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Idaho Aviation Foundation

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Working to preserve Idaho's irreplaceable airports and backcountry airstrips.

The Idaho Aviation Association was organized in 1989 to give Idaho a general aviation voice locally and nationally. Our mission is to represent our members in forums where decisions are made that affect general aviation; to inform our members about aviation issues; to work with public and private entities for the preservation, maintenance and enhancement of aviation facilities; and to promote safety, education and public understanding of general aviation in Idaho.

Latest News

New Pilot Lounge at Orofino

New Pilot Lounge at Orofino

The Orofino Municipal Airport recently completed a new Pilot’s Lounge Facility which should be a source of pride for local residents and visiting pilots alike. The new terminal offers pilots and passengers luxurious facilities to rest and relax in during a stop in Orofino.

The small but beautiful facility has a Handicapped Accessible restroom and a refrigerator generously stocked with water, juices and energy drinks. A couple of coffee-makers, snacks, and magnificent furnishings including a 55” flat television are there for your comfort. The interior furnishings and appliances were generously provided with a gift from Lonnie and Shannon Simpson, local supporters of the Orofino Airport’s improvements.

Instructions to pilots are posted on the door provide ease of entry. Use of refreshments is currently on an as needed basis, however, donations are appreciated.

Pilots travelling in the North Idaho area are encouraged to stop and visit. Fuel (100 LL) is available by calling the Airport Manager weekdays between hours of 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at 208-476- 4725. Outside those hours call the Sheriff’s office at 208-476-4521. Help for the fuel system will be sent. Payment for fuel may be made by cash, check or an invoice will be sent to the mailing address of your choosing. The city is contemplating a card lock system where credit cards can be utilized at the pump.

In addition to this fine terminal facility, Orofino is a great little airport nestled in the Clearwater River Valley home of great Steelhead and Salmon fishing and in the heart of Idaho’s best recreational area. Pilots are encouraged to come, see, and enjoy Orofino!

Article and photo courtesy of Charlie Pottenger

Join Us at the 5th Annual Idaho Aviation Expo!

We are excited to announce that our aviation parter-in-crime, Aero Mark, will once again host the annual Idaho Aviation Expo Friday and Saturday May 15–16, 2015. This will be the fifth year of the event and the best ever! The Aero Mark XL hangar and facility will showcase the event where exhibitor booths and aircraft can be under one roof, and at an airport where they belong. This is an all-aviation expo that will feature aircraft manufacturers, maintenance and parts suppliers, avionics, clubs and associations, workshops, guest speakers, and much more.

Saturday's Expo will again feature the Idaho Aviation Association’s Annual Meeting. And Saturday evening's headline speaker will be Idaho native Jon S. Beesley. A graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, Jon was the Chief Test Pilot for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, and was the first to fly the airplane. He was also a test pilot for the F-22 Raptor, its experimental predecessor the YF-22, and the F-117 Nighthawk. Jon has flown more than 50 different types of aircraft and been awarded top honors. Join us as he recounts his adventures flying the world's most advanced aircraft.

Please check back here for attendee information, which will be added soon.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Aero Mark at 208-524-1202, fax 208-524-8924, or email

2015 Idaho Aviation Expo - Large Post Card - Version 2.pdf

IAA Now Has a Facebook Page!

Like us at This is a great way to reach young aviators and let them know that flying an airplane is possible for anyone. Sam Perez from Idaho Falls put the page together and will be one of four administrators who will monitor and approve content on the page, along with East Idaho Directors Jeanine Lawler and Mike Hart, and Flyline Editor Crista Worthy.

IAA's 25th Anniversary

2014 is IAA's 25th anniversary. It is also the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act. The two are closely related. IAA was begun in part to ensure aviators and the public retained access to airstrips in the Wilderness.

The large Wilderness areas of Idaho came after similar areas were designated in Montana. The distinction between the two was the closure of all but one backcountry airstrip in Montana (Schaefer Meadow) and the grandfathering of existing airstrips by statute in the designation of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The "Big Creek Four" airstrips were in use when this Wilderness designation was made and IAA maintains that the statutory designation holds for these strips.

