Flight to Pateros

With a landing beside the motel.

I relocated to Pateros, WA today. I’d been based in Quincy, WA for about three weeks when my contracts ended. My second batch of contracts had been pushed back a week, leaving me with 2 weeks with nothing to do. But I soon found another contract — this one 50 miles (as the helicopter flies) north at Brewster. Because the motel at Brewster was supposed to be pretty bad, they set me up at the Lake Pateros Motor Inn, right on the Columbia River, between Brewster and Lake Chelan.

I flew up to Chelan to meet with my dispatcher. He’s the guy who will call me and send me to the various orchards that need drying. I used my POV.1 camera to capture the highlights (such as they were) of my flight from Quincy Airport to Chelan Airport. You can view it here:

After filling up with fuel and killing time reading about the 100 Things to Do in Chelan, my contact, Dan, drove up. After a quick chat, he told me I should move my helicopter over to an area away from the pumps. That, of course, required that I start up the helicopter and fly it over. It was about 200 yards away, in a grassy area on the other side of a bunch of hangars. I suspect that Dan just wanted to check out my hovering abilities because there really wasn’t any reason for me to move. But I moved and made a nice smooth landing on the grass.

I got into his truck and he went over the paperwork with me. There was a lot of it, but not more than I can handle. Then he drew a map to show me where the motel in Pateros was and where I should land the helicopter beside it. We talked about where the orchards were. He said he’d send Mark, another pilot, out to fly with me this afternoon to show me the orchards. And that was it.

Well, he did tell me a funny story about what his one-year-old puppy did one afternoon when he left her home alone, but I’d better not repeat it here. Let’s just say it involved dirty laundry, a doggie pool, and the UPS lady.

I climbed back into my helicopter as Dan drove away. I fired it up and turned on the camera. I then proceeded to record the video embedded below. This video features a landing on the grassy spot to the east of the hotel, right along the river.

I have to say that I’m getting better at recording these things. Although I don’t like the mount I used for these flights — I call it the “wiggle-stick” because of the way it vibrates in flight — I am getting better at narrating what’s going on. I hope some of the people who visit the blog find them interesting. If you do, please use the Comment link or form to let me know so I keep delivering them.

7 thoughts on “Flight to Pateros

  1. Maria,

    The videos are so great! I would even say you should leave on the camera during the “boring” parts and then cut two videos. Give people a choice: the whole thing or just the highlights. The quiet moments in the air are almost like a meditation–for me anyway.



    Harrys last blog post..Log Instrument Approaches

  2. Thanks everyone. Glad to get positive feedback. Sometimes I feel like the videos are boring.

    I did a 50-minute video two weeks ago that was from Quincy to the dam just north of Chelan. Most of the flight was right over the Columbia River. But when I watched it, I thought it was a bit dull. So I never put it online.

    I think I also like the video from inside the cockpit. Although the view isn’t quite as good, it does give you a better feeling of what it’s like to be inside the helicopter. The camera on the helicopter’s nose with me talking is kind of weird.

    I’m trying to figure out how to set up the camera to video actual cherry drying. Since I’ll be doing it with the door off, I’ll probably attach it to my doorframe and point down and back to see how the trees react. I guarantee that more than a few minutes of that will be very boring.

  3. Maria,

    Great video’s – keep em comeing … my brother lives and works in that area ( used to be in Ellensburg) so I am really enjoying your efforts.

    Feels like I am right there too! Thx!

  4. Maria,

    Your flights around the Lake Chelan area are very interesting. Keep up the great work. I can tell that you’re a good pilot.

    Daryl in San Diego

  5. Hi,

    I ran across your website and I am absolutely enjoying it. I live in Liberty Lake Wa. and am a radio news achor in Spokane. I have some frineds in Pateros and I love looking at the pics and videos of your flights. Thank you!

What do you think?