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eFlightPlan - December 2013
Vol 2 Issue 4 April 2014

Welcome to eFlightPlan!

eFlightPlan is a free monthly newsletter designed to supplement our other pilot travel resources, including our bimonthly Pilot Getaways Magazine—available in print and digital formats!

eFlightPlan brings you snippets and snapshots from our various information platforms, including links to our full Flying Tips articles from Pilot Getaways Magazine.

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.

We will continue to expand with new options; stay posted for new product releases and community offers! 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.

Check out the Mar/Apr 2014 issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine for a whole season of springtime adventures — on stands, now!

Gateway Canyons Resort, Colo. — In a remote portion of western Colorado, just a few miles from the Utah border, you'll find a hidden and luxurious retreat. Gateway Canyons Resort is the brainchild of John Hendricks, founder of Discovery Communications. If you've watched any of the diverse programs on the network of Discovery stations, you know Hendricks is enthusiastic about adventure, science, cars, and airplanes—and you can find plenty of all those things here.

San Antonio, CA

To get to the resort, you can fly into Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), or, if you have the appropriate skills and aircraft, you can land right next to the resort on the 2,600-ft. dirt Hubbard Airstrip (9CO3). Another option is to splurge and get picked up from Grand Junction by the resort's helicopter.


Once you've settled in to your lovely casita or room at the resort, you can go white water rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, hiking, or four-wheeling through the surrounding canyons and plateaus. The drive through the scenic red-rock canyons is even more exciting in world-class cars like a Porsche 911 Carrera, convertible Bentley Continental GTC, Dodge SRT Viper, and Ford GT. Of course, you can rent these vehicles and others to make your drive more memorable. And for more high-throttle excitement, you can ride in or drive a customized off-road Pro Baja Truck on their closed two-mile dirt course. The 435-hp V-8 can propel you around the course at dizzying speeds, punctuated by exhilarating jumps.

Afterward, you can enjoy spa services at their full-service spa. Or just relax beside the beautiful swimming pool and Jacuzzi. You wouldn't expect it here in the desert, but the resort has one of America's finest classic car museums that is filled with gems collected by Hendricks, as well as a couple of choppers you may have spotted on one of the TV shows. Four restaurants provide ample variety and sublime delicacies. There's so much to see and do here, we bet you'll be back again and again!

Read the whole article in the current issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine.

Sisters, Oregon, Airport Update

Sisters, Ore. — By unanimous vote, the city of Sisters has annexed the privately-owned, open to the public, Eagle Airport property into the city. The city plans a more effective zoning structure to facilitate development of a business incubation center at the airport targeted to renewable energy.

The airport is owned by entrepreneurs Benny and Julie Benson, both engineers, and the founders of ENERGYneering Solutions, Inc. They hired Hobbs Margaret as airport manager to spearhead an effort to resurface and expand the runway.

In July 2013, the airport celebrated the expanded runway with a fly-in and car show. Now 3,550 x 60 feet, the runway can accommodate a wider range of aircraft including jets. Helipads for fire and emergency services were added as well. A self-serve 100LL fueling station, $5 per hour courtesy car, local taxi, and rental cars are additional new services.


Sisters, profiled in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Pilot Getaways, is a small town of artists and thinkers surrounded by trout-filled rivers, volcanic peaks, and myriad outdoor sporting opportunities.

Exceptional resort lodges, some positioned beside beautiful lakes, have made Sisters a desirable vacation destination for those who enjoy the outdoors and want to avoid crowds.

Sisters Oregon Airport

Moreover, the success of local businesses, including ENERGYneering, a micro- brewery, and manufacturers of high-quality products from spotting scopes to nutritional supplements, has brought talented workers into Sisters. Contact Sisters Eagle Airport at 541-719-0602, www.SistersAirport.com.



Recreational Aviation Foundation


Recreational Aviation Foundation



Deaf Pilots Association


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American Air Campers Associationpers


Wind Awareness
How to Anticipate and Adapt
by Peter King, ATP, MCFI

I distinctly remember the moments my situational awareness grew during my early years of flying. They were almost like shots of wisdom quickly expanding my understanding. Each wasn't a gradual change either, but a sudden aha!

One of my first situational ahas happened returning to San Carlos (SQL) after doing pattern work at nearby Half Moon Bay (HAF). The entry into the San Carlos pattern from the west can be a bit challenging: "Cross overhead at 1,200 feet; enter right downwind Runway 30." The pattern altitude is 800 feet and the floor of SFO Class Bravo drops to 1,500 feet as you cross the runway centerline. This leaves you with a 700-foot altitude window to split.

For a student pilot, just flying that procedure can be all-consuming. Altitude, airspeed, power, pitch, bank, turn-coordination, scanning for traffic, flap deployment: it takes all your concentration. On around my 42nd return to San Carlos, something clicked. In addition to flying, I started listening to the other aircraft in the pattern. I actually built a sight-picture in my head. "Aha!" I thought, "This is situational awareness." I almost didn't need to look for traffic, because I knew in advance where it was. It was a revelation, and it only came after I had developed comfort and familiarity with the basics of flying...

(read the full article)

Unified Opposition to User Fees

Frederick, Md.—On March 4, after the White House once again included user fees in its 2015 budget proposal, AOPA said it would continue to fight these fees. The latest spending plan calls for a $100-per-flight “surcharge” to pay for air traffic control services. It’s the fourth plan in a row to contain a similar user fee proposal. AOPA and others have long argued that user fees are the wrong way to fund the national air transportation system and that the FAA needs to reduce spending in several areas before looking for any new revenues. The Alliance for Aviation Across America also responded negatively to the user fee proposal and noted that the current system of excise taxes on fuel is efficient and ensures that everyone who flies pays to support the system.

The aviation community has had strong support from Congress in rejecting user fees. On Feb. 27, leaders of the House Aviation Subcommittee and the co-chairs of the House General Aviation Caucus reiterated their strong bipartisan opposition to user fees and asked the president not to include a user fee proposal in his upcoming budget. They noted that the House of Representatives has repeatedly rejected this user fee proposal and opposition remains strong in both parties. Last April, 223 members of the House of Representatives signed a strongly worded letter to the president opposing user fees and said the idea was “dead on arrival,” www.AviationAcrossAmerica.com, www.AOPA.org.

Aviation Across America



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!

Spring Break in Destin

About 2 years ago, with our third child on the way, I knew I had to upgrade from the 4-place C182 I had been flying for a few years to something with at least one more seat.  I love loading up the family and flying off to some new adventure, and if I wanted to keep doing that I was going to need a bigger plane. Not soon after I ended selling out of my 182 partnership and buying into a Cherokee Six partnership and now I had a bigger mode of transportation for these family adventures.

Wilma, Nalena, & the PA12

I have been a subscriber to Pilot Getaways for several years and always enjoyed the very detailed articles about all wonderful and far flung destinations I could take the family.  With my wife’s family in Chicago most of my cross country flying had been the couple hours between St. Louis and Chicago, or the occasional trip to a Midwest wedding, or summer trips up to Wisconsin.  Now with a 6-seat heavy-hauler as a resource I wanted to plan a trip with longer legs, a real adventure for the whole family...

(Read more)

- Steven Wood, St. Louis, MO

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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