1983 Vans RV-4 / 126RV

First Flight: 6/18/1983 by A&P Bob Olds
Annual Due: 06/2020
Location: HFY in Greenwood, IN []

Price: $24,000

Email: natenelson(dot)cfi(at)gmail(dot)com
Phone: (317) 886-0382

Note: This is my google voice number to cut down on spammers; email is preferred. Vague email or text messages will not be responded to or will be directed straight back to this site.

Engine: Lycoming 0-320-e2g / 150hp
Prop: Props Inc, 68×68, static RPM 2250

Engine Logs (PDF, 10MB):

Airframe Logs (PDF, 6MB):

Weight & Balance (PDF):

Operating Limitations (PDF):

Performance #’s: 85° mid-west summer day @ 2k MSL WOT results in 2550 RPM & 160MPH indicated (original wheel pants available but need re-fitted) / 350° CHT [single probe on cyl 4] / 1400 EGT / 210° oil temp / oil pressure starts ~80 and settles 70-72 PSI in cruise. Cover oil cooler w/aluminium tape to keep temps up in the winter; generally don’t fly under 30° ambient resulting in 160° oil temps. On a hot days (high 80’s & 90’s) I’ll level off at 1k AGL to keep CHT under 400° for a few minutes; from there, the ‘heat soak’ from departure is dissipated and I don’t have any climb restrictions that I’ve self imposed–the plane is well baffled and I get consistent figures.

TTAF: 1780
TTE: 1990
SMOH: 1500

Empty WT: 1019 lbs

More Pictures:
Note: My ignorance had lead me to initially hang the American flag incorrectly and has since been corrected.

General Notes:

  • Re-painted 1994.
  • Slosh removed from left tank 2010; nothing in logs about right tank but NO slosh present.
  • Elevator skins replaced w/0.20 gauge and presently unpainted.
  • Current configuration for passenger is stick only
  • Inverted fuel (flop tube left tank/Ellison TBI) and oil (Christen).
  • Reiff preheat (x2 100w oil sump strips) since 2013
  • Vinces ‘Screaming Eagle’ tailwheel assy / 2014
  • Prop refinished (by builder @ Props Inc) /2014
  • Ellison TBI overhauled by Ellison /2014.
  • New slick mags / 2017.
  • Cowl hinges were starting to zipper pretty bad and began repairs this spring (original halves that were still good remain the old “rolled” hinge). / 2018
  • Wheel pants available, need glass work and re-fitted
  • Canopy & Prop Cover

Transponder needs an inspection if your mission requires you fly in controlled airspace. Manifold pressure gauge INOP (originally plumbed to #4). Electric Turn Coordinator INOP. Intercom INOP (passes through to radio without issue; I fly solo 99% of the time). A solid old build that’s ready for a panel that fits your mission. Mine has always been fun VFR days to toss myself around with some gentleman’s aerobatics, so I’ve not thrown money at anything panel related until I was ready to go all the way.

Fly Before You Buy–

  1. Open Pilot Clause: 500 total logged flying hours, including at least 100 hours in aircraft having conventional landing gear, of which not less than 25 hours shall have been in a Van’s conventional gear aircraft.
  2. Bring a check: We exchange check for keys; if you decide not to proceed after flying then you get the check back.

Why I’m Selling:

I took a leap of faith and started my own business with a few of my close colleagues in the fall of 2018. It’s going better than expected but due to the potential for the next few years to be a financially tumultuous period, I find it irresponsible to continue being the sole owner of an RV-4 I’ve enjoyed since 2013. As a result, I’m offering it up for sale to the right buyer.

My original plan has been to fly it until it needs the high dollar FWF treatment and then restore but it’s been >250/hrs and ~6 years and hasn’t given me any reason to pull a cylinder. Oil consumption and compression have remained consistent.

This aircraft was built by A&P Bob Olds, his first of two RV-4’s and who is most notable for creating many of the early RV landing light systems. The aircraft does have a damage history from early in it’s life–Bob enjoyed going in and out of unimproved fields. He experienced a prop striking dirt that ~20/hrs later resulted him performing the MOH in 1985. He was later experimenting with a new design of controllable pitch prop for RV-4 applicability that, on the third flight, a blade separated on take off. The engine was secured but a hard landing resulted in a broken engine mount at the gear attach points, firewall torn at mount attach, both wings dented by taxi lights. If it sounds like I’m reading from the logs–I am. All repairs made 1988-90 by Bob, updating weldments, etc. all per newsletters at the time. Aircraft was returned to service by Bob, who did 4/hrs of flight testing, aerobatics up to +4/-2. It’s been 30 or so years since any of that–it doesn’t bother me but might others which is why I state it freely.

All this to say–this is not some pristine RV built in the past 10 years with modern techniques and the internet/VAF as a resource. It’s serial number 126 and was reportedly the 8th -4 to fly. This is a 36 year old airframe with numerous cosmetic deficiencies. I’ve attempted to represent the aircraft as true as possible by providing all logs, documentation, and pictures of all sorts. To me, the right buyer is one that understands cosmetics can be fixed and would enjoy the ability to fly now and tinker/restore on their schedule. As with all things in life, price is negotiable–within reason.

Original plans available; numerous receipts from both myself and previous owners. I’ll tell you whatever I know or can know because it’s just the way I operate, so ask away. If I don’t know an answer, I’ll try and find it. I’ve included tons of detail to give a clear representation of the aircraft and am happy to answer questions for serious buyers but please, don’t waste my time if you aren’t in the market to buy.

Above is my ‘open pilot’ clause–if you got the time, I’ll give you the keys and go have fun. Otherwise, you’ll have to come with a check to trade for the keys–if you decide against the deal, you get the check back. Bring your own mechanic or I can put you in touch with the shop whom have done all my CI’s and supervised owner assisted work.