Tom Berge, Plymouth, MN
RV-6, N69TB, First flight July, 1991


N69TB, RV6 kit #20123 was started in May of 1987 back when holes were drilled by the builder and rivets were turned on a lathe. Well maybe the rivets story is a stretch, but the kits were pretty primitive compared to the current versions. The construction took 4 years with the first, inadvertent flight occurring on July 14
th, 1991. Yes, another high speed taxi test gone awry.

Original equipment included a Lycoming O-360 with a fixed pitch wooden Pacesetter prop, electric flaps, manual elevator trim, Rochester engine instruments, airspeed, altimeter, vertical speed, g-meter, compass and a turn coordinator. Avionics consisted of a King KT 76 transponder, King KY 97A com, intercom and a top of the line Apollo 618 TCA loran. The loran (long range navigation) was so nice since it gave information on the edges of the TCA (class B) in raw data form. No moving maps during that era. The interior was from DJ Lauritsen. Empty weight was 1025 pounds.

Throughout the 12 years that I flew N69TB, some of the modifications included adding a NavAid wing leveler, later switched to an S-Tec System 20, installing attitude / DG gyros with a vacuum system after one too many “events”, King KN53 nav radio, metal Sensenich prop, Apollo GX 55 GPS, canopy lift struts, Vetterman Exhaust and two piece wheel pants.

Travels included many trips out to the Pacific Northwest, Texas, Walkers Cay in the Bahamas, Key West FL, Niagara Falls and the biggie up to Alaska. N69TB was sold with just over 1600 hours on the airframe.

RV-7A, N369TB, currently based at Crystal, MN, First flight June, 2003


N369TB, RV7A, kit #70181 was started July 2001 and finished June 2003. I had won a gift certificate at one of the RV annual meetings for a TruTrak autopilot which would save me $750 dollars and I just couldn’t let that go to waste. Building another RV around it sounded like a reasonable plan. This was a slow build kit. I needed something to keep me occupied.

Original firewall forward equipment included an Aerosport O-360 180 hp with dual Light Speed ignition, 60 amp B&C main alternator, B&C SD8 backup alternator, dual batteries and a Hartzell constant speed blended airfoil prop. Avionics included Garmin 340 audio panel, GNX 530, GTX 330 mode S transponder, Becker radio, AFS engine monitor and a Digiflight II VS/GPSS autopilot. Flight instruments are standard round gauges with electric attitude / DG gyros. Interior was by DJ Lauritsen. Flaps and elevator trim are electric. Empty weight was 1144#.

Modifications so far include adding XM weather with a Garmin GDL 69 displaying on the GNX 530 and upgrading the GNX 530 to WAAS capability. The original Van’s cowl was replaced with a Holy Cowl in the attempt to lower engine temperatures. That modification was unsuccessful, though it did increase top speed a bit.

Travels so far include Yellowstone, Flagstaff AZ, The Black Hills in SD, Key West FL, Maryland, South Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas. Many more trips to come.