful lot to me.

And now these autographs do to.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

RV-7A For Sale

It appears that my Meniere's Disease, which I've been fighting for several years and which has led me to several skirmishes with the FAA, has now jumped to the good ear, meaning there's no way I can safely be expected to pilot an airplane.

I know what you're thinking: Hold out until the medical certification process is dropped next year. The AOPA and EAA fought a good fight to convince Congress that we can be trusted to self certify ourselves. Now is not the time to cheat the system and ruin it for everybody. That's not what being a professional pilot is about.

And so, it's time to say goodbye to the greatest little plane a person could ever hope to have.

You can patrol the blog here and see all the various stories about the birth and subsequent flying life of N614EF, but suffice it to say if you've thought about buying a dependable airplane that will return your love many times over, she's the one for you.

Here's a rough outline of her:

* VFR platform
* IO-360 M1B engine (via Mattituck)with Sensenich FP prop (the plumbing is installed for a conversion to constant speed).
* One Lightspeed EI, one mag (rebuilt in '16)
* 325 hours TT
* Tip-up canopy
* Tri gear
* Beautifully polished and maintained with paint via Midwest Aircraft Refinishing (Hibbing, MN)
* The panel:  Dynon D-100 EFIS with Angle of Attack indicator, GRT EIS 4000 engine monitor, backup Altimeter and Airspeed indicator, Garmin 296 GPS which feeds data to the Dynon and also a TruTrak single axis autopilot, Garmin 327 transponder,  Icom A210 nav radio, VP-50 solid state power management with auxiliary fuse block, backup Electronic Instrument fuel indicator (I get fuel info usually from the EIS),  PS Engineering 1000II intercom with recording playback, Artex 406 ELT., APRS tracking system (You would need a ham radio technician's license to operate legally), Whelen comet flash lights and strobe, wig-wag taxi/landing lights (upgraded to Whelen from Duckworks two years ago)


* Stall speed with flaps: 48 knots. No flaps: 51 knots
* Flying low (2500' feet or so), I cruise around 140 knots (161 mph) at about 7.3 gph (leaned out)
* Cross country at about 5500' (it's taken a few flights to New England), I cruise around 143 knots (true) at < 7 gph, 2450 rpm fully lean of peak. * Currently using a 5:1 mixture of mogas:avgas. Engine burns cleaner and, certainly cheaper. * Empty weight, 1121 pounds.

More pictures:

Asking price:  $84,900

Contact:  Bob Collins, 651-470-6371
               Email preferred for first contact:

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