Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Husky Dawn Patrol

Aviat’s new Husky and the Northern Idaho backcountry make a perfect pair

I've always thought Aviat leads the way when it comes to cool paint schemes, and this year is no exception. For the 25th anniversary, Aviat created six Special Edition aircraft with unique paint and interiors. Several new stock paint schemes and various LED exterior lighting options will help you personalize your Husky the way you want it—as wild or sedate as that may be.

Mountain Adventure
With the morning sun streaming into the cockpit on the ground at Sandpoint, Jim Taylor (Husky's dealer for the Central U.S.) briefed me on what I should expect from the airplane. I had flown Husky aircraft before, but I've learned that each Husky pilot does things a little differently. Stu Horn himself had spent time with me in Afton, Wyo., a few summers back, refining my Husky skills. Taylor had a different take on the bird, so I soaked up what I could of his technique.

Sitting in the airplane, I must confess it's made for taller people, though Horn tells me that Aviat now offers cushions of different thicknesses for both seat bottoms and backs (Husky seats don't adjust) for those of us on the shorter side. He also showed me how the bottom of the panel was raised while the top was shortened, compressing panel real estate to accommodate the new Garmin displays.
The tall pines below cast long shadows against the lake, and with nothing but unbroken forest, it occurs to me that I have nowhere to go in an emergency. But then I remember the smiling dog painted on my tail and realize I'm in a Husky, the Willys Jeep of the backcountry.
The new Husky comes with options for two VFR panels and two IFR panels. The VFR panels are centered around the beautiful Garmin 796, along with a solid state artificial horizon and various NAV/COM options, including the Garmin SL30. The IFR panels are based on the Garmin GTN 750 or the G500 or G600. They also include the JPI MVP-50 engine analyzer that can display a true weight and balance and CG location at the push of a button.

"Forget all that pushing-the-tail-up nonsense," Taylor instructed me as we started the engine and taxied out. "Just hold the stick back and then relax it a bit when you feel it want to fly." Little did I know that would take what seemed like 200 feet! Before I knew it, we were climbing into the early morning sky.

Labels: Piston Singles


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