Formation Practice

Here are clips from a recent formation practice flight out of Boulder City, NV (KBVU). I was in my Extra 300L flying as wingman to lead in his RV-6A. Lead is a fomer Air Force fighter pilot and instructor who has been my primary mentor for formation flying.

First, basic practice flying off lead’s wing.

Next, pitch-outs and rejoins.

Finally, close- and extended trail. Extended trail is a lot of fun.

Aerobatics in a Pretty Sky

Here are clips from a recent aerobatic flight in the Extra 300L. More videos available at my YouTube channel, BruceAirFlying.

Beautiful Day to Fly in Seattle

Here are some excerpts from an aerobatic flight with a German 747 captain who is also an active light aircraft pilot. We explored basic aerobatics on a beautiful late-summer day in Seattle.

The Annual Extra 300L Migration

Each year I fly the Extra 300L between its summer base at Boeing Field (KBFI) in Seattle and its winter home at Boulder City, NV (KBVU).

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The usual route takes me from KBFI across the Cascade Mountains for fuel stops at Bend, OR (KBDN) and Yerington, NV (O43), before the last leg to KBVU. Those three legs total about 870 nm, and at a cruise speed of 160 KTAS, require 5.5 to 6.0 hours of flying time.

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Here’s a highlight video from the first leg (KBFI-KBDN) in late September.

To see scenes from the entire route, watch this video from the same flight in September 2017.

 

Aerobatics with Data

Here’s a look at an aerobatic ride with data from a Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 camera’s sensors overlaid. The GPS-based position, speed, and altitude don’t match the information from cockpit instruments precisely, and the sensors sometimes can’t keep up with the dynamics of aerobatics, but the data do give you an idea of how quickly things change during aerobatics. We also had a tailwind of about 6 knots during the landing, so the GPS-derived groundspeed is higher than the indicated airspeed during the approach and landing.

It’s also worth noting that during aerobatic rides I try to fly smoothly and keep the Gs under control. Rides aren’t aerobatic contests or airshows.

To display the data in a video, I first import the video and corresponding data into the free Garmin VIRB Edit program. After choosing the gauges to display, I export the video and do the final editing in Adobe Premiere Elements.

Aerobatic Ride on a Summer Morning

Flying the Extra: Seattle to Las Vegas

Each year around the end of September, I fly the Extra 300L from Boeing Field (KBFI) in Seattle to its winter base at Boulder City, NV (KBVU) outside Las Vegas. The video below shows highlights from the flight this year. Enjoy the dramatic changes in the landscape from the well-watered Puget Sound region to the desolate desert in southern Nevada.

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The Extra isn’t designed for long-distance journeys, and I have to make two fuel stops to complete the journey of about 900 nm (1670 km). I usually stop at Bend, OR (KBDN) and Yerrington, NV (O43). The flight itself typically requires 5.5 – 6.0 hours; with the two stops the total block time is usually about 8 hours.

You can view the route that I flew at Skyvector.com here.