Joe Zuffoletto

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Joe Zuffoletto last won the day on March 20

Joe Zuffoletto had the most liked content!

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About Joe Zuffoletto

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    Won't Leave!
  • Birthday 05/06/1964

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  • Location
    Denver, CO
  • Interests
    Flying, photography, computers, drumming
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  • Model
    M20TN Acclaim Type S

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  1. RV-8 PIREP

    I know of the Thorp, but I’ve never flown one.
  2. RV-8 PIREP

    I love this idea!
  3. RV-8 PIREP

    Don't buy an 8 if you want to fly passengers. The back seat is very cramped. I only bought mine because I knew I would be flying it solo.
  4. RV-8 PIREP

    I've done a lot of rolling around and I've not noticed the buffet you mention.
  5. RV-8 PIREP

    Mine is a Todd's canopy, and Todd passed a couple years ago, so I'm sure it's the same person.
  6. RV-8 PIREP

    Anthony, No turbines in my future. I’ll retire from flying a piston guy. Don’t have the money or the mission for a turbine. JZ
  7. RV-8 PIREP

    Pitch is strong. It does whatever you want it to do. The ailerons are VERY responsive I’ve never flown a -4, but I imagine they are also fun!
  8. RV-8 PIREP

    After posting my Cirrus PIREP, a couple MS members asked me to provide a PIREP for the RV-8, which I'm more than happy to do. I hope the MS moderators will indulge my posting of this topic, which is decidedly non-Mooney. I've been flying turbo Mooneys for almost 20 years. I owned an M20K Encore from 2000 until 2011, and I traded it for my Acclaim that year, and I've been flying the Acclaim ever since. I absolutely love it, but these planes are meant to be flown long distances high and fast on autopilot, and I was yearning for something that I could hand fly on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours or so, low and fast. I discovered RVs quite by accident. The fellow I bought my Acclaim from had an RV-8 and he took me up in it. I had never heard of them before, but I was hooked. I resolved to buy one someday. Two years later I did. I didn't build my RV; I bought it from the gentleman who did. He did a professional builder assist and spared no expense. He sold me an exceptional airplane. RVs spoke to me for many of the same reasons Mooneys did. They are stone simple and very well engineered. The ailerons and elevator employ push rods. The rudder is driven by cables. Control feel in pitch, bank and yaw is solid and very responsive. Not to mention reliable. My RV-8 is a taildragger. I didn't even have a tailwheel endorsement when I bought it, but I got that done and solved that problem. On to the PIREP. My RV-8 is a joy to fly. It is small, light, overpowered, and simply a blast. It has the Lycoming O-360 A1A engine (180 hp), and a constant speed prop. Empty weight is 1,165 lbs. Very light. My first airplane was a 1980 Piper Archer II with pretty much the same engine, and it weighed more than twice as much. BOARDING You, and maybe your passenger, climb up on the wing, then lower yourselves into the seats. And then you fasten your five-point Hooker harnesses. You pretty much strap the airplane on. TAXIING It's a taildragger, so you have to be quick on your feet, especially in gusty conditions. But it doesn't take long to master. Its ground handling characteristics are very docile. TAKEOFF Line up, put the stick in neutral position, and give her the guns. After about 600 feet or so the tail will rise, and the plane will fly very soon after that. CLIMBOUT Full throttle, pull the stick full aft, and it climbs like a bat out of hell. 1,500fpm at Denver Centennial, 5,800' MSL. CRUISE My plane has elevator and aileron trim. Doesn't take much to trim the airplane. Mine flies straight and, true. AUTOPILOT It has one, but I never use it. Too much fun to hand fly. FLYING What I love about the RV is that it's a very light touch aircraft. I put my thumb and two fingers on the stick and that's all it needs. Think about where you want to go, move the stick gently in that direction, and off you go. I love the bubble canopy. Visibility is amazing. AEROBATICS I've not done any except for aileron rolls (very easy), because I haven't gotten around to have training yet. My RV doesn't have an inverted oil system, so if and when I learn aerobatics I can only do positive-G maneuvers. LANDING Most RV-8 pilots will tell you that wheel landings are the way to go, especially on pavement. I agree, and that's the only way I land mine. Wheel landings in this airplane are very easy if you've had the proper instruction. Nothing more satisfying than pulling one off perfectly, which isn't hard to do after a little bit of practice. Three-pointers are difficult on pavement because the flaps block airflow to the elevators, which stalls the tailwheel and leads to a hobby horse landing. I've heard that it's no problem on grass, but I've never tried that. CONCLUSION The RV-8 is an amazing airplane, one that all Mooney pilots would love. Great looks, great flying, great engineering. I feel very fortunate to have one. Cheers, JZ
  9. I finally flew a Cirrus for the first time....

