‘THE SEVENTEEN’ Completes Production, Ready To Roll…

AIR CREATIVE teams up with COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE & LC Valley’s FRIENDS OF THE AIRPORT to document one of the last flying B-17 ‘Fortresses’ in existence …From pilot’s perspective! SEE CLIP ON ‘VIDEO’ PAGE

CAPT. RICH ROBERTS (CAF & US AIRWAYS) Narrates this technical documentary from History, through Pre-Flight, Navigation and Logistical challenges in this behind-the-scenes and very candid view at Airplane & it’s unique crew. Filmed in the skies over the beautiful Inter-Mountain Northwest, an entertaining, captivating and VERY EDUCATIONAL 70 minute presentation.

Made it!!! Hello Coeur D'Alene


It should be noted that although the DVD is promotional in nature, produced for LWS ‘Friends Of The Airport’, WASHINGTON PILOTS ASSOC ‘Wings’ & enthusiasts~ is not planned for commercial release… However, look for a YOUTUBE version in the very-near future, according to the producers. For more information on the C.A.F. and it’s large inventory of FLYING VINTAGE AIRCRAFT check out www.azcaf.org

Posted on January 7, 2013 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comments Off

What Goes Up…

UPDATE TIME! Working on a couple educational video projects, one with the C.A.F. featuring the B-17 ‘Sentimental Journey’ and the other a very interesting look at Density Altitudes, for the FAAST FAA Safety Team NW. (Aside from actually getting to FLY A B-17) Some of the wake vorticity study we did recently was especially interesting:


-=Gs=-

Posted on October 12, 2012 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comments Off

Lewis-Clark Air Festival

LC Air Festival was a hit! Despite 100 degree temps, a great crowd showed up for the ‘Salute To The Veterans’ at 10:00am followed by helicopter drop, static displays, helicopter and biplane rides, and the star B-17 ‘Sentimental Journey’… a great time had by all and special thanks to the sponsors, Ralph Stout, Friends of the Airport, Robin Turner & the Airport Authority for helping to make one of the LC Valley’s largest aviation events a day many will remember! -=Gs=-
PHOTOS:
—-
TIMELAPSE-OF-THE-DAY:

Extra special thanks to everyone who came by!

Posted on August 12, 2012 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment

WA Pilots win, Snake River airports open all year!

 

 

SNAKE RIVER – Outdoor enthusiasts are getting some air-support that will help them reach their recreation hotspots this winter and next spring. *ed: The WPA/Spokane chapter stewards the Lower Granite (00W) airport spear-heading this effort to keep this unique and pristine area open.  Disclaimer: Chapter President Tom Morris, is a friend of ours and a proud 18,000hr trans-oceanic airline guy, who is hanging his scrambled egg brim hat this weekend… Congrats Tom!

Washington State Department of Transportation announced earlier this week that the Lower Monumental, Lower Granite and Little Goose airports along the Snake River in Walla Walla, Whitman and Spokane counties, will remain open year-round.

In past years, these airports have typically closed between October and June. This changed after WSDOT and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) weighed a number of factors, including expressed interest from pilots and recreational organizations.

“Keeping these state-operated airports open all year will help support the local economies and allow pilots much greater access to popular winter fishing and hunting activities along the Snake River corridor,” said Paul Wolf, WSDOT airport manager, adding that WSDOT leases the airports from the ACOE. “We were able to keep them open because of flexibility in our lease agreements and the fact that the airports typically don’t see a lot of snow in the winter.”

Nine of the 17 WSDOT-operated airports are currently closed for the winter due to typical snow accumulations on airport runways, lease agreements and state law requirements. And while the Lower Monumental, Lower Granite and Little Goose airports are not scheduled to close, pilots are reminded to plan ahead by reviewing the latest Notices to Airmen and checking WSDOT’s state-operated airports webpage for updated information about airport closures.

