Bluegrass Airlines

March 2004





By Ron Jorgensen bgak030


All these flights are to the USFS strips in Idaho and not too many of them are easy.  This is a really true BUSH (STOL) flying.  As you can see, I have broken it up into three phases with the shortest leg at 8 miles and the longest at 74 miles.  I think to land at all the USFS sites in one continuous flight would be too much.


I skipped two USFS strips as one is in the far north of Idaho and the other is in the far SE corner. I have added two non-USFS strips to make up for them.


The strips run from 1100' up to 5072' in length and consists of dirt, grass, gravel and hard surfaces with altitudes ranging from 2250' up to 7030'.   I have landed at all these strips and most are not to easy.  After all this is supposed to be a “Tough Man Challenge”.


Some of the strips can only be approached from one direction and I will list that runway first. Takeoff of course will be the reverse of that.  There is only one lake with a strip nearby so the DHC-3T Amphibian is out. (The lake is too small anyhow).  I think a Beaver or the Otter should be used. (The Brush Hawk would be OK) I guess any type that can land and take off in 1100'  would be OK.  I found that if you only carry minimum fuel it is easier to get over some of the mountains. Some of the strips you have to get UP fast and down fast.  All in the game..


All but one, (2ID7), are in FS2002.  All airports are in  FS2009.  Times listed are the times it took me to fly these routes in a Beaver.


An easy way to spot these strips, usually in a valley, is to set your season for “winter”.




T M C # 3   PHASE  1  OF  3 (FS2002 & FS2004)


Times shown are using a DHC-2 Beaver.  Altitudes should be at a bare minimum.  No fare going up and over.  Anybody can do that, stay in the valleys.  Weather is at your option but you MUST fly VFR.  Folks, none of these are easy so bring a change of underwear.


1.           KMYL                                                                                                  ID76  022 @ 40 Mi          06/24 1500' Grass @ 2250'          30 min


2.           ID76                                                                                                  U79   078 @ 12          07/25 4100' Grass @ 5765'            9 min


3.           U79                                                                                                   U54   123 @ 31          17/35 1900' Grass @ 3626'          20 min


4.           U54                                                                                                   1U1   336 @69          19/01 4100' Grass @ 2454'          36 min


5.           1U1                                                                                                   I08    162 @ 58          02/20 1310' Grass @ 4289'          30 min


6.           I08                                                    0U3   132 @ 24    21/03 2150' Dirt    @ 4618'               21 min


7.           0U3                                                   ID41  282 @ 20    24/06 2450' Grass @ 6539'               13 min


8.           ID41                                                  KMYL 251 @ 33     16/34 4600'  Hard @ 5021'                25 min


1. ID67 Is a non USFS site but interesting.  Keep r/w heading until you have enough altitude (7K) then head east.  This is an up and over due to the mountains being perpendicular to your heading.

2.  Watch out for the trees approaching r/w 07.

3.  Depart on r/w 17 and follow valley to I08 (remember this place) then to 91D to U85 (remember this one too as you will see it later) then up the valley to U54.

4.  You can fly just under 4,000' 90% of the way even though it is a little out of the way but the scenery is worth it.

5.  Again, you can fly valleys most of the way.  I think I scraped a few tree tops on my trip.

6.  Stay low following I08, 09ID, 85U, U54, ID67 to 0U3. You should depart on r/w 21 climbing out heading westerly in the valley to gain some altitude.  Look closely at the strips you are passing over as you will be seeing some of them up close and personal later on.

7.  Depart on r/w 21 then check 2U8 then fly the valley south westerly to Stibnite and r/w 24.  Lots of luck getting in here.

8.  Lots of luck getting out of here.  Either runway requires a sharp turn and a quick climb.  Try only using ˝ of your total gas.(helps in the turn and quick climb).  Otherwise this is an up and over type of hop.


.NOTE: Fuel is available at all sites in 50 gallon barrels that you must hand pump out.



T M C # 3 Phase 2 of 3  (FS2002 & FS2004) DHC-2 Beaver



9.           KMYL                                                                                                  U98   153 @ 65 Mi          21/03 3400' Gravel @ 3920'          36  min


10.        U98                                                                                                   52U   072 @ 23          03/21 2200' Grass @ 4494'          18 min


11.        52U                                                                                                   U45   002 @ 8           36/18 2900' Grass @ 5726'          6 min


12.        U45                                                                                                   S81    351 @ 49          04/22 4650' Dirt    @ 4710'          24 min


13.        S81                                                                                                    U72   112 @ 16          22/04 2500' Grass @ 5500'          6 min


14.        U72                                                                                                   U61   124 @ 49          21/03 4450' Grass @ 6893'          6 min


15.        U61                                                                                                   KLLJ   336 @ 35          34/16 4600' Hard   @ 5072'          24 min


9.  Depart on r/w 16, head south over the Cascade Resv. And then jump over a couple of ridges.  Watch for “Boot Hill” just north of Idaho City.


10&11.  Head down and over fly  Arrowhead Resv. Then NE up the valley to Weatherby.  Just throw the mail out the window and give it the gas,  zip around the mountain in front of you to Graham.


12.  I almost got sea sick weaving around the mountains.  Never did see the tops of the mountains.. Notice the C208 Amph. parked here.


13.  Slow down and drop the mail off at Upper Loon Creek USFS ( U72) then off to Twin Bridges Emergency Strip (U61) which requires a steep descent.  Think I shaved the tops off a couple of trees.


14.  Pick up a man who thought he was Wyatt Erpp.  Needs to go to a hospital to fix the bullet hole in his foot.


15.  Depart to the NE past Stars Ranch then up the valley to home.  Watch out for the Mooney .

Bravo taxing to take off.


Hope you enjoyed Phase two of three.




T M C #3 Phase 3 or 3 (FS2002 & FS2004)


This is the last phase of this TMC #3.   Times indicated are derived from using a Beaver and doing some valley flying.  If you look out either side window and see sky, you are flying to high.


16.        KMYL                                                                                                  ID41  070 @ 33 Mi                   06/24 2450' Grass @ 6539'      24 min


17.        ID41                                                                                                  U81   018 @18               16/34 4550‘ Grass @ 7030' 18 min


18.        U81                                                                                                   2U5   348 @ 42              18/36 2000' Grass @ 2634' 18 min


19.        2U5                                                                                                   2ID7  329 @ 42              02/20 1800' Grass @ 3500' 24 min


20.        2ID7                                                                                                  S92    161 @ 20              22/04 2650' Grass @ 5646' 12 min


21.        S92                                                                                                    85U   153 @ 74              07/25 1650' Dirt    @ 4190' 36 min


22.        85U                                                                                                   KLLJ   128 @ 44 Mi                   16/34 4600' Hard   @ 5072'      18 min


#16   ID41 Is not an USFS site but thought it might prove interesting.  You have been here before but not from this direction. You must drop in steeply .


#17   You MUST make a sharp turn as you become airborne and climb sharply. There are trees at either end of the runway so stay a little high on approach when landing at U81..


#18   There is a good valley just north of Cold Meadows, turn left there and follow it until it dead ends then turn right.  This will take you to Scherer where you will have to descend rather rapidly to land.


#19   Some valley flying, some up and over.  My engine quit three times on me (while in the air) but it started right up. Possible water in gas.


#20   Little mesh problem here.  Land short and you better have on your bathing suit.


#21   This is a VERY TOUGH place to land.  You MUST approach for r/w 07.


#22   Depart ONLY on r/w 25 with an immediate left climbing turn (you snooze you lose here). Climb out and finally head for home.


Location 2ID7 is only in FS9.  If you use FS2002, just skip this stop.