A Chicken in Every Pot?a Plane in Every Garage?
You may be familiar with Herbert Hoover\’s actual 1928 Presidential campaign slogan (“A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage”), but who would have thought a variation of it would apply to approximately 500 communities in the United States today? Variously called fly-in communities, residential airparks, or airpark communities, this is a lifestyle that may intrigue those who yearn for the wild blue yonder, and want to park their plane in their backyard.
Take Jimmy Cash, for example. An American Airline pilot, Jimmy, 42, lives in Pecan Plantation (www.pecanplantation.com), an amenity-loaded community in Granbury, Texas. In addition to two golf courses, a marina, club house, swimming pool, tennis courts, equestrian center, and village center, Pecan Plantation also boasts a 3,600 foot lighted and paved airstrip. According to Jimmy, about 150 of the 2,000 residences have direct access to the runway. His own home has a hangar, and he\’s working on building a T-18 Thorp (an all-metal homebuilt aircraft). With about six percent of pilots in the United States female, this type of lifestyle isn\’t just a male phenomenon – Jimmy noted that two out of three of his closest neighbors are women pilots.
Mountain Air (http://www.mountainaircc.com/), located in Burnsville, North Carolina, is an airpark community about a half hour\’s drive from Asheville, with a 2,875-foot airstrip included among its many amenities, and the spectacular backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Or, how about Jumbolair Aviation Estates (http://www.jumbolair.com/) in Ocala, Florida – home to John Travolta and his Boeing 707 and Gulfstream jet (you can sample the lifestyle by staying at the Jumbolair Inn and Country Club).
So, how do you locate this type of community? Some communities, such as Pecan Plantation, are an airplane community within a community. Others have a greater emphasis on the fly-in aspect. Some websites to investigate: http://www.airporthomes.com/, www.floridaairporthomes.com, http://www.livingwithyourplane.com/, www.thirtythousandfeet.com, and www.flyinhomes.com. If you\’re female, check out the Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots (http://www.ninety-nines.org/).
“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” If this quote, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, echoes your feelings, check out a fly-in community
Jan Cullinane is the co-author of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale).