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Old 02-12-2020, 04:21 PM
bferrer2000 bferrer2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 12
Question Colorado - Considering Hangar at Rocky Mountain Metro - KBJC


I own an RV-6 with O-360-A1A and 800 engine hours. I have 600 RV-6/tailwheel hours, fly weekly, and my RV-6 is currently hangared at Colorado Air and Space Port KCFO (formerly Front Range Airport/KFTG). Yesterday I was notified by Rocky Mountain Metro (KBJC) that a T-Hangar is available, and it's my turn after being waitlisted for 3 years! The rent is considerably cheaper, and my airport commute would decrease since I live in central Denver, so I'm considering the move.

I have some questions for RV pilots hangared @ KBJC or in the Denver metro area:

* Winter Flying. I believe that the BJC T-hangar is not heated. My RV6 has been in heated hangars, between 33-45 deg F, since 2014 when I brought it to Colorado from Florida. For those storing your RV in un-heated hangars,
What has been your engine pre-heating practice in the winter?
What product or homemade heating devices do you use?
What other feedback or opinions do you have about storing your RV in an unheated hangar and starting up for flight in the cold months?
* Wind Shear. I've heard through off-hand conversations that wind shear is a concern for some pilots of light aircraft at BJC when there are high winds from the West/Northwest. I fly regularly over/through the mountains to the west and avoid doing so when winds aloft exceed 25 Knots. I have experienced very little wind shear at Front Range.
What are your personal minimums when deciding whether to depart from or land at BJC?
Have you experienced dangerous wind shear at BJC?
Have you decided against flying to/from BJC because of PIREPs for wind shear or weather conditions that could result in wind shear? How often?
* Mechanic. I did not build my plane, but I am a "helper" in all maintenance activities so I can learn as well as reduce costs. I'm very happy with my mechanic at Front Range, but if hangared at BJC it could be difficult to fly back to Front Range for mechanical work. Does anybody have a "less expensive" mechanic contact at BJC that they would recommend?

Thank you in advance to anybody who replies to this message. Your feedback is appreciated.

Bryan Ferrer
RV-6 / N2GX
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Old 02-12-2020, 04:26 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 5,313

I keep my 6 in an unheated hanger. I have an inexpensive 200 watt heater stuck to my sump. If I put a blanket over the cowl and sponges in inlets, it will be warm enough in a couple hours and relatively toasty in four hours when around 30F. Colder ambients require more time, but have taken off with ambients as low as -5. I live close to the field, but you can get cellular based switches to activate remotely. I was able to fit two heaters on my 10 and it is ready much faster.

I installed mine during overhaul. You may need to pull your carb/FI in order to get the heater on the sump. Just be sure is is very clean and scuff it.

N64LR - RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
N11LR - RV-10, Flying as of 12/2019

Last edited by lr172 : 02-12-2020 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:40 AM
avrojockey's Avatar
avrojockey avrojockey is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Appleton, WI
Posts: 214

Originally Posted by bferrer2000 View Post
* Winter Flying.
What has been your engine pre-heating practice in the winter?
I live in WI and have an unheated t-hanger. As a new RV owner I have gone through all the threads on preheating. This is what I came up with...

I hooked up a cellular hotspot for $10/month added on to my mobile phone service, and installed the same brand of smart outlet that I have in my house. A few hours before flying I turn it on or set it to automatically turn on at a certain time...which turns on my plugged in sump heater. It brings the oil temps up to 60-70F which somewhat heats the jugs.

Originally Posted by bferrer2000 View Post
What product or homemade heating devices do you use?
I have a sump heater with cowl plugs and a blanket. If I didn't have a sump heater I would get a milk-house heater and fashion some dryer ducting to blow up from the cowling exit. This is the type of unit I would get - it has a tip-over shutoff switch for safety and a metal case with which you can screw ducting adapters to...

