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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Director of Flight Operations Receives Water Salute

   The Director of Flight Operations and Safety, Steve Harris, will retire in February after five years with the Department.
   The Director of Maintenance, Jeff Taylor, coordinated an honorary water salute for Steve's last flight with DOAV. As you can see in the photo, two fire trucks make an arch of water as the airplane passes through. The staff gathered outside despite the cold weather to congratulate Steve.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Virginia is one of the two test sites for the Aurora Orion UAS

The U.S. Air Force has awarded a new $48 million contract to Aurora Flight Sciences for the continued development of the Orion Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The new contract funds the development of a certified version of Orion that will be suitable for deployment anywhere in the world. The work will be performed in Columbus, Mississippi, and Manassas, Virginia.

Orion is a twin-engine high performance UAS that can stay in the air over 100 hours at a time with payloads in excess of 1,000 pounds. Development of the Orion started in 2006 and its first flight was in August 2013.

In December 2014, the Orion established the current UAS world endurance record with an 80-hour, 2-minute and 52-second flight. A single Orion UAS can perform two days of persistent surveillance when operating from bases over 3,000 miles away from the target of interest.

Boeing acquired the Aurora in October 2017, giving the company the much needed financial and sales leverage.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Virginia Department of Aviation Hosts Safety Week

The Topic is Non-Towered Case Studies: What Went Wrong?

Hosted by Tom Curran at 7pm


Monday, May 1st at the Virginia Air & Space Museum, 600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669

Tuesday, May 2nd at Culpeper Regional Airport National Capital Squadron Hangar, 12517 Beverly Ford Road, Brandy Station, VA 22714

Wednesday, May 3rd at Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport,             1601 Tech Center Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060

Thursday, May 4th at Virginia Department Aviation Hangar at 5702 Gulfstream Road, Richmond, VA 23250


Tom is a contract instructor for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute. He started flying at Seattle’s Boeing Field in 1978 and holds ATP, CFII/MEI, and SES ratings. His early exploits included instructing in Florida and Alaska. After college, he helped produce Alaska’s first Aviation System Plan and several airport master plans. Tom joined the USAF in 1984 and served as an Instructor and Evaluator in the F-15C and B-1B. His adventures included tours in Europe, Japan, and Southwest Asia. His “day jobs” included Commander of a B-1B squadron and Director of a NATO Air Operations Center. He retired in 2010 after serving as Deputy Commander of the DoD‘s Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence. His credentials include degrees from Embry-Riddle and Florida Institute of Technology. A devoted airport bum, he lives in Gig Harbor, WA, and WILL fly for food!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Virginia Pilot Wins Award At Sun N Fun

W. Lee Hussey, II, Virginia pilot and Chairmen of the Blue Ridge Regional Airport Authority was awarded Custom Grand Champion for his 1960 Piper Comanche PA-24-250 at Sun N Fun.

The Sun N Fun event held annually in Lakeland, Florida is known as “Spring break for Pilot’s”, but there has been no break for Lee who has spent many hours and a lot of hard work customizing and detailing his 1960 Comanche. This year all that hard work paid off because he was awarded Grand Champion in the Contemporary Category. He was given a plaque and was recognized among his peers at the awards ceremony on April 8th.

Judging consists of the following categories; Homebuilt, Lite Plane, Seaplane, Rotorcraft, Ultralights, Warbirds and Vintage aircraft. Vintage aircraft is broken down into smaller categories to include antique, classic and contemporary aircraft.

People fly in from all over the world to show off their aircraft and passion for aviation and Sun N Fun brings together past, present and future aviation lovers.

Lee Hussey (on far right) receiving his plaque

Lee Hussey and Greg Taulbee in front of Lee's 1960 Comanche

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pre-check credentials available through DMV

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have teamed up to provide an exciting and convenient service that will be valuable to airport officials in Virginia.
Virginians can now apply for TSA Pre® and Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) at eight DMV offices throughout the Commonwealth, thanks to a partnership with TSA contractor MorphoTrust USA. DMV is the first motor vehicle agency in the nation authorized to offer these federal credentials.
These credentials are particularly useful for frequent air travelers and trucking companies that require TWIC for their drivers and in many of the areas where DMV is offering TSA services, customers would’ve previously had to travel great lengths to get them.
Although walk-ins are welcome, the simplest way to start the process is to schedule an appointment at or  

Monday, January 30, 2017

Drones Used to Search for Missing Red Panda from Virginia Zoo

     The search continues for Sunny, the Virginia Zoo’s missing Red panda. The Zoo started Friday morning with drone observation of an area of interest behind the Zoo’s Asian animal exhibits. The drone footage is under review.
     The search for Sunny has continued internally with ZooCrew volunteers and staff who will build surveillance into their daily activities. The Virginia Zoo will not be organizing additional public search parties at this time, but encourages members of the community to look within their neighborhoods and backyards, checking their own garages and sheds, under porches and in the eves of any outbuildings. 

     The Zoo asks that any sightings of Sunny be sent to the Virginia Zoo Hotline, by calling 757-777-8799. If not immediately answered please leave a detailed message - your name, location and animal description. In addition, please text photos of the animal you are observing to the Hotline. Do not try to touch, feed or capture Sunny but do try to keep her in your sight at all times if possible.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hands-On Research Experience Available for Virginia Community College Students

Virginia community college sophomores can once again apply for paid NASA research experiences through the Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s (VSGC) STEM Takes Flight Build-Fly-Learn NASA Research Experiences for Virginia’s Community College Students program. The VSGC and the Virginia Community College System in partnership with NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore anticipate offering at least 23, ten-week, paid, summer research experiences for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors. The research experience takes place during the summer of 2017. This is the program’s third year.  
Students selected to participate in Stem Takes Flight NASA Research Experiences will work directly with NASA research advisors on diverse projects for NASA Langley Research Center’s Research and Engineering Directorates and NASA Wallops Flight Facility.  Students will be selected for projects such as wind tunnel experiments/data analysis, small satellite hardware development, unmanned aerial systems, and environmental and water quality projects and more.
Qualified applicants are undergraduate STEM majors, including those pursuing technician degrees, who are at least a rising sophomore and not graduating prior to May or June of 2017. They must be a US Citizen, at least 18 years of age, and a full or part-time student taking a minimum of 6-9 credit hours. Selected students will receive a $5,000 stipend. Assistance in locating safe affordable housing is provided upon request.
The application deadline is February 10, 2017.  Learn more and apply online at