Ophelia - Archives 2010-2011
Flying Around Ophelia Current Pages
Celebrating Grass Roots Flying and Fun at and around
Federhart-Ophelia STOLport - VA99
- on Virginia's Northern Neck
Added 6/5/10 Updated 9/12/13. Click on images for a larger view.
December 3, 2011.
Frank Isbell stopped by in this extraordinary Super Cub 180. It is a Smith
Cub kit built by John Chandler in Florida. Recently purchased by one of Frank's
friends, Frank flew it back from Florida. With 180 HP and many of the "Alaska"
modifications, it is an impressive performer. Later, I had a chance for a
ride in the Super Cub. Wow!
November 6, 2011.
The flight line at the impomptu "Beanfield Fly-In" at the Sanford airstrip
at Coles Point, Virginia, just 20 miles up the river from Ophelia. Today nine local aviators hopped in their
vintage airplanes and
flew from Maryland and Virginia to land in a beanfield at Coles Point. I was the first to arrive
in my Chief. For more photos from the event, go
October 31, 2011.
Bob Lake and Marianne Buckley stopped in for lunch. Bob has been my good
friend since college days. We've shared many adventures - flying and
earthbound - over the years. Bob flew F-105's, F-4's and F-16's for the Air
National Guard but finds true freedom of flight in the Citabria.
Marianne, who owns the Citabria, offers
aerobatic and tailwheel transition training out of Potomac Airfield
(VKX) in Maryland. I've
had the pleasure of taking my BFR with Marianne in the Citabria, and a few years
back, Bob and I flew the Citabria to Sun 'N' Fun and back from Maryland.
Oh, the stories we could tell about that one...
October 9, 2011. Our
friend Mike Myers from Owings, Maryland stopped by in his pristine 1956
"straight tail" Cessna
172. Mike's 172 has been upgraded with a 180 HP Lycoming and constant
August 20, 2011. My
typical flight in the Chief is just to go "up" with no particular destination
other than a tour of the neighborhood. Just south of Ophelia lies the town
of Reedville, a major fishing center on the Chesapeake Bay. Reedville is
home to Omega Protein, commercial
fishers of menhaden. Here I'm flying over Omega's Reedville plant.
One can see the large menhaden boats at dock, and the grass airstrip used
by the fish spotting planes.
July 30, 2011. Okay
- so I actually took this photo on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, not at Ophelia.
But... two days later this Taylorcraft did execute a low
pass over VA99 on it's way home from Oshkosh. Our friend Stan Sweikar operates
Chesapeake Seaplanes and offers seaplane instruction in his beautiful
BC12-D. This year, in a nod to his bucket list, Stan decided to fly the
T-Craft from his home on the Chesapeake Bay to Lake Winnebago for the EAA
AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh. Quite an adventure. He joined a group of us
staying at a private home near the Oshkosh Seaplane Base. Stan was able to
moor his plane just off the backyard dock. This is the view we had each
evening as we sat on the deck sipping our cool drinks after a day at the fly-in.
The day after our return from Oshkosh via Southwest Airlines, Stan buzzed VA99
before crossing the Potomac, letting us know he made it back
from OSH. Carrying extra fuel for the trip, he was able to make it all the
way back with only one stop in Ohio.
July 18, 2011. These photos capture the joy of flying around the Chesapeake Bay region.
Michael Kuhnert operates Bay Aviation
and offers instruction and rides out of
Hummel Airport (W75). We
often see his beautiful Fairchild PT-19 flying over Ophelia. Today I took
my biennial flight review in the PT-19. The Fairchild is a docile trainer,
with the feel of a heavier airplane - quite different than my Aeronca. During
today's flight, we saw a bald eagle flying off the port wing. After an
hour of instruction and practice landings at another airport, we returned to W75
to land on runway 19. Needless to say, I was too busy to take photos. These photos by Travis Faudree,
used with permission, were taken on another flight, but they reflect today's flight
July 17, 2011.
George Washington Slept Here! Today I flew the Chief southwest from Ophelia to the
Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (JGG). Located near the James River, JGG is
located near historic Colonial Williamsburg. Departing JGG I flew over the
historic section, with the Duke of Gloucester Street shown in the center of the
photo above. My Garmin GPS recorded the flights as .8 for the flight to
Williamsburg and .7 for the return.
June 25, 2011. We had
fly-in visitors again today. This is the perfect spot for taildraggers.
Left to right: Citabria, Piper J5-A, Aeronca Champ.
Memorial Day, May 30,2011.
A special day at VA99 with a fly-in of Cubs and Champs. We had six Cubs,
two Champs, and one amphibian Aventura II on the field. For more photos and
details, go to the Memorial
Day Fly-In page.
May 26, 2011. Fred Celece
from Annapolis, Maryland flew into VA99 with his RV-8 powered by a Lycoming
May 26, 2011. Bruce
Raymond and Fred Celece prepare for takeoff before performing and impromptu air
show in their RV-8's.
