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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Delta Airlines to Begin 50 Seat Jet Service from Charlottesville (CHO) to LaGuardia, NY (LGA) in Summer 2012

Delta Air Lines and US Airways recently won approval to transfer takeoff and landing rights at New York’s LaGuardia and Washington D.C.‘s Reagan National airports. Under the agreement, Delta acquired 132 slot pairs (take off and landings) at LaGuardia from US Airways and US Airways acquired 42 slot pairs at Reagan National, as well as the rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2015.
CHO’s current service to LGA was among those slots traded. Delta Airlines has announced that CHO will continue with service to LGA and will upgrade the flight to a 50 seat regional jet aircraft. The airline will be building LGA into a domestic hub and recognizes the important business connection between New York City and Charlottesville.
“Delta’s recent decision to serve Charlottesville with a regional jet to New York is great news for the Central Virginia region. With jet service to hubs such as Atlanta, Charlotte, and Chicago and soon to be New York, along with the daily flights to Philadelphia and Dulles, CHO will continue to provide the most convenient gateway to the world for Central Virginia, “ said Barbara Hutchinson, Executive Director of Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.  “It was a competitive process to keep New York service in Charlottesville and there are many communities who have lost service due to the slot trades between US Airways and Delta Airlines. The scheduled flight times to New York City this summer are perfect for business travelers and tourists alike”, she further stated.
The roundtrip service will begin July 11, 2012 departing at 7:00 a.m. with an 8:45 a.m. arrival time in New York (LGA). It will the depart LGA at 9:45 p.m. with an 11:30 p.m. arrival time in Charlottesville (CHO).
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is a non-hub commercial airport with four airlines serving Central Virginia with direct service to six major destinations and multiple one-stop flights worldwide. For more information and the latest travel news, visit

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 Virginia Aviation Photo Contest

It’s that time of year again. Enter your amazing pictures in the Virginia Department of Aviation’s 2011 Photo Contest.

Winners will be featured in the 2012 Virginia Aviation Calendar!

Contest rules:

• Photos must have been taken at an aviation event held at a local airport in the Commonwealth of Virginia within the last three years -- events can include air shows, fly-ins, open houses, etc. --and not previously published.

• A person may submit a maximum of 12 photos for the contest. Entry forms and releases must be fully completed for the photo to be considered.

• All entries must be received by December 21, 2011.


• All entries will be judged by an impartial panel. Winners will be featured in the 2012 Virginia Aviation Calendar, as well as the DOAV Newsletter, Virginia Aviation, the DOAV Web site, the Virginia Aviation News blog and through DOAV social media.

Reproduction Rights:

• Photos submitted to the contest may be used by the Virginia Department of Aviation to promote aviation in Virginia. All entries become and remain the property of the Virginia Department of Aviation and may be used without permission or credit. CDs will not be returned.

How to submit entries:

• Only digital entries will be accepted. Photos should be taken at the highest resolution possible (minimum 1200x1600 pixels). Preferred format is .jpg or .gif. Do not retouch photos using photo editing software. A completed entry form and model release (if needed) should be submitted with each photo. E-mail entries and forms to OR mail a CD to:

Virginia Department of Aviation
Attn: Jessica Cowardin
5702 Gulfstream Road
Richmond, VA 23250

Feel free to pass this on! The contest is open to everyone.

If you have any questions or need a release form, e-mail me at, or call 804-236-3631.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Virginia Completes Study of Commercial Space Flight Facility

Governor Bob McDonnell today released a study on the economic competitiveness of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA). The study, commissioned in response to the 2011 Virginia Appropriation Act, reviewed the governance, organization and competitive landscape for the VCSFA in order to identify the necessary steps to make the Mid Atlantic Spaceport (MARS), located on Wallops Island, the best commercial space launch facility in the country. The study was conducted by KPMG Corporate Finance.

Speaking about the report, Governor McDonnell said "As home to one of only four facilities licensed by the FAA to send rockets into orbit, the Wallops Flight Facility at MARS has the potential to become the leading commercial space flight facility in the United State, all while creating much needed jobs and economic development in all corners of the Commonwealth. With our tremendous educational institutions, manufacturing capabilities, workforce, and ranking as the number one state in the nation in which to do business, the recommendations contained in this report will help Virginia seize a growing portion of this critical sector. Opportunities abound for Virginia in today's commercial space flight industry. "

The report identifies a number of findings related to the VCSFA and makes seven key recommendations designed to enhance the economic competitiveness of Virginia's commercial space flight industry.
  • Make the capital investment necessary to turn MARS into a multi-use facility and attract new customers.
  • The VCSFA should develop market-based usage cost rates that reflect the infrastructure, site, facilities, and range equipment at MARS.
  • The VCSFA must focus on a long range strategy for MARS.
  • The Board of Directors should be restructured to reflect the mission, purpose and size of the VCSFA.
  • The VCSFA should reevaluate and refresh agreements with other entities.
  • The VCSFA staff and organizational structure should reflect the strategic direction.
"Virginia's space industry currently contributes $7.6 billion in annual direct economic output and supports over 28,000 jobs," Governor McDonnell continued. "Given the job creation and economic development potential surrounding MARS, I will be submitting a promotion bill this session of the General Assembly to implement the report's recommendations. The VCSFA has the potential to become a major economic force in the Commonwealth. We must take the steps to ensure that this occurs."

