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N4172J is a 1967 model Piper Cherokee PA-28-140 (four seats, 150 hp, 115 mph). The few photos below are from June of 1973 to the present. Early photos of my Cherokee were taken at South Norfolk Airport (W33), Chesapeake, Virginia.
South Norfolk Airport opened in 1946. There were two small tree-lined grass runways, 9-27 (2320 feet) and 2-20 (3300 feet). In 1971 Alston Stevens, aka Steve, took over management of the FBO. Steve and his sons, Guy, Tom, Ray, and Joe, operated the airfield until it closed in 1985. Steve was a surrogate father to many and is still restoring aircraft today. Thanks to Steve I was able to get my A&P license and Inspector Authorization.
During its heyday, approximately sixty aircraft were based on the field. The airport was active 24/7 with flight instruction, maintenance, crop dusting, banner towing, glider flights, all night card games, great war stories (ask someone to tell how the RG got its name the "Bloody Mary"), etc.
During my CFI (Certified Flight
Instructor) days at South Norfolk, flight instruction was cheap (~$8 to
$12 per hour) so I had all the students I could manage. Lesson
were provided in just about every Cessna product, from C-150s to an RG
with occasional aerobatic instruction in a Citabria. The short
narrow grass runways at South Norfolk contributed to the development of
the most skillful pilots anywhere, many of which went on to work for the
To read more about the history of South Norfolk Airport, click here to visit airfields-freeman.com
To view more of the present day photos of N4172J, click here to check out the current owner's website, larryspicks.com.
(Use the left and right arrows below to scroll through the photos. Click on a thumbnail to enlarge.)
N4172J - Past & Present