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A Motorcycle Ride through Forgotten New Jersey Aerodromes

Motorcycle Ride to Cross Keys Airport

Cross Keys Airport

N39º42.33’ W75º01.98’
1531 N. Tuckahoe Road
Williamstown, NJ 08094

Here’s one stop on your motorcycle tour you have to make; it’s Cross Keys Airport. If you’re looking for some action on your motorcycle ride, this stop is it. Many of the aerodromes on this tour offer exciting things to see and do; this one can very well be the jewel.

Aside from the sights of airplanes coming and going, and the opportunity to learn to fly at the Philadelphia Flight Academy (856-740-0333), (http://www.freefalladventures.com/) adjacent to the airport is Freefall Adventures (856-629-7553). Located at the end of Dahlia Avenue, Williamstown, NJ 08094, the complex offers a multitude of adventures. If you have every wanted to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, this is the place for you. One of only five sky diving schools in New Jersey and the only one in the southern part of the state, Freefall Adventures is a skydiving school that is suited for the beginner as well as the advanced jumper.

Motorcycle Friendly Destination Drop Zone Cafe

After riding to Cross Keys or deciding to test your nerves at skydiving, the Drop Zone Café offers food, a spectator deck, and is the perfect place to sit and think about that first jump. There is also a pro shop for those hooked on skydiving. For those not so much interested in sky diving, there is a paint ball field. If you are lucky enough to be at this aerodrome early in the morning, you may just be witness to one of the truly spectacular aviation events, the launching of hot air balloons. There is definitely something for everybody at the Cross Keys complex.

This stop can easily take up a good portion of the day, but worth the stay.

If that’s not enough, a little further down the road is Bobby Chez (856-751-7575) (http://bobbychezcrabcakes.com/). A Zagat Rated Restaurant, Bobby Chez is well known throughout Southern New Jersey for his Lump Meat Crab Cakes. Zagat said it best...Heavenly, “chock-full-of-crab” Crabcakes that just might be the “best in the universe”.

Located down the street from Cross Keys and Free Fall Adventure, Bobby Chez is located at 100 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road, Washington Township, NJ 08080. Adjacent to Bobby Chez is the Classic Cakes Company (856-262-7400). While I could say a lot about Classic Cakes, the best I can tell you is to save room for desert and add a few pounds of air to your suspension, you’ll need it.

Vineland Downstown Airport

N39º32’ 22” W74º58’ 03”
339 Harding Highway (US Rt.40)
Vineland, NJ 08360
Motorcycle Tour to Vineland Downstown Airport

This aerodrome is in the heart of the Southern New Jersey farmland. After all, New Jersey is known as the “Garden State”. Vineland Downstown Airport (856-697-3300) is home of two important features. First it is the home base for Downstown Aero Crop Service, one of the premier crop dusting services in Southern New Jersey. Sit there long enough you will see some of the finest crop dusting pilots on the earth fly in and out of this aerodrome. Their airplanes appear to be ancient, aviation relics when in fact they are sophisticated pieces of equipment designed to deliver high tech products that insure a high yield crop. Secondly, this aerodrome is the location of Ceader Lake VORTAC.

Vortac Site

Here is the part of this article that explains in a very elementary way how pilots find their way from point to point without getting lost and for the most part not looking out the window. A pilot goes from point to point by connecting the dots, from point A to point B using VORTACs. A VORTAC is a ground facility navigational aid transmitting very high frequency signals, 360 degrees oriented from magnetic north and distance measuring signals. Very simply that is what it is; this one’s unique identifier is Ceader Lake. Each VORTAC has a unique name and identifying signal. So when you see these strange looking items sitting alone, by themselves, you will now know it is used for aviation navigation.

Motorcycle on grass landing strip

Typical of the small aerodromes throughout southern New Jersey are the small quaint, grass landing strips. While these landing fields don’t fit the typical picture of what we see in our minds eye, nor do they have the advanced navigational aids that larger airports have they are just as important. They are still in use and serve as points of transportation and commerce. Typical of the small grass field Aerodrome is >Southern Cross (N39º39.33’, W75º00.87’). Located along Gloucester County Route 555 (Tuckahoe Road), Southern Cross serves as a way point for crop dusters that operate during the growing months and is located just about six road miles from Cross Keys Airport.

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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