    I hand flew my Acclaim today and can unequivocally state that it is much more responsive and user friendly in the controls than the Cirrus. I'm glad I had the opportunity to fly the Cirrus. It was a great learning experience.
  10. I finally flew a Cirrus for the first time....

    Thanks, Seth. It wasn’t my intention to badmouth Cirrus. I just wanted to report what I experienced.
  11. Last night I got my BFR/IPC in a WAAS G1000 equipped, 2013 Cirrus SR20, because I'm in Denver and my Mooney is in California. I've ridden right seat in a Cirrus before but I've never flown one, so the thrill of getting my checkouts done in an unfamiliar aircraft - at night - was also thrown into the mix. This was a heavily used flying club aircraft, so the interior was pretty beat up for only being 5 years old. It reminded me of how incredibly fortunate I am to own my own planes. I strapped in and definitely noticed the more upright seating position, which we're all aware of. It's definitely a comfortable airplane. My instructor and I were separated by almost a foot, but he's a skinny 21-year-old kid. I like the 5-point harness (as I do in my RV) because it keeps you from cracking your head on the ceiling when the ride gets rough. We were cleared to taxi to KAPA 35R, which is - no joke - a 2-mile road trip from where the plane was hangared. Making this taxi in my Mooney or RV is a breeze, but in the Cirrus it was exhausting. I've flown many planes with free-castering nosewheels, but the ground handling of this Cirrus was atrocious. The feel of the rudder pedals was extremely heavy. I struggled to keep it going in a straight line, but I figured out that if you taxi faster you get a little bit of rudder authority and it gets easier. Now I know why Cirrus pilots taxi so fast. The takeoff roll was much easier to manage and the plane accelerated briskly. I liked the combined throttle/prop control. The side stick was immediately comfortable to me - I wish my Acclaim had them. Once in the air, though, I realized that I didn't like the control feel at all. Maneuvering the airplane with the side stick took a lot more force than I would have expected, mostly in roll, and although I made several trim adjustments, it just never felt like it was quite in trim (even when it was). I think side sticks and push rods would be a much better combo. Once we leveled off in cruise, I engaged the autopilot, and the plane became docile and basically a slower version of my Mooney. We headed to Front Range to fly our first two approaches. We started with the ILS RWY 35, which we flew on autopilot (part of the point of an IPC with the G1000 is making sure your buttonology for flying coupled approaches is correct). That approach went perfectly, and then we went missed and got vectored back around for the RNAV/GPS RWY 35. We requested the course reversal on this approach, which is a holding pattern, and flew that portion on autopilot. Then we disengaged the autopilot and I flew the remainder of the LPV approach by hand. It was easy to track the glideslope and the approach went perfectly, but my forearm was getting tired from manipulating the sidestick! Once again we went missed and got vectors back for the ILS RW 35R at Centennial. I flew the entire remainder of the flight by hand. We decided to approach to circle-and-land minimums, then did a sidestep to 35L. I flew a very stabilized approach and much to my surprise I totally stuck the landing. Overall I thought the Cirrus was just OK. I did not at all expect the poor ground handling characteristics and heaviness of the controls, but I was able to fly IFR approaches at night smoothly and confidently in spite of this. The single throttle control is nice, but at the end of the day it doesn't reduce your workload that much. I have to think that a newer, owner-flown model handles much more smoothly and easily, but I doubt I'll ever have the opportunity to fly one. In any case, just thought I'd share my experience with everyone, and I hope to hear from others who've flown them.
  12. looking to travel west

    Just fly. If you have good judgement and reasonable skills you’ll be fine.
  13. looking to travel west

    These flights are more than doable. Years ago I flew an Archer II from Napa to Minneapolis VFR roughly via Idaho Falls, Jackson, WY, Sheridan, WY and then on east. Only had to top 10,000' once, to cross the Tetons, but I could have even avoided that if I wanted to.
  14. Denver Post Airport Article

    Yes, it did. Previously it showed a Mooney on climb-out.
  15. Stopped by the Mooney factory today.

    I've got to get back down there. I last visited in 2004.