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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Culpeper Air Fest wins Silver Pinnacle Award for the Potomac Flight

Culpeper Regional Airport’s annual Air Fest received the Silver Pinnacle award at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) convention on December 10th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Pinnacle Awards were established to honor the innovative advances in all areas of air show operations and management and are broken down into seven various categories for judging. The award for small civilian show had bronze, silver, gold and platinum winners with Culpeper Air Fest earning the prestigious Silver Award.

The award was given for the pioneering Potomac Flight over Washington, D.C. that took place on Sunday, October 12th where 24 T-6 Texans departed Culpeper Regional Airport and flew across the Potomac River in formation. The Potomac Flight was in honor of the Disabled American Veterans and flew over landmarks such as the Pentagon and the Arlington National Cemetery. This ceremonial formation flight was visible from Alexandria, Arlington, and Rosslyn, Virginia. 

The Virginia Department of Aviation has had the pleasure to support Air Fest by sending some staff on the Cessna 206 with a bag of promotional and educational items for the public. With support from the Department’s Aviation Promotion Program, local businesses, and great volunteers, the event is free to the public and Tanya Woodward, the on-site Manager says she wouldn’t have it any other way,

“The Culpeper Air Fest Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes aviation education and awareness in Culpeper and this is what keeps the event free to the public. We are very lucky to have the volunteers that we do. We wouldn’t have the event if the public had to pay an admittance fee.”

Tanya hopes that the Potomac Flight will become an annual occurrence, but that will likely depend on the weather. Despite the rain in the previous years, the event has had a great turnout. Culpeper Air Fest 2015 is scheduled for Saturday, October 10th.

For more information visit  To see the video of the Potomac flight visit 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Farewell Followers... And Thank You

After three years of (virtually) working with you, our followers, I find it bittersweet to say that this is my last blog post. Today is my last day at DOAV. Sharing my voice through the blog and social media has been both a fun and tireless learning experience.

Jessica wishing Terry Page a happy retirement- May 2014

I am grateful for the five years I’ve spent at the Virginia Department of Aviation and it has been a pleasure keeping you informed about aviation in Virginia. Thank you for your dedication as well!

Please send all of your news and events for the blog and social media to Betty Wilson at

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Virginia Seaplane Splash-in this weekend

Another Virginia Seaplane Splash-In is scheduled this Friday, May 17th & Saturday, May 18th at Lake Anna. This is a two day social gathering with food, fun, flying & camping. RSVP as soon as possible to Bob Woodberry at 703-785-1505 or

Bob's address is 120 Old Mill Ct. Mineral, VA. The closest airport is (12 miles away) Louisa County Airport (LKU) where fuel is available, or (10 miles away) Lake Anna Airport (7W4) where no fuel is available. Call ET Tello at 704 491-3152 or for pick up.

 N38-04.590 W077-48.740. Unicom 123.40.

Virginia Department of Aviation and Virginia Department of Emergency Management assist Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group in Statewide Exercise

On Friday, May, 9, 2014 with the help of the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) the Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group (VVPG) conducted their first statewide exercise in order to evaluate what would happen in an actual emergency situation.

Five of the six intended missions were completed using both fixed wing and rotary aircraft. Missions ranged from photo reconnaissance to damage assessment to transporting a K9 team. With the center of the exercise located in Richmond, additional mission locations included Norfolk, Northern Neck, Williamsburg and Tangier Island.

Following the exercise debrief was a VVPG Board Meeting with discussions of recruiting pilots and raising awareness. The Board decided that they will work towards having at least two flying exercises per year and a social/educational event that would encourage pilots and VVPG member groups to interact.


The Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group (VVPG) was formed in 2012 to allow general aviation pilots who wish to volunteer their aircraft and/or piloting skills during times of emergency to do so effectively. Individual volunteer pilots are encouraged to join nonprofit aviation organizations that are members of the Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group in order to participate in the program and assist their fellow citizens.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Seaplane Fly In at Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport

Saturday, May 10, 2014 (Rain date - Saturday, May 17, 2014)
Arrivals: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association meeting at 1 p.m. in the airport conference room.
Free Admission for public viewing.

Have lunch at Charly's Airport Restaurant (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Peoples Choice Award - Plaque awarded to the aircraft owner with the nicest plane (Decided by the public).
Sponsors:  Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association, Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, Charly's Airport Restaurant, Williamsburg Flight Center (Flight School and Maintenance), Waltrip Recycling and Mulch Blower Service.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Women Can Fly Events Will Introduce Flight to Girls and Women in Virginia

Women Can Fly, a series of four special Saturday events scheduled for May and June of 2014, will introduce aviation to more girls and women in Virginia. While the number of women working in the aviation industry has steadily increased, they are still underrepresented in the workforce and the number of women pilots is only 6% of the total pilot population.

