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Missouri Breaks (Winifred 9S7) Flyin 21-23 June 2024


9S7 -- Montana's Missouri Breaks
Breaks Flyin... Winifred 9S7
21-23 June 2024:

This first notification is just to hold the place on your calendar.

We will once again celebrate backcountry flying, the Missouri Breaks, and a small friendly cow-town in Central Montana where there are only friends, close knit community, and sometimes horses in the bar.

Details to follow, but in the interim....look at some of the great photos from Breaks Flyins of the past here on SC.org

Whops: I chopped off the photo credit. This beautiful shot is via: Steve and Laura Johnson
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That's a beautiful shot, Ralph! :) Yes I made it sticky!

Breaks Flyin... Winifred 9S7
21-23 June 2024:

Below is partially rerun:
For First Time Attendees

Winifred is a town of about 150 august folks. After 100 plus years of stasis, Winifred is rapidly changing as we speak. A fellow pilot, and good friend of many of the attendees to this flyin,has donated 50 million dollars to refurbish/build on to the school. His instructions were simple..." Build in Winifred, the best school in Montana", and we are. My little house was one of the victims of the expansion, Melissa, who taught there for 38 years, would have had it no other way. Construction is complete. Come see what one super-generous (and highly successful) individual can do for the place where he was born and raised. This story is sort of what Winifred is all about... it is a village where time has not spoiled the folks who are hardworking, honest, generous, and make a living working off the land. We also have one great cafe, one filling station, one steak house, two churches and several bars. If it sounds too good to be true, just know I have had trouble believing it myself for the 45 years I have lived here. It is the way the world used to be, and we wish it still was.

The Winifred Hotel Suites ARE available at this time this year. If you want a hotel room rather than camping, NOW is the time to call and reserve. The number of rooms is limited. 406 462 5323

Airstrips: 9S7 (Winifred Strip) is turf in good condition about 150' X 4000' running basically 10º - 28º. The strip rises gently uphill from the east to about 1000' from the west end where it becomes level. There is an embankment on the east end where there are frequently downdrafts in strong west wends. If wind conditions allow, land planes east to west. Down hill landings aren't bad...just a little longer than you are used to. Use 122.9 as the CTAF.

Breaks strips: All 6 strips run generally E - W and are between 1200 - 3000'. The shortest is Woodhawk at ca. 1000' with some trees on each end. The longest is a private strip called Heller Bottom which is the only strip right on the Missouri River in the Breaks. While private, we are welcomed at Heller by Loren Smith the owner. Loren has also installed some picnic tables and a small one-roomed KOA type cabin (first come first served). Use 122.9 to announce in the backcountry and, while we consider these strips relative easy for backcountry fliers, a couple of airplanes have been bent in the breaks (no injuries). It is backcountry....always have your "A" game on and look to avoid surprises.

Photo of Woodhawk bottom in the Breaks...not Winifred. "Woodhawkers" were tough folks living in these breaks before settlement who would cut wood and sell it to the paddle boats bringing goods and people to FT. Benton which was as far as a boat could go into Montana in those days. Truly following Louis and Clark's path.


Thanks Ralph, I'de forgotten just how lush everything was last year. As they say if the creek doesn't rise or the smoke is not too heavy I will be see you in June.
Burro, Glenn
I'm super-excited to make it again this year! I had to bail last summer because the Smith River permit a friend drew too precedence but I'm pleased I'll be able to make it up there again for my birthday weekend. Not sure if I'll be able to stay the whole weekend but I had such a great time in 2022 that I've been excited about this for a while.

The Breaks are stunning from the river and ground; they're even more so from the air.
I am sick to miss it again this year. I may regret it...but maybe we can do a do-over later in the summer. :)
In case you are sitting on the fence about a visit to Winifred this year; starting in Sept., there are plans to pave a 65' strip on the north half of the runway. This will leave us 80' of sod to land on.....but, the Breaks flyin may have to be canceled for next year due to dirt work on the sod. Get here this year if you can. The Breaks are beautiful right now.... greening up very rapidly and we have had good moisture so far. After spending the winter in Arizona, it is fantastic to see all the wildlife here again. R
Glenn and I may be able to be there, out of Sheridan/Buffalo, Friday and Saturday. I would be so delighted to finally make one.