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Patrick Henry International Cowpasture
Posted by: Chip (
Date: April 17, 2006 03:02AM

A.K.A PHF, now known as Newport News/Williamsburg Int'l Airport. Any of you have particular memories of this otherwise nebulous place? I grew up near it. As a kid, my father would take us there on some weekends to watch the aluminum birds take off and land. National was flying L-188 Electras, later B-727s; United was flying only DC-6Bs and Vickers Viscounts, and Piedmont the M-404s.

The fast turnarounds on the PI 404s particularly amazed me-- no sooner would the arriving passengers deplane than the departing passengers would be climbing the ventral stairwell, and I never saw the right engine shut down on any of those turnarounds while on the ground. The starboard engines always sounded like they were ABOUT to shut down on their own at any moment while idling, but I never saw that happen.

PHF, despite its size, had rather comprehensive connecting flights, as well as nonstop flights to some major cities (Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, etc.). Seemed like all the airlines complemented one another at PHF, up until the CAB demise and deregulation in the late '70s.

The new terminal bldg. opened in the mid '90s, but I never bothered to go see it, even though I was then living just over a mile or so from it. Only major player by then was ValuJet (now AirTran). I did drive past the new terminal one day in July 1996, but only because it happened to be along the way to the Allied Van Lines office, where I had an appointment to make moving arrangements out of state.

Any old memories of PHF, and any new information about it?


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