Evolution Aircraft, Advanced Aviation, Flight Metrics and Elite Pilot Services joined forces to host an Evolution specific fly in and training seminar October 20-24, 2021. About 25 Evolution owners and partners attended the four day event at the Bend Airport. Several attendees have provided a lot of details about the event, and we have posted submissions below. The feedback from everyone was very positive and the information much appreciated.
Here is a video produced by Hayley of Advanced Aviation: Bend Evolution Fly In 2021 (Password: Flyin2021)
MIchael Sundermeyer shared a link to his photos of the event: EVO Fly in Bend 2021 MIchael invites others to add to this album.
Jay Utech submitted a very detailed summary which I have reproduced below with a few corrections on names from Don Sak. Gary Caravella also shared his recap. Find Gary's summary below Jay's.
We at LOBO truly appreciate all of you sharing your stories and events with the rest of the members! There were recordings made of the presentations for those who could not attend. We will publish any information regarding use and access to those recordings when we have it. Thank you to all who provided this information for the benefit of all of the LOBO community!
From Jay Utech:
Evolution-Specific Flight & Ground Training Seminar
October 23, 2021 Notes from Jay Utech
Location: KBDN Bend, Oregon Hanger #38
Presentation and Planning Syllabus – Provided by Alma from Advanced Aviation
- Daily Agendas of ground school presenters and material, flight schedules with instructors, catered food and drinks, organize hosted dinner
- Maps of airport for orientation, including: designated Evolution a/c parking area, hanger location for meetings, Bend airport facility chart
- Separate planned events for “woman of Evolution owners” if not flying or participating in ground school
- Car and Hotel suggestions and contact information
- A/C Fueling arrangements and location
Recurrent Flight Training (VFR & IFR)
Presentation by Elite Pilot Services (EPS)
- Overview of flight procedures, maneuvers, and selected approaches
- Expectations, briefings and debriefings
- Selected airspaces, blocks of time, and organization of groups with selected EPS pilots and aircraft (weather permitting)
- Demonstration of VFR pilot maneuvers and Instrument Proficiency check signed by instructor pilot
Presentation by Aaron Brook - discussion of existing design shortfalls, concerns, maintenance observations, and clarification of past and recent safety upgrades. An overview of elected modifications available today as well and those planned for future release, (currently being tested on specific Evolution aircraft). Abbreviated list below:
- Improved carbon-fiber-reinforced pressurized door seals
- Upgraded door latches, bases, and mechanisms (material changed from aluminum to steel, and other mechanical design changes as well)
- Super heavy duty nose strut (Advanced Aviation design)
- Bleed Air hoses and Intercooler
- Sealed Carbon-Fiber Plenum for increased torque
- New Dual-line (2 direction) hydraulic pump system and relocation to forward firewall. Also ensures the gear is pressurized in the down position while on the ground after shutdown.
- Upgraded air intake cowling, high-volume TBM - 850 style, and associated inertial separator. (torque increase with ~8 knot speed increase)
- Wing incident change (~7 knot speed increase)
- RVSM upgrade (increases cruise altitude limit above FL 280). This will also require upgrading to Quick-Don O2 masks, (ex. AEROX DD725), when above FL 280.
- Auxiliary rear fuel cell(s), increase of 48 gallons
- Improved battery back-up for EFIS system (greatly extended time over existing the 30 minutes)
- Novel de-icing system (Villinger design) for wings, tail, and prop. No reduction in speed. (currently in test by selected Evolution aircraft)
- Inner gear door incorporation (decrease wind noise and potential increase in speed)
- Increase 16-BIT to 32-BIT for increased processor speeds and growth potential for future additional channels
- Various exterior light combinations, ice-lights, cameras, etc.
Garmin (Brad Brensing)
Presentation of existing 900X system with upgrade to 3X system.
- Brought a table-top active display of a Garmin 3X system complete with touch controls and preprogrammed flight navigation for pilots to review, experience and demonstrate the array of new features as well as the improved memory and speed performance
- Review of cockpit procedures and differences between the 2 systems (both software, memory, and hardware)
- Advantages of the 3X upgrade over the existing 900X
- No change in future support for the existing 900x.
- Some “gotcha’s” and procedural hick-ups that could occur when loading and executing stored, newly created, or altered flight plans with coupled autopilot active.
