Flying the RDD LX7


I get to fly a lot of different airplanes in my chosen career. There aren’t many airplanes that I take off in, then say “Wow,” and have a big smile on my face. The RDD LX7 was definitely one of those.

I wrote about the RDD LX7 in the past, bragging about everything I read about it. The blogs all advertised 250 KTAS and 17 GPH and FL250, all of which are eye popping numbers.

Lo and behold, those numbers are true.

I got to go up to RDD’s Redmond, Oregon facility in April 2021 to get my initial training in the RDD LX7 and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. The 3 screen G3X Touch layout is very impressive and not crowded like I thought it would be. Being familiar with the G500TXi, there are some G3X specifics that take a little getting used to, but overall, it’s a good system. The main GPS and number 1 radio is a GTN 750Xi.

We took off from RDM and proceeded to climb at 140 KIAS, which equated to 2,000 FPM. We only had half tanks (which is still 90 gallons of fuel!), but it climbed with no problem. It’s extremely responsive as I learned while doing the basic flight maneuvers. The stall speed of the airplane (the biggest problem with the Lancair 4P, the airframe that the RDD LX7 is derived from, was the terrible wing design and extremely high stall speed), was in the low 60s or high 50s, with the stall being extremely docile.

The airplane handled very similarly to a Columbia 400, but seemed even more responsive. The glide ratio isn’t as good as some, but it’s still better than a Cirrus (plus it still has a BRS system to boot).

The big test was the flight to San Antonio from Redmond to bring the plane home. The new owner and I departed RDM with the tanks full of Avgas (180 gallons), then got up to a cruise altitude of FL210. After setting power and leaning, the numbers came out true to spec: 252 KTAS, 17.5 GPH.

The greatest part? We stopped in Santa Fe to stretch our legs and we didn’t need fuel. We still had 100 gallons left! That left us plenty to get to San Antonio with 40-50 gallons left over. Another RDD LX7 owner flew his piston direct from Redmond, OR to Jacksonville, FL, non-stop. It was over 9 hours. That’s impressive.

You can’t beat the purchase price, either. A new Cirrus SR22T runs a little north of $1.2m. A piston engine LX7, that is pressurized, 70 KTAS faster with a much longer range, and still has a BRS, is between $850,000-$900,000. An LX7 starts to make a whole lot of sense when you weigh all that. There is also a PT6 option with several different sizes and horsepowers to choose from, which costs more, but you see 300 KTAS.

To learn more about the RDD LX7, check out the company’s website: RDD LX7.

2022 Texas Top Aviation Fly In is in the Books!


Thank you to everyone who made the 2022 Texas Top Aviation Fly In at the Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder Resort a success!

We had 22 attendees and 12 airplanes make it out to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico for the week.

After 2 days of very competitive golf, Chris Travland was our 2022 Texas Top Aviation Fly In Golf Tournament Champion.

While you are out in Santa Fe on your next trip, go check out the Rancho de Chimaya restaurant. It was excellent and a true New Mexican experience.

Mark your calendars for the 2023 Texas Top Aviation Dallas Fly In at the Westin Stonebriar Resort in Frisco, TX. McKinney National Airport (KTKI) will be our host airport. The event will be April 12th-April 14th, 2023. Hope to see you all there!

The Aviation Insurance Landscape


This is a re-post from Assured Partners Aerospace’s 2nd quarter Newsletter. The full newsletter can be found on Assured Partners website.

Until the war in Ukraine, the aviation insurance market could be described as “stabilizing” after a couple years of volatility with higher premiums and tighter underwriting. However, and hopefully perhaps only for the short-term, the Ukrainian war immediately brought uncertainty back into the worldwide aviation insurance market. 

According to Business Insurance, “the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represents the biggest potential loss to the aviation war market since 9/11.” One leasing firm alone has reportedly already filed a claim of approximately $3.5B for aircraft and engines they say have effectively been seized by Russia. And, because the aviation insurance arena is so small, what happens around the world at this magnitude can have cascading, detrimental effects on the US aviation insurance market.

