Destination

Destination (66)

Destination: Three and a Half Shows

July 2012 This spring was a whirlwind of activity as the intrepid CFA staff attended aviation shows as far-flung as Germany and Alaska. Shows are a great way for us to keep in touch with friends and colleagues. We also gain new members—and keep up with what’s new in the industry—by attending aviation shows. Just when you think everything that could be dreamt up has already been thought of, someone comes along with an innovation or a tweak that makes flying and owning a Cessna safer, easier, more affordable, or in the case of some gizmos, just cooler. Here are some photos and our impressions from the spring aviation shows.
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Enhance Your Oshkosh Experience: Volunteer!

June 2012 As aviators, it seems we are perpetually seeking out new destinations. These achievements—so fastidiously recorded in our logbook—leave us with fond memories. For many of us, navigating to (and landing!) at the big show in Wisconsin figures prominently on our aviation bucket list. For me, there are few memories as lucid as flying the Fisk Arrival and hearing, “…land on the green dot and expedite it off of the runway!” I think that flying your airplane into EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh is something every pilot should do at least once. AirVenture 2012 is the 35th year my wife Karen and I will travel to Oshkosh. It still seems like only yesterday on a hot July afternoon when we packed our limited amount of camping gear into a rented Grumman Cheetah to make the trip to a place in Wisconsin—a place we had no idea would become so much a part of our lives.
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Destination: The One and Only Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

June 2012 I perked up last October when Audrey said she was headed to Rhinebeck, N.Y. Rhinebeck! That’s the only place I know of where World War I-vintage airplanes as well as airplanes from the Pioneer and the Lindbergh eras are flown during summer weekends. When I learned that the last show of the year at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (ORA) was taking place on the same weekend that Audrey was going to Rhinebeck, I joined her. It was our first Hudson River Valley adventure. The historic village of Rhinebeck is located 90 nm north of New York City’s Times Square and is just a mile inland from the eastern shore of the Hudson River. After arriving and settling in on Friday, I called ORA and been told that the air was bad—too many breezes—to fly on Saturday, so I wisely chose to accompany my wife instead. I crossed my fingers for good air on Sunday.
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Best plane at Smiley Creek

Flying Places: Smiley Creek, Idaho (U87)

May 2012 Most pilots have a favorite destination, either because it is in a beautiful part of the country, or because of the friends who gather there with you. My preference is Smiley Creek, Idaho, for both reasons. It is as close to the perfect place as I have found, plus the long grass strip is appreciated by the pilots that fly here... Let me tell you about my favorite fly-in destination, Smiley Creek. On my first visit to Smiley Creek, I remember clearing the ridge, northwest bound, at ten-five, and looking out under the left wing at Sun Valley, Idaho and thinking about all the successful folks who live in those fancy houses and wondering what businesses they were in to produce that wealth. Just curious thinking, as I am not jealous of them—matter of fact, I am happy for them and their success. I hope they are enjoying it. But I’d almost bet that they are not having as much fun as I am, flying along at ten-five in smooth air and really looking forward to the gathering at Smiley Creek… which is now very close. Just one more high ridge to cross, and then I will be…
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Destination: Half Moon Bay

April 2012 There are many scenic locations along the Northern California coast. One of the most picturesque happens to be an ideal fly-in destination, weather permitting: Half Moon Bay (KHAF). It’s not only a great spot for a hundred-and-something-dollar lunch, but also provides opportunities for a spectacular aerial tour of San Francisco Bay on your way in or out... That’s a direct result of KHAF’s location, just nine nm southwest of San Francisco International Airport (KSFO)—and that in turn means that getting into (and out of) KHAF requires navigating either around or through San Francisco’s Class B airspace.
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Flying Places: Central Florida Family Fun

March 2012 Our son and his family typically head south during their vacations, and the trips include places that interest their children—our grandchildren—ages 10 and six. Our daughter-in-law Alison suggested Legoland and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Florida’s Gulf Coast as our family vacation destination last Christmas.
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Flying Places: Copperstate Fly-in

