Biplanes_at_Katama_AirparkI flew to Katama this weekend!

If you haven’t flown to the Vineyard, do it! Since it is grass it’s technically a soft field but it’s very firm. Still a good idea to use your soft field technique though. It’s like a step back in time when you land. The runways are a little difficult to pick out at first, but once you’re familiar the airfield it becomes easier. Take a good look at the field on Google maps. The runways are numbered with white stones. There are 3 runways, the most common one is 21 which runs alongside the road. Look just to the left of the road nearest the restaurant with the planes parked nearby and you’ll see it.

There is a landing fee which varies depending on how long your staying, whether or not you’re going to the beach (there is a separate parking area at the south end of the field). We paid $10: $5 landing fee and $5 for 1/2 day parking—we landed at 11:00. You can eat at the restaurant on the field and I’ve heard they may waive the landing fee if you eat there. Whatever the fee is it’s well worth it.

If you’re familiar with the term “island time” it all becomes very clear once you land at Katama. Everything slows down a bit, everyone is more friendly and not in a hurry to get anywhere. If you look up the term “laid back” in the dictionary you’ll probably see a picture of Martha’s Vineyard! You can take the shuttle bus into Edgartown for $1.25. It stops right beside the field and runs about every 15 minutes.

As far as flying to the vineyard, there are two choices. Over the water if you’re comfortable with a long voyage over water, or over land. Be sure to use flight following if you go by land as there tends to be a lot of traffic. Keep it under 3000′ and just outside 128 and you’ll be clear of Boston’s class B airspace. I plot my route: LWM BED OWD 1B2. Boston approach is very helpful and professional.

Credits: The picture of the Katama biplanes is from Wikimedia Commons.

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