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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedBreaking in an RV-10 Brazilian Style
By Steve Schapiro
 

Brazilian Airteam celebrates arrival to EAA AirVenture. Pictured here left to right are Victor Yancovitz, Ricardo Stipp, Antonio Nallin, Jairo Yancovitz, Paulo Pizzato, Diogo Luz, Roberto Aparecido Rodrigues de Brito and Raul Federico Fernandez del Pino. Photo courtesy The Brazilian Air Team

What's the first thing you would do if you just took delivery of a brand new airplane? If you said you were flying it to Oshkosh, no pilot would be surprised.

That is until you mention the flight would cover more than 5,500 nautical miles over the grasslands of Brazil, the Caribbean Ocean, and the trailing edge of a tropical storm.

Well, that is exactly what Ricardo Stipp did with his RV-10. He is one of eight pilots calling themselves the Brazilian Airteam that flew three RV-10s from Sao Paolo to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2010.

Planning for the trip began on the drive from Oshkosh to Chicago after AirVenture 2009.

Victor Yancovitz, EAA #1025067, and his father Jairo, attended last year with Roberto Aparecido Rodrigues de Brito ("Beto") and his son.

"Can you imagine coming next year in our own plane?" Victor asked his father.

At the time, Jairo and his friend Antonio Nallin, who claims to be "the most beautiful pilot in Brazil," (it's a matter of opinion) were expecting delivery of two RV-10s that were being assembled at a Vans plant in Brazil.

"The first thing we did when we got back to Brazil was to select good people to come with us," said Victor.

In addition to Victor, Jairo, Beto and Nallin (several of the team members prefer to be called by their last names), the pilots recruited their friends Diogo Luz, Paulo Pizzato, Raul Federico Fernandez del Pino, and Ricardo Stipp.

Before attending AirVenture 2010, only two of the eight were EAA members, but the other six joined after they arrived in Oshkosh.

All eight men are pilots and have known each other for years, often flying together on small trips.

Planning ahead
Planning began in earnest about five months ago. The group met every two to three weeks to go over their preparations.

Pizzato, a former airline and corporate pilot with more than 23,000 hours, was responsible for the flight plan. Victor, a 20-year CFI, handled the paperwork necessary to land in four different countries.

he aircraft didn't have any special modifications-other than auxiliary tanks.

One RV-10 was built with extended range tanks, which hold 85 gallons of fuel. The other two aircraft hold the standard 60 gallons fuel and another 30 gallons in the aux tanks.

In addition to flying Jairo and Nallin's planes, the plan was to fly Roberto's RV-10. But it wasn't ready yet, so Ricardo agreed to fly his. He took delivery one week before the trip and he and Victor spent 12 to 13 hours flight testing the plane to make sure it would perform.

The flight took about 33 hours of flying time over five days. The group departed Sao Paolo on Monday, July 19 enroute to Gurupi in the middle of Brazil and then went on to Belem. Pizzato chose a route over grasslands and plantations to avoid flying over the Amazon rain forest.

Day two took the RV-10s from Belem in northern Brazil to French Guyana and then to the island of Grenada.

"Everything went fine, there were clear skies all the way," said Victor.

Day three is where the trip began to get interesting.

The plan was to fly to St. Martin, but they chose to fly a little farther and land in St. Thomas. Although, it was listed as an alternate landing site, U.S. Customs didn't get the paperwork, so the group spent some time working things out.

The red tape turned out to be the easiest part of the day.

Stormy weather, undampened determination, success
On the next leg, from St. Thomas to Turks and Caicos, the group caught up with the tail of Tropical Storm Bonnie.

Those 15 minutes as they descended to Providenciales were the most difficult of the trip as they flew through solid IFR conditions, landing in a driving rain, a 400 foot ceiling, low visibility-and a 30-knot crosswind.

After spending a day in Turks and Caicos, the group continued without Pizzato. He holds an Italian passport and may land in the United States without a visa if he flies commercially, but needs a visa if he enters the country in a general aviation aircraft.

So he flew American Airlines to Miami and then was forced to take a 3-hour Greyhound bus ride to Ft. Pierce to meet the group, as the airport didn't have any rental cars available.

Once the Brazilian Airteam was reunited, they continued to Terre Haute, Indiana, where they spent the night before completing their journey to Oshkosh on Saturday, July 24.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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