Place

Billy Mitchell Airstrip

A couple of airplanes sit on the tarmac of the Billy Mitchell Airstrip
Airplanes anchored at the Billy Mitchell Airstrip

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Restroom

Located near the village of Frisco, North Carolina, Billy Mitchell Airstrip (HSE) is a 3,000-foot, unattended airstrip within Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The airstrip is operated by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Aviation, through a special agreement with the National Park Service.

There are minimal facilities at this airstrip consisting of two portable restrooms and a pilot operations room. No water or fuel is available.

Air Power Demonstration

My children in the lifetime will see aeronautics become the greatest and principal means of national defense and rapid transportation all over the world and possibly beyond our world into interstellar space.
-- Brigadier General "Billy" Mitchell, 1933

In September 1923, Brigadier General "Billy" Mitchell provided a chilling view of the effectiveness of aerial bombardment on surface vessels to skeptical government and military observers. Taking off from his temporary Hatteras Village airfield, Mitchell rendevoused with Martin bombers from Langley Field, Virginia. Equipped with newly developed bombsights and super-charged engines, the bombers quickly sank the obselete battleships "Virignia" and "New Jersey" anchored just 20 miles off the Hatteras Island coast.
 

Improvised Airfield


Responding to General Mitchell's urgent call for construction of a temporary airfield, local Hatteras residents built a landing strip by filling holes, tidal pools, and marshy areas and packing level the ground. This was all done with shovels, hoes, horse-drawn carts, and a tractor pulling a weighted pallet. Their quick work helped ensure the success of Mitchell's demonstration.

Operating Hours


The airstrip is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

Pilot Facility


Access by using "Squawk VFR."

Parking


There are 39 tie-down locations, 31 near the pilot facility and 8 located mid-field. Aircraft are allowed to park for 14 consecutive days during any 30 day period.

Fuel


There is no fuel. The closest airports with fuel are Dare County Regional Airport (MQI) to the north and Michael J. Smith (MRH) to the south.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Last updated: March 18, 2021