Fly the Big Sky! A Pilot's Guide to Montana's Prairie Towns and Mountain Hideaways by Galen Hanselman is the third in the author's series of popular pilot guides following Fly Idaho! and Air Baja! Containing 152 color photographs of 76 airports, plus hundreds of black and white historical photographs, Big Sky! is divided into three sections: air, ground and information. The air section contains overall aerial shots of each airport and the surrounding area, an airport diagram and pertinent information, such as coordinates, elevation, accommodations, fuel availability and more. I took particular note of the remarks for Schafer Meadows, a grass strip in the Great Bear Wilderness area of northwestern Montana: "Gopher holes, horses, deer and moose on and around runway. No fuel, no repairs, no services, no phone. Recommended for experienced pilots only."
The ground section lists local attractions, such as fishing, camping and lodges, plus an illustrated, well-researched history and folklore of the area. In the information section, Hanselman offers advice on backcountry flying, airplane camping, bear awareness, flyfishing, an explanation of his Relative Hazard Index (RHI) and a lot more. As in his previous guides, Hanselman assigns each unpaved airport an RHI number that indicates how challenging it is compared to other airports. Hanselman has flown his Cessna 182 into all of these airports, and he knows his stuff. John Plummer and Judith Guryan provide the principal photography. Published by Q.E.I. Publishing, the book sells for $49.95, plus shipping and handling and can be ordered by calling 800/574-9702.