Summer is the perfect time for a little aviation adventure. With more hours of daylight and most of the country reopening after a year and a half, what better time than now to reserve your club plane for a day trip or even longer? Many clubs organize fly outs or encourage members to use club aircraft to go to interesting destinations. The possibilities are endless – whether it’s a flight to an aviation museum, an island getaway, or even flying internationally.
Over the years Club Connector has featured a variety of destinations and club fly-outs that we thought might inspire you to get up and go this summer. Here are few of those stories and ideas for trips your club members might want to take.
Fly Out to Oshkosh
The first destination is certainly on every pilots’ list and it’s coming up fast. We’re talking about General Aviation’s Mecca – EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This year it takes place July 26 – August 1. In 2013, we wrote about the Capitol City Flyers fly out to the biggest fly-in in the world.
If you plan to fly in, be sure to read the NOTAM. This is not a suggestion, it’s a must. Even if you’ve flown in before, there are significant updates to the Ripon arrival procedures this year. If you do come to Oshkosh, whether you fly in or not, be sure to stop by the AOPA tent!
If flying into Oshkosh isn’t in the cards for you this year, perhaps there are local or regional destinations that pique your interest. AOPA and Foreflight have teamed up to encourage pilots to get out and fly by offering rewards. Each month they will feature fun fly out destinations in a different region. The East Coast is the featured region for July with ideas from Maine to North Carolina. The Smokehouse Pilots Club, based in Leesburg, Virginia, organizes monthly fly outs and this year has already been to First Flight Airport in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and Cape May, New Jersey.
Although there are still restrictions on some international travel, the Bahamas is open to visitors who are fully vaccinated. AOPA offers Bahamas and the Caribbean pilot guides with everything you need to know to plan your trip. It’s a destination that members of the Fort Myers Flying Club are familiar with, which we featured in an early edition of the Club Connector.
The Austin Aviators Flight Club has members that fly to Mexico and has held seminars to go through what’s necessary to plan the trip and what to expect.
Closer to home, one of the most dynamic clubs in terms of planning weekend getaways is the
OZ1 Flying Club based in Bentonville, Arkansas. The club will put together a monthly fly-out complete with hotel accommodations, activities, and dinner reservations. Members can sign up for the trips and choose to do as much or as little of the activities as possible – whether it’s a day trip or weekend of hiking, rock climbing, going to a horse race, or fly fishing.
Outdoor Activities, Islands and Museums
While OZ1 may offer complete packages, club fly outs don’t have to be that fancy or involved. There are plenty of spontaneous trips that can be just as much fun. Many airports have nearby outdoor activities such as biking, boating, or a beach.
Perhaps fly to an island – say Catalina, Mackinac, Tangier, or Nantucket. Having a plane makes all of these destinations an easy day trip that you probably wouldn’t consider if you were driving.
Another idea for a day trip is to visit an aviation museum. There great museums throughout the country and a few years ago AOPA featured the best museums in the Northwest, Southwest, Central US, Northeast and Southeast.
No matter what you are interested in, there is sure to be a destination within a reasonable flying distance that will make a great club fly out. Whether it’s a day trip or longer, this is the perfect time of year to exercise your freedom to fly and experience the many amazing attractions and activities that are just a short flight away.