Friday, January 30, 2015
Flying to Chehalis, Washington
You have to grab every chance you can get to fly. It seems like it's always cloudy, rainy or windy when we are in Bellingham during the winter. That isn't optimal flying weather. But this trip we found a window of opportunity and headed down to Chehalis, Washington, one of our favourite airports.
Our friend Jeanne tracked us on a website called FlightAware. You can follow airlines and private planes using instrument flight rules (IFR). Try it, it's interesting and free.
We're still testing our airplane's our new navigation system, and this was a great opportunity. Our Garmin 430W GPS with a moving map now gives us weather and traffic information, great safety features.
Linked to Wayne's iPad using Bluetooth, it has lots of extra features and a larger second screen for him to use.
We left Bellingham with some high clouds skirting over the top of Mt. Baker. Below, we could see a low coastal layer still hanging around.
In a little over an hour we reached Chehalis Airport. We used our GPS to fly the RNAV (GPS) RWY (Runway) 16 IFR approach to descend through the low cloud layer. We broke out below the clouds right at the minimums. We were the only airplane in transient parking.
We chose this destination because we wanted to combine flying with eating. Across the road is a great little restaurant at the Riverside Golf Club.
Wayne has been dreaming about their Rooftop Hamburger on a pretzel dough bun with an egg on top. Pilots tease about the $100 hamburger. This one cost only $10 if you don't count the fuel to get there.
Back in Bellingham we could see all the standing water from the recent rains. And from the look of the skies (and our new weather report on the GPS) it looks like there will be more to come. Good thing we grabbed our window of opportunity.
For more information, Chehalis is featured in Chapter 14 "Why Favorites are Favorites" of Wayne's book Flying the Pacific Northwest. -- Margy