October 1, 2012
In the heart of Oregon’s wine country, McMinnville Municipal Airport (MMV) is just a fun flight away from Portland, Salem, or the Oregon coast. A World War II-era field, the airport is now home to about 150 general aviation aircraft and some of the friendliest people around—like Airport Manager Graham Goad. “Folks are welcome to fly in and pick up a courtesy car,” he says, “there’s plenty to do in McMinnville.”
If you have only a few hours to spare, the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum is a must-see. It’s the home of the Spruce Goose and other aviation treasures. On the ground or from the air, you can’t miss the jumbo jet perched on top of the building adjacent to the museum. That’s the Wings and Waves Waterpark, where kids of all ages can climb into the belly of the retired Evergreen Airlines Boeing 747 and then plummet down one of four “emergency” slides into a huge swimming pool.
If you’d rather have a splash of wine, McMinnville is the center of the pinot noir wine region. The valley has more than 90 wineries, most of them with tasting rooms in picturesque locations.
McMinnville always has something going on, including the annual Antique Fly-in and the UFO Festival, the largest after Roswell, New Mexico. Shopping, strolling and dining are also favorite pastimes in the McMinnville Downtown Historic District, which has numerous shops and restaurants.
“McMinnville is a great little town with all sorts of activities and events to enjoy throughout the year,” says Bill Miller, a local photographer. “With our small airport right here, it’s the perfect place for a fly-in weekend or vacation.”
Land at MMV, and see for yourself. And be sure to pack your swimsuit.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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