Friday, June 12, 2015

A Tale of Time Zones, Mountains and States. Part One

As we all followed the snaking line that marked Norman’s progress from the west coast of Oregon into the Rockies it was easy to think that all was going very easily for our intrepid pilot in his tiny yellow Autogyro. But a 2D image, albeit a live tracker, does not show the realities of flying in this region.

Those of us, who have followed the flight since day one, back in 2010, will know that a departure followed by an arrival does not tell the story of the flight. For this we have relied on Norman to send us back reports and photos of the flights. But, as in all things technical, the vagaries of the internet have meant that although Norman is flying through the country that rules the internet, getting a good connection out in the Wild West is harder than when he was in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. This has meant that we get a knock on effect where Norman is a stop or two further on than the photos we are receiving.

Therefore, this is a recap, covering Norman’s progress so far.
Norman signing the display board that was used by the Evergreen Museum whilst Roxy was on display. With Stewart Bailey, the Museum Curator.

As we know, there were 2 start days…the first,2nd June, was a washout as Norman hit a wall of weather between McMinnville airport where Roxy had been based since last autumn and the Pacific coast, which meant he had to return to wait out the weather front.
The actual start of the flight happened on the morning of June 3rd, a much quieter affair compared to the previous day when the mass media converged on the Evergreen Museum to see Norman off.
Norman gives a press conference prior to his 1st departure.
All suited up and ready to go on June 2nd. Little did the media know that he would be back a few hours later.

But even though it was a grey day with low clouds, Norman decided that the forecast gave him a chance to get out and reach the ‘official’ starting point of Tillamook Airport on the Pacific Coast, west of Portland Oregon. 
Norman waves goodbye to small group who had turned out to see the 'actual' start of the journey home.  A good idea of the weather at that time.

On reaching the coast, he flew along the shoreline, thus making it a true coast to coast flight when he does the same in Maine.

Norman was once again hosted by the team at Sportcopter during his overnight stay in Scappoose before departing the next day, 4th June,  heading east across Oregon.
Norman taxi's out from the SportCopter facility where their team waved him off.

Norman waves bye to the team from SportCopter as he starts the 2nd day of the flight across America. 

Touching the southernmost parts of Washington State, Norman and Roxy followed the Columbia River through the Columbia Gorge as he made his way across Oregon to his next stop at the Hermiston Municipal Airport; set in a vast agricultural area made up of thousands of those circular fields created by an ever-moving irrigating arm that turns around a central pivot, watering an area with a diameter of up to 800 meters!
Not a square field to be seen!

Norman sent us this little anecdote of his arrival at Hermiston…

"Yes arrived Hermiston, only one elderly lady running the office, no knowledge of my arrival, seemed everyone else had gone home early.

No matter she was very nice and gave me a lift to the Best Western and also got the Gyro in a T hanger with open sides, so not so secure but out of the sun at least. She thought another proper hanger would have been possible had anyone else been around (this was all between 4 and 5 pm)."

We are preparing the next blog which covers the flights from Hermiston to Yellowstone Park and Cody. This will be coming very soon.
Remember to follow Norman live via his ‘Spot’ tracker by clicking this link…

The Gyrox Team

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