Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Husky Dawn Patrol
Aviat’s new Husky and the Northern Idaho backcountry make a perfect pair
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.
"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.
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Labels: Piston Singles