Destination

Destination (66)

Sentimental Journey

Sentimental Journey is an old-fashioned sort of fly-in. It is a gathering of the like-minded more than an exhibition, a sharing of things rather than simply a selling of things. It is a wonderful place to simply sit beside your aircraft and smell the fresh-cut grass, to watch the activities on the grass and blacktop runways, to watch and listen for the aircraft as they pop over the ridgelines to the north and south and join the airport’s traffic pattern. The 20th Annual Sentimental Journey Fly-in occurred this past June 22nd through June 25th, on what turned out to be a string of beautiful summer days and nights in central Pennsylvania. Held at the picturesque Lock Haven Airport, this uncontrolled field with its 3,800-foot paved runway and a parallel 2,200-foot grass strip was once again a perfect hosting facility for what turned out to, as it perennially seems to, be a perfect fly-in destination. Even though the official festivities were to begin on Wednesday, those who were intent on being early—a cushion for weather delays (none needed this year), a chance to pick up an optimum parking and/or camping site, or just a desire to spend more time in the…
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Cody, Wyo.: A still-small town in the big American West

Cody, Wyo.: A still-small town in the big American West

February 2014- Have you ever traveled through a town in a hurry and thought to yourself, I ought to come back here sometime when I can stop and smell the roses...? During my NetJets days, flying here and there across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, I saw a lot of country but didn't have time to stop and look around. Assignments were mostly of the "drop the owners and move on quickly to the next destination" type. This was also the case when I first flew into Cody, Wyo. Cody is located in the northwest corner of the state and at the eastern gateway to Yellowstone National Park. After putting the Citation to bed late one afternoon, we got a crew car and drove five minutes into town, had a quick dinner and went to bed. The next morning we fortunately did not have an early scheduled departure, and I asked the desk clerk where he would recommend we go for a good breakfast. Without missing a beat he recommended that the only place for breakfast was the Irma Hotel's restaurant. We drove downtown and parked near the Irma. The restaurant—approximately 50 by 90 feet—was full of people…
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Great Alaska Aviation Gathering

August 2013 It was cold when we arrived in Anchorage for the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering—unseasonably so, we were told. As we drove past Lake Hood Seaplane Base on our way to set up our show booth we noted the lake was still frozen over and all the planes were pulled up on the shore. Lake Hood Seaplane Base (ICAO: PALH; FAA LID: LHD) is a state-owned seaplane base. The Lake Hood Strip (Z41) is a gravel runway located adjacent to the seaplane base. Open to the public, Lake Hood is the world’s busiest seaplane base, handling an average of 190 flights per day. The folks at FedEx are nice enough to allow the Alaska Airmen’s Association to use their maintenance hangar at Ted Stevens International Airport (PANC) for the event, and we had no trouble finding the building and getting our booth set up. After tackling that, we had a little time to drive around Anchorage and stopped for lunch at the Glacier Brew House for a really excellent meal. The overcast lifted just enough to give us a tantalizing glimpse of the surrounding mountains.
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Destination: Cambria, Calif.

July 2013- It’s a cool Saturday in March when we arrive in Cambria, Calif. for a weekend visit. We are greeted warmly at the front desk of the Cambria Pines Lodge, but our room is not quite ready. No problem, we’ll use the time to check out the town and stop for lunch. Cambria is a small town located about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It sits on the ocean’s edge with its back to the rolling hills of California’s central coast. The area was once a part of the lands of the Mission San Miguel, later a part of the 13,000-acre Rancho Santa Rosa of Don Julian Estrada. By 1880, Slabtown (as it was then named) was the second largest town in San Luis Obispo County. Cambria was made the official town name in 1870, likely because the residents were tired of trying to explain why their town was named Slabtown (apparently it got its name from the rough slab wood construction of the buildings). A devastating fire wiped out Main Street in 1889, but the town survived and rebuilt.
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Destination: San Carlos

August 2005- Nestled under the San Francisco Class B airspace, 20 miles south of the downtown area, San Carlos airport of Santa Clara county (SQL) is the closest General Aviation airport to both the city of San Francisco and San Francisco International. Among the services available on the field are the Sky Kitchen restaurant, which provides basic diner fare in a relaxed atmosphere, a Burger King restaurant (yes, right on the field) and the well-stocked San Carlos Aviation Supply—a pilot shop with a complete line of aviation charts (both VFR and IFR), books, and other items. But by far the most interesting on-field attraction is the Hiller Aviation Museum, which is on the west side of the runway, just a bit south of the Burger King. Helicopter and “flying platform” inventor Stanley Hiller founded the museum in 1998, and it houses several of his unique designs.
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310 to the Bahamas

June 2005- When my old friend Max Berger called me, he proposed an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bahamas in his Cessna 310. That was the good news. The bad news was that it would be a one-day trip, a simple out-and-back from our home airport in Florida to Treasure Cay (MYAT, for you fanciers of airport identifiers). The mission was, quite literally, to deliver the kitchen sink. (More on that later.) Our secondary target would be some of the new stuff on Max’s instrument panel, on which he wanted some additional inputs from me. The scheduled takeoff was 0800, and Max promised that we’d be back at home plate no later than 1700 local since I had already something scheduled for that evening. The clincher was that a free Bahamian lunch would be included. I signed onboard as copilot.
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The Eklund Hotel

June 2005- Longtime friends Kendyl and Barbara Monroe finally decided to retire, leave New York City and move back home to the family ranch near Clayton, N.M. 10 years ago. All this time the invitation to visit them in their new home on the New Mexico plains was there for the Lloyds to accept, and we missed a lot by not accepting sooner. In addition to managing the ranch, Kendyl joined a local group restoring the 100-year-old local hotel. On one of Kendyl’s recent trips to Wichita, he described his new venture, The Eklund Hotel restoration, with all its trials and tribulations. Again, he invited Sara and me to hop in Bill, the friendly family Cessna 182, and fly out to the northeast corner of New Mexico for a visit. This is the story about our trip to Clayton.
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Sun ‘n Fun 2005

June 2005- Originally organized in 1974 as a weekend-long event, the annual EAA fly-in at Lakeland, Fla. has continued to grow in size and stature each year since. Known in the industry as Sun ‘n Fun, this annual spring gathering—which changed to a full week’s event in 1976 and has remained that way ever since—kicks off the aviation airshow season with lots of opening thunder. With a relatively humble beginning in 1975 that counted slightly less than 2,000 visitors and 365 participating aircraft, the Sun ‘n Fun organization (sun-n-fun.org) reports that in 2004 there were an estimated 160,000 people, nearly 5,000 aircraft and a record number of commercial exhibitors participating in the weeklong event.
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San Diego Air & Space Museum

May 2005- Imagine a supersonic jet fighter that takes off and lands on water skis. Sounds insane, doesn’t it? You might think so, but the U.S. Navy built and flew four prototypes of Convair’s Sea Dart in the 1950s, and you’ll find one of them on a pylon in front of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, (SDASM) right next to an SR-71 Blackbird. Inside you’ll find exhibits that span the entire history of human flight. This is apparent in the lobby, which features the Apollo 9 command module (on loan from the Smithsonian), a World War I Sopwith Pup biplane with the skin removed so that you can see the wooden structure, and a Global Hawk surveillance UAV.
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Destination: National Naval Aviation Museum

02-13 Stretching from Panama City, Fla. westward to the Alabama border lies arguably the finest white sand beaches to be found anywhere in the United States. Home to four major military airbases, the area somehow manages to combine a laid-back civilian lifestyle with a by-the-book military mindset. And it does it all with élan. This part of Florida is called the Four Seasons area, but even in the dead of winter the daytime temperatures are balmy by North Country standards, averaging in the low 60s. Spring comes early here and the azaleas are in bloom by mid to late February. (A word of caution, though: Panama City is the destination for college Spring Breakers. Unless you enjoy enormous crowds, don’t even think about driving through Panama City at that time, much less staying there.)
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Skymaster Adventure to Europe

05-13 A springtime odyssey from the Middle East to the North Atlantic The adventure begins with the chirping of my cell phone one afternoon in early April. The caller, an old friend, has an interesting offer. It seems four recently refurbished Skymasters stored in Aqaba, Jordan need to be moved to Wick, Scotland. His question: would I be interested in flying one of them? I take a full five seconds to mentally review the route we would cover and reply, “Absolutely! When do we leave?” Three of the pilots who are to make the trip—Jay Weinmann, Rich Burbank, and me—arrive at Aqaba on a Royal Jordanian Airlines flight on the 11th of April. There we are met by the fourth pilot, Stuart Mills, a highly experienced ferry pilot who will serve as the leader of our little gaggle. Our plan is to depart on the 13th of April with overnight stops in Greece, Croatia, the Netherlands, and finally Scotland. Aqaba, Jordan The north end of the Red Sea is split into two narrow gulfs by the Sinai Peninsula; the Gulf of Suez is on the west, and the Gulf of Aqaba is on the east. The port city of Aqaba…
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Destination: Niagara Falls, NY

November 2012 The Niagara Falls region of western New York offers some breathtaking scenery including one of the seven natural wonders of North America, Niagara Falls. Recently my wife expressed a desire to see the falls firsthand—and I immediately realized this was a great opportunity for a trip in our single engine airplane. A review of the route from our home base, Albertus Airport (KFEP) in Freeport, Ill. to Niagara Falls International (KIAG) quickly revealed the challenges that I would need to address. First was the decision on the route of flight. THE TRIP EAST The most direct route would involve crossing Lake Michigan north of Chicago’s Class B airspace and flying the entire length of Lake Erie to western New York. I wasn’t comfortable with crossing Lake Michigan and a long over-water flight of Lake Erie, so I elected to transition through Chicago’s Class B airspace around the south end of Chicago. Our early morning departure from Freeport gave me hope of getting clearance through the lower levels of Class B airspace at the south end of Chicago, but alas, this was not to be due to a high controller workload. In my experience, you won’t get much help…
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