Originally Posted by rv6n6r
You definitely want to stay on your toes and scan the whole airport before landing at the coastal airports here in Oregon.
Likewise at the more rural airports in Washington State.
Late last year I was flying out to the Pacific coast and as I neared Forks, WA, I was watching an RV on ADS-B and it started descending and figured it was going to land there. I orbited Forks at 6,500’ to watch him land. As he turned Base I tuned to the Forks CTAF and heard the RV announce he was turning final for RWY 4, and immediately recognized Jay’s voice, a friend of mine. So I decided to land and see if we could meet up and have lunch together. I flew out to La Push as I was descending and turned back to Forks, checked the wind, and entered the pattern for RWY 04. On final as I was starting to flare I was startled to see a large number of large animals to the left of the runway, in a large area from the windsock east, and to the north. I was concerned they would bolt for the runway, but my landing didn’t seem to phase them. I rolled a little past the turnoff and made a 180 and taxied to the ramp, keeping an eye on the critters.
There must have been 40 to 50 Elk grazing in the grass north of the runway.
The two RVs parked at Forks:
Jay wasn’t at his airplane so I walked over to the restaurant. I was concerned about leaving the airplane’s there with the herd of Elk nearby. As I was walking down the taxiway, I was also concerned that the Elk might take notice of me and not like it. The nearest Elk was a very large bull and he picked up his head from grazing to look at me for few minutes. He then meandered a little further away to the north.
So Jay was at the restaurant and I joined him for lunch.
On the walk back to the airplanes I took a pic of a few of them lounging after their lunch.
A Cessna 182 that is based there took off before us and the herd of Elk paid no attention to him. Jay took off before me and they paid no attention to him either.
And a pic of Jay firing up for the trip home.
We were lucky with the ‘friendly' Elk at Forks. Had I seen them earlier I wouldn’t have landed. Reminded me to look more carefully for livestock on or near the airport before landing.
However, back in 2017 Todd Rudberg, who is based at Paine Field, hit two Elk at Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon on landing in his Fastback RV-8. That airplane is flying again after a lot of work.
Pics and story: