Virginia or West Virginia Backcountry strips?

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by RickHiebs, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello all. Live in Manitoba, Canada and brand new to this website; looks informative, etc.
    My friend and I are looking forward to flying a bush plane (Bearhawk Patrol) down to the Virginia's in mid Oct to enjoy your beautiful fall color scenery. Hoping to find some backcountry private or public turf strips (or even just nice photogenic spots) we can land at, take a few pictures and carry on. We'd prefer hilly/valley or mountainous terrain but open to suggestions. Would also like a couple of spots to pitch a tent beside our plane for a night. I've been thru those parts on motorcycle some 35 years ago and looking forward to seeing it from the air.
    Thanks very much for your time and any help you may be able to provide.
     
  2. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One of our club members spoke glowingly of https://www.justplaneadventures.com in West Virginia - He went down there to do his tailwheel endorsement in their 1940 Taylorcraft BC-65.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
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  3. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    Newlon Field (I41) in WV is a nice grass strip by the Ohio River with a restaurant and campground on field. The campground is setup for RVs, but I camped under the wing on the other side of the field when I came through in my Starduster.
     
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  4. Getonit

    Getonit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Woodbridge VA, about 15 southeast of MOL VOR (whatever that is....)...anyway I think they have a nice little brewery/restaurant on field. I think they allow camping. I am over in RIC, so pick me up. I have never been there, Mooney ovation and it is a shorter field.
     
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  5. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Just got back home from the Virginia's yesterday. Had an awesome trip! Visited over a dozen airstrips. Some preplanned, others we just stumbled upon. Never did any tenting as the night temps were just to low for comfortable tenting. Met so many amazing people, all of them so very accommodating, friendly, and welcoming. I'll comment again tomorrow with a list of some of our favorite strips.
     
  6. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Currently working on editing some photos, but can't post a link until I've got more than 5 posts.
     
  7. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Keep posting then! Glad you had a great trip and looking forward to the pics.
     
  8. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Here's a list of some of our favorite strips that we landed at.
    1. 44VA Big Hill. We were out for an early morning flight. A number of the valleys were holding low dense fog which kept us from landing at our planned strips. As we were enjoying the view from above the fog (all mountain tops were visible) we stumbled across what would turn out to be our favorite stop. A lone mountain peak ridge with this little strip...as if we were landing on an island in the sky; beautiful! IMG_6678.jpg

    2. WV30 Rainelle. Mountain top grass strip with gorgeous views.
    3. KHSP Ingalls Field. Another mountain top with beautiful views.
    4. WV08 Chesapeake. A small island on the Kanawha River, just large enough to hold an airstrip. Very cool.
    5. VG18 Sky Bryce resort. Scenic valley bottom right beside a golf course. Sadly we didn't have time for a round of golf.
    6. WV32 New River Gorge. The strip itself wasn't that special but the nearby deep gorge and bridge were amazing. We happened upon it at exactly the right time, just by luck. It was mid afternoon and they were right in the middle of Official Bridge Day, West Virginia's largest single day festival. Hundreds of base jumpers float down to the river 876 feet below and rappelers were hanging from numerous ropes. We flew some distance down inside the gorge and then up and over the bridge and back down. Apparently when there's no activity, many pilots fly under this world's second largest single arch bridge.
    7. VG34 Merifield. Beautiful grass strip on a sort of peninsula in cottage country.
    Many others were nice but these were some of our favorites.
     
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  9. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Our excuse to fly down to WV and Virginia was to attend a picnic hosted by Bob Barrows, the inventor of the Bearhawk line of airplanes. He and his wife Diana were such gracious hosts and put on a huge spread for the approximately 40 people that attended. Only 4 of those flew in however. His little private grass strip (VA04) is tucked into the forested area of a valley bottom, a beautiful location.
    (I'm just trying to post enough so that I can share a link to our photos, lol. Apparently I need more than 5 posts before this site will allow me to insert links)
     
  10. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Looking forward to many more such fly-in trips to the USA...maybe next year to Idaho?
     
  11. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Okay, so lets see if I'm allowed to post a link now, lol. https://www.actionplusphoto.com/Proofs
    There are two galleries of photos from our trip.
    Gallery: Bearhawk Password: Patrol is from our spring trip into Utah.
    Gallery: Bearhawk II Password: Patrol is from this trip into the Virginias.
    Hope you all enjoy. Cheers, Rick
     
  12. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Just out of curiosity, why do you password protect these things and then make them available to a pack of strangers on a public forum? Seems a bit self-defeating to my simple-minded self.
     
  13. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Good question, the same briefly crossed my mind, lol. But seriously, to a degree, it does control the category of viewers I'm catering too.
     
  14. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    I somehow missed this thread a month ago. Sounds like a wonderful trip.

    The link for the photos asks for a email address and password. I'm very interested in seeing the photos as these are some spots I'd love to hit at some point. I was at Bryce a week ago, neat little place to drop in for lunch.

    Aside from Bryce (which is essentially public), did you have any trouble getting permission to land at any of the other private strips?
     
  15. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Looks like an awesome trip! So can anyone go land at these strips or did you guys have specific permission?
     
  16. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Don't try the login link at the top. When I clicked the individual galleries it only asked for the password provided in the post: Patrol
     
  17. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Thanks...that worked!
     
  18. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    The grass strip on the island in the Kanawha River, WV08 Chesapeake, looks pretty cool. But unless you decide to take a swim, it looks like you're stuck there!
     
  19. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    o_O You flew in with an airplane... :D
     
  20. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Don't we use airplanes to actually go somewhere? Aside from fishing, there's not much to see on the island.
     
  21. RickHiebs

    RickHiebs Filing Flight Plan

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    Sorry for the late reply...was away. We called all private strips for permission and in every case, people were super welcoming! My friend did the calling and I believe there were one or two that we didn't get replies from, but based on the overwhelming friendliness from the rest, we made brief stops regardless. Some asked to be advised when we were close; they'd fire up the BBQ, etc. Awesome people.
    Yes, WV08 Chesapeake is an island without further transportation (unless prior arranged) but for us it was only intended to be a real cool place to land, take a few photos/video, and depart.
     
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  22. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Mexico Farms which is in Cumberland, MD. Not really Backcountry as it is under the pattern for the 'Greater Cumberland Airport' (which is in WV)