You are hereSpring 2004

Spring 2004

Gallop into Spring!

For Pilot Getaways readers, this Spring brings new destinations to explore around the country as well as technical content on the aircraft that will get you there. Thanks to reader requests, we’ve included even more technical information, including what to expect from Aviat’s new Pup in our Backcountry Report. Sip a mint julep as the horses thunder by at Churchill Downs, or simply set down a camp chair and enjoy the view of the lake next to Gravelly Valley’s dirt airstrip. Spring is a wonderful time to head for a fly-in vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, or out with friends out for a memorable meal, aviation-style.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Sights such as beautiful New England beaches, farmland lined with rock walls, and villages hugging neat harbors have drawn visitors to Martha’s Vineyard since its days when it was a colonial port. Pilots have an extra incentive in the island’s airports, one of which is Katama Airpark, the largest grass strip in the United States. Katama provides fly-in access to a day at the beach, if that is all the time you can spare. For longer visits, Katama offers access to nearby Edgartown, which can be used as a base for the rest of the island. Our cover articles shares why Martha’s Vineyard is especially suited to aviators, and how to explore the island in any season.

Louisville, Kentucky

The spectacle and beauty of thoroughbred horseracing can be enjoyed every day of the racing season at Churchill Downs. Whether you revel in the pageantry of a huge event like the Kentucky Derby, or would prefer to witness the tradition and excitement of a “normal” race day, we offer the information you need to get into and around Louisville. Our authors describe the two-week festival that precedes the Derby, the party atmosphere that takes hold of this normally sedate city, and how to either be part of the social scene or avoid the crowds.

Salt Lake City, Utah

First-time visitors to Salt Lake City are fascinated by its natural surroundings—a picturesque salt flat backed by snow-capped mountains—and become curious about the area’s roots. Our article shares information on both aspects, and tells you how to visit the Mormon attractions, marvel at the stunning Temple, and discover the history of the early pioneers. Spring weather beckons hikers to the canyons, wildflowers put on a show worth best seen in person, and as extra incentive, we share a little-known tip on flight-seeing for aviators.

Fredericksburg, Texas

With “Texas-sized” streets lined with historic homes, shops, and restaurants, Fredericksburg is a tourist-friendly destination that is gaining popularity. Nevertheless, Fredericksburg maintains a “country escape” appeal mingled with its old-world style. Local orchards and vineyards will tempt you with award-winning products while year-round biergartens infuse the spirit of Oktoberfest into the heart of Texas.

San Francisco, California

One of the best ways to capture the experience of San Francisco is with a sunset flight around the Bay. Our article shares hotspots of the city from the ground, as well as a scenic aerial Bay Tour you won’t want to miss. San Francisco welcomes air travelers with views of green parks, suspension bridges, and eclectic buildings, but what truly makes it remarkable is its rare combination of light, fog and surrounding waters.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington rests on a wedge of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape Fear River. The river runs along the historic downtown riverfront, while the Atlantic waves crash on barrier islands to the east. It is not unusual to stumble upon a movie shoot as you stroll past boutiques or meander along the River Walk. Visitors can spend days exploring the city’s past in one of the largest districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. We tell you how to fly in for a romantic Southern retreat, or for a taste of “Hollywood on the East Coast.”

Redding, California

Pilots who are also fans of a great Chinese meal are in luck when they arrive in Redding, California. The airport here is home to Peter Chu’s Skyroom, a welcome departure from the standard fare usually found in walking distance of your aircraft. Choose from a huge assortment of dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and served piping hot. This is an aviation eatery worth a visit all its own, or one to keep in mind as you’re passing through northern California.

Gravelly Valley, California

Throughout the 1950s, Gravelly Valley Airfield was a base camp for firefighting in Mendocino National Forest, and some of the first aerial firefighting missions in the U.S. originated from this airstrip. Today Gravelly Valley is a diverse bush-flying destination offering activities from camping and cabin stays to high-tech water sports. Aquatic adventures include fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and even jet-skiing. On land we tell you where to find good hiking trails and how to obtain supplies at this remote strip.

Aviat's Pup - Sweet and Simple

Our backcountry editor and Northern Pilot's founder/editor, Peter M. Diemer, reviews Aviat's newest airplane, the Pup. Pete finds that the little brother of the Husky has a healthy cruise speed, ample fuel capacity, and a huge useful load. Best of all, it's priced to not split the pocket book.

Canyon Weather - The Effects of Wind and Sun

The first step for a flight usually involves a thorough weather briefing. However, flying through canyons often involves very localized weather affected by wind and the sun's heating. In this first part of two articles, author Amy Hoover helps us prepare for Mother Nature's challenges and gives information on where to find the best lift.