You can find video of just about everything else on the Internet, so why not approaches into an airport? Randy Bagby, manager of Transylvania Community Airport (3NR3) near Asheville, N.C., knew the Internet was the way to go, so when the airport owner decided to create a webpage for the field, he took matters into his own hands. “I thought, ‘if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a billion’,” said Bagby. “Ron Stammy, our webmaster, brought his video camera out and I volunteered my time and my airplane and we shot the approaches. It was great fun and only took about two hours.”
The video was put online, and now pilots who are unfamiliar with the airport can virtually fly in before they do it real world. Another bonus: The videos help pilots avoid noise sensitive areas and high terrain.
The private airport sits on approximately 220 acres 10 miles south of Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The field is bordered by a commercial tree farm and homes. Airport elevation is 2,100 MSL, while there are hills surrounding the airport that go up to 3,500 feet.
The balance between noise abatement and safety is a delicate thing, noted Bagby.
“The airport has been here for about 10 years. There are houses around the perimeter of the airport, so education of the pilots is on-going,” he said. “There are signs posted at the end of runway 09/27 that outline the route they should take to avoid over-flying noise sensitive areas.”
The videos and signs are just part of the airport’s “Good Neighbor Program,” developed to reduce noise levels in an area with noise sensitive neighbors, he noted.
The airport is private use, so prior permission is required to land. New visitors are required to review the information on the website, then register online that they have done so.
“We are the area’s best-kept secret,” Bagby continued. “We have pilots who drive by or fly by and didn’t know we were here.”
Bagby often gives tours of the airport to visitors. “I’m glad to show people around,” he said, adding, “People like to come back because my wife Stephanie makes brownies. People have flown hours for one of her brownies.”
The airport has an FBO that provides maintenance. It also has hangars for rent.
For more information: TransylvaniaCommunityAirport.com