You are hereJanuary/February 2012

January/February 2012

Our first issue of the year is packed with winter flying ideas from coast to coast, and even farther… to the Hawaiian coast! We show you fun new places to exercise your flying privilege as pilot-in-command, even if it’s too wintery for flying in your neighborhood. In addition to flying an airplane around Maui for the ultimate pilot’s tropical vacation, we’ve also got trips in the Southwest, Midwest, and Chesapeake Bay.

Maui, Hawaii

Got the winter blues? Then book a flight to Maui, the tropical Pacific paradise that offers something for everyone. Sink your toes into the black sand of a secluded beach, paddle an outrigger canoe in the ocean, explore dense rainforests, and party the night away. You can have Hawaii your way on Maui. Since this is a Pilot Getaways adventure, we’ll show you how you can tour the island from the left seat of a general aviation aircraft and add some Maui time to your logbook. Wing your way around the Haleakala Volcano and view 200-foot rainforest waterfalls. You can land at Hana Airport for the day, or spend the night at the magnificent Travaasa Hana Hotel. Visit the Seven Sacred Pools and the grave of Charles Lindbergh. You can even fly an ultralight aircraft with an instructor over the volcano or along the coast. We’ll take you to resorts all around the island with luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, and a variety of fun activities. You’ll head home tanned, rested, and full of adventures to remember for a lifetime.

Prescott, Arizona

When winter descends on the Northern Hemisphere, many snowbirds escape to the southern Arizona desert, but why not try a new spot? Located in central Arizona, Prescott makes a great getaway, and, at a mile high, it enjoys mild weather all year long. The town is surrounded by the Prescott National Forest, so you’ll find miles of well-marked hiking and mountain biking trails that run through green ponderosa forests instead of your typical desert scenery. The woods are punctuated by interesting granite boulders, just right for a rest or a picnic. Not far from downtown, you’ll find deep blue lakes and the Granite Dells, a fascinating landscape of giant round granite rocks. When you look at Prescott’s beautifully-maintained buildings, you’ll discover the town’s Victorian heritage, and that it was the original Territorial Capital of Arizona. Nowadays, historic Courthouse Square is home to numerous festivals throughout the year. Nearby, you’ll find a number of unique museums and a restored theater. Whiskey Row is lined with historic bars and restaurants that take you back to the Old West, while summer brings the world’s oldest rodeo. Stay in a historic Inn or B&B, replete with fine wood, yet thoroughly modernized infrastructure. Easily accessible from the airport, you may just make Prescott one of your regular weekend getaways.

Havre de Grace, Maryland

Halfway between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the tiny town of Havre de Grace perches along the shoreline, at the head of Chesapeake Bay. Despite its small size, this village is long on history and filled with charm. Author Heather Sanders Sable brings you along to explore its historical buildings, museums, parks, and shores. Cruise the bay on one of the last working skipjacks in America, the 49-foot Martha Lewis, and learn about oystering, raise the sail, or help steer the boat. Visit a nearby winery and taste its popular wines made from Chambourcin grapes. The area around Havre de Grace has long been home to some of America’s best duck hunting, and local carvers have evolved duck decoys into high art. You can see the best at the Decoy Museum. If you’re a golfer, you’ll want to pack your clubs for the Bulle Rock Golf Club, a challenging 235-acre, 18-hole Pete Dye course ranked number one in Maryland. After your game, you can choose from an array of restaurants. One on “Antique Row” features locally-sourced organic ingredients, while another offers the best stuffed, fresh, submarine sandwiches anywhere according to locals. Or relax by the fire at the Vineyard Wine Bar, where you can enjoy a variety of small-plate delicacies to go with your tasty wine. When it’s time to retire, Havre de Grace has you covered with Queen Anne B&Bs, a Victorian stone mansion, or an ultra-private guest house, each the perfect complement to your Chesapeake Bay getaway.

Appleton, Wisconsin

Less than 20 miles from Oshkosh, Outgamie County Regional Airport in Appleton is a popular stop during the AirVenture fly-in. But writer Patricia Strutz found a great reason for you to visit any time of year: an outstanding, traditional Bavarian restaurant just a short cab ride from the airport. Mark’s Eastside restaurant is the place to go for genuine Weiner schnitzel and all the trimmings. Or start with a Bavarian Scotch Egg, and then follow it up with traditionally fried fish or a slow-roasted German pork sandwich, smothered in Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and sauerkraut. Make sure you save room for schaum torte, a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth dessert. After your tasty Bavarian meal, you can see more of Appleton’s attractions: visit a museum and learn the secrets of Houdini, or get some logbook time in a full-motion Redbird Simulator. You can shoot approaches to minimums, practice landing at remote grass airstrips, and do all sorts of things that might be too expensive or dangerous to try in your own aircraft. If you decide to spend the night, we’ve got lodging information as well, so you can make a weekend out of your winter Wisconsin trip.

Your IFR Ticket: When to Use It

Earning an IFR ticket requires dedication. So if you possess the coveted IFR rating, make sure you’re using your skills often enough to stay sharp. More importantly, there are times when you might consider filing or at least flying by the IFR rules, even if the weather is technically VMC. For example, the weather may be clear as a bell, but if it’s a dark, moonless night with few or misleading lights on the ground, you can get in trouble before you know it by trying to fly visually. Technical Editor Crista Worthy offers tips and strategies to prevent disorientation on dark nights during takeoff and landing, as well as ways to ensure you stay clear of the granite during cruise.