Formations and Fly-ins

A lot of flying stories start with “There I was…”

It was sometime in June, there I was floating around on my second trip of the day patrolling over Dunkeld, waiting. The RV gang from Perth had gone to the fly-in at Easter airfield, north of Inverness and they were due back any time. I was off in Walter Mitty land again, hoping to intercept any inbounds to Perth. Defensive Counter Air, I think it’s called (DCA).

I heard “Rodderz” the RV3 on the radio and the position report sounded really close, and miracle of miracles when I dipped the wing to take a look there he was! We swooped down like a bird of prey, joined on his wing and then flew in (slightly loose) formation for a while on the way back to Perth:

The next day I took off just before Ian in his RV6 and he joined up on me for a bit:

The wide angle lenses make it look a lot further apart than it actually is, honest:

Slightly zoomed in, but Ian was nicely stable here in echelon port:

And here’s me breaking away leaving Ian to go on his merry way…

A couple of days later, another RV “same way, same day” style formation. This time to Kirriemuir for an impromptu fly-in.

Self service fly-in food, also known as an aero-picnic:

Three designs from the prolific Richard VanGrunsven (according to Wikipedia there are more RVs completed every year in the US than all the general aviation manufacturers [Piper, Cessna, Cirrus etc] combined!)…Chris’s single seat RV3 in white (“Rodderz”), then Ian’s nosewheel RV6A and in the background our tailwheel RV6:

Other aircraft types are available, but RVs are the best all rounder. It must be true because the factory says so (“Total Performance” is the slogan), everybody who has flown one says so, and it says so on the sweatshirt I bought.

The RV6 has since been replaced by the RV7, and at the recent Perth fly-in we parked beside a nice red one. Note the slightly larger tail fin:

Brenda and I had just landed after a sightseeing jaunt of an hour and a half down the coast to Alnmouth and back, taking in Holy Island and the camp site where we had spent a couple of nights the previous week. Parking next to the RV7 was deliberate. I had met the builder before we took off; Ian is the man who put the “I” in G-RVIB! He was the original builder, and wanted a photo of the two aircraft together. We had a good chat over the standard fly-in burger of cardboard bread, slightly tasteless mustard and (in this case) a marginally undercooked burger. Didn’t get food poisoning so it must have been fine. We learned the story of the “flames” paint scheme. Ian had a scheme designed on the computer, with smart 3D view colour printouts and everything, but it all changed on a whim when the paint shop guy said “How about I replace that line with some flames?”

Ian built our RV6 and his RV7, has restored a Pitts and is now considering building an RV8. I did ask if he wanted to swap and take his original aircraft back but he was having none of it. Pity, that RV7 is really smart.

Maybe we will have to build one after all…