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority was created in 1995 by the General Assembly to oversee the development of the commercial space flight industry in the Commonwealth. In 1997, The Federal Aviation Administration granted the VCSFA one of only four licenses to launch rockets into Earth orbit. In the years following its creation, the VCSFA has worked closely with the General Assembly to enact a number of policies that lead the FAA to recognize Virginia as "the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to supporting commercial space."

"Since the VCSFA's creation, Virginia has become a leader in commercial space flight," said Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton. "We look forward to working with the General Assembly this session to implement the initiatives recommended in KPMG's report and take the steps necessary to ensure the continued success of the commercial space industry in Virginia."

Copies of the report can be found at:


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Virginia Aviation Board allocates funds to airports

The Virginia Aviation Board met on February 17, 2011 in Richmond to review funding recommendations for Commonwealth Airport Fund projects. Moneys allocated include $1,522,468 in air carrier entitlement funds, $1,139,449 in air carrier/reliever discretionary funds and $114,908 in general aviation discretionary funds.

Nine projects were funded including $2,568,728 ($1,522,468 entitlement; $1,046,260 discretionary) for Concourse A Apron Expansion (Non-AIP) (Construction) at Richmond International Airport - this matches $10.5 million in FAA funding - and $69,251 for Jet A Fueling System (Design/Construction) at Luray Caverns Airport.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Journey of a Virginia Aviation Ambassador

It’s been a busy fall for Virginia Aviation Ambassadors. We’ve just distributed 11 leather jackets for our gold level recipients and ordered 9 more jackets for our newest ambassadors.

I always enjoy hearing the adventures that are guaranteed in the journey of becoming a Virginia Aviation Ambassador and this one in particular.

Kathryn Hitchcock began the program in 2005 and got her first stamp at her “home” airport Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport (BCB).

“I honestly don’t think I ever dreamed I would complete the program,” she said. It was just something that was kind of fun to do, as long as the airports were fairly close.”

Eventually, Kathryn made it a personal challenge to reach the silver level. She made her way to the Virginia Department of Aviation in May 2010 to claim her bronze and silver-level prizes and then decided to rest awhile to decide whether or not to complete the program.

The last six airports are what she considers the most challenging of her journey, because “each would take a special (and long) trip with no purpose other than to get the stamps,” she said.

But as they say, with the greatest challenge comes the greatest reward, and Kathryn finished the program in August and received her leather jacket soon after. She says her only regret is not taking more pictures along the way.

Congratulations again Kathryn Hitchcock, ambassador #272.

For more information about the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors program visit our website.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Activities and Rain Checks

Despite the cold and rain forecasted this weekend,

Tappahannock-Essex County Airport's 2nd Annual Fly-In Open House is scheduled for Saturday, October 29th 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

New Kent's Halloween Festival of Flight has been rescheduled to Sunday, October 30th 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  NOTE: This is a change!

Also, this weekend:

The Flying Circus' last airshow of 2011
(Sunday, October 30th  2:30 - 4:30 p.m.)

Campbell Field Airport's "Soup on Sunday" has been cancelled.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's official...

I have accepted the Public Relations Specialist position here at DOAV. What does that mean for you? More frequent updates! Not only here, but on facebook and twitter as well. Please send me your breaking news, press releases and story ideas: (804) 236-3631 or

Make sure you subscribe to get the most up-to-date news and information in Virginia Aviation! Enter your email address in the link to the right and every time there's a new post, you'll get a notice. Also, don't forget to friend us on facebook and follow us on twitter.

What's on tap this week? Career Days.

7th Annual Aviation Academy College and Career Fair
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 from 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Aviation Academy- Denbigh High School, Newport News, VA

26th Annual Rotary Aviation Career Day
Thursday, October 27, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Virginia Aviation Museum, Sandston, VA

In addition, The Department of Aviation is once again promoting several aviation education programs for teachers and students in the Commonwealth. The Aviation Teachers Grant Program offers educators in grades K-12 the opportunity to apply for a grant (up to $250) for aviation-related classroom projects. The John R. Lillard Aviation Scholarship Program and Willard G. Plentl, Sr. Aviation Scholarship Program offer scholarships tor Virginia high school seniors. Virginia is also once again participating in the International Aviation Art Contest.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Aviation Safety Week is October 3-6, 2011

Fall Aviation Safety Week events begin next week. The program entitled, "Say Again? Radio Communication Done Right", is presented by Mark Grady.

Are you stymied by radio chatter every time you fly? Does everybody else get “cleared direct” and you don’t? The Air Safety Institute digs deeper into radio communication in this information-packed seminar. Hear the other side of the story from air traffic controllers. Find out how to increase your margin of safety through effective communication with ATC. Don’t miss this informative safety seminar designed to improve your communication skills and decrease your workload as a pilot.

Seminars will be presented at four locations across the Commonwealth October 3-6 from 7-9 p.m.

Monday, October 3, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport
AVNET General Aviation Terminal
77 Aviation Circle
Weyers Cave, VA 24486

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
City Palace
9720 Capital Court Suite 106
Manassas, VA 20110

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Virginia Aviation Museum
Richmond Int'l. Airport
5701 Huntsman Road
Richmond, VA 23250

Thursday, October 6, 2011
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Virginia Air & Space Center
600 Settlers Landing Road
Hampton, VA 23669

Virginia Aviation Safety Week began in 1981 when the DOAV recognized there was a need in providing Commonwealth pilots with aviation safety information. The week is co-sponsored by the AOPA Air Safety Institute, founded in 1950, who is dedicated to making flying easier and safer for general aviation pilots.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's gonna be a busy weekend!

