This is the appropriate way to take a girl to the lake

The other weekend I was bringing one of our company R44 helicopters back from a job in North Idaho and had to ferry it all the way back to Moses Lake. It only made sense to call up a friend of mine and ask her out. The date? A helicopter flight across central Washington to a small remote lake for some swimming at a beach not many people have access to other than by boat…and umm…helicopter.

The conditions? Haha – just show up looking beautiful and lets go have some fun. Katelyn is a rock star and we had a blast.

The Mills Canyon Fire (Gallery)

This year was one of historic fires in Central Washington. Never since the early 1900’s was the state ever so on fire, and I was there at the start of what became one of the biggest complex fires of 2014. The Mills Canyon fire started out fairly small, located up in the mountains just outside of Entiat, WA the column of smoke was visible for miles, and I was in Wenatchee on a cherry drying contract when I noticed it. This was only a few days after the Skyline fire in Wenatchee had been started and put out so everyone in town was a bit nervous about wildfires.

I had just stopped into my normal coffee shop to do some paperwork and homework on my laptop like I normally do in the mornings on this contract when the weather is dry and the sky is blue. Except todays sky wasn’t as blue as we were all used to. A large ominous brown cloud of smoke hung over the horizon.

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A once-in-a-lifetime flight (Gallery)

There are so many things that I want to do as a helicopter pilot. The list seems to grow every day, with every photo I see, magazine I read, or friend I make in the industry. They all have uniqueness to them, and the dynamic of our industry just grows and abounds in front of my eyes daily. A lot of that is in part due to my work with HeliOps Magazine, and managing the Helicopter Pilots group on facebook – you’ve all shown me, and continue to show me, just how big our small world is.

A few months back though I had a chance to go for a once in a lifetime flight. It was something I absolutely HAD to do, and honestly it was kind of time sensitive. That is, I got to take my grandparents up for flights in a helicopter! Sadly Grandma Lil passed away many years before I could earn my pilots license but I know she’s been flying with me since day number one. Click through for a gallery of the photos from that day!

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