- Removing redundant display clutter and how to maximize the equipment’s potential to reduce visual workload.
- A reminder that an inactive autopilot does NOT remove the available information still being provided by the Garmin system. All displays still show the information accurately, but the pilot shall now provide the necessary manual inputs to navigate the aircraft.
Evolution Aircraft Co.
Presentation by Kim Lorentzen
- Pledged continued parts support for the existing fleet and mentioned talks about re-starting the kits in the future. Q & A taken from Kim and the pilots.
Presentation of upgrades to the touch pad control box (Moritz Panel)
- Faster processors
- Upgraded memory and BUS from 16 BIT to 32 BIT
- 96 channels available
- Can add additional displays other than just Pressurization, Environmental (HVAC), Lighting, and ECB’s. Could now show gear in motion for instance.
Flight Metrics Co.
Presentation of aircraft maintenance inspection by Matthew Brannon
- Overview of Evolution Aircraft maintenance and schedules
- FAA requirements
- Owner responsibilities and authorizations
- Creating a maintenance calendar and checklist
- Reminder for new Evolution owners who purchased from another builder and owner, that they must update maintenance log revisions and pages along with new registration to FAA. Also, bridge and restart a new maintenance schedule for aircraft and engine.
- Discussed the risks of NOT performing the required 72-month propellor overhaul and instead only performing a partial tear-down and inspection.
- Items NOT listed in PT-6 Engine maintenance would also be engine accessory items with life-limited parts (i.e. : starter brushes).
- Other items might be: Ultrasonic flow check, Fuel nozzle pressure check every 200 - 400 hrs, fuel filter flush, oil filter cleaning every 100 hrs, taking oil samples at regular intervals, RGB chip detector, desalination washes of the engine, compressor, and turbine.
- Lancair recommends replacing all door seals before 500 hours.
- O2 masks like the “Quick-Don” AEROX DD725 need to be overhauled and recertified every 3 years
- Composite and standard O2 cylinders need to be hydrostatically tested every 3 years and are only in service for 15 years. (Note: the 3-year due date is FROM the date of manufacture! NOT the purchase date OR the date of installation.
- Propellor de-ice brush blocks only last about 500 hours and should be replaced sooner if before the propellor overhaul time line.
- Engine driven fuel pumps may only last 100 hours.
- Every 400 hours: recommended to have hot section borescoped, engine desalination washed, and fuel injectors cleaned.
- There is currently no published (FAA approved) MEL list, (minimum equipment list) which can used. This list allows part 135 and part 121 carriers to legally continue flight with certain equipment non-functional along with other steps that must be followed up. The point is: ANYTHING that is NOT working on the aircraft when it was built and signed off as installed, means the aircraft is GROUNDED until that item(s) is repaired, logged in the maintenance manual, and signed off. (ex: if you have 2 landing lights and one is nonoperational prior to takeoff, then you are technically grounded until it is functional). Anything non-functional in flight means either: continue flight and land as soon as practical (if not critical item), or land immediately (if critical item).
The main point is that each owner is now the director of maintenance and carries the responsibility to know and understand all the regulations that the FAA allowed when an air worthiness certificate was issued as an experimental aircraft. Maintaining that air worthiness is the sole responsibility of the owner.
Unusual Attitude Recovery Training
Presentation by Mike Kloch of Specialized Aero Works
- Differences and distinction between aerobatic training and unusual attitude training and recovery.
Hypoxia and Oxygen system
Presentation by Mountain High
- Overview of Hypoxia symptoms and effects
- Dual tank, O2 system diagram review with upgrade possibilities to have Pilot-dedicated system, separate from passengers.
- New upgraded system that indicates each individual is on O2 and shows rate of consumption in %. Also allows pilot to see if someone is not getting enough O2 or that they have stopped receiving O2.
Presentation by two speakers
- Overview of accident statistics and most common scenarios
- Emphasis on situational awareness and flying within the limits of the aircraft.
- Several Evolution accidents reviewed with details of radar tracking information, communication transcripts, air data correlation, and weather
- Flap arm attachment bolt inspection and correct lockwire routing
- Discussion of dis-bonding plexiglass windshield, side window, and potential stress fractures. Inspection of the window using the “prism” method will only reveal bond presence, amount, and any potential voids. It will NOT detect if the edges were smoothed and stress relieved according to the original build description. Mention of windows currently being installed will now use the HYSOL “Blue” bond.
