Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By Randle Corfman
President, Minnesota Pilots Association 

Mn Pilots Hangar Flying

Create your own adventure


Want to create an adventure, regardless of your age? Pick up the phone, call 2 or 3 people who you enjoy and who you trust to fly with and organize a flying trip someplace.

The place doesn’t have to be a major adventure destination. No, it can be to an airport someplace that you can use as a base to explore using it as a base of operations. Perhaps it has camping facilities. Perhaps you can arrange hotel accommodations at a nearby airport. Has it been awhile since you camped out in a tent? Yeah, you can expect to have not a great night’s sleep the first night, much better the second night. By the third night (if you make it a longer trip) you will be sleeping like a baby.

Don’t know what you might eat? Well, there is some pretty compelling studies which demonstrate that fasting till noon can be pretty darned healthy for you. You can cheat by having a cup of coffee in the morning, or you can simply find a restaurant that is open to serve you breakfast, and it might even be on the airport (think KBRD).

You might even be able to get in touch with a friend who has a hangar at an airport and might be willing to let you “camp” inside the hangar! Floor too firm? I’ve seen many pilots bring along an inflatable mattress and they sleep like a baby on the first night! One of the advantages of camping in a hangar is that storms and mosquitoes are less likely to bother you.

I just returned from a camping trip to the backcountry of Idaho, choosing to camp and fly with 3 friends. These three are all remarkable people, good friends, and good aviators. We had a wonderful time flying together (4 dissimilar aircraft, a C180, a C185, a Husky and (bringing up the rear), my super cub. We knew each other quite well, could communicate freely and all felt that safety was a priority.

We used one base, Johnson Creek, as the anchor, visiting many of the Forest Service airstrips during morning flights. Why mornings? Smooth air, cooler temperatures. Minimal turbulence. What did we do the rest of the day? Naps. Sitting around the aircraft trading stories, shooting the bull.

There are many awesome destinations in Minnesota and in neighboring states and, depending upon your flexibility, many things to do.

We have found that the flying was actually not the most memorable part of the time we spent together. We were able to share predicaments that we were facing, sharing joys that we had experienced, all in the company of friends who we trusted.

We also found that we didn’t exactly lose any weight due to the camping environment. Food tastes much better outdoors, it seems, and we all ate well.

Here’s hoping that you will be able to join friends for an aviation adventure. It may be a game changer for you. Besides, what happens on aviation adventures stays in the adventure!


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