Pilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3119 posts, RR: 11 Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3244 times:
There are a number of GA airports in that area. Some that come to mind are Leesburg, VA, Fredrick, MD, and others. GA is allowed into DCA, but the restrictions to fly in there are pretty unrealistic. IAD handles a lot of GA traffic now too.
Dw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1252 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3233 times:
There are two rings of airspace around DC from a security standpoint. The first, Flight Restricted Zone or FRZ, is limited to traffic into DCA, airplanes using the three GA airports within it, and military traffic. The three airports (called the DC-3) are Potomac, College Park, and Hyde Field.
The FRZ is nominally defined as a 15 mile arc around DCA VOR, though it isn't a perfect circle
ADIZ requires a flight plan be filed for IFR or VFR, a transponder with altitude encoding (and a discrete squawk code), contact with ATC, and a lot of patience. The system has so overtaxed Potomac approach it can take half an hour just to get through to them on the phone for a squawk code prior to takeoff.
Some major GA airports in the ADIZ include Gaithersburg MD, Tipton (Fort Meade) MD, Martin State, MD, Annapolis-Lee, MD, and Baybridge. I'm not familiar with the Virginia side, but all of these MD airports were a lot busier before the ADIZ came about. BWI is also affected (in fact, its bravo defines the dimensions of the eastern half of the ADIZ), but since it see primarily IFR traffic and GA is limited, its not as big an issue for them as for an all light single and twin airport like Tipton.
Dw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1252 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3179 times:
W00, Freeway Airport, is probably the closest to DCA. Its roughly 14 nm from DCA and sits in a small cutout of the FRZ, allowing it to operate free of the incredible restrictions that airspace has.
I don't know anything about flight training within the FRZ--it may be authorized, but you certainly need to clear the FRZ before doing anything productive.
Flight training in the ADIZ can be a pain, but plenty of people still do it. Depending on how busy it is, you may be able to practice maneuvers within the ADIZ or you may be forced to leave it--which can eat ups some flight time in a slow trainer. Pattern work is authorized, but you still need a flight plan for it, as well as a squawk code.
Are you specifically looking for training in the DC area?
GAIsweetGAI From Norway, joined Jul 2006, 923 posts, RR: 7 Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3140 times:
Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 4): So what is the closet airport in terms of miles to DC that someone could learn to fly, using a FBO? I guess there are not many student pilots at those GA airports in ADIZ?
Actually I don't think there are any requirements (but I may be wrong).
There are plenty of student pilots around here- the GAI flight school is doing quite well (the chief pilot was telling another instructor they are uderstaffed). Plenty of students- I'm one of them. The only thing you have to do before a flight is file an ADIZ flight plan with Leesburg. If you're flying North, just watch out for P-40.
"There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
Dw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1252 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3118 times:
Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 7): The only thing you have to do before a flight is file an ADIZ flight plan with Leesburg.
I hope thats not the only thing you do--taking off without a squawk is a major problem!
When everything works, it isn't that big of a deal... it is when it doesn't work, it is a major issue. It used to take 30 or 40 minutes to get through to an FSS on a nice day--this has gotten better since Lockheed has taken over, with normal waits of 10 minutes or less.
The bigger issue is contacting Potomac for the squawk. You typically do this right before start-up, and the phoneline is often busy. Other times they will simply refuse to let you fly due to the amount of traffic--something that is prudent in IFR, but a real pain with VFR!
Sitll, I wouldn't worry about it too much if you are selecting a college. Flying here can be tougher, but it certainly is possible and gets you ready for interesting situations.
What colleges are you looking at in the area (if you'd prefer to PM me, thats fine)?
762er From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 542 posts, RR: 1 Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3107 times:
I live in DC near adams Morgan and I fly out of Gaithersburg. You just have to file an "ADIZ" flight plan and pick up your squawk code before taking off. I believe traffic there has actually increased because of the incoming traffic from college park, Friendly, and Hyde. It's pretty simply an the drive has never taken more than 35-40 minutes.
United767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 356 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3086 times:
Manassas, Virginia has a flight program and is about 25 miles west of DCA down I-66. I live in Alexandria, and am about 5 miles from the "mall" and rarely see GA aircraft except for helicopters going to Bolling AFB and to the Pentagon.
BTW 762ER, Do you work for US @ DCA? If so, what do you do for them? I work for UA on the ramp there on afternoon shift.
[Edited 2006-09-20 06:05:58]
I wish UA flew mainline to MYR, that way you wouldn't be stuck in a smelly Saturn for 12 hours.