You are hereFall 2002

Fall 2002

Discover New Places This Fall!

A ride in a small plane can quickly transform even the most ordinary landscape into something spectacular. This fall, rediscover your hometown by flying with a friend who’s never seen it from above, or embark on a flying vacation to seek out new territory. As the changing hues across the country signal cooler days ahead, we offer you a great line up of places to visit. From the salty Oregon coast to a pack ride deep in the wilderness, and from inexpensive Montana camping to a luxurious South Carolina resort, you’ll find excellent reasons to view the U.S. from above before winter sets in.

Seaside, Oregon

The north Oregon coast is a magnificent sight from the air. Forested mountains and the Pacific Ocean join together in a jumble of rocky promontories, estuaries, and unspoiled beaches. Stop in at Seaside Municipal airport, which author Randall Henderson describes as “comfortably close” to the bustling tourist town of Seaside and its quieter neighbor Gearhart. A trip to this area means choosing from activities like shopping, golfing, hiking, and wandering in tide pools. Or, you can simply kick back and gaze at the ocean view out your hotel room window. Seaside lays claim to being the turnaround point for the Lewis and Clark Trail. Your route will likely be less arduous than theirs, but you’ll feel the same thrill of discovery in this lovely coastal town.

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Fly in to one of the largest barrier islands along the East Coast. Hilton Head is removed enough to help you forget your worries, but close enough to major cities to keep you in touch. You’ll find over 200 restaurants at this resort destination. Golfing, swimming, tennis, and shopping are the popular activities. Our article fills you in on recommendations for where to stay and what to see on this slice of island paradise.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Looking for nights of revelry set to the sounds of jazz? They’re easy to find in New Orleans. This is the place to participate in a non-stop party atmosphere, enjoy incredible Cajun food, and soak in the history of the Vieux Carre. Wake up to chicory coffee and beignets, head out on a Mississippi river cruise, or sip mint juleps on the verandah of a plantation house. Author Tamara Brown tells the engaging story of America’s music and dials you in to New Orleans’ jazz scene.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Sprawling from the eastern slope of Pikes Peak is the city of Colorado Springs. Here the Rocky Mountains meet the prairies, forming the 100-mile vistas that inspired Katherine Lee Bates hymn “America the Beautiful.” Adrenaline seekers can plunge 7,000 vertical feet down from the summit of Pikes Peak on a mountain bike. Culture seekers can wander the galleries of the Fine Arts Center, or take in the unusual rock formations of the Garden of the Gods. A fly-in visit to Colorado Springs takes a little advance planning, but our article gives you the information you’ll need to enjoy the best of this multi-faceted city.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Aviation is popular in Oklahoma City, home to FAA Headquarters, the world headquarters of the Ninety-Nines, and three major airports. There are lots of reasons to make your way through the busy airspace here. Oklahoma City is a mix of Midwestern hospitality and urban culture set in a city teeming with vitality. In Bricktown, the city’s rejuvenated historical district, you’ll find water taxis that transport you to shops and restaurants along a canal. Nearby Stockyards City offers a peek into the world’s largest cattle market. Especially important is a visit to the Oklahoma City National Monument, which memorializes the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, and preserves the site as a beacon of hope for future generations.

Benchmark, Montana

Yes, it’s true, intrepid pilot and author Greg Illes has found you a 6,000-ft. paved airstrip deep in the Montana wilderness. Benchmark is one of only a few remaining airstrips that offers access to this spectacular tract of protected land. There’s a lodge or two near Benchmark, and you can arrange for outfitters to take you on horseback even deeper into the wilderness. Or, just pitch your tent at the pilot’s campground next to the airstrip, and use it as a base for experiencing the tranquility of the Montana mountains.

Santa Rosa, California

From above you might think you’re descending to the rolling green and gold hills of Tuscany. The acres of neatly arranged grapevines, however, are the hallmark of Sonoma County: California’s first and foremost wine-growing region. At its heart is Santa Rosa, a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities. We’ll guide you to the newly-opened Charles M. Shulz museum, which along with the airport pays tribute to the late Peanuts cartoonist, or to art events where you can meet local artists in their studios. There’s plenty more to see and do, including wine tours, picking your own produce, and romantic gourmet dining in this fertile agricultural region.

San Luis Obispo, California

Can you imagine a better weekend morning than watching a flight of T-6s arrive from your seat on a cozy patio, while you eat orange-swirl-cinnamon French toast drizzled with syrup? We thought not. Join author Michael Coyle on a trip to the Spirit of San Luis restaurant. Located on the central California coast, San Luis Obispo is a popular fly-in spot for weekend R&R. Our article will convince you that your first trip to Julie and Doug Wagnon’s restaurant—and the attractions around it—won’t be your last.

Sullivan Lake, Washington

Just below the Canadian border in the northeastern corner of Washington, the small airstrip at Sullivan Lake can be a challenging to find, but worth the effort. The long, wide field is only recommended for aircraft tires wider than 6.00, due to possible encounters with squirrel holes. Here you can camp, fish, swim, hike, and—believe it or not—golf on a course with sand greens. Metaline Falls and the town of Metaline are nearby with a few dining and lodging options other than your cozy tent and propane stove.

Spot Landings - Hitting the Numbers Every Time

Precise spot landings are much more than a way to impress your passengers with how much pavement you didn’t need. The biggest advantage to controlling your aircraft during slow flight—and landing it well within FAA standards—is that mastering the technique gives you access to short fields. Other advantages include saving wear and tear on your gears, tires and brakes. Greg Illes dissects the Spot Landing process with humor and a down-to-earth technical explanation. Illes’ advice makes it easier to brush up on what he calls a “visceral, seat-of-the-pants, non-instrument pilot skill.”