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Homebuilders, Come to Virginia in May!

A grass-roots fly-in for homebuilders and aviation enthusiasts

By Dee Whittington, EAA 279943, dee.whittington@gmail.com

Festival of Flight

On the weekend before Memorial Day 2010, hundreds of pilots and aircraft will gather for the largest sport aviation event on the East Coast. If you’re interested in homebuilding, plan to be at the Suffolk Executive Airport in Suffolk, Virginia, for the 13th Annual Virginia Regional Festival of Flight. On May 22-23, the friendly staff at Suffolk Airport will help 200 volunteers welcome anyone interested in “hands-on” aviation for an educational and fun weekend. This EAA-style fly-in offers a variety of forums and workshops as well as the opportunity to examine 300 or more aircraft flying in for the event. Many of these airplanes will be the product of years of careful labor by proud homebuilders. There’s no acrobatic air show, so you can come and go whenever you please. Here are some of the workshop and forum offerings:

  • In the workshop area for the first time at the Festival of Flight, you’ll find a propeller expert to answer questions and give you help in choosing the correct prop for your project. Nat Ramsey of U.S. Propeller is making his debut with a propeller workshop on General Propeller Care and Maintenance. With his years of experience in the propeller repair and overhaul business, Nat will be glad to answer your questions, including selecting a prop for your project.
  • Returning for the third time is Don Bennett of DB AeroTech. Don, who runs an engine overhaul shop (and an airport), will be focusing on the overhaul of Continental engines in a workshop titled Continental Engine Teardown and Assembly. Don operates a fixed base operation (FBO) and an engine shop, so his experience promises to be valuable to those who are considering the purchase of a used engine. (See William Wynne’s article in this issue.) Don can give you tips on choosing a reliable shop to perform your engine overhaul or for doing the job yourself. Knowing the basics of the process, the parts that should be replaced regardless of wear, and how to choose an overhauler will make you a better consumer when searching for an engine shop.

Festival of Flight

  • If you prefer a new engine, don’t miss Jeff Schaus from Lycoming’s Thunderbolt Division explain the technical details of Lycoming’s experimental class engines. If you choose not to purchase a used engine, Jeff will explain the advantages of installing a new Lycoming.
  • For those building or restoring a fabric-covered airplane, Anne McCombs will be holding a two-part forum and workshop each day. One segment she will explain is the fabric covering process. A second hands-on two-hour session will give you instruction and practice in rib stitching. Anne is an experienced A&P who is on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum. Come with questions for your tube and fabric project.

The forums this year will encompass many segments of sport aviation. Starting at 10 a.m. each day, you can attend the following one-hour forums of special interest to the homebuilder:

  • Modern, glass panel avionics will be explained by Kirk Kleinholtz of Dynon Avionics in his The Technology Behind the Sexiness forum. Come with your questions about the latest in avionics, their capability, and how to install these magic boxes for maximum reliability.
  • Dick Koehler, the 2007 Tony Bingelis award winner, will present two forums, one on ELT Requirements, Including 406 MHz; and the other on LSA Maintenance Requirements and Certification. If you’ve been confused by the changes in the ELT regulations, this is the forum for you to get clear on the subject of ELTs.
  • If you’re finished your project and ready to start your critical test flying period, don’t miss Bill Posnett’s presentation, Test Flying Your Project. Bill is an aeronautical engineer who specialized in flight testing with the Navy. With his vast knowledge and practical experience, Bill will lead you through the steps and techniques which will give you the skills to create the data tables allowing you to fly your airplane more safely.
  • Homebuilders restoring older aircraft where corrosion is becoming a significant problem should attend Dennis Wolter’s Corrosion and Aging Aircraft. Corrosion is an increasingly serious problem in older airframes. Dennis’s years of experience gained during hundreds of custom interior installations performed at his company, Air Mod, give him in-depth knowledge of how to repair the structure in older aircraft. He’ll explain the types of corrosion, how to recognize and treat it, and offer tips from his extensive experience in installing new interiors in aircraft with hidden corrosion.
  • Before you fly, you’ll need to address the subject of insurance. Jim Lauerman of AVEMCO insurance company will give a forum about the traits of trustworthy pilots. You’ll learn that the attitude of care and safe operation will help you from becoming an accident statistic.

Festival of Flight

Festival of Flight

In addition to workshops and forums, the Festival of Flight will have aircraft and aviation-related vendors ready to talk, answer questions, and explain their products. You’ll find dozens of other homebuilders flying in to exchange information and have their aircraft judged. If you have a finished and flying project, you can obtain a prop card at Aircraft Registration to request your aircraft be judged. The judges award plaques in eight categories.

To make it easy to attend both days of this regional fly-in, a large under-the-wing camping area is available for free. Or check out the local motels listed on our website. We provide shuttle services to these motels.

If you’re flying in, be sure to study the excellent photos and diagrams at www.VirginiaFlyIn.org. Suffolk Executive Airport is a nontowered field, so following the suggested approach with careful scanning for other aircraft during the approach is smart piloting. As suggested on the website, please put a sign in your windshield to help the volunteer aircraft parkers know where you want to tie down. For instance, if you are an antique, classic or homebuilt, you are invited to park in the showplane area. If so, put a sign in your windshield with SH in large letters.

Plan to come early, enjoy the pancake breakfast, and be ready for the forums and workshops which start at 10 a.m. Since there’s no aerobatic show, the airport is open continuously without restriction on landings and takeoffs. However, be aware the inaugural Rally Adventure will be starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, so watch out for other traffic participating in this timed triangular flight. If you have an experimental with an auto conversion, you might enjoy competing with your certified contemporaries.

