For days, the employees at Van’s Aircraft had been watching the “hobbs meter” on their own website, waiting for news of the one thousandth RV-9/9A to fly.
On November 20, 2015, John “Bert” Bertucci of Prairieville, Louisiana, rang the bell with his new RV-9A.
According to John: “I have always wanted a plane of my own, so in June 2013 I purchased an unfinished RV-9A as a retirement project. I closed in my carport and went to work. Don Broussard, an A&P/IA and professional pilot, has been my mentor all the way through, visiting every six weeks to “inspect and correct.” Don made the first flight. I flew chase with Robert Viator in his RV-6A – the same airplane Robert used to give me 6.5 hours of transition training. I have now flown my own RV-9A with no issues with either airplane or pilot.”
Dick Van Grunsven, designer of the RV series was similarly delighted. “We’ve always known the RV-9 is an excellent airplane and have enjoyed flying it all over the country. It’s nice to see that 1000 pilots have shared the pleasure.”
Van’s is aware of 9,250 RVs that have flown (although the real number is undoubtedly higher). The RV-9/9A the fifth RV design to exceed 1000 completions.