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eFlightPlan - December 2013
eFlightPlan
Vol 2 Issue 3 March 2014

Spring has Sprung!

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.

The Mar/Apr 2014 issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine is chock full of great springtime trips to pull you out of your winter slumber!

San Antonio, Texas — There's no better way to begin your springtime flying adventures than with a visit to San Antonio, a Texas city that combines southern hospitality with Latin Culture. In spring, temperatures are perfect and flowers are in bloom everywhere; from the famed Texas bluebonnets and other wildflowers, to the flower-bedecked banks of the River Walk.

San Antonio, CA

As author Heather Sanders Connellee explains, the San Antonio River runs right through the center of the city. Take the popular and informative boat cruise and you'll pass by numerous restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, and shops, one level above on both sides. After your cruise, you can walk along the River Walk, stop at one of the bistros, and enjoy a Prickly Pear Margarita under a bright red umbrella beside the river.

Another must-visit in San Antonio is the Alamo, the famed mission-turned-fortress where the Texans suffered complete defeat by the Mexican army under General Santa Anna. The defeat inspired the Texans to "Remember the Alamo!" Six weeks later and led by Sam Houston, they rallied to defeat the Mexican army, end the revolution, and gain independence for Texas. Visit the museum with exhibits like Davy Crockett's rifle and view reenactments of this important event in Texas and American history. For more history, this time in art form, visit the San Antonio Museum of Art, home to the largest collection of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Asian art in the southern United States.

 


And make sure you get up to the top of Hemisphere Park's Tower of the Americas, built as the centerpiece of the 1968 World’s Fair. From the Observation Deck or the revolving Chart House restaurant, you'll enjoy views of the entire city. Experience the 4D Theater Ride, "Skies Over Texas" and then enjoy lunch or dinner with that revolving view. When it's time to turn in, you can sleep in style right on the banks of the River Walk. Your hotel room includes a private balcony and jetted tub, or you can play in the heated rooftop pool with fantastic city views—there's even a rooftop cafe. History buffs will love the Menger Hotel, where at least nine presidents have stayed, in addition to Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and many other famed names.

Gorgeous finishings and an onsite fine dining restaurant make a stay here one you'll want to repeat—don’t miss San Antonio! Read the whole article in the current issue of Pilot Getaways Magazine!

Around the World Flight Begins

Lakeland, Fla. — On April 3, 2014, the Think Global Flight crew will depart Sun 'n Fun in a Cirrus SR22 on the first leg of a flight around the world designed to promote S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to young people. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin will ride as a passenger during the first leg of the journey. Voyager pilot Dick Rutan will also be present at the launch. Captain Judy Rice, a CFI and teacher, and Navigator Fred Nauer, a CFI-I and retired commercial airline pilot, will stop at schools around the world to discuss the importance of S.T.E.M. education.

The crew plans to fly a northern route on an easterly heading and conclude their around-the-world trip at Oshkosh, Wisc., for AirVenture 2014. Aldrin commented, "Back when I was privileged to be part of the Apollo program, the USA was number one in science and technology. Unfortunately, today America is falling behind other countries. S.T.E.M. is exactly the focus of Think Global Flight (TGF) reaching over 20,000 students and why I strongly support Captain Judy and TGF."

 

Think Global Flight has set up Student Command Centers around the world so teachers and students can follow the flight, interact with the crew, and participate in curricula developed to inspire students toward careers in aviation and aerospace.

Think Global Flight

To follow the around-the-world flight in real time, download the free Think Global Flight app for iOS and Android devices by searching "Think Global Flight App" on your mobile device, www.ThinkGlobalFlight.org.

     
Falco
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE
 
 








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FLYING TIPS

Avoiding Black Holes
by Dale Wilson

I enjoy flying at night. Evening cooling normally results in less turbulence, reduced traffic means less radio frequency congestion, and it's often easier to spot other aircraft—providing they have their lights on. And the sparkling ground lights at night, well, they're just plain pretty.

There are hazards that lurk in the dark however, just waiting to trap an unsuspecting pilot. For example, pilots can be tricked into flying too low at night when approaching upslope runways or runways with greater length-to-width ratios than they are accustomed to. The most deadly of these hazards, however, is the "black hole approach." Black hole conditions exist on dark nights (usually with no moon or starlight), when there are no ground lights between your aircraft and the runway threshold. The black hole illusion, sometimes called the featureless terrain illusion, fools pilots into thinking they are higher than they actually are, causing them to fly dangerously low approaches.

Such were the conditions for an instructor and his student on a night training flight when they struck the trees on final approach. The instructor knew all about the black hole phenomenon—that's why he elected to conduct the approach himself—but he ended up flying too low nonetheless. Unfortunately, unlike this incident where both pilots were able to walk away, most black hole approach accidents involve fatalities. And even though the hazards of black hole approaches have been publicized in the aviation community for decades, pilots are still falling prey to this illusion.

So what causes this visual illusion? Perception scientists don’t exactly know for sure...

(read the full article)

RAF Urges Chicken Strip Protection

Bozeman, Mont. — As part of efforts by the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) to protect recreational airstrips, the organization is asking pilots to submit comments in support of the "Chicken Strip" in Death Valley National Park, California. The National Park Service is drafting the land management plan that determines the future of the isolated but popular Saline Valley Warm Springs, which includes a wilderness camping area beside several warm mineral pools and a small oasis, as well as the 1,300-foot dirt "Chicken Strip." Currently pilots can fly in to the Chicken Strip; the only other access is via a pair of washboard roads that take several hours to drive. The pools are, and will continue to be, clothing-optional, but one of the proposals being considered would turn over maintenance and regulation of the airstrip to the Park Service and would impose some restrictions on the airstrip's use. To comment, please visit the National Park Service website before March 28 at 11:59 p.m. MST. RAF Idaho Liaison Mike Hart produced a video about the Chicken Strip.

In other news, the RAF also received a $6,000 grant as the 3rd Place Winner in Division 1 for the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation's 2013 Pilot's Choice Grant Awards program, www.LightspeedAviationFoundation.org. For more information about the RAF, visit www.TheRAF.org.

Chicken Strip

READER GETAWAY

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,
eFlightPlan.
No professional writing or photography experience necessary!

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