One-day-visits are one of the best things about summer flying. Dragging out the charts, getting on SkyVector and checking the “calculate distance” on AirNav are all part of pilot summer routines. “How far can I fly today?” quickly followed by “Where am I going?” are the eternal questions. I use a variety of methods to pick my destinations; TAFs, friend recommendations, Facebook friends Â (even real friends) and throwing darts at a map have all played a part in where I end up. For me, gazing at a sectional chart and seeing names of towns like Saugatuck, South Haven, and Montague are all it takes to get me totally excited and send me somewhere new!
I understand not everybody flies to go places. In fact, many of the pilots I know never, ever, fly more than 50 miles away from home. I don’t get it and I think it’s a waste of a good airplane but we each make our own decisions. Many of us have amazing machines that will take us anywhere we point the nose and personally, I think we should all point the nose away from home a lot more often. Do not be intimidated to fly cross-country – it’s just a series of hopsÂ separated by fuel stops as necessary. It takes a little planning, a little common sense, some navigation skills and an awareness of the weather to fly cross-country – all skills we equip every student pilot to master.
Here’s my suggestion for a day trip or scenic stop as you’re traveling cross-country.Â KHLM Park Township Airport, Holland, Michigan. Notice KHLM is the smaller satellite airport just nw of Holland’s larger airport, KBIV. If you go, do not cheat and land on the longer runways at West Michigan Regional Airport. You’ll want to be closer to where the sites are and the benefits the awesome airport of KHLM offer.