Aviation access to the Idaho Wilderness has proven to be a huge value. It is used by rafters, sportsmen, the disabled and private citizens. Beyond Wilderness airstrips, IAA has also more broadly supported aviation throughout its 25 year history. We supported the passage of the recreational use statute that protects airstrip owners from liabilities, we have encouraged protection of public, private, and municipal airports and continue supporting the State Division of Aeronautics in maintaining the network of airstrips throughout the state.

In recognition of the role aviation and the IAA have played in this state, Governor Otter has proclaimed August 17-23, 2014 Aviation Week. (See PDF below)
Idaho aviation continues to be recognized as one of the leading state aviation organizations. We take care of and protect access to our aviation resources in the state, and with your help we will keep it up for another 25 years.

2014 Aviation Week Proclamation.pdf

Live Webcams Available On Our Site

Go to our "Airstrips" page, click on "Webcams" then on the right side click on any of the webcams listed. Once the webcam picture comes up you may have to click on your "Refresh" button to receive the current picture. Weather may also be available by scrolling down below the map and clicking on the airstrip WX. Some webcams, like Warren, have the weather attached to the webcam page.

Featured Member

Richard & Debbie Benson

On my 27th birthday (1977) a modest newspaper ad, ‘$20 Discovery Flight’ caught my attention. Although I had never felt any attraction to light aircraft I thought, ‘this would be a unique experience, something I may only do once in my life.’ My wife Debbie affirmed ‘yes go celebrate,’ and soon I was on the tarmac at Salem’s McNary Field.

I loved the aerial-broader-perspective during our 25 minute ‘Discovery Flight!’ Safely on the ground, I thanked the young pilot and as I walked away he offered, “oh by the way, we are offering a special - you can ‘solo’ for just $599.”

I responded ‘no thanks, I just wanted to experience flight in a little plane.’ As I drove home however I thought “…solo an aircraft!” I shared the concept with Debbie who responded “go for it - that would indeed be a great accomplishment plus you now have your first real-job” (as a newly-minted Chiropractor).

By the end of my second lesson I was obsessed with flying. With 42 hours I passed my check ride and earned my ‘license to learn.’

When I established my Chiropractic practice in Bend in 1978, there were only four daily commercial flights into and out of Redmond; two for Seattle and two for San Francisco. It became clear that I was guided into aviation so that Debbie and I could benefit from a far broader selection of destinations plus enjoy the freedom of creating our own schedule.

It did not take long to discover that an instrument rating was necessary to safely navigate the Cascades and Sierras. On two occasions we left our rental aircraft in California due to weather, continuing our sojourn commercially, retrieving the plane the following weekend; an inconvenience and exceptionally costly!

So we purchased our first plane, a 1969 Cessna 182, for the instrument training. While logging 750 hours, including several adventures into British Columbia and as far south as Loreto in Baja, a number of trips were once again rearranged out of respect for the weather. The solution was a more powerful turbocharged aircraft so we could fly not only safely through the clouds, but in ‘on top’ conditions.

Our second plane was a 1976 Cessna T-210. We could now top the clouds on 80% of our flights, cruising safely in the sunshine and blue sky up to 20,000’. I flew ‘EK’ for 14 years, logging about 250,000 miles over 1400 hours.

In 1989 fellow Chiropractor Tom Allegrezza urged me to visit his ‘Sulphur Creek Ranch’ and my love affair with the Frank Church Wilderness was born! Unfortunately I finally collapsed the gear on our T-210 at an Idaho backcountry strip; perhaps an article for a future issue.

The short story is that flying continues to be one of my most fulfilling passions. Since that benign ‘Discovery Flight’ I’ve logged 2700+ hours as we currently enjoy our third aircraft, a 1964 Cessna 182: a more suitable plane for the grass and gravel strips of Oregon, Idaho, & BC that I enjoy so much!

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Upcoming Events

Apr 14: Treasure Valley Chapter General Meeting

Apr 18: Emmett (S78) Wings and Wheels

Apr 20: Idaho Airport Mgmt. Assoc. Annual Mtg.

Apr 25: Graham (U45) Work PARTY

May 02: Dug Bar Work PARTY

May 09: Big Bar Work PARTY

May 16: Idaho Aviation Expo (KIDA)

May 16: Carey (U65) Fly-in and Breakfast

May 23: Lord Flat Work PARTY

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