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A Fly and Ski Adventure: NC to CO in a DA40

GlassPilotDestinations, General

Diamond DA40North Carolina to Colorado in a Diamond DA40

Most pilots would not think it practical to use a 145KT aircraft to go to Colorado for skiing so I was keen to see how the trip worked out and compare it to airline travel in my never ending pursuit of illustrating the efficiency of private air travel.



Read the full story of Rod Lusk and John Armstrong’s Flying Adventure


“Fly Fishing” is Fun!



Many folks get involved in aviation looking for a way to get to business and pleasure destinations faster. When a great example of this comes up we like to share it with our readers.

The coast of North Carolina with its paradise called the “Outer Banks” represents a  sportsman’s nirvana. The eastern tip of the outer banks is where the famous Hatteras Lighthouse is and where anglers go for amazing surf fishing and super quick access to the gulf stream. Hatteras is loosely connected to the world via a ferry from the mainland and a ferry from Ocracoke Island and from the North via the Bonner Bridge coming down from Nags Head and the Kitty Hawk area. Its a solid 5 hour drive from the capitol city of Raleigh located only about a 150 miles away due to the route, bridges and two lane beach traffic. This means anglers wanting a weekend fishing excursion have a 10 hour round trip in store.

I scheduled our departure for Saturday afternoon so I could have most of the day for other activities. By air in the Diamond DA40 XLT in air conditioned comfort we took off at 4PM on Saturday afternoon and arrive in less than an hour due to a very nice tail wind and efficient speed of the modern DA40. The anglers that drove there to meet us spent the day on the road and arrived well after us. The route is direct with with no restricted airspace in the way. The letdown from 7500 ft over the Pamlico Sound was a sight to see. We enjoyed a tour of the beach and Hatteras light at 500 feet as a treat since we were in no hurry to leave our perch that provided such a beautiful view of the islands.

Read the rest of this entry »


Fly-In Restaurant Receives Recognition

GlassPilotDestinations, For Fun

Our friend and owner of Gilliam-McConnell Airport (5NC3), Roland Gilliam, let us know that the now famous Pik N Pig BBQ Restaurant located on the field has been acknowledged (again) as one of the best fly-in restaurants in the country by The $100 Hamburger website’s 2014 Best of the Best Award List.

We have had the pleasure of introducing many folks to this delightful experience and great food.

Learn all about the Pik N Pig here on GlassPilot.com.


Destination: Paradise!


If your idea of heaven is flying off to your own tropical island then this adventure is for you! This trip is within the realm of any general aviation pilot with a reliable aircraft. The destination is within 185NM’s of Fort Pierce Airport.

Where: Fly to Marsh Harbor (MYAM) located on Abaco in the Bahamas. Captain Robbie of Pura Vida will pick you up at the Boat Harbor Marina and take you to Lubbers Cay to enjoy your own private island paradise. Perfect!

When: Anytime you need a break

How: If you are not familiar with how to make international flights to the Bahamas then we recommend you get involved with Bahamas Habitat to learn the ropes of flying to the island. They have a pilot briefing video on their website. Sign up for their info for notices about future group flights.

What to do: The flying is beautiful, the boating on crystal clear waters is devine, diving, snorkeling, beaching, shelling, exploring and the local seafood are all outstanding. If you are into fishing then you have found the best. Captain Robbie and his well equipped “Freespool” sport fishing boat stand ready at the dock to ply the deep blue of the Atlantic for billfish and delicious dinner! There is also a 4 bedroom catamaran available by the day or week. Everything you need for the ultimate adventure getaway!

Visit for more details: http://www.puravidacottages.com/thecottages.htm


Flying Destination: Bar Harbor Maine!

GlassPilotDestinations, For Fun, Pilot Reports

One of the most enjoyable things we get to do here at GlassPilot.com is actually use these wonderful airplanes we are always talking about and providing for sale. We search out special fly-in destinations and adventures to alert our readers so they can take full advantage of the lifestyle changing potential of their aircraft.  Today we are here to tell you that if you have not flown to Maine then you need to add that to your list of things to do!

Over Labor Day this year I needed to pick up a Diamond DA40 XLS I had bought that was based in New Hampshire. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine a little business with pleasure so my wife and I packed up and headed North. The aircraft was ready to go and in outstanding shape (Aircraft for sale: see photos & details). We took off from the old Pease Airforce Base KPSM in Portsmouth NH which used to be a Strategic Air Command base so the runway is only 11,321ft!

Upon departure we stayed at 1000ft all the way up the coast to KBHB – Bar Harbor Maine. This is simple a “must do flight”. The coast is so scenic and dramatic with its lighthouses, rocky shore, mountains, quaint villages, boats and lots of lobster pots. My wife was simply pointing and saying wow the whole way. You’ll pass Kennebunkport, Portland, Rockland and numerous villages which all look so quaint and classic Maine from the air with their boat packed harbors and lobster pot buoys dotting every inch of water. The extreme visibility the Diamond DA40 XLS offers makes a trip like this a truly magical experience. Read the rest of this entry »


Coast-to-Coast with the G1000

GlassPilotDestinations, For Fun, Gallery, Pilot Reports

Here at GlassPilot.com we are blessed to call so many great folks our friends, customers and supporters. Our friends Joey Richie and Matt Webb of Newport News VA just return from a great coast-to-coast flying adventure in their Diamond DA40 XLS with its G1000 panel and fuel sipping performance. This story is a fabulous example of the capabilities of our new modern aircraft. I think you’ll see clearly from their descriptions and photos the value the technology brings to making a trip like this possible. Thanks for the inspiration guys… I’m ready to launch for Catalina!

