Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big-Time Adventure

Tackling the wilds of Utah in a do-it-all turboprop

Southern Utah Flying Adventures

Moab Area
If you're interested in camping in the Moab area, the BLM provides a website with a list of maintained campsites at The hiking and scenery at Arches National Park is unforgettable, and be sure to take the drive out to Horseshoe Point in Canyonlands National Park. The view over the confluence of the Colorado and Green rivers is one of the most spectacular in the world. Owned by Rod and Paula Tangren, Caveman Ranch Resort ( is 20 miles down the Colorado River from Moab and features a 3,000-foot gravel airstrip. Ground-based activities include river-jet boat rides, Jeep tours, skeet shooting and gold sleuthing.

Bryce Canyon National Park
The picturesque Bryce Canyon Airport (KBCE) is the closest airport. Jet-A and 100LL are available. The runway is 7,395 feet long and at an altitude of 7,590 feet, so watch the density altitude. Rental cars are available with prior arrangements. The folks at the Best Western Ruby's Inn (highly recommended) will pick you up at the airport, and free park service shuttles are available for transportation within the park. Summertime temperatures can be quite warm, so bring water, sunglasses and a hat. A winter visit with snow on the ground is especially spectacular and mostly uncrowded. Numerous moderate hikes are available throughout the canyon with absolutely spectacular, world-class scenery. While you're there, you'll discover that you're also close to the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument and Kodachrome Basin, which are also both well worth a visit.

Zion National Park
The closest full-service airport is St. George, Utah (KSGU.) Both Jet A and 100LL are available. The runway is 9,300 feet long at an altitude of 2,884 feet. Rental cars are available. The drive to Zion will take about 1:15. The town of Springdale near the entrance to the park is full of enchanting restaurants and resorts with spectacular views in all directions. This is the place to arrange your mountain biking, rock climbing or canyoneering adventure with one of the many professional outfitters. Once you get to the park, an efficient shuttle bus system will quickly get you anywhere you want to go. Zion has some of the best scenery, hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering and long technical rock climbs in the world—so there should be something for everyone.

Western Aircraft |
In addition to providing first-class FBO services, Boise-based Western Aircraft is an FAA-certified service station and has been an authorized Pilatus PC-12 dealer and service center since 1996. In 2004, Pilatus Business Aircraft named Western as the "Dealer of The Decade" for selling more PC-12s than any other PC12 dealer in the first 10 years of PC-12 production, and in 2005 as the "Service Center of The Year." In 2005 and 2006, Western was the top PC-12 dealer in the U.S. The company has delivered over 165 new and 30 pre-owned PC-12s. The PC-12 experts at Western can arrange demo flights, answer questions and arrange service for existing owners.


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