Written by the author, Yasmina Platt.
Reprint from August 13, 2013, from AOPA's Views From the Region (VFR) blog: https://blog.aopa.org/vfr/?p=794
One of the things we are trying to do here at AOPA is to increase recreational flying. We can do so by opening up more airstrips, preventing airstrips and airports from closing, engaging in fly-ins and other flying events, introducing new people to general aviation, etc.; however, we can also increase recreational flying by increasing visitation to some of the nation’s most beautiful spots… the U.S. National Park Service system via its airports.
While at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh this year, I attended a great seminar about “flying to national parks” and I wanted to share some of my notes with all of you. The seminar was taught by Cliff Chetwin, retired Park Ranger and Park Service pilot for the National Park Service.
The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916 “…to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment…by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” NPS has approximately 401 national park units with over 30 designations, including parks, forests, primitive areas, wilderness areas, recreational areas, national seashores, national monuments, national lakeshores, and national wildlife refuge and range areas. For more information about the Aviation unit within NPS, visit http://www.nps.gov/fire/aviation/
Flying into these magnificent sites and parks is one of the least invasive and most enjoyable ways to get to the parks; however, it does require “careful planning and consideration.”
Careful planning includes all of the normal cross country planning tasks (checking weather, planning a route, looking for alternates and alternatives, etc.) plus ensuring you and your aircraft are capable of operating at the intended airport. Some of these airports are surrounded by mountains, at high elevations, at high density altitudes, etc. and some only have gravel or grass strips with rising or descending terrain. If you need to bring a CFI with you, do it! It is also a good idea to contact the airport prior to departure to ensure you will have transportation upon arrival and that they will have fuel for you, if needed. Some of these strips are pretty remote and getting fuel can take time (sometimes days or weeks). And, while you are at it, ask the airport manager for any arrival/departure tips he/she might have as a local.
Consideration refers to remembering that you are flying into a site designated as a national treasure (regardless of whether it is a national park or a historic site) and that people and animals are there to enjoy peacefulness among other things. You are flying into a noise sensitive area and, as such, Mr. Chetwin recommended following “14 noise rules” as best as possible while remaining safe and using good judgment in addition to reading any specific noise abatement procedures for the particular airport you are flying to:
FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 91-36D (VFR Flight over Sensitive Noise Areas) also encourages pilots making VFR flights near noise-sensitive areas to fly at altitudes higher than the minimum permitted by regulation and on flight paths, which will reduce aircraft noise in such area. This AC can be found athttp://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_circulars/index.cfm/go/document.information/documentID/23156.
You should, of course, also watch for wildlife on airport grounds.
Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) 7-4-6, “Flights Over Charted U.S. Wildlife Refuges, Parks, and Forest Service Areas” (http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim/aim0704.html) reads, in part:
“Pilots are requested to maintain a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet above the surface of the following: National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, Lakeshores, Recreation Areas and Scenic Riverways administered by the National Park Service, National Wildlife Refuges, Big Game Refuges, Game Ranges and Wildlife Ranges administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Wilderness and Primitive areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service.” AC 91-36D mentioned earlier also defines the surface of a NPS area as the highest terrain within 2,000 feet laterally of the route of flight, or the upper‐most rim of a canyon or valley. Simply stated, find the highest ground on your flight path and add 2,000 feet to your cruising altitude over these parks:
– Alibates Flint Quarries
– Apostle Islands
– Arkansas Post
– Assateague Island
– Bering Land Bridge
– Big Bend
– Big Cypress
– Bighorn Canyon
– Big South Fork
– Big Thicket
– Black Canyon of the Gunnison
– Bryce Canyon
– Canyon de Chelly
– Cape Cod
– Cape Hatteras
– Cape Krusentern
– Cape Lookout
– Capital Reef
– Capulin Volcano
– Carlsbad Caverns
– Cedar Breaks
– Chaco Culture
– Channel Islands
– Coulee Dam
– Crater Lake
– Craters of the Moon
– Cumberland Gap
– Death Valley
– Delaware Water Gap
– Devil’s Tower
– Dry Tortugas
– Fire Island
– Florissant Fossil Beds
– Fort Laramie
– Fort Point
– Fort Union
– Fossil Butte
– Gates of the Arctic
– Gila Cliff Dwellings
– Glacier Bay
– Glen Canyon
– Golden Gate
– Golden Spike
– Grand Canyon
– Grand Teton
– Great Basin
– Great Sand Dunes
– Guadalupe Mountains
– Gulf Islands
– Hawaii Volcanoes
– Indiana Dunes
– Isle Royale
– Jewel Cave
– John Day Fossil Beds
– Joshua Tree
– Kenai Fjords
– Kings Canyon
– Kobuk Valley
– Lake Chelan
– Lake Clark
– Lake Mead
– Lake Meredith
– Lassen Volcanic
– Lava Beds
– Little Bighorn
– Mammath Cave
– Mesa Verde
– Mount Ranier
– Muir Woods
– Natural Bridges
– North Cascades
– Organ Pipe Cactus
– Padre Island
– Petrified Forest
– Pictured Rocks
– Point Reyes
– Rainbow Bridge
– Rocky Mountain
– Ross Lake
– Saint Croix
– Sleeping Bear Dunes
– Statue of Liberty
– Sunset Crater Volcano
– Theodore Roosevelt
– Timpanogos Cave
– White Sands
– Wind Cave
– Wrangell-St. Elias
– Parks charted by some other device
So, how do you know which parks have airports and which ones you can fly into?