In addition, the well-publicized spike in fuel prices could have another cooling effect on aviation operations. Generally, less air activity combined with higher operating costs equates to more frequent requests for reduced coverage, taking premium dollars away from an already-small market.

Aviation insurance buyers should therefore remain on the alert throughout 2022 for potentially quick changes to the aviation insurance marketplace that might affect either their current insurance program or their next renewal.

See our recommended insurance agencies on our Aircraft Acquisitions page.

Introducing…The Aviator’s Academy


Imagine this …

You have plans to fly to an airport 218 miles north for a business meeting. Your window is tight; you have an early morning meeting at your office you can’t miss prior to leaving for the airport. The colleagues you are flying to meet must catch another flight within two hours of your target arrival time. 

You’re comfortable flying in the current weather conditions, but a small southward-moving storm north of your destination might threaten your approach. Additionally, given the time of day, you can expect ATC delays due to vectors and know you’ll have to adjust on the fly.

Are you confident you can make the meeting in time?

If the answer isn’t immediately clear, you’re not alone. Good aeronautical decision making is of utmost importance in the air. External pressures, unexpected challenges, and your level of instrument proficiency are among the many factors to consider when considering an IFR flight. 

While we can’t remove the external pressures or control the weather, we CAN help with instrument proficiency!

Introducing … The Aviator’s Academy – advanced online pilot training. 

During my time training hundreds of capable and competent pilots at Texas Top Aviation, my most common observation with seasoned and rookie pilots alike is that the pilot is often aware of knowledge gaps with the airplane’s avionics after initial flight training or after upgrading to a more advanced airplane, but aren’t sure where to get answers.  Simply put – expert glass panel flight training is hard to find.

They know enough to have earned their license, but still feel uneasy anticipating unexpected challenges. This leaves them feeling at best, uncomfortable, or worse, on edge and unsafe. When you’re not as proficient as you could be, an easy flight can become stressful quickly in unexpected scenarios, and things spiral from there. It doesn’t have to be this way.

That’s why The Aviator’s Academy offers online courses with real-life scenarios using glass panel avionics. You’ll gain more confidence in the air and be equipped with better aeronautical decision-making skills after learning from the best in the business.

We understand the pressures you face in the air. We get it because we have been providing expert, personalized, owner/pilot instruction since 2014 at Texas Top Aviation. With over 8000 hours of instruction given in Technically Advanced Aircraft and over 13,000 hours in total flight time, The Aviator’s Academy instructors are qualified to fly and instruct most single-engine aircraft to a level that far exceeds what a flight school can provide. Nowhere else can you get expert glass panel online instruction for Technically Advanced Aircraft.

If you’re in need of an instrument proficiency check and fly a technically advanced aircraft with glass panel instruments, this is the place to get your ground school training. Conveniently online. Expertly taught. 

Mastering your glass panel avionics isn’t impossible. You just need a guide. Enroll in the course you need to take your skill to the next level. You’ll receive expert, specialized online training. Then you’ll fly with confidence.

LAUNCHING AT OSHKOSH! Visit and leave us your email to be notified when our first course drops. Come visit us at booth 3004 at Osh Kosh, July 25th-July 31st, 2022.

Hank Gibson Featured on Joe Casey’s The Malibu Guru Podcast


Recently, I did my TBM and Meridian recurrent training with Joe Casey of Casey Aviation. I always like being challenged my more seasoned instructors than me because I always get to learn something. When I learn something, it makes me a better instructor and allows me to give better instruction to my customers. Plus, there is still a bunch that I don’t know!

Joe has a podcast titled The Malibu Guru (because he really is the Malibu guru!). During our training, we did a podcast together and he interviewed me. I get to tell about Texas Top Aviation and some exciting things coming up this summer (hint: the biggest exciting thing is called The Aviator’s Academy). Before I give too much away, take a listen to the podcast.

The Malibu Guru Podcast: Interview with Hank Gibson