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...

11th July 2009 We were awoken early (6:00am) by the sound of a Yak or Nanchang flying fast and low along the runway while firing it's mock machine gun!! I suppose the pilot found it funny, as we did, but I wouldn't be suprised if he was unpopular with some of the others who had camped that night. At the same time several hot air balloons had been assembled and these took advantage of the still air to get an early morning flight in. If we had not have been woken by the Yak we would have by the balloon burners as their departure point was some 60ft from our tent! Hot air balloons being inflated ready for their early morning flight. As usual we had a great night sleep and we were looking forward to another day of doing nothing but looking at aircraft all day. Richard turned up at our tent looking a bit the worse for wear. Unknown to him his airbed (the 6 inch thick one that required an electric pump to get it inflated) had a slow leak in it and every 3 hours or so he had to get out the pump and reinflate it. We found this slightly amusing (actually we found it hilarious!) as it was Richard who cast doubt on the 1.5 inch self inflating matresses that we were very successfully sleeping on. It was another glorious, sunny day and after a quick lukewarm shower we headed off to look around the static displays again. We were told that this year the number of displays and general airshow attendees were down, probably due to the bad economic situation and also the mighty Oshkosh show being so close on the calended. We had a look at this Aviat Husky and even sat in it, unfortunately I found out that my legs are too long and my knees actually touch the bottom of the instrument panel. The sales guy explained how we could install floor panels that provided a couple of extra inches for the pilot's lower legs but even with that it would be a type squeeze, guess I'll not be spending the $200,000 on one after all! Later on in the morning the temperature was up so we jumped on the courtesy bus which was shuttling people from the fly-in to the town of Arlington for them to do some shopping. A market had been organised by the town with some pretty unusual stalls, all of which we walked by without stopping, however we did pay a visit to a local cafe for some food and drink. The catering at the airport was not wonderful and was, as usual, expensive, the cafe was a much better option. We returned to the airport for the flying display which started at 2:00pm. Later on in the evening some hot air balloons were dragged out of their trailers for a planned lighting after sunset. By now clouds where steadily building from the south and southeast and thunder and lightning could be seen and heard approaching. The weather was about to change for the worse!! As we waited to the sun to go down a few of the vintage aircraft took to the sky and entertained us with loops and wingovers, at the same time ultralights and microlights were also taking advantage of the still air. Vintage aircraft taking an evening flight before the rains. After waiting for an hour or so the balloons were successfully inflated and provided us with an impressive displays with their burners. The display probably went on a little too long and in the end became a bit embaressing as they kept trying to come up with different ideas on how to sequence the lighting the balloons. Hot air balloon lighting after sunset. That night it rained.....a lot. 12th July 2009 Today was the day we had planned on returning to Florence via a night stopover on the coast somewhere. Very low cloud and rain made us change our minds. We phoned up a guy who we had met at the catering area and arranged to borrow his car for a trip to the Boeing museum at Everett, some 25 miles from Arlington.