– Check sectionals
– Check Airport Facility Directories (AF/D)
– Check state aeronautical charts
– Call NPS or check http://www.nps.gov/fire/aviation/
– Attend one of the NPS aviation seminars like I did
You can fly into any public use airport in or near a park and you can also request written permission from a Park Superintendent.
Some of the more known parks with airstrips are:
– Big Bend National Park in Texas (3TE3). Private use airport. Permission required prior to landing.
– Big Horn Canyon (5UF) in Montana which has great fishing. Winds are normally a problem and there is no fuel on the field.
– Cape Cod National Seashore (PVC – Provincetown Municipal) in Massachusetts
Death Valley, California: Two airports are available. Death Valley is one of the (if not “the”) hottest places on earth so density altitude is definitely an issue at both airports regardless of its elevation. It is not uncommon to see temperatures over 110 F. While one of the 14 noise rules said to try to fly later in the day to allow convection to lift your noise… flying earlier in the day is actually recommended at Death Valley due to density altitude considerations and safety.
– Ft. Vancouver (VUO – Pearson Field) in Washington State. Be aware of Portland International’s (PDX) Class B airspace close by.
– Gates of the Artic (PAKP – Anaktuvuk Pass), Alaska
– Glen Canyon, Utah: Two airports are available.
– Kalaupapa (PHLU), by Maui, Hawaii.
First Flight Airport (FFA) in North Carolina. A daytime only airport… this is one treasured landmark for pilots, where the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight. AOPA donated a pilot facility in honor of the Wright Brothers’ 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight. FMI about it: http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2003/October/5/AOPA-donated-Pilot-Facility-opens-at-Wright-Brothers-Memorial
– Lake Mead National Recreational Area, Nevada: Three airports are available. A seaplane base is also available.
– Wrangell/St. Elias, Alaska: 68A (seaplane base) and PAWG (airport).
– Isle Royale in Lake Superior, Michigan: Two seaplanes bases, one at Rock Harbor and another one at Windigo.
– Dry Tortugas, Florida: Because of sensitive resource issues, any individual wishing to fly a private seaplane to the park must have a Special Use Permit (http://www.nps.gov/drto/parkmgmt/specialuse.htm) issued through Everglades National Park. There are no facilities at the Dry Tortugas National Park so all seaplanes must have enough fuel and supplies for a round trip flight.
Remember that you can always find more information about specific airports athttp://www.aopa.org/airports/ or on FlyQ (http://www.aopa.org/Flight-Planning/FlyQ).
And, with that, let’s do some flight planning and go flying! I look forward to visiting some of these airstrips.
Written by the author, Yasmina Platt.
