Here are some thoughts from those who have flown with Alex


From a builder:

I am a full-time professional pilot with over 9500 hours.  I recently finished my RV-7.  I have over 300 hours tailwheel time and nearly 200 hours aerobatic time including competition, (not recent), and had zero RV-7 time, so I took training from Alex in his 7 prior to my first flight.  Engine made full power long enough to get me a few hundred feet up.  Shortly after takeoff on my first flight, the engine began to lose power, then stopped. I made a forced landing under complete control in the grass, off the runway.  I had to ground loop the airplane intentionally to prevent further damage from an upcoming drainage berm, and a busy road beyond.  Damage was limited to my aircraft, and there were no injuries.  Despite my background, the outcome might have been very different had I not received training prior to my first flight.  From the time engine power began to decrease precipitously until touchdown was about 20 seconds, so you see I had very little time for troubleshooting and planning my approach.  The flight was less than 2 minutes long.  Since I know there will be questions: Yes, EAA technical counselors had been out to look at the airplane several times, with very high praise of the build quality.  The airworthiness inspector commented that my aircraft was “immaculate”, and was one of the easiest inspections (of hundreds) that he had done.  The inspector did not direct any corrective actions.  I did not build the engine, but I did install it.  All manufacturer recommendations for all component installation and testing were complied with.  All ground runs and tests were successful, including the runup prior to the flight.  There was plenty of fuel in the tanks, and it was of the right type, and not contaminated.  The fuel tank vent lines are clear and pass air freely.  The fuel selector was on the right fuel tank (the non-aerobatic tank).  There is the correct amount and type of oil in the engine.  Black box data shows normal oil pressure, oil temperature, CHT and fuel pressure for the flight, so the engine driven pump had not failed.  That’s all I will say for now, as my investigation is ongoing.  I want to emphasize if you are building:  Unless you have recent experience in the type aircraft you are building, get some transition training, even if your insurance company does not require it.  It’s not cheap, but it may save your life.  The RV-7 is not a difficult airplane to fly, but it is RESPONSIVE.  It does not fly like any GA plane you may have flown.  The pitch stability and g-load per stick force is markedly less than GA airplanes, including some aerobatic airplanes like the Super Decathlon.  You don’t want to learn about this for the first time with only 20 seconds to touchdown.

Name Withheld


Hi Alex

Just like to add my comments on the superb transition training that I received last week!
I have over 20,000 flight hours logged, mainly heavy metal, which in no way prepared me to fly an RV!I have also flown about 12 other light a/c types from Cessna's and Piper's to Diamondstar diesel and some taildraggers.Usually after an hour or so flying I felt fairly confidant and competent to fly them. My attempts to land an RV were a disaster.
I could not achieve any level of consistency and I never felt in control of the aircraft. I was beginning to think I had built the wrong aircraft! After each landing I felt I had got away with it again, and wondered how long it would be before I damaged the aircraft or myself. It is a long way to go from the UK to Dallas but after the first hour of your training I knew the journey was worthwhile. My first landing doing it the "Alex way" was my best to date! After a few more hours in the pattern I was thoroughly enjoying my flying again.
I would recommend all new RV pilots to get transition training from an instructor who specialises in RV's and can teach the proper technique!
Flown correctly the RV is an outstanding airplane.
Thank you again

 Alan Weal 

Hello from Maine,

I recently completed construction of my RV6 project (builder #60005)  
N103PE (see attached photos) after many years, a lot of patience, and  
2 home moves.  Thanks to my wife, Pat for her support and to George  
and Becki Orndorff for their great help in finishing the project, I  
flew the airplane from Justin, TX to Auburn, ME on November 26-27,  
2006.  An important ingredient in the successful and amazingly fun  
trip home was the transition training provided by Alex De Dominicis.  
Alex spent 10 hours with me in his RV6, carefully explaining the  
unique qualities of the airplane.  When I lifted off in N103PE for  
the first time, thanks to Alex, I felt comfortable and confident in  
my new airplane.  I've flown with many good instructors, but I  
believe Alex's gift for transferring his considerable skill and  
knowledge of flying is unique.  In addition to those qualities, Alex  
is a great guy, with lots of patience and a sense of humor, essential  
characteristics when teaching critical skills.  If anyone has doubts  
about the value of Alex's transition training, please feel free to  
invite them to contact me.  I'm a believer!

Best Regards,

Ernie Horan
Topsham, ME


Alex,  I just arrived home from the training we did today.  I really appreciate your approach to instruction.  I intentionally did not tell you today that I am a CFII for two reasons.  The first was that I did not want to influence your evaluation of my flying (being a CFI means that I am suppose to be able to teach not necessarily be an ace pilot!).   The second was that if I did perform poorly I did not want to be doubly embarrassed.  I have taken a lot of flight training and given some too.  In my experience with flight instructors I would put you up at the top. 

I really appreciate the way you look at the safety of the flight.  Upon completion of the training I feel perfectly comfortable flying an RV-6 or RV-6A (I am building a 6A as you know).  We both realize that flying is a continuous learning process.  Your instruction was an excellent transition from the world of Cessna flying to the world of RV flying.  I appreciate the clarity of instruction and the good judgment you displayed. 

I highly recommend your transition training. 

George V. Goff

COL, USA (Ret)


"The time I spent with Alex was well worth the effort to travel to his location.

His experience with RV's as well as his patience and training methods most

certainly are responsible for my increased comfort level for my first RV-8 flight."

