Chattanooga, Tennessee as an aviation stopover

We’re getting into the summer travel season. For folks in small planes fleeing South Florida, Chattanooga, Tennessee is a reasonable first overnight. KCHA is a huge airport with a great FBO:

The surrounding Appalachian Mountains are scenic, but don’t interfere with instrument approaches down to 200′ AGL.

This post has some photos from an overnight stop in Chattanooga on the way home from Oshkosh last summer (early August 2023).

Uber it to downtown and visit the Tennessee Aquarium, which takes the novel architectural approach of following a river down to the ocean:

This is what my house would look like if I were an evil billionaire. The aquarium puts a lot of effort into showing river ecosystems from around the world. In the Department of Stuff You Couldn’t Make Up, Bank of America supports the piranha exhibit:

We’ll see how many San Francisco Fed supervision failures lead to Bank of America swooping in!

Speaking of swooping in, Science says that humans crossing a border are good, but the Nile Perch crossing into Lake Victoria has been bad for native species:

Invasive Mosquitofish are also bad…

The dark River Journey building has now been augmented by a more conventional Ocean Journey building that has similar to displays to what you find in public aquariums around the world.

Puckett’s is a great Southern-style restaurant next door:

Walk along and then across the river…

Cry when you learn that Americans won’t put down their Xbox and OxyContin long enough to come in and make donuts (“Staffing Shortages” sign below):

Your kids can cool off in a fountain and then ride a carousel…

Ruby Falls is entirely underground so it is open late. You start high above the city:

You walk through a limestone cave with beautiful formations and eventually come to the falls themselves:

Downtown is a little scarier than the cave:

You probably won’t get sued for divorce or custody during your overnight in Chattanooga, however, because child support profits are capped in Tennessee (see Real World Divorce). You can finish your evening with a late-night snack inside the old train station:

All of the above can be easily accomplished if you land before 1 pm. Then fire up early the next morning and proceed to the heartland!

4 thoughts on “Chattanooga, Tennessee as an aviation stopover

  1. A surprisingly good art museum there in a beautiful location with a nice, small resturant next door.

    And right down the road is Chicamagua battlefield site of the second bloodiest civil war battle, with a small museum and short movie which are miraculously free of post-modern history. The displays just say who they were, why they fought, how they fought… and leaves it at that.

    Plus the Union breaking of the siege makes much more sense when you stand on those hills and look down at the city. And the storming of the heights by Union General Thomas’s annoyed soldiers seems pretty miraculous when you see the slope close-up..

  2. It’s about time people on the edges of the country visited places like this and learned that the Stupid and Tasteless Ratio is probably lower than a lot of their coastal “palaces” and cheaper as well. If we can all work from home now playing Xbox and popping Oxy and Xanax to take the edge off the marijuana comedown, more should give it a “look see.”

    I think recently NPR has tried – they had a long segment talking directly with some Red State residents who were in distress of various kinds due to inflation. The host treated them with respect and compassion. I don’t know whether that’s because of the impending election, but it sure sounds like someone higher-up at NPR said something like:

    “You know, if we want to make friends with these folks, maybe it would be good if East and Left coast denizens didn’t treat them like nonpersons and illiterate bumpkins all the time.” Especially since Lori Lightfoot will now be teaching at Harvard. Maybe she can try to describe why her former city has so many kids graduating from school who cannot do basic reading, writing and arithmetic at anywhere near their grade levels. As in ZERO of them.

    Also I’m sure you’ve heard about the Cessna Citation that caused the F16s to scramble over Washington DC and subsequently crashed and made a big crater in the Shenandoah Valley with no survivors:

    “The plane that crashed was registered to Encore Motors of Melbourne Inc, which is based in Florida. John Rumpel, who runs the company, told The New York Times that his daughter, 2-year-old granddaughter, her nanny and the pilot were aboard the plane. They were returning to their home in East Hampton, on Long Island, after visiting his house in North Carolina, he said.”

    Biden was golfing at Joint Base Andrews at the time and barely heard the muffled sonic boom from the fighters. I’m interested to know if you are aware of anything the AP hasn’t been able to find out.

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