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C182 King Katmai from El Dorado to the Isle of Man

This is an account of a ferry flight by Ian Harland.  It includes a great video describing the trip with some lovely photographs, reproduced here with Ian’s kind permission.

Having done 1600 hours in a TB20GT based 30 miles from my home I got tired of the commute to the airport so I set about draining some fields at home to build a grass strip. The problem was that the maximum length available to me was 1430ft with 30ft trees at each end; out of the question with the TB20GT.

There are only a few 4 seat serious IFR aircraft that will operate from a short grass strip. In my opinion the best one for the job is the Cessna 182 converted to a King Katmai, see

I travelled to Kansas to try a Katmai, courtesy of the converter Todd Peterson. Todd demonstrated his KK and I was hooked. When he turned the plane at the end of the runway at El Dorado and faced down the runway just ahead of the numbers, he surprised me by then turning 180 again and taking off between the numbers and the end of the runway - 200ft!

Landing was the nearest to a helicopter a fixed wing can be, touching down at 40 knots.

Todd found me a low time 182Q with 700 hours and immaculate. This aircraft was converted into my KK as follows:

  • Wing extensions
  • Flint wing tip tanks
  • Canard Wings
  • IO550D engine
  • Heavy duty gear and tundra tyres
  • Lowered panel
  • New glass
  • New paint
  • New leather interior
  • Modern avionics
Here is a video account of the ferry flight home from El Dorado, Kansas to the Isle of Man