Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Log 118 - AOPA's Regional Fly-In, Spokane's Felts Field

I've had a few great flights recently but let me skip ahead to post the subject fly-in photos from last weekend.

Photos Here


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Log 117 - Concrete, WA Fly-In

Saturday, I heard from friends who were heading north to Concrete and of course was ready for another fly-in. At Paine Field, Paul Allen has the Paine Field Airfair going on, with cool planes on display and military equipment like tanks and bombs. I checked them out for a while then took off to Concrete, WA. There was over 130 planes who flew in for the event. There was an orchestra playing at one of the hangars, concession stands, great people and many things to check out. The fly-in was well attended and such a great atmosphere to sit and talk with other local pilots. I spend the day there, the flew home in the evening. Pictures are Here .

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Log 116 - Catch up post, Into Summer 2014

Well, I don't have my log book in hand but have had numerous flights since the last post. Notably, around the northwest but other places too.

May had a few good flights. I've been spending other time hang gliding finally this year, but as for the plane, previously posted about my flight round trip Seattle to Phoenix for mothers day. I've made a few trips to Ocean Shores. Had a good time at Paine Field Days, my home field. John Sessions had a large display of planes and Paul Allen too.
Paine Field Days, Young Eagle
I took 4 kids for Young Eagles flights for EAA (experimental aircraft association), and a great dinner for the volunteers. It was a descent turnout even with some weather in the morning.

June, I flew around Three Fingers mountain, the lookout and the tragic mountain slide at Oso. I flew the last flight as owner of Cessna 6570 foxtrot, sold to a friend. What a good plane, now flying out of Eatonville, WA. Kurt Hartzog and I flew to Orcas Island, long boarded to Mt. Constitution, climbed, got a ride down, long boarded back to the airport and flew home for dinner (a little sore the next day).

(Flights photos from July so far, plus Tacoma Airshow and July 4th)
July, flew to the Tacoma Narrows Airshow. It was a good show for the public and aerobatics. Tacoma tower let me do a low approach with a lap around the field before parking in the display section. Cool to meet some great pilots and see some friends. July 4th, flew along with friends in 4 other planes to Western Airpark near Olympia to have lunch with, and to honor WW2 pilot and one of the older aerobatic gentlemen. After, I flew to Eatonville, Ranger Creek (first time in this field by Mt Rainier) then back to Paine Field in Everett. Great people, good weather, good flying. July 11, 12th I flew from work to the  Arlington Fly-In. Great times visiting friends, planes on display, a really great airshow and get together at Dan Tarasevich and Jimmy Cullers place on the field for music, food, friends and fun. Sunday morning, my wife, Gigi flew with me for the first time in the glasair. We took off for Lake Tahoe for a few days! It was four hours each way. We stopped at Redmond, OR on the way down and Bend, OR on the way home. The air was generally smooth but we had some weather around, smoke from fires and it was warm out at low altitudes. It was a good trip both ways.

All these events were great but let me focus on a current event. Monday, I got word at work that the White Knight is flying to Paine Field from the Mohave Desert in CA. Now this is really something for me and I heard a rumor it may be staying in the northwest. Let me explain for those who don't know the White Knight, and please check it out!

The documentary is Black Sky which is a 'must watch'. The company after the man is Scaled Composites and the man is Burt Rutan. Burt recently semi-retired and moved to the northwest near Coeur d'alene, Idaho. Maybe he'll be at the AOPA Spokane Fly-In. I've been admiring everything about this for many years and posted to the hang gliding club the White Knight flight track was going towards our site, Dog Mountain only to check later and see it flew up and down Riffe Lake next to our site, very cool! Paul Allan, one of the founders of Microsoft, was the main sponsor for Burt Rutan to create the aircrafts to get to space to win the X-Prize. Paul has the flying heritage museum at Paine Field and it made sense, the museum is acquiring the White Knight. The White Knight will be at the Skyfair this weekend! I taxied after work to the museum just after the White Knight arrived and parked close by for some photos. It was like being by the Wright Flyer, so much history. There was also an Alpha Jet escort there, just the three of us for a while. What an experience! I taxied out of there and a T6 was at Alpha6 ready for take off, I heard,"paine tower, T6....ready for take off 16 right, would like low approach and departure to the north" and tower confirmed. I then said, "paine tower, Glasair 88 echo tango....ready for take off 16 right, would like low approach and departure to the north" and tower confirmed. The T6 was already turning crosswind at altitude when I was on the upwind. When I turned downwind, the T6 requested short approach and dove to the runway. Ya, I did the same thing... After low approach the T6 was already north out of my sight so I just headed to Arlington as planned to visit friends. What an afternoon!

