My Favorite Destination– a Blogging in Formation Post


My favorite Destination? As a pilot there are so many variables, so many things to consider: Manhattan rising majestically in the night sky as I descend over the Hudson River. It’s skyscrapers lit like a futuristic metropolis in a science fiction novel. Times Square flashing it’s lights as I glide by, beckoning me. Irish Pubs on every corner, ready to serve me a hot steak and cold beverage.

San Diego where you fly among the architectural giants, descending through them to the runway. It’s bay glistening in a setting sun, floating my first ship, the USS Midway. On her deck the last Navy aircraft that had my name painted on it.

F-4 - Chip Shanle, pilot

F-4 – Chip Shanle, pilot

Penetrating the ever present thunderstorms laced with lightning, before plunging into a bowl of jagged mountains. Granite pinnacles that reach to the base of the violent clouds. After dodging the strobbing clouds and dark peaks, Mexico City fills the windscreen. Your reward, the El Presidente’ hotel.

New Orleans, is there a better layover? No matter what the time of night you can find a restaurant with incredible food and ice cold beer. There is no town like New Orleans. To sip coffee and eat beignet at Cafe Du Monde’ watching the world pass by St Charles square is the best start to a day I know of.

Seattle is special because it reminds me of my days flying through the mountains in an EA-6B Prowler. There is nothing that compares to screaming down a tight valley just above the trees, at 600 miles an hour, with two thousand feet of granite above you. Rolling inverted as you pop a ridge line and pulling hard down the back side as the mountain falls away into a deep canyon.


Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, I really can’t think of a bad layover. Okay the Fresno hotel currently being rehabbed….but flying over Yosemite the next morning as the mist rolls through the valley? Yes it makes it worth it.

photo (11)

Saint Louis is always at the top of my list, drifting down over the confluence of rivers at sunset is hard to beat. It is always beautiful; but most of all it means I’m home, at least for a few days.

gold river

Picking a favorite destination is almost like picking your favorite child; that I couldn’t do. But if I’m pressed to pick a favorite airborne destination then I would have to say Gulf Shores in my mighty Musketeer.


One hundred and twenty five miles an hour? Not exactly eye watering; but I love to fly at any speed and we are picking a destination not the means. And when I get there I can fly a long final approach and look out my window to my ultimate destination: Turtlecrawl on the beach, my families hideaway!

aireal beach house

New destinations await, another chapter unfolds as I prepare for training on the Boeing 777.


The entire flight of bloggers!

Feb 1: Saturday:
Eric Auxier – Adventures of Cap’n Aux
Ron Rapp – House of Rapp

Feb 2: Sunday:
Brent Owens – iFLYblog
Mark L Berry –

Feb 3: Monday:
Karlene Petitt – Flight to Success
Andrew Hartley – Smart Flight Training

Feb 4: Tuesday:
Rob Burgon –
Chip Shanle –

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6 comments on “My Favorite Destination– a Blogging in Formation Post
  1. Mark L Berry says:

    Bravo brother. Here’s to many happy celebrations on the Gulf. Cheers.

  2. Karlene says:

    I love your destinations..and thinking I want to visit the flightdeck of that F4. Sadly… the 777 might be in my future. But you are so right… there are so many! And the Gulf Shores in your musketeer…sounds like a down to earth ( so to speak) calming place to be. Good luck on your training!!!

    • Karlene;

      The Midway is a great museum; 153030 is my last jet, an f-4N. It is sitting in the wires, all painted up in Viet Nam era regalia. Alas my name is long gone!

  3. Brent says:

    Well done! Sometimes the it’s the simple places and the more sedate journey is the best. The Gulf Shores is a great place, made even greater when you fly there in your own pride-n-joy.
    As for the 777, one of my best friends is an FO in that beast. Maybe you’ll cross paths someday.