World Class Trike Flights-- Dec 11, 2009

Last updated by CraigV

Categories: Trike Talk, Cross Country / XC, Big Fast Trikes, Weather

Where are those few special, world class places we have visited as trike pilots that a visiting pilot would just have to see?  Pretty and nice aren't enough...we've all been to lots of those.  I've got two I've been to and know of at least three others that are must sees but I haven't flown there yet. 

The first is here in my home area, the San Francisco Bay Area.  My airport is Oakland (KOAK).  Take off, follow the Oakland/Alameda estuary then head out over San Francisco Bay, circle Alcatraz, fly over San Francisco to the beach, follow the beaches and cliffs and fly back and over the Golden Gate Bridge.  If this doesn't put a lump in your throat, then you're not alive!  There are many variations but this is the basic flight.  You could do a short flight in an hour but give yourself more time then that.  One variation is to head on down to Half Moon Bay (HAF) for a bite to eat at a superb airport cafe and you'll see just a bit of the stunning San Mateo coast line.  This is mostly under Class B airspace so a transponder is needed.

My second is the Columbia River Gorge area.  The Columbia River Gorge is the gorge carved by the Columbia River (for you easterners, think the Mississippi River) as it cuts through the Cascade Mountains between Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood and creating the Oregon/Washington border.   Take off from Jernsted AP (4S2) which is on the edge of the town of Hood River at the base of Mt. Hood before sunrise.  Fly west down The Gorge towards Portland but be aware of possible turbulence over The Gorge walls, as it can be wicked!  Don't miss the many waterfalls especially Multnomah Falls at 620' high. 

As you emerge out of The Gorge turn around and watch the sunrise behind you, and if it's late summer, the sun will be framed by the walls of The Gorge.  Look to your left and right and you will see the spine of the Cascade Range going from horizon to horizon.  Rising above the spine are the major mountains.  To the north in Washington state; Mt. Rainier-14,411', Mt. St. Helens (or what's left of it) 8365', Mt. Adams-12,281' and to the south in Oregon; Mt. Hood-11,249', Mt. Jefferson-10,497' and The Three Sisters-the tallest at 10,363'.

So what amazing flight have you done that should be added to this list?