‘Yakima’ translated by pilots is ‘Cub Crafters’

Tonight, Boyd and I are in Yakima, Washington, continuing our flight around the perimeter of America. We visited a number of cities along the northwest perimeter including Orcas Island, Blaine, and Bellingham, the northern most airport we’ve visited. As we turned eastbound from Bellingham, Washington, I felt like we were on top of the world. We’d navigated our way from Toledo, Ohio eastbound along the Lake Erie shoreline and around the entire continental U.S.A. and were now, finally, on the northern border heading east, towards home. In my mind, today was monumental.

Our approach to Yakima, Washington. It looks pretty benign but there’s some pretty serious ground to cover between here and Bellingham, Washington.

We’re here partly by accident, partly by a leap of faith. If you’ve been following us, you know our plans can change on a dime and if one place is more interesting than another, that’s where we head. Since Day One we’ve often made our decisions on-the-fly, sometimes while airborne, and ended up where we end up. Our flight plan was to depart Bellingham, WA, then fly southeast to get a fabulous view of Mt. Rainier. Next, we were to skirt the east side of Seattle’s Class B, then turn southeast towards a low spot through a valley towards KELN. From there, fly to Walla Walla.

A hotshot photo of Mt. Rainier from local KOMO News

My own hotshot photo of Mt. Rainier from 80 miles out, while being bounced around in a RV-7.

All was good and spot-on for Walla Walla until I noticed a moderate size town off our right wing. We zoomed the iPad in close enough to read the name of the community just east of the mountains – oh boy, it was Yakima!!

Yakima, as in “Home of CubCrafters”. Oh baby, we gotta go there!  And we did. From 9500′ it was a fast, steep, moment’s notice descent, but we managed to get the job done. Hey, there are TWO pilots in this tiny RV7, of course we got her down!

The landscape changes dramatically descending into Yakima – from extreme high green mountains to dry, brown hills.

On the ground, we made a surprise visit to the home of Cub Crafters at 9:00 a.m. on a Monday morning. I’m guessing they were in the Monday morning coffee mode when we burst in, just as I would have been back in Indy. So sorry Cub Crafters, but thank you for making us feel welcome.

Our tour started with Terisha Ray, Aircraft Sales Experience Manager at CubCrafters. In this photo we are on a mezzanine level viewing platform overlooking the covering and final assembly area.

Various models of Carbon Cubs in final assembly, just weeks from being flown by their new owners.

A Carbon Cub S3 with fuel injected, cold air induction, 4 into 1 tuned exhaust,  363 cubic inch, electronic ignition, 186 hp with constant speed prop.  This airplane is certainly the hottest hot-rod of all the hot-rods built by CubCrafters. One impressive machine!

Sub assemblies, hardware and parts, ready for final production.

John Whitish, Marketing Manger at CubCrafters, completing our tour.

CubCrafters demonstrator.

Happy to be here with Boyd and John Whitish from CubCrafters. It was a bit windy today and I regret I didn’t pursue a test flight in a Carbon Cub. I would have loved to give you a pilot report on the flight characteristics and capabilities of this aircraft but I didn’t sense that was a possibility.

Please check out my additional photos from today’s CubCrafter’s visit slideshow.

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And in a totally different direction, if you’re a member of our Facebook group or Twitter, you may have seen my pictures of a C140 at a private strip. The aircraft is for sale and the airport manager, Eric King, tells me the owner is selling it for $2000K but may take the $1200 he owes in hangar rent at this point. If you love a good find, like I do, this may be for you. It’s based at a private strip s.e. of Yakima, Buena, and the airport manager is Eric King.

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All that, and there was still time for some extra fun! I nearly fell over when Boyd suggested we do a wine tasting since we’re in Washington wine country. Mind you, we passed up Napa, Sanoma, and the Willamette Valley Pinot area before arriving in the wine country of Washington.You bet, if 2 vineyards count, we got it done here!!

2 Happy people!

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