Greetings from the Chairman’s cockpit. As we “spring” into the time of year when winter bound pilots look forward to getting airborne prior to the hot days of summer so also does the VAHS.
The process to nominate and select the 2020 inductees into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame is off the runway. The Hall of Fame, located in the Shannon Aviation Museum in Fredericksburg, depicts the history of aviation in the Commonwealth and recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the growth and development on Virginia aviation. Many individual efforts have resulted in the pioneering, growth, or development of aviation and aerospace and should be recorded for future generations. Each year, the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society Board of Directors selects one or more individuals for recognition and induction into the Hall of Fame. Information regarding the selection process can be found on the VAHS website or by calling Sue Baker at the VAHS headquarters. I highly encourage you to nominate worthy individuals for consideration. Nominations must be in by April 10th.
Please let me take this opportunity to recognize and thank Ray Gill for his service as our president for the last year and a half. Ray has been instrumental in increasing membership, beginning new chapters, and in leading the transition of the VAHS headquarters and Hall of Fame from Richmond to the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame and Shannon Airport Campus. We are indebted to Ray and wish him well in his future endeavors.
On behalf of the VAHS I am pleased to commend the Flying Circus and the Williamsburg Airport on their 50th anniversaries. Both will be recognized in the General Assembly through joint House and Senate resolutions. Following are excerpts from the resolutions.
“The Flying Circus Aerodrome and Airshow, an International Aviation Ambassador is celebrating its 50th year of entertaining and educating visitors from around the Commonwealth, the United States, and the world. The Flying Circus is one of America’s best and longest-performing weekly airshows and preserves the legacy of the “barnstorming” aerobatic shows popular during the Golden Age of Flight through majestic stunts, the performances of daring wing walkers, and the use of modern high-performance aerobatics aircraft. Aviators affiliated with The Flying Circus have unselfishly performed throughout the 20 United States, bringing this unique experience to countless people who would not otherwise have such an opportunity. The Flying Circus and many of its past and present pilots and administrators are members of the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame and have been an integral part of Virginia’s aviation industry and aviation history communities, vividly bringing to life aspects of the Commonwealth’s leading role in American aviation supremacy.”
The Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport, one of the few remaining privately owned airports in the Commonwealth, has served the residents of the Virginia Peninsula and aviators from around the country for 50 years. The WilliamsburgJamestown Airport traces its roots to 1967, when Larry Waltrip (Hall of Fame member) asked his parents, the owners of a construction company, about building a new airstrip to replace the recently closed College Airport at The College of William & Mary. The Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport officially opened on September 20, 1970 and is still owned by the Waltrip family. Thousands of people pass through the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport each year, including business travelers and Tidewater locals; the airport is a major hub for tourist travel to nearby Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. The Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport houses dozens of privately owned aircraft and further serves the community by supporting the Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance and the Williamsburg Flight Center, which operates on airport property and provides flight training, maintenance, and air tours. Over the course of its history, the WilliamsburgJamestown Airport has become a beloved community meeting place, with civic groups using the airport’s conference room for events and the award-winning Charly’s Airport Restaurant providing delicious food to locals and travelers alike.
Congratulations to both the Flying Circus and the Williamsburg Airport.
Fly Safe and Check Six,