Aaron grew up around aviation with both parents being accomplished pilots. His first flight was at the age of merely two weeks old in the family 'sedan' (Cessna 172). He has been flying ever since.
On his 16th birthday, Aaron soloed three separate aircraft prior to obtaining his automobile driver's license. The day after obtaining a private pilot certificate, he completed high-performance and complex airframe endorsements. Aerobatic training began two weeks later in a Super Decathlon. The aviation pursuits slowed down for a few years while he pursued a college education. Following college, Aaron resumed his exploration of aviation obtaining his Instrument Rating and Commercial Pilot certificate. He is currently studying to become a Flight Instructor.
Aaron's passion for aviation has always been aerobatics - a true mastery of flight in the third dimension. The idea is to control the airplane, to explore the absolute limits in any flight attitude. This led him to ownership of a Pitts Special model S-1S that was campaigned through Primary and Sportsman category from 2007 to 2010. In 2010 Aaron upgraded to a very rare model of the Pitts Special; the S-2S. His training in the S-2S led to several top finishes in Intermediate category and introduction to Advanced-level aerobatics. Most recently an opportunity arose to further progress into the aerobatic realm, an upgrade to the Panzl S-330 which spent the 2013 season competing Intermediate Category. He commenced training and competing the Advanced category in 2014.
Aaron has obtained numerous top finishes at Regional contests, multiple Regional series championships, second place at the 2009 US National Championships in Sportsman Category, a first place finish at the 2013 US National Championships in Intermediate Category, back to back first place finishes at the 2016 and 2017 US National Championships in Advanced Category and position as Captain of the US Advanced Aerobatic Team, 2018! At the World Advanced Aerobatic Championships, 2018, Aaron earned a Gold Medal for Programme 3, the Second Unknown Flight, managed a top-ten finish overall and was one of the top three pilots representing USA for a Silver Medal as the second placing Nation, less than 0.5% behind Team France.
Several Master Awards have been granted placing Aaron's name in the IAC Hall of Fame and Museum including the L. Paul Soucy (highest scoring competitor regardless of category), MT-Propeller Trophy (Advanced National Champion, twice) and Fred Leidig Trophy (Intermediate National Champion). He has been a guest speaker at the University of North Dakota, the Iowa Aviation Promotion Group at their first annual 'Pilot Palooza' convention in 2013, the 2014 Iowa Airport Conference and composed four published articles for Sport Aerobatics Magazine, a publication of the International Aerobatic Club. Aaron has served as the Contest Director for multiple Regional contests and maintains a current Regional Judging certificate qualifying him to evaluate flights during sanctioned aerobatic contests Nationwide. He was a candidate for the Board of Directors of the International Aerobatic Club, offered a position but declined due to obligations serving as the Contest Director of the 2012 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.
Northern Planes Aerosport, LLC.
Aaron McCartan, Founder and Director
At the 2009 U.S. National Championships
posing with a borrowed Pitts S-1T that was
flown to a 2nd place finish in Sportsman!
2000 Panzl S-330, s/n #001
Wingspan: 24' 4"
Length: 21' 9.5"
Height: 5' 11"
Empty Weight: 1242 pounds
Engine: Lycoming IO-540, 330HP
Prop: MT MTV-9-B-C 3-blade composite
Fuel Capacity: 65 gallons total
Vso (Stall): 59 mph
Vne (Never-Exceed): 250 mph
Roll-rate: Greater than 420 degrees/sec
G-limit: +/- 10G
Constructed with 4130 tubing, Stitka Spruce and Carbon Fiber. Aft fuselage and empennage covered in Ceconite
The Panzl S-330P, hand crafted by Wingtip-to-Wingtip in Onsted, Michigan.
'Yellowjacket' - 1989 Christen Industries Pitts S-2S
Length: 17' 7"
Height: 6' 7"
Empty Weight: 1220 pounds
Engine: Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 rated at 260HP
Prop: Hartzell steel 2-blade Constant-Speed
Fuel Capacity: 39 gallons (three tank configuration)
Vso (Stall): 61 mph
Vne (Never-Exceed): 205 mph
Cruise: 160 mph
Roll-rate: 220 degrees/second
G-limit: +7G, -5G
S-2S (yellow) in formation with an S-2C (red) during a training flight, July 2012
'Big Blue' taxiing back from a successful contest flight at New Century Air Center, Gardner, KS.
'Big Blue' - 1993 Baker Pitts S-1S (modified design)
Height: 5' 5"
Empty Weight: 860 Pounds
Engine: Lycoming O-360 (Experimental) at 200HP
Prop: Lydick Performance 3-blade wood Fixed-Pitch
Fuel Capactiy: 19 Gallons
Vso (Stall): 68 mph
Vne (Never-Exceed): 205 mph
Cruise: 135 mph
Roll-rate: 240 degrees/second
G-limit: +6G, -3G