Monday, May 8, 2017


May, 2014 I published a post on flying the WACO in Sedona. Unfortunately the owner of that operation passed away and the WACO's were sold. They still do tours of Sedona and the Grand Canyon using Cessna 206's.

That being said Sedona (SEZ) is still one of my favorite airports to fly into. Normal landing is on 3 uphill and takeoff on 21 downhill if winds permit, which about 90% of the time it usually does. Pilots say it is like landing on an aircraft carrier that is not moving. Two things to remember are: SEZ sits on top of a 500 foot mesa and if windy there will be a lot of sink at the beginning of the runway. Do not aim at the Numbers as you have plenty of runway here; the other being SEZ is at 4830 feet, and especially in the summer, density altitude is even use your mixture as recommended.

There is plenty of aircraft parking and a beautiful terminal building. There used to be one of the greatest airport restaurants on the field many years ago with excellent food and prices. Someone decided to tear down their building and build a new "high class" restaurant. Unfortunately things are not the same with new ownership. Food leaves a lot to be desired, service is poor and the prices are high. This is the only negative thing I can say about the airport. People used to fly into SEZ by the droves for a breakfast run and breathtaking views, with the new restaurant activity severely declined.

An opening came up for Aviation Director at SEZ. Amanda Shankland was assistant Aviation Director in Flagstaff, AZ (FLG) working for my good friend Barney Helmick. I first met Barney when he was with the City of Phoenix Aviation Department and then Aviation Director of Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR). Barney later took the job at FLG and trained Amanda there. He must have done a super job as what Amanda is doing at SEZ is all positive for the Airport and the City.

Amanda came up with a program to rent cars at the airport for $10 and hour. One could then make a beautiful drive through the Red Rocks, have an excellent breakfast and return for $20 of rental car fees. I recommend the Red Rock Cafe for breakfast. Additionally the FBO, Red Rock Aviation, lowered their fuel price to $4.28/gl out of the truck.

The restaurants lease is up soon and hopefully a true airport restaurant will replace it. Self fuel operation is being looked at and possibly building a lager restaurant for the field. I really commend what Amanda has accomplished for general aviation (GA) at SEZ in such a short time.

 I am trying to get the same program put in at Prescott, AZ (PRC) which is about 10 miles from historic downtown. One setback for PRC is fuel is very high at the Self Serve, which means the City would have more tourism and money spent downtown and nothing at the airport as those flying in can port fuel. The other airport is FLG where there is not a restaurant available on the field for GA. FLG has a beautiful downtown area. Both PRC and FLG could greatly benefit in the summer because of their cooler temperatures. I hope that John Cox of PRC and Barney Helmick of FLG will not let Amanda show them up.

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