Dan Benua



On Sunday 10/24 I made the first flight in my RV-6A, N296DB from Hillsboro Airport. Jerry & Judy VanGrunsven and John Peaslee were there to fly chase and coach. Judy was gracious enough to give up the back-seat of their RV-4 so my wife Sun could shoot air-to-air photos and experience the moment up close.

The airplane performed perfectly and was extremely easy to handle. Though it was my first solo in an RV, I can't say enough good things about the transition training that Jerry gave me in the factory RV-6A. The dual we did together gave me the confidence that I could handle the airplane safely.

The only flaws in the experience were a couple of bone-head moves by the pilot. When latching the sliding canopy, I failed to notice that the left-rear hold-down pin was not properly engaged. This was only discovered at 5000' and 150kts. Though I don't think the canopy was in any danger of departing, it made me nervous enough to reduce my enjoyment the rest of the flight.

After landing, I also discovered that some fasteners were missing from the junction of the upper and lower cowls behind the spinner. This was just an oversight caused by too much focus on examining what was inside the cowl and not enough on pre-flighting the cowl itself. Fortunately there were no bad consequences from this mistake.

For the record, N296DB is somewhat of a fat-boy, coming in at 1126# empty. It has an 0-360 with constant speed Hartzell, and Airflow Performance fuel injection. The panel is full IFR with a single axis autpilot. The weight also includes paint, leather seats, and a full interior. Building time was 5 years and 3 months.

Like most who reach this stage, I owe lots of thanks to Van and his staff, all my friends in the Home Wing, and most of all to my wife. Though building is mostly a solitary activity, it wouldn't have been fun or successful without the support of those key people.

Dan has since sold his RV-6A, and is now flying a beautiful RV-10, which he completed in 2008.




Copyright 2004, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 105