Today I put the plane together again. I had always wanted to review the fuel system so Monday I took the panels off, drained all fuel, removed the fuel sensor and inspected a perfectly clean tank and fuel drains. It was good for peace of mind. Today's full blown storm turned to broken clouds, sun and rainbows by the time I was ready to fly this evening so I had fun testing. I even heard someone from Harvey announcing eastbound "departure then southeast to the rainbow", what a funny call, but I was already there.
Harvey Field
test flight after fuel system review

after the storm

Friday, May 30, 2014

Log 115 - 2014may another San Juan Islands Trip/Commute to Work

Friday morning commute to work from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island
I was at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island north of Seattle just a few days ago and took the airport striped bike to the shop for maintenance. My friend Kurt Hartzog asked for a ride Thursday after work and mentioned I could stay if I like. He was meeting his brother, Mike and buddies for a few days of fishing. We flew up after work via the coastlines over Camino Island, Skagit Valley, almost to Bellingham airport, by Lummi and Orcas Island to Friday Harbor. After walking from the airport through town, we were at the boat docks where Mike and friends were filleting two halibut they caught. We all went to a local friends house and had a great fish dinner. Most of the guys were kiteborder buddies but we talked and had some common activities and even knew some of the same friends. The group was a few from Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas and Phoenix, a respectable group. After the gathering, Kurt and I spent the night on Mike's boat.

I woke up early Friday morning, taking a shower at the marina and off to the airport before 6 am. The sun was up and it was clear, cleaning the dew from the Glasair windshield and taking off southbound to Paine Field, next to work. Flying back was no wind and a few low clouds otherwise clear for the 20 minute flight home. A small drive from the airport and I'm back to work for the day....another nice small trip.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2014 May - Trip to Arizona for Mothers Day

Photos Here. with Captions

It's been a while since I've posted and this trip may be the best excuse to write again. It was a last minute plan so thanks to friends, coworkers and family who let me go. I had just updated my exhaust system on the glasair from mild to stainless steel and made a few test flights. I was planning to fly to Arizona sometime but no reason to go if its too close to summer. Mothers day was coming and everything was right.

Wednesday May 7th, 2014:
A test flight, all systems good but weather moving in for the morning with wind and low clouds. It looked like no way to get out after 10 am. I go to underwater hockey in the evening as usual.

Thursday May 8th:
I pack a bag with clothes and go to work, check the weather, check my routes, check with my boss and off I go to the plane with a plan to fly to Arizona.

Paine Field, Everett, WA - Fuel up while the winds are picking up and starting to drizzle, I take off and fly east to Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascades knowing if I make it past there, it should be easy to beat this small storm. I can hear other planes calling and diverting to other airports because of the weather behind me. All is good and just one town/airport at a time till I am clear of the weather but no problems so far. Yes, this is making my hands sweat! The plane is flying good and I am beating the weather.

I slow the plane down to about 150 mph and stay low as I can while still clearing all the hills en route. I love to cruise low and fairly slow sometimes to enjoy the views!

Camera isn't taking great photos due to weather but pictures are here. Note the Captions on the photos. They tell most of the story of the flight. I divert my plans along the way for fuel and pitstops but press on.

 Its a blur to know what state your in on a big cross country trip as the sectional maps are just made to indicate best airports, best flight paths, topography and military areas to avoid or deal with. The state lines are vague at best but its OK. I have a Nexus 7 pad with sectionals from Flightplan and created a line to follow for my destinations. Its amazing, I had no idea the path would cross Owyhee Idaho where I flew my Cessna 150 a few years back on my way down to Arizona. The runway wasn't paved back then but there was still no town! The glasair does way better between stops so even though the route was similar, I got to skip a few detours that I did previously in the 150 just for fuel.

