Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Winged Wednesday

Because it's been far, far too long.
Heading east, following the Potomac River through the gap at Harpers Ferry.
Looking down on the historic Hilltop House hotel, once a luxurious inn with a view of the river to die for. Now it's just a ruin, and possiby too far gone to ever save.
Looking down on the Maryland side of the river at Harpers Ferry. Here you can see the two railroad lines converging at the mouth of the tunnel. Just before the tunnel, the tracks cross over the old C&O Canal. One of the old canal locks is visible, and alongside the lock is the remains of an old lock keeper's house. This one is notable in that one of John Brown's disciples , John Cook, took a job here as a lock keeper and schoolteacher in order to scout the armory before Brown's famous terrorist attack.
Here's the Blue Ridge, heading south into Virginia.
And out the other side, we see it going north, well into and through Maryland.
Railroad yard in Brunswick, MD. Two diesel locomotives stand waiting by the remains of the old B&O roundhouse that, when it was still there, housed steam engines.
Somewhere in Maryland. Dude--you really should have covered that pool over the winter. Good luck with THAT this summer.
Clearview airport (2W2). I needed to land here again since the last time I came in, I scotched the approach, came in too hot, and had to use roughly 1830 feet of the 1835-foot runway to get down and stopped. I gotta do it again.
Much better. Actually didn't embarrass myself this time. And another reason I landed here is to look at all of the sad aviation relics that adorn this field. I call it "The airport of misfit planes".
This was once a Cessna 175.
Here's an Ercoupe that could use a bit of work before it's next annual.
Sad, neglected Taylorcraft Tripacer. Almost missed this one back in the weeds.
Poor Piper.
This is an M-Squared Breese-2. Looks old, but it was built in 2004.
A 1947 Aeronca Champ.
I stopped into the FBO and spent quite a bit of time talking to the nice old fellow who was running it for the day as a favor to the owner. He told me that neither the Champ or the Breese has flown in years. That's so damned sad. Airplanes need to fly, and when you don't love 'em or fly 'em, they just rot away. And this airport is littered with examples of that.

After chatting for half an hour, it was time to go. There's nothing like a flat, smooth runway, and this one is really nothing like a flat, smooth runway.
I flew north, shot a touch-and-go at Carroll County Airport. Last time I was there was October, 2014, when Stretch and I went there to see the B-17.

Nothing cool there today, so I was in and out, and over this piece of hallowed ground in short order.

Gettysburg. 8,900 men died here between July 1 and July 3, 1863, and 22,000 more were wounded.
Devil's Den below. Little Round Top is just yards to the east.
The large white monument to the right is the Pennsylvania Memorial, largest monument on the battlefield. North of it a bit, just up that road to the left, you'll see an obelisk. This marks the high-water mark of the battle ant the war; it's the point where Pickett's Charge was turned back after suffering appalling casualties. That failed attack is said to have broken the back of the Southern army.
Lotta blood on the ground down there. Lotta futures lost forever.
Next, it was a landing at Gettsyburg Airport (W05). I parked, got out to explore, then saw this neat Super Decathalon, grandson of that Champ back at Clearview, come in and land.
I tried to talk to the pilot when he walked up to the FBO, but for some reason, he was pretty dickish and blew me off. Seriously dude, you're flying a Citabria, not an SR-71. Put the attitude back in it's box.
Off again, and headed to Hagerstown, MD. Overflew this armory below, which was cool because artillery. It was allegedly Frederick the Great who once said that "Artillery brings dignity to what would otherwise be an ugly brawl." (Or it might have been Old NFO. Rumor has it that those two hung around a lot together.)

Into Frederick. Three other aircraft in the immediate area and I couldn't see any of them. This is one of those times when tower folks are actually useful and cool.
Back out of HGR and headed for home. Passed over Wiliamsport, MD and spotted Doubleday Hill below. This is where Union General Abner Doubleday (yeah, the baseball guy) commanded a detachment and built this small fortification atop this hill to cover the Ptomac River crossing below. If you click on the pic, you'll see three cannon below.
Finally, after four states, five airports and 2.3 hours of flying time, I'm home.


  1. I would dearly love (read that: Pay Good Money) to hang out the right side window and click a shutter release for old time's sake...

    1. Any time you want to come here, We'll make a flight or two happen.

  2. That Frederick the Great/Old NFO line was the best.

  3. Hey Murphy,

    Great pics ..again...There is a general airfield in the next town over called "Kitty Hawk" and they have quite a few relics sitting around decomposing...and that makes me sad....I hate to wonder the cost of bringing one back up to specs.... And Old NFO flew the spotter balloon for Frederick the Great....I think I saw it on his Bio..

  4. I have seen most of that from the ground, but the arialshots are fantastic... Whole nother view of Gettysburg. Thanks for that. Nice seeing "my" area that way.

  5. Tam, that guy on the left side of the thing is a very nice guy. Took me for for a ride or two in three or two dimensions. I left the driving to him. He's good. Let me know when you go to WV. I always get up there when I can.

  6. Shoulda been flying this instead:

  7. Think Picture 12 is a Tri-Pacer. There are a few tri gear Taylorcraft but they have a longer wingspan. Course, I could be wrong.

    1. You're right. I was rushing, and that's what happens. Good catch.

  8. Anonymous6:15 PM

    Thanks for sharing these pictures

  9. Nice pics, and sad about the birds rotting away... Freddy liked his BIG guns... with big horses to pull them!

  10. Enjoy your pics flying over the lands I grew up in eons ago. Wanted to point out that the first plane shown at Clearview Airport identified as a Cessna 175 is actually a Cessna 177 Cardinal. Loved the big car doors with the old style vent windows.

    1. Whups. Good catch. I did it again. That's what I meant to call it. 177=no wing struts. 175=cool tail-dragger. I need a proof-reader before I post. Anyone?