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Old 08-24-2017, 05:27 PM
chuckwn's Avatar
chuckwn chuckwn is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Petaluma, CA
Posts: 260
Default Eclipse at 17,500' over Mt. Jefferson in Oregon

Chuck Newman
Petaluma, CA
RV-8 N828RV
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:48 PM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ramona, CA
Posts: 2,334

Originally Posted by greghughespdx View Post
Went up in a RV-10 with friends
Not sure if others noticed, but the pilot is Dick VanGrunsven in his RV-10.

Thanks for posting this. I was wondering what the view up there was like.
I was also at the Garden Valley event and had a great time viewing it from the ground.

My photo album from the trip is here, which includes attending the Wings over Willamette EAA 292 fly in and some whitewater rafting on the Payette River, and a fly-over of the Black Rock City (Burning Man) site on the way home.
Bruce Hill
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:59 PM
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greghughespdx greghughespdx is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Aurora, OR
Posts: 797

Originally Posted by bruceh View Post
Not sure if others noticed, but the pilot is Dick VanGrunsven in his RV-10.

It was a fun flight to be sure. Some people may know that Van spends most Saturdays all day mentoring kids building RV-12s in the TeenFlight program in the Portland area. He puts a ton of effort into developing the next generation of engineers, aviators, you name it. I help out here and there, as well. We have the privilege of working with a bunch of really cool kids in that program. So this was an extra special flight: To round out the eclipse flight crew, our back seat flying friend was Davis Payton, who went on the eclipse camping trip with the group. He's a past TeenFlight student, who graduated that program after finishing their RV-12. For the past couple years has been a TeenFlight mentor teaching and guiding new students building the RV-12's. He actually likes fiberglass work, or so it seems, since he spent a significant amount of time in TeenFlight getting it right as a builder. I had the pleasure of taking Davis for his first Young Eagles flight a few years ago, and earlier this year he earned his Private Pilot certificate and then made his first flight as a Young Eagles pilot shortly thereafter. He's spent a lot of time and effort giving back to the programs that he has benefited from. He'll be a senior in high school this year, and we can't wait to see what he does next - just as with all the kids we meet in TeenFlight. Davis was super excited to be part of this flight, for sure. And he deserved it! Photo below taken while we were outbound to find the moon's shadow.

Forgive me for that diversion. We're just really proud of Davis.

Originally Posted by bruceh View Post
Thanks for posting this. I was wondering what the view up there was like.
I was also at the Garden Valley event and had a great time viewing it from the ground.
It was pretty amazing. We were not exactly sure what to expect other than some darkness. It got *really* dark, and the 360-degree sunset-like effect was amazing! We couldn't really see the Corona phase too much since it was above us, and I only remembered to look up at the last minute. Heck, we were just amazed at the parts we could see!

It was good to see you at Garden Valley - Your RV is terrific looking, the paint scheme is off the charts!

Greg Hughes - Van's Aircraft - Community, Media, Marketing
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Last edited by greghughespdx : 08-24-2017 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:58 AM
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AirShowFan AirShowFan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 119

I watched the Eclipse from an RV-6!

It was such an amazing experience. I will never forget it.

The plan was to leave Paine Field (just north of Seattle) around 6:45AM, land at Salem (Oregon) around 8, and be on the ground for the eclipse.

However, Paine was fogged in until around 8:45.

When I first got there, before the tower opened, I contemplated just sneaking out through the fog... I have an attitude indicator, I can safely climb through 200 feet of fog, it would take just a few seconds! But we have all learned about decisionmaking and "get-there-itis"... So I decided to do the right (i.e. safe and legal) thing and wait for VMC. It was not a pleasant decision to make, but with flying, you never regret doing the right thing.

As soon as the tower started accepting requests for VFR takeoffs, I asked for one, and was number four for takeoff, behind an RV-8, a Glasair 2 or 3, and a Velocity. (I guess all the pilots of factory-built airplanes had instrument ratings...). Even flying at "rental power", I was doing the math and realizing that I would be landing at Salem just as totality hit, maybe just a few minutes early. That would be too close. So my wife and I decided to watch it from the air. And am I so glad that we did!

During totality, we could see a (relatively) bright sun-lit horizon all around us, a ring of daytime separating the dark sky above and the dark ground below. It was a surreal, sci-fi experience. And the corona was so BIG! It was incredible just looking at it with the naked eye.

None of this would have been possible without an airplane that can do 200mph

I would like to express my appreciation to all the controllers who dealt with the crazy air traffic! �� (Portland Tower was actually holding commercial flights on the ground until the swarm of VFR traffic just south of them cleared out).

By the way, this was my first flight with an ADS-B "in" device that could talk with ForeFlight on my phone, and it was GREAT to be able to see all (ok, most) of the other traffic out there right on my screen. If you have ForeFlight but no ADS-B "in", then do yourself a favor and get some of this amazing technology for your airplane. It will be $200 well spent.

I went up to 9500 ft during totality because it was much less crowded up there, flew east towards the mountains to get away from everyone... but still had one close-ish call. You can never be too vigilant.

My wife took our Panasonic FZ super-zoom camera, and I got a solar filter for it. She is a terrific photographer:

EDIT: As mentioned above, Rian Johnson of Van's Aircraft went up to 17,500 feet. If you compare his photo with my photo, I think he was directly above me.
Bernardo a.k.a. AirShowFan
Boeing airplane configurator and 3D-printing expert, airplane design teacher and lecturer,
and occasional aviation photographer / airshow photojournalist / aerobatic pilot.
RV-6A N611RV bought from the builder, thoroughly enjoyed, and then sold.
RV-6 N130BN bought from the builder, thoroughly enjoyed, and then sold.

Last edited by AirShowFan : 08-25-2017 at 09:01 AM.
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