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All First Flights

Jeffrey Karrels’ RV-10 | Vienna, Virginia RV-10 #40245

Congratulations to Jeffrey on the first flight of his RV-10! He writes:

My family has put up with 3050 build hours over 4 years, 5 months, 12 days answering the questions from countless numbers of people who when they tried to tell them that their dad/husband was building a plane had to be convinced that it was not an RC plane. As of January 10th, 2021 we now have a video that shows it is a real plane, not a remote control one that we were building all of this time.

N5412K is an RV-10 with a Lycoming Thunderbolt IO-540, full Garmin avionics suite (there are only one or two things from Garmin that are not in this plane), MT Prop, FlyEFII System 32 dual ignitions, Beringer brakes/wheels all around, Aveo Zip Tips, Aerosport panel, console, overhead console, South Florida sport aviation seats.

The first flight was not what I was expecting it to be, it was so much more. I received the airworthiness on the prior Tuesday and finally finished up the final self-inspections on Saturday. By Saturday night I felt pretty solid that the plane was ready to go. Sunday turned out to be an almost perfect weather day. A little gusty, but the wind was right down the runway. After a short taxi, a quick aborted takeoff pass, N5412K was ready to fly.

By the time I turned back onto the runway for the actual takeoff I had no doubts in my head. This was not just a plane, but a plane that I knew every bolt, lock nut, and cotter pin on. I applied full power and the Horizontal Sump, 9:1, Lycoming Thunderbolt paired with System32 ignitions did not disappoint. A very strong and smooth acceleration got me to 70 knots (my decided initial takeoff speed) and before I could even really think about it the slightest back pressure had me airborne.

The initial phase of being in the air was what I had planned through in my head over and over in the leading up months. What if it hard pitches up? What if it is wing heavy? What if there is not sufficient power? What if I got the gear ratio on the prop governor wrong? None of that. A perfect stable clean smooth takeoff!

After a loop in the pattern and a departure to another practice area (not under a Bravo or in the DC SFRA unlike my home base), I spent 45 minutes in a race track pattern at 75% power to seat the rings. From there I slowed to “slowish” flight (80kts) deployed 50% flaps and ensured everything looked fine going down to around 65 kts. I didn’t hit a buffet, but I figured for the first flight that was sufficient. Also, I didn’t want to mess around too much because I forgot to say that when I hit cruise speed my oil door bowed and unlatched (guess I will be building that one out of carbon fiber and not fiberglass).

From there I got my SFRA clearance to come back in. I was put on a 3 mile final and I slowed to 90 kts. 1.5 miles out I put in 50% flaps and kept it in the mid-80s as it was gusting a bit. I flew the glideslope down to the runway and while a little flat didn’t even squeak the wheels. What a day!

Check out Jeffrey’s build blog!