Hampton Roads has a new and spacious terminal building with a pilot’s lounge, a restaurant on the field and a pilot shop. It’s a fairly easy airport to fly to. Just watch out for the very tall radio towers if coming from the north. The tallest tower is as high as 1300 ft.
Blue Skies Grille has very good reviews and very good views of the runway as well. I would definitely give it a high rating for the location and friendliness of the people but unfortunately for me, the menu was very vegetarian unfriendly. Just one Greek Goddess salad in the whole menu! Although, they were good enough to accommodate me and whip up grilled cheese sandwich and half the Greek Goddess. And maybe, just maybe, Karen will take my suggestion to add more vegetarian items to the menu.
Three aircraft, with five pilots and one passenger made it comfortably there. It was a chilly, but a gorgeous day for flying. After lunch we hopped over to the In the Air Pilot Shop browsing through their collection of books (second hand and cheap), pilot supplies and other memorabilia.
The return was a breeze, except for getting lost at the airport trying to find the way to the runway and boring holes in the sky, outside the GRUBY gate, while we tried to grab the attention of Potomac Approach. Hampton Roads has two intersecting runways. While there is a distinct taxiway alongside runway 2/20, the path to runway 28 is less obvious. After some confusion, we finally followed a Mooney who fortunately for us, self-announced his intention to taxi to 28. The taxiways on the other end of the Terminal appear to be headed off to the hangers, and are not easily visible if you new to the area. After zigzagging around, we finally made it to the runway and departed.
The DC Special Flights Rules Area, has well defined gates that pilots need to use prior to entering the region. Clearances need to be picked up prior to entering a gate. We flew through the GRUBY gate for the first time, skirting in between two restricted areas, flying over Quantico and made it back safely!