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Thread: Ideas for Aviation friendly communities or Air Parks???

  1. #1
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Ideas for Aviation friendly communities or Air Parks???

    Once again my bride of many years is pestering me to move out of Alaska at least in the winter months. She craves warmth and a swimming pool.
    Everyday (twice a day) she has a new list of potential homes and towns. Her ideas of nice places to live are not the same as mine.
    So.... I might as well get myself into the process before I get stuck in someplace terrible.

    Are there certain states or areas that are NOT aviation friendly that should be avoided ???
    How about areas that are more likely to have aviation activities, fly-ins and such???
    How about air parks or community runways??? Are there down-sides to those?

    Any ideas???

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    As a mechanic, I sometimes hated living on an airpark. It was very easy for someone to beat on the door on Sunday morning with a rough mag when they wanted to fly out to breakfast or something...I always helped them, but it sure wasn't in my plans for starting a day off. On the other hand, I loved having neighbors dropping by the shop all the time! It was a pretty close little community, with some very interesting members! We only had one guy that was a jerk, so everyone else had a lot of fun together, with the common tie of aviation. I made some good friends there. There's an airport community just a few miles from me now (Cabin Creek in Montana) and they seem to do pretty well.
    John

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    gregory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    Once again my bride of many years is pestering me to move out of Alaska at least in the winter months. She craves warmth and a swimming pool.
    Everyday (twice a day) she has a new list of potential homes and towns. Her ideas of nice places to live are not the same as mine.
    So.... I might as well get myself into the process before I get stuck in someplace terrible.

    Are there certain states or areas that are NOT aviation friendly that should be avoided ???
    How about areas that are more likely to have aviation activities, fly-ins and such???
    How about air parks or community runways??? Are there down-sides to those?

    Any ideas???
    Glad I’m not the only one in this predicament! How’s your new ride?

  4. #4
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    How’s your new ride?
    Apparently it is the reason I must now do any she dreams-up for the rest of my life.
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    Do it, we live on big lake, drive out every year in our Newmar 40 footer. Spend half the winter bombing around the USA seeing friends. AND almost 4 mouths in Mesa AZ, swing into Las Vegas for a few shows. And the head back home. We love the pool and I play pickle ball every day! The wife of yours is on to something. I could not change now if i wanted to. But always return to Alaska, it's our home. Scott

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    Alex
    That is a sweet ride!!! I have been following your posts, great choice!! When you find the right place let me know!! I was just down in NV and looking around Vegas. Sounds like a bit of wind in the spring in that area. Anyone up by Reno?
    DENNY
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  7. #7
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    My wife was looking at southern Arizona near Fort Waccuha ( Sierra Vista ) and parts of Texas. I do not think that being that close to the border is such a good idea.
    I would prefer parts of Utah and Idaho. But she refused to consider Idaho or Washington state for some reason. I think that 10,000 people in one town is too many.
    She is from Europe so we disagree on that subject. I could get by as long as I could drive her someplace within a couple-three hours.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Looks nice Alex, What's under the hood? What floats go with it?

    N1PA

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    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Ft Huachuca


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    My wife was looking at southern Arizona near Fort Waccuha ( Sierra Vista ) and parts of Texas. I do not think that being that close to the border is such a good idea.
    I would prefer parts of Utah and Idaho. But she refused to consider Idaho or Washington state for some reason. I think that 10,000 people in one town is too many.
    She is from Europe so we disagree on that subject. I could get by as long as I could drive her someplace within a couple-three hours.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    Lots of places in S. Texas ought to be able to fit your bill, sounds like you need a spring recon trip.

    Rent a fair sized hanger at a sleepy airport, buy an RV then fly down and have a warm winter traveling about by plane or RV and then you’ve got a place to secure the RV and a daily drive during the off season when it’s too hot to breathe down there.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    My wife was looking at southern Arizona near Fort Waccuha ( Sierra Vista ) and parts of Texas. I do not think that being that close to the border is such a good idea.
    Ft. Huachuca is a nice place and lots of history in the area. I just returned from the area last month. I lived there for a few years back in the early-mid 90's (stationed there) and really liked the area. Unfortunately it has really grown. I kept my 172 at Ft. Huachuca and then stored it down at Douglas, AZ when we were shipped overseas for an extended time.

    The area does have it's "border crossing issues", but I think anyplace close to the border has similar issues.

    The flying community is extremely small. Definitely not an area with lots of planes or social events geared towards aviation.

    My daughter and her family live there. If you have any particular questions about the area, send me a PM and maybe I can help.

    I have been looking for a southwest area to go in the winters also. We have looked at several airparks and so far I like Az, New Mexico and central Texas.

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    Visit your target areas in the months you expect to spend there. Leaving winter to find winter will disappoint. Been there, done that.

    Aging snowbirds need to be in easy reach of medical care. 3 hours from a city won't be as attractive when you need a good medical center. Or entertainment, restaurants, retail, etc.

    Pay attention to taxes. A mile or two can make a big difference.

    Grandchildren change everything.

