Charles Raines

1970 Champion “Citabria” 7KCAB N9027L

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Lake Elsinore, CASanta Paula, CALee Vining, CABasic instrument pannel with Genave nav/com.Landing at Lake Elsinore, CACampint trip to Gravelly Valley, CA

Once I became settled in California with a seemingly secure job, my second objective was to buy an airplane. As a flight engineer with a major airline, I wasn't getting much actual flying. When my tax preparer found a way to write off much of the cost of owing an airplane, I jumped at the chance. Not being able to afford anything too costly, I found a nice used Citabria at one of the most unique airports in the country. The Santa Paula Airport was a Mecca for antique and aerobatic airplane enthusiasts. As part of the price of the airplane, I negotiated some valuable aerobatic instruction.

The nomenclature of Citabrias can be confusing. Mine was a 7KCAB which meant that it had a slightly shorter wing, no flaps and an inverted fuel and oil system. This made it the best aerobatic Citabria in production at the time and I became fairly proficient at all the basic aerobatic maneuvers. I flew this airplane a little over 300 hours and found it to be well built, fun to fly and affordable to own. I was reluctant to let it go, but after 17 months I was made an offer I simply couldn’t refuse. That is how I moved up to Citabria #2.

The name Citabria is Airbatic spelled backwards.