For days in November, the employees at Van’s Aircraft had been watching the Hobbs meter on the company’s website, waiting for news of the 1,000th RV-9/9A to fly.
On Nov. 20, John “Bert” Bertucci of Prairieville, Louisiana, rang the bell with his new RV-9A.
“I have always wanted a plane of my own, so in June 2013 I purchased an unfinished RV-9A as a retirement project,” Bertucci said. “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.'”
“I flew chase with Robert Viator in his RV-6A — the same airplane Robert used to give me 6.5 hours of transition training,” he continued. “I have now flown my own RV-9A with no issues with either airplane or pilot.”
Dick VanGrunsven, 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 1,000 pilots have shared the pleasure.”
Van’s officials say they are 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 1,000 completions.