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Holiday cheer is in the air

AOPA joins the Tangier Holly Run

The Tangier Holly Run has been an annual tradition since 1966. It was originally conceived by Ercoupe pilot Ed Nabb, who wanted to help residents on the island. This year, on December 9, about 30 aircraft staged at Bay Bridge Airport to fly to Tangier Island and deliver gifts including school supplies, holiday greenery, and necessities for children and adults alike.

The sunrise illuminates AOPA President Mark Baker piloting a Cessna 208 Caravan to Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville, Maryland, to begin the annual Tangier Holly Run fly-out. Baker and his wife JoAnn joined about 30 other pilots bringing fresh holiday greenery, school supplies, and other necessities to Tangier Island, Virginia, in the Chesapeake Bay on December 9. Photo by David Tulis.

Weather on the island that day was clear but brisk; early morning fog in central Maryland and northern Virginia delayed departure by an hour. Pilots were arriving from Virginia and Maryland. A Piper Cherokee flew in on a regular visit from Richmond, Virginia; pilot Jonathan Brummitt and his family found themselves surrounded by pilots and residents participating in the event, so they happily joined in. 

The Tangier Holly Run has been an annual tradition since 1966. It was originally conceived by Ercoupe pilot Ed Nabb, who wanted to help residents on the island.

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Tangier Holly Run

Tangier Island is a windswept village in the Chesapeake Bay, where crabbing helps provide income for several hundred local residents. Photo by David Tulis. Mist covers the ground during an early morning flight from Maryland's Frederick Municipal Airport to Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville for the annual Holly Run fly-out. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Thomas Kemp adjusts a sign at Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville, Maryland, for the annual Holly Run fly-out to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Specialist Anita Fetzer gets into the holiday spirit at Bay Bridge Airport in Stevensville, Maryland, before helping deliver holly branches, school supplies, and holiday presents to 400 residents of Tangier Island, Virginia. Photo by David Tulis. Tony Riggs and Keith Terpil prepare pancakes to fuel pilots before the fly-out. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Specialist Annette Garrisi and AOPA President Mark Baker carry a bag of fresh holly branches. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA President Mark Baker on approach to Tangier Island in a Cessna 208 Caravan bringing fresh holiday greenery, school supplies, and other necessities to the fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay. Photo by David Tulis. Emma Silva entertains AOPA President Mark Baker and his wife JoAnn during the Holly Run. Photo by David Tulis. Santa Claus a.k.a. pilot Ralph Hoover leads more than 30 aircraft and pilots to Tangier Island, Virginia, to deliver holly branches and school supplies during the annual Holly Run charity fly-out. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA Pilot Information Center Medical Certification Specialist Annette Garrisi carries a bag of fresh holly branches to the residents of Tangier Island. Photo by David Tulis. A general aviation pilot gets into the holiday spirit upon arrival at Tangier Island during the annual Holly Run, an event that traces its roots to Ercoupe pilot Ed Nabb, who initiated the event more than 50 years ago. Photo by David Tulis. Holly Run organizer Helen Woods arrives at Tangier Island, Virginia, from her home base at Maryland’s Bay Bridge Airport. The annual charity event brings holiday decorations, school supplies, and other necessities to residents. Photo by David Tulis. 'Santa' Ralph Hoover’s Van’s Aircraft RV-7A stands in for Rudolph and the other reindeer to the delight of children living on Tangier Island. Photo by David Tulis. A Piper Saratoga pilot helps deliver holly branches, school supplies, and holiday presents to 400 residents of Tangier Island. Photo by David Tulis. 'Santa' Ralph Hoover hands out candy canes to children. Photo by David Tulis. Signs on Tangier Island point the way to other coastal cities. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA President Mark Baker is reflected in a plaque celebrating the life of 'Doctor Copter' and general aviation pilot David Nichols, who flew every week from the mainland to Tangier Island, to provide health care for its inhabitants. An island clinic was dedicated to Nichols, who died in 2010. Photo by David Tulis. AOPA President Mark Baker and his wife JoAnn join Piper Cherokee 180 pilot Jonathan Brummitt, Tina Silva, Silva’s daughter Emma, and members of the AOPA Pilot Information Center who helped deliver holly branches and school supplies during the annual Holly Run to Tangier Island. Photo by David Tulis. Santa Claus and general aviation pilot Ralph Hoover led more than 30 aircraft and pilots to Tangier Island during the annual Holly Run. Photo by David Tulis.
About 30 general aviation pilots participated in the annual Holly Run. Photo by David Tulis.
About 30 general aviation pilots participated in the annual Holly Run. Photo by David Tulis.

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