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A Motorcycle Ride through Forgotten New Jersey Aerodromes

John Lesser

About the Author: John Lesser is retired from a Fortune 500 Company and is currently working for a major Airline. He is an avid motorcycle rider and former pilot.

In August 2011, Collins Dictionary declared that the word “Aerodrome” is extinct. For those of you that are not familiar with the word and what it is, an Aerodrome is, without going into a lot of detail, an airport. Airports are not extinct; in fact, an airport is probably the most valuable mile of real estate a town has at its disposal. It represents an economic foundation that builds and enhances a community’s value to its immediate location and the world. But that’s not the point of this article, which is not an article about economic development, yet a motorcycle route worth riding and sights worth seeing.

Many comparisons have been made to equate motorcycle riders with pilots. Many of the same traits and understanding of how your machine will react to specific situations are very similar. For me, there has always been an underlying attraction to motorcycle riding and flying. I have spent most of my adult life up in the air. If I was more comfortable on the ground, I would not have always tried to fly above it. Motorcycle riding has provided me that comfort.

Man on Motorcycle Ride

So here is why we are here, a motorcycle tour that takes us through the rolling farm lands of Southern New Jersey looking at the extinct aerodromes, which by the way could not be further from the truth – aerodromes are alive and well and thriving.

Our motorcycle ride will take us through the southern counties of New Jersey that are linked by the aerodrome. As you will see on this tour, many activities happen at these airports from crop dusting, to sky diving to recreational flying to making new pilots that will explore the skies above us. Our exploration will be from the ground and hopefully you learn a little about airports and how pilots navigate across the earth. By the way, the longitude and latitude given are approximate. They’ll get you close enough to find the extinct aerodromes listed.

You don’t have to follow the list of aerodromes exactly as listed for your motorcycle ride; in fact, a specific order and route is not listed. That’s because traveling to the points listed are an adventure in itself. These aerodromes are scattered throughout Southern New Jersey. There are many more than what are listed here. They are all there for you to find and to explore. I’ve tried to find some of the unique features that make these aerodromes far from extinct and worth the time to explore. As with everything in life you will find your own unique features, interests and attractions that will hopefully bring you back. It’s been said many times, it’s not the destination but the journey. In this case it just may be both.

Millville Municipal Airport

N39º22.07’ W75º04.33’
104 Leddon Street
Millville, NJ 08332
Motorcycle Route to Millville Airport

Imbedded in military aviation history of the United States, the Millville Municipal Airport is the site of “America’s First Defense Airport”. Dedicated in 1941, the aerodrome was the site of the US Army Air Force’s gunnery school for fighter pilots. The preservation of this rich aviation history is presented in the Millville Army Air Field Museum (856-327-2347) located on Leddon Street in the airport complex. Today the aerodrome is a hub for Medi-Vac helicopter service serving Southern New Jersey and a pilot training center. The airport is also the site of many aviation related services.

After visiting the museum, the only place within the complex that you can get a bite to eat is the homey and quaint Flight Line Restaurant (856-825-3200). It’s a great place to get a sandwich to go, and sit on the flight line and watch the air traffic from small private airplanes to medium sized corporate jets.

This aerodrome is also the site of the Millville Airshow, generally held in the early fall, a great time to take a motorcycle ride and see WWII Warbirds, military, classic and homebuilt aircraft. In past years, this airshow is a stop for the US Navy’s Blue Angels. There is always great food, music and fun at this aerodrome.

Comments


photonphil says:

Thanks for the great route John. My son and I always like to ride to airports and eat breakfast on the weekend. You gave us some great destinations to try. Thanks again
Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

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