So you've got your license, now what?
Need somewhere to land instead of just flying around locally? We've gathered a few places that have interesting things to do or great restaurants as well as a variety of airspace, including uncontrolled airports and Class D or higher. We'll also add some ideas for longer trips. Send us your feedback on any places and events you've found and would like to share. ~Enjoy The Ride!
ANNIE'S PARAMOUNT STEAK & SEAFOOD HOUSE
We've just received permission from Michael J. Katinas, President of Annie's to land on their property located at the intersection of Kent Narrows Way N and Kent Narrows Road. You can call ahead for take out by calling 410-827-7103 and asking for Michael, Helen, Aliki or Kim. But, if you're making the trip, feel free to stay for a minute and enjoy their great atmosphere and friendly staff. The landing site is about 900 ft from the restaurant. Check it out before you arrive at www.annies.biz
When you expect extraordinary - choose Annie's!!
500 Kent Narrows Way North, Grasonville, Maryland 21638
CHESTER COUNTY AIRPORT (40N)
(21 NM, Course: 354)
The Flying Machine Cafe has a great aviation atmosphere with a lot of RC models of new and WWII airplanes, helicopters (OK, just one) and a view overlooking the runways. You can watch the coming and goings of all kinds and sizes of aircraft while you eat, including the local P51 Mustang. The terminal building was built in 1994, so its fairly new. The atmosphere is cheery and their food is quite good. This is a great spot to go for a sandwich or salad; its easy to get to, has good food and a very pleasant atmosphere. The BLT, chili and salads are all excellent and are my normal selections when I go. They no longer have the Sunday morning buffet, but they do have a nice menu all the time. The restaurant is open 11am -10pm Monday thru Friday and 8am - 10pm Saturday and Sunday. Click on the link for more info and menus.
The airport is fairly easy to find. Look for the water tower on the west end of the runway, which has a flashing strobe. An then you'll see the row of hangers that parallels the runway on the north side. Park to the west of the café, but beyond the reserved spots for the local FBO (marked on the tarmac).
MASSEY AERODROME (MD1)
(21 NM, Course: 201)
Massey is an Airport/Museum and would make a nice day trip. Normal hours are: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM and anytime by appointment. Massey has a single grass strip which may not be the easiest to find; but it is in the GPS airport database. Check out their web site (Massey Air Museum) for coming events.
We've been to Massey several times and the airstrip can get wet and soggy in the spring or after lots of rain; obviously not a problem with the helicopter, but you will be walking around some, so just something to think about.
SMOKETOWN AIRPORT, PA (S37)
(33 NM, Course: 329)
T. BURK & CO. DELI RESTAURANT is about a block from the Smoketown Airport, but what a great place! Its one of my favorite places, very clean, new and has individual tables with a really nice bright atmosphere decorated with local crafts. Not only is the food very good, they have a nice selection of sandwiches and salads. The sandwiches range from the normal stuff like Reubens and Subs to some pretty fancy sounding things like Chicken Cordon Bleu. Salads are very fresh and crispy and also ranged from the standard garden salad to a Chicken and Cashew Salad. Personally, my favorite is the House Greens with Amish hot bacon dressing and is very similar to one my mother made. All food is made on the premises and everything I saw looked great. Prices are very reasonable. They are open 10am to 8 pm, Monday through Saturday, but closed on Sundays. Find more info and their menu at T. Burk & Co. Deli
If you go on a Sunday, or just want a full meal, there is another restaurant which is an easy walk. Its called Alex Austins Steakhouse and is also about a block from the airport. We havent been there, but it looked pretty nice from the outside and a sign indicated it was open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you try it, let us know how it is.
The old sandwich shop which is only a few yards from the airport is now a Pizza place, but its also closed Sunday. I havent tried it yet, simply because I think T. Burks is so good. There are a couple of other sandwich shops and an Italian place nearby also, but can't tell you much about them either and they are a little further walk.
Smoketown is close to the Route 896 and Route 30 intersection, which is about a mile from the outlet stores that abound in this area. They used to have an Airport Car that you could use; otherwise, you might be able to catch a ride with someone; there's usually a crowd just hanging out at the airport and they always seem like pretty nice people, contrary to some airports.
MILLVILLE, NJ (MIV)
(35 NM, Course: 129)
VERNAS FLIGHTLINE RESTAURANT is on the airport and a converted WWII building, as are essentially all of the buildings on the field. It's pretty small, but worth the trip. The food is excellent and not expensive. I've been told to try the P47 hamburger, but since we went for breakfast, we didn't make it. I've had the P-47 omelet and Gravy and Sausage, which were both great! They don't have an on-line menu, but I don't think you will be disappointed. It's normally pretty crowded, which is always a good sign, but I've never had to wait. They are open 6am to 2pm, 7 days a week.
Millville is a nice trip; its short and they have an AAF Museum (Millville Army Airfield) on field. The museum has a display of World War II memorabilia. Located in the airport, just across from the primary flight line (Big Sky Aviation), the museum is open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
Millville has a very nice airshow each summer. It gets pretty crowded, so you may want to drive although that gets crowded too. For more info on the airshow and other events at Millville, you can go to the Museum link above.
LANCASTER, PA (LNS)
(39 NM, Course: 329)
Fiorentino's Restaurant, an upscale restaurant with a decidedly nice atmosphere, very similar to any nice evening restaurant. Prices for most evening entrees are in the $10 to $13 range and the selection is very good. The food was good and worth the trip, although it has been a couple of years since I've been there. Breakfast entrees can be had for $5 or less and a light menu is served on the deck at very reasonable prices. The restaurant was new about 2003 and is nicely maintained with lots of glass overlooking runway 8 - 31.
This is an easy trip to a controlled field other than Wilmington. The controllers at Lancaster are always pleasant, so this would be a good choice for an early venture. This offers a cross-country over the Amish country; try this one sometime! If you work your trip carefully, you can fly over the Strasburg Railroad and the steam train is a really neat sight from the air.
READING, PA (RDG)
(45NM, Course: 358)
The Malibooz Bar and Grill replaces the old Wild Wings Café is clean and the food decent if you are in the area. On the other hand, there isn't anything really special about the place although they do have a great view of runway 8 - 31. Well, they do have really cool T-shirts. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m., Noon on Sundays.
This is a nice trip to practice at a controlled field and the scenery is gorgeous with the mountains in the citys background. The first time we went; we called the Tower, as is our normal helicopter procedure, and the Tower controllers returned us to Approach, so you might expect this if you go. You can park behind the tower, just tell the tower you are going to the restaurant.
The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is across the field with a very nice collection of WWII aircraft and it alone is worth the trip. Every year Reading has a very large airshow in approximately late August. It used to alternate with the Paris airshow, but no longer does that. If you want to see some of the best professional airshow pilots in the world without traveling several hundred miles, this is a short trip that will take care of that for you. They are open from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM seven days a week.