One thing I really started doing this summer was flying wherever I traveled with my family. Before North Carolina, I’d flown Piper’s over Gulf Shores, Alabama, and gliders over Lake Tahoe, California. Being a pilot opens up a world of new opportunities, some of which most people in the world will never experience. So many “firsts” were made for me this summer: my first flight over a beach, first flight with my mom, first flight with my brother, first glider flight, first helicopter flight, and now, my first flight into First Flight Airport!

As any pilot or aviation enthusiast will know, the first heavier-than-air powered flight took place in Kitty Hawk, on December 17th, 1903. The Wright Brothers flew their primitive Wright-Flyer I, made of Spruce wood and Pride of the West muslin, off Kill Devil Hills, NC. Today, a monument sits atop the dune upon which the Wright Brothers flew many of their test-glider flights. This monument is easily seen from First Flight Airport (KFFA), which is only a few hundred yards away.

First Flight Airport (KFFA) has one runway: 2/20 (3,000ft x 60ft). As one pilot famously said “If you can land at First Flight on a windy day, you can land anywhere.” With tall trees on both ends and sides of the runway, it’s frequently turbulent with a noticeable crosswind… this was the case on the day I flew there.

Arriving into First Flight Airport for the first time was a really cool moment for me. We flew over Kill Devil Hills and the Wright Brothers Monument. I couldn’t help but think what the Wright Brothers might’ve thought if they’d been able to get their hands on the controls of the Cessna 150 I was flying.

My dad was waiting at the end of the runway for our arrival into KFFA’s runway 20. In the video below, you can see his exterior footage of our landing coupled with the GoPro cockpit footage which was being recorded at the same time. Here is the video:

The First Flight Airport was extremely quiet, as expected. There were a handful of planes on the ramp, covered with tarps. The background looking out from the airport was quite impressive though, with the Wright Brothers monument standing on the very close dune.
Here is the video of our takeoff from KFFA’s runway 20. Once again, both the exterior footage from my dad and the cockpit GoPro footage have been matched up:
Thanks for reading and watching!
-Swayne Martin

About The Author

If you want to become a pilot, I want to make your journey just a little easier. I'm a First Officer for Envoy Air, one of the largest regional airlines in the world, and have partnered with industry leaders like the U.S. Air Force to teach about various aviation careers. For a full bio, click the "About" tab above. Use the "Contact" tab to shoot me a message.

6 Responses

    • Swayne Martin

      Thanks so much, it really was amazing!

      Awesome to be included in your recent post, thanks for that!

      Hope everything at USAir has been going well, thanks for the comment,


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