Wings & Wheels Car and Air Show
Wings & Wheels is an annual family event located at Hummel Airfield in Topping, Virginia. Bring your friends and family out on September 24, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to enjoy the automobiles, aircraft, food and craft vendors, and prizes. This Wings & Wheels festival will be the 16th show, and they are expecting the greatest turnout yet -- rain or shine. Come visit our Virginia is for Flying Lovers trailer and say hello!
Admission and parking are free, however, donations are appreciated.
For more information:

The 2011 Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show
The event officially kicks off on September 23, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.with a Twilight Air Show. The main event occurs on September 24 and 25. In honor of the Centennial of Naval Aviation there is an action-packed lineup of performers and appearances for the weekend. On Saturday night, September 24, the 31st Street Park Beach Blast begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront adjacent to the Hilton. Our Beechcraft King Air 350 will be on display September 24 and 25. Stop by and say hello!
Admission and parking are free at the NAS Oceana Air Show as well as the event Saturday night.
For more information:

3rd Annual Charity MotorCycle Ride (Poker Run)
Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport is host to the 3rd Annual Charity MotorCycle Ride which is sponsored by Five Forks Ruritan Club. Registration is from 9:00 a.m. to noon and the ride must be completed by 3:00 p.m.
For more information contact: Charley Rogers or (757) 229-9256

These events occur every Sunday:
The Flying Circus (The Flying Circus Airfield in Bealeton, VA)-
"Soup-on-Sunday" (Campbell Field Airport in Weirwood, VA)-

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Introducing our newest Virginia Aviation Board members

If you didn't have the pleasure of meeting our two new Virginia Aviation Board (VAB) members at the 2011 Virginia Aviation Conference, here's a little bit about them both:

Tom Inman will be taking over Region 4,
which includes these airports:
Chesterfield County
Hanover County Municipal
Lake Anna
Louisa County
New Kent
Richmond International

Tom was born in New Orleans and now resides in Gloucester, VA. He is the Owner and President of Virginia Home Medical in Newport News, VA. Tom began flying at the age of 17 and received his pilot's license at PHF in May of 1968. Currently, Tom holds a Commercial License, with Multi-engine and instrument ratings. He also owns a 1967 twin engine Beechcraft TravelAir which is hangered at PHF and regularly flys a 2006 C-90GT KingAir for a friend. His affiliations include: Commonwealth of Virginia Small Business Advisory Board, Colonial Council of Virginia- Boy Scouts of America, Virginia Association of Durable Medical Equipment Companies, Easter Seal Society of Virginia, National Federation of Independent Business, Commonwealth of Virginia Private Enterprise Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia Health Services Cost Review Council and Commonwealth of Virginia Small Business Commission.

Cheryl McLeskey will be taking over Region 7,
which includes these airports:
Accomack County
Chesapeake Regional
Hampton Roads Executive
Hummel Field
James City County (proposed)
Middle Peninsula Regional
Newport News-Williamsburg International
Norfolk International
Suffolk Municipal
Tangier Island
Williamsburg Jamestown

Cheryl, of McLeskey and Associates, LLC, not only has her Private Pilot Single Engine Land/Instrument License, she also has a State of Virginia Real Estate License. She resides in Virginia Beach, VA and used to recruit flight attendants with Piedmont Airlines where she was also a flight attendant herself for thirteen years. Cheryl plans to visit her airports in a very nice Bonanza A36. Her affiliations include: Board of Trustee Regent University, Foundation Director and Secretary Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Croatan Civic League, Children's Performance Workshops, Virginia Beach SPCA, Old Point National Bank-Southside Advisory Board, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and The Ninety-Nines, Inc.

For a listing of the airports in each region refer to the Virginia Aviation Directory or our website and click on the VAB logo at the bottom of the home page.

Monday, August 15, 2011

37th Annual Virginia Aviation Conference

Tomorrow marks the first day of the 2011 Virginia Aviation Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

The conference is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Aviation, Virginia Aviation Board, Virginia Airport Operators Council, and the Virginia Aviation Business Association.

This meeting of airport managers, sponsors, consultants, government officials and others with an interest in aviation in Virginia features a Virginia Aviation Board Meeting, special speakers, exhibitors, and the Virginia Aviation Awards banquet to honor those who have made significant contributions to aviation in Virginia.

We will do our best to keep you informed throughout the week if you are unable to attend! For more information visit our website.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A closer look at Virginia locals in Oshkosh

A week ago today we were packing up from EAA’s AirVenture 2011 to return and feverishly prepare for Virginia’s own Aviation Conference in Roanoke, Virginia. Here’s a closer look at the Virginia locals we had the privilege of learning more about. In no particular order:

CSC Duats
Chantilly, VA – Terry and Alan, with CSC, were at AirVenture representing the new flight planner system Golden Eagle FlightPrep, created to replace Cirrus software. The old software, which has been used for the last eight years, was an offline and dial-up flight planner. Golden Eagle FlightPrep was developed to take advantage of the latest internet online flight planning capability, and includes new features: weather overlay, current TFRs, richer flight planning charts, while it retains the functionality of the original Cirrus software.

