Nov 27, 2009 – Black Friday

Today must be the unofficially the start of the project to construct a homebuilt RV-7a airplane. The key event was the purchase of a 10-inch Craftsman band saw from Sears. It was on sale for $139 (regularly $199) as a Black Friday special. I guess I’m considering this the start of the project because the band saw is a tool I really would not buy except for the RV project. But I am sure, based on reading web sites of other RV builders it will be an essential tool for the RV-7a to rough cut metal parts like shaping ribs. Now I just need a table to mount it on.

Nov 28, 2009

Today I built a small table for the Band Saw and a future belt sander. I based it on the EAA work table plans but I reduced the overall width and length dimensions. The idea is to be able to easily move this table around the shop as the need for space changes during the project. I don’t want the saw on my main work table because that needs to be clear for large pieces.

Dec 12, 2009

I completed another big step in the preparations to build the RV-7a today. I sold the home gym that’s been holding down the floor of one bay of my three car garage for years. I had a buyer within an hour of listing it on Craig’s List.  A few hours later he picked it up and freed up at least 50 square feet of floor space for the construction project.

Dec 15, 2009

Bad news today. I went to have a 3rd Class Medical examine from an FAA approved AME. While I had concerns that my eyesight might be a problem, I was surprised to find that I was denied a student pilot certificate because I am taking Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome. I didn’t expect that. All is not lost though because God is in control. My case will be referred to an FAA examiner and I can contact the FAA next week to see what my options are. I may have to get off Requip to have a shot at getting my student pilot certificate. The last time I took a Requip was Monday night December 14th.

Dec 18, 2009

Today I had an appointment with my doctor. He is OK with me trying to get off Requip and he is willing to try something else like Sinemet if necessary. But first, I want to try to get off the pharmaceuticals altogether. I’ve gone three nights without Requip so far and maybe there is hope. I’m going to work with my diet and various supplements to see if I can identify what’s causing my RLS and manage it. Dr. Smith also said he would provide a letter to the FAA if I am able to “get clean” off of Requip.

Dec 29, 2009

I called the FAA today (the second time). They still haven’t assigned an examiner to my case yet and they just tell me to be patient and wait to hear from them. I did get the lady to say that I should be able to get my certificate after a minimum period of being off the Requip but it may be 90 days. Denise is confident however and says don’t give up hope and asks me how she can pray for me. I’m uncertain and don’t know how long it might take to even get a determination from the FAA so I said ask God for an answer from the FAA by Jan 15 with a path forward that could allow me to obtain my Class 3 Medical.

Jan 11, 2010

I have been getting so much encouragement from Denise to trust God and take a step of faith on the airplane. We haven’t heard from the FAA yet but she is not worried. So today I ordered the Full RV Tool Kit from Isham At almost $2700 with shipping, this is a significant financial commitment to the project.  I added the longeron yoke, swivel flush set, and adjustable set holder. If we are in this deep it must be time to order the empennage kit!

Jan 12, 2010

This morning I faxed the empennage order to Vans. After reading posts from RV builders I chose to go with the manual elevator trim. Consensus seems to be that the manual trim is easier to adjust at cruise speeds, is lighter in the tail section, and is cheaper to boot.

Jan 13, 2010

Since my band saw came with a coarse wood cutting blade I ordered a bi-metal 14 tpi blade from

14 Jan, 2010

I am nearing the end of the tool collection saga now (I hope) but today I ordered a back rivet plate and a tube of Boelube from Cleveland Aircraft Tools. Oh, and the empennage kit arrived today. Wow, that was fast. Two days from fax to arrival.

Jan 15, 2010

Today turned out to be an amazing day. It started out with a mistake – I forgot that I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor this afternoon from my last visit about the RLS and Requip and to get the results of my blood tests. Denise called me on the way to work and reminded me. Unfortunately I was vanpooling to work and didn’t have my car so I asked her to reschedule it. After I hung up, I started feeling like I should try to find a way to keep the appointment. I can’t say why except that it felt like I should. So I called her back and asked if Jessica could come pick me up in time to get back to Mission Viejo for a 3:45 PM appointment. As it happens, she was going to Biola to drop off her Nursing Program application and would be half way there anyway.

Two hours later I got a page from Denise with an 811 tag. When I got her on the phone she said that a letter came today from the FAA. Wait a minute, this is Jan 15th! Incredibly, the letter said my medical certificate was officially denied, but I could appeal to have it reconsidered if I get a letter from my doctor saying that I am off the Requip and I don’t have any issues with excessive day time sleepiness. How amazing is that. Not only did God answer Denise’s prayer on the very day that I said, but He lined everything up perfectly for me to get the letter from my doctor today! Needless to say I am praising God.

At my appointment with my doctor, he agreed to write a letter that I can pick up on Wednesday stating that I am clean of Requip or other medications and have no problems with day time sleepiness. It looks like my Class 3 Medical is just weeks away.

On the way home from the doctor I went by Home Depot and bought lumber for a work table. I had already laid out the lengths of each piece so I knew exactly what I needed and I cut all the pieces with my mitre saw in about an hour after I got home.

Jan 16, 2010

I’m still waiting on the tools to arrive from Isham so I can’t do much on the empennage yet but I did finish up the work table, inventory all the parts in the kit from Vans (there are two items identified as on back order) and started laying out the rear spar.

1 John 3:21-22

Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

  1. August 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    John, thank you for maintaining a nice build site. I’m also building a RV-7A. Please do you recall what thread size the holes are in the tail light adapter ring? Where they 4-40? Thanks, PS, I also like your IS 40:31.

    • August 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Yes, those are #4-40 threaded holes. I’ll check out your site.

  2. Bill Stevens
    July 31, 2013 at 11:53 am

    AMEN!! We have a GREAT and FAITHFUL FATHER!!! 🙂 Soar like an Eagle John!!

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