On a second trip down to Gulf Shores, Alabama, I had the chance to go on a camping fly-in trip with some close friends.


Owned by our friend David, Perdido Winds Airpark (AL08) was the grass airstrip we planned on using for the trip. For a grass airfield, it’s pretty large with a 3,100 foot runway that’s 100 feet wide. In total, we brought 4 planes with us on the trip: a Piper PA28 Warrior, an American Champion Scout, an Aviat Husky, and a Carbon Cub SS.

To get everyone and all the planes to the field was quite the ferrying operation. For the first run I flew with Andrew in the Piper Warrior (packed with LOTS of gear) while Haley flew the Scout with Kellie in the back seat. The flight from JKA to AL08 was quick, about 10 or 15 minutes.

After getting to the field and unpacking the planes, Haley and Kellie hopped in the back of the Piper and we flew back to JKA to pick up the Carbon Cub. Meanwhile, Rod was driving his Jeep full of gear, wood, and a firepit out to Perdido Winds. Another short flight later, we were back at Perdido Winds setting up camp before the sun went down. David in the meantime had arrived in his Husky and had already set up.

Since it was getting dark, we set up our tents and got a fire started. Dinner was great: burgers, bbq chicken, and steak (It was my first time actually enjoying the food during a camping trip – Thanks for the great cooking Rod, Andrew, and David!). Andrew took some excellent long-exposure shots at night. 

After a few hours of sitting and talking around the campfire, we headed to sleep.


Waking up the next morning to an amazing sunrise was my favorite part of the trip. The photos are pretty self-explanatory:

Once breakfast was done, we hopped in the planes and flew to Fergusson Airport (82J) to pick up David’s Decathlon for some aerobatics (But that’s for another article!). A front with rain from the Southwest was inbound in a few hours, so we raced back to Perdido Winds to pack up the gear and head back to Jack Edwards (JKA) before the the weather closed in.

We had some spare time before the weather arrived, so planes were taken up for touch and goes and a little landing competition:

As a special treat on the way back to JKA, Rod’s dog Bell flew in the back seat of the Piper with me and Andrew.

Camping trips are nice, but nothing feels better than getting back and coming home to a warm shower – Thanks everyone for bringing me along!
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

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