Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Virginia: Fauquier County

© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 9/29/14.

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Upperville Airport (revised 9/29/14) - Zieger Field / Warrenton Air Park / Beatley Field (revised 9/22/12)

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Upperville Airport (2VG2), Upperville, VA

38.97 North / 77.87 West (Northwest of Dulles Airport, VA)

A 1957 aerial view evidently showed the Upperville runway while under construction.



Upperville Airport is a private runway located on the estate of the late Paul Mellon.

 

The Upperville Airport was evidently built in 1957,

as a 1952 aerial view did not yet depiction the runway,

while a 1957 aerial view evidently showed the Upperville runway while under construction.

It depicted the field as having a single paved runway, in its original 3,500' length.



The Upperville Airport was not yet depicted on the 1957 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of Upperville Airport which has been located

was on the 1960 Washington Sectional Aeronautical Chart,

which described it as having a single 3,500' bituminous runway.



The 1961 USGS topo map did not yet depict the Upperville Airport.

 

Upperville was listed among active airports in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory,

by which time the runway had been lengthened to 4,500'.



Upperville Airport, as depicted on the 1963 USGS topo map.



The 1964 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss)

depicted Upperville as a private field having a single 4,500' paved northwest/southeast runway.

 

At some point between 1970-72 the runway had been lengthened again,

as the 1972 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe)

described Upperville as having a 5,100' paved runway (which remains the current length, as of 2003).



The 1970 USGS topo map depicted Upperville Airport as having a single paved runway.



A 1974 aerial view depicted Upperville Airport at its eventual length, 5,100'.



Aerial photo taken by Paul Freeman, 11/99, from a Diamond Katana DA20A-1.

 

The single 5,100' northwest/southeast runway is used to operate private jets

(including a private Boeing 727 which once flew in for a party!).

The runway is lighted & is painted with instrument approach markings.

There are no hangars at the facility, just a small parking ramp

along the south side of the runway.

 

Upperville Airport is located almost immediately underneath

the busy approach path to nearby Dulles Airport's Runway 12,

and it was once used for an emergency landing

by a Dulles-bound airliner which was experiencing difficulties.

 

Upperville is listed in the FAA Airport/Facility Directory as a private airfield.

Although its construction & ownership by a wealthy private individual makes perfect sense,

the location of a private jet-capable paved runway (which is also very secure & rarely used)

a mere 6 miles from the Mount Weather presidential bunker would appear to invite speculation.

Was this field was constructed with some "agreement" with the federal government,

with the provision for its use in a national emergency

to bring personnel in & out of the Mount Weather bunker?

Since the only aircraft facilities on the Mount Weather property

consist of a grass runway for helicopters or light aircraft,

it would appear to have been highly desirable to have some

nearby facility capable of handling fixed-wing aircraft.



The August 2007 Washington Sectional Chart

depicted Upperville as a private airfield having a single 5,100' paved runway.



A 5/4/08 view looking west at the Upperville runway, with the windsock in the center.



An undated photo of the Upperville runway from the property's 2014 for sale listing.



Property owner Bunny Mellon passed away at 103 in 2014,

and 2,000 acres of the Oak Spring Farms, including the airfield, have been placed on the market.

For a mere $70 million, it can be yours.



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Zieger Field / Warrenton Air Park / Beatley Field (9W0, 7VG0), Warrenton, VA

38.65 North / 77.79 West (Southwest of Dulles Airport, VA)

A 1936 aerial view of Ziegler Field.



The earliest photo which has been located of Ziegler Field was a 1936 aerial view looking north,

showing a single north/south grass runway directly adjacent to the east side of Route 17.



Robin Cutler reported, “One of my mother's closest friends from 1936 on (who was also a suitor) was Clifford Ziegler.

Later on he spelled his name without the 'l'.

I have many letters that she wrote Cliff & some to others about how much she loved flying.”



According to the book "Virginia Airports" by Vera Rollo & Norman Crabill (published by the VAHS),

an operating "license was granted to Clifford Zieger on 7/28/37 on land he owned."

 

The Airport Directory Company's 1938 Airports Directory (according to Chris Kennedy)

described Zieger Field as having a single 1,900' sand & clay runway,

with a hangar on the north side of the field.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Zieger Field

was on the 1939 Washington Sectional Chart.



According to Chuck Tippett, "Chuck Beatley [the owner of the airfield, who passed away in 2003]

has told me that this field was used by the WASPs during WW2.

He said that the field has a tremendous history

and that they used to store their Piper Cubs in our old barn."



A circa 1942-43 aerial view of “Zieger Field” from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock)

depicted the field as having 2 grass runways.

The directory Zieger as a 21 acre T-shaped property within which were 2 sod runways, measuring 2,000' northwest/southeast & 1,800' northeast/southwest.

The field was said to have 3 hangars, with the largest being a 80' x 45' wood & steel structure.

The field was said to be privately owned & operated.



The 1946 USGS topo map depicted Ziegler Field somewhat to the east of Route 17,

as opposed to earlier photo & map which depicted the field adjacent to the east side of Route 17.

Is it possible the field was slightly relocated at some point between 1939-46?



The 1947 Washington Sectional Chart described Zieger Field as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.



The operating license for Zieger Field was "transferred to John Cutting on 10/5/50"

(according to the book "Virginia Airports").



Allen Cutting recalled, "My Dad, John P. Cutting, owned Ziegler Field after World War II.

