Our Family RV-6. Built from 1996-2002.
Our family’s RV-6 was constructed from 1996 until Sept of 2002. Over the years we’ve made improvements to the panel, as avionics have become lighter and more feature-rich. The current iteration has first generation, non-touch Garmin G3X screens. In 2016 I took my Instrument checkride in it. In early 2019 I took my commercial checkride (also in the RV). Self-studied using mostly free PDF documents off the FAA.gov site and the ASA Test Prep book.
In September of 2018 before I took the commercial checkride, and with 1,600+ hours of RV PIC spread over 16 years, I began going on some day trips a couple of times a month as an unpaid intern in a Cessna Grand Caravan EX. This in addition to my full time VAF job. Pull the chocks, take off the covers, preflight in the rain, clean the porta potty, get Clearance Delivery, file the flight plans, haul the bags and more. All that stuff the new guy gets to do. The other pilots were rated instructors, so the time was logged in the 'Turbine' column (I needed 50+ hours of turbine time before any insurance company would give me the time of day). It took nearly a year, all the while doing VAF, but I eventually got to the magic number after around 18 or so flights, knocked out the insurance-approved ground school and solo'd. Thus began my ‘extra paper route’ side career, age 53, as a professional pilot. I fly 2-3 times a month on short day trips for a private owner. I’m in a pool of pilots, and get the call when the people with more seniority have conflicts. I am very much still the new guy.
With our son now in college, the extra money is appreciated (and needed!).
After flying the RV for 16 years, flying the Caravan was a surprisingly straightforward transition once you get used to the bigger size and the new skill set required to start and operate the PT6A-140 engine. No type rating required due to it weighing less than 12,500 lbs.
The Garmin G-1000 avionics share some common architecture with the G3X screens in our RV, so that seemed somewhat familiar from the start.
The air conditioning and chairs that slide back in cruise are wonderful.