Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Airport Review: Dare County Regional Airport, NC (KMQI)

As a part of my summer this year, I began taking flight lessons everywhere I travelled with my family. This allowed me to experience new planes, in new areas, with new instructors. Learning how to adapt to changing environments is a key skill for pilots, one that I'm still working on. 

When I was in the Outer Banks of North Carolina a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take a lesson with OBX Airplanes, out of Dare County Regional Airport. Read the full article here: OBX Airplanes Cessna 150 Flight Lesson

Dare County Regional Airport (KMQI) is a public airport located 2 miles Northwest of Manteo, North Carolina. This general aviation airport covers 340 acres and has two runways: Runway 5/23 (4,300ft) and Runway 17/35 (3,303ft). The facility was originally opened as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) and officially commissioned on March 3, 1943. NAAS Manteo was used for special training of squadrons and the most common aircraft used were F4F Wildcats, F6F Hellcats, SB2C Helldivers, TBM and TBF Avengers, PBY Catalinas and F4U Corsairs. 

Today, the airport is served by an FBO (Fixed Base Operator). From the airport, banners are picked up and dropped off for beach towing, scenic flight tours are given, and jets frequently arrive with vacationing families. In addition, while I was at the airport, I saw a Fedex Feeder Cessna Caravan C208 on the ramp getting fueled up. 

The FBO at KMQI is nice and comfortable. There is a lounge area with big leather couches, planes are hanging from the ceilings, and one has great views of both the runways and the sound side of the Atlantic Ocean. 

We waited in the lounge area for Jenny Hawk, who then drove us over to the OBX Airplanes hangar on the other side of the airport, not too far away. 

Jenny's hangar has her Cessna 150 (N704EV) inside, along with a desk, chairs, fridge, etc. Because it sits facing the water, it wasn't too hot! It was cool to be flying with OBX Airplanes for the day, I'd recommend Jenny to anyone!

From Jenny's hangar, we watched banner planes pick up and drop off their banners. I had no idea the acrobatic skill that is required of banner pilots, in planes not really designed for acrobatics! Check out a video on youtube of banner planes picking up their banners, it's pretty incredible! 

Here are the videos I have from my takeoffs and landings at KMQI (click here for the youtube channel if viewing from an email: MartinsAviation1):

KMQI is a nice airport in a very scenic area. A just 4 minute flight will take you to the First Flight Airport and Wright Brother's Monument in Kitty Hawk. If you're in the Outer Banks for vacation, consider taking a flight out of Dare County! 

Thanks for reading and watching,
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation
Youtube: MartinsAviation1

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Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin