You are hereMarch/April 2007

March/April 2007

“Spring” Into Action with Pilot Getaways!

From sunny Florida to beautiful British Columbia, this issue of Pilot Getaways is filled with fun ways to stretch your wings this spring, or help you plan for the summer vacation of a lifetime. It’s easy to fly your own plane into Canada and over scenic Vancouver Island. Friendly Canadians will greet you at Campbell River, British Columbia, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to kayaking among killer whales and bald eagles. If real Western history is more to your liking, stay in an authentic 19th-century Texas fort that is now a luxurious resort. What do you think of when you hear “Hyannisport?” See for yourself how this romantic town on Cape Cod attracted the Kennedys during those “Camelot” days. All these adventures and more are yours in this issue .

Eagle Field, California

Travel back in time to the days of World War II. This June for one weekend only, warbirds like the incomparable B-25 and North American AT-6, will travel to Eagle Field in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The incoming armada will tear the sky apart just over your head as you stand in awe, marveling at the bravery of those who flew these planes to victory 60-plus years ago. Lovingly restored to perfection and in some cases flown pilots who originally flew these models in the war, these aircraft are marvels of American ingenuity and design. Hop aboard with author Michael Coyle for the ride of your life! Then dress up and join the veterans and their friends for an elegant dinner, a real swinging Big Brass Band, and dance till you drop. Regroup the next morning for breakfast as you watch the big birds depart and say farewell to your new friends… till next year.

Hyannis, Massachusetts

Come and explore the unofficial capital of Cape Cod. Author Amy Dodgen takes you on a tour of this busy, historic village, bursting with quaint shops and restaurants. Visit the John F. Kennedy Museum, rest your tired feet on one of the many beaches nearby, or take a dip in the ocean. Cruise the harbor in wooden-replica steamer boats that offer a glimpse of the famed Kennedy compound of Hyannisport, or try a whale-watching cruise, a sailing cruise, or even rent your own boat. The nightlife brings in people from all over the area, while cozy inns provide relaxing havens. It’s an easy area to enjoy, with or without a rental car.

Cibolo Creek Ranch, Texas

The Texas you see in old Western movies, with mountains towering over desert chaparral below and marauding Indians at every turn really existed in only one area, and this is it! Author Tamara Brown visited the authentically-restored Cibolo Creek Ranch. Three adobe forts, constructed 150 years ago to defend against relentless Comanche and Apache attacks, have literally been re-formed from their original, melted bricks. The entire ranch has been re-created through painstaking research and re-stocked with original orchards, longhorn cattle, bison, and elk. Although a working ranch, it is also an ultra-luxurious resort for a select few guests—maybe you! All gourmet meals are included in your stay. Visit ancient Indian ruins on foot or by horseback. Take a 4WD tour of the entire ranch, or visit Big Bend National Park or an old ghost town. Thirty natural springs and a 100-foot waterfall attract hundreds of species of birds, making the area an oasis in the Chihuahuan desert.

Fantasy of Flight, Polk City, Florida

If you love airplanes—and what pilot doesn’t—you can really immerse yourself in aviation at the Fantasy of Flight theme park in Polk City, Florida. This unique place is the result of Kermit Weeks’ passion for aircraft, and author Linda Rowe Fore reveals the determination and hard work it took to build this place. With ticket in hand, pass through the turnstiles and your immersion experience begins! The corridor darkens, the stars twinkle above, the wind blows in your face, and you feel as though you are flying! Follow the exploits of the Wright Brothers, enter the trenches of WWI where you witness a dogfight, join the 95th Bomber Group over England in WWII. You’ll also see vintage aircraft and automobiles, take a tram tour, a shop tour, visit numerous hangars, and see an aerial demonstration, weather permitting. There’s lots more; come see it for yourself!

Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

Author Thomas W. Close shows you why the slogan “Beautiful British Columbia” really is appropriate. And getting there is easier than you think. Customs officials on both sides of the border and friendly and efficient, and the paperwork is minimal. Fly over part of the stunning Inside Passage, normally the domain of cruise ships, to land at Campbell River airport and take the ferry to unspoiled Quadra Island. There you can kayak to your heart’s content, camping on the beach, surrounded by wildlife including bald eagles and Orcas (killer whales), and you can even take a tour bus to watch grizzly bears catching salmon in a nearby river. A serene Aveda Spa awaits to soothe your aching muscles, and you can watch the sunset while enjoying terrific meals out on the deck at several excellent restaurants.

57 Alpha Café, Brenham, Texas

Author Renee Wright takes us to North Carolina to meet Ron McKinney, owner of the 57 Alpha Café. If you’re in the area, you’re going to want to meet him too, because he not only offers great food, he’s a multi-talented man. The walls of the little café he built himself are covered with photos he has taken while flying, for his aerial photography business. And on weekends, Ron will entertain you by playing rock songs of his own composition outside on his guitar. Definitely a step above the ordinary “100-dollar hamburger”!

Missouri Breaks, Montana

Big Sky Country is filled with spectacular adventures: endless scenery, hiking, fishing, hunting, and, best of all, flying! Author Michael Vivion takes you on a tour of six backcountry strips within the Missouri Breaks National Monument, where you can do all of the above, and relax in solitude in a land essentially unchanged since the days of the Lewis & Clark expedition. Eons of geologic time are laid out before you as you fly over the Missouri River. All the flying tips and information you need to enjoy this national treasure is right here.

Alpha Systems Lift Reserve Indicator You Have to Slow Down to Get Down

When flying into a short backcountry strip, you have to be able to slow down to get down in the space available. The Alpha Systems Lift Reserve Indicator takes the guesswork out of how close you actually are to stall when approaching a short strip. Author Sparky Imeson explains how this feature, previously only available on expensive jet aircraft, is now affordable for owners of light GA aircraft. Easily installed and calibrated, it will add safety to your landings and takeoffs, while giving you the confidence to land in shorter strips (provided you fly the appropriate aircraft) and expanding the opportunities for flying adventures.

Stall/Spin Awareness – Preventing Loss of Control While Maneuvering

Few things are more important during maneuvering flight than stall/spin awareness. Yet even highly experienced pilots continue to lose control of their aircraft at a disturbing rate. Author Michael Vivion explains how a special training program at CP Aviation in Santa Paula, California, will make you a better and safer pilot, no matter what type of flying you do. These principles are particularly vital to back country pilots, who often fly modified aircraft into tight spaces. You’ll also learn about two books that could actually save your life one day, should you suddenly find yourself in a difficult situation.