You are hereFall 2004

Fall 2004

In-the-know travelers often wait till fall to visit summertime hot spots as a way to avoid big crowds and uncomfortably warm weather. In this issue, we reveal the best way to take advantage of the off-season, when kids have returned to school and the foliage begins to change color. Though you might not think of autumn as the best time to hit the beach, we have found a number of destinations that beg tourists to do just that. The barrier islands of Florida’s Pinellas Peninsula offer family fun in the sun. Shelter Cove’s black sand beaches provide the perfect view for whale watching. And, on the East coast, Block Island’s nature preserves create a haven away from the hectic mainland. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that your vacation has to be!

Shelter Cove, California

The old adage that good things come in small packages was never truer than at this month’s Romantic Getaway, the small seaside town of Shelter Cove. From a pilot’s perspective, it looks as if a piece of California’s Lost Coast were purposely reserved for an airport: a mini-peninsula juts out from formidable beachside cliffs running along the coast, on top of which rests a 3,400-foot paved airstrip. Upon landing, pilots are steps away from a variety of lodging and dining options, all with stunning views of the surf below. Spend an afternoon on the 18-hole golf course surrounding the strip, hike along black sand beaches at sunset watching for whales and other marine life, fall asleep to the sound of the surf wafting in on the ocean breeze – a trip to Shelter Cove guarantees you will return home a happy, rested pilot.

Eagle River, Wisconsin

Fall travelers will find a relaxing haven in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The changing foliage creates a stunning backdrop to explore the community of Eagle River. Hunters and hikers will revel in the towering pine and white birch forests, while fishing enthusiasts meet their match on Eagle River’s chain of 28 lakes – the muskellunge, the fish of 10,000 casts. Downtown offers shops, restaurants, museums, and ample lodging. Those seeking respite from the hurried pace of pounding the pavement are sure to find it here.

Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island has long been a favorite destination for residents of New England looking to escape hectic mainland life. Thanks to an active Nature Conservancy, the island has avoided the fate of other coastal areas that have fallen victim to chockablock overdevelopment. Even the airport looks like it has been frozen in time, with the small airport building and diner that look straight out of the 1950’s. You can enjoy 32-miles of trails that wind through nature preserves and beaches, past picturesque bluffs topped with lighthouses and farmlands lined by low stone fences. We’ll tell you how to make the most of a Fall visit to this charming retreat.

Lake Texoma, Oklahoma

Straddling the Oklahoma/Texas state line, the Lake Texoma Resort Park offers pilots a fun and economic family destination. Great water, lots of activities, and a friendly staff keep guests coming back year after year. With 580 miles of shoreline for boaters, jet-skiers, and swimmers, you are guaranteed not to get bored. Children can participate in resort-organized activities while adults try their hand at the challenging Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course or cast a line for a record-breaking catfish. Fall is the perfect time of year to visit, when the weather is cooler and crowds have thinned.

Clearwater, Florida

Pinellas Peninsula, known as Florida’s Beach for the white sand beaches on its 20 barrier islands, is dotted with communities that offer different and interesting ways to experience the coastline. We will introduce you to three of these towns, all within easy reach of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Airport. History buffs can learn about Native Americans and early European settlers in Safety Harbor. Dunedin proudly displays its Scottish heritage with traditional wares and festivals. Clearwater’s white sand beaches offer family fun in the sun. Together, these three towns create a family destination steeped in history, nature, and beach-going fun.

Eagle Creek, Indiana

Rick’s Café Boatyard offers pilots a great lakeside escape from the city, just steps away from your tiedown. Diners sail, drive, and fly to Rick’s for incredibly tasty seafood dishes and the cool breeze off Eagle Creek Reservoir. Enjoy the spectacular scenery while dining al fresco on the deck, or listen to live jazz inside the nautical-themed dining room. Rick’s is more than just a place to stop and eat, it’s a culinary experience that will have you planning your next visit on the walk back to your plane.

Amargosa/Death Valley Junction, California

Pilots looking for a truly unique destination should head to the 1,625-ft. dirt strip behind the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel in California’s Death Valley. Though an abandoned Borax mining town might not seem the most appropriate place for original theatre, Marta Beckett has somehow made it work for more than 30 years. Since 1968, her colorful theatrical productions and elaborate murals have breathed new life into the dusty desert town, offering travelers, bikers, ranchers, Las Vegans, and desert rats the finest entertainment. Part ballet, part Burlesque, a touch of Gilbert & Sullivan, and a dash of junior-high-school play, the show pretty much defies description. Pilots who fly in to witness one of her original performances can expect an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Dakota Cub's Slotted Wing – Giving the Cub a New Lift

Peter M. Diemer and Ken Smith review two airplanes equipped with slotted wings by Dakota Cub. One of the Cubs, a newly rebuilt PA18-160, is owned by Jim Pazsint (of Alaskan Bushwheels fame) and has the first-generation rounded wing tips. The other is owned by George Goundry and has the newer, square-tip wings with extended ailerons and larger flaps. They find that the new slotted wings improved slow-speed performance with little drag penalty and perhaps an increase in safety.

Black Hole Approach

Dale Wilson explores the phenomenon known as the black hole illusion, sometimes called the featureless terrain illusion. This phenomenon occurs when landing at night at an airport that has no lights surrounding it. The illusion fools pilots into thinking they are higher than they actually are and causes them to fly dangerously low approaches – sometimes with catastrophic results. He presents the different theories on what causes the visual discrepancy, and suggests ways to ensure you are not deceived by it.