Avionics Systems
Leesburg, VA – David Buckwalter was showcasing custom instrument panels just across the aisle from us. What makes this Virginia business unique is that the whole process starts with a drawing and communication remains open throughout the entire process. Even after the completed instrument panel is delivered, they are only a phone call or email away.

Butler Parachute Systems
Roanoke, VA – Butler Parachutes has been in Virginia since 1995, however the company itself has been around for 32 years. Both Tim McCord (left) and Todd Fowler (right) told us all about how Butler is the only parachute company in the world that can build a custom harness, custom fit a container seat, and is the industry leader in parachute canopy design.

Dayton, VA – UMA began as a company that manufactured medical equipment and then in the 1940’s diversified its business by developing aircraft instruments for the war effort. The business moved to Virginia in 1978 and still continues to manufacture both medical and aircraft equipment, with 75% of its total sales being aircraft instrumentation. Ron McIntire and Sharon Rathbun (not pictured) made the trip to Oshkosh to represent UMA and Virginia.

Velasco Enterprises
Ruckersville, VA – This is Gary Velasco (right) and Paul Laidler’s (left) first year at AirVenture representing Virginia and his company Velasco Enterprises, which specializes in hand-painted vintage aircraft nose art from the 20th century. Gary Velasco has become one of the foremost experts on WWII nose art in the United States and is sought after by collectors and museums for his accurate full-scale restorations.

AirFleet Capital
Leesburg, VA – Lezonne Hertz (left) and Megan Darling (right), both Virginia college graduates, represented AirFleet Capital at AirVenture this year. AirFleet Capital, located on the airfield at Leesburg Municipal Airport, is an aircraft financing company that offers loans for private and commercial use aircraft nationwide.

ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants
Fairfax, VA – Corporate headquarters for ExxonMobil Aviation Lubricants is located in Virginia, which puts them on our Virginia businesses list. ExxonMobil’s industry leading products need no explanation; however, Steve Sunseri (left), Dave Goshorn (center) and Mike Schaefer (right) get recognition as representatives at AirVenture 2011.

Aviator’s Bookshelf
Richmond, VA – Doug Henderson’s out-of-print aviation books can be found in the FlyMarket at AirVenture. Eighty percent of his business comes from AirVenture once a year, while the rest of the time his collection can be found for sale online. For the past 24 years Mr. Henderson has been collecting items from estate sales and storage lockers. He sells mostly books but has displays of antiques and old pilot jumpsuits. His family pitches in during the event, pictured above is his daughter Laura Henderson showing off some of the merchandise.

The Air Care Alliance
Nationwide – The Fly4Life theme was first seen at AirVenture 2009, when EAA recognized the work of volunteer pilots. Volunteers and staff members from all over the nation take turns staffing the Air Care Alliance exhibit. Unfortunately when we visited we didn’t run into any locals, but volunteer pilots Stan Teter (left) and Doug Vincent (center), from Oklahoma, and Tom Johnson (right), from Ohio, told us all about their patient transports, disaster relief efforts and more.

Ashland, VA – Phil Soloman, CEO of Tecnam North American, a divistion of Tecnam based out of Italy, has been full time with Heart of Virginia Aviation since 2005. Tecnam is the world’s largest manufacturer of light aircraft and this year sponsored EAA AirVenture.

Nationwide –UNITE is the home of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems National Industry TEam, whose vision is to create a supportive environment for unmanned aircraft and systems in both public and civil applications that operate routinely. Randy Kenagy with Aviation Mangement Associates, located in Alexandria, Virginia was representing UNITE. He showed us several current models of unmanned aircraft and explained the company’s priority to gain access to the National Airspace System (NAS).

Helicopter Association International
Alexandria, VA – The Helicopter Association International (HAI) has been providing support and services for its members for more than 60 years, however this is their debut at AirVenture. Matt Zuccaro, president of HAI, wanted to thank Randy Burdette for his support and for getting them out to Oshkosh for their first appearance. HAI’s first year HELI-CENTER had a second level to view the air shows and was a big hit for HAI members and guests.

Arlington, VA – Those initials stand for Transportation Sector Network Management/General Aviation. This was then broken down as the federal government’s principle security for general aviation. The work load is separated into six territories in which eight inspectors manage. Michael Petrone (left), Jack Heath (center) and Lisa Borbe-Haught (right) were representing the Transportation Security Administration and qualify as a Virginia business in Oshkosh.

Virginia Resident
Randy Nageotte of Stafford, Virginia was attending AirVenture to sell his Air Cam. He picked up two kits at Sun n' Fun in 1997 and now he's ready to let go of one of them. Randy owns an auto repair shop in Northern Virginia and says flying is his first love "next to my wife".

Virginia Resident
Margy and Ron Natalie of Chantilly, Virginia attended AirVenture as volunteers to work the flight line. Working the flight line means airshow crowd control and getting planes in and out safely. Margy says it's ironic because she works at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center as the Volunteer Program Coordinator all year long and then takes off 12 days to come tenting in Oshkosh as a volunteer. Pictured behind them is their Navion.

For more pictures:

Monday, August 1, 2011

On the road again...

The crew is all packed and ready to hit the road (and skies). Morgan and Carolyn will brave the roads back with our 'Virginia is for Flying Lovers' trailer, while Trevor (our photographer) and myself will battle the airlines, and Randy will hit the skies in his own airplane for a "quick" ride home.

