John Ness called me last night to say that Charlie had gone West. A long time friend and neighbor at Roche, Charlie was a retired tv cameraman when they had wires and vacuum tubes. He was also an oft-published author, with a book or two to his credit and several articles for AOPA, Flying and others. He wrote a nice article for us about the disappearing airfields, and shared some good old photos.
Where have all the Airports Gone?
He is survived by his wife Nancy, a longtime SJPA member.
Charlie at his Roche Harbor home
Charlie’s Alco Coupe
Southern Utah in October is the best! The grueling part is getting back and forth.
I arrived back in FHR yesterday afternoon after an arduous two-day flight from Page AZ (KPGA). Dodging gusty winds and clouds through mountainous terrain gets pretty strenuous. Carrying oxygen helped. I made a few cautionary landings with unplanned overnights — including sleeping on a couch in a pilots’ lounge.
The map below is my route plotted with my Spot Satellite Locator — HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! You can see I flew through the Columbia River Gorge to get into Western Washington because the Cascades were typically obscured in clouds. I have made this trip several times over the last four years, and the hardest part is nearly always flying VFR back into Western Washington.
My compliments to the aviation community. People at airports were good-natured and helpful all along the route. FBOs were always welcoming. Flight Service (AKA 1-800-WX-BRIEF) and Air Traffic Control are AWESOME. I love my government.
Route from Boise to Friday Harbor.
Route from Page AZ to Boise.
Thanks to Fred Schumacher!
These are shots from a flight in the vicinity of Bryce Canyon. The flying down here has been near perfect. I have joined up with a group of about thirty Flight Design CT’s for an annual fly-in. We are based at the Page Arizona airport (KPGA), and we are doing day-flights out of Page.
My CT has performed beautifully at high altitudes. After breakfast, we departed from the Bryce Canyon Airport – density altitude: 9,000′. No problem. Landing “hot & high” is noticeably different. The aircraft’s speed over the ground at touchdown is much faster than what I am used to as a sea-level pilot.
Southern Utah Landscape
Bryce Canyon Hoodoos
I am settled for a week in Page Arizona. The town of Page was created out of nowhere about fifty years ago as a base camp for the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. It now has a population of 7,000. The weather’s been sunny and warm. Today we flew a two and a half hour loop around Navajo Mountain — first we followed the San Juan River, then went to Combs Ridge near Bluff Utah, over to Monument Valley, then down to Kayenta Arizona, and finally landing back home at Page (KPGA).
Arizona / Utah Border.
Arizona / Utah Border
Near Kayenta Arizona
San Juan River
Near Bluff Utah
Near Bluff Utah
This is a video of my flight over stark landscapes. I departed Wendover Utah (KENV) and headed southeast. I hopped over a 10,000′ mountain range and headed south in the vicinity of Capital Reef National Park and Grand Staircase / Escalante. I flew over Lake Powell, fed by the Colorado River, before my landing at Page Arizona (KPGA).
After breaking out of Western Washington’s fog and overcast, I am now in Wendover Utah and headed south. These are shots from my first two days of my flight. Next stop: Page Arizona (KPGA) where I will be based for a week. Page is just south of the Utah border.
Eastern Washington at Sunset. Just south of Yakima.
Flying through the Columbia River Gorge.
Exiting The Gorge and hoping to land at Pendleton, this cloud greeted me. I called ATIS – wind 35 knots gusting to 45. Dust. I diverted.
Nevada desert fall colors.
My route so far as shown on my SPOT Satellite Locator.
Take 2, WordPress and YouTube had a little disagreement.
Thanks to Fred Schumacher!
Join us this Friday Sep 26th at 11:30 AM for our regular End Of The Month Lunch at the Cask and Schooner Restaurant in Friday Harbor.
This month’s program will be a presentation by SJPA board member, Darryl Swenson, on his recent flights across Canada. Come and enjoy a coast to coast view of Canada through photos taken from 1,000’ AGL. You will see the crossing of the Canadian Cascades, The Canadian Rockies, the Saskatchewan plains, The Manitoban lowlands, The Canadian Shield through Ontario and Quebec, and ending at Price Edward Island / The Martine Provinces.