May 25, 2011. Eugene
Michel from Santa Rosa, California, tries out the cockpit of my Aeronca Chief
during a visit to Ophelia. Uncle Gene gets credit for opening my eyes to
the possibility of flight when, in 1973 I flew with him on a trip from Santa
Rosa, California to Casa Grande, Arizona. The airplane was a Cherokee 235
Pathfinder. It was this flight that convinced me to pursue a pilot's
license 38 years ago. What a pleasure it was to have a visit from my Uncle
Gene and Aunt Carole!
May 21, 2011. On
short final for VA99 upon returning home after a trip across the
I flew with Mike Roe in his
Stinson to the
43rd Annual Antique Fly-in at Horn Point Aerodrome, Cambridge. Maryland.
Our route led us along the western shore of the Potomac River and just to the
north of the Patuxent River Naval
Air Station before crossing the Chesapeake. Beautiful weather was the
rule of the day and a nice turnout of planes greeted us at Horn Point.
Mike's Stinson was awarded the title of Grand Champion Classic for the event.
May 21, 2011. We find
shade under the wing at the Horn Point Fly-in. That's Mike on the left.
Photo by Steve Greer.
April 29, 2011.
Today was a perfect one for flying. I took the Chief up for a tour of the
neighborhood. This is the view off the south end of the runway, with
the Little Wicomico River front and center. A 10 minute bicycle ride down
the road in front of our house will take you to the point in the center of the
February 17, 2011.
It was a great day for flying on the Northern Neck of Virginia. I was
thrilled to get some right seat time in Stan Sweikar's beautiful Cessna 195.
There's something special about the sound of a round engine!
Photos courtesy of Sukey Starkey.
November 14, 2010.
Today was a beautiful day in Ophelia, with clear skies, a light breeze, and
temperatures reaching the mid sixties. Neighbor Mike Roe pulled his
Stinson out of the hangar and did some flying. Sadie barked encouragement from
the ground. Photo by Sukey Starkey. It was also a good day for
me to fly, so I pushed the Aeronca out and put time on the hour meter. The
Northern Neck of Virginia was beautiful, resplendent in fall colors. I
lose points for forgetting to take my camera with me.
July 22, 2010.
Another hangar is going up at VA99. Nicely nestled among the trees, this
one belongs to Nick Borst. It will be the same size, 50' x 50' x 14',
as my hangar.
July 17, 2010. On a
hot summer day, VA99 resident Don Johnson back taxis after landing in his Cessna
177B Cardinal. Aviation is a small world. Don and I were both active
members of EAA Chapter 524 in Frederick, Maryland, and both ended up here at
VA99. Don and his wife Rita have one of the waterfront lots off the south
end of the runway. Don is building an RV-7A.
July 17, 2010. Oh, Boy,
Visitors! Mike Buckingham and Jack Stickley flew this Maule M-5-235C,
N4464Y, into VA99 today. With a 235 horsepower Lycoming O-540, the
Maule has no problem getting out on a warm day. The Maule, once owned by
Jack, now owned by Mike, is based at Deale Airport (MD22), on the western shore
of the Chesapeake Bay.
July 12, 2010. Oh
Boy, Airplanes! Sadie the airport dog loves the sound of airplanes,
watches each take off and landing, and keeps an eye on the airstrip for us.
Sadie belongs to Mike and Dee Roe, or maybe its the other way around. Photo by
June 25, 2010. Look
what showed up in my back yard this morning! Dennis Crenshaw, my friend
from Richmond, Virginia, stopped by for a visit. N6102M is a Stinson 108-3
powered by the original 165 HP Franklin.
June 18, 2010. On a
clear and calm evening, Mike Roe and I decided it was a perfect time to fly.
As I circle overhead in the Chief, Mike taxis his Stinson to the south end of of
the airstrip for a takeoff to the north.
June 4, 2010. A
visitor to VA99 - N488RV is an experimental Van's RV-8 owned by Bruce Raymond of
Annapolis, Maryland. VA99 resident Don Johnson is building an RV-7A and
Bruce stopped by to lend a hand.
May 25, 2010. Mike Roe taxis out in
May 20, 2010. Mike
Roe taxis in after landing in his Stinson 108-1, NC8502. This was his
first flight in the Stinson, which had been ferried in from Wisconsin earlier in
2010. On downwind in the Chief, looking east with the
Chespeake Bay in the background. There are now five hangars on
the east side of the runway.
My hangar is near the north end, south of the church.
Towards the south, a lot has been cleared for a sixth hangar.
2010. Ophelia is located on a peninsula known as
the Northern Neck of Virginia. Historically, the
area has been known primarily for fishing and agriculture, and
for being the birthplace of several of the founding fathers,
including George Washington. While there are no public
use airports on "the Neck," there are a number of private
grass airstrips. On a sunny morning I flew the Chief
locally and overflew Serenity Farm, 3GV3, located just 3.3
miles northwest of VA99.
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