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    This is a really great subject. So many things to consider. For me it goes something like this: Weather, weather, WEATHER, taxes, friendly airports (no fences), horse friendly, ?, ?. My wife and I stopped in Wickenberg Az. for a couple of hours this winter and on the surface it seemed to be some of those things.

    I think Hotrod and I are at one of the better airports around but the weather sucks and Washington is a pit tax wise and it's not going to get better.

  14. #14
    Ruffair's Avatar
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    Check out Stellar Airpark, Chandler, AZ ( P19 )

    probably too crowded for you. However.... great winter time flying activities. Lots of things nearby. The area between PHX and TUS has lots of small strips with lots going on... weekend breakfasts, camping, on and on.... Great Restaurants all around and great thrift stores for shopping... that’s where my wife likes to shop.
    "...We're fast enough to get there, But slow enough to see..."
    Fron the song "Barometer Soup". By Jimmy Buffett
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  15. #15
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    PHP Code:
    [QUOTE]skywagon8a

        Looks nice Alex
    What's under the hood? What floats go with it?[/QUOTE] 
    P-Ponk O-520.
    The floats are only EDO 2960s to go with the Kenmore weight STC. The floats have seen better days and the weather here is too cold for stripper to work outside. A set of PK-3000s would be dreamy.
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    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Stewart B

    We live in Homer, ( the town that I grew up around) and we have a hospital. But they will kill you before curing you, so we all have standing orders to speed 75 miles north to the Hospital between Soldotna and Kenai.

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    Wait until you look at rural property in the lower 48. You'd be lucky to find a vet, let alone a cardiologist or neurologist.

    Arizona has great weather but you'd better like looking at brown. I was in Chandler all last week. It sure was nice to get back to south central Texas and see green. And to top it off we're having a banner year for blue bonnets here. There are a lot of great places in this country. Finding what suits you takes traveling and trying a few places on.

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    Guy near me had a winter home in Prescott, Arizona, bragged about it all the time. never been there but have always wondered what its like.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post
    The floats are only EDO 2960s to go with the Kenmore weight STC. A set of PK-3000s would be dreamy.
    Nothing wrong with 2960s when you learn their little special technique. I've won take off contests with 2960s against PK 3000s. Not by a lot, but did win.
    N1PA

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    Bugs. Snakes. Spiders. Scorpions. Did I say bugs??
    Mark
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    G44's Avatar
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    Alex,

    I live in SW Michigan and really like it. I live on a fantastic grass strip community with 12 houses on it, in fact there is one for sale which is VERY rare. Great medical, great GA flying, floats wheels and skis. That being said, we do have a winter and that may not be to your wife liking but we sure do have great spring, summer and stunning fall season.

    Kurt
    displaced Alaskan

  22. #22
    algonquin's Avatar
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    Hi Alex, there is lots of room here in Northern NY and lots of flying. Fulton County has the most PVT. Airports in the state, 8 strips w/in 5 miles that I know of. Of course the wx isn't all the warm, looking forward to getting home to Seldovia to warm up.

  23. #23
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Skywagon. I have flown 2960s. But like the flat tops of the pks. I like to fish from the floats. Plus I do like the way the pks step turn. .... one thing I noticed about some counties in Texas was the property taxes were pretty high. The monthly tax on a 250,000 house was downright painful in some counties.

  24. #24
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Alex, No question that the round tops of the 2960s are a drawback.
    N1PA

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    A 180J on EDOs is a very good float plane. If you want to feel better about your floats? Get a quote for Aerocets.

    My Texas property taxes are high but the facilities and maintanance standards are high. In my community I’d say we get what we pay for. It’s hard to complain about that. If you want cheap taxes? Buy a big parcel in the country, lease the land to a local to run cattle on, get an ag exemption from taxes, and mow a strip on your own land. I’ve considered that myself and may still move to that, but that life comes with it’s own set of problems and expenses. Expecially if you’re a snowbird.
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    Quote Originally Posted by qsmx440 View Post
    .... My wife and I stopped in Wickenberg Az. for a couple of hours this winter and on the surface it seemed to be some of those things.
    I think Hotrod and I are at one of the better airports around but the weather sucks and Washington is a pit tax wise and it's not going to get better.
    Some of the folks from the next airport over (Diamond Point) winter in Wickenberg.
    They seem to like it.
    But dunno if they're on an airpark or live in town, or even if they all take their airplanes with them every winter.

    A guy at my own airport has a hangar at Pahrump NV.
    He started out just wintering there, but as time goes buy he seems to go down earlier and come back later.
    Great pilot community there from what I hear.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  28. #28
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mam90 View Post
    Bugs. Snakes. Spiders. Scorpions. Did I say bugs??
    Says the guy who slept with brown bears in Ak. Things that bite you are better then things that eat you in my book

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

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    Alex, notice how everyone is taking part in this? Whatever you find make sure it has a lot of bedrooms. Were all coming with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    Says the guy who slept with brown bears in Ak. Things that bite you are better then things that eat you in my book

    Glenn
    Ill take a bear any day! Like the song says, I don’t like spiders and snakes!
    Mark
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    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Sadly my brothers and I had originally inherited 2,000 acres of west Texas grazing land (desert), via my moms side of the family. But unknown to us, my dad was the exec of my grandma's will and he sold it off for basically nothing in the mid 1980s. ( when my brothers and I were already adults and the will said we were supposed to inherit at age 21 ) We only found out a few months ago when my parents died and I found the paperwork.