“It’s important to note that even though these airports are scheduled to remain open throughout the year, adverse weather can change this very quickly,” Wolf said. “We won’t be conducting snow removal at the Snake River airports, and they will be closed if snow accumulates on the runways.”

-WDOT (via wsdot@service.govdelivery.com)

Posted on November 4, 2011 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment

Spokane Veterans See True Colors on WPA Foliage Flight

0430: I rush to the computer for the official Go/No-Go weather check. It’s POURING outside. But the radar also shows a rapid clear slot.  Just then, “It’s a GO” beeps the phone with Paul on it, practically taxiing already.  It had stopped raining completely by the time I finished my breakfast brick and quarter cup of half n half.

Gray traces of dawn breaking above memorial flag in Medical Lake, WA

The sun cracks through the cloud base of a misty dawn, silhouetting a single American Flag across the field bearing a certain local Veteran’s memorial. I’m in a Super8 at Medical Lake, and this is my call.  Just a group of simple Civilian Pilots on a yearly patriotic mission…

7 airplanes, 10 pilots, 20 vets and a couple very lucky by-standers took flight this year with Spokane Chapter WPA members. Carolyn thankfully gathered the real food, yummy SUBWAY (Jacob, our sandwich ‘artist’) and everybody at WESTERN AVIATION very kindly donated their hangar.  Meanwhile, I bump into Terry and Dana at Spokane Airways and didn’t even know they were taking part!  This is going to be a good day. Touching down on the still somewhat-glistening Runway 3L at Felts Field, Paul was already in the pattern doing those touch n’ goes  ‘Just working some bubbles out of my new right strut’ he says.

Pilots Tom Morris, Marian Heale, Dana Newcomb, Gary White, Geoff Scott, Paul Vietzke, Terry Newcomb and Dan Melville enjoy a dry spot on the ramp at Felts.

MY FLIGHTNOTES:

  1. Silverwood is building what appears to be a new high-speed/volume teardrop shaped park entrance off Highway95. Big enough to land a small Citation on.
  2. Bitteroot Western Slopes: “Not a spot of color, except for Marian’s Citabria”
  3. Eastern slopes of Lake Coeur D’Alene: Engulfed by smoke. To the extent made a quick call to Spokane approach; “We didn’t just fly into a new TFR, did we?” Thankfully, we had not.
  4. Did anyone else notice how accommodating Felts Tower was? Impressively cool ATC Doug and Kelly provided some ‘red-carpet’ service in an already crowded day, complete with special message; “We are so glad up here you (all) do this for our veterans… thank you. Continue taxi back to Ramp.”

V.A. Director Pam Wick; “Most of these vets have never done anything like this before and they were so excited and thrilled to have gotten the opportunity.  …Thank you for your time and generosity, and know we truly appreciate all the pilots involved.” Left with a smile a mile-wide, I now think how thankful I am, to be able to share such feeling of freedom as flight, with these true heroes who dedicated their lives, protecting ours.

We salute you! Spokane area veterans take flight with the WPA.

Ride along with us and see! PICTURES/SLIDESHOW POSTED HERE

Even MORE exciting photographic aerial adventures are POSTED HERE

Posted on October 3, 2011 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment

TOO Close For Comfort… TS Season Returns!

Recently asked me to share some of my CB collection with you~ Unfortunately, it turns out, I know the subject all TOO WELL. These accounts are posted to serve as a reminder that mother nature is NOT to be taken lightly, and even though I have studied weather systems for nearly 40 years~ There’s always more to be learned, with every frontal passage. IN THE SKIES- around, through, or under them is NOT the place to learn about Convective (Vertical Build) or Orographic Development. In other words; *DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!*…

