Tampa Executive Airport

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Tampa Executive Airport
(formerly Vandenberg Airport)
IATA: noneICAO: KVDFFAA LID: VDF
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Hillsborough County Aviation Authority
Operator Volo Aviation
Serves Tampa, Florida
Elevation AMSL 22 ft / 7 m
Coordinates 28°00′50″N 082°20′43″W / 28.01389°N 82.34528°W / 28.01389; -82.34528
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
5/23 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
18/36 3,259 993 Asphalt
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Tampa Executive Airport (ICAO: KVDFFAA LID: VDF), formerly known as Vandenberg Airport, is located in unincorporated Hillsborough County, Florida, six nautical miles (11 km) east of the central business district of Tampa.[1]

The airport was renamed in January 2009 in order to better identify the facility with the Tampa Bay area, and to lessen confusion with Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.[2]

It is a general aviation airport servicing the downtown Tampa business traffic, as it is only 15 minutes from the heart of Tampa. Tampa Executive has two runways, one 3,264 feet and the other 5,000 feet. Tampa Executive is operated by Volo Aviation, which is the only fixed-base operator on the field providing fuel and other services to general aviation aircraft. The airport is located near the intersection of I-4 and I-75. The airport is open 7:00 A.M. - 10:00 P.M. Monday- Friday and 7:00 A.M. -7:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday, and after-hours service is available upon request.

The airport's original name was Vandenberg Airport. Jules Vandenberghe immigrated to this country from Belgium, and started a vegetable farm at this location. His two sons, Julian and George, later learned to fly and decided to put in an airstrip on their father's farm. Son George took the airport development seriously, and grew the field into one of the most popular and busiest general aviation airports in Florida. Many pilots learned to fly there from Eddie Vandenberghe, George's son. Quite a few private aviation service businesses started and flourished there, including: Sun State Aviation, Gulf Coast Avionics, Jefferies Aviation, Baker Aircraft Service, Dodge Aviation, Hawk Aircraft Refinishing, and more. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department Aviation unit has been based there for over 40 years.

Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this airport is assigned VDF by the FAA but has no designation from the IATA.[3]

Accidents[edit]

On July 17, 2008, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza crashed shortly after takeoff after clipping an antenna tower.[4] One of the aircraft's wings was torn from the plane. As a result of the wing damage, the aircraft crash landed short of runway 23 in an open field area and burst into flames. All three passengers on board were killed. The pilot was a volunteer for Angel Flight which transports non-emergency medical patients to and from area medical centers for treatment. The passenger being transported was receiving treatment for cancer.

Text from the NTSB report reads:

On July 17, 2008, a Beech A36, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 charitable medical flight, crashed after colliding with an airport glideslope antenna during takeoff from Tampa Executive Airport, Tampa, Florida. The flight had been arranged by ACA member Mercy Flight Southeast, Inc., to transport a cancer patient for medical treatment. The 81-year-old volunteer private pilot, the cancer patient, and a family friend accompanying her were killed. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilots improper decision to take off with a tailwind and his failure to maintain runway alignment during initial takeoff climb.

NTSB Report[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]