Top Fly-in Destinations: The Pilot’s Perspective

Boom’s certified pilots reveal their most incredible flight paths and destinations

With the right preparation and planning, pilots gain convenient access to some of the most hard-to-reach corners of the earth with a pilot license. Regardless of what personally inspires a pilot to fly, for many individuals, flying means freedom and the opportunity to conquer a challenge. 

This World Pilots’ Day, Boom employees reveal the fly-in destinations that have made earning a pilot’s license worth it. From the hair-raising routes to the backcountry adventures and vacation getaways, these are a few of Boom’s favorite pilot tales.

Where is the most memorable destination you’ve flown?

Greg Krauland, Chief XB-1 Engineer

“I flew across the country with a friend from Stockton, California to Taunton, Massachusetts. It was my first time taking a long (>300 mi) cross-country trip, and I got to see a lot of the US from the air at a much lower altitude than an airliner. The realization of how accessible the US is by small airplane made it special.”

Erin Young, XB-1 Aircraft Systems Lead

“I went to space camp in middle school and became fascinated with space and flight. I loved the idea of being in the sky in control of an aircraft. My parents would not let me train in high school, so as soon as I graduated college and got my first job, I did it myself!”

“The coolest place I’ve traveled has more to do with the flight than the location. I did spin training with my instructor after receiving my pilot’s certificate. On that flight over Wichita, we had a call come on the radio advising all pilots in the area that a tornado had touched down 60 miles north of where we were. This happened as I went into my first spin, so it was a little disconcerting, but when I recovered, we could see the entire tornado, from cloud to ground, moving it’s way through Hutchinson. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. And very eerie to see it from a plane, even from a safe distance. I’ll never forget that experience!”

Michael Tuccio, Systems Engineer

“One Summer, I flew into the Telluride airport. It’s a challenging, but gorgeous approach tucked away in the Rocky Mountains. It was on my bucket list when I moved out to Colorado for Boom. The flight was a blast and I hope to make it back out there during ski season.”

Matt Segler, Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineer and Flight Test Photographer

“The most memorable place I’ve ever flown is Roldanillo in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Every year from mid-January through mid-March, the weather in this valley is consistently perfect for cross country paragliding and 1000+ pilots from all over the world descend on this rural Colombian valley to fly big cross country flights. The general flow of the day is as follows: meet up in the local town square, hitch a ride in the back of one of the local’s trucks up to launch, launch in the morning and fly along the mountains on the west side of the valley, and then in the afternoon cross the valley and fly the mountains on the east side. On my longest flight of the trip, I was in the air over 6.5 hours and covered 94 km of distance. It’s truly magical to be soaring wingtip to wingtip with birds over beautiful mountains, valleys, and towns. At the end of the day, I’d find a field to land in, pack up my gear, and hitchhike my way back home, typically on the back of a moped! Once back in town, me and all my friends would meet up for dinner and trade stories from the day’s flights.”

“The Owen’s Valley, home of the eastern Sierras, and just a few hours north of Mojave, is another one of my favorite places to fly. You can easily reach altitudes of 16,000′ -18,000′ and soar over snow capped 14er’s. The experience of exploring entire mountain ranges from above in just a few hours is a rather absurd experience that only paragliding can enable.”

Nick Sheryka, XB-1 Chief Flight Test Engineer

“Exuma Island in the Bahamas. I spent 5 long years building an airplane in the hot desert of Southern California. In the summer of 2018, I finally crossed over the shore line in South Florida, completing my goal of flying across the USA. I continued on 200+ miles out to sea to the Bahamas and had a great vacation where I asked my wife to marry me.”

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