Lake Oswego woman turns hobby into
air taxi business
Jane Rosevelt wanted to avoid L.A. traffic jams, so she became a pilot and now
saves others from congestion
from Lake Oswego (Oregon) Review, March 26, 1998
Jane Rosevelt remembers sitting in
traffic jams as a Los Angeles resident in the late '80s, thinking how nice it would be to
be able to fly over the clogged ribbons of pavement and avoid the headaches.
Now, less than a decade later, she's not only flying over the jammed
highways, she's offering to escort others through the airways.
Rosevelt, a Lake Oswego resident since 1990, operates Rose Air Taxi
Service, a charter carrier business which takes as many as three customers at a time to
and from destinations throughout the Northwest.
Want to go to Ashland? In 90 minutes, you can be there. Have
a business meeting in Bend? It's an hour away. Or how about heading to the the San
Juan Islands? You're there in 90 minutes.
Rosevelt says it's fast, economical and fun, without the headaches of
"When I was in L.A., I remember sitting on those congested
freeways. I sat there thinking about flying as a way out," said Rosevelt.
"My partner gave me a Christmas present of a flying lesson the
Christmas of 1989, right before we moved up here," she added. And that was all it
took to get Rosevelt into a cockpit for life.
"I got my license in September 1990, and I just kept getting more
ratings. I guess I got bitten by the bug," she said. After receiving her private
pilot rating in 1990, she got her instrument rating in March 1991, purchased a Cessna
Turbo Skylane a month later, and went on to get her commercial rating that same year. She
earned her instructor's rating in 1992, capping a three-year flight from first-time pilot
into instructor and commercial pilot.
"I did teach a little (flying), but that wasn't for me,"
said Rosevelt. "I liked taking people places." That's why she went after her
"air carrier certificate," enabling her to become an "air taxi
Her plane hanger is at Hillsboro Airport, but she said that beats the
congestion and lack of parking at Portland International Airport. Plus, she said,
customers can park their car in her hanger, out of the elements, while away.
She does like to have two weeks' notice of flight reservations,
"but sometimes I can go on a moment's notice," she said. It depends largely on
her work schedule and personal obligations.
Rosevelt said she can stay in a destination city for a short time if someone
is going to a meeting and will be ready for a return trip in a matter of hours. Or, she
can fly a passenger to a destination, then return another day to pick the person up.
begins with convenient flight north
by Marili Reilly, Freshwater News,
weeks of anticipation, we found ourselves only days away from our
first overnight sail down the Washington coast. Our friends, Mike
and Delphi Godsil, had called on a Wednesday evening to let us
know that their trusty sloop Trig would soon be ready to take on
Although the usual vagaries of the weather had
kept our departure date an uncertainty until the last minute, they
anticipated arriving in Port Angeles to meet us as early as
Friday. The extended forecast looked favorable for the trip south.
Photo by Hal Roth
The prospect of the one-way
cruise had prompted us to check into as many modes of
transportation as we could think of so we wouldn't have to make an
extra three-hour drive a week later to retrieve a car.
Amtrak and Greyhound could get us to Seattle,
but required a transfer to Olympic Bus Lines. Olympic provides
twice daily service from Seattle to a number of towns on the
Olympic Peninsula, but connections required up to three-hour
Each of these modes also required advance
reservations, and the lateness of our decision had already
narrowed our choices of departure times. In the end, however, it
was our wish for a close marriage between our own Thursday work
schedules and Trig's arrival in Port Angeles on Friday, that made
us seek more expedient transportation.
To me, the best solution had been obvious
throughout our planning, for I have recently come to know the
owner and pilot of Rose Air through my Toastmasters club.
Jane Rosevelt had regaled us during club
speeches with her career change from nursing to flying, and her
story had fueled my own dreams of entrepreneurial independence.
