A short grass strip…one way in, one way out…low ceilings…un-forecast snow…film cameras…all conspired to make for a very interesting day!
We were contracted to provide a DC-3 for an upcoming episode of the tv show Grimm, which is shot in Portland and its surrounding areas. The script required us to fly into a “remote” grass strip, which fortuitously is only a six minute flight from our base at Aurora State Airport (KUAO). Becks Airfield is a gorgeous private grass strip, and at 2500 feet long, it qualifies as a short field landing for a DC-3. There’s a bit of a rise at the beginning of the landing zone, and a stand of trees at the end of the landing runway which leads down a minor embankment into the neighbor’s property…something we intended to avoid! We lightened our fuel load considerably, and appropriately slowed our normal approach speed. The field was wet from the previous day’s precipitation, but we had her smoothly stopped in plenty of time, with no white knuckles in sight.
We won’t give the storyline away, but below are some photos from the day.
Right after we landed, she was given a new temporary roundel:
The only potential wrench thrown in the day was the arrival of un-forecast snow…
The ceiling and visibility obviously deteriorated throughout the day, and we made plans to leave 121 at Becks overnight. But as luck would have it, the skies cleared considerably as the last of the film crew’s trucks left the field. We took advantage of the VFR window to make the short hop back to KUAO, but we first had to provide ourselves safe flying surfaces.
Enter the broom-work of our beloved volunteer Ken:
And AMI owner Paul, who also walked each wing with a shop broom:
This project was satisfying for Aerometal International LLC from a variety of perspectives, as the pilots had the pleasure of flying a fun approach and providing technical consult, and our maintenance crew was able to fabricate a fantastic DC-3 cockpit under a short deadline for the filming of the episode’s interior flight deck shots. [Check our next post for the details of fabricating the DC-3 cockpit in the space of three days!]
Watch for this episode of Grimm to air on NBC on April 4th.