For the next week we will be featuring several Virginia businesses and representatives per day that were in Oshkosh for the EAA AirVenture. Our neighbors from our home away from home!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

It's not too late to make weekend plans!

If you're not spending the last few days at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, catch a ride in the most famous aircraft of the Vietnam War, the Huey Helicopter, at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (KJGG).

The rides started today, Saturday, July 30 at 9 a.m. and will be going until 3 p.m.. If you can't make it out today, stop by tomorrow, same time, same place! This event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War. The (US Army) Transportation Corps Aviation Assn. and Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport are proud to host this 2nd Annual event.

Make plans to attend the 3rd Annual Bath County Wings & Wheels Festival next Saturday, August 6th, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Ingalls Field in Hot Springs, Virginia. There will be an air show, car show, live music and more! For more information:

Also, keep following our twitter and facebook updates from EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another beautiful day in Oshkosh with a full day ahead! Make sure to say hello to our fellow Virginia businesses sometime during the week. Here is a list with their location, so you don't have an excuse not to!

CSC Duats (Golden Eagle Flight Prep)3026, 3027
ExxonMobil Aviation Lubercants360
Avionics Systems LLC3119
AirFleet Capital, Inc.1143
Aviator's Bookshelf704
Butler Parachutes3108
Virginia Dept of Aviation3148 - 3150
Air Care Alliance146
Velasco Enterprises1153, 1154
Tecnam Aircraft88 - 93
Aurora Flight Sciences189
TSNM/GAFederal, Pavilion, 6
UMA Inc1060
Helicopter Association International (HAI)427 - 436

Also, keep us with us on facebook and twitter for more frequent updates and pictures!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Come visit us in Oshkosh at EAA AirVenture

It's opening day at "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" and the Virginia Department of Aviation, along with 14 other Virginia businesses, are all set up and ready for the exciting week ahead. The afternoon airshow is wrapping up and the opening day concert, featuring REO Speedwagon, is about to begin.

We are located at Rockwell Collins Exhibit Hangar C, booth 3148, 3149 & 3150. Come by and say hello!

Updates to come...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time to catch up!

It's been a busy couple of weeks at the DOAV. Between preparing for the 37th Annual Virginia Aviation Conference and packing for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011, we have been participating in Virginia State University's Summer Transportation Institute Program (STIP). The purpose of the Institute, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, is to create awareness and stimulate interest in secondary school students to take full advantage of the opportunities that exist in the transportation industry.

The first week DOAV participated we assisted 19 students with building rubber band powered balsa wood airplanes. After constructing the airplanes we had a flying competion at the Appomattox Regional Governor's School. (See pictures on our facebook page)

The following week the students took turns taking a flight in Cessna 172s at the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport. For most of the students this was their first experience in a "little airplane". They all seemed to have a good time with Amelia, the airport's pet, who kept them company between flights.

Last week was the final week of STIP and DOAV took them on a field trip to the National Air and Space Museum- Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit, it's a great experience!

For more information on the STIP visit

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Events taking flight this weekend

This past weekend's events, Become a Pilot Day at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and the Fly-In of WWII Aircraft at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, were both a success!

This coming weekend (Saturday, June 25th) don't miss the Commemorative Air Force's Old Dominion Squadron Poker Run!

Poker Run Rules:
  • Regular 5 card stud
  • Start at any listed airport and pick up your hands between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Entry fee: $20 per hand (no limit on number of hands purchased)
  • All hands must be presented and payable at the Old Dominion Squadron Hangar at Franklin Municipal Airport (FKN) by 1:00 p.m.
  • Cards will be in sealed envelopes; removing any card will void entire hand!

Participating airports:
  • Chesapeake Regional Airport (CPK)
  • Franklin Municipal Airport (FKN)
  • Hampton Roads Executive Airport (PVG)
  • Suffolk Municipal Airport (SFQ)
  • Wakefield Municipal Airport (AKQ)

Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase at the
Old Dominion Squadron Hangar

50-50 Cash Grand Prize for Best Hand!

Proceeds go to the Old Dominion Squadron Operating Fund

Friday, June 17, 2011

7th Annual Become a Pilot Day this Saturday

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, VA, near Washington Dulles International Airport is hosting the 7th Annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display. This year's focus is naval aviation in celebration of the Navy’s centennial.

This Saturday, June 18, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., go visit 50 vintage, recreational, military, and homebuilt aircraft, on display outside the Center for one day only. Children (and adults) can talk to pilots and find out what skills are needed to fly. Also, everyone can come out and test their piloting skills in flight simulators, talk to aviation experts, and enjoy story time and hands-on activities with the kids.

Don't forget to stop by the Virginia Department of Aviation trailer and say hello!

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is $15.

Event FAQs:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Flight 1549 finally arrives in Charlotte

Today US Airways Flight 1549 completed its 600-mile, 7 day journey on a flatbed truck from Newark, New Jersey to Charlotte, North Carolina where it will be on display at the Carolina Aviation Museum.

The "Miracle on the Hudson" plane was bound for Charlotte from New York on Jan. 15, 2009, when it struck a flock of geese after takeoff and lost power in both engines. Pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger considered trying to land at nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey but quickly recognized that would be too risky and elected to touch the plane down in the frigid Hudson.

