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From: (Badwater Bill)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Flight training during fly-off?
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 15:20:59 GMT

>That's what I did when I transitioned to my RV-3 (Single Seater) at
>100hrs TT and 8hrs Tail.
>As to wheather this is a good idea or not.  It's never a good idea to
>put one more life in harms way.  Flight testing is statistically
>dangerous.  That's why the FAA made this rule.  Unless you all want
>even more anal ones like it, you should stick to it.


I really disagree with what you did.  Not to be nasty here but I think
your ego did some sabre rattling on this one.  I don't think anyone
with 100 hours in C-172's ought to be jumping in a high performance
single place for test flight purposes.

You don't ever want anyone in a test flight position who has to think
about the flying.  The flying has to be 110%, yes one hundred and ten
percent automatic.  I have never test flown anything that was problem
free.  I've had problems on EVERY test flight that I ever did.  Some
of the problems were severe, others were not.  I had NO time to think
about how to fly the airplane while I was dealing with fire, fuel,
engine failures and high control pressures that were abnormal.

Anyone building an RV of any type needs to have someone with thousands
of hours and a few hundred in RV's do the test flying.  There's enough
people like that around.

On the other hand, I could care less what the FAA says about any of
it.  I always did what I wanted to do anyway, out here in the West.
The practical thing to do is put only one life at risk, no matter how
you can weasel word the regs.


From: (Badwater Bill)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Flight training during fly-off?
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2001 02:07:08 GMT

>Nothing bent or broken is exactly why you were a lucky guy.
>At the 100 hour point you couldn't possibly know jack shit.
>At 1000 hours you could know more... or have repeated 100 hours 10 times.
>If you were really smart, you would know what you got away with, was LUCK.
>Evidently, you still don't have logged enuff time to realize your folly.
>There are lots of dead smart guys.
>Once again...
>You are a lucky guy.
>More than likely you will tell me to zip it, too.
>But between Bill and I, we probably have 15,000 hours and many years in the
>cockpit. Tell us to zip it, but it doesn't change the facts.....
>You're a lucky guy.   <g>
>Aside from that,
>An RV-3 is a pussycat..... unless serendipity intervenes.
>So, once again.....

Yep Unka.  This guy is exactly why I hate homebuilders.  The ego is
larger than the aircraft.  Do you know that the only fatality in a
Minimax was a guy who built one, did a perfect job, and because of
that thought he was qualified to fly it. He died shortly after take

This guy was lucky.  He probably is smart but no matter how smart you
are, the great big hand of the big blue sky can jam a banana up your
ass in a microsecond.

100 hours is not enough to have spontaneous reactions to hundreds of
possible events.  I doubt that he has much more time than this now (as
you said and it's a good observation).  He hasn't even gotten to that
point at about 300-500 hours where you scare the living shit out of
yourself and either quit flying all together or meet it head on for a
few years to get over the fear.

Yes, that's what I detect here Bob, I detect someone who still has no
fear.  That's a green horn if there ever was one.

Let me tell you something will have will have.
If you survive it, you'll never have the attitude you have now.  You
don't have a clue what's going on with a couple hundred hours.  NOT A
CLUE.  I hope you have good life insurance if you have people who
depend upon you.



From: (Badwater Bill)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Flight training during fly-off?
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 15:06:29 GMT

>However, Jerry, myself, you or someone else can luckily make that
>personal determination ourselves. Outlawing experimental test flying is
>one extreme answer to safety. Allowing one pilot is another answer.
>Allowing the pilot to take along a second set of eyes and ears as well as
>monitor safe flying is yet a third option we legally have available to
>us. All of these options are"relative" and no one can tell another person
>what is right for them. Enjoy letting someone test fly your creation for
>you......or, enjoy test flying your creation with another highly
>qualified person to help. Some people feel they have to make the first
>flight in the plane they build. Whether that is "smart" or not is
>relative. Let's let each person determine that for themselves and accept
>their own responsibility for the risks they want to take on.
>You'll love your RV8, I promise you,
>Jim Baker


I've test flown 14 homebuilts at this point.  I've reviewed the same
thought processes you have...and stated very succinctly above.  I'd
like the extra set of eyes too but I just can't justify it from a
weight point of view.  I think keeping the fuel load down and the
gross weight down on the first few flights far out weighs the
advantages of having a second brain and set of eyes in the cockpit.  I
like the better glide at lower speed in case I have to land out or
dash back to the airport on fire.


From: (Badwater Bill)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Flight training during fly-off?
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 15:01:12 GMT

>If the pilot is not qualified, then he doesn't belong in the flight testing
>program for the airplane in question, regardless of whether he built it.
>Flight test is no place for individual ego to substitute itself for common
>sense and self preservation.  I believe that this is one of the most widely
>misinterpreted (at best) or winked-at and ignored (at worst) rules of flight
>testing.  The clear intent of the rule is to provide that only one life be
>placed at risk in the testing phase of homebuilt aircraft.  Since most of the
>homebuilts we're building are single-pilot airplanes, a second person in the
>cockpit is never necessary.  Flight training must take place either after the
>flight testing period has been completed, or in another airplane.  The whole
>issue of people who wink at this rule and name a second individual as a
>'required' data collector or some such nonsense is appalling.  This sort of
>behavior can only (and inevitably) result in a totally avoidable tragedy that
>will bring increased regulation down upon us all.  There's simply no reason to
>risk another life in an unproven, essentially unique (regardless of the type
>total in service) airplane.
>Ken Balch
>RV-8 #81125 (N118KB)
>working on the panel

You are right.  The builder is the unrequired pilot.  Flight test is
NO place to be giving flight instruction.  That's just plain stupid if
you do it.  I NEVER take anyone with me on a test flight.  I made one
exception once in an RV-6 when the builder was 70 years old, had
worked for 5 years building it, had no kids, no wife and no
responsibility.  He begged me to go along telling me he was an old man
and had nothing to lose anyway.  I took him. And, I'd take him again.
But, after a few hours it turned into my flight instructing him.  I
stopped that shit right away and went back to the flight test mode and
I did all the flying.  I told him I'd check out a CFI for him later on
when we'd gone through all the testing.  I did that.

Interestingly, I crashed that airplane on that CFI check out.  Two
fucking CFI's in the cockpit again is a dangerous thing.  We blew a
front seal on a new Lycoming and lost all of our oil.  I had to stick
it in the desert and broke a few parts doing it...but that's another


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