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Looking for flight schools along route 66

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Looking for flight schools along route 66

Old 26th Aug 2019, 14:20
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: EGKK
Posts: 14
Looking for flight schools along route 66

Next week I'll be starting a drive from Chicago along Route 66 to the west coast. Somewhere along the route I'd like to rent an aircraft - just for fun. Say a PA 28 or a Cessna172. I've got a US license. Please does anyone have a recommended Flight School? Ideally near spectacular scenery.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 15:43
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYYC (Calgary)
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My recommendation would be to find a flight school in Flagstaff and fly north over the Grand Canyon. The scenery doesn't get much more spectacular than that!

Read up on the special rules for sight-seeing flights over the Grand Canyon (it's a very busy area) and don't forget about density altitude. Flagstaff is 7014' and Grand Canyon National Park airport is 6609'. Early morning flights are recommended.
https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/nature/upload/sfra.pdf

Given your name, on the way to Flagstaff, don't forget to stop by the statue of the guy "... standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona ..."

and also visit Meteor Crater.
https://meteorcrater.com

Whether you fly over the canyon or not, I recommend driving north to the South Rim to look at the spectacular views. On the way, you can stop in to the Valle location of the Planes of Fame museum, which is only an annex of the main museum at Chino, but it has a spectacular collection:
https://planesoffame.org/visit/valle-az-location

You can get some more ideas from my travelogue where I partially followed Route 66:
Road trip - Calgary to Santa Monica

At the end of your trip. a walk to the end of Santa Monica pier is a must, to see the sign proclaiming the end of Route 66!

Last edited by India Four Two; 27th Aug 2019 at 18:12.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 13:03
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Northampton UK
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I've no idea about the rental situation in Flagstaff, but I've flown for many years with Northaire at Prescott KPRC who have a substantial 172 fleet.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 15:02
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
Posts: 976
Hope you find somewhere. Although choose well because there is a whole lot of nothing out there.

As an observation, I've given up trying to self hire for a short one off trip. Unless you plan to do loads of hours I would just rent something with an instructor and take away that stress of a new area, airport ,planning etc . The instructors tend to know the good places to go and how to get into difficult airspace. They will generally let you do all the flying and they do the hard stuff.

I can recommend a helicopter ride from the canyon. The guy we had had done that trip a thousand times and I I'm sure he flew closer to most things than he should. He enjoyed himself and made sure we did. It felt like being in one of those Vietnam movies. Very good value.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 22:18
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Moray,Scotland,U.K.
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"As an observation, I've given up trying to self hire for a short one off trip."
I've found a standard 2 hour "biennial" is all that's demanded for Pa28 or C172.
​​There was rental at Flagstaff but that was years ago. With the huge population increase, likely to be more now.
My rentals have been from Grand Junction, Colorado, flying to Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico Consider flying North over Utah - much less busy airspace, spectacular scenery.
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Old 30th Aug 2019, 14:20
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
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Originally Posted by Maoraigh1 View Post
"As an observation, I've given up trying to self hire for a short one off trip."
I've found a standard 2 hour "biennial" is all that's demanded for Pa28 or C172.
​​There was rental at Flagstaff but that was years ago. With the huge population increase, likely to be more now.
My rentals have been from Grand Junction, Colorado, flying to Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico Consider flying North over Utah - much less busy airspace, spectacular scenery.

Sorry I wasn't trying to say it was too difficult to do - just that the instructors generally know the fun stuff to do in the area and for the sake of time and money an option if all you want to do is a bit of sight seeing is just do a jolly (under the guise of something that is not public transport) with an instructor rather than a checkout and then a private flight(s). A 2 hour biennial is only worth it if you really want to log P1. I've always found that by the time all the paperwork and checkout is done the day has slipped away and all you've had is a stressy checkout whereas if you say to the man 'Show me a good time' you get to do some fun flying and no pressure on passing or failing. Just a thought...

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Old 31st Aug 2019, 17:40
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Uk
Posts: 172
Always the way to go and not just in the USA.

To name just a few Ive done it in New Zealand ( to Milford Sound) and in France ( for an hours circuits at Courcheval).

If you want to do the flying always make it clear that you want to fly with an Instructor and that you want to do the flying.

I had a very poor experience at the large gliding site at Omarama in New Zealand when flying with someone in a 2 seater glider. I was only allowed to fly about 30 seconds of the tow after which he took over and flew for about an hour.After that I had seen enough and said we might as well go back. And that was after explaining I had over 1100 hours gliding...so he knew.

i suspect I was hived off onto a private owner of a two seater who was (judging by his flying) rather inexperienced, or incompetent.
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