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  • Steve

RV-8 and the Wonderful Westport Trip

Friday 2/23/24 was an even nicer day than it was forecasted to be. Saturday was supposed to be, and in fact was, a day of mostly clouds, low ceilings, and rain, so I took Friday off to go somewhere. For many reasons, it had been a while since Carl and I made our usual lunch run and about the only place we had been this year was Chehalis. It looked iffy for Forks, but looked good for Westport, so that is where we went.

The forecast called for morning fog clearing by mid-morning, which is about exactly what happened, though at Arlington it cleared earlier than that. Elsewhere in the region, it cleared quite a bit later.

When we left at about 12:10, there was still a lot of fog to the southwest. From about the far side of Whidbey Island south to about Olympia, and west just past Shelton was a thick blanket of fog.

Blanket of fog.

It made me a little nervous flying over all that fog since the ceilings under it were only 300'-500'. Not the best scenario if something were to go wrong. To mitigate the risk somewhat, we climbed to 8,500' to have some time to think if needed. While that is something to be aware of, the risk isn't really heightened in these conditions because, even without the fog, there really isn't any good place for an emergency landing if something were to go wrong.

UFO crashing to Earth.

After the crash.

About the only time this condition would make a difference would be if one were to lose only partial power, or to lose power gradually where one could otherwise limp to an airport, since there are rather a lot of them around. Which is why it is relatively easy to travel around here without ever being much more than 20-30 miles from an airport. In that case, the extra altitude is very beneficial.

The only thing that made it a more tolerable risk is that the fog did end and we were only over it for the first half of the trip and it was forecasted to lift soon and should be clear on the way home.

Lake Cushman.

There was a fairly strong headwind going down there as was evidenced by the significantly lower than usual groundspeed. Hopefully that will continue because it should result in a good tailwind getting home.

Lunch at the Westport pizza place wasn't exactly an original idea that. There were two other airplanes that arrived about the same time we did. Still, there was room to park and a table at the Pizza joint, so what's not to like.

As it should be, the first row of parking was obviously reserved for RV-8s.

We headed home about 2:20 and the aforementioned headwind did indeed stick around to be a nice tailwind going home.

We had a respectable tailwind going home.

Getting closer to home, looking to the northwest towards Port Townsend I finally got to see how clouds are made. There was a cloud generator in use creating a line of low clouds spreading to the east / southeast.

Cloud generator near Pt. Townsend.

When we got back to Arlington it was a bit of a zoo. As I approached the airport on the forty-five, there were three airplanes in front of me on downwind and, I think, one more in front of them. By the time I turned downwind, there was another airplane behind me. I was a bit worried that the pattern would get spread out to about Paine Field, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. In with all this , there was also a guy shooting a practice instrument approach, but fortunately, he went missed very early and did not really get in the way.

Unfortunately, the two people that landed in front me both went for the gas pumps and I didn't really have the time to wait, so I just put the airplane away. All in all, it was a very nice excursion.

The outbound track log is here.

The return track log is here.

The video is here.

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