See ya there!
Dee Whittington

As with any event, the forums and workshop schedules are subject to change. Here’s the schedule as of today:

Virginia Regional Festival of Flight

Virginia Regional Festival of Flight
www.VirginiaFlyIn.org
Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ)

Forums on Saturday, May 22, 2010

 

Tent 1

Tent 2

Tent 3

10 - 11 a.m.

NTSB talk
- TBD

Lycoming Thunderbolt Engines – Jeff Schaus, Lycoming

Wiley Post: Aviation Pioneer
Rob Cork

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Corrosion and Aging Aircraft
Dennis Wolter – AirMod

Aviation Weather
Mike Rusnak, Journeyman Forecaster, National Weather Service

Rejuvenating general aviation
RAVI

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Light-Sport Aircraft and Flying Explained
Dave Lubore – Heart of Virginia Aviation

Test-Flying Your Project
Bill Posnett, Aeronautical Engineer

Traits of Trustworthy Pilots – According to the Experts
Jim Lauerman, President – Avemco, and Bill Rhodes, PhD – Lt. Colonel (ret.) USAF, retired head of Philosophy, USAF Academy

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Aircraft Owner/Operator Responsibilities for Maintenance
FAA Wings Program Credit for this forum
Slaughter, Richmond FSDO

LSA Maintenance Requirements and Certification
Dick Koehler, A&P, IA, 2007 Tony Bingelis Award Winner

The Technology Behind the Sexiness
Kirk Kleinholtz – Dynon Avionics

3 - 4 p.m.

Cloudy Skies – Clear Judgment, Susan Parson – FAA Safety Briefing, Editor

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Operations
Jim Elliott, U.S. Coast Guard, Elizabeth City, N.C.

Youth Forums on Saturday, May 22, 2010

Youth Tent or * Radio Controlled Flying Area

10 a.m.

* Radio Controlled Airplanes
Henry Cahoon (held in Radio Controlled Flying Area)

11 a.m.

What Makes an Airplane Fly?
Hank Jarrett – NASA Langley

Noon

Virginia Beach Police Helicopter Pilot
Officer David J. Cook

1 p.m.

* Radio Controlled Airplanes
Henry Cahoon (held in Radio Controlled Flying Area)

2 p.m.

How Space Vehicles Fly
Dr. Robert Singleterry – NASA Langley

Forums on Sunday, May 23, 2010

 

Tent 1

Tent 2

Tent 3

10 - 11 a.m.

Aircraft Interior Renovation 
Dennis Wolter – AirMod

Wiley Post: Aviation Pioneer
Rob Cork

Coast Guard Search and Rescue Operations
Jim Elliott – U.S. Coast Guard, Elizabeth City, NC,

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

NTSB talk
TBD

Light Sport Aircraft and Flying Explained
Dave Lubore – Heart of Virginia Aviation

Fuels for Sport Aviation: Update 2010
Kent Misegades, AeroSouth

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Cloudy Skies, Clear Judgment
Susan Parson – FAA Safety Briefing, Editor

Aviation Weather
Lyle Alexander, National Weather Service

ELT Requirements, including 406 Mhz
Dick Koehler, A&P, IA, 2007 Tony Bingelis Award Winner

1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Rejuvenating general aviation
RAVI

Lycoming Thunderbolt Engines
Jeff Schaus – Lycoming

Test-Flying Your Project
Bill Posnett, Aeronautical Engineer

Youth Forums on Sunday, May 23, 2010

Youth Tent or * Radio Controlled Flying Area

11 a.m.

* Radio Controlled Airplanes
Henry Cahoon (held in Radio Controlled Flying Area)

Noon

Virginia Beach Police Helicopter Pilot
Officer David J. Cook

1 p.m.

The Future of Aviation
Guy Kemmerly – NASA

2 p.m.

What Makes an Airplane Fly?
Hank Jarrett – NASA Langley

Workshops for Festival of Flight 2010
Saturday, May 22

Tent 4: 10 a.m. - Noon

Tent 5: 10 a.m. - Noon

Tent 6: 10 a.m. - Noon

Continental Engine Teardown and Assembly
Don Bennett – DB AeroTech

General Propeller Care & Maintenance
Nat Ramsey – US Propeller

 

Tent 4: 1 - 3 p.m.

Tent 5: 1 - 3 p.m.

Tent 6: 1 - 3 p.m.

Continental Engine Teardown and Assembly
Don Bennett – DB AeroTech

 

Rib Stitching
Anne McCombs –
Smithsonian Institution/National Air and Space Museum

 

 

Tent 6: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Overview of Fabric Covering
Anne McCombs –
Smithsonian Institution/National Air and Space Museum

Sunday, May 23

Tent 4: 10 - Noon

Tent 5: 10 a.m. - Noon

Tent 6

Continental Engine Teardown and Assembly
Don Bennett – DB AeroTech

 

 

Tent 4: 1 - 3 p.m.

Tent 5: 1 - 3 p.m.

Tent 6: 1 - 3 p.m.

Continental Engine Teardown and Assembly
Don Bennett – DB AeroTech

General Propeller Care & Maintenance
Nat Ramsey – US Propeller

Rib Stitching
Anne McCombs –
Smithsonian Institution/National Air and Space Museum

 

 

Tent 6: 3 - 4 p.m.

 

 

Overview of Fabric Covering
Anne McCombs – Smithsonian Institution/National Air and Space Museum

 

 
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