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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

Table of Content for flying:

More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999



2009/06/24 Flight Out Group Trip To Yellowstone, Glacier Park and Portland / Evergreen Museum
π 2009-06-24 00:00 in Flying, Trips

Flight Out Group trip to Yellowstone, Glacier Park and Portland

One of the CFIs at our flight club, Dan Dyer, organizes occasional flights and small trips and this time it was at trip to Yellowstone and Glacier Park (with a stop around Portland on the way back to cut the trip up a little bit). It's a nice little treck, about 2000 miles/3300 km total, see the map at runwayfinder.

Here's the complete track of our trip, including the park visits and scenic flights:


Flight to West Yellowstone

Initially I had planned to do the flight by myself with Jennifer, but when prompted taking an experienced CFI along would be a good oportunity to fly lower in Canyons and learn a few things that I just wouldn't have done by myself where I just keep a bigger safety envelope due to limited experience closer to the peaks. This made it a good learning trip in addition to it being a great sightseeing trip.

We left a little bit later than the rest of the group so that I could have a chance to get enough sleep not to be useless as a pilot, although that still meant a before 06:00 wakeup, but we made up for the time with a non stop flight thanks to the 182's good payload capacity and full fuel takeoff with our limited weighs.

Trip Planning before departure
Trip Planning before departure


Jason Miller, keeping me out of trouble and teaching me new things
Jason Miller, keeping me out of trouble and teaching me new things


Runways there are simple, you just spray paint white corners on the ground :)
Runways there are simple, you just spray paint white corners on the ground :)


ILS approach to yellowstone with Voyager
ILS approach to yellowstone with Voyager

KWYS, West Yellowstone
KWYS, West Yellowstone


The flight to Yellowstone was nice and uneventful, even if it was a bit long. However, the weather wasn't ideal when we arrived, so we couldn't go overfly Yellowstone due to clouds and fairly high windws.


Yellowstone Park

As soon as we landed in Yellowstone, we got our rental car and went to the park to get a chance to see as much of it as possible before the day would be over. Jennifer had done a lot of research on the park and knew what to see in the time we had.





Old Faithful
Old Faithful




Yellowstone Day 2: Mountain Flying and tour of the Park

Most of us went mountain flying the next morning. While had already gotten 2 mountain checkouts, I figured getting some more practise couldn't hurt. We flew in some canyons, did some practise short radius turns, got pushed around by the wind and turbulence a fair amount before we headed for a Yellowstone overflight.

Jason and Scott in their trusty 172SP
Jason and Scott in their trusty 172SP

Ok, that wasn't part of our group :)
Ok, that wasn't part of our group :)


Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring

The old faithful settlement
The old faithful settlement

Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs

Practise low radius Canyon turns
Practise low radius Canyon turns

After a nice overflight of yellowstone, we went back to the ground and drove to the park to tour it the other way. Unfortunately, they had a stupid roadblock that only opened for 5mn every hour. We got there a couple minutes late and had to wait 30mn. Then, I made the critical mistake of letting the cars go so that we wouldn't get stuck in a long line of cars, but this turned out to be a mistake as they closed the road as soon as the continuous flow of cars stopped, just in front of us, and we got stuck another 30mn.
Oh well, we eventually got through and were able to do the loop the other way while stopping at all the relevant locations. We even ended up having just enough time to finish the loop the other way and get back to our hotel.






The 'Yellowstone Grand Canyon'
The 'Yellowstone Grand Canyon'





A lot of bisons in the park
A lot of bisons in the park

but they sometimes drive on the wrong side of the road :)
but they sometimes drive on the wrong side of the road :)

bridge to south entrance
bridge to south entrance



Day 3: Glacier National Park

The next morning, we tried to take off early to beat some brewing bad weather, lowering ceilings and incoming thunderstorms, and we did manage to get off on time towards better weather in Glacier National Park, which we reached by 11:00, in time for doing a nice visit of the park.

a little brewing bad weather
a little brewing bad weather

but we thankfully got out of it before it got bad
but we thankfully got out of it before it got bad