Women Can Fly will be an enjoyable and educational event for girls and women of all ages to learn more about flight through a variety of experiences including static displays, special guests, simulation opportunities, preflight briefings, and a flight in a general aviation aircraft for participating girls and women. The goal is to inform them about career opportunities as well as introduce them to the fun and camaraderie of general aviation.

Women Can Fly events will be held at WarrentonFauquier Airport on May 10, 2014; Lynchburg Regional Airport on May 24, 2014; Hampton Roads Executive Airport on June 21, 2014; and CharlottesvilleAlbemarle Airport on June 28, 2014.

Three Women Can Fly events were held in Virginia in 2013 and 373 women and girls were introduced to aviation and received a free flight. More information about Women Can Fly as well as photos from previous events can be viewed at

Women Can Fly is sponsored by the NinetyNines, Inc. (International Organization of Women Pilots), Warrenton Fauquier Airport, Hampton Roads Executive Airport, CharlottesvilleAlbemarle Airport, Liberty University, Freedom Aviation, and the Virginia Department of Aviation.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group Upcoming Exercise

On Friday, May 9th the Virginia Volunteer Pilots Group will be conducting an exercise at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management utilizing private aircraft and volunteers to perform a variety of missions that will highlight the use of volunteers pilots within the Commonwealth.  The exercise will be immediately followed by a debriefing at the Virginia Department of Aviation located at Richmond International Airport at 5702 Gulfstream Road from 1-4 pm.  The debriefing will be attended by a quorum of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Volunteer Pilot Group.  Member organizations are encouraged to attend. 
For additional details contact Scott Denny at (804) 236-3632.

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014 Virginia Aviation Spring Safety Week

The Virginia Department of Aviation and AOPA Air Safety Foundation will present safety seminars at four locations across the Commonwealth of Virginia April 28-May 1 from 7-9 p.m.

Tom Emanuel will present "Accident Case Study: Live":

To the average person, it might seem a bit morbid that pilots pay so much attention to aircraft accidents. After all, when was the last time you saw an article about an accident in a car magazine? But flying isn’t like driving, and accidents deserve attention: They let us learn from others’ mistakes, help us think critically about our skills, and provide a mental “nudge” if we find ourselves in similar situations.
With that in mind, the Air Safety Institute’s new seminar, Accident Case Study: Live, aims to put a new spin on safety-oriented accident analysis. Working with several compelling real-life cases, presenter and audience will play the role of accident investigator—starting at the crash scene and working backwards through physical evidence, eyewitness testimony, and other leads to figure out exactly what went wrong, and why.
The dates and locations are as follows:

Monday, April 28th
Virginia Air and Space Museum (IMAX) - Hampton

Tuesday, April 29th
Virginia Aviation Museum – Richmond

Wednesday, April 30th
Blue Ridge Regional Airport (terminal building) – Martinsville

Thursday, May 1st
Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport (terminal building) – Blacksburg

Click here for more information.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Virginia Art Contest Winner Takes National Title

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) and the National Association of State Aviation Officials NASAO) announced the national winners of the 2014 U.S. Aviation Art Contest. Congratulations again to Virginia's own Justin Lee of Herndon, Virginia. He not only won first place in the senior category of the state level competition, he also won first place in the same category at the national competition.

2014 U.S. Aviation Art Contest judges

The artwork for the national competition was judged for its originality, creativity, and use of the theme "Flying Saves Lives" by a distinguished panel including: Margaret Finch, a well known artist who specializes in aviation art; Debbie Gallaway, former U.S. Representative to Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and former NASA Education Coordinator, Art Greenfield, the Director of Contest and Records for NAA. The winners will receive ribbons and a framed reproduction of their artwork. Their original artwork has been
forwarded to FAI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland for the international judging in April.

"The National Aeronautic Association is so grateful to the thousands of students across the United States who contributed their art to this distinguished panel for review," said Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of NAA. "We congratulate all the winners on this great accomplishment." NASAO received artwork this year from 29 states with some 4,800 students submitting their work in those contests.

The contest sanctioned by FAI and NAA and managed by NASAO, is designed to motivate and encourage young people of FAI member nations to become familiar with and participate in aeronautics, engineering, and science.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Lake Country Pairing – Seaplanes and Wine Coming to Clarksville

Building on the great success of the Lake Gaston seaplane splash-in back in October of 2013, the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association (VSPA) has paired with Mecklenburg County Tourism, the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Motel to bring a splash-in to Clarksville on Saturday, April 12th from 10am-5pm.  This is the same day as the increasingly popular Clarksville Wine Festival; people will be able to attend the festival and then stroll right down to the lake to see these beautiful aircraft and meet the pilots.  “This will be a great opportunity for the Virginia Seaplane Pilots Association to work together with the community and the Corps of Engineers in addressing compatibility issues and expanding seaplane use on the lake.” 