Reprint from August 21, 2013, from AOPA's Views From the Region (VFR) blog: https://blog.aopa.org/vfr/?p=819
AVIATION VOCABULARY in SPANISH
General aviation – Aviación civil/privada
Airline – Aerolínea
Airplane – Avión
Passenger – Pasajero
Reservation – Reserva
Ticket – Billete/Pasaje
Flight – Vuelo
Number – Número
Roundtrip – Ida y vuelta
One-way (leaving) – Ida
One-way (coming back) – Vuelta
Roundtrip ticket – Billete de ida y vuelta
Boarding pass – Pasaje de abordo
Delayed – Retrasado
Cancelled – Cancelado
Cancellation – Cancelación
Around the Airport
Airport – Aeropuerto
Terminal – Terminal
Departure – Salida
Arrival – Llegada
Runway – Pista de despegue/aterrizaje (takeoff/landing)
Hallway – Pasillo
Hold room – Sala de embarque (literally “sala de espera”)
Restroom – Baño (also known as “servicio”)
Store – Tienda
Coffee Shop – Cafetería
Restaurant – Restaurante
Hangar – Hangar
Control tower – Torre de control
Segmented circle – Circulo segmentado
Wind sock – Manga de viento
Waiter/waitress – Camarero/a
Controller – Controlador/a (male/female)
Mechanic – mecánico
To fly – Volar
Flying – Volando
Domestic – Nacional
International – Internacional
Takeoff – Despegue
Landing – Aterrizaje
North – Norte
South – Sur
East – Este
West – Oeste
Good weather – Buen tiempo (o buena meteorología)
Bad weather – Mal tiempo (o mala meteorología)
Turbulence – Turbulencia
Traffic pattern – Circuito de transito
Entering downwind on a 45 degree angle (traffic pattern) – Entrada
Upwind (traffic pattern) – Partida
Crosswind (traffic pattern) – Viendo cruzado
Downwind (traffic pattern) – Inicial
Base (traffic pattern) – Base
Final (traffic pattern) – Final
Luggage – Equipaje
Baggage – Maletas
Carry-on – Maleta/Bolsa de mano
Checked luggage – Equipage facturado (o maletas facturadas)
Luggage trolley – Carro (de equipaje)
Security checkpoint – Control de seguridad
Security guard – Guardia (de seguridad)
Police – Policía
Metal detector – Detector de metal
In the Aircraft
Pilot – Piloto (for both genders)
Flight attendant – Azafata/o
Take-off – Despegue
Landing – Aterrizaje
Seat number – Número de asiento
Seat belt – Cinturón de seguridad
Aisle – Pasillo
Luggage compartment – Guarda maletas/equipaje
Maintenance problem – Problema de mantenimiento
Immigration – Inmigración
Foreign country – País extranjero
Duty free – Libre de impuestos
Passport – Pasaporte
Visa – Visado
Dollar/s – Dólar/es
U.S. – Estados Unidos (EEUU)
Ground transportation – Transporte terrestre (also known as “transporte de tierra”)
Public transit – Transporte público
Train – Tren
Bus – Autobús (also known as “bus”)
Taxi – Taxi
Hotel – Hotel
Water – Agua
Food – Comida
Wheelchair – Silla de ruedas
Public telephone – Teléfono público
Cell phone – Móvil (also known as “teléfono celular”)
AVIATION PHRASES in SPANISH
¿Cómo se/te llama? (“Se” is more formal than “te” but they both mean the same)
What is your name?
¿Cómo le puedo ayudar?
How can I help you?
What do you need?
Trabajo para el aeropuerto.
I work for the airport.
¿Trabaja para el aeropuerto/aerolínea?
Do you work for the airport/airline?
Soy piloto. He venido/volado en ese avión.
I’m a pilot. I came/flew in that airplane.
Please fasten your seatbelt.
Por favor abróchese el cinturón de seguridad.
¿Donde están los baños?
Where are the restrooms?
Sígame. Yo le enseño.
Follow me. I’ll show you.
Estoy aquí de vacaciones.
I’m here on vacation.
Estoy aquí de negocios.
I’m here on a business trip.
¿Cúanto tiempo va a estar aquí?
How long will you be here for?
Voy a estar aquí una semana (unas semanas).
I will be here for one week (a few weeks).
Necesito ver su/tu pasaporte, por favor. (“Su” is more formal than “tu” but they both mean the same)
I need to see your passport, please.
¿Tiene algo que declarar?
Do you have anything to declare?
No, no tengo nada que declarar.
No, I don’t have anything to declare.
Sí, tengo que declarar…
Yes, I have to declare… (whatever it is)
Usted tiene que pagar impuestos.
You have to pay a tax.
¿Cual es su ocupación? o ¿A qué se dedica?
What is your occupation? or What do you do?
¿Dónde se va a quedar usted?
Where will you be staying?
¿Qué contiene esta bolsa/maleta?
What’s in this bag?