Thousands of people in several states, including Virginia, lined up along the road to get a glimpse of the 120-foot-long plane, which had to take back roads to avoid obstacles such as tollbooths and overpasses. The wings from the damaged Airbus A320 were removed and shipped earlier to the museum.

The Carolina Aviation Museum is raising money toward an exhibit that could cost nearly $2.4 million. So far enough was collected to transport the plane to Charlotte, where Arizona-based US Airways also has a hub.

Saturday evening there will be a reception at the museum where the plane's hero crew and many of the passengers will get to see the plane for the first time since that "Miracle on the Hudson" two years ago.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And we're back!

So sorry for the delay. We have been working on some special projects just for you!

 We are joining the social media world as another resource to reach out to our aviation community! "Like" us on facebook and "follow" us on twitter. Click on the links to the right to check us out.

The 37th Annual Virginia Aviation Conference is quickly approaching. This year we are providing online registration! We can still only accept checks as a form of payment but don’t let that discourage you from filling out the registration form online. Paper forms will also be available.

Click this link to register online:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just checking in

Hi everyone!

I hope I can keep you all as up-to-date and entertained as Kelly. Please continue to check back regularly as several exciting things are happening!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank you for reading!

Hello all,

This will be my last post on the blog. Today is my last day at DOAV as I have accepted a position with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. I want to thank you each and every one of you for reading the blog and sharing in my aviation adventures and news!

The decision was bittersweet for me. I'm excited about my position, but will miss the folks here at DOAV dearly, especially the DOAV show crew. DOAV is very much like a family, and I am honored to have been a part of that family for almost three years.

No worries, though! I'm passing on the blog to my co-worker, Jessica Cowardin. She will be in charge of updating it, so please send all your news and events to

Thank you again for making the blog a success! Best wishes to you all and happy flying!

~Kelly Pruitt

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Phase 2 Dulles Rail Funding and Washington Dulles Passenger Service Quality Impacts

The Washington Airports Task Force (WATF) recognizes the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (MWAA) Board of Directors desire to afford future Dulles Airport travelers the highest level of service by choosing the underground option for the Dulles Metrorail Station. However, the issue is no longer a matter of station location, but of whether or not Phase 2 of the Silver Line can be funded and built. “This is a matter of the gravest consequence to the future prosperity of our entire region, the District of Columbia and Maryland, as well as Virginia”, said WATF President, Leo Schefer.

General agreement exists that:

1. The Silver Line be built in the most cost effective, timely, and passenger-friendly manner possible.

2. Significant improvements to the passenger service quality at Washington Dulles are required.

3. A positive MWAA relationship with the community at large is critical to the success of the rail project and the region.

“The MWAA has been a model for 21st century transportation management because of its ability to fund major infrastructure projects in a responsible manner and work with partners. In so doing, the MWAA has established a 25-year track record of successfully completing projects”, Leo Schefer, President WATF, stated.

The WATF calls upon MWAA and its partners to address reducing the cost of the Phase 2 Dulles Metrorail Project and improving passenger service quality.

Action 1: Reduce the cost of Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail Project

Based on its assessment of the situation, the WATF believes that between $500 million to $800 million can be cut from the existing $3.5 billion cost estimate for Phase 2 of the project. Such a reduction may well be necessary if the project is to be funded without undermining MWAA’s ability to make further needed airport improvements.

a) Aboveground station with:

- Weather Shields

- Free carts and available porter service in both directions

Savings $330+ million

b) Negotiate third-party agreements for parking garages with Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, following the Wiehle Avenue concept

Savings $100 million to $200 million

c) Negotiate a cost effective rail yard with WMATA Savings $50 million to $100 million

d) Seek additional support from Virginia Reduce debt requirements by $100 million to $150 million

Total Reduction in Required Debt $580 million to $780 million

Seek needed Virginia support for a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan.

Seek support from Virginia’s Transportation Infrastructure Fund.

Action 2: Improve passenger service quality at Washington Dulles

If the region is to reap the full benefit of Washington Dulles’s expansion capacity and improve the passengers’ experience, it is imperative to fund and build the Tier 2 midfield terminal project. This terminal will be used by 60% of the airport’s travelers, eliminate an existing 900-ft. walk between the AeroTrain and the old C/D concourse, and expand international capacity.

In the short-term, significant service quality improvements would be gained from a range of TSA and Customs (CBP) enhancements being sought by the MWAA to reduce passenger queue times. These enhancements include adequate CBP staffing, promotion to expand the use of Global Entry, and the elimination of duplicate inspections for many international connecting travelers.

Service quality for an aboveground Metro station could be gained relatively inexpensively through the use of weather shields and a baggage service.

The WATF is a non-profit, public-private sector partnership that works to promote the expansion and enhancement of aviation services for Virginia and the National Capital region in order to stimulate job creation and economic prosperity. As such, its views represent consumer, civic, and economic interests in a region whose tourism and high-tech employment is closely tied to the proficiency of its scheduled air service.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Liberty School of Aeronautics graduates; other weekend events

There are many special aviation events happening this week in the Commonwealth!

DOAV Director Randy Burdette will give the commencement speech to the graduating class of Liberty Univeristy's School of Aeronautics on Saturday.

Liberty’s School or Aeronautics really is a shining star among aviation-based academic programs in the country. The school, to the best of our knowledge, is the only university to have a full service FBO, Part 145 repair station, and Part 135 charter service with five corporate jets.