Dad flew B-17s in the 97th Bomb Group out of Italy in the War.

He bought the property & ran the airfield during the 1950s.

It was called Airport Acres at that time.

During this time he owned 3 Cessna's:

2 C-140's & 1 C-170 that he picked up new from the plant in Wichita."



Zieger Field was depicted as an active public-use airfield

on the 1951 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).



The status of the Zieger Field apparently changed to a private field at some point between 1951-56,

as that is how Zieger was depicted on the January 1956 Washington Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

It was described as having 2 runways, with the longest being a 2,000' turf strip.

 

Zieger Field was still depicted as a private airfield

on the 1960 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).

 

Allen Cutting recalled, "Around 1962 he [John Cutting] sold the farm & airstrip to Mayor Beatley & we moved to another farm."

 

The operating license for Zieger Field was "revoked later on request of the applicant as no aircraft were based there"

(according to the book "Virginia Airports").

 

The airfield was apparently still idle from 1962-65,

as no airfield at this location was depicted

on the February 1962 Washington Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy),

the 1963 USGS topo map, or the April 1965 Washington Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).

 

At some point between 1965-66, the field was reopened as Warrenton Air Park, a public-use airfield.



The 1966 USGS topo map depicted Warrenton Air Park as having 2 unpaved runways.



Allen Cutting recalled, "When I was 14 (1969) I took glider lessons at the soaring school

and Dad [John Cutting] used to come out with me to spend the afternoons."

 

An undated photo from a 1969 newspaper article,

of a glider making a 1-point landing ("the proper kind for a sailplane") at Warrenton Airpark.

 

In October of 1969, the Capitol Area Soaring School moved to Warrenton Airpark,

after Leesburg's new Godfrey Field had become too busy for glider operations.

The Company was then owned by Gordon Bogora & Ernest Klimonda.

CASS advertised introductory rides for $9.

At least 2 astronauts flew with CASS/WSC.

One was Major Tom Stafford, commander of the Apollo-Soyuz Mission,

and the other was Bill Anders of Apollo 8,

who was taken for his first glider flight by Al Dresner on December 11, 1969.

 

"Warrenton" was depicted as a public-use airfield

on the 1970 Washington Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Clifford).

 

The Capitol Area Soaring School eventually became the Warrenton Soaring Center,

which was incorporated in 1974.

It eventually operated a wide variety of gliders & tow aircraft from Warrenton Airpark over the next 2 decades.

 

The 1981 USGS topo map depicted Warrenton Air Park as having 2 unpaved runways.



The 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury)

described "Warrenton" as having a single 2,000' turf Runway 15/33.

The operator was listed as the Warrenton Soaring Center, which was also a Schweizer dealer.

 

Unfortunately, aircraft of the Warrenton Soaring Center experienced several fatal accidents at the Warrenton Airpark,

and the group was disestablished in March 1992.

 

Warrenton Air Park, as depicted in the 1994 USGS aerial photo.

Note that the field had 3 runways (in contrast to the 1981 topo map),

with a 3rd runway at the south end of the field.

 

According to Chuck Tippett (who flies from Warrenton Air Park),

the owner of the field was Chuck Beatley until he passed away in 2003 at age 87.

Chuck Tippett reported in 2004 that "There are only 20 planes based here.

The field is a little tricky to go in & out of until you see everything from the ground.

My friend has a Cessna 180 and he has no problems.

I have also flown a 172 in with my wife a few times.

With the exception of the 2 Cessnas

the rest [of the aircraft based at Warrenton Air Park] are experimentals or ultralights."



As of 2004, the published statistics for Warrenton Air Park

show the field as having 2 turf runways:

2,215' Runway 4/22 & 2,000' Runway 15/33.

The owner is listed as C.E. Beatley, Jr.,

and a total of 44 aircraft are listed as being based at the field, including 21 ultralights.



A 2000 aerial view (courtesy of Robert Morris) looking northwest at Warrenton Airpark,

with his ultralight visible on the runway.



A 2000 aerial view (courtesy of Robert Morris) looking south at Warrenton Airpark,

with his ultralight visible on the runway.



A 2000 photo (courtesy of Robert Morris) of his ultralight on the Warrenton Airpark runway.



The August 2007 Washington Sectional Chart

depicted Warrenton Airpark as a private airfield having a 2,200 unpaved runway.



A May 2009 photo by Paul Freeman of a sign at the entrance to Beatley Field, Warrenton Airpark.



A May 2009 photo by Paul Freeman of an unidentified homebuilt in front of a Warrenton Airpark hangar on the occasion of a fly-in.



A May 2009 photo by Paul Freeman of a 1940s Republic SeaBee amphibian parked under a shed at Warrenton Airpark.



A May 2009 photo by Paul Freeman of a beautiful 1946 Piper Cub at Warrenton Airpark.



A May 2009 photo by Paul Freeman looking northeast at a 1946 Piper Cub taking off on Warrenton Airpark's Runway 22.



As of 2009, the owner of Warrenton Airpark is listed as Tom Richards.

The field has a 2,300' Runway 4/22, a 2,000' Runway 15/33 (at the north end),

and an abandoned Runway 15/33 (at the south end) which is noted as to be used only for powered parachutes.

USUA Flying Club 1 (the first club affiliated with the United States Ultralight Association) operates from the field

and generally holds 2 fly-ins per year.



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