Now that we have some good flying weather, I hope that folks have been getting some flying in and keeping their skills sharp. Simulation Flight is now open if you need to regain instrument currency. Though, masks are required as Simulation Flight is an indoor businesses and due to the Governor’s mandate in response to COVID-19.
For those of you who like back country flying, I would highly recommend that you consider Big Creek, U60. My wife, Kolette, and I flew in there this past weekend and we had a great time. We stayed at the big creek lodge where we were welcomed by very warm staff. They even drove us to a trailhead for a lovely hike down big creek with lots of flowers and awesome scenery.
As some of you are probably aware, the lodge burned down in 2008. The Idaho Aviation Foundation — a non profit organization which supports initiatives and projects designed to maintain, update and develop airstrips, improve access, and promote safety at background recreational airports — collected donations and took on the project of rebuilding the lodge which was finally completed in 2018.
Friday evening there were some good musicians who provided for some good entertainment. The food was excellent and if you stay at the lodge, breakfast is included.
Although the airstrip is fairly long at 3500 feet, it is high at 5700 feet elevation, so you should remember to check density altitude and make sure your airplane has adequate performance. It does sit in a mountain valley with some of the surrounding peaks reaching around 9000 feet. It also has a little slope to it; generally, pilots take off downhill to the north and land uphill to the south. The river flows north and then east, so taking off to the North allows you to follow the river until you have adequate altitude to clear the surrounding terrain. If you have any doubts your mountain flying competency you should get a mountain check out with your favorite CFI.
For more information, or to make a reservation at the lodge, please visit: www.bigcreeklodgeidaho.com. Also, the forest service maintains the Big Creek campground at the south east end of the airstrip where you can tent camp for $10/night.
For those of you considering flying into Big Creek you should definitely review the Big Creek Standard Operating Procedures which can be found here: https://itd.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/BigCreek_SOP_Aero.pdf.