Celebrating Grass Roots Flying and Fun at and around
Federhart-Ophelia STOLport - VA99
- on Virginia's Northern Neck
Added 6/5/10 Updated 4/2//15 Click on images for a larger view.
April 28, 2015. Just
after I landed and was ready to put the Champ back in the hangar, we heard the
sound of a Kinner radial. This meant Stan Sweikar was visiting from across
the Potomac in his Fleet Biplane. The sound brought everyone out.
Left to right: Sadie, the airport dog, Mike Roe, Stan Sweikar, John Baker.
Stan's current project is a Culver Cadet. We can't wait to see that here.
April 28, 2015. This
was a perfect evening for flying, so the Champ came out of the hangar.
Sukey took this photo while I was buckling in. I flew for half an hour and
my logbook entry was, "Flying in Circles." My logbook indicates a high
ratio of landings per hour flown - lots of short local flights, especially in
November 29, 2014.
My daughter Joanna snapped this photo out of the window of our Champ when she
visited from New York for Thanksgiving. This is the access point to the
Chesapeake Bay from the Little Wicomico River. The original, natural
access point was closed by hurricane damage in 1933 and this canal was built
following that. Locals call this point "The Jetties."
November 16, 2014.
Today Sukey and I took a flight to see the fall colors and have breakfast at a
nearby airport. More details and lots of photos
September 29, 2014. We
had visitors from Frederick, Maryland. Jerry Blake and Ernie O'Roark flew
down for lunch. The plane is a Zenith Zodiac 601 XL powered by a
Continental O-200, built and owned by the Frederick Sport Flyers, a club based
at KFDK. I have known Jerry for more than 30 years. He was a
founding member of EAA Chapter 524 and was director of Frederick College's
Aviation Technology program.
November 2, 2013.
Just a few minutes south of our airstrip lies the Great Wicomico River. At Glebe
Point, State Route 200 crosses the river via the Tippers Bridge.
November 2, 2013. The
Merry Point Ferry crosses the western end of the Corrotoman River. This
small free ferry is operated by the Virginia Department of
Transportation. Maximum capacity is two cars. Here we caught the ferry approaching mid-river.
November 2, 2013.
About 20 minutes south of us by Aeronca sits the small town of Urbana, Virginia.
Normally Urbanna is a quiet fishing village, but each fall, Urbana hosts an
Oyster Festival and things get busy. This was the 56th annual
festival - quite a tradition.
November 2, 2013.
Today my wife Sukey and I went up to view the colors of the fall foliage.
She brought her camera and snapped these photos. The colors seem to be peaking
October 17, 2013.
This photo covers the same section of Ophelia as the previous photo, but
from a different angle. I took this shot yesterday, a day where scattered
and broken clouds were in the area, some as low as 1200 feet. As a
cautious VFR pilot, I don't often fly among the clouds, but yesterday was a good
day for it. It brought to mind one of my earliest dreams of flying.
I was no more than 4 years old and the dream was prompted by a cartoon I had seen of
a little boy flying among the clouds in a small red airplane. The cartoon had an early Disney feel to it, but my memory of it is, as you would expect,
quite vague. I do remember being in that dream, though, and it was
magical. Sixty years later, in another small red airplane, the magic
September 17, 2013.
On a crisp and clear day, I took Sukey up in the Champ for a short aerial tour
over Ophelia. Visibility was unlimited, so I held the iPhone out the
window and snapped this shot, flying just south of our airstrip. The view is to
the east towards the Chesapeake Bay.
August 26, 2013.
These photos were taken when my son Andy and his girlfriend Hannah visited a few
weeks ago. This was Hannah's first ride in the Champ and her first time to
take the controls of an airplane. She did quite well for a beginner and
seemed very relaxed in the plane. Photos by Andrew William Baker.
July 26, 2013. Mike
Roe waves as he taxis out for take-off to the north. The destination is
Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the AirVenture Fly-In. Mike has been invited to
attend for the "Return of the Champions" event.
April 4, 2013. Today
I took the Champ up for a local flight. Under overcast skies, the
visibility was nearly unlimited. I was anticipating the heavy rain that
would be coming this evening, and wanted to get a flight in before the runway
became rain-saturated again. Here I am flying near the shoreline of the
Chesapeake Bay at about 1500 feet, near Ingram Bay. The view out the side
window is to the northwest, with Ophelia perhaps 10 miles off, on the far side
of the Little Wicomico River. In the distance you can see the Potomac
River and beyond that, the shoreline of Southern Maryland. To see the
detail, it helps if you click on the photo to see the larger version.
March 30, 2013. The
Sweikar Fleet taxis out for departure for the flight across the Potomac River
back to Dameron, Maryland.
The Fleet won the Silver Age Champion award as Oshkosh and was featured on the
cover of the March/April issue of Vintage Airplane magazine.
March 30, 2013. Shortly after I put the
Champ back in
the hangar, Stan Sweikar arrived in his Fleet.
March 30, 2013.
After weeks of poor weather and a soggy runway, today was finally a good one for
taking to the air. The runway was still soft at the south end, but the
Champ did not need the entire runway. The view is of Ophelia,
looking towards the northwest, with the shore of the Potomac River just visible
to the right.
December 12, 2012. My
Chief taxis out to begin the journey to new owners in Oregon. The Cub
delivered the ferry pilot, Chuck Tippett. The first stop was Petersburg,
Virginia (KPTB), where it was
disassembled to make the remainder of the trip in an enclosed trailer. The
Chief has since arrived safely in Oregon, has been reassembled, and is being
flown by the new owners.
November 11, 2012. Today
we pulled the Chief out of the hangar for photos with Mike Roe's Stinson 108-1. The 1931 Model A Ford
belongs to VA99 resident John Haszard. Interestingly, the Aeronca and the
Model A use the same fuel gauge. John gave me a ride in the Model A in the
morning, and Mike Roe gave me a ride over Ophelia in his yellow Stinson in the
afternoon. A good day!
July 22, 2012. My
son Andy came to visit. He's a photographer living in Rochester, New York.
(He has since moved to Baltimore.) Over the years, Andy flew frequently with me in the Stinson and Chief. This was
his first ride in the Champ.
July 6, 2012. On the
takeoff roll, Stan lifts the tail as he passes our house. The markings on
the fuselage are as they appeared when the plane was owned by writer Richard
July 6, 2012. Stan Sweikar
stopped by today in his freshly restored Fleet Model 2 Biplane.
It's great to see this Fleet flying again after 24 years. To get to Ophelia, Stan flies
from his airstrip in Dameron, Maryland, which means crossing the lower Potomac
River. During these early flights with the rebuilt 125 HP Kinner B-5, Stan
wears a life preserver for the water crossing. The flight takes about 20 minutes
in the Fleet. By car the trip takes about 2.5 hours, since one must first travel
north to the bridge crossing the Potomac. At the end of the month Stan flew the
Fleet to Oshkosh and Blakesburg where he won awards.
June 3, 2012. Today, we flew to
Williamsburg, Virginia (KJGG)
for that $100 hamburger. There is a nice cafe and you can park your plane
right in front. Good food, nice atmosphere, highly recommended. My Champ
is in the foreground, behind that is Mike Roe's Stinson 108-1.
Flying Around Ophelia - Archives 2010-2011
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