February 2012 The sun was up but the day still pleasant when we made our way onto the Casa Grande Airport ((KCGZ) Casa Grande, Ariz.) grounds for the opening day of the 39th annual Copperstate Fly-in. I always get a little thrill when approaching the venue of a fly-in—big or small. I never tire of ogling beautiful airplanes on static display or watching them fly overhead. There’s also the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. Kent and I took a quick look at the grounds before heading to our booth and made note of the location of food stands and (sigh) Port-o-Lets. Some planes were already parked on the flight line and the steady hum of engines overhead announced that more were on the way. We also saw stands selling rides in vintage biplane, a helicopter or a SNJ/T-6 “Texan.”
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Destination: Hutchinson, Kansas: Working in the Salt Mines

January 2012 How many times have you heard the expression “working in the salt mines”? In reality, probably not that many, but you have likely heard it one time or another. This story is not about working in the salt mines, exactly, but it could have been, because this is about a visit to the salt mines. In fact, this particular mine is still providing salt, and workers have been removing salt from its mine shafts for over 120 years. So why am I talking about salt in an aviation magazine? That’s simple. One of the great benefits we flyers have is the ability to fly ourselves to places all over this great country and see things that many people have never heard of… like the great salt mines located in Hutchinson, Kan.
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Destinations: Copperstate 2012, Casa Grande, Ariz.

01-13 Traveling on Interstate 10 to Casa Grande on my way to the 40th anniversary of the Copperstate Fly-in, I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like 40 years ago. What was the price of Avgas? The average cost of a Cessna? VFR and IFR rules over the vast span of desert? Who came to the show? I don’t know the answers, but one thing I believe must have remained constant at this fly-in over the years is the excitement. That never seems to change. The first day at Copperstate 2012 was a bit windy, but the wind settled down after the morning hours and that was a blessing. The grounds were set up as always which created a warm welcome. (Funny how we can be creatures of habit.) Good food and a place to stand in front of the large cooling fans is a reliable comfort for the attendees and exhibitors alike.
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Destinations: AOPA Aviation Summit 2012, Palm Springs, Calif.

01-13 AOPA Aviation Summit 2012 in wonderful Palm Springs, Calif. crept up on us like Santa slithering down the chimney. Jen and I packed up the truck with booth supplies, did a “cat check,” set the alarm system, locked the front door, and pulled out of the drive. Off we go! AOPA is a first-class, not-to-be-missed show attended by aviators looking to purchase and negotiate. The lodge-like atmosphere of the convention center just adds to the ambiance. The day before the show, Jen and I were setting up and saying hello to many of our supporters. Of course, we could have just paid attention to our task at hand, but no… we started socializing… with Mark Korin from Alpha Systems AOA and laughing with Thierry Pouille from Air Journey. This started a chain reaction and added a few extra hours to 45-minute setup. All part of the fun.
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The Great American Airshow

December 2012 IN A TOUGH ECONOMY, AIRSHOWS ARE STILL RIDING A WAVE OF POPULARITY. There are now more than 325 airshows held each year across North America drawing millions of spectators. This year, airshow promoters expect attendance numbers of 10 to 12 million which illustrates that even in a recession, airshow attendance is strong. Why? Airshows are one of the best entertainment values around. Consider a trip to Disneyland. Tickets for a family of two adults and two children to step through the gates of the Magic Kingdom total just over $250, and that’s before you get a mouse-eared beanie or have lunch outside the Country Bear Jamboree. Add in a hotel room at the end of your monorail ride and, well, you get the picture. The average cost of an airshow in the United States is $12, and many are absolutely free. It is all part of a continuing love affair Americans have had with those magnificent men and women and their flying machines that dates back literally to the dunes of Kill Devil Hills.
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Flying Quietly Over the National Parks

January 2005 The National Park Service (NPS) is raising awareness of soundscapes, the sounds of nature that provide the backdrop for those beautiful panoramas and the solitude enjoyed by thousands every day. Pilots are familiar with the ongoing controversy surrounding National Park overflights, most notably, in the Grand Canyon area. The chief complaint fueling the overflight debate is soundscape disturbance. Most legislation, both in place and proposed, primarily affects commercial tour operations. However, General Aviation pilots are requested to make some small allowances in an effort to protect these special places and our privilege to fly over them.
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