Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Part three of three

To The Eagle:

RE: A Seaplane base at Cathlamet.

We are concerned Cathlamet residents who love this city we call home.

But while I am an aviation enthusiast myself (but not a pilot), my family and I wanted to urge our fellow citizens to contact and petition the county commissioners to REJECT all proposals for a seaplane hanger, a seaplane ramp, or a seaplane base in any location near Cathlamet or on the Cathlamet channel.

Two weeks ago in Part 1, we explored the potentially annoying noise impact. Then last week in Part 2, we talked about: the minor economic impact, the significant hazards and size impact of having seaplanes operating on the slough, and about opening pandora's box: having one hanger, more will want come.

In this third installment, let's talk about fire safety and “AVGas” = a flammable new import into our environment.

Most small aircraft use a very specific, very flammable fuel called aviation gas. It is more flammable than regular unleaded gas, and it comparatively makes diesel seem about as dangerous as water (ask your fire chief).

For reference: “Avgas” has a flame spread of about 12 and a half feet per second. Jet-A (kerosene) fuel has a flame spread of about one and one-half feet per second.

How large will the installed, above-ground tanks need to be for the Avgas and the Jet A necessary for turbine aircraft engines? What are the roadway and safety considerations for the fuel supply trucks?

How are we preparing to control the additional spill risks to our marine ecosystem? Who will pay for the additional Fire Safety training, equipment, and hazard mitigations for our residents and town?

We suggest that we focus on proven methods of increasing tourist traffic, that will bring existing local businesses the majority of the rewards without risking the destruction of what makes our community special.

If these reasons make sense to you, email your county commissioners and encourage them to vote no on any proposal for a seaplane hanger or base in or near our county!

Wilkie Sargent



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