You are hereMay/June 2015

May/June 2015

For this summer, Pilot Getaways has aviation-based adventures for you that span the continent, from small-town charm in Pennsylvania to Civil war history in the South, and from the beauty of mid-America’s rolling prairies to the Southwest’s most vibrant art center.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

If you’re an art lover, Santa Fe will soon become one of your favorite destinations. In a town of only 70,000, Santa Fe boasts over 250 galleries and a dense concentration of museums, making it one of America’s three top art markets based on sales. Each summer, hundreds of thousands of collectors and art devotees gather during the city’s blockbuster market weekends: the International Folk Art Market, the traditional Spanish and Contemporary Hispanic markets, and Santa Fe Indian Market. And there are countless other festivals, markets, lectures, symposiums, and performances on the calendar. Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy takes you on a tour through Santa Fe’s major cultural institutions and festivals, which this year are cooperating to produce the “Summer of Color,” centered on Museum Hill and radiating across the city. Of all the festivals, perhaps the most heartwarming is the International Folk Art Market (IFAM), where over 150 artists from 63 countries around the world gather to present their hand-made, culturally significant art. The quality is astounding, and where else can you bond with artists from Cuba, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, India, Peru, Swaziland, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Cameroon, and Lao PDR in one afternoon? Later in the summer, you can check out the Santa Fe Indian Market, the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world. When it’s time to turn in, marvel at the details everywhere you look inside the Mary Colter-designed, Fred Harvey-era La Fonda on the Plaza, which recently underwent a phenomenal restoration. Finally, Santa Fe is a hub for fine cuisine that’s authentically New Mexican. Whether you want fresh-from-the-garden nouveau, a smoky carne adovada, or simply the best green-chile cheeseburger, you’ve come to the right place.

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Anyone interested in American history will be drawn to Vicksburg, where the Union Army staged a successful 47-day siege of the city during the Civil War; a strategy considered by many historians to be among its most brilliant military campaigns. Vicksburg National Military Park, often referred to as “where the fate of our nation was decided in 1863,” is the reason most folks visit Vicksburg. Author Patricia Strutz has a more personal connection to this place. Her grandfather, a Confederate soldier, was buried in nearby Cedar Hill Cemetery. She takes you on a tour of the battlefield, monuments, and cemetery at the National Military Park, where 17,000 Union soldiers are buried. There are also antebellum home tours to get a feel for the Old South. Pilots won’t want to miss the aviation museum filled with vintage aircraft, many of which are available for rides. Some of the aircraft include a 1944 P-51A Mustang, a 1942 T-6 Texan, and a 1995 Waco biplane. When evening rolls around, stop at one of the many “juke joints” to listen to live Delta blues or roll the dice at a riverboat casino, where you can also spend the night. Indulge in a heaping platter of fried catfish or shrimp and grits, with cornbread and candied sweet potatoes. Finish your meal with a slice of pecan or cream of coconut pie, and you’ll know the true meaning of Southern Comfort!

Valentine, Nebraska

This summer, why not take your Valentine to Valentine?—Nebraska, that is! Valentine lies deep within the heart of the Sandhills. As you fly in, especially if you arrive in early morning or late afternoon, you’ll be treated to the glorious sight of gently rolling hills covered in undulating grass. Fed by one of the world’s largest aquifers, the area supports a diverse array of wildlife. Take a walk or a driving tour through the 72,000-acre Valentine National Wildlife Refuge, home to 289 species of birds. Head east to the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge where you can enjoy true solitude in its wilderness area. Continuing northeast, an easy hike in Smith Falls State Park brings you to its namesake waterfall, at 70 feet, Nebraska’s tallest. But there’s another treat near Valentine, as author MeLinda Schnyder explains. Golfers from around the country flock to The Prairie Club, boasting two spectacular 18-hole courses, a fun 10-hole course, and a luxurious resort and spa. Both the Dunes Course and the Pines Course were rated on Golf Digest magazine’s Top 100 public courses in their first year of eligibility. The magazine also voted The Prairie Club “America’s Best Overnight Golf Destination,” so it’s no surprise accommodations are on par with the award-winning courses. Choose a room in the 40,000-square-foot lodge, or go for the extra privacy of a Canyon Rim cabin, which perches atop the bluff overlooking the Snake River canyon. The Prairie Club has two fine restaurants. One overlooks the 18th green while the other offers sunset views over the Snake River canyon. You’ll choose from entrées featuring local grass-fed beef, chicken, bison, and seafood that combine ingredients from the prairie and the American West. As you and your Valentine watch the sun sink low over the undulating hills, you’ll see why the locals say the Sandhills of Nebraska whisper their beauty. You just need to slow down and listen.

Lititz, Pennsylvania

The small town of Lititz, population 9,000, is a borough of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, better known as Amish Country. As author Heather Sanders Connellee explains, Lititz has a personality and charm all its own. Fly in to Lancaster Airport and make the short drive to a town full of surprises. Settled by German Anabaptists in the 1720s, Lititz was established by members of the Moravian Church, the world’s oldest Protestant denomination. Visit homes, still furnished with original artifacts that date to as early as 1792. Lititz is home to America’s first commercial pretzel bakery, and you can learn how to twist your own at the factory’s twisting station. One of America’s largest chocolate makers is based here as well. Chocolate lovers can sample and buy no end of different chocolates from the Wilbur Chocolate Company. Shop for gourmet oils and other kitchen items and then do something completely different: visit a home for displaced wolves and get up close and personal with these beautiful carnivores. In a place like this, you’d expect great B&Bs, and we’ll take you to them, but rock ’n’ rollers also have their special hotel, on the top floor of a local inn. Check out memorabilia from acts as diverse as Elvis Presley and Lady Gaga. Dining options are many in this little town, including a café that specializes in chocolate-themed dishes, a traditional British Pub, a Southern pub with Southern-style ribs, and a café with original specialties like quinoa pancakes or tomato pie: seasoned red tomatoes baked into a flaky pie crust and topped with cheese. At any time, you’ll see Lititz brings its own flavor to Pennsylvania’s “Dutch” corner.

VOR and Glideslope Checks – More Than Just a Good Idea

In this age of GPS, who needs to worry about their VORs? Well, if you have a VOR in your panel and you fly IFR, you’re legally required to check its accuracy at least once a month. As Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy explains, there are good reasons for this FAA mandate. Any GPS is fallible, as the author has herself discovered, and you may one day need your VOR as a backup. Further, you may choose to fly a VOR approach at a particular airport. If your VOR is not accurate—even if it’s only a few degrees and still legal—on certain approaches you could end up outside the normally protected airspace on the approach. If you use one VOR to check the other in the air because you were in a hurry before you took off, you could compound the problem. Similarly, your life depends on your glideslope’s accuracy when you fly an ILS, yet there’s no legal requirement to check it. Read this article to learn an easy way to check your glideslope, so it doesn’t lead you astray at the worst time.