You are hereSeptember/October 2015

September/October 2015

With autumn comes some of the best flying weather of the year. Thunderstorms and wind have abated, fires have died down, kids are back in school, vacation spots become uncrowded, icing hasn’t reared its head yet, and forests from the Northeast to the canyons of the West are lighting up with leaves of red, orange, and gold. In this issue, we bring you a historic town in Virginia, spectacular red-rock canyon flightseeing, wine-, cider-, beer-, and brandy-tasting in Washington, an airplane factory tour, and a hip fly-in restaurant in the Los Angeles Basin.

Kanab, Utah

Fly to Kanab for “The Greatest Earth on Show” and immerse yourself in astounding scenery. Millions of years of erosion have sculpted the area’s multi-colored sandstone layers into towers, buttes, arches, and rounded arroyos. As author MeLinda Schynder explains, Kanab is surrounded by an array of national parks, monuments, forests, and recreation areas, as well as state parks. It is a perfect base from which to explore this unique area. The lands surrounding Kanab provide some of the most dramatic flightseeing opportunities available anywhere, and we’ll tip you off on the best routes to follow. You can even overfly the Grand Canyon in certain areas and, from the comfort of your own airplane, see what other tourists pay hundreds of dollars to see. Once on the ground, we’ll show you the best hikes, all of which offer panoramic views. Engage an outfitter for rock climbing, rappelling, or slot canyon adventures, or try four-wheeling the coral sands of the nearby state park. The iconic scenery in the area has served as the backdrop for so many iconic Western films, it earned Kanab the nickname “Little Hollywood.” Visit the Little Hollywood Movie Museum to see sets and memorabilia from classic and some recent films. Animal lovers will want to visit Best Friends Animal Society, America’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. You can even stay in an onsite cottage or cabin. Other choices around Kanab include a historic lodge, elegant boutique hotel, and a unique rental home that features an array of geodes, polished rock, petrified wood, sandstone, and fossils. This small town offers family-friendly restaurants with home-cooking, a pizza buffet, and an upscale bistro that serves free-range bison with a burgundy balsamic reduction and other culinary delights.

Fredericksburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg is often called “America’s most historic city.” Situated along the Rappahannock River, the quaint town is decorated with four centuries of architecture and ranks as one of our oldest cities. Author Heather Sanders Connellee takes you to this remarkable town that is steeped in Civil War history. Reminders of that era include its Georgian-style architecture, mounting blocks once used to help ladies access horse-drawn carriages, and a statue of war general Hugh Mercer, who was mistaken for George Washington and assassinated. Stay in a restored 1812 plantation house (with modern amenities of course) that butts up to a Civil War battlefield where you can walk among preserved trenches, fish from a beautiful pond, or hike along deeply wooded paths. Or you can stay at a B&B right in the heart of the historic district, with easy access to unique shops and antique stores. A walk in town will also take you past plenty of the hipster shops popular with the University of Mary Washington students. Watch the trolleys and horse-drawn carriage pass by, do some wine tasting, or spend a day outdoors hiking, swimming, or boating on a nearby lake. Local restaurants won’t disappoint; you’ll find fresh organic fare, Bavarian delights, and contemporary American favorites prepared with a global twist and designed to pair with an extensive wine menu. Or make the short trip to Lake Anna and savor your dinner lakeside. One restaurant even has a dock suitable for seaplanes. With fall colors lighting up the surrounding forests, you’ll find Fredericksburg to be the perfect autumn getaway.

Yakima, Washington

Harvest time is the perfect time to visit Yakima, in south-central Washington state. Although best known for its apples and cherries, the Yakima Valley produces a wide array of crops, including many that are transformed into sublime beverages. As Managing Editor Crista Videriksen Worthy explains, three-quarters of America’s hops are actually grown in Washington, and Yakima is becoming a hot-spot for craft beers. It’s also Washington’s biggest wine country, and you can sip wines in downtown tasting rooms or out at the wineries themselves. With all the apple varieties grown here, Yakima is also the perfect place to make fine cider. Sure enough, a downtown cider bar offers their own delicious cider by the glass, by the bottle, or in tasting flights. When it comes to dining, you’ll discover that farm-to-table cuisine really is possible in this town surrounded by family farms. There’s plenty more to do here than eat and drink. Pilots will appreciate that CubCrafters, manufacturers of top-quality tailwheel airplanes perfect for the backcountry, is based at the Yakima airport. Visit the factory and then walk next door to see the McAllister Air Museum, home to an eclectic collection of memorabilia and displays about the history of aviation in central Washington. Go horseback riding Western-style with trail rides that start on a working cattle ranch. Prefer English style? That same ranch offers polo lessons and even clinics during October with a well-known polo player. You can also play a round of golf, and even stay in a house with views of the golf course. If you prefer elegant B&B accommodations, you can choose from a historic home near downtown or a rural manor with a swimming pool, pond, and gardens, all surrounded by vineyards. Stock up on good Northwest wine, brandy, beer, and cider while you visit Yakima. Be sure to leave plenty of room and payload in your airplane before your trip!

Hawthorne, California

Many pilots shy away from landing at Hawthorne Airport, due to its proximity to LAX, Class Bravo airspace, and congested skies. But as author Kellee Edwards explains, flying to Hawthorne isn’t that difficult, especially since the FAA has created a Special Flight Rules Area so you can overfly LAX and then descend right to the Hawthorne Airport. After you arrive, you’re in for a treat: Eureka! Dining Kitchen. This hip restaurant is electric with energy at lunchtime, and that’s not only because the engineers from nearby Tesla love to eat here. The hamburgers at Eureka are truly original, and delicious. The upscale lunchtime crowd at Eureka is usually filled with engineers from SpaceX and AEM Performance Electronics, both of which have their headquarters practically next door to the airport. Even after they’ve sampled a flight of Eureka’s craft brews, your co-diners are likely to be way above average intellectually—some of them may literally be rocket scientists—which makes for interesting conversation and helps elevate Eureka way above the average $100 hamburger destination and into a class of its own. In addition to its unique hamburgers, Eureka’s menu includes interesting appetizers, breakfasts, and a breakfast burrito that’s served all day. Once you fly into Hawthorne, you’ll see for yourself that it may be L.A.’s best fly-in dining destination.

Rejected Takeoffs – They Happen, So Plan Ahead

The ability to plan ahead in case things don’t go as expected is one of the hallmarks of the accomplished pilot. Where will you land if the engine quits? What is the missed approach procedure in case you don’t see the runway? Sometimes, something goes wrong before you even get off the ground. As Managing Editor Crista Videriksen Worthy explains, the smart pilot should plan ahead and be ready to abort before liftoff. Being ready will help you avoid a loss of control on the ground should you have to stop. Having a plan helps you avoid a takeoff when something goes wrong, in which case you risk an in-flight loss of control, which the NTSB lists as the top cause of GA fatalities. There are many reasons to reject a takeoff besides running out of runway, even if outright engine failures are rare. Some possible causes include a door or baggage compartment popping open, a brake dragging, abnormal instrument indications, unusual sounds from the engine or airframe, a strange smell, or an animal, person, or aircraft entering the runway. Sometimes you just get a feeling that something isn’t right. This article explains how to calculate how much runway you’ll need, where your abort point is, and how to stop quickly and in control. Planning ahead for a possible rejected takeoff means that you won’t have to think when something happens; you’ll just react instantly. It could save your life.