Go Flying Australia Podcast 027 – Experimental Aircraft Ownership with Mark Newton

Summary: Have you ever dreamed of owning your own aircraft? You have probably thought about owning a recreational or certified General Aviation aircraft but have you ever considered buying an Experimental Amateur Built (EAB) aircraft? To find out more about these awesome aircraft today on the show I’m talking with Mark Newton who provides some insights what’s it like to buy and own a Vans RV-6.

Click here to Subscribe via Itunes

Click here to learn how to subscribe using an Android Device

Marks Vans RV-6 – Mark talks about buying his Vans RV-6 from a Farmer who built the aircraft in Western Australia, it’s a two seat light aircraft and cruises at 140 knots IAS.  It can carry two people, full fuel and 25 kgs of baggage.

Buying an Experimental Aircraft – Marks notes you need to be aware that each EAB aircraft is unique as builders can make changes from the plans during the build.  You will need some knowledge of how aircraft work or you need to bring along someone with knowledge such as a member of the SAAA or a LAME.  Mark notes that almost all EAB aircraft are built generally to a high standard.


Engine choices – There are all kinds of options but almost all RV’s have Lycoming engines.   Marks RV-6 has an O-320 (second run engine) but some builders make the choice to use a non aviation engine such as a Subaru engine (with mixed results).

Avionics – In EAB you can generally use any avionics that you choose but if you intend to use it for Night VFR or IFR there may be more stringent CASA regulations.  The non certified glass cockpits can be a lot cheaper and can be superior in functionality.

Maintenance – Same as certified world except where you are the builder, part of doing the build means that you can authorise you to do your own maintenance release as long as you know what you’re doing.  Owning and maintaining your aircraft requires you to develop and maintain the skills for the specific sub-system that you want to maintain.

Unusual expenses – Mark notes that his first Annual on the aircraft was expensive due to various components being near their life limits.  Mark notes that an RV is a relatively simple aircraft to maintain as opposed to older certified aircraft.

Speed and controls in RV’s – You will need to think ahead of the aircraft due to the speed and the controls are generally more sensitive than other comparable aircraft

RV being a tailwheel – Mark notes that the RV-6 is fairly well-behaved in a crosswind.

Gliding – Mark notes that you can find all of the gliding club locations on the Gliding Website.  All of the instructors are volunteers.

Final 3 questions

If cost was not a factor what aircraft would you buy?

Nemesis NXT


Photo credit: Alan Radecki

If you could fly with a famous pilot who would that be?

The Wright Brothers

Whats your favourite aviation phrase?


‘Better to be on the ground wishing you were up there than in the air wishing you were on the ground’




Sport Aircraft Association Australia