Part of a group of four friends who summered on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in the early 2000s, he and his compatriots carved a 3,000-foot-long grass runway out of a 93-acre parcel of farmland. The others are gone now, but Williamson has five new partners and their desire to share “grassroots” aviation has never wavered.
“Grass was all we wanted,” Williamson said. “The idea was an old-time airport, and it just grew from there.”
On a warm summer day in June, the Massey Aerodrome (MD1) hosted the forty-ninth annual Potomac Antique Aero Squadron (PAAS) chapter of the Antique Airplane Association’s Antique Fly-In. Since 2016, the squadron has hosted its event here (it was originally the Horn Point Fly-In), but in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on that, and now President Joe Biden’s visits to his Wilmington, Delaware, home have created pop-up temporary flight restrictions that can often make it impossible for visiting pilots to fly in (see sidebar). A little opening in the clouds came for the June event when Biden was out of the country for the U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva. The fly-in could go on.
In addition to opening the airfield to the fly-in and welcoming visiting pilots, Massey Aerodrome has its own museum, a Douglas DC–3A, a replica 1911 Wright glider, a 1946 Ercoupe, and an Antonov An–2. There’s an antique windmill on the site and a rotating beacon tower. Pilot Nick Mirales offers weekend rides in a 1944 open-cockpit Stearman trainer, and glider rides are also available. Its founders wanted the airfield to have an “old-time” feel and be a place where aviation geeks could feel right at home, no matter their age. They succeeded.