Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day Trip to Hoquiam, WA

Garmin 430W moving map in our panel.
The beautiful March weather beckoned us back up into the sky for a day trip to Hoquiam, Washington.  Wayne filed an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flight plan for us to get from our home airport at Bellingham to Bowerman Field in Hoquiam.

We like to combine flight proficiency with our pleasure trips. We are still learning all the ins and outs of our new ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) collision avoidance avionics. It allow us to see both weather and traffic information on the moving map of rhe Garmin 430W GPS installed in panel and on Wayne's iPad.

Final approach to Runway 24 at Bowerman Field.
We are also practicing GPS IFR approach procedures in good weather so that we are better prepared if we ever have to do them in actual cloudy conditions. But this day was anything but cloudy.

The approach brought us straight in to Runway 24 for an easy landing on the ample 5000-foot strip. Bowerman sits on a spit out into Grays Harbor with no obstructions at either end. Nice.

997 on the ramp at Bowerman Field with the pilot lounge in back.

While on the ground the first thing we noticed was the excellent condition of the runway and taxiways. We passed the self-serve fuel (100LL and JetA) fuel and parked next to the only other plane on the field in front of the pilot lounge.

Walkway over the marsh for bay and bird viewing.
Next we noticed that Bowerman is suffering from the recent decline in private aviation. The once thriving restaurant has moved downtown. The FBO (fixed base operator) is empty. The only signs of life were the FedEx terminal and people walking along the airport road.

Because of some online research, I knew they were heading to the adjacent Sandpiper Trail into the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge. Wayne and I tied 997 down and followed the other park visitors.

We went into the Pilot's Lounge to use the facilities and check things out. It's simple, but well cared for by the local EAA Chapter. There's an honour system for pop and snacks, and room for flight planning and relaxing.

On the wall there's a white board with quite a few messages. I'm not sure whether or not to believe the one about Tom Cruise being there in his Gulfstream in May 2006.

Bowerman Field with the town of Hoquiam on the right.

After departure we got a great view of Bowerman Field. We'll be back. Next time we'll walk into town and see what's happening.

Before we ldeparted, we left a donation to support goodies program and two copies of Up the Airway for pilots to enjoy. If you're a pilot, or just enjoy reading about flying adventures, this book wings you across Canada to show off the beautiful country from up above. Maybe it'll encourage some of the local pilots to come up and see us in Powell River. -- Margy


  1. Replies
    1. I married a pilot and flight instructor. It sort of came with the territory. I'm not the greatest pilot alone, but with Wayne flying with me we share the load and make an excellent team. - Margy


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