LESSONS LEARNED:
Having flown gliders in New England, landed with ice, and even as a traffic reporter in Boston, observed in some of the worst 300ft weather imaginable… I wonder if perhaps all this experience had diluted my pilot “spidey-senses” when it comes to “go” or “not go.” The day the instructor and I saw building cumulus a few miles off the airport with a single ponytail of virga around 6,000’ (Hint #2) 20-30 minutes before it would be even close I figured, “No big deal. We can still squeeze in three or four T n G‘s,” and three minutes of actual consideration later, I selfishly committed us to one of the most death defying rides of an almost shortened-life;
…As soon as I applied full throttle to the little C150, the winds bee lined from 300 @ 6 (RWY HDG) to 14G22 out of 270, and almost full rudder was needed just to keep us aligned (Hint #3). Rotating into what should have been a 400 FPM climb, it just lumbered along as if to say “You sure you want go there?” (Hint #4). Barely climbing with an increasing groundspeed (Hint #5) the airspeed indicator dancing between ends of the green arc (Hint #6). How many clues does it take? “Down draft! My airplane.” Instructor commanded over intercom as we narrowly cleared what would be the edge of the plateau. Still flying … barely. We were now in that shaft of rain that seemed so far away (Hint #1). Ground-speeding faster still showing 60kts and trying to squeeze every vertical foot out of our violently pitching aircraft, it had gone from “pleasure” to “pressure” flight in 6,000’ horizontally in less than a minute.
On the radio three other aircraft squawking their displeasure at this sudden turn of weather, trying to race in below the cascading curtain. One pilot said “It’s like this for 100 miles… this is the alternate”. Tower, dutifully accommodated (while clamoring to amend the METAR) all of us in a controller equivalent of “All aircraft cleared for landing, any runway.” We positioned ourselves for a very short final for RWY30, then RWY26, then, cleared to RWY30 again-much like the winds now 19G32 teetering between 270 & 310 degrees with an occasional 060 just to keep things interesting. Two aircraft in front, one aside, landing like a carefully choreographed routine, one clearing the runway as the other would land adjacent… couldn’t have been scripted any better by trained formation pilots! Then it was our turn as the instructor, keeping power in, jammed the nose down and pointed it at the numbers. “Keep our speed up in that downdraft” she said. We spiraled down to a 45 degree final. Right before the threshold, we cut throttle and began a 5,000’ flare down the 6,000’ surface. Settling as gracefully as if driving over a small log, but alive and on the ground. Hands melded to the shape of yoke, braking together, barely, we made the last taxiway. Tower had already cleared us to the gate back at the ‘first’ flare. Lighting crashed; I later noticed how close the flash really was when I had to reset my blinking dashboard clock. That was close enough into the “mouth of doom” for us that day.

     

  1. Always get the full weather briefing from approved sources EVEN IF “it’s just pattern work” Conditions change very rapidly near severe weather. In our case, the time it took to taxi and perform a run-up.
  2. USE YOUR ADM. in a reasonable logical order, beware of “macho”, “complacent”, and “Oh we’ve done this A MILLION TIMES BEFORE” it can kill you… Wondering about limits and extremes is best served over a warm cup of vending machine coffee in the pilots lounge ~ Not while flying them.
  3. If you’re ready to depart, and find yourself thinking; “Hmmm, SHOULD we, or SHOULDN’T we?” Chances are pretty good this is probably good time NOT to. the longer it takes to justify (like our departure) the less likely it is we should actually do it!
  4. There’s a REASON to avoid severe weather by 20+ miles. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there- Inflows, outflows, sudden core shifts and even hail cascading out of sides of clouds …. Again, more fun watching from the ground than from un-expectantly IN IT.

LINK: to the VIDEOS PAGE and see some incredible cloud development shots!!!

Posted on April 17, 2011 | Posted by Geoff Scott | 1 Comment

Spokane Tower Dedicated To WWII Veteran

The Ray Daves Tower at Geiger International was officially renamed and dedicated in a first-of-a-kind event in our country for a very special man–Ray Daves, a WWII NCO and Purple Heart recipient. Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (WA-05) spoke at the dedication, made possible by passage a bill she introduced to the 111th Congress that was signed into law on Dec. 22, 2010.”

Said the 90 year-old veteran sailor, and subject of the book “Radioman” by Carol Edgemon Hipperson (St. Martin’s Press), “Today I am humbled to be in the presence of this gathering: Representative McMorris-Rodgers, military and government officials, FAA personnel, local dignitaries and my family. The technicians who keep everything up and running and the crews who make it possible for the controllers to do their jobs safely and well. I didn’t realize when Tom Torvick, his sister Stephanie, his mother Roberta Yanuszeski and Liz Larsen began the process to rename the tower, something this monumental would come of their untiring efforts. I thank them for believing in me and the process. How fortunate we are to have made such wonderful new friends during this time. When I began working for the civil aeronautics agency in early 1946, I knew I had found the perfect job. In fact, it became my passion. I couldn’t wait to get back to work….even when on vacation.”

Proud grand-daughter Angela Boyette says of the honors, “GP smiled bigger than I have seen him smile in a long time….They presented him with a flag that they flew over the tower the day the bill was passed- way cool! They will have a shadow box just inside the tower with a beautiful plaque and picture…. tells the story a bit. He is mainly just trying to come to terms with his overwhelming feelings. It brought tears to his eyes to be honored in such a way.”

Angela adds, “We hope this brings more awareness to Honor Flight too. We have 150 veterans on a waiting list to go.” She requests that donations be sent to:

Inland Northwest Honor Flight
608 W 2nd, Ste 309
Spokane, WA 99201-4430

www.inwhonorflight.org

Read more about the Ray Daves Air Traffic Control Tower Dedication in the March 2011 Washington Pilots Association Newsletter on-line at: http://www.wpaflys.org/Chapters/Spokane/Mar11Online.pdf

Posted on March 21, 2011 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment

100 Year Wings

J.J. Ward piloted the first powered flight over the LC Valley on October 13th, 1910.


Now, 100yrs later, the 1909 Herring-Curtis “Model- D Pusher” flies once again, looking and flying just like the original at first glance, then look again; the O-200 engine, sturdy wheels capable of cross-wind hard surfaces, and rudder pedals? It’s better. (Certain “modern day” amenities incorporated to meet current FAA standards)
Roll-out at Stout Aviation for '100Year Annv'
Built by Jim Otey (former WPA president & Boeing engineer) and recently inducted EAA-Hall-Of-Famer Dean Wilson (inventor of the Avid-Flyer & “kit Fox”), The brittled- yellow plans were discovered in a widow’s attic and brought to the EAA, soon to discover they were the wing-forms for the 1st aircraft ever flown in Idaho! Glenn-Curtiss museum shipped copies of the original plans for $25. 1400’ of rigging, spruce, bamboo tubing, cloth doping, and 2 yrs later: The 724lb Bi-winged 4-stabilized “Header” was officially rolled-out under Governor-proclamation for “IDAHO CENTENNIAL OF FLIGHT” at Stout Aviation.

How does it feel to learn a plane never flown before? Otey says- “With that 80hp C-150 engine the minute you apply power – you better be ready to start flying!” Curtis would most certainly have approved of this remarkable 400′ take-off in 5 second and climb at 55… that’s nearly “Mach 3″ in Wright speed . “260’(sq) of wing @ 4lbs per foot loading, it flies more like a glider than a Champ… but you wouldn’t want to try and glide it.” Jim adds. There are several offers to house it at several area museums and even an invite for the US Navy 100yr anniversary~ though, maybe not; “My stomach isn’t so tight anymore, I think it’s growing on me” Jim admits, rolling beside two PBS-TV camera trucks down RWY8 at KLWS.

Posted on November 8, 2010 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment

2010 WPA/Vets Take Wing

One thing about the annual WPA Veteran’s “Fall Foliage” flight; we never know what the flying weather will be like on the third weekend of September, until we get there! Even as I awoke at 3AM to drive up from Clarkston to pick up Dave and the 172 for a 0900 rendezvous, the radar peppered with cauliflower patches of brightened green and orange along our “normal” intended route up the Idaho/Montana border. Outside, the rain pounded our metal roof between nearly continuous deafening claps of thunder. “…We’re not going flying, TODAY” I thought.

