Seattle <—> Portland commute: what can I expect?

RedBull

Newbie
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Portland
Hey all, long time listener, first time poster.

I‘m looking for fast transportation between my job in Seattle and my home near Portland. It occurred to me that perhaps a gyro (Cavalon, maybe?) might be a good bet.

I’d love to hear about if that’s feasible to do daily, or better for a weekend hop? How long does it take to do pre- and post-flight stuff? Can I fly at night if I’m IFR rated? How would a gyro handle stormy weather? Are there better alternatives that can get me to-and-from?

Any and all insights are welcome!
 

bugflyer

Bugflyer
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Mar 4, 2014
Messages
168
Location
Lodi, CA
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owned C-205, Titan Tornado II, flown C150s, PA-140s, PA-18, R-22. R-44, 1 hour in P51C
Total Flight Time
445
Samson Switchblade sounds perfect for you.
smiles,
Charles
 

bugflyer

Bugflyer
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
168
Location
Lodi, CA
Aircraft
owned C-205, Titan Tornado II, flown C150s, PA-140s, PA-18, R-22. R-44, 1 hour in P51C
Total Flight Time
445
OK...for $400K you can order a PAL-V.
Or, if airport to work is not too far, a folding electric bike to put in the other seat of a tandem gyro.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,912
Location
Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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2400+ in rotorcraft
Hey all, long time listener, first time poster.

I‘m looking for fast transportation between my job in Seattle and my home near Portland. It occurred to me that perhaps a gyro (Cavalon, maybe?) might be a good bet.

I’d love to hear about if that’s feasible to do daily, or better for a weekend hop? How long does it take to do pre- and post-flight stuff? Can I fly at night if I’m IFR rated? How would a gyro handle stormy weather? Are there better alternatives that can get me to-and-from?

Any and all insights are welcome!
I would suggest you get some lessons before you consider it seriously.

A preflight inspection of a Cavalon takes me about a half hour to three quarters of an hour.

A post flight inspection of a Cavalon takes me about ten minutes.

It is about a two hour flight depending on which airports you used. I used Portland Hillsboro (KHIO) to Boing Field (KBFI). Its 122 nautical miles (140 statute miles).

It is doubtful a logical case can be made so unless you love flying I would stick to an automobile.
 

RedBull

Newbie
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Portland
Great feedback, Vance. I’m thinking I’d fly between the Renton municipal to a little field close to my home, Goheen Airport-W52. And I’m thinking I’d probably fly home only on weekends. E.g Friday evening to Sunday evening. Likely more realistic than an every night deal.

Lessons would be a great idea to start. Good thoughts.
 

RedBull

Newbie
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Portland
OK...for $400K you can order a PAL-V.
Or, if airport to work is not too far, a folding electric bike to put in the other seat of a tandem gyro.
I’d probably just use public transport to and from my apartment and work then fly home on the weekend. 🧐
 

bugflyer

Bugflyer
Joined
Mar 4, 2014
Messages
168
Location
Lodi, CA
Aircraft
owned C-205, Titan Tornado II, flown C150s, PA-140s, PA-18, R-22. R-44, 1 hour in P51C
Total Flight Time
445
How about an $18K Cessna 150 then?
smiles,
Charles
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
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Oct 21, 2006
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4,506
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Colorado front range
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Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
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stopped caring at 1000
Can I fly at night if I’m IFR rated? How would a gyro handle stormy weather?
There is no IFR rating for gyroplanes in the U.S. A private pilot gyro rating would permit you to fly a gyro at night (assuming the aircraft is properly equipped).

Gyros handle strong winds easily (although headwinds can eat up your groundspeed in such slow aircraft) but "stormy" is another matter. Precip, icing, and low visibility from storms would be ill-advised, to say the least. There are no IFR approved gyros.

The prior suggestion of a cheap C-150 might better suit the expected conditions in the Pacific Northwest, with a typical IFR panel, and would be low cost to operate, maintain, tie-down, and insure. There was a version of the 150/152 series called the "Commuter" and not without good reason.

Gyros are great, but the aircraft needs to suit the mission.
 
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SportCopter

Active Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
140
Location
Scappoose
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Vortex M912, SportCopterII, Vortex 582
Hello RedBull and welcome to the forum. We are in Scappoose, Oregon, just NE over the hills from Hillsboro, so we know the weather here very well. VFR conditions are irregular much of the year, and there is often fog/cloud obscuration of these hills (while the valleys east and west have <1000' ceilings. One can sometimes skirt around the hills on their sound end by flying underneath Portland's western Charlie airspace, and approach KHIO from its SE.

On the Seattle end, however, Boeing Field (KBFI) is within the 30nm veil of Class Bravo SeaTac, so your gyro would need ADS-B Out (a tad pricey). And, you'd have to either fly east around SeaTac over Renton, or over the water on the west side (while avoiding McChord AFB).

If weather and/or traffic were an issue, such a flight may be too much for a novice pilot.
An Instrument Rating is practically required for this route year-round, which moves you into an airplane by default.
A Cessna 150 or 172, or Piper 140 or 160, would be suitable, and affordable.
Otherwise, we'd love to sell you a new Sport Copter M2!

Sport Copter Product Brochure:

Good luck with your choice of aircraft, and drop and see us at KSPB sometime!

Sport Copter, Inc.
34012 Skyway Drive
Scappoose, OR 97056
503-543-7000 [email protected]
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,912
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2400+ in rotorcraft
Great feedback, Vance. I’m thinking I’d fly between the Renton municipal to a little field close to my home, Goheen Airport-W52. And I’m thinking I’d probably fly home only on weekends. E.g Friday evening to Sunday evening. Likely more realistic than an every night deal.

Lessons would be a great idea to start. Good thoughts.
RNT to W52 is 101 nautical mile flight and would take a little less than two hours.

You would need ADS-B out for around $1,500.

Weather may be a challenge.

I am not familiar with the area.

At this time; 7:00 PM it is VFR all the way.

The terminal aerodrome forecast along the way shows it VFR for tomorrow with some strong gusting winds.

You could watch the weather to give you an idea of what challenges you would have and how often.
 
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