 Image by Justin Kerns/Mecklenburg Tourism.

Since the wine festival will remain a 21+ event as in years past, this new dimension of the seaplanes opens the weekend up to a whole new audience of families.

Factor in the great collection of shops and restaurants in the downtown area between the wine festival and the seaplane area, the nearby Occoneechee State Park, and the availability of boat and kayak rentals from the Occoneechee harbor, and “you’ve got a little of something for everyone,” says Sheila Cuykendall, director of the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce.
The seaplanes will primarily use the beach below the Lake Motel, which has been a critical partner in planning for this event.  Their generosity in clearing the beach area and allowing the seaplanes permission to pull up there “has really made the difference between this event happening and not happening,” according to Mecklenburg County Tourism Coordinator Justin Kerns.  “We’re really rolling out the red carpet for them.”
While the number of attending seaplanes relies heavily on the weather, the wine festival will take place rain or shine.  Safety is always a major consideration for seaplane events, and professionals from several aviation organizations have checked out the site and are working in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and others on the lake to ensure a fun, safe and successful event. 

Overnight accommodations are available at the Lake Motel, the Magnusson Hotel in Clarksville, Cooper's Landing Bed & Breakfast, the cabins at Occoneechee State Park, and the Bay View Efficiencies. 

For more information on the splash-in, please contact Steve Harris (DOAV), Bill Fosdick (VSPA), or Justin Kerns (Mecklenburg Tourism). For updates visit Mecklenburg County's website and facebook.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Wright Experience, Inc. and the Discovery of Flight Foundation gives Virginia a Tour

The Wright Experience, Inc. and the Discovery of Flight Foundation gave the Virginia Department of Aviation, the Virginia Aviation Board and members from Liberty University’s School of Aeronautics a guided tour of the facilities in Warrenton, Virginia last week.  Those in attendance were given the details behind the construction of the Wright Model-B Flyer and were actually able to hear the engine run from that aircraft.

Ken Hyde sharing with the group the historical background and make-up of the Wright Model-B Flyer

The Wright Experience is planning to restore the original 1911 Burgess-Wright Model F, the first aircraft to fly over and land on the White House lawn in 1911 by Harry Atwood.  Wright Experience founder, Ken Hyde, has a team dedicated to this restoration in the near future.

Paul Glenshaw instructing VAB Member Dave Young and DOAV Director Randy Burdette on flying the simulator

The Discovery of Flight Foundation’s Paul Glenshaw presented the Virginia organizations a hands-on STEM program for museums, teachers and students which highlighted the Wright Brothers’ discoveries of the principles of flight, invention of the airplane and the establishment the aerospace industry, and how they are all relative to math education.

Click on the links for more information on The Wright Experience, Inc. or the Discovery of Flight Foundation.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Virginia Aviation Awards Deadline Reminder

The deadline for the Virginia Department of Aviation to receive nominations for the 2014 Virginia Aviation Awards is May 23, 2014.

Please nominate those you feel worthy of receiving Airport Manager of the Year, Person of the Year, or the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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 2014 Virginia Aviation Awards will be presented on Wednesday, August 13 during the 40th annual Virginia Aviation Conference at The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Click here for a nomination form.

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 International Aviation Art Contest- Virginia Winners

The Virginia winners of 2014 International Aviation Art Contest have been chosen. The theme this year was "Flying Saves Lives". 

Entries in each age group were judged this year by Bill Kluge, a professional aviation artist, illustrator and graphic designer for NASA and select employees from the Virginia Department of Aviation with an aviation background. Winners receive a certificate and recognition from the Commonwealth. The top three entries in each age group are forwarded to Washington, D.C., to be judged in the national competition.

Featured above are the first place winners in each of the age groups:

Junior Category

First Place: Renae George (age 9)
Baker Butler Elementary, Warrenton

Second Place: Ian Ridgway (age 7)
W.T. Cooke Elementary, Virginia Beach

Third Place: Marcus Miller (age 9)
Langley Elementary, Hampton

Intermediate Category

First Place: Alisa Khuu (age 13)
Kenmore Middle, Arlington

Second Place: Greg Wohlford (age 13)
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle, Falls Church

Third Place: Victoria Phan (age 10)
St. Michael School, Annandale

Senior Category

First Place: Justin Lee (age 14)
Thomas Jefferson High, Alexandria

Second Place: Emily Zhou (age 17)
Thomas Jefferson High, Alexandria

Third Place: Debi Acevedo (age 18)
Christ Chapel Academy, Woodbridge

All of the winners will be featured in the Virginia Department of Aviation's Spring 2014 newsletter. Request your copy here!