You are hereSeptember/October 2013

September/October 2013

Autumn can often offers some of the year’s best flying with less wind, fewer thunderstorms, no icing, and even a show of fall colors below. In this issue, we bring you fun fall flying destinations from all across America. Take in the fall colors over upstate New York, visit a slice of Switzerland in eastern Oregon, frolic with dolphins in southwest Florida, or make the pilgrimage to the big AOPA Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, and take in plenty of cowboy culture along with your aviation fix.

Fort Worth, Texas

If you are planning a trip to Fort Worth for the upcoming AOPA Aviation Summit, make sure to read this article. Author Narcisco Tovar, a Texas native, gives you the lowdown on “Cowtown.” You can start by visiting two aviation museums at the airport, and then make a beeline for the best boot shop in Fort Worth’s famous Stockyards. Sashay across the street for all your Western wear needs, right on up to the cowboy hat, and you’ll be ready for everything else downtown Fort Worth has to offer: plenty of honky tonk nightlife, dancing, live performances, bull riding, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. When it’s time to dine, we’ll point you to the best Texas BBQ, prime steaks, wood-smoked game, or fresh organic burgers, with or without live music accompaniments. As for lodging, you can choose between a premiere world-class hotel just steps away from the convention center, a four-diamond property adjacent to the best shopping, or a historic Stockyards-area hotel that notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde slept in 80 years ago.

Marco Island, Florida

If you’re looking for plush accommodations and high-end real estate, you can certainly find that in Marco Island in southwest Florida. However, Marco Island is truly all about island life. As the northern entrance to the Ten Thousand Islands, a chain of hundreds of uninhabited barrier islands, Marco Island teems with wildlife; dolphins frolic and osprey soar overhead. This is a place for those who love to get out on the water. Land on an airstrip set among the mangroves, or tie your seaplane up near the wildlife observation platform, and within 20 minutes you can be on a 34-foot sport fishing boat with an experienced captain who will target whatever is providing the most action that day. Or fire up a WaveRunner and tour the coast; you’ll likely be joined by friendly dolphins that play in your wake just a few yards away. If a quiet weekend is more to your liking, rent a kayak and explore Marco Island’s dense mangrove forests filled with seabirds while you look for sea turtles and manatees. Local beaches provide some of the best seashell beachcombing anywhere, and the area’s numerous bars and restaurants provide a variety of live entertainment. Choose from the rowdiest chickee huts where revelers party while dining on ultra-fresh fish, or simply pull your boat up to one of the quiet tropical restaurants where you can relax, sip your daiquiri, and watch the palm trees sway in the gentle breeze. While in Marco Island, you can also visit the Historical Museum or take in a comedy show. Accommodations range from high-rise luxury resorts with golf courses, spa services, and high-end restaurants to simple beach camping on a remote island. Pitch your tent, make a campfire, cook your freshly caught fish, and then fall asleep to the sound of the ocean waves gently lapping only a few feet away.

Skaneateles, New York

Airline pilot and aviation author Les Abend visits Skaneateles regularly from his home in Connecticut; he reveals that it offers the perfect weekend antidote to frenetic urban life. Skaneateles is perched at the northern end of Skaneateles Lake, one of upstate New York’s glacial “finger lakes.” You can settle in to a cozy B&B on five acres with an equestrian center onsite and a vineyard across the street. Toast your good fortune with a glass of sherry by the fire, and then admire the clear lake accented by fiery fall leaves. Or stay at a historic inn, built in 1807, with a fine dining restaurant as well as a casual tavern onsite. The inn offers a classic 1946 wooden Cris Craft boat for day, sunset, and sunrise adventures. When you’re ready to explore, the small town offers numerous fine art galleries and restaurants. Take a scenic lunch or dinner cruise of the lake, or rent a canal boat to explore the Erie Canal on your own, for a few days or a week. You can tie up at numerous locations along the shore of the canal and explore the countryside, or enjoy a meal at a waterside restaurant. Skaneateles is also wine country; visit a winery, admire the gardens, and take home a case of New York wine. Airplane enthusiasts will want to make a day trip to the Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, which showcases the numerous accomplishments of this record-setting aviation pioneer.

Joseph, Oregon

On approach to the airport in Joseph, Ore., you might just wonder if you’ve lost your way and wandered into the Swiss Alps as you take in the imposing Wallowa Mountains that rise sharply above the crystal-clear, glacial moraine-impounded Wallowa Lake. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy visited this charming town and discovered how different eastern Oregon is from the stereotypically rainy western portion of the state. Eastern Oregon is mostly cowboy and ranch country, with dry rolling hills and grasslands, except for the dramatic scenery around Joseph. Visit at the end of September and you can join the fun of Alpenfest, Joseph’s tribute to Swiss music and culture. Hear an alpenhorn, compete in the yodeling contest, and dance to polka music as you enjoy Bavarian treats. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the enormous Eagle Cap Wilderness of the Wallowa Mountains. Take a day hike or backpacking trip into the mountains and visit alpine lakes where you can fish for native trout. Or take the easy way up in a Swiss gondola that will whisk you to a mountaintop in 15 minutes where you can indulge in and easy mountaintop walk or lunch with a panoramic view of the valley and lake below. Stay in a pilot-owned condo that comes with a free car for easy traveling, or rent a car and sleep in a beautifully restored wood craftsman home. Pilots from all over the northwest fly into Joseph for outstanding breakfasts. And while you’re in town, don’t forget to visit the Alaska Bushwheel facility right at the airport and see how they make—entirely by hand—the world’s biggest tundra tires.

Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck—iPad Apps for VFR and IFR

For decades, Jeppesen has been synonymous with charts and IFR flying. The company has kept pace with technology and announced over the summer their latest iPad product tailored to VFR pilots: Mobile FliteDeck VFR. Before he left the AirVenture Oshkosh show this year, our editor, John T. Kounis, loaded the new VFR product as well as the IFR EFB platform, Mobile FliteDeck for the iPad, and used them for more than 20 hours flying back to California. This article details the capabilities and advantages of both the IFR and VFR iPad products from Jeppesen.