Pilot stories everywhere during Wallowa County Fly-In

August 17, 2016 - storage organizer

The selected DC-3 drew many admirers during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

The selected DC-3 drew many admirers during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In.


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Amy Keiter smiles by a open doors of father Robert Donatzs Cessna 195 as she explains a singular craft to visitors during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In on Saturday.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Amy Keiter smiles by a open doors of father Robert Donatz’s Cessna 195 as she explains a singular craft to visitors during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In on Saturday.


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Bill Hall, secretary of North East Oregon Aviation Foundation and organizer of a Fly-In, enjoys questioning Miss Veedol, a initial aeroplane to cranky a Pacific Ocean, with another pilot.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Bill Hall, secretary of North East Oregon Aviation Foundation and organizer of a Fly-In, enjoys questioning Miss Veedol, a initial aeroplane to cranky a Pacific Ocean, with another pilot.


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Greg, 9, takes a float with gifted commander Tim Locke and his roughly a commander adoptive uncle Emmet Wold.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Greg, 9, takes a float with gifted commander Tim Locke and his “almost a pilot” adoptive uncle Emmet Wold.


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Youre never too aged to fly, as demonstrated by E.H. Van Blaricom of Joseph, who went adult with gifted commander Barney Locke.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

You’re never too aged to fly, as demonstrated by E.H. Van Blaricom of Joseph, who went adult with gifted commander Barney Locke.


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Bill Hall, secretary of a North East Oregon Aviation Foundation, welcomes a smiling Dennis Smith of Enterprise behind from his moody with gifted commander Barney Locke.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Bill Hall, secretary of a North East Oregon Aviation Foundation, welcomes a smiling Dennis Smith of Enterprise behind from his moody with gifted commander Barney Locke.


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Mark Peterson was unequivocally loose before holding his P-51 adult for acrobatics.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Mark Peterson was unequivocally loose before holding his P-51 adult for acrobatics.


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A family examines a biplane that done a late coming on Saturday during a Wallowa County Fly-In.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

A family examines a biplane that done a late coming on Saturday during a Wallowa County Fly-In.


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John Dunlap and Robyn Holdman of Sisters, Ore., arrange their bikes for a outing into city and a Bronze, Blues and Brews festival.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

John Dunlap and Robyn Holdman of Sisters, Ore., arrange their bikes for a outing into city and a Bronze, Blues and Brews festival.


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A outrageous throng of visitors moves toward a runway to watch as Mark Peterson takes his P-51 warrior adult to perform aviation exercices during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

A outrageous throng of visitors moves toward a runway to watch as Mark Peterson takes his P-51 warrior adult to perform aviation exercices during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In.


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Mark Peterson (rear, in burst suit) had lots of volunteers to assistance him pull is P-51 craft behind to a arrangement area after his considerable atmosphere uncover opening during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In.

Kathleen Ellyn/Chieftain

Mark Peterson (rear, in burst suit) had lots of volunteers to assistance him pull is P-51 craft behind to a arrangement area after his considerable atmosphere uncover opening during a 2016 Wallowa County Fly-In.


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Courtesy photoRobert Donatz and Amy Keiter fly in their singular Cessna 195 with a Jacobs 300 hp radial engine.

Courtesy photo
Robert Donatz and Amy Keiter fly in their singular Cessna 195 with a Jacobs 300 hp radial engine.

Amy Keiter of Beaverton is famous — and not only since her commander father Rob Donatz can park his 1950 Cessna 195 with an considerable tail circle to bursts of applause.

Yes, a Cessna 195 is flattering stupendous, powered by a Jacobs 300-horsepower radial engine that creates a rigging heads salivate.

But Amy is famous in her possess right due to a mainstay she submitted to The Oregonian behind in 2002 about their initial knowledge during a Wallowa County Fly-In. Back then, a eventuality was nowhere nearby a stream size, with scores of pilots in rare, easy or only plain engaging planes and hundreds on hundreds of visitors.

Nevertheless, a Joseph airmen put on a heck of a uncover behind in 2002, and Keiter and Donatz were blissful they came with friends that year. Their friend’s Cessna 182 “crapped out” during a event, refusing to start when it came time to leave.

They were all on their approach to remote Moose Creek in Idaho for a camping outing to applaud Amy and Rob’s initial anniversary. Now, stranded during Joseph Airport after a show, they gifted “the affability of strangers” so unusual it felt like a novel.

“People were only like crazy nice,” Amy recalls. “We woke adult a morning after when a plantation lorry pulled adult and a man from Enterprise said, ‘I listened we had engine difficulty and we suspicion I’d expostulate over and see what we could do.’”

