You are hereMay/June 2011

May/June 2011

It’s time to set your summer schedule for flying fun! We’ve got some extra-special trips to some of North America’s best high-season destinations. Nautical delights abound at a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Gaze in awe at impossibly-blue glacial lakes, and then indulge at Canada’s premiere hotels. Or find adventures galore during your stay in a castle in the Catskills. Hungry? We found a spot with unique fusion cuisine, great airport views, even a swinging Big Band jazz with no cover charge.

Pan Am Room, Santa Monica

In a city loaded with great cuisine, two restaurants at the Santa Monica Airport stand out for their unique and flavorful dishes. Appealing to pilots and non-pilots alike, both Typhoon and the new Pan Am Room offer panoramic views stretching from the Pacific Ocean in the west, across the Santa Monica Mountains, and east toward downtown, with the iconic Hollywood sign in the background. Typhoon is a restaurant with pan-Asian eclectic cuisine (featured previously in our Sep/Oct 2005 and Jul/Aug 2009 issues). Brian Vidor, the owner, opened a new restaurant upstairs called the Pan Am Room. It serves pan-Latin dishes featuring flavors from countries like Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy visited the Pan Am Room recently and reports that the ambience and the menu are a delight. This isn’t heavy Mexican food loaded with cheese and beans, dishes here are fresh and light, with intense, citrusy ceviches, tender steaks, and unique salads you won’t find elsewhere. Chef Norman Fierros infuses Latin American flavors with Asian and Brazilian techniques, creating original versions of empanadas, tamales, rellenos, as well as seafood dishes. And with such reasonable prices, you’ll be sure to visit often.

St. Michaels, Maryland

St. Michaels is a town on the Chesapeake Bay that is rich in nautical history. Author Heather Sanders Sable reports it’s also a great place for a romantic summer interlude or a fun and educational family summer trip. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is loaded with interactive exhibits and ways to have hands-on fun. Scramble up the spiral stairs of the screwpile lighthouse, learn about the oyster fishery, and admire beautifully constructed skipjacks and other sailboats. Festivals abound throughout the summer, including the wild log canoe races where competitors hang on scaffolds way out over the water to prevent the shallow craft with oversized masts and sails from capsizing. Try sailing lessons or take a romantic sunset cruise on a 42-foot catboat. As to the “finer” things in life, you’ll find a winery, luxury spa, and hotel right above the marina. Sophisticated seafood is easy to find, as are simple cafes and bakeries. Fly in for a taste of New England sailing culture.

Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Canada

When asked for her best trip ever, Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy usually responds that it was her trip to the Canadian Rockies. One look at the photos in this story and you’ll start to understand why. Fantastic lakes of turquoise-blue, sea-green, or bright teal water are fed by hundreds of glaciers. Emerald forests tower overhead to be replaced at altitude by tiny alpine trees and flowers. A wonderful system of trails, modeled after those in the Swiss Alps, allows access to wilderness so beautiful and loaded with wildlife it seems like a fairy tale. Step out onto a giant glacier and taste the purest meltwater. Spend a day on the Icefields Parkway, one of National Geographic’s top Drives of the World. The icing on the cake comes in the form of Canada’s finest hotels, offering unparalleled service and the finest nouvelle Canadian cuisine, spa services, and other luxuries. Finish off your trip with a one-of-a-kind flying tour in your own airplane, and you’ve got the vacation of a lifetime.

New Paltz, New York

In the southern Catskills of upstate New York, you’ll find the town of New Paltz. It’s a college town with a carefree attitude and an array of restaurants to please any palate. And just outside of town, you’ll find a historic hotel that looks something like a large stone castle out of a Harry Potter novel: the Mohonk Mountain House. It towers above a glacial lake high in the mountains backed by the Shawangunk Ridge. Often referred to as “the Gunks,” this ridge draws rock climbers from around the globe. You can enjoy lots of other outdoor adventures in the thousands of acres of preserved forest nearby: mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and trail rides in summer, and ice climbing, snowshoeing, and skiing in winter. Fall brings a triathlon along with gorgeous fall colors. If you stay in the Mohonk Mountain House above the lake, all your meals are included, and it’s easy to arrange almost endless activities or visit the spa. But you can also try one of several historic B&Bs that offer their own beautiful settings and delicious breakfasts, along with croquet, massage, sauna, or even a garden labyrinth. Overall, it’s a land of enchantment and the perfect place to get away from it all in a snap.

Engine Failure—Part One

While it is true engine that failures are rare, they’re something all pilots should be prepared for. This entails more than just keeping an eye out for good landing spots; there are specific steps that should be taken quickly and correctly when an engine suddenly stops or is producing little power. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy outlines six crucial decisions you must make and steps you must take to land safely after a loss of power. The first three are covered in this first installment. In order to react properly, you have to know your plane, so we cover specific training flights you can do in your aircraft that will help you create customized checklists to have in the cockpit for quick referral when the adrenalin is flowing. Additional topics include flight post-failure, IFR situational awareness, ATC, how to select the best landing site, and best glide speed at that moment—information that’s helpful in taking the steps to always be ready.