Category Archives: Headquarters Chatter

Throttle Up!

A letter from your president
Winter 2019

This has been a busy and productive quarter at VAHS!

In September, in conjunction with the Shannon Air Museum, we hosted representatives of the Fredericksburg Regional Hospitality Council. These events help us share with community members, our work here at the VAHS and to encourage tourists to visit us at the Shannon Airport Campus. On September 27, the Warrenton Chapter invited me to present The History of Aviation session at their monthly meeting. Thank you, Dave Darrah, Chapter president! The month ended with an exciting visit to our campus from the Spirit of Freedom C-54 from the Berlin Airlift Foundation, which many of our members stopped by to tour.

The month of October brought several trips to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum with Fredericksburg Chapter sustaining members Butch Cover and Tom Doran. Our mission was to retrieve numerous donated display cases and rail mounts for the Shannon Air Museum. Special thanks go to Pete Stern and the Smithsonian crews for their assistance and generosity.

The Society’s Strategic Planning Committee met twice this quarter. Recommendations are expected to be delivered to the board early in 2020. The fifth annual Shannon Harvest Festival, sponsored by the Shannon Air Museum and Shannon Airport, was held on October 26th. . Both Fredericksburg and Warrenton Chapter members contributed to ground and air operations to help make the event a huge success. On November 20, I delivered an overview of the Shannon Air Museum collection to the Virginia Aerospace Business Association in Hampton. Also presenting at that meeting was Society board member Jerod Hoogland of the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach.

Your president attended a workshop conducted by the Virginia Association of Museums entitled Serving the Differently-Abled: Neurodiversity in Museums held in Newport News. Also, in December, your VAHS office administrator, Sue Baker, celebrated her two-year anniversary with the Society. Thanks, Sue, for all you do!

Finally, the third meeting of the newly forming Richmond Chapter was held at Chesterfield Airport on December 17. Thanks go out to members Tim Donnellan and Van Crosby for helping to coordinate this meeting. The speaker was Bud Southall who discussed his role in developing and testing the lunar landing module for the Apollo 11 project.

It’s through the generous support of our members that our important projects are made possible. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society!

A Joyous Holiday Season to all and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Ray Gill
President, Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society

New Warrenton- Fauquier (KHWY) Terminal Almost Complete

New Warrenton- Fauquier (KHWY) Terminal Almost CompleteWe are on the “Final Countdown” to the finishing touches to complete our new Terminal. Most of our furniture has arrived and in place. The skilled labor needed to complete items for inspection are scheduled in the proper sequence to meet our timelines and the commercial cleaning crew is scheduled to come in to clean the new girl from stem to stern on Monday the 30th of December. We still must move our IT network in, move the avionics equipment over and have our robust Data Stream Broadband installed before we can actually function in the building. We are looking to be operating there by mid-January. The public space furniture was funded through a grant with DOAV. Gratefully, the private space furniture, TV’s, and appliances have all been purchased through generous donations by our patrons and several benefactors. No public moneys were used. Thanks to all who helped us out in this respect. The Grand Opening will be in the early spring so standby for further updates as we get the dates all set. We do plan to hold a soft opening, aka an Open House, soon after moving in. The attached photo shows the building wet and wild at night. When she is completely finished, I’ll update you with a full, day photo!

Dave Darrah,
VAHS Vice President
Warrenton Chapter President

Throttle Up: A letter from the President

I sincerely hope everyone has enjoyed a pleasant, flight-filled summer. A heart-felt thank you to all of our new members, as well as our faithful renewing members.

Over the past few months, it has been my pleasure to be able to visit all of our chapters and many members I only knew by name. July took me to Topping, Virginia to do a presentation on the early history of Virginia aviation for the Northern Neck/Middle Peninsula Chapter at The Pilot House Inn in Topping, Virginia. It was a great visit and my thanks go out to Nancy Miller and George Galo for their hospitality. Also in July, I attended a presentation at the Fredericksburg Chapter conducted by Warrenton Chapter member Phil Hornung on the highlights of early aviation in the Widewater area of Stafford County. Thanks to Luke Curtas for the use of Shannon Air Museum.

