Cascade Mountains VFR Discovery Flight (with .PLN link)

After flying almost exclusively around the UK since World Update 3 dropped, I went back stateside to find some real mountains. I have fond memories of using Holger Sandmann’s Cascade River Gorge mesh addon from the FSX days, so went to check out how the area compares in FS2020 after the US DEM update.

The route I took departed Yakima (KYKM) and followed various river valley systems through steep sided gorges and mountain passes, to circle both the summit of Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens before dropping back to Southwest Washington Regional (KKLS). The .PLN file created in LittleNavMap has been uploaded to for others who might wish to fly the route.

Suggested altitude is 7500 feet for terrain clearance, with high level clouds and a 1600 local time departure making for some beautiful late afternoon lighting on the 1 hour 10 minute flight.


I live 40 miles south of Saint Helens. We used to go swimming at the YMCA camp (at Spirit Lake) when I was a kid. The volcano sorta messed it up. :slight_smile:

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Lived 37 years in the Puget Sound… Auburn, Puyallup, Kapowsin. Served in the US Navy at Whidbey Island. Got my pilots license at S44 Spanaway Airport in 91. Moved from there last year to the beautiful state of Tennessee.
Got my mountain flying training flying from S44 to Ellensburg, then to Yakima then back, all skirting Mt. Rainier. What a ride.


We had a military flying club at the Augusta Airport in Georgia. While going through AIT (I was in the Army from 1971-77) I got my PPL. 5 bucks an hour for a wet Cessna 150 and 5 an hour for a CFI (8 an hour in the Cessna 150 Aerobat). Flying was a bit cheaper back in the day. :slight_smile:

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I can imagine, living in New Zealand surrounded by volcanos we share an ever changing back yard to so speak. You have to appreciate the landscape for what it is, as you never know when the next eruption is just around the corner!

I’ll have to visit S44 for some circuits! I remember reading a book when I was younger about a pilot who passed out in flight and his passenger was talked down by ATC to land the aircraft either in or near the Puget Sound. Can’t remember if it was fictional or a real world account now?

You’re very fortunate to have been able to aviate here for real! I’d love to visit some time and do some flying with a local pilot who knows the airspace and radio frequenies.

Sheesh, even 10 years ago when I trained, C172’s were NZD$200/hr wet (about USD$145/hr). Hate to think what they are now! Good thing we don’t have to pay these rates in the sim huh!?

For those of you who are interested, I continued this journey along through the Columbia River Gorge and up around Mount Hood today. The .PLN link and a bunch of screenshots can be found here: Columbia River Gorge (with .PLN link)

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I trained in a BE-77 SKIPPER . Nice wide body but the cockpit does deflect the air away from the vertical stab so it CAN get “WAGLY” in the tail. I paid $15/hr wet and $10/hr for the instructor. I dont know how people can afford to take flight lessons now.

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