Val Kozak



Dayton, OH


I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I flew my RV-7 yesterday.  The flight was uneventful except that while I was doing my low speed runs at altitude the fuse blew on my flaps.  I had to descend and fly the pattern with 40 degrees of flaps.  It was a non event with the training that you gave me.

If I had not done the training with you I'd have messed that landing up for sure. I'm glad I made the drive up Friday to get that extra hour and a half.  I think it made all the difference in the world.  I swear I could hear you in my headset saying "Keep it right there, Keep it there, stick back, stick back."  Thank you for your patience with me and I can't stress enough how valuable it was.

I also wanted to let you know that I managed to save around $600 on my insurance because I had 6 hours of transition training.  That seemed to carry a lot of weight with the underwriter, especially since I have so little tail wheel time.

Thanks again!!!


Phil Birkelbach - Houston Texas

RV-7 N727WB - Phase I


"After the purchase of a RV-6 aircraft it became very obvious to me that as a first step I needed to obtain accurate and safe transition training. Since there are only a few flying RV-aircraft in Switzerland there is no professional flight training available. As a regular visitor of Doug Reeve's internet page I became aware of the possibility of getting transition training in the United States. With the help of a good friend, Martin Sutter of Granbury who himself owns a RV-6 and has over two thousand hours of flight experience in his RV, I decided to book transition training with Alex. Alex took care of me with great dedication and patience and he offered me a unforgetable flight training. The main focus on my training was on pattern works and landings. Alex led me gradually to this point. I am very satisfied with what I achieved. It has been absolutely the right decision to take professional flight training with an expert. Now I am feelind very comfrotable when I enjoy fliying my RV. I can recommned Alex for transition training. Many thanks for all. I had a great time with you."

Kind regards from Goldach
Adrian Battanta


Hello Alex,

We've finished our testing, now have 42 hrs on the plane and expect to be at LOE this weekend.  Currently working on a few squawks that should be taken care of quickly.  The most time consuming was dialing in the idle mixture on the AFP fuel injection.  We would make one adjustment per day and see how it went.  Currently doing pretty well.

 The training I took with you was absolutely invaluable.  I just kept thinking to myself "this is going to be just like flying with Alex".  And it was, except for a heavy left wing...  I couldn't have done it without your help.  Converting my training in your -6 to our -6A was a piece of cake.  My very first landing was a good one (I even have witnesses), as have been the majority since then.

 Deciding on the first flight was a little tricky.  Both of us wanted to do it, but Brian had a family decision and he only had one vote there.  So I got to be the lucky one.

 Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.

 Ken Alix



I found your web page, nice.  I don’t know if you would remember me or not, my wife and I drove down from Tulsa, OK for that one intense day of transition/ Taildragger endorsement.  Anyway, just wanted to say thanks and I’m still flying with no incidents.

Christopher Bradley


From Ken Alix  and Brian Musson

I’m 100% convinced that the training was necessary and useful.  Aside from a piper arrow with closed throttle, nothing else I’ve flown seems to come close to the descent rate and overall feeling of coming down that fast in a pattern.

The other thing that both Ken and I commented on was the pitch/climb rate.  I had partially forgotten how steep the RV climbs.  I had a hard time keeping to 90 knots on the initial climb out.  Kept speeding up because it felt too steep!

Thinking back, I didn’t feel many differences (aside from the landing roll out) between your -6 and our -6A.  Very similar control feel.  Very similar takeoff/landings.

I’m quite certain that without your transition training, my landing would have either been very stressful, or very bad, or both!




I am thoroughly enjoying my RV-6. My wife and I just returned from a trip to California. Everything worked well, but there were some challenging weather conditions including strong surface winds. I am grateful for your excellent instruction that included plenty of practice in cross-wind takeoffs and landings.

 Although I have been a flight instructor for many years, I didn't have any experience in RV's before flying with you. Completion of your program provided the experience and confidence to feel safe in continuing to learn on my own. I consider it to be an excellent investment, and encourage others to obtain thorough transition training before flying their own RV's.

 You provide a valuable service to the RV community. I have certainly benefited from flying with you, and look forward to returning for recurrent training.

 Thank you.

 Bob Kennedy


 "I recently went through the RV transition program with Alex De Dominicis.  My RV7 is nearing completion and a requiremement of my insurance company is that I participate in a program like this.  I had no previous time in an RV before this program, so had very little idea what the experience would be like.

 I arrived on a Tuesday afternoon and we started immediately with a flight, in anticipation of poor weather the next couple of days.  Alex's approach is to let you begin getting comfortable with the airplane through basic maneuvers.  Over the next couple of days, we worked on getting the feel of the airplane.  We performed steep turns, stalls, slow flight, and emergency procedures.  We also worked extensively on takeoffs and landings.

 Alex also gave a great overview of the proper engine management for the RV.  Our airplanes are very similar, so this will be especially helpful.  I am installing a Trutrak autopilot in my plane, so he gave me a great overview of the capabilities.  Alex also handled the communication and navigation responsibilities, which let me focus on flying the airplane.

 While this program was a requirement of the insurance company, I can't tell you how pleased I am that I took the time to go through this.  I feel confident that I can safely handle the airplane through the initial flights.  I would highly recommend that all builders consider a program such as this.

 Best Regards......John Jordan



Oshkosh trip 2004

picture taken by Ron Grover