The problem incited out to be some-more than a pilots and their new proffer automechanic could understanding with, so eventually Rob only done dual trips to Moose Creek, hauling in a gals on a initial trip. The second craft was remade by a time they returned from a camping trip.

Amy, a former reporter, wrote about that supernatural knowledge for The Oregonian, and a Chief Joseph Flyers unequivocally listened about it from pilots all over a state.

The name game

This year Amy and Rob returned with Rob’s new plane, Gracie.

When Rob purchased a craft he took smoothness of it in a margin out in remote Missouri. Amy removed how he only stood and looked during it and looked during it. The object began to go down and it started to get dark. Finally Amy said, “Say good night, Gracie.” And a craft was named.

“She’s a driver,” Amy said. “We take her all kinds of places and have adventures.”

On a highway again

Rob got his pilot’s permit in Torrance, Calif., before he could drive, and he’s a unequivocally good commander — declare a imagination parking trick. This year alone a integrate has taken Gracie to Sanoma, Calif.; Kelowna, British Columbia; Friday Harbor in a San Juan Islands; and Joseph. They headed behind to a Puget Sound area after a event.

This, too, is standard commander stuff. Many pilots came with tents, folding bicycles and even inflatable rafts congested into a storage area.

John Dunlap and Robyn Holdman of Sisters, Ore., unpacked their folding bikes during a Joseph Airport for a outing to a Bronze, Blues and Brews festival during Joseph City Park.

John named his 1973 Cessna Skywagon 180 Betty Jean after his late mother, who died only a few days before he bought a plane.

“She never got to go adult in her,” Dunlap said. “But now she goes adult with me any time we fly.”

Late bloomers

Not all pilots are immature guys, either. Many folks don’t get their possibility to get adult in a atmosphere until after in life.

Marty Ables, mother of Wallowa County Flyers Association President Bill Ables, pronounced she hasn’t been a pilot’s mother for long, and a Ables mostly take tiny trips from Portland to Joseph and back. But she loves sitting right subsequent to a window and a feeling of unresolved in space and a sound of a engine.

“All these planes have good sounding engines,” she said, gesturing down a runway during a collection of planes.

Earning those wings

Stories of prolonged journeys to apropos a commander also were common.

Dennis Smith of Enterprise says he stopped brief of removing his permit though went adult to Alaska as a fishing beam and has flown brush planes a lot.

“I soloed and everything,” he recalled, “but we left for Alaska before we got my full time in for a license.”

He loves a Joseph Fly-In.

“This is a good small event,” he said. “I saw a P51 drifting around and we said, ‘Oh, yeah. That’s this weekend.’”

Smith went adult in a Chief Joseph Flyers Cessna 172 plane, flown by Barney Locke, a late Northwest Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines pilot. Smith was all smiles when he came down.

Emmet Wold of both Hermiston and Joseph brought his “adopted nephew” Greg, 9, with him for his initial time in a sky and went adult with Tim Locke, boss of a North East Aviation Foundation and former commander for Delta, Northwest and Skywest.

Emmet has been a tyro commander for many years and has upsurge a lot, though he hasn’t nonetheless warranted his pilot’s license.

“Soon,” he said. “Soon.”

Biggest entertainment yet

The atmosphere uncover was a bit singular this year, though a outrageous throng was awed by a opening of commander Mark Peterson in his North American P-51 Mustang Diamondback.

The considerable warplane was a favorite of a throng on a basement of a story and neat look.

“These planes are most easier to fly than a stories told about them would lead we to believe,” Peterson said. “They were carrying bidding and a outrageous volume of fuel when they were fight planes, and that accounted for their repute of formidable handling. This craft is easy to fly.”

The Diamondback served her nation until 1958 and afterwards went on to seem in atmosphere races, winning a 1984 Unlimited Gold Race during a Reno Air Races with a speed of 437.621 miles per hour, underneath a name Stiletto. Peterson bought and renamed a craft in 2005 and shows it during fly-ins any year.

Lessons are accessible during Joseph Airport, and it’s deliberate one of a cheapest places to learn to fly.

Andy Mckee of Eagle Cap Flight School offers full instruction. Call a airfield and leave a summary during 541-263-2665 or email andy@eaglecapflight.com.

High propagandize module gaining speed

The North East Oregon Aviation Foundation is a new nonprofit dedicated to compelling aviation in northeast Oregon, quite among high propagandize students. This year’s Fly-In lifted $2,000 for advancing that work and for scholarships. The initial grant was given to Sebastian Hobbs of Lostine, who attended a Treasure Valley Community College aeronautics stay this month.


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