After Flight Testing
On May 31, I completed my Flight Testing and signed off the airplane as satisfactory for entry into service. This would allow me to carry passengers for the first time, as well as to ly outside my limited 25 mile Flight Test Area. The minimum number of hours required for the testing and sign-off for my class airplane is 5 hours. I actually tested for a lot longer period of time and didn't sign-off the airplane until it had acquired 15 hours. I also wanted to improve my piloting skills handling my new toy.
A few days later, I went on my first cross-country flight, landing at a strange airport. I flew to Tacoma, where I had the Avionics shop certify my Transponder. then, feeling my oats, I flew up to Paine Field in Everett to see my pals at the Museum Restoration Center, and join them for lunch.
My First Passenger
My very first passenger, as might be expected, was my wife Dot. She bought into this project at the beginning and helped me during the long construction. One June 3, we went for a ride - first up the Hood Canal, and then over to Hansville. She said she wasn't scared.....
first ride... still smiling!
The balance of this page is under construction
Next was Arlington, where they have a Compass Rose, and I could swing my copass.
Since then, we've slowly expanded our list of destinations, gradually beginning to use the airplane as we had envisioned.
We flew to Pt. Townsend, and Sequim.
We went to the Arlington Air Show, where Vans had us display the airplane with their other airplanes.
We went out to the ocean, having lunch at Willapa Bay and Hoquiam.
Then we started visiting the San Juan Islands - one of our prime destinations. We flew to Eastsound on Orcas Island, and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Both of these destinations would be a multi day excursion with multiple ferry rides. Now we could spend an hour and a half having lunch in Friday Harbor, and be out and back in three hours - including the lunch!
We visited Pt. Roberts - a little unique piece of land that got cut off when they drew the 49th Parallel between the U.S. and Canada. It's part of Washington State - but the only way to get there - by road - is to go through B.C. The school kids there attend in Bellingham and have to go through Customs and Immigration 4 times every day! Pt. Roberts has a little airstrip and we were able to land and say we'd been there without crossing the border.
Then we started hitting the County Fairs. We like County Fairs and I had researched carefully fairgrounds that are close to airports - there are quite a few of them. First we tried was the San Juan County Fair - adjacent to the Friday Harbor airport. Our second trip into Friday Harbor - a great airport/town combination that I can see being one of our main destinations - about a 40 minute flight.
Next up was the Central Washington Fair in Waterville. One of our favorite places, and Fairs, we had attended many times by car. But now the car ride - with the ferries - could easily be 5 hours each way. In the RV-12 - about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Oh! Did I mention that my little bird burns car gas and gets better mileage than any of my cars!