Centro de Actividades Aéreas de Rawson is the starting point to go on first-time flights over the southern Atlantic coast, getting a glimpse of Punta Tombo penguin colony...
'Can’t they think of the glory that it’ll be when we really learn to fly?', said Richard Bach in his story called 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull'. Ever since ancient times, men have looked at the sky yearning to experience the wind on their faces as they skydive, the fluttering wings, the daily routine of birds. Science has helped man discover that such discipline is not only for birds.
There is a unique proposal for those who wish to experience that freedom only lived in the air. At Centro de Actividades Aéreas de la ciudad de Rawson (C.A.A.R.) -which stands for Air Activities Center in the City of Rawson-, visitors may go on a first-time flight over this magnificent region.
Those interested in this adventure must go to the local flying club in order to establish the direction they wish to take during their flight in the company of a pilot. The rest is pure pleasure, reflection and perspective.
A first-time flight over this magnificent region
The whales side by side with their calves
The southern Atlantic coast
A new point of view
The C.A.A.R. offers several possibilities for this flight: to the north, over Punta Ninfa (Nymph's Point), Golfo Nuevo (Gulf New) or reaching the Valdés Peninsula; or to the south, where unique panoramic views of the penguin colony at Punta Tombo may be caught. In both cases, the tour may last from one to two hours, depending on the route and the atmospheric conditions.
All the aircrafts are checked by the pilots before taking off. The control systems, the engine, the instrumentation and the fuselage are verified.
The pilot told us that the Piper Comanche has a lighter low wing. In consequence, those who fly on this aircraft will experience more adrenaline, a piece of information that is highly considered when traveling with children or old people. Anyway, both airplanes are specially prepared for flights over the region to be memorable and enjoyable with the family.
Once the route is laid out, the passengers are invited to get on the aircraft so as to set out. A soft clatter on the runway, a soft inclination and passengers already see themselves in the sky, watching the airclub from a perspective they will soon become used to and will not want to abandon ever again.
Following the Patagonian coastline and flying 500 feet above the ground, passengers may observe the whales side by side with their calves, the huge penguin and sea lion colonies from the heights. A new point of view that seems to change the territory, transforming hues and letting passengers discover the secrets of the birds.
More than once, the visitors are amazed at the geographic features as seen from the sky, while explanations are provided by the experienced pilots.
When looking through the window, the feeling of freedom appears at once, just like the reflection made by Jonathan Livingston Seagull at the top of this article: from above, learning to fly, glory seems to be at an arm's reach. Or at a wing's.
Matías Castro Sahilices Jorge González
See more points of interest in Rawson