Plane & Pilot
Saturday, May 1, 2004

A Lark That Won’t Quit

An addiction to flying leads a pilot to a Cessna 175

Greg Carter—standing by his pristine Cessna 175 Lark, parked amid the 2,000 show planes at the 2003 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.—tries to tell me why he’s so happy to be here. “Well, you know, I tried to quit flying once. I really did. But after a while, I found out that I just couldn’t do it.” This is how first-timer Greg Carter begins the story about how he and his wife, Barbara, flew their Cessna 175 Lark to the AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh.
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Factory Comparison: Cessna 175A Skylark*
Cessna 172N II Skyhawk
Piper Warrior II PA-28-161
Base Price: $23,500$50,000
Engine Horsepower: 160160160
Gross Weight (lbs.): 235023002325
Std. Empty Weight (lbs.): 133814301344
Useful Load (lbs.): 976870981
Fuel Capacity (gals.):424348
Cruise Speed, 75% Power (kt):105122118
Climb Rate (fpm):1000770644
* Customized with a 160-hp Lycoming engine and STOL kit
Sources: Aircraft Bluebook Price Digest and Pilot’s Operating Handbook

According to Greg, “Most of the time, I just fly around the local area. But we have a lot on an airpark called Lost Bridge, right next to Beaver Lake in Arkansas. It’s really not very far away, but we like to pack up the airplane and fly over Lost Bridge and then go sailing on the lake for the weekend. It may seem silly, but we like to combine these fun things.”

Barbara chimes in, “I like to navigate on trips, and you don’t get to do that much on local trips. It’s fun, but I like to be doing something. I’m really enjoying this trip and we’ve already blocked out time for next year.”

Greg agrees, “She doesn’t touch the controls; she really liked the Bonanza for that. That throw-over yolk really gave her a lot of room. We’ve really had a blast here [at AirVenture]—there are airplanes all over the place and the people are so nice. It’s great.”

Greg babies the Lark in a T-hangar with a checkered linoleum floor, complete with an office—perfect for hangar flying. Flying is an expensive hobby for a retiree, but Greg hopes to continue to put 100 hours a year on the Lark for as long as he can. “Flying has become such a part of my life. I’d hate to give it up now.”

SPECS: 1960 Cessna 175A Skylark N6830E

Labels: Piston Singles


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