Flying in the Pacific Northwest
Trip Reports
Flying in the Pacific Northwest
After setting up camp at West Yellowstone Airport we had breakfast at the restaurant in the airport terminal, the Smokejumper Cafe, and arranged a hire car from Avis so that we could visit the Park....
We departed Nampa at the crack of dawn. Heavy showers were predicted over the West and South of Idaho during mid morning and temperatures were to climb to 90°F which created the threat of...
We wanted to depart Florence as soon as the sun started coming up over the mountains of the Coast Range, sea fog was moving in as we drove down to the airport and didn't want to risk being fogged in...
The weather on our 2nd day at Concrete was a bit disappointing with cloud cover over most of the Northern Cascades so we put off our scenic flight until the 3rd day which looked fractionly better in...

First thing today at Florence the weather was....yes, you got it...foggy! We had arranged with Richard to fly the short distance down the coast to Lakeside (9S3) to have a look at the lakes and to get something to eat, our departure was slightly delayed due to the visibility but it did give us a chance to do 'stuff' around the hangar before the off. By 11:00am the skies were blue and the fog had receded to the ocean and the wind had started to blow as it usually does when it is hot in the valley (100+ degrees today in Eugene!). Once airborne we turned south and headed down the coastline at 1,500ft. The fog bank stretched to the north and west as far as the eye could see but it looked more promising to the south where the fog wasn't quite reaching the beach. The fog creates a great sight from the air but there would be a risk of it spilling over the beach and over to the airport later on preventing our return. Looking along the foggy coastline to the North. It's interesting how the fog spills over the shoreline and then condenses to small clouds as the moisture rises up over the dunes. It's a beautiful sight which can't properly be appreciated from photographs. The dunes were full of people enjoying themselves on their quads and 4x4s but, as usual, the long, sandy beaches were deserted. The wind howls down the coastline here and although the beaches look inviting, most of the time when you get onto them they prove to be pretty hostile environments! Looking along the foggy coastline to the South. As we approached the Lakeside lefthand downwind for runway 33 the air began to get rough as the wind was deflected off of the large sanddunes just to the west of the airport. The base and final legs were suprisingly smooth but my approach speed was too high, even with the full 40 degree flaps deployed. I think that the high ground to the south of the 33 threshold gives you the impression of being lower than you actually are resulting in a steeper than desired descent, I will have to try harder the next time we visit which should be in one weeks time. Richard's Aeronca at Lakeside. Tango Charlie can be seen behind it. Looking down runway 33. We met with Richard who had arrived ahead of us (he and his Aeronca had a healthy head start!) and walked the short distance to the Lakeshore Lodge in town for some refreshments. Luckily it was a quiet lunchtime and we managed to get a seat on the patio over looking Tenmile Lake from where we were able to watch Osprey flying over the water as we ate, it was all very civilised! The view from the patio at Lakeshore Lodge. We wandered back to the airport and after saying our goodbyes to a couple of local pilots we were airborne once again. I had planned on doing a circuit or two to practice the approach but the wind was up making the ride pretty rough so I decided to reschedule the practice for another day. After departure we flew across Lakeside to the east to get a better look at the Tenmile Lakes that stretch way into the coastal range. The place looked busy with holiday makers and a large number of boats could be seen negotiating the numerous inlets and waterways. Lakeside town. The airport can be seen in the top righthand corner of the picture. The sea fog towards Florence was a lot thicker by now but it still looked like the airport was clear and a quick listen to the AWOS confirmed what we could see. Many people who fly in the region believe that when the coast gets foggy there is no way that you can get any flying done. However, many days are just like this one, the sea fog is there and it looks pretty threatening but at the end of the day it stays along the shoreline, behaving itself and keeping clear of the airports a short distance inland. Saying that it is very advisable to keep plenty of fuel in your tanks just in case a diversion to an inland airport is required! Siltcoos Lake just to the south of Florence. Richard in his Aeronca flying along the fog bank. Florence Airport in the clear, the fog bank had not moved all day. Florence Airport in the clear, the fog bank had not moved all day.