This came to me via email: I want to help!
A few days ago I talked with John McKenna with RAF and we discussed a great RAF generated GA project now termed “Minam Airlift”. I volunteered to be the “point man” here in the Enterprise/Joseph, Oregon area to coordinate the logistics of this operation. I think this is a great project that will be very beneficial to the new owners of the Minam Lodge and at the same time involve some great flying time for those GA enthusiasts that choose to get involved.
Where we are at the present time as I see it is (and don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong as my wife does it all the time)
The owners of Minam Lodge will be doing some major renovation of the facilities at Minam Lodge during the Spring/Summer of 2012
RAF has been in contact with the new owner (Mr. Barnes Ellis) and said that GA would love to donate (over a 2-period) - man hours, flying time, muscle power and whatever it might take to get the initial load of materials into Minam Lodge to get their renovation project started.
Aaron Gille will be the owners lead person who will do the renovation work at Minam Lodge and will coordinate getting the materials to the area where the airlift will take place and the date that it will take place.
KJSY located at Joseph, Oregon, at this time, has been chosen as the place where the airlift will be staged from. We are in the process of getting secure and covered storage areas for any materials that may be brought up ahead of time. I just talked to Wup (who not only helps run Alaska Bushwheel, but who is the manager of KJSY for the state of Oregon) today and there will be only 100LL available at Joseph airport (no Jet A) starting March 1st. So in the mean time, we will be looking for a means of getting Jet A here to accommodate Mike’s helicopter. Wup is working on getting Oregon Aviation Division to donate some Jet A for this project.
From KJSY to Minam Lodge is an average between a 20-30 minute flight for most singles, depending on how many HP you have up front. I know some of you may be familiar with Minam Lodge airstrip, but for those that may not be, please talk to some local pilots about the approach into Minam as it is a technical canyon airstrip that is located at 3500” in elevation and about 1800” long with a dog leg at the up river end. It is a good grass/sod/gravel strip with a hump in the middle so you may get to record two landings depending on where you touch down.
As we get closer to an actual date we will know more on the minimum number of folks that we will need to pull this off and I’m a firm believer in the fact that you can’t have to much help. I’d like to see this maybe go over a Saturday and Sunday, with the majority of the airlift taking place on Saturday, and everyone getting together at Minam for a barbeque type get together Saturday night and then finishing up on Sunday and then departing on Sunday also.
So there you have it as I know it and we will update you folks as we proceed with this and please don’t hesitate to call or email me with any questions or corrections to the above will be away from my phone & computer the next two days as Chukar season ends tomorrow, so me and my brit have to fly into Hell’s Canyon for the last day of the season and spend the night.
Thanks again for all your .enthusiasm for this project and I look forward to meeting everyone.
Cheers, Bill Ables
I got your name from Mary Rosenblum at TTD.
There is a "mission" being drafted by the RAF and OPA to help out the new owner of the Minam Lodge, over by Joseph. The lodge is only accessible by air or foot and the owner needs help getting supplies up there to do improvements.
It will be a volunteer mission. There may be some fuel discounts, but that is uncertain at this point.
Should be some fun backcountry flying. Think it is something you and some of your backcountry flying pals might be interested in being a part of?
Let me know soon so I can include you in the planning. Don't have dates yet for it.
Dennis Smith, President
Oregon Pilots Association