The highlands across Nevada and Idaho are very pretty. There are some huge snow capped mountains along this route. I was lucky with the weather. Southern Nevada is a descent into Mosquite to fuel before crossing the Grand Canyon. Because of the high pressure weather and evening approaching, not many Grand Canyon photos.

Summary flying south from Washington to Arizona:
Paine Field, Everett, WA to  Pendleton, OR - 1 hr 38 min
Pendleton, to Baker City, OR                        - 38 min.
Baker City to Owyhee, Idaho                        - 1 hr 28 min. (Owyhee to go pee hee :) )
Owyhee to Mosquite, Nevada                        - 2 hrs 24 min
Mosquite to Flagstaff, Arizona                      - 1 hr 11 min
Flagstaff to Rimrock, Arizona                       - 25 minutes night flying.
Rimrock to Mesa, Arizona                             - 35 minutes or so on Friday 5/9.

There was only a small amount of weather to dodge. Some places, the ground was 6,000 ft + above sea level but still very enjoyable. Very light winds, snow in some hills, able to pick up local fm radio stations to listen to music and still made Flagstaff but evening. I intended to stay in Flagstaff but there was a search and rescue operation at the airport and no courtesy cars or rental cars. I called my friends, John and Julie in Rimrock at the airport and they turn the lights on for me to fly to their airport, Rimrock and stay the night. Very nice overnight and to visit with my friends. Friday afternoon, I flew to Mesa, Az, Falcon field to tie down for a few days visit for mothers day.

During my stay in the Phoenix area (Mesa is part of Phoenix), I flew to an arts and crafts festival in Prescott, AZ to meet family and enjoy this area. Prescott is in the hills out of Phoenix, about 5,000 ft so a little cooler then Phoenix. I had a good few day sometimes working virtually, visiting friends, family and a local Arizona Hang Gliding and Paragliding meeting. Motorcycle riding and enjoying the heat, usually in the 90 F range. I took my friend, Bill Comstock for a flight to visit Bill Poore in Payson. Both are great friends, Bill Poore is building a light experimental plane we got to see and we had dinner in town before flying back to Falcon Field at night. Fueled in Payson as it was $5:35/gal aviation fuel.

Thursday, May 15th, 2014:
Time to head north. There's supposed to be weather in the Seattle area Friday/Saturday and people are expecting my back this week. Pack up and head out! Looks like I have fuel to make Bishop, California, a new route I haven't gone and morning is smoother then afternoon. I fly out of Phoenix, past Wickenberg, Needles California across deserts south of Las Vegas, Nevada and find some strange light reflectors in the desert. View in the photos. It's Ivanpah Solar Power Facility . This is one of the last areas before crossing Death Valley (Lowest spot in the USA), Saline Valley where I've camped, over the White Mountains, into Owens Valley and land at Bishop, California. I love this area but its vast, dry and hot! I can see Mt. Whitney, highest point in the US (besides McKinley in Alaska) on the Sierra Mts. I fuel up and head north as the valley floor seems to go over 8,000 ft and my plane struggles to cool off. I fly past Mono Lake northbound hoping to see more civilization along the way. No problem as the highways go north and I go into Nevada, recognizing Pyramid Lake northeast of Reno, NV, northbound past the dry lakes of eastern Oregon, flying east of Mt Shasta and crossing highway 395 by Lakeview, OR where I competed in the 1993 Hang Gliding Nationals. Many Valley's and hills before decending into Redmond, Oregon for fuel at $4.99 least expensive along this route. I rest for a short while they fly northbound. Sailplanes are flying around and disassembling at Redmond but I see a few. I fly east of Mt St Helens, west of Mt Adams and Mt Rainier and pick up Seattle Center at 10 miles west of Mt Rainier. Mt Rainier is forming a wave cloud. Seattle Center allows me through class B airspace so I can stay at 10,000 ft and make good time. I descend into Paine Field, my home field and park the plane! And, I think my plane for doing well!

Summary Home:
Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona to Bishop, California   - 2 hrs 52 minutes
Bishop to Redmond, Oregon                                     - 2 hrs 27 minutes
Redmond to Paine Field, Everett, WA                       - 1 hr  30 minutes home!

