An August afternoon at Big Bear Lake in Southern California. Field elevation—6750 feet. Density altitude— 8970 feet. Four seats—all full. Fuel tanks—full as well.
I looked down the 7000-foot runway at the meadow that is often part of the lake. Many pilots have ended up there under just these conditions: full up, gross weight, high, and hot. But I wasn’t afraid as I pushed the throttle forward to the stops and released the brakes. No, wasn’t afraid, but I was mildly concerned.
I had my abort point picked out If we weren’t off the ground by Taxiway Delta, I was going to call the whole thing off. But sure enough, the acceleration was positive, the controls responded well, and the nosewheel (followed by the mains) was off well before we got to the decision point—and we had already accelerated to best climb by the time we got there.
Some new jet? No, this was the Sling TSi, the latest offering from The Airplane Factory.