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[October 17, 2005]


I took Tom Emery's RV builders class this past weekend (10/15-16) outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I had to be in Columbus, OH today to make a network upgrade, so I got work to pay for my mileage to the class! Can't beat that. My dad went with me and we had a blast. When we got there, Tom had a 7A being put together that was decked out. He also brough out his 6A. Beautiful. This was my first time seeing a RV in person. Definitely an overwhealming experience. I was almost detered when I saw how complex these things were before being completely assembled. Tom ran a great class. I went into this knowing nothing about metal, riveting, clecos, etc.. Tom took us through each step and told us the multiple ways for us to accomplish each task. By Sunday at 3:00pm, I knew how to deburr, use clecos, drill properly, backrivet, buck, etc.. He had a lot of useful tips that made a lot of sense. Definitely stuff that I would not of thought of on my own. By the end of the workshop, I felt very confident that I could order the right tools and order the empannage kit and assemble it successfully.

Tom had a lot of great suggestions for general building. Electric elevator trim and manual aileron trim. LYCOMING ENGINE. He didn't badmouth any other aircraft or non-aircraft engine, but he swore by the Lycoming's. He also was a big proponent of the sliding canopy. He had an accident in his 6A not too long ago where he flipped it head over heals. The first thing that shattered was his tip-up canopy, leaving the earth about 2" from the top of his head. He rebuild his 6A with the sliding canopy and pointed out how it had a mini rollbar in it, with the support bar going into the firewall. I am still up in the air about this choice, but there is definitely a safety and cool factor of the sliding canopy. He also recommended NOT getting an oil-free air compressor. He said that they were basically junk and wear out sooner. Also, he said not to keep track of how much time you keep track on each stage of the build. It is not a requirement of the FAA. It has the tendency to make people rush their project when they compare their time with other peoples. Made sense to me. Finally, he said not to trust any of the websites out there for the definitive source of RV building. He has noted that these websites just cause dozens of people to keep making the same mistakes.

One last thing I need to say about Tom's class both him and his wife Nickie treated us like familly. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Nickie made such a large lunch for us both days that I don't know how I didnt go into a food comma afterwards.

Me deburring the trailing edge
















This is a pic of all of us in the class with our finished prized posesions. Top Row, Left->Right: James, John, Me, Bill (my dad), Kyle. Front Row: Tom Emery and Bob the Dog.


The finished product of the class.



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