A closet flying enthusiast myself, I was eager
to experience something smaller than the usual jet, and checked
with her about our needs. Her schedule was open on our possible
departure dates, and she graciously offered to meet us at Pearson
Airpark in Vancouver so we could avoid the more lengthy drive to
her home base in Hillsboro.
The one-hour flight, which she bills by the
length of time the plane is chartered rather than on a per-person
basis, looked sufficiently thrifty when compared to the rigid
schedules and time-consuming trips via overland modes.
Rose Air also beat out commercial flights from
the Portland airport, any of which would have required an early
arrival at the gate and the usual airport parking hassles.
They say that getting there is half the fun,
and as much as we were looking forward to our coastal sail,
getting to Port Angeles aboard "Six Echo Romeo"
supported the adage.
The day was reasonably clear with a light wind
and some clouds to the east, and Dave and I were soon acclimated
to the motion of the Cessna Turbo Skylane. Through headphones, we
could listen to the pilot's communications with air traffic
control, using the phonetic alphabet to identify the plane by the
last three digits of the call sign, Six Echo Romeo.
As the sturdy four-seater climbed to the
altitude specified by the Portland tower, I looked down at the
familiar twists of the Columbia River we have often cruised.
From above, the river bore the expected, but
rarely seen resemblance to our weathered charts. As we noted the
sandbar trailing off the lower end of Sandy Island, I had an
instant appreciation for the aids to navigation which we sometimes
take for granted.
As the river turned toward the ocean, the scene
below turned to a patchwork of forests. Established stands of
trees and more recently planted sections were clearly discernable
and logging roads trailed across them like dusty brown ribbons.
Off to the east rose the snow covered peaks of
Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood. As we headed north along the
Coast Range, the air space was ours. We conversed through our
headsets, Dave and I pointing out favorite anchorages along the
river, and our pilot sharing stories of the other travelers who
have shared her cockpit.
For a few brief moments above Grays Harbor County, our attention
was drawn to the maneuvers of a stunt flyer practicing aerobatics
in a World War II vintage plane.
Jane radioed our position to the Portland
tower, advising them of this potential hazard. Then we let the
looming Olympic Mountains recapture our attention. Their feet
hidden in a low blanket of clouds, the mountains towered
majestically before us. Ascending to 8,000 feet, our pilot circled
eastward, keeping well away from the highest peaks.
Below us we could see the zigzagging trails of
mountain sheep. The updrafts and wind currents seemed to mimic the
rocky terrain, and I let my body relax back into the seat,
thrilling to the bumpier ride over the mountains.
Emerging on the north side of the Olympics, we
caught occasional glimpses of communities through the persistent
clouds. Through our headphones, we listened to other pilots
reporting on visibility and weather. Jane called ahead to the Port
Angeles traffic advisor, proposing an approach path that would
take us out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
As the plane banked and descended to a lower
altitude, we lost the sun and ducked beneath the cloud ceiling.
Approaching shore, we easily spotted Ediz Spit, the long arm of
land embracing Port Angeles harbor. The marinas soon loomed below
us, and I hastily searched for Trig's familiar deck layout as we
passed above the boats. Not surprisingly, I found there was little
to distinguish one sailboat from another from 1,500 feet.
After a perfect touchdown at Port Angeles
International Airport, we pulled our life jackets and gear from
the Cessna's luggage space, and I gave our pilot a hug. She was
just taxiing back out for her return to Hillsboro when a cab
called for us at the door of the small airport building. Then Dave
and I headed off to Boat Haven, ready for our next big adventure.
All told, with our short wait for our
rendezvous in Vancouver and the even shorter taxi ride in Port
Angeles, our commute from Portland to the Straits took less than
two hours. It would have taken eight to ten hours had we gone by
bus or train. Savings are even greater for groups of three, as
Rose Air charges for the use of the plane, rather than by the
Next time you need to get crew or family to or
from a distant port, you might want to check into the convenience
of chartering a flight through Rose Air at 503-675-ROSE