July 28, 2014
By Julie Summers Walker
Spokane, Washington’s Felts Field has a little bit of everything for the aviation enthusiast. The historic airstrip, which will host an AOPA Fly-In Aug. 16, features beautifully renovated terminal and hangar buildings, a 4,500-foot-long runway, 6,000-foot seaplane landing area, delightful diner serving breakfast and lunch, and is home to renovators and collectors of historic aircraft.
1. Felts Field—Named for Army Lt. James Buell Felts, who was killed in an accident near what was then Parkwater Airport (situated along the south bank of the Spokane River). It served as the municipal airport in the 1930s and ‘40s and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
2. Spokane Falls at Riverfront Park—Paths follow the country’s second largest urban waterfalls. There are spectacular views of water crashing over indigenous basalt rock formations.
3. Gondola rides—View the Spokane Falls from a gondola that swoops down to the edge of the falls.
4. Spokane Turbine Center—The Spokane Turbine Center provides training to pilots and mechanics in technologically advanced turbine-powered aircraft in a historic 1930s building restored in 2009.
5. Moody Aviation Maintenance training school—This school is headquartered in one of the largest steel and brick hangars in the U.S. built in 1934 for the National Guard.
6. Mamer Memorial Clock—This 40-foot-tall art-deco clock structure was built in 1939 to honor Spokane aviator Lt. Nick Mamer.
7. EAA Chapter 79 Clubhouse—A recently renovated hangar houses the EAA Chapter 79 clubhouse and meetings area, with historic memorabilia, restoration facilities, and a charming game room.
8. Skyway Café—Heaping plates of delicious diner food are served in a perfect plane-watching café attached to the terminal building.
9. Arbor Crest Wine Cellars—Historic Cliff House Estate overlooks Felts Field and is now home to an award-winning wine cellar.
10. Spokane Centennial Trail—Ride your bike or walk/jog on a smooth paved trail along the Spokane River 14 miles east to the Idaho state line.
AOPA Director of Publications and Managing Editor for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training, Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.
AOPA has announced plans for five new fly-ins in 2015 following the success of last year's inaugural events. Events will be held in California, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee.
In an effort to increase member engagement, one of AOPA President Mark Baker’s first acts as the association’s new leader was to move away from one annual convention and instead host a series of regional fly-ins to “meet the members where they are.”
AOPA's final fly-in of the year a resounding success with thousands of pilots, hundreds of airplanes, and dozens of activities.
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