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eFlightPlan - January 2015
Vol 3 Issue 1 January 2015

Happy New Year from eFlightPlan!

eFlightPlan brings you snippets and snapshots from our various information platforms, including links to our full Flying Tips articles from our bimonthly Pilot Getaways Magazine — available in print and digital formats! We continue to expand with new product options.

We've always helped you have fun with your airplane at a plethora of pilot-friendly destinations, from unmarked backcountry strips to exclusive fly-in resorts! Pilot Getaways now offers multiple avenues to access this unparalleled travel resource for pilots and their flying companions—be they family, friends, or our non-human pals. And now...

Kick the New Year off right with a Pilot Getaways Passport subscription! Also, check out previous issues of eFlightPlan in our archives, and keep up with our latest happenings on Facebook, Twitter, or go to our ever-evolving website, www.pilotgetaways.com.

Start out 2015 right with a perfect getaway from the Jan/Feb issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine!

Sorrel River Ranch, Utah — Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy visits southern Utah's redrock country every chance she gets. The quiet sandstone buttes and canyons offer superb hiking and scenery like nowhere else on earth. From the air, the interconnected rivers, canyons, and colorful formations, with names like the Needles, the Maze, and Deadhorse Point dazzle the eyes of passing pilots.

Sorrel River Ranch - Moab, UT

But summers are hot, and if you visit the national parks, they can be crowded. In late fall, winter, and early spring, however, you can have some of the world’s most spectacular scenery almost completely to yourself. You don't have to rough it either—the author recently discovered an upscale retreat with an ultra-rare address: Sorrel River Ranch. It's right on the banks of the mighty Colorado River, and backed on both sides by walls of glowing red sandstone.

The Ranch is a perfect retreat for couples or families. You'll dine like royalty and sleep like a cattle baron in a luxurious room. The Ranch's location just 17 miles upstream from Moab and close to Canyonlands Airport (CNY) means most pilots land at CNY and rent a car or Jeep. Of course, if you have a helicopter, you can land right on their enormous front lawn, beside the horse paddock and organic garden.


Sorrel River offers guided horseback or ATV rides as well as hiking adventures into the nearby Arches or Canyonlands National Parks. Expert guides know where the good stuff is: rare ichnofossils (dinosaur tracks frozen into the rock), ancient rock art, or secluded natural arches. For more excitement, try rappelling off a cliff, or even off an enormous arch—it's a thrill you'll never forget.

Back at Sorrel River Ranch, step into your riverside cabin, luxuriously appointed with Old West chic décor. Soak in a deep hydrotherapy tub or relax on your private porch and just watch the river go by.

The ranch is a perfect retreat for couples or families and is well equipped to provide all your meals during your stay, and you'll always eat well. Dine in a restaurant with exclusive Colorado River views, grab a boxed meal and eat-on-the-go, or relax in your own cottage with full room service. In-season, about 75% of the produce comes from the ranch’s own farm, near the entrance.

The resort also has a full-service spa and pool open in warmer months. Once a love for Utah's redrock gets under your skin, you may just want to leave that sand in your hiking boots until you can come back for more...

Read the whole article in the Jan/Feb issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine!

Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show

Puyallup, Wash.—The 32nd annual Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show returns to the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup, just south of Seattle, on Saturday and Sunday, February 21 and 22, 2015. What began as a simple day of safety seminars with a few booths has grown into one of the largest annual aviation events in the Northwest. It now regularly pulls in over 12,000 aviators who come for both education and inspiration.

A keynote address from the president of the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) kicks off the trade show each year. This year, AOPA President Mark Baker will present his keynote address at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb 21. AOPA'’s well-known columnist and humorist, CFI Rod Machado, will speak both days and be the keynote presenter Saturday evening at the Spirit of Aviation Awards Banquet. The Showplex exhibit space fills 122,000 square feet with booths, aircraft static displays, and avionics demos.


Check out some of the more than 75 hours of aviation seminars; 2015 topics include historical flights, aviation heroes, aircraft maintenance, financing, light sport aircraft, and medical issues. Many of the seminars are eligible for FAA Wings credit.

Booths run the gamut from pilot organizations like the Recreational Aviation Foundation, and the Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Canadian, and Seaplane Pilots associations, to African flying safaris. Airplane gadgets abound, including the latest from avionics and aircraft manufacturers.

