After my visit to see Jim’s RV-10, I left there still thinking that I needed to see a finished RV-10 in person. I decided to reach out to Van’s East Coast Rep, Mitch Lock. Mitch is located at St. Mary’s airport (2W6) in Maryland. He has an RV-10, RV-12, and is almost finished building an RV-14. The -10 and -12 are available for demo flights. St. Mary’s is about a 2.5 hour flight in the Trinidad, so easily doable in a day, if need be.
Mitch and I made plans to meet on Oct 31st, to take a demo flight in the RV-10 (N220RV).
Jeanine and I have good friends, Gary and Mary Mascelli, that live nearby in Ocean City, MD. So we decided to see if they would be around that weekend, and visit with them while we were in the area.
We headed down to MD on Friday night after Jeanine got off of work, arriving in Ocean City right around 9pm. Gary and Mary were tracking our flight and were ready and waiting for us at the airport.
Gary’s airplane was out for maintenance, and he was so gracious as to let us park in his hangar for the night.
We had a very enjoyable late dinner, which I felt terrible about having our friends have to wait so long to eat, and then spent some time catching up afterwards, and in the morning over breakfast.
Once done, we said our goodbyes, and made the quick hop (25 minutes or so) over to St. Mary’s to meet Mitch.
We talked a bunch as he pre-flighted the RV-10, and I took an opportunity to sit in both front seats and rear seats to get a good sense of the interior space.
We then taxied out and took about a 15-20 minute flight doing various maneuvers. Mitch took the opportunity to demonstrate the stability of the airplane by having me put it in a 30 degree bank and taking all hands and feet off the controls. The plane just stayed there, in that attitude, stable as could be. He commented that it would stay like that until it ran out of gas. I was relatively impressed with the plane, and it’s handling characteristics. Seems like it would be a perfectly suitable IFR platform, and a good cross country performer (160-170kts TAS) for our needs.
Some pics of the Van’s demo model:
We then hung out with Mitch in his hangar asking questions, along with another couple who was there to see him next. It was a good Q&A session. I didn’t have a ton of questions, mostly because I feel I’ve done so much reading on the message boards, and various builders websites, that I have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
At some point we decided we should shove off and said our goodbyes. Mitch said he hoped he would have an opportunity to welcome us to the Van’s family someday soon.
We fueled up and then headed off to Concord, NC to visit with my college friend Kevin, and his wife, Becca, who had recently just moved from NH down to NC. We were already so far south, that it was only another hour and forty minute flight to get to their place. I had hesitated earlier on continuing on with this leg of the trip with the way weather was shaping up in NC for Sunday. But the forecast seemed to hold solid that the worst weather would be later in the day, and we’d be running away from it as we continued northeast bound, so I made the call to continue on.
We had a great visit to their gorgeous new home, got to meet a good part of their neighborhood as it was Halloween and the neighbors got together to party while handing out candy to the kids in the neighborhood.
Almost as quickly as the fun started, it was Sunday morning and we needed to depart for home. The weather was a bit scuzzy, at 500 overcast, 5 miles visibility, light rain, and no wind. Weather along our route was reporting improving conditions as we ventured along, so we launched for home. As soon as the wheels came up, we entered the scuzz. Less than 1000′ of altitude later, we were through the low-level crud and making our way home between cloud layers with some light precip, and a smooth ride. This was one of those days where having an instrument rating is so worth it. We made it home nonstop, with a slight tailwind, in 4 hours.
What a great weekend filled with friends, fun, and airplanes.