Backcountry

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National Bushwheel Awareness Week: Quirky gathering in the Idaho wilderness

Pilot Magazine | Apr 06, 2015

Turbulent plumes of swirling mountain air jostle our pair of Carbon Cubs as we approach Johnson Creek Airport (3U2) for the start of National Bushwheel Awareness Week, a quirky annual gathering that attracts more than 100 backcountry airplanes and the STOL fanatics who fly them.

Protecting access in Michigan

Advocacy | Mar 10, 2015

Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill to protect private landowners who allow aircraft operations, and, in turn, protect backcountry access for aviators.

Pilot Getaways: Mineral Canyon, Utah

Article | Mar 09, 2015

The most profound reason to visit Mineral Canyon is simply to experience the natural wonder of the picturesque, river-worn canyons. The canyons are a spectacle to behold from the air.

West Virginia adds liability protection for airfield owners

Advocacy | Feb 26, 2015

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Feb. 18 signed into law a bill that will add liability protection for land owners who allow aircraft operations at their privately owned airstrips and farms.

Forest Service planning rule recognizes aviation access

Advocacy | Feb 11, 2015

New U.S. Forest Service directives that interpret a 2012 Planning Rule designate aviation as a “legitimate mode of access” to the backcountry.

Reach hard-to-reach places in your airplane

Article | Feb 04, 2015

You can’t take a major airline to see the swimming pigs in Staniel Cay in the Bahamas, or to see the natural hot springs at a remote corner of Death Valley National Park.

AOPA: Nez Perce-Clearwater plan should protect airstrips

Advocacy | Nov 20, 2014

Revisions to the U.S. Forest Service’s plan for Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests in Idaho should allow safety-related improvements to existing airstrips and open the door to creation of new airstrips, AOPA said in comments on the revisions Nov. 12.

Shooting volcanoes

Slideshow | Oct 15, 2014

Pilot Haukur Snorrason’s dramatic images of Iceland’s most recent (and now record-setting) volcanic eruption are only the latest in a long and colorful progression.

Pilot Getaways: Priest Lake, Idaho

Article | Aug 04, 2014

The murmur of a breeze in the evergreens sings a soft harmony to the deep blue of a brightening sky—it’s morning in the Idaho mountains. In Priest Lake, Idaho, the choices of fun and relaxation, from water-skiing to huckleberry picking, are nearly limitless. Explore the area during your visit to AOPA’s Spokane Fly-In.

Fly-Ins: Indianapolis

Article | Aug 04, 2014

Three dozen pilots camped under their wings at Indianapolis Regional Airport the evening before the second AOPA Regional Fly-In of the year. Another 500 aircraft and more than 2,000 attendees joined May 31, including students pilots; families with generations of pilots; and area pilots, EAA chapters, and Civil Air Patrol members who volunteered to cook, direct traffic, and park airplanes.<

American Champion Aircraft to produce a diesel bush airplane

Article | Jul 30, 2014

American Champion Aircraft will pair its Scout bush plane with an Austro Engines diesel to increase speed, extend range, and allow its aircraft to fly in remote regions where avgas is unavailable.

Under fire

Article | Jul 23, 2014

A small corps of pilots patrols protected land in Kenya, facing an increasing threat from poachers as inclined to shoot aircraft as elephants.

Baker honors pilots for protecting backcountry flying

Advocacy | Apr 24, 2014

Two men had a vision to protect pilots’ access to backcountry airstrips in Montana, but discovered a nationwide need.

Death Valley airstrip’s future at stake in management plan

Advocacy | Mar 13, 2014

The National Park Service is weighing the future of one of California’s remaining backcountry airstrips in a land management plan.

Unique fundraiser supports backcountry organization

Article | Oct 15, 2013

The Recreational Aviation Foundation sold embroidered shirts from Goodwill as a fundraiser at AOPA Aviation Summit.

Recreational Aviation Foundation to lead noise study

Article | Oct 11, 2013

It’s an accusation among public land managers that general aviation doesn’t have a good response to yet: the perception that aircraft noise has a negative impact on wildlife.

Appeals court opinion seen lifting threat to backcountry airstrips

Article | Aug 06, 2013

A federal appeals court ruling largely upheld the status of several backcountry airstrips in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in north-central Montana.

Website promotes Colorado backcountry aviation

Article | Jul 30, 2013

Pilots visiting a new website will find photography, webcam views, and ideas to help them select destinations for a Colorado backcountry outing.

BLM: Backcountry aviation deserves protection

Article | Jun 27, 2013

The “recreational experiences” of pilots who fly into Colorado’s spectacular backcountry have earned official recognition in a draft resource management plan for public lands in the state.

Forest Service extends comment deadline on proposed planning rule

Article | May 08, 2013

The U.S. Forest Service has extended the deadline to comment on a new planning rule that would develop, revise, and amend land management plans to include aviation.

Talks seen opening Florida airstrip to public

Article | Apr 10, 2013

A state-owned airfield in the Florida Panhandle could become a recreational destination for pilots if the nonprofit Recreational Aviation Foundation and the Florida Forest Service complete an expected agreement on access in the next few months. The Montana-based Recreational Aviation Foundation says a “let’s find a way” approach has prevailed during discussions about aircraft access to Blackwater Airfield, a 4,000-foot former firefighting grass airstrip in the Blackwater River State Forest.

Idaho backcountry access in spotlight

Advocacy | May 07, 2012

Aviation advocates in Idaho want pilots to scale back the use of four backcountry airstrips designated as emergency airfields under a federal wildlife area management plan.

'Fire Hubs' to dot country, protect remote airstrips

Article | Mar 26, 2012

Campfires and camaraderie are synonymous with aviation gatherings for many pilots. For those who jet from one destination to another never exploring what's outside of a fixed-base operation, the Recreational Aviation Foundation is ready to broaden your horizon.

Recreational aviation gets stake in Forest Service planning

Advocacy | Feb 09, 2012

Recreational aviation and backcountry strips in US Forest Service lands recently received a much-needed lift. Forest Service planners must now consider aviation in their plans, whether it be preserving or maintaining backcountry strips.