I got off work early yesterday and headed out the airport with Dave, where we rented N54477 and flew a cross country flight to Corvallis and Independence, Oregon. It was hazy with layers of cirrus and cirrostratus clouds, clear skies to the south of Hillsboro, and lots of other airplanes and helicopters in the air with us. During our climb out through the haze the tower informed all on his frequency “caution all aircraft, numerous targets in the vicinity of Forest Grove.” We stayed east of Forest Grove and scanned vigilantly for traffic as we passed over the Newberg VOR and climbed to our cruising altitude of 5,500 feet MSL. We took it slow at first, flew a 360 between Newberg and McMinville, then increased our speed to 100 knots and tracked the 174 radial of the V495 Airway to Corvallis. There wasn’t really a sunset, but the snow-flecked coastal range mountains were certainly worthy of a few photos.

There was an airplane on the VOR/DME approach for runway 35 when we entered the pattern at KCVO. I crossed the airport at midfield, checked the windsock, and maneuvered for a 45-degree entry to left downwind for runway 35. As I turned onto the downwind leg an airplane arriving from the north reported he was entering a 45 on left downwind for runway 17. We announced and coordinated our positions over the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) as I landed first, cleared the runway, and he landed the opposite direction. The windsock was pretty limp, but it was slightly in favor of 35, which is why flew over the field and picked that direction. Nevertheless, yet another airplane entered the pattern for runway 17, so I taxied us to 17 behind a departing twin, took the runway and departed to the south, then climbed back out to the north. There was a very low aircraft that looked to be an ultralight flying beneath us out of a private field (Venell). I’d say it was a moderately busy day in the skies above Corvallis.

Next we climbed and then promptly descended into Independence State Airport (7S5) which is near Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon where my very good friend Lindsay attended college. No traffic was in the pattern, so we entered on the 45 for left downwind runway 34. I let the airplane stay high on final so we floated a bit and ended up doing a full stop and taxing around to the beginning of the runway instead of executing a touch-and-go, but it gave us a chance to admire the wealthy homes immediately adjacent to the taxiway. An airplane entered the pattern as we taxied up to the runway, so we communicated over the CTAF frequency as I took the runway and departed to the north. We encountered no other aircraft within our immediate proximity for the remainder of the trip, and we landed safely back in Hillsboro. Dave and I finished up the evening with tasty Thai food at “Thai Derm” (what a name) and watched some TV over at my place with Tammy. Not bad for a Thursday night!

(flickr set)

One Response to “Full Stops in Corvallis and Independence”

  1. David

    It was a fun flight. Thanks for asking me to go. :) The arrival of better weather makes me excited for the possibility of more trips… the Bend area, Three Sisters, St. Helens, Adams, Rainier, Hood, pretty much any mountain in the area. :) Just being up there is cool, though.

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