By Ed Wischmeyer
One of my definitions of “rich” is not having to take the airlines. So, trying to be rich, I reserved a cottage in Arizona for the month of May to help determine if I wanted to retire there. I then loaded the RV-9A to the gills and set off on a planned three-day trip from Savannah. Six days later, I arrived, thanks to embedded severe thunderstorms, low IFR, and high winds. Not to be deterred, I decided to fly myself home rather than trade the RV-9A in on something faster, like a unicycle. I set off on the three-day trip and got home, you guessed it, six days later.
The RV-9A was adequate for this trip, but barely big enough. I had a cardboard box in the right seat that held the oxygen bottle (O2 significantly increases my tolerance for turbulence), snacks, and everything heavy that I wanted to keep out of the baggage compartment to keep the c.g. under control. Part of the problem was that with a bar across the fuselage, shoulder height, right behind the seat backs, it’s extremely clumsy to access the baggage compartment in flight, so the right seat got converted to in-flight-accessible storage space.