An aerial adventure to Puerto Rico


“Who wants to go along as copilot on an aerial Caribbean adventure to see the REAL Puerto Rico?”

That question, posed on an online pilot forum by Bostonian and friend Dan Figueroa, caught me in a weak moment. My hand shot up well before better sense took over. It was an easy trip to justify: I love the tropics, pretty water, exotic travel, and here was a chance to have a semi-native guide to America’s closest territory.

So, with the thought uppermost of, “When will I ever have a chance like this again?” I said, “Count me in!” [Read more…]

Become an international pilot

It’s the stuff of dreams, I tell you, flitting off in your own little airplane to look down at the world’s prettiest water, to loll on idyllic palm-fringed beaches, to go and come as you please. Just pack your bathing suit, your credit card, and your passport, and you’re good to go.


There IS a little more to it than that, of course.

With a little preparation, though, you’ll join the hundreds of U.S. aviators fleeing winter’s misery for a spell of tropical R&R. [Read more…]

Destination: Santa Catalina

On final approach to runway 22. The airport sits on top of a bluff, with steep drop-offs at both ends.


Though many of my favorite flying activities — aerobatics, pattern work, sightseeing — are local in nature, there’s no denying that airplanes are made for going places. Even the pokiest of ‘em makes travel faster and more interesting than driving a car. One of my most memorable trips was flying a clipped-wing Cub up the California coast at 60 mph. Between fuel stops and detours, it took the better part of a day to cover the 145 nautical mile straight-line distance from Orange County to Lompoc. But boy was it fun!

Over the past two decades I’ve traveled all over the country. All over the world, in fact, and my list of favored locations is long indeed. It’s hard to beat sitting on the beach next to the Sunset Bar & Grill in St. Maarten. I could spend a month in London taking in shows at the Globe, ENO or the West End. And who could say a cross word about any of the Hawaiian islands?

But if I had to choose just one place to call my all-time favorite, it wouldn’t even be a contest: It starts and ends with Santa Catalina, one of eight isles in the Channel Islands archipelago which sits just off the Southern California coast.

[Read more…]

Flying in Ireland

There are three lighthouses, from three different centuries most likely, on this point jutting out into the Irish Sea.


There’s one odd thing any American pilot realizes after a day or two in Ireland: There’s a real shortage of airplane noise.

Wander the Emerald Isle’s spectacular byways, vibrant towns, and magnificent coasts, even for a fortnight, as I did recently, and it’s unlikely you’ll see a single airplane smaller than an airliner. General aviation, as we know it, seems as rare as hen’s teeth. Paved and towered airports are just about the exclusive domain of scheduled airliners.

On day 10 of my GA-free visit to Ireland, I happened past the Cork Airport (EICK), and noticed a couple of cars parked off the departure runway watching AerLingus come and go.

[Read more…]

The Right Stuff for a post-SUN ‘n FUN trip


SUN ‘n FUN is coming up soon. If you are heading to the show in Lakeland, Florida, what else can you do while you’re in Florida? Of course, there’s always Disney World, but why not see the hub of America’s space program, the Kennedy Space Center?

Granted, it ain’t cheap and without advance planning, you could be disappointed. But its “Up Close Tours” are a unique opportunity to see America’s aerospace heritage. And its display of Space Shuttle Atlantis is second-to-none.

[Read more…]

Do you have a favorite destination?

In our January print issues, we’re going to focus on Destinations, including trips to Washington, D.C., the Caribbean, Austin, Texas, and more. We’d like to hear from you as to where your favorite destinations are when you take to the skies.

Share with us your favorite locales, what airport (or airports) you fly into, and near-by attractions that are a “must-see” for GA pilots. If you’ve got any tips on flying into the airport, where to get deals, or best way to plan that epic journey, please share them as well.

Feel free to include photos! We’ll print as many as we can in the January issue.

You can add your comments below or send them, plus your photos, to