Monday, March 19, 2012

Off to OBX!

A few weeks ago, the weather cooperated and one of my students and I were able to make a cross country flight we'd been looking forward to for a while...we were off to the Outer Banks!

We navigated via pilotage and dead reckoning on the way there. Richmond (RIC) was one of our waypoints, and we flew directly over the city along the way.

The weather was gorgeous the entire way there. After a little while, we came to Elizabeth City, NC (ECG).

You can still see the blimp hangars there. They have a NOTAM out for a tethered balloon at 3000', but we didn't see anything.

We flew over First Flight (FFA). You can see the memorial really well from the air, and you can just make out the little strip they used to launch the Wright Flyer (it's the dark line at the front left part of the field).

2.2 hours after we left HWY, we were on the ground at Manteo (MQI)! It was tough, but we managed to find a parking spot. :)

Richard had called ahead to reserve the courtesy car, so after a tasty seafood lunch (including hush puppies - yum!), we stopped by to check out his house in Nags Head. You could see the ocean from his deck.

It was only a couple blocks' walk to the beach, so we walked over to see it. That's certainly one thing I miss about living in NJ - being so close to the beach!

His house is very close to the Wright Brothers' Memorial, so we decided to drive over there to check it out. They have a nice little museum with pieces from the original Wright Flyers.

One of my favorite parts was the area where they actually did the first flights. You can see the rail where they launched the Flyers just off to the left. Very cool!

Each marker represents where each successive flight landed. The fourth one is waaaaay down at the end of the path. (I wonder if he was thinking 'oh crap, don't-hit-the-trees, don't-hit-the-trees!!")

It would have been fun to spend more time there, but we had to get back to VA. We gave back the courtesy car, checked the weather, topped off the tanks, and got back in the air.

We took the time to fly over the beach after we took off. The sand dunes looked really cool from the air!

That tiny dot in the middle of the field is Harcum VOR (HCM). We did some VOR tracking on the way back until the sun glare made it too hard to see the flight instruments. The weather was gorgeous the entire day, and we landed just after sunset back at HWY. 4.5 hours total flight time...not bad!


  1. Hi, Sarah!

    It was nice working with you on Friday evening. Your voice brings a smile to my face 'cause when I hear you I'm "almost home."

    Looks like your trip to FFA and environs was a ton o' fun. You're right about the 4th flight being notably longer than the first my mind, it was the 4th flight that took the Brothers' work on 12/17/03 out of the category of 'hops' and truly into the realm of flight. Wilbur's flight doesn't get the attention it deserves.

    Best regards,


  2. Always enjoy seeing your photos reading about your adventures!