You are hereNovember/December 2006

November/December 2006

Hot Places for Colder Weather!

Now that winter is on our doorstep, you may want to know about some great fly-in destinations to keep warm. Head to the Wine Country with that special someone, experience interesting art in the Texas desert, head to hot springs in Montana, or explore Florida’s last undeveloped frontier. These destinations and more are all featured in this issue.

Sonoma Valley, California

Although it lives in the shadow of the larger and more famous Napa wine region next door, Sonoma is more than just a place for wine. It holds an appeal for everyone, wine drinker or not. The weather is pleasant, the scenery is that of rolling vineyards, and the town is warm and welcoming. Between driving fast in racecars, flying low in hot air balloons, and yes, even tasting wine, there’s something for everyone.

Everglades City, Florida

The largest national park east of the Rockies, Everglades National Park is the last undeveloped frontier of Florida. Everglades City, on the northwestern border of the park, is one of the best launching spots for exploring this vast wilderness. In this town reminiscent of Florida villages from days gone by, you can find it all from boat tours and phenomenal fishing to great seafood and quirky hotels. Better yet, most of the attractions and hotels are within walking distance of the small, but well-tended, Everglades Airpark.

Marfa, Texas

The town of Marfa may seem like a small blip located deep in the southwest Texas cactus and cattle country. However it is far from your average ranch town, especially since a local art renaissance has unintentionally turned it into a vibrant, international art destination. Despite the infusion of moderna and chic, the Old West is still alive and well here. And, if you’re lucky, you may spot a celestial phenomena, Marfa’s legendary dancing desert lights.

Chico Hot Springs, Montana

Just north of Yellowstone National Park is the wide, scenic Paradise Valley with blue ribbon trout streams, inviting mountain trails, and the Chico Hot Springs Resort. With accommodations from basic to luxurious, this family-friendly resort has one of the country’s nicest hot springs. Even in this rural area—the nearest town is Pray, population 86—we can tell you where to find a restaurant featuring cuisine to delight the most discriminating palate. Bring the family for fishing, rafting, and fun.

Charly's Airport Restaurant, Williamsburg, Virginia

In 2006, Virginia began celebrating the 400 th anniversary of Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in the New World. The location of the 1607 “First Landing” is debated, but by touching down at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, you are very close to the pilgrims’ arrival point. And you can enjoy a meal at Charly’s Airport Restaurant before setting off to explore the 17th century. This pocket-sized restaurant has a well-deserved reputation for quality cuisine and friendly atmosphere.

Gateway, Colorado

Gateway Canyons is an up-and-coming resort where you can experience some of the best aspects of the Western United States. Between the twisted red rock canyons of Utah and the mountains of Colorado, Gateway Canyons offers resort amenities and activities, excellent food, great service, and even a world-class car museum, just steps from a 2,600-ft. dirt airstrip.

The Columbia 400 High-Flying Speed Demon

When Don Hauck first slid into the seat of a slick new Columbia 400 for a demo flight, he was so impressed that, within a year, he had sold his successful business and began selling Columbias full time. With a cruise speed of 235 knots, the Columbia 400 is the fastest certified piston-powered aircraft. Add to that the Columbia’s technological innovations like those found on newer turboprops or jets, and, as editor-in-chief John T. Kounis reports firsthand, the Columbia 400 is a remarkable aircraft.

How to Survive – What to Do if the Unthinkable Happens

No pilot wants to dwell on the possibility of an aircraft crash. However, being prepared for any eventuality, including the unthinkable, is the key to increasing the chances of survival for yourself and your passengers. Author Glen-Paul Amick, a CFII and volunteer Search & Rescue pilot, shares insights for the aftermath of a crash, where survivors need to use situational awareness and good decision-making to increase their chances of being located and rescued.