You are hereNovember/December 2014
Just because winter is upon us doesn’t mean you have to lock your airplane away in the hangar. This issue brings you fun and interesting winter destinations from around the country. Visit a small Midwestern town where skyscrapers attest to its oil riches. In Utah, explore your artistic side as you enjoy nature, fantastic skiing, and fine cuisine. Camp out at a newly opened Arizona airstrip. Or celebrate Christmas Bavarian-style as you and your children explore a Northwestern Winter Wonderland. We also have Flying Tips on how to safely and easily enter a holding pattern, something that happens more often in winter when the weather caves in.
Never heard of Bartlesville, Okla.? Pilots unfamiliar with this Midwestern city will receive their first surprise inbound to the airport. This city of only 37,000 will appear on the horizon from many miles away, its skyscrapers rising above the prairie. The tall buildings are your first indication that Bartlesville is not your average small town. As author MeLinda Schnyder explains, the Bartlesville skyline, which includes the world’s only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed high-rise, is a reflection of immense oil wealth that dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Visit the home of Frank Phillips, co-founder of Phillips Petroleum Company, which was formed in 1917 and became one of America’s largest oil companies. The 26-room neoclassical mansion is now a State of Oklahoma historical site, and becomes specially decorated for the Christmas holidays. The six-car garage has been transformed into an interpretive center that showcases the Phillips family, their philanthropic endeavors, and the rise of Phillips Petroleum. Visit a working replica of the state’s first commercial derrick and cable tool rig; both sit on the exact spot of Oklahoma’s first gusher. The Frank Lloyd Wright Price tower is a must-see, and the epitome of mid-century modern architecture; you can even spend the night in this unique skyscraper. The Copper Bar, on the tower’s 15th floor, offers views of the city and surrounding prairie from its two-story glassed space; it’s a great option for evening drinks. A trip to Bartlesville is not complete without a visit to Woolaroc Ranch, Museum, and Wildlife Preserve, the 3,700-acre country estate of oil baron Frank Phillips. The estate is home to over 700 animals including bison, longhorn cattle, and zebra. Phillips’ eight-bedroom lodge overlooks Clyde Lake. You’ll also find a petting barn, walking trails, a museum with a massive collection of art, and American Indian cultural items. From Nov. 28 through Dec. 21, the preserve hosts the Wonderland of Lights, with 750,000 lights across the grounds and buildings. Of particular interest to aviators is the Woolaroc Museum, which houses the famous Woolaroc Travel Air 5000 monoplane, accompanied by an extensive display on the Dole Air Race it won. All this, plus shopping, seasonal festivals, and a variety of restaurants make Bartlesville a great place to visit for the holidays!
Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah
Many people have heard of Sundance, but they’re not sure if it’s a ski mountain, a film festival, or what. As Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy explains, the Sundance Mountain Resort is actually a small year-round resort tucked away under one of Utah’s most magnificent mountains and owned by actor/filmmaker Robert Redford. You can fly into one of two nearby airports to escape the city at Sundance. Skiing here is superb, as are the accommodations, service, and restaurants, and yet the entire resort has been built to minimize its impact on the environment. Rather than a city atmosphere, you can step outside your room and hear nothing but the whisper of the breeze in the pines. Enjoy the uncrowded downhill slopes or try night cross-country skiing, look for owls with a naturalist, or get in some winter trophy fly fishing. At the Sundance Studio, you can learn how to make jewelry, pottery, brush up on your photography skills, or even take painting or drawing lessons. There’s also an art gallery and glass-making studio. Try yoga, indulge in the finest spa treatments, or just relax in your beautiful log suite in front of your wood-burning fireplace. If you’d like to visit the Sundance Film Festival in January, packages are available that include both tickets and transportation. You’ll get a taste of Hollywood glitz with Park City winter chic, and then return to the quiet at Sundance Resort. A weekend at Sundance is so rejuvenating, you may just start a new yearly tradition and visit each winter.
