Is this the right airport?
We make fun of Chuck always flying into restricted areas. In real life, these incursions are taken very seriously.
A few years ago, while working in Nevada for a fire contract, we were based at a very small airport for a while. Other than the occasional fire traffic, we were usually the only ones there since the airport didn’t even sell any fuel.
One fine day, with little fire activity while hanging out and waiting, we suddenly had all kinds of law enforcement show up and park by the very small ramp. A little further back there were a few unmarked black vehicles who kept their distance.
They all waited for this little Piper Cherokee to land. After the plane landed, they met the pilot by the plane and drove off with her. We didn’t see her back at her plane until later in the afternoon.
Turns out she was a student on a solo cross country flight when she got a little confused on her exact location and accidentally flew right through what is called “The Areas” and clipped a tiny corner of what is called “Area 51”. I have blogged about this before; they have zero sense of humor when it comes to these things.
Foreflight has since been invented and made things a lot easier for new pilots flying on their first cross countries in the greater Nevada area, but I’m sure the sense of humor of the folks running the areas has not changed.
Stay vigilant, my pilot friends! This sort of thing will probably stay on your pilot record for quite some time.