Originally Posted by bferrer2000 View Post
What other feedback or opinions do you have about storing your RV in an unheated hangar and starting up for flight in the cold months?
I go by Mike Busch's guidelines...unless preheat is unavailable no cold starts below 32F, and no cold starts without preheat below 20F...which is the guideline Cessna uses. Mike says below 32 is a misdemeanor, and below 20 a felony with regards to engine damage.
Tim Holmes
Appleton, WI
RV-9A N904DC
2019/2020 Dues Paid
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:07 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 3,951
Default Colorado RVs

I manage a Google Group in Colorado. There are about 35 of us. If you would like to join, send me an e-mail from a Google G-mail account.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/03/2019, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
HS SB, empennage, tanks, wings, fuse, working finishing kit
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:10 AM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 140

I did all my training at KBJC (private, multiengine, IFR) and still am part of a flight school there (they have about 20 planes) where I stay current while I rivet away. The flight school (McAir) also has a full-motion sim, in case you need to do any instrument currency work. They can configure it for C172s (steam or glass) or Seminoles.

KBJC is generally pretty good, except during afternoons in July and August where there are t-storms pretty much every day for about 45 minutes.

There is a pass in the mountains about 15-20 miles away that funnels the wind in one direction which is generally aligned with the two main parallel runways.

The field does sit on a bit of a mesa. Wind sheer is an issue, as is a distinct "sink" just before the threshold for 30R/L. Under the right conditions, you can lose 100 feet pretty quickly.

There are golf courses or open space on three sides of the airport. 30R/L are used about 90% of the time - engine out you turn about 20 degrees left and you have literally miles of flat farm land to land on. Dense population to the right of the field.

Crosswind gusts are moderately common, especially in the winter. I was doing touch and go laps in a C172S last weekend with 10 knots at 80 degrees off the nose. Crabbing pretty hard - that's about as much as I would want to do in that plane.

There is a very rarely used cross runway (3 - 21) that the controllers can open up if you need it. The only time I ever used it was during my private test when the tester called for it to force me into a crosswind (the wind was right down the line on the main runways). I've seen people in training or early solos go missed a few times and get switched over when they need it.

Both runways are very, very long and 30R is plenty wide. So, if you find yourself fighting sheer or you float, you have all day to straighten out and drift down.

There are a few commercial flights, lots of corporate jets, several flight schools, and some other interesting stuff - like NOAA's C130. Always something interesting on the flight line.

KBJC trains a lot of controllers. So, ATC is a bit hit or miss. When you get the regulars, they are terrific. Very clear, very organized. It's the new voices that worry me - they tend to get overwhelmed on busy days and often have to be relieved by the old hands.

If you want to know anything else, PM me!
RV-10 build blog --
Tail finished March 2020
Wings finished July 2020
Fuselage joined to tailcone on July 19, 2020

N1814T reserved with FAA
Donated through 12/31/2020, EAA and AOPA member

When it absolutely, positively doesn't matter when or if it ever gets there, ship with Old Dominion.
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Old 02-13-2020, 12:00 PM
Christopher Murphy Christopher Murphy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: colorado
Posts: 873
Default Pre heat

Im on the front range.

If the temp in the hangar has been below 40F I pre heat. I use a small 1500 watt ceramic heater that I installed a galvanized stove pipe duct set up that pumps warm air into the bottom cowl outlet. The duct is long enough that the air cools to a safe temp. Been in use for 20years now.

I doubt a Lyc carbed engine would start at 32F

RV-4 "Mr. Twister"
Pitts S1S "Mexican Red" sold and missed
Mr. Twister Airshows
Rocky Mountain Renegades
the mission... have fun.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:22 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,440

I'm at Vance Brand at Longmont, just a bit north. I use an oil pan preheater below freezing. I run multigrade oil year around. Although it's a C180 instead of an RV, I haven't had any problems.

For an A&P, send me an email (click on my username and choose email) with your contact info and I'll forward that to my A&P/AI. He's good.

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