You are hereJuly/August 2013

July/August 2013

Summer is prime time for all kinds of getaways, and this issue has you covered with a number of great choices for fun. You can cool off in clear lakes, rent a boat, and go fishing at Minocqua, Wisc., near Oshkosh, making this a perfect escape en route to/from the annual AirVenture fly-in. Floatplane fanatics won't want to miss one of North America's biggest seaplane fly-ins, a late-summer celebration at Moosehead Lake, Maine. Out west, pilots can tour the Aviat factory in Afton, Wyo., home of the legendary aerobatic Pitts Special biplane and the Husky bush plane. Lush forests, the world's largest cold-water geyser, and exciting rodeo action make Afton a great summer stop. North Carolina's barrier islands are spectacular when viewed from the vantage point of your airplane. Stop in at an island restaurant for seafood specialties, and then visit a trio of seaside towns on the Crystal Coast.

Afton, Wyoming

Take a step back in time when you visit Afton, in Wyoming's Star Valley, about 53 nm south of Jackson Hole. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy transports us to this little town of around 1,800 people. It's home to the world's largest elk horn arch, which you'll see stretched across Afton's main drag. Rent a car and relive old times when you have lunch at the local drive-in, where carhop girls come out to serve you. For dinner, you can dig into some excellent seafood, a surprise for a tiny town so far from the ocean. The Lincoln County Fair serves up a great old-time rodeo, with macho bull riders, bucking broncos, barrel racing, and kiddie events. Pilots can visit the CallAir Museum to see the origins of today's Aviat Aircraft factory. The factory has been a fixture at the Afton airport since the end of World War II, and is the birthplace of the amazing Husky bush airplane. Aviat also builds the legendary Pitts Special aerobatic biplane. Tour the factory and see how both of these airplanes are made, from the special welding station to the room where the fabric-covered airplanes receive 14 layers of cloth, dope, and sanding to produce a perfect finish. For outdoorsy-types, the nearby Bridger-Teton National Forest provides a bounty of beautiful hikes, rivers, and wildlife. It's an easy walk to the world's largest cold water geyser, which supplies Afton with its pure drinking water, voted best in America in 2005. For lodging, you can stay in a modern condo, a beautifully appointed log cabin with outdoor hot tub, or set up your tent in the forest. Get a taste of the best of the West in Afton.

Greenville, Maine

On the second weekend of every September, Greenville, Maine, becomes a mecca for floatplane enthusiasts from all over North America during its International Seaplane Fly-In. Maine resident and former IFR Magazine Editor Jeff Van West gives us the lowdown on airport and seaport operations during the fly-in weekend, as well as how to navigate the handy shuttles provided, the best places to view the action, and a description of the competitive events. It's loads of fun for pilots and their families. While in the area, you can also take a boat cruise, hike into the forest to find the remains of a B-52 that crashed in the 1960s, or go for a moose safari on foot or via canoe or kayak. Greenville has a variety of eateries to satisfy any appetite, from casual walk-ups to the finest meals served in historical mansions. B&Bs, lodges, and inns—many with expansive lake views—dot the hillsides around Moosehead Lake. Whether you visit during the fly-in or just fly up another time to see the fall colors, Greenville makes a wonderful escape.

Crystal Coast, North Carolina

North Carolina's Crystal Coast, named for the sparkling sunshine off its waters, calls out to visiting pilots. Author Richard Verdier helps us explore the area's white sand beaches, central barrier-island banks and waterways, and early American history. Blackbeard and other pirates prowled this coast, plundering treasure and seeking refuge in its protected anchorages. Revolutionary and Civil War battles were fought over its strategic location. Marauding German submarines were sunk offshore during World War II. And, the rich, powerful, and famous used it for secluded retreats. Now, find out how to make it your retreat when you need a bit of sun, sea air, and exquisite seafood. Get out on the water for deep sea fishing or scuba diving. Or stay on shore and visit the plethora of maritime museums and historic sites. Watch skilled craftsmen as they restore fine wooden boats, or visit the aquarium. Historic inns offer fine harbor views and complimentary breakfasts. Award-winning seaside restaurants line the water; eat inside or out on shady decks. For a pilot-only adventure, hop in your plane and make the quick run up to an Outer Banks island airport with a beachside pub, raw bar, and restaurant. The staff will happily pick you up or you can enjoy the relaxing beach walk, just another rewarding part of your Crystal Coast getaway.

Minocqua, Wisconsin

Located just 126 nm northwest of Oshkosh, Minocqua makes a perfect summer getaway, especially if you plan to attend the EAA AirVenture fly-in. Just minutes after landing at Lakeland Airport, you can be swimming in cool, clear lake waters, fishing, or boating. A chain of beautiful lakes dots the area, and beaches provide an idyllic setting for evening campfires with lots of room for kids to roam and play. Vintage ways to have fun include watching a waterski show just offshore or taking in a unique game of snowshoe baseball, a hilarious spectacle where players wear snowshoes while playing the game. Veteran fishing guide Patricia Strutz offers insider tips on boat rentals and your best bets for hooking largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, and muskellunge in the many lakes. Locals love to party at the wild and crazy Thirsty Whale, built on pilings over Lake Minocqua. Other restaurants offer family-style all you can eat meals and home-style breakfasts. More sophisticated palates are sure to be pleased with pistachio-encrusted salmon, seared tenderloin tips, or pan-fried bluegill and potatoes. You can pitch a tent or rent a pop up trailer at the local campground, rent a private cabin, or live it up in a full-service resort with its own water park.

Controlling the Uncontrolled—Sharing the Skies

Operations at non-tower airports can be intimidating to pilots used to the watchful eye of an air traffic controller. But adherence to a few procedures helps increase safety and streamline operations. Author Mel Futrell explains the etiquette and knowledge necessary for operating safely in and around uncontrolled airports and other unusual traffic-management situations. She also covers procedures to safely operate with no-radio (NORDO) traffic that may be present in uncontrolled airspace. With this refresher of recommended procedures and information resources, you'll be better prepared to safely share the skies throughout all of your summer flying activities.