This has to be one of the most famous places in the world, yet I’ve never met anyone who has been here. It it’s the Wright Brothers Memorial, at Kill Devil Hill in Northern Carolina’s Outer Banks. The modern runway parallels the Wrights first flight and is marked out with standing stones. The first hop, 120 feet, is a few steps along the pathway. But by the fourth flight, over 800 feet, they covered a respectable walking distance. The standing stones must have presented quite a hazard on the day!
The obelisk behind my little 172 stands on top of Kill Devil Hill and marks out the spot from which they launched the 1902 glider. Standing up there, the scene is uncannily familiar – from the photographs with which we have all grown up.
Flying in here (from Charlotte, NC) was a major experience, in beautiful weather. The approach passes over very busy road and the strip cuts a swathe through the trees hemming it in. Now I just have 1800 miles left to go back to Prescott, Arizona.
I stopped in there for an afternoon in the 310 about 30 years ago. I really nice place. The whole outer banks trip south from there is a great trip. Though I was reminded of the rough side of the weather they get from time to time, when I noticed that the public tiedowns at several airports south of there are chains rather than ropes!
I’ve found chains common in the US. Only recently encountered straps – but FBO’s own.
My wife, frightened of flying, took her first lesson there while pregnant 18 years ago. I was astonished at the approach to land which was all over the place. “Who was flying the plane on final?” I asked. “She was,” answered the instructor. Then we discussed his desire to move to Alaska as a bush pilot. He had the cojones for it. That was the first and last time I’ve seen an instructor allow a student to land the plane on their first lesson.
Wonderful place, well worth a visit. I don’t remember the obelisk though.
We were there last year. A 252 doesn’t look bad in front of the monument either