Bill's Flying Adventures


The flying highlight for 2016 was a trip out west in October.  The scenery in Utah and Colorado was just breathtaking.


When I added up my flying hours at the end of the year, I was surprised to see I was under 100.  Think that's a lot?  I spent 30 hours just polishing the RV in the spring!  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.  I really didn't have any long trips other than Sun 'N Fun.  I went to a lot of fly-ins this year, and some good form clinics.  Clearly, it's time for another long cross-country though!  Besides flying and maintaining the RV-7, I did spend a lot of time working on the Triplane and helping Bruce with his RV-3.



Another good flying year with the highlight being a two and a half week long cross-country out west.  I went from flying in the Florida Keys to landing on an ice runway in New Hampshire.  I was a slacker on the Triplane project, only working on it the first half of the year.  Still working on the wing spars.  In my defense, I helped my brother-in-law Bruce with the electrical system on his RV-3 restoration and helped my parents move.


It was a pretty good year, flying-wise.  I flew the Bahamas Outer Islands with a high school buddy.  Great trip.  Shortly afterwards I earned my Formation Lead Card at a clinic.  During the summer, my daughter Maggie and I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.  That was exciting.  But probably the biggest event was being part of a 49 RV mass formation overflying a Kansas City Chiefs football game.   Lynnette and I enjoyed nice trips visiting friends in Spartanburg, SC, and Chicago.   The Fokker DR-1 Triplane project continues.  I worked mostly on building the wing spars and learned how to gas weld.


No long cross-country flights this year other than AirVenture in Oshkosh, but I went to a lot of local fly-ins and $100 hamburger jaunts.  Lynnette and I had some nice trips to Maine and Ocracoke, North Carolina.  I got to fly over Scotland in an RV-12. I continued with the formation flying, which I enjoy, and am working toward my Flight Lead card. I started the Fokker DR-1 Triplane project this year and knocked out the ribs.  (well, except for the six wingtip ribs).



Althought I didn't fly as many hours as in 2010, it was still an excellent flying year.   The RV ran flawlessly all year -- albeit a flat tire rolling out at Bay Bridge -- and I logged a few hours in Bruce's Cub as well.  The years highlight was flying the Santa Fe Trail and then touring the Southwest with Lynnette, flying up the California coast, then flying back to Maryland.   I tried flying to Sun 'N Fun but couldn't make it due to weather, which was just as well given that a tornado came through later and destroyed 90 planes.  AirVenture went much better where I enjoyed the company of my Dad and two Bro-in-Law Bruce & Doug.   I continued to fun flying formation with Dragon Flight.  On the building side of things, I continued to help Bruce on his Xenos motorglider project -- which should fly in 2012 --  and started my own new project:  a World War One Fokker DR1 Triplane replica.  (Yes, as a matter of fact, I am out of my mind!).


What can you say about 2010?  It was an awesome flying year.  The best I've ever had.  All the pieces were in place:  the RV was proven, flying great and looking good with insignia and invasion stripes; the weather was usually good, and Lynnette started flying on trips with me.  I took full advantage of the opportunity and flew nearly 200 hours.  The highlights were trips to Sun 'N Fun, Pensacola Naval Air Museum, Auburn Alabama, Kiawah Island South Carolina, flying the Missouri River like Lewis & Clark to Idaho, Oshkosh, Indiana, Franklin North Carolina.  I learned to fly formation with the Dragon Flight team, culminating in a 23 ship formation with Team RV and getting my FFI Wingman card.


2009 was a big flying year as after five years of effort my RV finally flew for the first time on April 9th.  Next up was the 40 hour test flight period.  I had a little trouble with the engine getting too hot -- my own fault, I didn't secure the electronic ignition sensor wire good enough and it got cut slightly -- but once I resolved that, I rapidly flew off the 40 hours.  Followed by a flight to the Mecca -- AirVenture at Oshkosh.  It was a thrill flying into AirVenture in an airplane I had built myself.  I ended up with almost 100 hours on the RV by the end of the year.   I had a chance to visit the Royal Air Force museum over the pond in London which is one of the world's great aviation museums.



Well, not having the Citabria made for a noticeable drop off in Flying-related stuff for 2008.  I devoted the time not spent flying to building the RV and came close to finishing the plane in 2008.  I got two hours of transition training in an RV-7 with Mike Seager.  I also enjoyed visiting the Chino Planes of Fame Air Museum.  Still, here they are:


Not as many hours as 2006 and no real long cross-countries but still a great flying year.  I enjoyed one of my better soaring years and broke all my altitude, distances and duration records on one great flight  -- in July of all months (not usually known for good soaring conditions).  I enjoyed some great Fall flying.  Our airport, Essex Skypark, was liberated from the ADIZ.  I flew an All Grass All Day with the Trunk Monkeys on the eastern shore.  Then Bruce and I flew a cross-country to Dayton, Ohio to visit the Air Force Museum, which was great.  We also flew the Hudson River corridor; flying alongside Manhatten is always awesome.  We sold the beloved Citabria at the end of the flying season.  At the end of the year I got a few hours in one of the all time great planes -- the Piper Cub.



I logged more hours this year than ever before:  155.  The highlight of the year, of course, was the great Oregon Trail trip out to the west coast and back in June.  Trip of a lifetime.


I started the year off with a bang by getting my first ride in an RV, on a formation hop no less!  The years highlights were trips to Sun 'N Fun and Maine in the Citabria, and two "All Grass All Day" tours with a bunch of Citabria drivers in the Mid-Atlantic area.


2004 was a banner year flying-wise for me personally.   I flew 100 hours,  my highest annual total ever.  I flew 85 hours in the Citabria, including a cross-country to the Disneyland of Aviation, Oshkosh, 13 hours in gliders and 1.5 hours in the Corben Baby Ace.  I ended the year with 480 official flight hours, 513 unofficially  (includes my Ultralight time, which should count, believe me!)  It breaks down into 287 tailwheel hours, 382 hours under power, and 99 hours without power (glider).

Here are the highlights: