Having suffered through two feet of snow in Puget Sound, the summer-like weather in late March is especially nice.  The skies are blue, the hangar isn’t cold, and there is a lot of activity at the airport.  I know the east side still has a ways to go until the first blooms, but they aren’t far behind.

The new best reason to go flying (well, behind the breakfast at Desert Aire, the steaks at Tonasket, the fish and chips at Bremerton, the ice cream at Friday Harbor . . . ) is the Washington State Aviation Passport.  About 1000 were handed out at the NW Aviation Conference at Puyallup and they’re still available at Olympia, Auburn, Longview/Kelso, Richland, and Felts Field.  Check the website http://www.flywashington.org to get information on the fields you’d like to visit, do your planning, fly to the airport, collect the stamp in your passport, and continue.  As with any program of this size and complexity, there are a few things that need to be worked out.  Not all of the boxes are in place (check in advance) as some are in state airports that aren’t open for the season yet, others are planned but we haven’t heard back from the airport managers regarding the location of the box and stamp.  There are 135 public use airports but as of this writing, only 105 are participating. For instance, Spokane International is not participating but SeaTac is.  SeaTac has landing and ramp fees but it is possible to drive to the GA FBO and obtain the stamp.  Again, check in advance.

The team and all of our sponsors hope that this will be a fun, educational, and rewarding experience for pilots across the state.  Plan well, fly safely, and enjoy this, the most beautiful corner of the country.