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Well-known member
Apr 13, 2002
Im looking into buying my first airplane and after doing a bit of research I have decided to purchase a RV6a. I was wondering if anyone had any experience building one or buying one already flying. Every one that I've talked to say they are incredible flying machines and are relatively easy to tool on. I am looking at buying one that is already flying. I am not a mechanic, nor do I want to spend the next few years trying to build one. I built a doghouse once and it wasnt pretty.

Any info or links would be greatly appreciated...
I'm building an RV-6, and have flown the 6. I can't for the life of me imagine why someone would destroy such a nice airplane by propping the tail in the air and jamming a free-swiveling metal snake with a big tire under it, beneath the nose cowl.

I believe the 6/A came about to cater to those who didn't want to take the time to learn to fly properly.

It's a relatively sensitive, easy to fly airplane. Be sure you get proper instruction in type by someone with experience in type; your best best is to go to the Vans factory and get some training there. It's what they recommend.

Doubtless you'll like the airplane. Everyone does.
Congrats and GL with your 6, thats fantastic!

How much tail time do ya have and what do you expect to pay in insurance? If they are as easy to fly as you describe, why would you need a check out at the factory?

A solid hour ground from the previous owner with additional hour in the air is what im looking at (varibly more depending on my confort level) . After that, I plan to fly it real conservative(ie get the bird home from the owner) until I can get proper aerobatic/Rv specific instruction close to my home field. Hopefully, I can talk one of my more experienced pilot friends to tag along.

BTW, I do agree with your sentiment on nose bangers, however I want the machine to be as user freindly as possibile so i can teach freinds and family to fly. Im afraid a tail wheel would scare the heck out em, along with the fact that I personally have only a handful of hours in cub, just enough to get me into trouble. TDers are just cool, no doubt about it.

Honestly, if a good deal a 6 came along, then I would consider it. Maybe after a solid 10 hour check off at the factory I could get the plane covered.

But, depending on some outside influences - it might be later than sooner on my purchase.

I have plenty of time for more research.

I don't know how much conventional gear time I have...I don't think I've added it up or tried to separate it in the last 15 years or so. It doesn't really matter, as the RV isn't a difficult airplane to fly, and conventional gear isn't difficult, either. It just requires proper pratices and proceedures.

While the RV is billed as being suitable for limited aerobatics, I'd forget about that. It's really a two place cherokee that's a little more efficient, with pushrods instead of cables for controls. That's how you should probably consider flying it.

Rather than decide how much instruction you need, why don't you go to Vans and let them decide? That's much more appropriate. After all, none of us to to simuflite or flight safety, or the company training department, and dicate how much recurrent or initial training we think we should have. Neither should you. Let someone else make that call, and then if you don't feel adequate prepared, ask for more.

As far as aerobatics...these are hard on the airplane. Especially the instruments. Especially for someone trying to learn. Go get some instruction in a pitts or a decathelon, and then rent the pitts or decathelon for your aerobatic fun. Stick to normal every day flying in the RV-6. The airplane will be happier, your passengers will certainly be happier, and you'll probably get a lot of enjoyment yourself.

Be very careful in purchasing an experimental airplane that someone else has built, especially if you're not a mechanic and don't know what to look for...especially if you're not already familiar with the machine.
I will tell you this, if you go fly one, you will go buy one. They are a $60,000 dollar ride. :)

I've got time in most of the RV line, with a few exceptions like the 3,9 and 10. I had never paid attention to kit built aircraft until a trip to Oshkosh several years ago.. We saw a field of RV's which caused to me find a ride in one.. :) First Rv flight I ever got was in a 6A.. It was a total blast and led to the purchase of our 6'.

What I would reccomend is find some people with RV's in your area and pick up a few flights with them, if they will let you.. Where are you located? I do some Rv6 transition training.. If you get on the Van's site, they have a few "company authorized" instructors - while most of those guys are extremely hard to line up a few flights with as they stay booked many months out..

If you are worried about conventional gear - go out and rent a Decathlon and fly it until you are comfortable with it.. If you can fly/land a Decath safely, the '6 will be like falling out of bed.. People often make a joke of people logging Rv6 time as tailwheel time as it is such a tame little airplane.

I think most of what avbug has said is true, with a few exceptions.. Billing it as a two place Cherokee is completely false.. While the RV's are extremely docile aircraft, a Cherokee it is not. If you hop into an RV and intend to fly it like a 140, your going to get yourself into trouble..

Also his thoughts on aerobatics - while aerobatics can be hard on the instruments, if you have the proper instruments in the a/c they will be fine.. Often times many RV builders put these instruments into the aircraft, so if your looking at a used one, pick one that is so equipped... Also, aerobatics, if done correctly - are a blast in the RV.. Is it a Pitts or an Edge 540? No, and it should not be flown like one, but if you want to simple rolls, loops, stall turns, etc - they RV has no issue's with them - nor are they any harder on the aircraft than general flying..

The aircraft is great for many things.. You can cut up in it, it will fly slow, it will fly fast.. It can land very very short.. Good luck with your search, you'll love it. ;)
Thanks guys, I am already in a club with a debonair and a 172. I want a fun plane that has some X-country capablilties. I probably should have explained that my goal is to do 'light aerobatics' - loops, rolls etc when im off by myself or with my pilot buds. You know, just playing around on purty days ever so often.

X-country/limited aerobatics/possible light IFR - - - these are the things im searching for in a bird for around 50k. I'd like a bare bones VFR RV and then add avionics as I see fit.

An A@P partner would be the cream, but i dont know anyone at this moment. I'm interested in learning mechanical skills as i go, instead of building one to start off with. Anaglous to a reverse engineering approach. I can fly and learn how to tool on one at the same time.

Anywho, im in the metro atlanta area.
I have been flying out of FTY, but my RV is @ MSL in Alabama..

The RV is perfect for the light aerobatics you are describing.. :) I wouldn't want to fly the RV in solid IFR though.. Maybe small inadvertent IFR, but I wouldn't take off into known IFR..

If I want to fly IFR I'll take something else.. :)

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