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12 Reasons To Go Flying In Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is centered in the middle of the Gulf Coast along the Gulf of Mexico, with easy access to New Orleans, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi. Here's why you'll love flying there:


1) Historic Forts

Flying down the coast, you'll spot historic Forts such as Fort Morgan, Alabama, which was built in 1832 to protect the entrance to Mobile Bay.

2) Jack Edwards Airport

Use Jack Edwards Airport (KJKA) as a base to explore the rest of the Gulf Coast. It's an exciting airport in the summer, with flight training, banner towing, corporate jets, and two FBOs on-field.

3) Dauphin Island

Landing at the Dauphin Island Airport (4R9) is about as close to landing on an aircraft carrier as you can get.

4) Sunrise/Sunset

Since the beach runs East to West, flying at either sunrise or sunset will give you great photo opportunities over the beach and ocean.

5) Fun Instructors And Rental Aircraft

Do you remember Rod Kellogg and Haley Howard from our "Aviation Careers" series? They're located out of the Jack Edwards Airport; go on a checkout flight with them in this Piper Warrior and rent it for $115 per hour, wet.

6) Beach Airports

The Destin Airport in Florida (KDTS) is a great spot to visit and top off your fuel if you want to fly an approach right over the beach.

7) Lighthouses

The Sand Island Lighthouse (just Southwest of Gulf Shores, Alabama) was first built in 1838. Given its remote location and constant erosion, it can be found on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List as one of the most endangered lighthouses in the country.

8) Fly Around Oil Rigs

Starting just a few miles offshore, you'll find plenty of oil rigs to fly around. As I found out, the people working on the rigs love it when pilots fly by; all of the workers came outside to the railings to wave and take pictures.

9) Meet New Pilots

If you hang out around one of the local airports, you're sure to meet some pretty interesting pilots. And with the generosity you'll find in most pilots, you might even get a ride in an unusual airplane.

10) The Weather

People in Gulf Shores put on their heavy coats when it's 50 degrees outside. Along the Gulf Coast, you'll find hot summers and warm winters.

11) Airport Hopping

There are plenty of airports dotting the Gulf Coast. Take a day to do some airport hopping and explore the area.

12) A "Grassroots" Aviation Community

Southern hospitality isn't a myth. You'll find a warm, welcoming aviation community along the Gulf Coast that's all about flying with flip flops on.


Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and commercial pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He holds multi-engine and instrument ratings, and is an aviation student at the University of North Dakota. He's the author of the articles, quizzes and lists you love to read every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures at http://www.swaynemartin.com.

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