The flight school began in 2002 with four students and has grown to be the largest flight school in the Commonwealth of Virginia with 427 students. During these nine years, the school has really flourished becoming:

• FAA Part 141 approved for Private, Instrument, Commercial, Multi, CFI, CFII, MEI, & ATP;

• One of four universities in the nation to offer helicopter training;

• FAA Part 147 approved for Aviation Maintenance Technician training; and

• First class graduated in December 2010 with 100 percent pass rate.

The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree in Fixed Wing & Helicopter Professional Pilot with Concentrations in:

• Missionary

• Commercial

• Military

• Helicopter

• Unmanned Aerial Systems (beginning Fall 2011)

• On-line Degree Finish-Up for pilots working in the field

Additionally, they offer Associates Degrees in Aviation Maintenance and Flight Attendant Training.

There are 41 Aeronautics students graduating today with 16 states represented as well as four international countries including: Germany, Ethiopia, Israel, and Canada. So where are these graduates headed? We have four dual-qualified (fixed wing/helicopter) graduates, the first helicopter CFI to have completely gone through our program, four plan to go into the missionary aviation field, right will enter the military, and 29 plan to enter the commercial field.

Also on Saturday:

4th Annual Fly-In/Drive-In. Come join EAA Chapter 1442 for their 4th Annual Fly-In/Drive-In at William M. Tuck Airport (W78) in South Boston, Virginia. All types of aircraft, antique cars, motorcycles, powered parachutes, ultralights, and radio controlled aircraft will be on display. Food will be available. Free Admission. Activities take place from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. For more information contact Larry Collie at or

Orange County Airport Terminal Dedication will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m.

AirPower Over Hampton Roads - 2011 Langley Air Show will take place in Hampton

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aviation ambassadors recognized at Festival of Flight

Thank you to all the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors who made it out the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight Saturday for the group photos. And congratualtions to our new ambassadors who were there to receive their jackets. We now have 263 people who have completed the program!

The Virginia Aviation Ambassadors Program is designed to encourage pilots to fly to all of the airports in Virginia as well as visit aviation museums and attend safety seminars.

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts will get to see the valuable assets that are Virginia's system of airports. As they set and meet goals in their flying and sightseeing, participants will also have fun and learn more about the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Virginia Aviation Ambassadors Program provides Bronze, Silver and Gold level recognition for pilots and passengers who visit (fly or drive) our airports and aviation museums, participate in one of our DOAV/FAA Safety programs and attend the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight.

For more information on the program, visit

Friday, April 29, 2011

Virginia Regional Festival Flight is here!

Hello all!

The DOAV show crew is packing up and headed to Suffolk for the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight this Saturday and Sunday!

The Virginia Regional Festival of Flight is more than just a gathering of aircraft, their pilots, owners and builders. It is an exciting participatory experience. Attendees will find activities for all ages.

Forum speakers share their knowledge and experiences. In past years forums have included technical subjects like: alternative fuels, engine overhaul, and flight-testing homebuilt airplanes. Other subjects presented have been the history of Virginia airports, the SR-71 Blackbird, a history of the Enola Gay B-29 and retinal eye care for the pilot.

Workshop leaders provide to all attendees hands-on construction projects and techniques. Examples are welding, composite construction, dope and fabric, dismantle an engine and reassemble it, and sheet metal forming.

Airplanes of many types fly in. Attendees can examine them closely. Some of the airplanes will be homebuilt show planes, some restored classics, older military and many factory-built airplanes. The owners and builders are always willing to share information about their planes. Airplane judging is offered with awards.

Information will be available about becoming a pilot and flying and becoming a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

The Youth Activities Area provides children, from toddlers to teens, creative, hands-on opportunities to learn about flying and airplanes. Activities include pedal planes to ride for the younger set; wing-rib building. Parents are encouraged to join in the fun.

Exhibitors display and sell a wide variety of products, services and souvenirs.

A variety of foods are available in the Food Court, as well as a pancake breakfast each morning.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hampton Roads Executive Airport celebrates new executive terminal/new runway construction

Hampton Roads Executive Airport is proud to announce the grand opening of its new executive terminal and new runway construction. The grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting for the new runway will be held on Friday, May 6 at noon with remarks from Congressman Randy Forbes. The event will be a celebration of reaching a long awaited goal to better serve the Hampton Roads community with new, first-class facilities for aviation needs. Festivities will include a BBQ luncheon and Blue Skies Grille menu for all participants, music, raffle of a week at fly-in destination Bimini, Bahamas, and fuel discount coupons for all attending pilots.

After four years of terminal study and design, construction on the new $2 million terminal facility was begun in the spring of 2010. The contemporary building features vast glass windows in its spacious 20ft high passenger lobby for great air traffic viewing, a planned patio for outdoor seating, 28-person conference room, and state-of-the-art services for pilots and crew. The construction also includes new access and turn-around for automobile traffic. Funding for the terminal was provided by the Department of Aviation of Virginia and the owners of the airport, Virginia Aviation Associates LLC.

Equally important is the construction commencement of the new runway. It took the owners – Steven I. “Steve” Fox and David A. “Andy” Gibbs - ten years to seek final approval from the Corps of Engineers, DEQ, DOAV and the FAA. Funding for the runway is being provided by the FAA, DOAV and the owners of the airport. Inclusive of land acquisition, environmental studies, design, and construction, the project will top $30,000,000 in investment.