- Discussion of using good quality Jet A fuel. Some areas offering “lowest price fuel” were not regulated well enough and large quantities of water was discovered which led to one engine quitting in flight. Also, PRIST should always be added to the Jet A fuel for 2 reasons. It prevents the freezing of fuel by lowering the “congeal temperature”, (fuel remains as a liquid in extreme cold), but also PRIST acts as an algaecide which prevents the formation of Algae in the wing. If this forms, it will eventually work its way into the fuel filter and clog.
- Recent Door latch failures and corrective actions. Discussion of Brett Beiberdorf’s N469KS Evolution “Door incident”.
PT-6 Turbine Engine Review
Presentation by Sean VanHatten of EPS (Elite Pilot Services)
- Overview of Engine function and compartmentalization
- Components and their function
- Fuel flow diagram and pathways
- Potential pitfalls of a failing Fuel/Oil heat exchanger or the Fuel Control Unit.
- Definitions, recognition, and corrective actions for a Hung Start and Roll Back
- Review procedures for in-flight engine restart and flight envelope
- When NOT to relight an engine in flight
- Discussion on pitfalls of conflicting NAV data and entries with autopilot in use.
- Change in ground operation for using the Intake Inertial Separator, “the ice door”. The original flight manual indicates using this during ground operations to prevent sand and larger debris from entering the engine compressor section by diverting heavier particles aft as air is sucked in. But,…the consensus is to NOT do this since it was discovered that grass and other materials were becoming entrapped.
- Discussion of the correct procedure when performing a Ground Power Unit (GPU) start instead of just using the batteries alone. The batteries should remain ON during the start and using the GPU but, once the engine is started, DO NOT turn on the aircraft generator until the GPU is physically disconnected from the A/C receptacle or the generator will fight with the GPU regulator. Anytime a GPU is being used, it merely charges the batteries and supplies the lion-share of the start amperage which saves the battery from being depleted after start. There was some discussion that some FBO’s have a larger rubber GPU connection plug with a square section that may not fit the Evolution’s opening to get a complete connection.
Recommendations: Purchase Circuit Breaker Collars for specific breakers that would need to be pulled often for inflight emergencies or maintenance. These collars make finding the breaker easy and they are even easier to pull in a hurry. You can purchase them in several identifying colors if you like.
I recommended a procedure flight safety uses for training in the Learjet. You make a picture or depiction of the 2 rows of circuit breakers in your aircraft panel. You label and identify Row A and Row B. Then your assign a numeric value to each breaker in a specific row starting with the most forward and work your way rearward. (ex: if your gear breaker was the 5th breaker in the first row (closest to pilot), then the depiction would identify this breaker as A-5. Now, if you also label EACH Circuit breaker as called out in your emergency procedure by this Row and Column number, then it would say pull A-5 for the Gear CB. This is most helpful in the dark, no flashlight, and you can feel for the correct breaker to pull using the checklist, or from memory. The addition of the CB Collar makes this process even easier.
From Gary Caravella:
Below is a recap of our Evolution meeting that was held from 10/20 - 10/24 and below that was the schedule for your info.
Most of us arrived on 10/20 and attended the meet & greet at Advanced Aviation. A few decided to cancel as they were worried about the weather getting out on Sunday.
Everyone had a great time seeing friends and meeting new ones. Since most people had traveled that day, by 8pm things were closing down and I believe no one attended the optional informal gathering at Old Francis School.
EPS did a fantastic job of getting knowledgeable & experienced Flight instructors. No pilots were disappointed and everyone learned and sharpened their flying skills both VFR & IFR. Some things that were practiced were:
- Emergency Descents
- Slow flight & Power off Stalls
- Steep Turns
- Unusually Attitudes
- Engine out Gliding
- Emergency Gear Retraction
- Mor lever
- Partial Panel
- IFR Holds, Approaches & Missed Approaches
Ground school was very informative by all presenters. See the video to see all that was covered. The videos were an excellent way of learning for pilots who could not attend as well as refreshing one's memory since so much great information was covered.
In general, flight training was scheduled in the mornings, and ground school in the afternoons.