You are hereMay/June 2007

May/June 2007

Great Summer Vacation Ideas!

Now is the time to start planning your summer vacation, and Pilot Getaways, as always, is your flight plan to adventure! Two sunny seaside cities await at opposite ends of the country—Venice, Florida and San Diego, California. There’s plenty of fun in between, including exciting aviation adventures just north of Seattle, old mining towns surrounded by forest in Michigan, a historic New England resort, and more… all in this issue.

San Diego, California

Find out why they’re not kidding when they say San Diego is “America’s Finest City”! San Diego is blessed with the mildest climate in America, and some of its finest beaches. You can even fly a hang glider or sailplane right over the beach. The San Diego Zoo is consistently rated in the top-five of the world’s finest Zoos. Sea World and the San Diego Wild Animal Park complete a trio of great ways to connect with the animal world. San Diego, with its stunning downtown skyline set against the backdrop of the sparkling Pacific Ocean, has a newly revitalized Gaslamp Quarter brimming with fine dining and nighttime hot spots, as well as one of the newest baseball stadiums. Local author Ashley Tate Hatton also brings you historic Old Town, beautiful Balboa Park, and PGA championship golf. Just a few more fun things to do in sunny San Diego.

Basin Harbor, Vermont

Once your plane settles onto the soft green grass of Basin Harbor, Vermont, you can relax in the traditional New England summer vacation resort that has been catering to guests since the 1790s! Author Cal Thomas takes you to Lake Champlain—site of the greatest Naval Battle of the War of 1812—where you can now kayak, water ski, or sail to your heart’s content. Miles of hiking on beautiful nature trails, plenty of golf, and a Kid’s Camp keep the whole family happy and entertained. Whether you choose a room at the lodge, a suite, or a private cottage, you’ll be treated to gourmet cooking indoors or al fresco, “cruise-ship”-like buffets, even a Jazz brunch with lakeside view. You’ll go home happy and the kids will be looking forward to next summer’s fun.

Everett, Washington

Just north of Seattle, Washington State’s Snohomish County offers something for pilots, spouses, and the kids. Features Editor Crista Worthy takes you to the amazing Paine Field, where every Boeing 747, 767, 777, and soon the 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight. Just across the street, you can actually take a tour inside the world’s largest building by volume and see how Boeings are born. The nearby Future of Flight gives everyone a hands-on experience inside the workings of passenger jets: past, present, and future. Two different collections of rare, and sometimes unique, restored warbirds are here as well. One collection is run and maintained by volunteers, the other by billionaire Paul Allen. You’ll meet WWII veterans, test pilots, and those who worked with them, to get a real understanding of the sacrifices made for our freedoms today. In between all the aviation, you can literally hug some kangaroos, make your own blown-glass creation, shop the “antique capital of the world,” and hike through dense Cascade forest to a beautiful waterfall.

Keweenaw, Michigan

Michigan’s northernmost tip, jutting out into spectacular Lake Superior, was the site of America’s first copper boom. Today, nature has reclaimed the land, and author Sandra Friend shows you the best scenic backroads leading to beautiful camping, hiking, and canoeing. Take the impressive Ranger III, the largest vessel in the National Park Service, to Isle Royale, America’s least-visited and most remote National Park, where wolves howl and moose roam the deep forest. Savor the best authentic Cornish “Pasties” in the Upper Peninsula and stay in any of the beautiful lodges or private cabins overlooking the lake. Visit downtown Calumet and discover the colorful history of copper. Lighthouses and maritime museums beckon as well.

Venice, Florida

The Florida Gulf Coast city of Venice was designed in the 1920s as an Italian Renaissance village. Author Sandra Friend takes you on a tour of this beautiful, most comprehensively planned, of cities. Swim or snorkel the aquamarine waters of the Gulf, or kayak the peaceful, mangrove-lined islands of the Intracoastal Waterway. The entire area is perfect for strolling or biking, where antique shops, ice cream parlors, and waterside dining vie for your attention. Catch some history at the old Venice Depot or historic Spanish Point. Golfing or birdwatching amid the lush foliage are also great ways to spend a relaxing day in this seaside paradise.

Plaza Inn, Mt. Victory, Ohio

Should you find yourself over western Ohio, and particularly if you’re on your way to or from Oshkosh, drop in on the Plaza Inn for a great meal. Editor-in-chief John T. Kounis takes you to the Plaza Inn that opened in June 1959, and has been serving quality American home cooking ever since. Owner Ed Elliott carved the airstrip out of his own cornfield in 1990 as a sort of “Field of Dreams,” and a steady stream of pilots have made the pilgrimage since then. Broasted Chicken, Alaskan Walleye, Beef Pot Roast, Spaghetti and Meatballs, over 30 sandwiches, and a breakfast buffet are just some of the meals to enjoy here, seated in booths carved by the local Amish. If you have time, you can walk off your meal by visiting the antique shops, just a few blocks away.

Meadow Creek, Montana

Montana backcountry flying fans know that Meadow Creek is one of the state’s finest strips. After flying over the thousand-foot-high Chinese Wall, Meadow Creek’s approach is relatively straightforward, as the area is wide and the strip is clearly visible, wide, and in excellent condition. Nearby Schafer Meadows gets more traffic, but you may have little or no company here. Author Mike Sidders explains that the nearby South Fork of the Flathead River is loaded with native cutthroat and bullhead trout, and gin-clear water. Relax near your plane or enjoy a delightful hike to a small waterfall. The nearby Bob Marshall Wilderness offers further hiking and solitude. If you love the backcountry, don’t miss Meadow Creek!

Sun ’n Fun Report 2007

Florida’s Sun ’n Fun is one of America’s largest fly-ins, with over 500 exhibitors this year. It’s a great way to see the latest planes and aviation gizmos while enjoying the warm spring weather. Our report brings you the latest from Cirrus, Epic, Mooney, Jeppesen, and more. Our editor, John T. Kounis, even got a chance to pilot a DC-3! This year, thousands of pilots and non-pilots signed petitions to the FAA and Congress, demanding they drop new proposed user fees, while keeping America’s aviation system accountable and in public hands.

Spring Tune-Up for the Aviator – Getting the Rust Out

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, pilots start flying longer and more frequently. But getting ready for the upcoming flying season may take more than an oil change and cleaning the plugs on your airplane. A professor in the Aviation program at the University of Minnesota and a CFI, author Michael Vivion gives us a few tips to get the rust out and get our flying skills back in top proficiency.