Sisters Flight Science students flew in to a backcountry campout at McKenzie Bridge last weekend. photo provided
Sisters Flight Science students flew in to a backcountry campout at McKenzie Bridge last weekend.

photo provided

Sisters Flight Science students got the chance to fly in to a backcountry overnight campout with instructors Sam Monte, Walt Lasecki and Brian Lansburgh at McKenzie Bridge airstrip.

They were joined by several local pilots from Sisters, including Jeff Taylor in his Highlander, Tyler Head in his Cessna 170, and Steve Harris in his Bearhawk. They were also visited by several other backcountry pilots who overheard the group on the radio, and who swooped in to McKenzie Bridge to show their aircraft to the students.

McKenzie Bridge has a grass airstrip a short distance from Sisters, and is known as a "one-way" airstrip, meaning landings and take-offs can only be done from one direction. There is no room for error. The rough runway also requires the airplanes to be equipped with big tires and stout landing gear.

Once the students had set up camp, they went on a hike to the McKenzie River.

"We wanted to give the students an idea of what an airplane can do in terms of getting into out-of-the-way places. And this is just the first of several such activities we've got planned," said Walt Lasecki.

Also in the planning stages are a movie night at the Outlaw Aviation hangar where the kids will be treated to some aviation films that they otherwise wouldn't be able to see. One such film is "Threshold: The Blue Angels' Experience."

"It's an older picture, produced when the Blue Angels were still flying the F4 Phantom. I think it will give them an idea of the challenges of formation aerobatics," said Brian Lansburgh.

"The idea is to show the students a variety of flying careers open to a pilot," said Sam Monte. "Sisters High School Flight Science classes and Outlaw Aviation already provide a quality education on flight. Now, with the inclusion of special projects and experiences, we're trying to make that education even more diverse."