The Aviation Adventures Story
Aviation Adventures began in June 1989 with one Cessna 172 (N61803) and one instructor (Bob Hepp), operating off of the public ramp in Lawton, Oklahoma. The humble beginnings included hauling auto fuel from the gas station to the airfield in 5-gallon jugs, continuous owner-assisted inspections and repairs, and checking tiedowns in the rain during tornado watches.
In August of 1990, Bob and the 172 moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and flew with the flying club there for a year. In May of ’91, Bob went to Germany and 803 stayed initially with the Fort Leavenworth Flying Club, then was leased to Phoenix Aviation at Kansas City Downtown Airport.
In June of 1994 Bob returned from Germany, picked up the plane, and re-started Aviation Adventures at Potomac Airfield, Maryland. In March of 1998, with 4 airplanes and 5 instructors, the operation moved from the trunk of Bob’s car to a very small office on the east side of the field. By June of 2000, Aviation Adventures had 6 airplanes and 6 instructors, and moved across the runway to a much more spacious office.
The events of September 11, 2001 closed Potomac Airfield for a month with the prospect of future flight school operations looking dim. In October 2001 we moved the airplanes to Warrenton-Faquier County Airfield and operated out of a red storage box for a month.
In November 2001 we took the opportunity to move to Manassas and operated from an office in the Jet Services (now Volo) building. In May of 2002, Jet Services asked us to take over all fixed wing flight training. We absorbed the staff, airplanes and office space formerly occupied by FlightTech Flight School and on June 1, 2002 had 14 airplanes and 16 instructors. July of 2002 saw the first Diamond aircraft come to Aviation Adventures, and we got our AST 300 Multi-engine Simulator in August to use for multiengine and instrument training, as well as airline interview prep.
In November of 2003 we gained the approval from the Town of Leesburg to open a Flight School at the Leesburg Airport. The next month we began flight training operations with a core of experienced instructors and a handful of aircraft operating out of a temporary trailer. In July of 2004 we moved from the trailer into the newly renovated Terminal Building and have continued to expand our flight training operations at Leesburg.
In April of 2008 the Manassas branch of Aviation Adventures moved from its very humble temporary office into its beautiful current facility in the Terminal Building. Moving to the Terminal Building was an essential part of the growth plan and has been instrumental in establishing Aviation Adventures as the leader in Technologically Advanced Aircraft and the premier Flight School in Virginia.