August found me at the Richmond Executive Airport (FCI) for the second meeting of the newly forming Richmond Chapter. Our presenter was our own chairman, Dave Young discussing his experiences as a B-52 pilot in Vietnam. Appreciation is due Joe Hoyle of the Wingnuts Flying Club for assisting us in organizing this well-attended event. Due to the generosity of Luke Curtas of Shannon Airport (EZF) I attended the Virginia Aviation Conference in Roanoke, representing both the VAHS and Shannon Air Museum. We had lots of visitors and enjoyed networking with all of the great vendors. Member Larry Waltrip of Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport (KJGG) visited our booth, as did member Alvin Lynn. Alvin ended up winning a great vendor door prize while there.

A visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for a little research in the Pioneers of Exhibit kicked off September. Lots of new construction will bring new exhibits and more space later in 2019. I am most grateful to Williamsburg Chapter members Terry Riley and David Eberly for inviting me to speak at the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at William and Mary on September 11 and September 18. There is no better audience than aviation enthusiasts!

The balance of September will see the headquarters’ team busy conducting meetings and preparing for the 41st Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on October 19 in Fredericksburg. If you haven’t made your reservations, please do so before October 7th. We need your support to continue our important preservation efforts!

Safe travels! See you at the Hall of Fame Dinner!


Ray Gill

President, Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society



On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society, I would like to thank you for your continuous support and commitment to our organization.

As we launch our 2019 Fundraiser, we would like to ask you again to help us. Our financial goal this year is $50,000.00.

We are working to create the VAHS Headquarters’ library and archives on the Shannon Airport Campus in Fredericksburg, home of the historic Shannon Air Museum and the home of our Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame. We are also continuing our efforts to build our scholarship program, which is currently over $228,000, benefiting two deserving Virginia students annually, who wish to pursue an education and career in aviation.

It is only through generous donations such as yours that the VAHS can continue its Mission of preserving aviation history and educating the general public of the many contributions Virginia has made and is making to the development of aviation and aerospace.

Thank you again for your support, it is important and appreciated. Please mail, e-mail, call the office or go to our website, to pay online. If you have comments or questions concerning the Society, its mission and programs, please contact me through the Society’s office.

David L. Young, Chairman

 Letter from our President

I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as the President for our Society. It is an amazing organization and I will always do my very best to represent it well.

Our outgoing president, Hunter Old, deserves an enormous thank you from all of us for guiding the organization and keeping us engaged with the aviation community during his tenure. It has truly been a pleasure working with Hunter to move the Society forward. With support of the Board, Committee Chairs and all our members, we all will strive in our unique way to continue to accomplish the goals and objectives of VAHS while pursuing opportunities that serve our membership and sustain our future.

I have given thought to what I want to accomplish in the coming year, in addition to continuing and improving our existing programs:

  • If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Our organization is great, and a lot of people have worked hard over the years to make it that way. There will be a focus on improvement of those things that are not working as they should, but we will do that through careful analysis of issues and targeted responses that get results.
  • Grow membership. In order for our Society to remain vibrant & active we need to focus on not only attracting new members but retaining and engaging the members we already have. Membership alone, however, will not sustain our endeavors in the long-term.
  • Address inevitable change. Change is one of the few constants in our lives. Our Society does not live in the same world we did a few years ago. We must strategically seek out organizational and corporate partners with an interest in successfully promoting the history of aviation in Virginia.
  • New chapters. We have many at-large members who could benefit from affiliation with other members in their region. Among my goals in the coming year is to visit every airport in Virginia, attend at least one meeting of every existing chapter, and actively seek opportunities to create new chapters where interest and opportunity exist. The Fredericksburg Chapter is growing and an initial meeting was held at the DOAV hangar to measure interest in a Richmond Chapter.
  • Revitalize committees. A number of committees exist to assist with strategic issues. We will reinvigorate those groups and use them to address and overcome barriers to our future growth. Please volunteer for these important assignments!

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas. While I will always accept complaints and criticism, I strongly favor solutions and open discussion. If you bring me a problem, I ask that you bring at least one potential solution.

Ray Gill
President, Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society

Come visit us at: The Pilot House, 3381 Shannon Airport Circle, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Mailing address: VAHS, Shannon Airport KEZF Campus, PO Box 7795, Fredericksburg, VA 22404-7795
Phone number: 540-376-3265 / Email: