Warm weather has returned to the pacific northwest! Earlier this week I booked a rental airplane, and last night Tammy and I escaped the heat to cooler temperatures aloft. The temperature normally drops at about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit per 1000 feet, so after a climb to 6,500 feet we enjoyed a cool 72 degree breeze while everyone at the surface was sweating in the 95 degree heat. We flew over the Oregon Coastal Range to the city of Tillamook, then meandered aimlessly around a familiar stretch of the Oregon coastline for well over an hour. Although there was low visibility at the surface, the sky above the haze was a vivid blue. We kept our windows open for the most the flight and enjoyed the warm, ocean air for as long as we could. A few minutes before sunset we turned back towards the Willamette Valley, and on the trip back over the Coastal Range we performed some 360’s so Tammy could get better pictures of the sunset from her side of the airplane. It really was a gorgeous sunset, and Tammy captured some impressive pictures of it.

FAA regulations state that in order to carry passengers during the period beginning one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise, you must perform 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop during the same period within the preceding 90 days. Unfortunately this night-recency requirement lapsed for me, and so I had to have Tammy out of the airplane by 9:38pm (an hour after sunset). We arrived back in Hillsboro before the deadline, and after Tammy disembarked I took off again and performed 4 landings while she waited in the car and listened to music. I’m a bad date, I know, but hopefully the gorgeous scenery we witnessed made up for her having to wait for me, and at least now I’m once again legal to take her up at night!

Here is the full flickr set from the flight, and here is another video.

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