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Our trip to the Potomac TRACON

potomic_traconOn September 29th 2007 Irv (a long time member of our flying club) flew Ed (in the back seat) and me (copilot) to Manassas VA for a tour of the state of the art Potomac TRACON facility. This was my first flight in our 182RG N4757T and my first flight using IFR routing. Before this flight I had never really understood the advantage of flying IFR in VMC, but after this flight I was definitely interested in attaining my IFR rating.

The preflight security clearance / registration:

This was a pilot only event and required preregistration with the TRACON facility. Basically you had to send your request to an email address along with your pilot’s license number and social security number.

Flight planning:

The flight plan was an IFR route from Morristown KMMU to Manassas VA KHEF we were assigned our requested route until entering the ADIZ once in the ADIZ we were given direct routing to KHEF. The winds were gusting to around 25 knots at the surface but above 3000 feet the air was smooth. We didn’t run into any turbulence until we were vectored to 2500 for the approach. The landing was good and the NextFlight FBO was great. They marshaled us into our parking spot and laid out the welcome “mat”. We were pleasantly surprised to find that our ground transportation would be a new rental car that Irv had reserved the day before. They gave us access to the car for free and the people were very nice.

We first attended a seminar on the ADIZ (it was the standard FAA Safety slide show) followed by the actual tour of the TRACON. The TRACON facility was quite impressive even for a techie like me. After the tour we drove back to the airport for our return flight. We had a brief 15 minute wait for our departure and were sent a little out of our way on the approach into Morristown, but the flying was great. Irv let me fly both ways (ok the auto pilot heading bug was set, but I had to hold altitude) which was not much work since the air was smooth.

Flying Reports Podcast – Episode 32

Aug 10, 2006


I went on a guided tour of the Washington area TRACON facility in Warrenton, Virginia – a state-of-the-art traffic control facility.

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Click on the image to view more photos

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda