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.
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.
- 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.
- Bitteroot Western Slopes: “Not a spot of color, except for Marian’s Citabria”
- 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.
- 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.
Ride along with us and see! PICTURES/SLIDESHOW POSTED HERE
Even MORE exciting photographic aerial adventures are POSTED HERE