¿Dónde está su maleta? (maleta = equipage = bolsas)
Where is your luggage?
¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?
How much is it?
¿Quién le viene a recoger?
How is coming to pick you up?
Por favor, entre, siéntese.
Please, come in, sit down.
Written by the author, Yasmina Platt.
Reprint from November 5, 2013, from AOPA's Views From the Region (VFR) blog: https://blog.aopa.org/vfr/?p=1005
Looking for an airport to grab a $100 hamburger? Want to visit an aviation museum? How about camping by your airplane? Just simply want to visit an airport to watch airplanes take off and land? We may consider these “friendly airports” and I have compiled a list of them within our Central Southwest Region (NM, TX, LA, OK, AR, KS, MO, NE, and IA).
List of friendly airports in Central Southwest Region:
You are a “rotor head” and want to visit off-airport restaurants? You can do that too although this list is pretty elementary and mostly Texas centered right now. I just got it started and I welcome feedback and additions!
List of friendly helipads in Central Southwest Region:
Note: The information above is only as good as the sources provided. Please confirm before using and remember to obtain permission prior to landing with all private-use facilities.
You can always find more information regarding fly-in restaurant locations on “The $100 Hamburger” book and website: http://www.100dollarhamburger.com/
For more on-airport camping or nearby camping facilities, you might find the American Air Campers Association (AACA) helpful: http://aaca.pilotgetaways.com/
Additional feature destinations, weekend getaways, romantic getaways, and escapes can be found at:http://pilotgetaways.com/article-index-map
1/15/2015 update: Editors of AOPA’s Pilot Magazine have created their one “Aerial Adventures: 99s Way to Fly” eBook and it has lots of great ideas for additional getaways, routes and airborne challenges as well. You can get a copy from Apple’s iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook stores. Learn more here: http://www.aopa.org/Products-and-Services/AOPA-eBooks.
2/12/2015 update: And, what if you need a courtesy car? How do you know if the airport you’re going to has one? No worries. Now, there’s an app for that… It’s called “Airport Courtesy Cars” (duh! haha) and can be downloaded for both iPhones and Androids. You can find them by state or with a map feature. Learn more about it here. I want to thank the state aviation offices in the nine states for their help identifying some of these airports. However, please send me any suggestions and/or items that should be added to this list… an airport close to you or one that you have visited that provides access for both the flying community and surrounding community by way of picnic tables, a viewing area, a seating area, a restaurant, a park, etc as a way to show to the community the value of the airport, the types of operations that go on, spark kids’ interest in aviation, and so on. The more robust the list is, the better. Still need or want more reasons to fly and visit different community airports?
Read http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All-News/2012/May/10/Add-up-the-reasons-to-fly to learn about incentive programs to encourage pilots to explore different airports around them while getting prizes. Now go out and fly! Enjoy your community airports!!
Written by the author, Yasmina Platt.
Reprint from July 1, 2015, from AOPA's Views From the Region (VFR) blog: https://blog.aopa.org/vfr/?p=2177
Whether you are young and are looking for a career, whether you are retired and are looking for activities to do on your spare time, or whether you are somewhere in the middle looking for transportation for either business, leisure, or both… flying is for you!
Here are some of the things you can do with a pilot certificate! =)
At the end of the day, remember that:
Legend: Each idea will have a letter by it identifying the minimum type of pilot certificate you need to do that particular activity.
For information about the differences between them, visit:http://www.aopa.org/letsgoflying/ready/certs/categories.html.
Note that a lot of these things can be done with airplanes, balloons, gliders, helicopters, seaplanes, etc so I did not go into those specifics. A lot of those activities may also require special endorsements, ratings or sign-offs but I did not go into those specifics either. I would like to encourage you to review “14 CFR Part 61.113 – Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command” to ensure that you are able to do some of these things with a private pilot certificate.
Disclaimer: A lot of these activities are addicting and can cause harm to your wallet
BLOGS ON THIS PAGE
- Aviation Survival and Egress Training: Training I Hope I Never Need to Use but Glad I Experienced
- NASA's Physiological Training
- Other Interesting Blogs
- Relationship between Holidays and Flying
- Helicopter Add-On: Transition Training From Fixed-Wing to Rotary-Wing
- Flying to National Parks
- Aviation Vocabulary and Phrases in Spanish
- Friendly Airports and Helipads in the Central Southwest Region
- What to Do with Your Pilot Certificate