amazingly well: light, responsive, and
beautifully harmonized controls, and a
zippy climb rate and cruise speed (163
knots true at 8. 5 gph). No wonder people love Van’s aircraft so much.
I had to laugh at the angle of attack
warning on landing—the female voice’s
mantra of “Angle, angle, pitch! Angle, angle,
pitch!” sounded like it should accompany a
saucy cheerleader’s pom-pom routine. I
asked Jeremy if he found it distracting.
“Nah,” he answered with a laugh. “I
like hearing her just before I touch down.
It’s a little contest I have with her.”
I also asked him, as we flew around
nearby Mount Diablo, if his sense of
pride, flying something he’d built himself,
had worn off over the 130 hours he’d
flown it so far.
“No,” he said with a kid-like giggle.
“I’m still pretty proud. I have to confess,
I’m pretty proud.”
It’s still a bit of a challenge to recon-
cile this engineering and tech-savvy
Jeremy with the creative musician friend
whose gift is interpreting the subtle
nuances of 200-year-old compositions on
a decidedly low-tech, 200-year-old
Stradivarius. Or, for that matter, the guy
who bought an Ercoupe because he
wanted an airplane simple enough that he
could still fly it safely, even if his career
left him very little time at the airport.
How does one go from wanting the low-
est-possible maintenance aircraft to
building an airplane from scratch?
Jeremy shrugged. “I had some huge
frustrations at work, and I needed some-
thing to distract me,” he said. “I don’t look
at the time I spend on [the RV-7A] as
work. It’s therapy. It’s like knitting.”
I guess I can understand that. But the
RV has knitting beat in at least one way.
There are, after all, very few sweaters that
can take you halfway across the country
on a single tank of gas.
Lane Wallace, EAA 650945, has been an aviation
columnist, editor, and author for more than 20
years. More of her writing can be found at