0800 hours. Winds calm. It’s go time.

Plan of action: fly from Bend regional airport to The Dalles, touch down, eat lunch, refuel, fly back. Aaaaand get a ton of rad photos in the process. Spoiler alert: it was awesome. Good times, good views, good folk. Starring special guest: jean jacket. (I’ll explain later.)

0823 hours. I meet up with the pilot and CFII for a legally-binder waiver, pre-flight inspection and passenger briefing.

Batteries charged. Lenses cleaned. Gear loaded. Seat belts fastened.

After loading the departure procedure into the GPS, we are northbound. And the views do not disappoint. We connect with Seattle Center and the Traffic Control chatter soon takes over the coms.

*Record Scratch*

I should probably explain why I’m flying in the first place. You see, my roommate Adam Keller moved to Bend to attend COCC for the Professional Helicopter Program. After a little prodding, I was able to convince him to take me on a flight to document and take some sweet aerial photos. After being denied twice due to poor weather, the stars finally aligned.

Alright. Back to the story.

The approach.

After being treated to ridiculous views of the Sisters, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and St. Helens, we follow the Colombia River for a final approach.

With terrain to the right and the left and a steep approach angle, we prepare for landing at The Dalles Municipal Airport.

At minimums, runway Two Five in sight.

We land in the Dalles, Great Success.

Living off a steady stream of Clif bars, mandarin oranges, and chocolate bars, we fuel up on calories and actual (literal) heli fuel.

Also, obligatory group photos.

Adam Keller, Pilot and Grant, CFII
Adam Keller, Pilot and Drew Pick, (That’s me!)

So, that’s the jean jacket I alluded to earlier. Honestly, I didn’t know if I could pull it off before I bought it. But I was at Ross, and it spoke to me. (Pardon the messy hair.)

Homeward Bound.

All good things must come to an end, so we start our journey back to Bend Municipal. With the help of a bodacious tailwind, we make it in a cool hour thirty-four.

Home Safe and Sound.

Stoke is high, and I’m *actively* looking forward to my next flight. And don’t check my Amazon cart, because there deeeefinitely isn’t a drone in it.

Until next time, high fives all around!

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