Team Wilbur gets the scenic view

April 12, 2010 by Ian Twombly
Steve Chupnick (left) and Ian Twombly at the Wright memorial at First Flight.

Steve Chupnick (left) and Ian Twombly at the Wright memorial at First Flight.

Wow, did we have a full day Sunday. Steve and I departed Williamsburg at around 10:30 in the morning and headed south. It was past Norfolk, the shipyards, then down the Outer Banks. If you’ve never been exposed to general aviation, as Steve hasn’t, a flight like this can really blow your mind. And I think for him it did. We flew right off the coast and watched dolphins play in the water as people enjoyed the nice morning on the beach.

 
Our first stop was KFFA, First Flight Airport at Kitty Hawk. I find Kitty Hawk to be an interesting place. It’s not the most impressive aviation museum or experience, but there’s no question you get a feeling like you’re on holy ground as you walk around. Seeing the markers of the first day’s four flights is incredible (Wilbur went the farthest by about 600 feet, by the way. Go Team Wilbur!). And just the mere fact that we’re able to land an airplane at this place little more than 100 years later with the knowledge of all the incredible advances we’ve made in that time is really inspiring.
 
After KFFA we headed south for Wilmington, N.C., again down the coast. More dolphins, lighthouses, and sunbathers took us straight into Wilmington International, where Airport Support Network Volunteer Ralph Fox greeted us, and guided us into town for a slice of pizza.
 
The leg from Wilmington to Dillon, S.C., was going to be the shortest of the trip for us, so I took the opportunity to try and show Steve a flight he’d never forget. We took the doors off and headed west. Our course was directly into the sun (good thing we had our Scheyden sunglasses, which have been incredible). The air was still, the sun was setting, and we were flying 2,500 feet with the doors off. It’s one of those times you thank God you’re a pilot.
 
Those are the short details of the day. I’ll write a separate entry to try and really give you a flavor for how things are going. Today, however, it’s in the Smartcar for Steve and me, and we have some fun adventures planned along the way.
Guest blogger Ian J. Twombly and Steve Chupnick are Team Wilbur, heading to Florida in AOPA’s Road and Runway Rally.—Jill W. Tallman

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