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All First Flights

Greg Long’s New RV-12 | KIKV - Johnston, Iowa RV-12 #120719

Congratulations to Greg Long, who writes to tell us all about the build and first flight of his RV-12, and includes a video as well!

Building my own plane has been a dream for most of my life. Since 1986 when I completed my private pilot license, I flew various club planes including Cessna and Piper models with our son and my wife along on many short trips. My wife and I agreed that I could build a plane but not until after I retired from my electrical engineering job. I retired in July 2012 and chose the RV-12 as my build project. I had been looking at Van’s models for several years and the RV-12 had several advantages for me. It included a series of kits to complete the building with essentially nothing to invent and using hand tools. I could do that I thought. It could be built as an ELSA which allows me and the next owner(s) to complete the annual condition inspection.

I started the empennage kit in February 2013. All of the building occurred on one side of our unheated 2-car garage and our walk-out basement. It was an off-again, on-again project as my busy retirement schedule and patience would allow. It took a long 9 1/2 years and 2000 hours to complete and I’ll admit there were times when I wondered if I would complete it. When Covid hit, it forced me to stay at home and pumped up my building enthusiasm to finish it. I ordered the last two kits, the 912ULS power plant and Dynon avionics. I decided to add all of the options like lights, autopilot and full upholstery.

Finally on September 20, 2022 I had my DAR inspection with thanks for the help over the years of too many people to mention here. I made my first flight followed by the “Van’s Grin” on the beautiful autumn evening of October 21, 2022. I received over 7 hours of transition training spread over 7 years in the RV-12 which allowed me to feel comfortable before the first flight. My wife and I look forward to many hours of flying in the future in this wonderful plane. Thank you Van’s Aircraft!

My builder’s log link is here: www.gregsplane.com

Here is a link to the YouTube video of my first flight:

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