Monday, June 1, 2009

Kitty Hawk

Because flying is always more fun than chores, studying, or pretty much anything else, Rich, Shivi and I agreed that spending Sunday in the Outer Banks, NC was just what the doctor had ordered.

Rich and I were a bit late taking off from Gaithersburg, and the day was already good and hot by the time we arrived at Hanover Airport (KOFP) to pick Shivi up.

We stayed low until we were clear of restricted airspace around Richmond and then climbed to 5,500 AGL for cooler and less turbulent air. I got in a bit of hood time with Rich as my safety pilot, before coming in for a gusty landing at Currituck (KONX), where the fuel price was remarkably reasonable at $2.85/G.

From Currituck, we were heading to Dare County Regional Airport (MQI) until Rich pointed out that I had managed to pick the only airport in the Outer Banks that is on the intercoastal waterway instead of the ocean. I explained that it's a Canadian thing. EH?

With the canopy open and pretty views of the water, we considered going all the way to Oracoke (W95), but our stomachs and a desire to get to the beach sooner rather than later convinced us to land instead at Kitty Hawk Airport (KFFA).

Another gusty landing, and we were tying the Tiger down beside the historic site of the Wright Brothers' first flight. It took us a little while to figure it all out, but that's what signs are for.

Apparently, however, the sign for the Womens Restrooms --> Pilots Briefing Room --> is still on backorder.

Rich explained that the mound / monument that we were admiring was not actually the mound that they had taken off from, which has shifted 400 feet due to erosion. It was still cool to stand on such symbolic pilot terrain, though.

We continued on foot and managed to stumble across a hotel in relatively short order, where we called a cab, and enjoyed a late seafood lunch at Awful Arthurs. Once we realized the pier charged an entrance fee just for looking, we claimed a spot on the sand and the braver Canadian swam (for at least a good three minutes before getting back out).

After some deep beach thoughts - Shivi and I would have been mirror opposites, if only I had worn a brown bathing suit instead of a white! - we played a little frisbee. All too soon, however, it was time to head back home.

We had a smoother run back to Hanover, where we dropped Shivi with little fanfare and only a tad of pomp. We saw stunning views of Lake Anna as the sun set on our way North. ATC assigned me a Bravo clearance, so I got some more practice at being under their control, and it shaved 15 minutes off our flight too.

As we drove home from the airport, it was hard to believe we had only been gone 11+ hours. It felt like so very much longer. In the best possible way, of course.


At June 2, 2009 at 10:50 AM , Anonymous Annemcmaster said...

Amazing what flying folk can do with one day! Looks like you had that gorgeous beach all to yourselves....but maybe water temp had something to do with that?!
And do you always get such perfect sunsets? Somehow from the air they glow even more!

At June 2, 2009 at 1:22 PM , Blogger Jude said...

Hi Amy,
What terrific weekends - days you have. Oh so cool to say that you you just went to a beach in North Carolina for a quick dip.
Your photos, yet again are splendid.
I love sharing your adventures and sights.


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