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Clark View Post

    P-Ponk O-520.
    The floats are only EDO 2960s to go with the Kenmore weight STC. The floats have seen better days and the weather here is too cold for stripper to work outside. A set of PK-3000s would be dreamy.

    PK3000 FLOATS • $7,900 • FOR SALE Tight Floats off my C180, big hatches, all fittings. • Contact Dennis J. Chadala, Owner - located Muskoka, ON Canada • Telephone: 705-689-1235 • Posted April 2, 2018 • Show all Ads posted by this AdvertiserRecommend This Ad to a FriendEmail AdvertiserSave to WatchlistReport This Ad

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  33. #33
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    As someone who was raised in Alaska and has only left for college , military and the occasional trip, I find that i know nothing about how to proceed in other states.

    Last October (first week) we were down in central Texas for daughter #3's wedding. I wanted to wander off through the brush to go look at a possible Cub landing site. The locals freaked out about fleas and ticks. Something I would not have thought about. The folks who live there thought it was rather cool, but my wife and I were swimming in the unheated pool at midnight.

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    Alex, We went through the same thing when we left Alaska in the late 80’s. It was a real culture shock for sure. Now I’m recently retired and we’re trying to figure out our next move. Always thought we’d head back to Alaska, or at least places West. Didn’t think through that our kids were raised here and moving that far away is probably not in the cards, so the whole thing is up in the air. Good luck, hope you find what you’re looking for..
    Mark

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    One thing to check out are the retirement communities. Lots of them down south, happy hour about 3pm everyday and lots of stuff to do. Small lots but that will get you primed for sharing a room in the nursing home!! Mesquite Nv has some nice stuff with airport. Locals say HOT in summer, wind in the spring but rest of year Great!! I would love to find an airpark 1/2 hour form major hub for travel.
    DENNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    Hi Alex, there is lots of room here in Northern NY and lots of flying. Fulton County has the most PVT. Airports in the state, 8 strips w/in 5 miles that I know of. Of course the wx isn't all the warm, looking forward to getting home to Seldovia to warm up.
    Upstate NY and snow. Moved from Syracuse to Albuquerque 44 years ago and never looked back.

  38. #38
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnold bronson View Post
    Upstate NY and snow. Moved from Syracuse to Albuquerque 44 years ago and never looked back.
    Well, when you get your life back in order we will probably let you back in.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"

  39. #39
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    Interesting topic! We all a have opinions here is mine. I did the research on this several years ago and the wife and I did a discovery trip at that time and looked at airparks all across the South from East to West I can’t tell you how many we visited during the winter/spring of 2002. It was a lot. We found some really nice places but few where we’d choose to live. There is a tendency to be really high end “city” type parks and then lots on the other end, a bit like scrap yards with broken airplanes and broken cars lying about. I like to fly and build and tinker with airplanes and “stuff”. I fabricate lots of things in metal and wood so I’m in my hangar/shop most of the day. We prefer rural with reasonable access to what the city has to offer when we want to go there. We don’t prefer “classic dessert” which I would define as dusty and a bit of scrub vegetation. We do prefer dry and a bit of dust to wet, mud, and mold, which describes a fair bit of the South in my opinion, sorry. We really, really enjoy where we now live, which is South East of Wickenburg, AZ at 0AZ5. It is a very small airport community only 10 lots, half mile paved. I own a few additional acres on the South end where there are about 8 ways I can take off and land in the dirt that are between 300 and 600 feet long. That helps keep you on your game. We are right at the beginning of the mountains to the North of us, beautiful and a great place to fly. Two hundred feet in front of my hangar door is a gate that lets you in to public land where you can ride horses, four wheelers or hike for the rest of your life, thousands of acres. 20 miles across that way (east) is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Southwest for boating or water play. The desert here is rather different than that to the South of Phoenix. We have family that lives in that area and it is pretty barren, bleak, and most of the time except in the city. This here is Sonoran Desert which has much more vegetation and most
    of the time is greener. We have lots of the big Saguaro cactus, lots of Palo Verde trees, some Ironwood trees and lots of other cacti which right now are beginning their spring bloom. There are lots of aviation communities around here so there is lots of flying and makes up for lack of current aviation activity on this airpark. There are many dry washes where you can land explore very close here. The downside of this airpark is that right now I’m the only one flying. We need some new people to move in and spice it up a little. There is a couple that is expecting to build here is the not too distant future he has a couple airplanes. There are lots available and one beautiful house and hangar for sale right now that your wife would love Alex. Great pool and great views. Of course, this is all my opinion and others prefer different things. We came from a very green area in Michigan but we enjoy it far more than we ever imagined.
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  40. #40
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Gerald, is that place on your airpark being brokered by a realtor or private party?

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