Tanya & Bryan Duke's RV-6 Flying Reports
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19 Dec 04: Today I (Bryan) brought home our new RV-6! Jack (builder & previous owner) flew into North Las Vegas airport at 8:30 am & picked me up. He put me in the left seat & I flew us to Tehachapi, CA. Jack took the time to go through all the airplane's systems, especially the GPS, Loran & autopilot functions. On the way, I asked Joshua approach if the restricted airspace surrounding Edwards AFB was cold (not in use) & it was, so we flew right over Edwards & my old work place at NASA there. The air was completely calm with very little wind until we got to Tehachapi. We cruised most of the way at 8500' at 23" of manifold pressure, 2350 rpm and showed between 175 and 185 knots GPS ground speed. We landed in Tehachapi logging just over an hour of flight time.

Our insurance required a 1 hour checkout in the airplane with a CFI with RV-6 experience. Jim Roberts was Jack's instructor over the years & agreed to give me the checkout. We taxied up to Jim's hangar & parked the plane. We talked with Jim for a while then Jim & I hopped in and taxied over to get fuel. I put 9 gallons in the left tank & we got back in & taxied out.

Winds were down the runway about 10 knots. I took runway 11 and did a straight out departure to the east. We crossed Tehachapi's eastern windmill covered ridge line and did some steep turns, slow flight & stalls. I flew back to the airport to do patterns. We did a go around plus 2 stop-and-go patterns and one full stop. I'd been flying my friend's Thorp T-18 lately...it sits (or at least looks like it sits) quite a bit lower than the RV-6. My first landing was a bit firm, but my other landings were good. The RV-6 is actually very easy to land - much easier than the T-18.

After the checkout, Jim signed my logbook & Jack & I were on the way back to his place. Jack took the left seat and flew us back to Crystal. It'd be hard to find a better day for flying - the air was totally calm & there wasn't a cloud to be seen. The mountains just to the south of Jack's house were covered in snow. A glider was taking off in tow as we approached the airport. We landed, taxied up to Jack's hangar and I gave Tanya a call to update her on the progress. We went to his house for lunch and to finish the paperwork. We ate lunch with Jack's wife Joan.

After a great visit at their house (and a tour of their fabulous Model A car), we signed all the paperwork & went back to the airport. Joan & Jack said their goodbyes to their baby and I jumped in and got ready for the flight home. I asked them if they had any special requests for my departure. They asked for a flyby - I was happy to help them out. With 761.5 hours on the tachometer, I fired up the engine. I back-taxied to the east end of the runway & pushed the throttle forward. As the rpm spun up, the Hartzell constant speed prop took hold & I was in the air in only a few hundred feet. I climbed quickly to the pattern altitude & pulled the power back to maintain 140mph. I turned base & let the speed build. As I rolled out down the runway, I decended to about 100 feet and accelerated to 200mph. Joan was waving her arms up at me, so starting at midfield I rocked my wings back at them. At the end of the runway (by Jack's hangar), I did a 3g pullup and banked towards them as one final wave. I climbed to 7500' and cruised the rest of the way home uneventfully.

The winds at North Las Vegas were light & I squeaked on my landing at the plane's new airport. Today I logged 1.0 hours with Jim and the flight back was 1.8 (with some slight detours).

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