Total route Link on Skyvector.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Log 113 - 2013sept12 - Reno with Ryan, Phoenix, and back with Mom

The photos to go with this post HERE. Your welcome to use Skyvector to find any of the mentioned airports.

Here are some details:
Sept 12 to the Reno Air Races -
Lunch at the ribbon cutting ceremony at Paine Field with some delegates. Pick up Ryan Bielenda around 1:30 and about 85 degrees outside. Fuel up and around 2 pm, we're headed west side of Mt. Rainier southbound, slow climb up to 11,000 ft. passed Mt. Adams, Oregon border, The Dalles,and Redmond. We have to descend for a break at Lakeview, Oregon. This is where I flew in the 1992 Hang Gliding Nationals. Heading south, into California, and than Nevada.  Storms ahead, we get flight following to navigate around Stead Field, Reno Airport then to Carson City with a good tailwind. This flight leg was 3.5 hrs, about 27 gallons. Ryan gets picked up by his buddy who will be getting married (he has other arrangements for getting home in a few days). I have a car and to go camp then to the Reno Air Races, Sept 13&14th. Great time here.  Jeff Lavelle smokes his class with over 400 mph average lap time in his Glasair III. He was happy. Other races were also spectacular and met some great pilots and people like Aaron Pahs and other guys from Boeing. Terry, Bill, Dan, Keith and others flew down so we had a chance to visit.

Sunday to AZ -
Drop off the car and prepare for flight Carson City to Arizona. The plan is fairly direct to Prescott, AZ straight over high mountains and low valleys . Potty break at Beatty after 1.5 hrs, more very hot nothingland that is AWSOME then in the air again. I circle in some desert thermals. At this time, I think of a wire problem as a fuse is out. Turns out one of my fuses is too small and barely higher then the fuse amperage for a few minutes. I now know a better starting procedure in very high, hot places to use less voltage. I fly south of Las Vegas with flight following in contact with Centers. Flying further, overpass Kingman and under some nice cloud cover into Prescott airport for fuel at $5.69/gal. I squeeze in 21 gallons of fuel. Beatty to Prescott was about 2 hrs. I get a phone call from friend, Bill Comstock, who is hang gliding at Mingus Mt. with other buddies. Reminiscing my past life in Arizona, I fly a new course around the north side of Mingus Mt. low, past Jerome (a cool ghost town on the side of Mingus Mt.), then south in the Verde Valley over Cottonwood Airport.  No gliders were there. I continue to Rimrock Airport and land, 30 minutes, to visit John and Julie for a few hours. They feed me a great meal than I notice the thunder clouds, with AUDIO switching the wind to the east so it's time to head towards Phoenix. It's only 34 minutes to Falcon field, Mesa where my mother, niece and nephew meet me, this lovely Sunday afternoon.

I had bought my mother a one way ticket from Seattle to Phoenix hoping to take her in the Glasair to Seattle but was having second thoughts. It was over 100 F outside and thinking of her squeezing into the plane, my thoughts were shifting to get her a commercial ticket and I would fly myself home. She will be 75 years old in November!  Flying in the Glasair in turbulence isn't for everyone. I knew our plan was to leave mid day Tuesday, and it would be rough. Arizona is very hot. The plane is more like a tight racing offroad vehicle with bad suspension than a luxury bus. Mom was game and she had no trouble climbing in and out of the plane. She was ready and willing to go.  Besides, she already told everyone she was going to fly with me (peer pressure). I could tell she wanted to give it a try. We were game.

Tuesday leave AZ to WA -
After mom's work with the Boeing wellness clinic, we get a ride with Ed to Falcon Field, Mesa A irport and try to depart as quickly as possible (100F + heat). We fly, 30 minutes to Wickenberg where the only cloud in the local sky is miraculously over the landing strip, and makes a shadow for us on the airport runway, tarmac and fuel pumps. I top off (last was Prescott) 9.6 gal @ $5.60/gal.

