Richmond, VA

Monday Morning Musings

Oh the joys of winter weather flying!

This past week, Snovember descended on Buffalo dumping almost 7feet of snow.

7 feet! And it is still fall and only November.

In the mid Atlantic, we are fortunate that we only experienced some cold temperatures. The Arctic vortex is expected to play havoc with us again this winter.

The weekend was forecast to be sunny. Lately, night temperatures have been dipping into the 20’s. Arriving at the airport for our next stamp collecting flight, we found the aircraft with a fine layer of frost. This brought back memories of my Edwards Air Force Base Flyout when Anne and I, spent an hour or so, frantically scraping frost from the airplane surfaces using credit cards, paper towels and rags.

ric1This time we did not have the same urgency as the Edwards AFB flight, but Linda and I spent a good hour, positioning the airplane tail into the sun, clearing the frost with paper towels and preheating the engine. The trip south was squirrely and bumpy, but we made it in good time to Hanover airport.

Stamp collected, our next destination was Richmond International Airport(RIC), a mere 10nm from Hanover, where we picked our rental car to visit two museums: Virginia Aviation Museum and Virginia Science Museum.The Virginia Aviation museum, is a short walk from the Richmond Jet Center. It has an SR-71, an F-14 Tomcat and 38 vintage aircraft on display along with hands-on exhibits, airplane engines, and World War II diorama.

Six people, with four pilots, two passengers and two aircraft had comfortably made it to Richmond to collect stamps and some hanger flying,

ric2There is no restaurant at Richmond airport, but there is a Periodic Table, cafe and deli at the Virginia Science Museum.  There are also many restaurants on the same street as the science museum that might offer other alternatives if you have the time. After a tour of the Virginia Aviation museum, we headed out to the Science museum for lunch and stamp.

The last stop of our day was at Kent County Airport, a short hop from RIC.  As the afternoon progressed the winds had started to die down and the return was a smooth ride and we made it back just as the sun was getting ready to set.

ric33 Airports + 2 Museums: 5 more stamps in the bag 🙂

Six more to the list :-)

Virginia Aviation Ambassador Program

Although I heard about the VA Aviation Ambassador Program 2-3 years ago and got started on it, I haven’t been diligent about carrying my book and collecting the stamps.

A few months ago, a few of got talking about it and discussed the idea of planning some group trips together so we could enjoy the joy of flying, collect stamps, hanger fly and grab a $100 ham(veg) burger as well. We were serious about this and even set a goal of finishing the task by summer 2016.

jfw_fogmess_chart

Although it hasn’t always worked out as planned (See Fly the Five), we have continued to pursue the stamp collection either individually or as a group. It is a lot of fun and I am all for putting my mark on an airport by landing there.

Although the weekend looked promising, the day started out Low IFR with mist and overcast skies at 200ft. But as noon arrived, the fog burned away and it was one of those rare, clear, blue sky days in the Mid-Atlantic. The high pressure area meant haze, still it was an excellent end of summer day for a flight.

Although we had hoped to grab some lunch at Williamsburg, before scouring some neighboring airports for stamps, due to the late departure, Linda and I re-planned and sort out 5 new airports where we still hadn’t collected stamps.

Gordonsville (GVE) — Oh-Oh, small, narrow runway! We greased it first attempt 🙂 If you are there weekends, there is BBQ and hot dogs, courtesy of locals who just enjoy pottering about their airplanes, hanger flying and chatting up the visitors! Stamps are in the Mailbox, if you don’t see anyone.

Louisa County Airport (LKU)— We just missed the airshow, but we were lucky the airport was back open. Nice FBO. Did I say hot dogs? With airshow and locals enjoying aviation, there were hot dogs for buying.

Lake Anna (7W4) — Another small runway, but I am proud to say we made it a short landing! No soul to chat, but stamps in the mail box. Lake Anna is a fun place to hang out if you have friends with boats (See Fast Boats, Slow Planes). There is a fun restaurant on the lake but you need a ride either in a car or a boat!

Shannon (EZF)– Nice airport, with new owner and a soon to be there snack bar, in the next few weeks. Just outside the SFRA, check it out in a month or so…

Stafford (RMN)– Nice big runway, new terminal building and a new flight school all waiting to increase the aviation activity there. Stafford is also just outside the SFRA.

Manassas (HEF)– Nice airport, FBO, flight schools. No cafe on the field, but a short drive away, there are some restaurants. There is Hertz rent-a-car on the field. Towered and inside SFRA.