I finally got the opportunity to do an adventure I had often thought of; a flight past the many volcanic mountain peaks on the west coast.

I had flown to Washington to visit my brother, who also owns a 601XLB. After a week in the rainy northwest it was time to return home to Santa Rosa, CA. When planning the flight home, I noticed the weather would be nearly clear and I would have a tailwind for the majority of the flight. So it was time for a volcano run!

I laid out the flight path with SkyVector and saved it in a format compatible with my new Dynon Skyview HDX. This would provide an opportunity to test my new Dynon autopilot. I was going to get the airplane to do as much of the flying as possible just to see what its limits are.

I left Sanderson field (KSHN) at 10:40 with 30 gallons of fuel on board. I headed for Mt. Rainier. I had about 80 miles to climb to the 15,000 feet need to pass over the top of the mountain. No problem in a 601 powered by a 125 HP CAMit 3300.

I did not spot any hikers on Mt. Rainier. My brother has pictures of folks on top standing next to their tent.

After Rainier it was downhill to Mt. St. Helens which is just over 8,000 feet, now that it has blown it top off. The south rim of Mt. St. Helens was swarming with hikers. They were enjoying the view to the north. What an awesome sight with the open caldera, Spirit Lake and Mt Rainier in the distance. I felt a little guilty thinking how easy it was for me to get there by just pushing buttons and turning knobs. Oh well, no time to hang out, I got a ways to go yet. Today, no one else on earth will have the adventure that I am having.

After Mt. St. Helens it was back uphill to Mt Adams which is over 12,000 feet. I saw a few hikers slogging their way up the south side. I took a few pictures then it was off downhill to the first volcano in Oregon, Mt. Hood.

Mt Hood has a ski slope on the south side. Quite a few folks are not happy with just sticking to the slopes. They climb all the way to the top. Dang! There are a lot of folks working their way up the nearly vertical south slope.

After Mt. Hood things got a bit more "lonely" as I motored off into the wilderness of the Cascade Range. The next volcano was Mt. Jefferson. Then on to all the rest:

Three Fingered Jack

Mt. Washington

North Sister

Middle sister

South Sister

Broken Top

Mt. Bachelor

Maiden Peak

Mt. Thielsen

Crater Lake

Mt. McLoughlin

Mt. Shasta (14,000+ ft)

Mt. Lassen (picture of; did not visit)

Mt. Konocti

The auto pilot and the 601 performed perfectly. The auto pilot did all the navigation including the many climbs and descents as I flew from peak to peak.

To see the entire collection of 89 pictures, click this link: Volcano Run pictures

With a little effort you can:

1) See the pictures in full-screen mode

2) Download them if you wish

3) See, on a map, where the picture was taken.

Hope you enjoy.


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Comment by Daryl Habit on May 12, 2017 at 7:42pm

Great journey, Steve!  I am building a 601 in Beaverton, OR and did my Corvair engine start at Cloverdale, so this gives me a little impetus and and a worthwhile trip to pursue.


Comment by Chumphol Sirinavin on May 12, 2017 at 5:24am
A great flight!
Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Scott Smith on May 12, 2017 at 1:54am
Wow, just wow! What a flight. I will be modeling a flight like this after yours if you don't mind. Of course, I still have to build my airplane...
Comment by Lee DeLano on May 11, 2017 at 7:38pm

Great photos - thanx, hope to see you this weekend at Cloverdale.

Comment by Chris M. Brammer, Jr. on May 11, 2017 at 3:53pm
A dream come true.
Comment by Hamish Hamilton on May 11, 2017 at 2:06pm

Nice trip

Comment by David J. Beaulieu on May 11, 2017 at 1:09pm

Nicely done, thanks for posting!  That's pretty good fuel efficiency too..

Comment by Darren Stevenson on May 11, 2017 at 1:03pm

Steve, Thanks for showing a dream flight.


Comment by Joel Studtmann on May 11, 2017 at 12:35pm

What happened to Mt. Baker?  Just a quick jog north to Arlington area and you could have covered it, too!

Awesome trip overall, of course.

Comment by Jim Davis on May 11, 2017 at 12:24pm
What an awesome trip!! Thanks for sharing!

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