Jill Tallman

Say goodbye to the bump

June 13, 2008 by Jill W. Tallman, Associate Editor

Mention “Tangier Island” to Mid-Atlantic area pilots, and those who’ve been will tell you that it’s a great place for a day trip, but oh, that runway… The 2,950-foot asphalt strip at TGI is legendary for having cracks and a “bump” in the middle. But those are soon to become a part of pilot lore.

Quick pirep: This tiny island community of about 600 people is accessible only by boat or airplane. It’s located on the lower Eastern Shore in the Chesapeake Bay, and many of its residents are commercial watermen. The airport is open from dawn to dusk (there’s a $7 landing fee), and although there’s no fuel available, you can easily hop over to Crisfield Municipal or Accomack County. TGI is the airport whose crosswinds on a  blustery spring day many years ago proved a little too much for AOPA Pilot Editor Mike Collins. The Pilot Information Center’s Claire Kultgen has taken AOPA’s Piper Archer to Tangier, and she recalls, “It’s neat to fly to an island. The crab is awesome, and it’s fun just to walk around. It’s also great to see a community that understands the importance of its airport and works actively to get pilots to fly in for a visit.” There are no cars on Tangier, one of many visual reminders that “it’s a different way of life,” she notes.

With crab and oyster harvests on the wane, Tangier is eager to boost tourism to its shores, and a $3.25 million repaving project for the airport and the island’s handful of roads is part of that effort. The town is raising $65,000, or 2 percent of the total.

I’ve had TGI on my personal flight planner for years now, but this is the year I’ll go. I already knew Tangier boasts some great seafood restaurants. (You know how pilots love to talk about food! Hilda Crockett’s Chesapeake House is the fave of some folks in the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.) But I recently learned that Tangier also has free (!) loaner kayaks and canoes you can borrow to paddle one of the island’s four designated water trails, and a new museum that opened this month.

If you’ve been to Tangier, tell us about your visit in the Comments section. And if you haven’t been, well… see you there!

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4 Responses to “Say goodbye to the bump”

  1. Christopher Weiss Says:

    TGI is my favorite destination. It’s the only airport I’ve been to where everything is in walking distance. There’s no need for a taxi or rental car. The food is delicious and the people are wonderful. The locals will give you an island tour by golf cart. It’s a really lovely place. I enthusiastically recommend flying in.

  2. Alan Ricey Says:

    My wife got crabs at TGI too.

  3. Private Parts Doctor Says:

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    So she was saying, “Hello,” to the bumps, eh?

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