Saturday, April 9, 2016

Flying 997 from Bellingham WA to Corvallis OR

Check out for charts and flight planning.
We frequently make the trip from Bellingham to Oregon for college sports events. Our destination is either Oregon State University at Corvallis or the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Our mode of transportation is always weather dependent. When we get at least four days of high pressure and sunny skies, the decision is easy. We fly there in our Piper Arrow 997.

Right now it's women's softball and men's baseball season. Spring weather can be changeable, but the forecast was a good one. We got 997 out of her hangar at Bellingham International Airport and were on our way by noon.

Waiting for departure at Bellingham International.

We flew VFR (visual flight rules). However, we stuck to the airways and contacted ATC (air traffic control) for flight following. That helps us get through the heavily used airspace around Seattle. Our new ADS-B system also helped locate and avoid nearby aircraft.

Crossing the Columbia River that separates Washington and Oregon.

There was a light haze towards the Cascade Range. Even so, we could see the volcanic peaks poking through with their tops covered in snow.

Mt. Rainer, Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Adams in the distance.

Once in Oregon, it was a short flight to Corvallis Municipal Airport. It's set in a lush agricultural area south of town. Runway 17 is recommended for landing in calm wind, but listening on the UNICOM frequency we learned everyone else was using Runway 35.

Entering downwind for Runway 35 at Corvallis.

It was good to find an airport busy with general aviation activity. Corvallis has an FBO (fixed-based operator) providing full aircraft services and flight training, a flight school for international students, helicopter services, air medical services, and hangar rentals.

Final approach to Runway 35 at Corvallis Municipal Airport.

Corvallis Aero Services staff were welcoming and helpful. Gas (Jet A and 100LL) is available from self-service pumps or truck. A large hangar offers maintenance and avionics services. The flight department offers aircraft rentals and training.

997 parked on the ramp next to Corvallis Aero Services.

We parked on the spacious ramp (free even for overnight stays). The dispatcher got us fueled up and recommended Orange Taxi. The driver arrived promptly and got us to the downtown Holiday Inn Express.  We got a room with a view of the Willamette River and walked to our favourite restaurant, the Block 15 brew pub. Since we were on the ground, we could indulge in one of their locally brewed ales back in the game room.  997, it's the only way to fly! -- Margy


  1. Gorgeous weather for flying.

    1. Each morning was overcast, but around noon we got warm sunshine. Loved working on my tan a bit with shorts. - Margy

  2. Fantastic views, and spring seems to have painted the fields in fresh green already! Love the volcanic peaks.

    1. It was very green, and bees were buzzing in all the fields. - Margy

  3. Great weather in the Willamette Valley for your travels and sports. And you just can't beat a good brew!!

    1. We loved it so much we went three out of four nights. Friday and Saturday a smoked ribs nights, and it's chicken on Sunday. They've added hushpuppies to the basket meals, yum! - Margy

  4. For some reason I have a mad desire to visit Corvallis as soon as we get back to Oregon! Thanks for the pub recommendation (C is always a nice trip up the freeway from Eugene).

    1. Next trip it's Eugene for us. Got any recommendations for there. We'll be watching softball in the new stadium at the University of Oregon. - Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy