No Polls Today

Surprise, surprise…there were no state head-to-head polls released on the start of Memorial Day weekend. Good thing, too. I’m traveling.

The weather in the Seattle area was much better than the forecast yesterday. Kathy and I had planned to fly in my little plane (an American Aviation Yankee) to Winthrop, WA to spend time with some friends. Early this morning I had all but given up on it—and then the weather cleared up at both ends. We jumped in the car and departed Harvey Field at 2:10 pm, mostly followed U.S. 2 (i.e. flew through Stevens Pass) and arrived about an hour and a half later.

It was my first time flying through Steven’s pass (although I did Stampede pass last weekend)–the sights were stunning.

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4 Responses to “No Polls Today”

  1. Dave Says:

    Photos?

  2. Darryl Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I have photos…alas, no cable to transfer them to my computer. Perhaps later.

  3. Makarov Says:

    I learned to fly in the T-Cat (AA-1C). It’s somewhat rare to hear someone flies one outside of flight training.

    I like to say that if you learn how to land in an AA-1, you can land anything. That proved very true to me the first time I flew a Piper Warrior when I started my instrument training. I specifically recall remarking, “wow this is so much more stable on approach and easier to land.” Pretty much every other light aircraft is.

    For those unfamiliar with the AA-1, it has a notably high approach and stall speed for an aircraft of its size. The flaps are electrically operated, but since are only half the length of the wing and 6 inches wide, you can land without them. It responds very quickly to command inputs, which probably contributes to some stall accidents. Sadly, there was another one just this past week at the airport I trained out of (PNE), and involved one of the aircraft I actually flew some years ago.

    That said, it provides great outside the plane visibility. In addition to the rollback canopy, to get the same forward view in a Cessna you’d need an urban yellow pages under your butt. The Tiger is very similar in this regard, although it’s canopy is not clear (at least in ones I’ve flown) and it’s control inputs are more in line with other aircraft. I’m also a fan of differential braking for ground steering.

    The AA-1’s are great little planes.

    I’m a little surprised you fly one of these out west. What’s your practical service ceiling like? The ones I trained in had difficulty breaking 7000 feet on an average summer’s day. Then again, I know little of the geography of your area. I just assume that you have to negotiate 5000-6000 foot peaks to get around.

  4. Darryl Says:

    Hi Marakov,

    Thanks for the comment.

    “I like to say that if you learn how to land in an AA-1, you can land anything. That proved very true to me the first time I flew a Piper Warrior when I started my instrument training. I specifically recall remarking, “wow this is so much more stable on approach and easier to land.” Pretty much every other light aircraft is.”

    Indeed…I learned in Cherokees and Warriors and found that the Yankee behaved quite differently from those planes (especially the Warrior which feels very glider-like on final).

    “I’m also a fan of differential braking for ground steering.”

    Me too!

    “The AA-1’s are great little planes.”

    Yep…another advantage is that the Yankee has a very small engine–it gets excellent “gas milage”–but the plane has excellent cruse performance.

    “I’m a little surprised you fly one of these out west. What’s your practical service ceiling like? The ones I trained in had difficulty breaking 7000 feet on an average summer’s day.”

    That sounds about right. The published service ceiling is 10,200′ for the AA-1 Yankee. I was up to 6,500′ on the way over, and still had a 200-300 foot/minute climb.

    “Then again, I know little of the geography of your area. I just assume that you have to negotiate 5000-6000 foot peaks to get around.”

    That’s right. Steven’s pass is 4,100 at road level. But at 6,500 I was able to find a much more direct route to the Methow valley than simply following the highway.

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