by Dan Shamir
What’s better than a flight in a single-engine airplane on a beautiful spring day? A flight in a single-engine airplane to a special destination! Whether your flight mission be the $100 ($300) hamburger, a Pilots N Paws dog rescue flight, or flying someone who has never flown in a small airplane before, having a great destination can elevate your flying experience exponentially.
One such destination that I frequent is Cherry Ridge Airport (N30) in Honesdale, PA. Located just 75 miles straight-line distance northwest of HPN, Cherry Ridge is close enough, yet far enough to constitute a satisfying day of flying. Once you take-off from HPN, head west to the Hudson River for a nice view of the Tappanz...I mean Mario Cuomo Bridge. From there you can practice flying a VOR needle on the 128 degree radial inbound to Huguenot (HUO). Once you reach station passage over HUO, track the 294 degree radial to N30. Of course you can also stop pretending that it’s 1981 and dial in N30 on your new (and expensive) GPS panel or iPad and fly directly to the field. Either way, remember to look out the window for some exciting scenery like the Delaware river and the High Point Monument located to the south as you fly overhead HUO.
Cherry Ridge airport is located about 6 miles due north of beautiful Lake Wallenpaupack. The lake is a good size and becomes an easy landmark to find while airborne. Surrounded by sprawling fields of grass with a few wooded areas, a 2986’ paved runway awaits you in good condition with the numbers 36 and 18 freshly painted on the pavement. The airport is actually a fly-in community with a connecting taxiway that leads to a number of houses with hangars. There’s nothing tricky about flying into Cherry Ridge airport but the simplicity is much of the charm and allure. Located on the field is a genuine mom and pop restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The huge paved ramp area in front of the restaurant makes parking a breeze even on the busier weekend days. The restaurant offers fresh, wholesome food at very reasonable prices. Almost every seat in the joint has a good view of the runway for a pleasurable dining and airplane spotting experience.
Another benefit of this airport is that the restaurant is open on Mondays, which is a rarity. Be advised that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, however there is a small lounge in the building that remains open, providing access to a seating area and bathrooms. 100LL fuel is available via a recently updated fuel pump located across the ramp from the restaurant. There are also a couple of maintenance shops on the field, which make the possibility of having a maintenance issue a little more palatable.
Cherry Ridge airport can also be more than a day trip destination. In the quaint town of Honesdale, you’ll find antique shops, motor lodges, restaurants, and more. In the summertime, nearby Lake Wallenpaupack offers all the attractions of water sports and boating. In the winter time, there are some small ski resorts in the vicinity. Cherry Ridge airport has been one of my favorite “fly-in” destinations for years. Check it out for yourself and it may become a favorite of yours, too!
Westchester Aviation Association is a non-profit organization.
P.O. Box 447 | Purchase, NY 10577-0447