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eFlightPlan - August 2013
Vol 1 Issue 5 August 2013

Welcome to eFlightPlan's Post-AirVenture release!

eFlightPlan is our free monthly newsletter designed to supplement our bimonthly magazine (now available both in print and on iPad). And we are continuing to expand into the digital realm with many new options — stay posted for new product releases!

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. Check out previous issues of eFlightPlan in our archives.

The Pilot Getaways crew just returned from yet another wonderful trek to Oshkosh, Wisc. for AirVenture 2013. We'll be bringing you tidbits and full-blown features of our travels in our upcoming Pilot Getaways Magazine and eFlightPlan issues.

Keep up with our latest happenings on Facebook, Twitter, or, as always, go to our ever-evolving website, www.pilotgetaways.com.

Continue the summer fun with the Jul/Aug 2013 issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine and a trip to Afton, Wyoming!

Afton, Wyo. — Take a step back in time when you visit Afton, in Wyoming's Star Valley, about 53 nm south of Jackson Hole. Crista V. Worthy transports us to this little town of around 1,800 people. It's home to the world's largest elk horn arch, which you'll see stretched across Afton's main drag.

Jul/Aug 2013

Rent a car and relive old times when you have lunch at the local drive-in, where carhop girls come out to serve you. For dinner, you can dig into some excellent seafood, a surprise for a tiny town so far from the ocean. The Lincoln County Fair serves up a great old-time rodeo, with macho bull riders, bucking broncos, barrel racing, and kiddie events.


Pilots can visit the CallAir Museum to see the origins of today's Aviat Aircraft factory. The factory has been a fixture at the Afton airport since the end of World War II, and is the birthplace of the amazing Husky bush airplane.

Aviat also builds the legendary Pitts Special aerobatic biplane. Tour the factory and see how both of these airplanes are made, from the special welding station to the room where the fabric-covered airplanes receive 14 layers of cloth, dope, and sanding to produce a perfect finish.

For outdoorsy-types, the nearby Bridger-Teton National Forest provides a bounty of beautiful hikes, rivers, and wildlife. It's an easy walk to the world's largest cold water geyser, which supplies Afton with its pure drinking water, voted best in America in 2005.

For lodging, you can stay in a modern condo, a beautifully appointed log cabin with outdoor hot tub, or set up your tent in the forest.

Read the whole article in the Jul/Aug issue issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine, and get a taste of the best of the West in Afton!

Aviat Aircraft

Aviat Aircraft is well known for making wonderful airplanes. The Husky airplane was certificated in 1987 and has become a renowned bush plane. It is made at the Aviat Aircraft factory at the northeast corner of the airport in Afton, Wyo., along with another famous airplane, the Pitts Special.

Under the leadership of owner Stuart Horn, the company has continuously made improvements to their aircraft, and has been on the leading edge of new advancements in aviation. For example, just last month at AirVenture Oshkosh, Aviat announced the first dual fuel, piston powered aircraft to operate on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and aviation gasoline.

The Husky was designed to be a significant improvement on the famous Super Cub. It is flown in many countries across the globe with missions as diverse as observation platforms by law enforcement agencies to glider tugs.


But many buy a Husky for use as just a fun airplane that gives the sheer joy of flying.

The Pitts Special was designed by Curtis Pitts and is acknowledged as the worlds leading competition aerobatic and air show display airplane. The Pitts has won more aerobatic competitions than any other airplane in history. The current model is the Pitts S-2C, a two-place airplane capable of unlimited category competition and universally recognized as "the" aerobatic trainer, as it can legally carry both instructor and student, including fuel reserves, during all hard aerobatic training sessions.

Aviat Aircraft

Contact the factory to find out more about their aircraft or to arrange a factory tour if you plan on flying to Afton, Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 307-885-3151, www.aviataircraft.com.



Alpine Airpark

Aviat Aircraft, Inc.

Recreational Aviation Foundation


Deaf Pilots Association

Think Global Flight


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


Get a 1-year print subscription for just $11.95 with registration of a 1-year iPad App subscription!

Pilot Getaways on iPad


Smoke in the Mountains
by Crista Worthy

Summer vacation season is upon us, and while some pilots might long to fly to a new city, for others there's nothing like flying over and into America's beautiful forests. Just remember that when flying over forested areas, you need to be aware of forest fires and their associated TFRs. Neal Hitchcock, deputy director of operations for the Forest Service says, "We seem to be in a mode where we're going to have very severe fire seasons, especially in the West."

The summer of 2007 started with lovely weather in mid-June, but turned suddenly hot before the month was out, and fires began soon thereafter. Favorite backcountry strips like Johnson Creek, Idaho, were evacuated and closed. Utah suffered its largest wildfire ever. Black Butte Ranch near Sisters, Ore. [featured in the Jan/Feb 2008 issue], was evacuated due to a nearby 8,000-acre fire. Meadow Creek and Schafer Meadows, Mont., both featured in Pilot Getaways last summer, were closed due to smoke, and TFRs multiplied all over the West.

Get a weather briefing before every flight, but be aware that the briefer may not have the latest information. Lori MacNichol served as an air attack forest pilot for nine years, before retiring from that position three years ago to devote her full attention to her business, McCall Mountain/Canyon Flying Seminars, LLC, www.mountaincanyonflying.com. She recommends that you ask for TFRs along your route and also get the briefer's name and location. She says that pilots have received inaccurate or incomplete TFR information even after requesting it, and this will help you defend yourself if you bust a TFR...

(read the full article)

Van's Delivers First Production RV

Aurora, Ore. — After 40 years of supplying self-build aircraft kits, Van's Aircraft, Inc. delivered their first certified, fly-away, ready-to-go Van's airplane on May 31. The customer for this new aircraft, pilot George Longino, accepted the key to his new Signature Series RV-12 S-LSA from company founder Dick VanGrunsven at Van's Aurora facility. RV Transition Training instructor Mike Seager provided the training included in the purchase price. Transition training will help every new owner get comfortable and proficient in his or her new airplane.

The two men successfully flew the airplane to its new home near Dallas, Texas. A total of 12 Signature Series airplanes have been completed or are under construction. All have been sold and are expected to be delivered before the end of the year, 503-678-6545, www.vansaircraft.com.

In related news, Sporty's Pilot Shop has announced that a production Signature Series RV-12 will be their 2014 Sweepstakes airplane, to be awarded on May 17, 2014. It will come complete with a two-axis autopilot, Dynon Skyview glass panel (including ADS-B), custom interior, lighting, and wheel fairings.

Full details of the airplane and Sporty's Sweepstakes can be found at www.sportys.com.

Van's Aircraft


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 each issue of eFlightPlan. Check out all of the Reader Getaways in our blog!

Sometimes You Gotta Overcome Those Bêtes Noires and Go for It!

To me, past issues of Pilot Getaways are great sources of inspiration. The Winter 2000/2001 issue inspired and focused my imagination on Monument Valley for a cross-country flight from San Diego. From author Greg Illes' article, I learned Utah's Monument Valley is a beautiful and mystical place where a pilot can fly among nature's red-rock monuments. As Illes wrote: "From any direction, the first glimpse of Monument Valley is almost unbelievable... The towering rock columns jut against the skyline at a seemingly impossible angularity and scale. As the distant spires grow to massive proportions, the sense of the three-dimensionality of flight becomes overpowering."

After 12 months of inspiration, why hadn't I made the trip? More than the red dirt airstrip at Goulding's Lodge in Monument Valley intimidated me. That thing about three-dimensionality of flight overpowering a pilot couldn't be any worse than my IFR training, could it? Perhaps it was Pilot Getaways' caution about the airstrip's three-dimensionality: "800-ft. cliff adjacent south and west. No go-around from short final." No go-around from short final? The first time I took my wife up, I had to go around twice before I landed the 172 I'd been trained in! Could I land a Bonanza on a narrow red dirt ribbon while racing toward those cliffs at 100 mph, without embarrassment... or worse? Those cliffs are 800-ft. walls of Utah's finest red rock. I started imagining executing go-arounds from base. I kept putting off the trip.

Bonanza in Monument Valley

In November 2001, I finally silenced my bêtes noires—those nagging fears that keep us from our dreams—and departed for Monument Valley. I landed at Grand Canyon (GCN) for gas and a current Grand Canyon VFR Aeronautical Chart. San Diego to the Grand Canyon is interesting, but I'd been to GCN before, so the new adventure hadn't yet begun...

(Read more)

- Kurt Lightfoot, Poway, CA

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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