On Friday, an Aviation Career Forum will be held. On Saturday, an FAA-approved IA refresher clinic satisfies the requirement of FAR 65.93(a)(4). Each costs $35, and includes lunch and admission to both days of the conference; register online or by phone. All in all, it is a great way to kick off the flying year!

General admission is $5, under 16 free, open Sat 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Showplex, Blue Gate, Puyallup Fair & Events Center, 110 9th Ave. SW, Puyallup, 360-427-5599 or 866-922-7469, www.Washington-Aviation.org.



Lajitas Golf Resort

Redbird SkyPort

Recreational Aviation Foundation

Peterson's Performance Plus

Deaf Pilots Association

Van's Aircraft


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Access to the American Air Campers Association (AACA) database comes FREE with any paid subscription!

American Air Campers Associationpers


Crossing the Continental Divide
Flying the Interstate Highway System
by John T. Kounis

Planning a trip across the country can be intimidating, especially if you live in an area dominated by green on the sectional chart (indicating altitudes below 2,000 ft.). The Denver Sectional Aeronautical Chart, on the other hand, has five colors: all shades of brown, indicating terrain up to 14,433 ft. Brown is also the predominant color on the Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, and Great Falls sectionals.

Running right through these brown colors is the Continental Divide, which forms an obstacle for both rivers and air travel. Fortunately, it’s possible to cross it over terrain as low as 4,500 ft., but you have to select a good route. Flight planning is easier if you understand the effects of two forces: erosion and economics. Let’s start with erosion. For eons, water has been literally moving mountains by carving canyons and valleys, creating natural flyways. From just about anywhere between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean, you can follow a river upstream to the Continental Divide. And you won’t have to cross a single ridge until you get there.

The second force, economics, results in another type of flyway: highways. Because it’s cheaper, highways usually follow the lowest and easiest terrain between two points. In fact, the easiest routes across the Rocky Mountains are along interstates. (Don’t let this fact lull you into complacency with flight planning, lest you encounter the nemesis of pilots who blindly follow highways: the dreaded tunnel.)

The following routes all follow interstate highways. We cover them eastbound from the West Coast, but you can easily follow them westbound by reversing the directions...

(read the full article)

No Private Flights to Cuba

The Jan 15 White House announcement of new Cuban regulations governing individual travel, trade, and financial services makes it easier for individuals to travel to Cuba. Flying your own plane to Cuba, however, still remains a remote dream.

Caribbean Flying Adventures (CFA) has worked closely with the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments over the years on issues relating to Cuba and private aviation. According to CFA President Jim Parker "the rules have not changed for flying your own plane to Cuba. An export license is still required and these are only issued for "humanitarian" reasons or if the flight is deemed to be in the "foreign policy interests of the U.S."

CFA has spoken directly with Commerce Department Officials who confirm that provisions regarding private aircraft flights to Cuba remain unchanged and remain highly restrictive. Pilots are welcome to apply for an export license but the liklihood of approval is is as low as it was before the January 15 announcement. (Canadian pilots are also prohibited from flying their own aircraft to Cuba from a U.S. airport if the aircraft contains more than 10% U.S. parts!)

Perhaps surprisingly, permission to fly your Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee to Cuba has absolutely nothing to do with the FAA. Export licenses are issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce with concurrence from the Treasury and State Departments.

Caribbean Flying Adventures has prepared a five day Cuban Fly In program with Cuban authorities and is ready to launch as soon as U.S. policy changes. When that will be is probably further out in time than we would like as private pilots. For additional information email Jim@CaribbeanFlyingAdventures.com.


Since Pilot Getaways started publication in 1998, many subscribers have written to us about trips they have taken after reading about particular destinations featured in the magazine. We're featuring a reader-written getaway in select issues of eFlightPlan. Check out all of the Reader Getaways in our blog!

Pilot Getaways is always accepting submissions for our eFlightPlan Reader Getaways!

Have you had a great vacation based on something you read in Pilot Getaways? We'd love to share your experiences with other readers!
Send your stories (and photos if you have them) to eFlightPlan@pilotgetaways.com and we'll publish some of them in our monthly bulletin,
No professional writing or photography experience necessary!

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