Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Flight to the Oldest Continuously Operating Airport

DC airspace can be a hassle. Especially if you want to fly into three specific airports that require a vetting process and a "PIN" to enter. I always knew the horrible effect these government regulations had on the airports, but it was always something in the back of my mind because I had yet to see it with my own eyes. Bob has a PIN (I have not gone through the long hassle to get one yet) that is required to visit Potomac, Hyde, and College Park airports within the DC airspace so we called up flight service, filed an SFRA flight plan, told them the pin and headed on our way to College Park, KCGS. 

Bob took the reigns for the flight to CGS and we decided to go "low and slow" with a window open. Staying under 120 knots, the Glasair can have the sliding windows open, which would mean the window on Bob's side. The sun was quickly warming up the earth below and it felt great (albeit much louder) to feel the crisp air above in our face. Just 10 minutes and 33nm later we were landing at CGS with a hazy view of DC off my wing.

College Park is the oldest continuously operating airport in the world. The airport was once bustling and the center of the growing aerospace industry. Now, it sat still. We were the only airplane coming and going during that time period on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Our plan for the day was to visit the College Park Aviation Museum, just follow the little blue and yellow stamped airplanes on the ground from the FBO and you are there. Admission is just $2 for kids and $4 for adults, but the FBO gave us some free passes. For the price, I was shocked at the quality and beauty of the museum we toured.

Airplanes hung from the ceiling and were displayed across the main floor. Above, a balcony overlooked everything had had a lot more fun facts, including a wall about women's involvement in WWII. There was even hands on activities for the kids, including a pilot dress up area and a airplane they could climb in. I absolutely adored watching a father try to convince his young boy to go look at other things in the museum-but he kept wanting to get back in that airplane!

Before leaving, we passed some kids learning about airplanes before heading into the birthday party room. They were all excited to learn about aviation and see all the planes. I picked up a shirt and a sticker in the gift shop. They had a great supply of children's activities but also had some fashionable shirts, books, and DVDs for the adults as well.

The flight home, we opted for a closed window and I stole the controls. It was a sweltering but short hop back to FDK. I had wished to do some pattern work, but upon a greaser of a landing, said let's get our butts in some air conditioning! If you want to see more pictures from this little hop, check them out here.

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