The Great Western Adventure

My partner in our DA40, Matt Webb and I just returned from a fantastic spur of the moment adventure from the East Coast (Newport News/Williamsburg) out to the West Coast in a four day trip. Matt had business in Texas and Phoenix and was looking for a good excuse to fly the Diamond out west. He asked me knowing that I can’t refuse any semi-reasonable excuse to go flying and that I could back him up with IMC situations that might arise. We synched our schedules, checked the weather for the thousandth time, then set off on Wednesday 5/26/10 knowing that we could still have two days of the Memorial Day weekend with the families if we could make it back Read the rest of this entry »


Fly to the Bahamas


Fly to the BahamasHere at Glass Pilot we enjoy bringing you fun destinations for you to enjoy flying to in your modern aircraft. This one tops them all. BahamasHabitat.org is a Christian mission organization that organizes pilots to fly their aircraft to the Bahamas for what they call their Fly-In & Help Out Events. They have these events in the spring and fall. Sign up on their site and they will send you notices and all the info you need to know to join in their international missions. Its a great way to learn and meet some fantastic folks.

I participate in these and they are truly a fantastic experience. I encourage all of you to put your aircraft to good use and join in. Check out all the details at www.bahamashabitat.org.




You are invited to Fly In for BBQ


Flying Destination: The Pik-N-Pig Restaurant, Carthage, NC
Airport: Gilliam-McConnell Airfield – 5NC3 coordinates: N35-20-366 W079-26-204
SDZ (VOR) 111.8 10.6 miles 049 Radial
Activities: Enjoy a BBQ lunch or dinner while you watch airplanes
Comments: This unique place is simply something you must experience

If Pigs could fly they’d likely head out for that fabled $100 hamburger. But pilots in the south revere southern style pork BBQ so what could be better than flying in for a classic BBQ meal? Not much!

You are in luck. You are invited to fly to and land at a private strip for a great barbeque meal in central North Carolina. If you don’t believe me, and want to make sure you have permission to land, simply call the number you find on Airnav.com for Gilliam-McConnell Airfield and you’ll hear Roland Gilliam on the answering machine say, “If you are calling for permission to land, you got it. Come on!”

You won’t likely find 5NC3 in your GPS database but no worries…just plug in the coordinates or if you are still using those ancient VOR things, you’ll find the field 10.6 miles north east of SDZ on the 049 radial.

You won’t find any tall fences or security systems. Landing at Gilliam-McConnell field is like going back in time…back to a time when things were simple and you could just land in the field next to the restaurant and stop in for a bite. Well the strip is a smooth level paved affair 2538 feet long and the restaurant sits mid field not more than 100 ft off the center line. Twin engine craft base at the field and the owner says the odd King Air has dropped in on occasion, so most of our GlassPilot types will slip in with room to spare.

I had heard through the grapevine about this place last year and made a point to check it out last fall. Boy what a thrill. On this particular day I was making the point of taking my good friend, aviation mentor and instructor, Steve Merritt in for dinner. You’ll be hearing from Steve in the future as our resident GlassPilot CFI editor and G1000 flight training expert.  Our mission this day was to practice commercial pilot maneuvers, but the real purpose of course was to treat Steve to the unique experience of Gilliam Field and the Pik-N-Pig. For once, it was something I’d experienced in aviation that he had not yet enjoyed…(a first I think). Read the rest of this entry »


New Smithsonian Center is a “Must See”


Flying Destination: Smithsonian Air & Space Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Airports: KHEF - Manassas, VA, KJYO – Leesburg, VA, KIAD – Dulles International
Activities: Simply the most amazing Aviation Museum
Comments: A must see destination for all aviators with fun for the whole family.

Many pilots are familiar with the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum at the main Smithsonian museum on the Washington DC mall. However, I find that many pilots are not yet aware of or have not been to the massive new expansion to this amazing museum that was added.

Read the rest of this entry »


Fly In and Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail


VA Creeper Trail crosses with Appalacian TrailFlying Destination: Virginia Creeper Trail
Airport: KVJI - Virginia Highlands, Abingdon, VA
Activities: 17-34 mile down hill bike trail ride
Comments: Fun easy trip for the whole family or romantic weekend for a couple

GlassPilot.com brings you great information on glass panel modern aircraft but its time to jump in one of these birds and fly off to some fun places! Our hope is that we’ll inspire you to take off to fun places in your aircraft. Not the usual $100 hamburger stops but fun outings that will build memories of a life time.

Read the rest of this entry »