Fall arrives in the Pacific NorthWest

Then, looking again, I noticed a clearing line rapidly developing over the L/C Valley and confirmed it with a quick glance at the Satellite view. There WAS a chance we’d have a “window” after all. So, in the 4:30AM darkness, I chased the back-end across the Palouse, catching up with the rain again at Rosalia… IF the GO-NO GO was going to be a last minute call between all of us, at least I’d be there to be GONE or NOT-GONE. The windshield was still lightly beading as we touched-down on Runway 3L at Felts and saw the group of Pilots & veterans already assembled on the Western Ramp. Pam Wicks (of the V.A.) had brought an “eager” group of guests this year~ one route or another; we would not let them down!
It was agreed conditions were looking better to the West, so, we chose the Spokane River route. Low ceilings kept our initial leg to around 4,000’ and working just out of the boundary of Class “Charlie” airspace presented some unique “ATC Challenges”, with controllers watching a string of aircraft pass across their screens. This marked the first time I was honored to fly the tour as “P.I.C.” and it would also become my first “Declared” (very loose) FORMATION and how exciting that was, when ATC asked us kindly to switch off the Transponders of the non-leading aircraft. We would be handled as “one” aircraft.

Gran Coulee and Electric City pass

Our guests found it equally as exciting, with constant radio-chatter between the aircraft, maintaining separation and pointing out interests along the route down the river. (*I’d always wanted to fly that route) Over Long Lake, Nine-Mile, Seven Bays, and down the Mighty Columbia all the way to the Gran Coulee Dam! Lots of happy smiles and thumbs up from the backseat of our aircraft, anyway.

22 Passengers, in all, flown in 9 aircraft for the 212nm trip, making just a tad over 4,400 “passenger miles” flown! Coming back into town, ceilings greeted us at 1,400’ so we were very thankful mother-nature had given us such a perfectly timed window of opportunity before the radar again would light-up for the afternoon. Carolyn had all the fixings setup as the Vets were treated to “Hangar Lunch” courtesy of Subway, stories and friendships exchanged. Bonus: even our “ground support” Chris Wetherell of ARFF (an aspiring young aviator himself) got to “tag along” for the ride;  Nobody seemingly to care, that we hadn’t seen a spot of “foliage” along the entire ride.

WASHINGTON PILOTS: Bob Warner, Dave DuFour, Geoff Scott, Mel Fitzpatric, Jeff Renfrow, Tom Morris, Larry Howard, Jerry Baur, Garry White, Duane Lukan, Paul Vietzke. (not shown: Carolyn White, Chris Wetherel – Ground support, Pam Wicks-V.A.)

THE ROUTE:

Alternate Route - Vets Flight

PHOTOS POSTED AT: http://picasaweb.google.com/geoff945/2010VetsFlight#

-=Gs=-

Posted on October 3, 2010 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment

HOME RUN for the HOME TEAM!

Sent: Monday, March 08, 2010 11:40 PM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: Congratulations! It’s an airport!!

Folks,

After several years of studies and riding the ups and downs of the tides of opinions on the fate of Vista Field, today was the big vote.  In a unanimous decision by the three port commissioners, they voted to keep the airport open!

To the many of you who attended the Monday night hearing, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Thanks to all of you who stepped up to the podium and spoke on behalf of keeping the airport open.  Thirty-six people spoke in favor of keeping the airport and six wanted it closed.

The meeting was orderly, the speakers were eloquent, considerate, and courteous.  A wide variety of points were made with many speakers from outside the area, as well as locally.  John Sibold of the WSDOT Aviation Division, Carol Moser chairman of the state Transportation Committee, and John Dobson of Washington Pilots Association were among the notable speakers in favor of keeping Vista Field open.

- Marjy Leggett/AOPA Airport Support Network Volunteer

Posted on March 9, 2010 | Posted by Geoff Scott | Comment