After a nice picnic by Lake McDonald, we went up to Logan Pass. By sheer luck, the Going to the Sun road had just opened a day earlier, and gave us a chance to reach the peak, along with some other people who had brought their skis and snowboards to ride the little bit of snow left at the top :)


Glacier Park's Lake McDonald
Glacier Park's Lake McDonald

the long road up that had just opened
the long road up that had just opened

weeping wall
weeping wall

the first patch of snow left (more higher up)
the first patch of snow left (more higher up)


those two were cute
those two were cute

People got excited to ski/board a few feet of glacier :)
People got excited to ski/board a few feet of glacier :)

It wasn't that much, really :)
It wasn't that much, really :)



Virginia Falls by Mary's Lake
Virginia Falls by Mary's Lake

We had enough time to reach the other side of the mountain range, and do some hiking by Mary's lake to Mary's and Virginia Falls, and then did the long drive back to our hotel.


Day 4: Glacier Park Overfly and Spruce Goose at the Air and Space Museum in Mc Minnville by Portland

The next morning we did an overfly of Glacier Park and headed for south of Portland to see Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose at the Air and Space Museum.
Flying Glacier Park at peak's height was impressive, even in nice weather and low winds.


KGPI / Glacier Park
KGPI / Glacier Park

KGPI
KGPI

Nice Little Runway
Nice Little Runway

Logan Pass
Logan Pass


that's lower than I would fly :)
that's lower than I would fly :)


We then went south to fly Clearwater Canyon for a while, and took a more direct route to Portland.

Clearwater River Canyon
Clearwater River Canyon

Those are not the missile silos you are looking for :)
Those are not the missile silos you are looking for :)

Crossing traffic
Crossing traffic


The Minnville Air and Space Museum was actually better than what we were hoping for. Quite a collection of planes, and of course the one and only monster wooden plane.



the Spruce Goose
the Spruce Goose

Damn, those aren't flaps, those are barn doors :)
Damn, those aren't flaps, those are barn doors :)

With this you can become #1 on final if you were #5 :)
With this you can become #1 on final if you were #5 :)

The Spruce Goose's rudder is bigger than most planes' wings
The Spruce Goose's rudder is bigger than most planes' wings

SR-71
SR-71


We then still had enough time to fly back to Palo Alto, as we didn't have much to do in Portland that we could think of, and were happy with the prospect of a nice night at home. Mt Sashta was on the way, so we flew right by it on the way down.



Mt Sashta
Mt Sashta

its ski slopes are in the wrong place though :(
its ski slopes are in the wrong place though :(

home, sweet home :)
home, sweet home :)

While it was a bit short and packed compared to what there was to see and do, it was a great trip. Too bad we didn't have more time to hang out and socialize as a result.
Thanks to the people who helped organize it.

You can see pictures about:

  • Palo Alto to Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone Day 1
  • Overflight of Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone Day 2
  • Flight from Yellowstone to Glacier Park
  • Visit of Glacier Park
  • Overflight of Glacier Park
  • Flight from Glacier Park to Evergreen Museum
  • Visit of Evergreen Air and Space Museum/Spruce Goose
  • Flight back to Palo Alto
  • 2009/06/12 Flight to Norcal TRACON
    π 2009-06-12 00:00 in Flying
    A few pilots from my flight club went to Norcal TRACON to visit the radar facility and see the air controllers who work there. Unfortunately, I have 0 pictures from there as it is a fairly secured facility and all pictures are forbidden, but it was a nice, albeit short visit (we only got 10-15mn minutes to sit with controllers, which was the most interesting part, but I suppose we're kind of a distraction for them, no matter how incredibly good they are at multitasking).

    The other remarkable portion of that flight was that I went in a Mooney Acclaim (fastest piston plane on the market).

    The for hire Moffett Blimp advertising the UP movie
    The for hire Moffett Blimp advertising the UP movie





    See more images for Flight to Norcal TRACON

    More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999