Wenatchee & Leavenworth, Washington
The towns of Wenatchee and Leavenworth are fun to visit almost any time of year, but particularly so at Christmastime. Leavenworth, which in recent decades has re-created itself as a Bavarian-style village, goes all-out in winter, with activities for both children and adults. The festivities begin each year at the end of November with Christkindlmarkt, a German tradition that dates back to the 1500s. This is the perfect time and place to get into the Christmas spirit; with music, pastries and other sweet treats, sausages, and warm spiced gluhwein (mulled wine). Booths also sell handmade crafts and gifts. The festival includes a visit from St. Nicholas and the Christkind (Golden Angel)—the Christmas symbol in German-speaking countries. If you come for the Lantern Festival, your kids can decorate their own paper lantern and then show it off as they walk with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus through the streets of Leavenworth during the Lantern Parade. On December weekends, the holidays kick into high gear with Leavenworth’s Christmas Lighting Festival, Christmas carols, roasting chestnuts and other treats, and activities for the entire family. After Christmas ends, Leavenworth keeps the winter fun going with its January Bavarian Ice Fest. The town is dressed in lights; fireworks explode in the air, and daytime outdoor contests include the ice cube race for kids, relay races, and the Smooshing Contest—a Leavenworth original, where teams of four all strap onto the same two boards and race down Front Street. In Wenatchee, the one-of-a-kind Pybus Market, at the heart of the Wenatchee Waterfront, is filled to the rafters with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, jams, beers, and locally-made cooking oils, seasonings, and hand-embroidered clothing, locally-crafted jewelry, plants and flowers, and soaps. Author Erin Willison takes you to all the best eateries, including one with a great view of the surrounding hills. Skiers can enjoy nearby slopes, too. Wenatchee and Leavenworth make the perfect one-two for a fun winter getaway.
Double Circle Ranch, Arizona
With its ancient cottonwood-lined streams, wildlife, camping, hiking, and incredible Southwestern ranch history, the Double Circle Ranch in east-central Arizona is one of a kind. Through efforts of the Arizona Pilot’s Association (APA) and the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), this historic facility only recently reopened to aviators with the skills and equipment to land at its dirt airstrip. Authors Mark & Stephanie Spencer describe the area’s fascinating history, from its days as an Apache stronghold to its re-colonization by mining and cattle interests, and then the slow fading of the ranch house over the decades. By working constructively with the U.S. Forest Service, APA and RAF volunteers have secured an agreement to upgrade and maintain both the lodge and the airstrip. Nowhere else in Arizona can an aviator camp with their aircraft within walking distance of two year-round-flowing creeks. The old Double Circle Ranch will inspire hours of exploration, spurring the imagination with stories of the Old West. Here, the cowboy and Indian sides of history are entwined. Visit the graveyard, just southwest of the airstrip, and discover the final resting places of outlaws, victims of Geronimo’s raids, and faithful workers at the old ranch. Friendly locals sometimes stop by and share stories with visiting aviators. You can also take part in one of the volunteer weekends held several times each year, when Forest Service officials and the aviation community work with locals to restore the lodge and its history.
Flying Holding Patterns – Just Visualize It
When was the last time you had to hold? For many pilots, the only holds they’ve ever gotten have been from their CFII or on a check ride or IPC. Holds happen due to a temporary lack of airspace. Bad weather may cause too many aircraft to divert toward a certain airport, an inbound emergency flight suddenly needs priority handling, or another aircraft may be inbound to the uncontrolled field where you’re landing. Even if you’re VFR, a controller (usually a tower controller) may ask you to do a few 360s for spacing, but when it come to real IFR holds, many pilots get nervous, particularly about the entry. In this issue, Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy talks about a simple way to figure out what type of entry makes the most sense in a given situation. You’ll also get tips on how you can often avoid a hold altogether, things to listen for, and specific recommendations on how to practice so if you ever do have to hold, you’ll be able to do it safely. You might even find that holding can be easy as pie.