Friday, April 22, 2016


Flying doesn't always occur in clear weather. On our way home from Corvallis we flew over clouds, fairly thick in places. Smaller mountains were completely obscured. Only the tall Cascade volcanoes poked their heads through.

In flying, mountains obscured by clouds are sometimes called cumulogranite. You need to know where you are and avoid entering clouds in mountainous areas unless you are under instrument flight rules (IFR). Inside clouds may be bumpy, but they are filled with air. Cumulogranite has a hard core, hence their nickname.

Mt. Rainer near Seattle was sporting a cap cloud. Cap clouds form over mountain peaks when moist air cools and condenses as it is forced up the slopes and over the top. The remain relatively stationary, just like the mountain is wearing a cap. -- Margy

Friday, April 15, 2016

Westview Flying Club's New Website

Powell River Airport, Powell River BC
Even though our airplane is homebased in the States, we are members of the Westview Flying Club here in Powell River, BC. We jointed shortly after we arrived in Powell River in 2001 and have been active members ever since.

997 at the Westview Flying Club hangar
In the early days, we even had a hangar for 997 when we could fly to and from Bellingham. Now that we're permanent residents border crossing rules have changed so we do all of our flying in the States. Even so, we enjoy the company and camaraderie of fellow pilots in our new Canadian home.

One of the Westview Flying Club members, Laurel, has put together the Club's first website and she's done a fantastic job.

The Westview Flying Club's website home page.

Powell River (YPR) has a municipally run airport that serves both Pacific Coastal Airlines commercial flights and lots of private airplanes enjoying our friendly skies.

Come visit the Westview Flying Club website to see what we have to offer for both local and visiting pilots.

Lots of information for locals and visitors alike.

Thanks Laurel for such a great job and bringing our club into the digital age. -- Margy

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Oregon State University Women's Softball

Wayne and I flew 997 down to Corvallis to watch the softball Civil War match between the women of Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.

Because we aren't alumni of either school, we can go to their games and root for good plays on either side. After the opening pitch and the National Anthem, the members of each team are introduced. The women on the Oregon State team have a unique way of acknowledging each other down the line.

Then it's game on. We had beautiful warm weather for all three games. I guess with every war there has to be a winner and a loser. For this "friendly" one, OSU came out with no wins and UO three, making them the series overall winner.

In two weeks we'll do it all over again, but in Eugene at the University of Oregon. We're excited about seeing their brand new Jane Sanders Stadium. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate so we can fly 997 there as well. If not, we'll fly down the freeway but at a much more reasonable speed. -- Margy

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