The next stretch is long. We talk to Albuquerque center, LA center, Joshua military radio and other areas as we head westbound. We have a headwind and dust below blowing from the west. All military restricted areas are HOT so we have to fly as south as Barstow, CA. We make it around the next restricted areas and over Tehachapi pass, the south end of the Sierra's, about 11K ft to the Sacramento Valley with flight following communication. It's smokey from the Yosemite  fires recently. We fly over Porterville, Fresno and just keep heading north. My next way point was Lincoln Airport.

Mother asked if we should be looking for a place to stay or go eat? By this time, she's getting comfortable with Foreflight on the Ipad so I ask to look for an airport with yellow nearby (population=yellow), click on the airport and see what they have for food and lodging. Foreflight is such a great program for convenience. I see Columbia Airport where mom is looking. A quick deviation, we turn right to Columbia. It's getting near dusk when we land and tie down. We talk to a couple locals who are very kind. This flight leg was 3 hrs 50 minutes. What a cool place we land at!! The Cottage Inn hotel is walking distance and a Mexican restaurant a little further so we trek out staying off the nature trail as they said "there'd been a mountain lion out recently". It's a very nice walk into town, beautiful with fresh air and a full moon. We have a great dinner and a good sleep.

The next morning, we get up....whenever..., go to the plane and prepare for a 30 minute flight to Lincoln to fuel up ____gallons at $5.30/gal. The next airport north is Beale Air Force Base. We take off around 10 am and a few minutes we call the tower and they flight follow us northbound for a while. We fly direct to the west side of Mt Shasta, Siskiyou Oregon, Medford, the mountains north of there and decide on a last minute descent to Cottage Grove for lunch! What another beautiful place. We descend from 9,000 ft around the cumulus clouds and you can see the green landscape, rivers around the airport and planes getting ready for the morning. From Lincoln was about 2.5 hrs. We land, taxi in and talk with some guys who recommend a few restaurants. We walk off the airport grounds and have a great Thai lunch, then back to the airport. Cottage Grove is another nice place that I would recommend to land at.

From there, we fly 30 minutes to Albany for fuel, 18 gallons @ $5.49/gal to top off around 3:00 pm for our last leg home to Paine Field. Other planes have been flying around since the morning but we don't see many in the air, just on the radios and taking off/landing at the airports.

We stay below the clouds for a while leaving northbound from Albany but I can tell its smoother above, so we climb from 4,000 ft to about 6,000 ft and much smoother all the way, flying by Olympia talking with the tower, by Tacoma Narrows Airport, talking with the tower, flying down the Puget Sound even below 500 ft to look at the shoreline with no wind on the water for a while then back up 1500 ft across the water to Seattle. We fly into Paine Field and park the plane about 1hr 40 minutes later ~4:30 pm.  We had a great flight.

Log 112 - Sequim (Olympic Air Affair) and The Hood River Air Museum

A quick note of a few flights.
A few of us, Bill Jensen and Chris Brown met at Sequim, W28 for the Olympic air Affair. You can read more here .There was food, music, balloon rides, parachuting and some cool wingwalking. As you can see in the photo, the Stinson wingwalker plane was a little nose heavy but the were great to watch! You can find the wingwalkers or even try it here.
From there, I didn't plan to be gone long but headed west toward the coast. I ended up at Ocean Shores, circumnavigating the Olympic mountains. From Ocean Shores, it's was 41 minutes back to Paine Field, home for the day.

2013sept6th after work,
Bill Jensen said he was heading out with Supercub Dan from Arlington to the Oregon border for the WAAM museum fly-in. I happen to have my sleeping bag with me and the weather was just breaking so I headed to the hangar. They were ahead of me checking weather but I caught up to them before entering southern WA. We were on the radio together even about 50 miles apart. We past a few other planes on there way (photo). Heading west down the Columbia Gorge (photo) was very nice and a tailwind. Flying into the Hood River Airport (photo) was also very beautiful.

 We landed around 7pm, parked, set up tents and ate at the spegetti feed. A very nice evening with many pilots, bonfire and even guys working to complete a historic plane by 6 pm the next day frantically fabricat'n. The next morning, a huge breakfast with bagpipes playing and so many people. Bill and Dan stayed another night. Most of the planes were taildraggers. I had to head back to Paine field for some business so I flew over mt St Helens and only 1.1 hrs to Paine field. After taking care of a few things, I flew to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island and back for the evening. Nice few days of course.