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King Katmai lunch jaunt to Beaumont KS

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  • King Katmai lunch jaunt to Beaumont KS

    On a recent road trip vacation I stopped by Peterson's Performance Plus for a visit. While I no longer own an aircraft nor am I an active pilot--for the time being--Todd & Jo's hangar is still one of my "happy places."

    The first major cold front of the season had seemingly latched onto me while in South Dakota; cloudy skies and pleasant temperatures followed me down to Kansas (and thence to Texas) so the weather was not all that great, but it was still plenty good enough for a low altitude VFR jaunt over to Beaumont, KS for a very unusual airstrip experience and of course lunch at the hotel/cafe.

    Winds were a bit gusty out of the northeast so we departed rwy 4 out of KEQA. The PPP King Katmai started right up and I immediately noticed how remarkably smooth it was in idle and taxi--later in flight as well. I could hear it, but it was challenging to feel it--almost like a single engine turbine rather than a piston engine. With the significant headwind, liftoff was almost immediate, and even at ~100 KIAS (25+ kt above Vy) we were easily doing 1000 fpm in the climb. The Beaumont strip (07S, grass/turf) is only 15 nm from KEQA so we did some local sightseeing first, then entered the pattern for rwy 36. The runway is a fairly steep upslope for the first ~400 ft then mostly level and we were stopped in short order. Then came the unusual part: we did a 180 on the rwy and back-taxied to what appeared to be a paved taxiway. After turning right it was immediately apparent that this was no taxiway, it was a street! We taxied up to a stop sign--wingtip clearances from trees and sign were not critical but were tight enough so that we had to pay attention--dutifully stopped, then continued across the intersection and turned left into a turf parking area reserved for aircraft. We were the only plane there that day but on the weekends it can be pretty busy.





    The cafe was not too busy and we were one of only three tables being served as I recall. The food was simple and straightforward but delicious.

    Skies had mostly cleared by the time we were done. I believe the flag is at half-staff because it's the 9-11 anniversary.




    When we started up and taxied back to the runway, we had an escort-in-trail of two police cars--officers who had been eating at one of the other tables!

    Despite the significant upslope departing 36, winds still made it preferable to use that runway. The King Katmai accelerated with seemingly little effort up the hill and we were airborne at or just before the crest as I recall, despite the load of food taken on at lunch . We returned directly to KEQA, pretty much a ballistic flight.

    A delightful flight and outing to a very interesting destination! Also nice to be reminded of how much fun it was for me to own and fly Todd & Jo's airplanes.
    Kevin Moore
    Former 260se/stol Katmai with BRS owner; planeless for now
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  • #2
    It was great to see you again and do some visiting. Look for us to head your way next year in our new Kenai.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Todd View Post
      Look for us to head your way next year in our new Kenai.
      OK, summer's almost done, when is your California trip in the Kenai?
      Kevin Moore
      Former 260se/stol Katmai with BRS owner; planeless for now
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