Saturday, January 28, 2012

Flying diversion

Flew up to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island yesterday in a Columbia 400, otherwise known as a Cessna 400 Corvalis.

Specifications (Cessna 400)
Data from Columbia 400 Pilot's Operating Handbook
General characteristics
Very fast airplane.  We cruised at 185 knots up and back.  Compared to flying my Super Cub, moving the stick is like trying to bend a steel rod.  I guess if you are going to move that fast you are going to have a lot of wing loading and the stick was very stiff.  I now understand why these guys fly with the autopilot engaged most of the time.

We landed at something above my normal cruise speed in the cub with a stiff crosswind and used every inch of the 3400 foot runway.  I am used to landing at Friday Harbor and making the first turnoff.

Boeing field off the right wing whilst crossing over SeaTac International airport, climbing out of 4000 for 6000 feet.

Northbound crossing Puget Sound, punching through clouds as we go.  Outside temperature was  minus 13C and we were picking up some frost on the leading edges of the wings in the cloud tops.

Heading north, east of Puget Sound, north of Bremerton.  Asked for 8000 feet to get above the cloud tops, but as you can see the clouds ahead are still above us.  Didn't want to go much higher as we will just have to drop down through them again soon to land.

This is the Avidyne glass panel setup in the C400.  Two Garmin GPS units, S-Tec autopilot and all the bells and whistles you can possibly want.

It was a fast trip and I enjoyed it greatly.  I am certainly glad I was not alone as cruising at 185 knots rather than my normal 85 knots, things happen a whole lot quicker that I am used to.  If you want to get someplace in a hurry, the C400 is a good way to go.

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