Hampton Roads Executive Airport positively impacts the local community through its support of aviation businesses based at the airport – five flight schools, aerial photography, aviation maintenance and avionics, banner tow operations, aircraft brokerage, corporate and business aviation activities, and recreational aviation.

Hampton Roads Executive Airport is a public use, privately owned reliever airport that is centrally located at the intersection of I-64, I-664, I-264 and Route 58. The airport is ranked #2 in the State of Virginia among 57 non-towered airports in annual operations (takeoffs and landings) and #3 for economic drivers among all VA general aviation airports. For more information, please contact Steve Fox at Hampton Roads Executive Airport, 757-373-3151, or visit

Monday, April 25, 2011

Now accepting nominations for the 2011 Virginia Aviation Awards

The Virginia Department of Aviation is now accepting nominations for the 2011 Virginia Aviation Awards. We would like to invite you to nominate those you feel worthy of receiving Airport Manager of the Year, Person of the Year, or the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Please take advantage of this opportunity to pay tribute to those leaders in Virginia aviation. By doing so, you ensure role models for generations to come.

The 2011 Virginia Aviation Awards will be presented on Wednesday, Aug. 17 during the 37th annual Virginia Aviation Conference at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke.

We are accepting nominations through May 27. Click here for a nomination form.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Virginia Aviation Spring Safety Week announced

Virginia Aviation Safety Week will be held April 25-28. Kurt Reesman will discuss "Close Calls: Lessons Learned." At one time or another, many of us have found ourselves in "uncomfortable" situations aloft. In some cases the problems couldn't be predicted; in others the warnings show up in hindsight like neon signs. Either way, there are things to be learned. That's the idea behind "Close Calls, Lessons Learned," a riveting new seminar in which you'll meet five real pilots sharing true stories of their most harrowing moments aloft.

The program will be held from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at the following locations:

April 25- Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport
April 26- Danville Regional Airport
April 27- Virginia Aviation Museum on Richmond International Airport
April 28- Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton

For more information contact Mike Lauranzon at (804) 236-3639

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back from SUN 'n FUN

Sorry for the delay in posts! The DOAV show crew has returned safe and sound to Virginia and enjoyed some much needed time off. (Photo by Mike Deep)

Despite a natural disaster, SUN 'n FUN finished with strong numbers. Here's a great synposis from (Tampa Bay Online):

The Sun 'n Fun Fly-In is officially over, and the event is proving to be a study in extremes. The 37th annual Fly-In got off to a wet start which prevented many pilots from even making it to the early days of the aviation event.

"Early on this year we were low on admissions, especially with the aircraft, because the weather to the north of Florida was preventing aircraft from flying in from other parts of the country," said Sun 'n Fun President and Convention Chairman John Burton.

He said the Fly-In typically sees upwards of 45,000 take-offs and landings over the course of the weeklong event. This year wasn't like that though, and by Thursday, when heavy rains, 75 mph winds and a tornado touched down at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, it looked like the entire Fly-In might be a wash.

But Mother Nature had other plans, and when the skies cleared by Friday morning Sun 'n Fun was back in business.

"People must have rallied around Sun 'n Fun because Friday we had a huge crowd. Saturday, I believe, was the largest crowd we've ever had in the history of Sun 'n Fun," Burton said.

Sun 'n Fun officials still don't have an exact attendance count, but many vendors say they too saw a dramatic increase in sales and traffic on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Terry Schmidt who co-owns Flightline Services, one of Sun 'n Fun's major meal providers, the weekend exceeded expectations.

"Friday, Saturday, Sunday did real well. We kind of hoped that the people that did not come the previous days would come on the weekend, and I think for us the last two days were our record days we ever had," Schmidt said.

Some of the aircraft that were damaged during Thursday's strong line of storms remained on Sun 'n Fun property even as clean-up crews were taking down tents and clearing the rest of the airport.

"We'll have to work with the owners as to how we're going to remove those or what's going to be done," Burton said.

In the meantime, dates have already been set for next year's Fly-In which will be held March 27-April 1.

Thanks again for everyone who stopped by the Virginia is for Flying Lovers trailer! We'll see you next year!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Storm statistics and helping those affected by the storm

The National Weather Service has issued a statement regarding the storm that hit SUN 'n FUN hard yesterday:

"From the damage surveyed, it was evident that severe straight-line winds impacted the airport, however, a convergent pattern of debris was found on the western end of the runway. Damage supported 75 mph downburst thunderstorm winds with a brief tornado impact 30 yards wide at the west end of the runway. Damage is consistent around 95 mph. (EF-1) Tornado impact at 12:05 pm.”

An estimated 50 exhibitor and privately-owned aircraft as well as a large number of tents and other temporary structures were severely damaged by the storm. This isn't official, but we've heard the damage is estimated to be worth numbers as high as $44 million. As soon as we get an official estimate, we'll post it.

Four air cams were completely destoryed by the storm, as well as a Kitfox 3 (pictured left) owned by Aviation Explorer Post 491 in Birmingham, AL. It was not yet insured as it was to fly for the first time on Monday. Unfortunately, the tornado picked it up and slammed it down. Now the race is on to raise the funds they'll need to recover the loss. If you can help, please call Lance Akers at 701-238-9298 or stop by their tent near the Warbird Ramp i SUN 'n Fun.