38° 16.344' , -109° 43.578'
x 20 ft
Rwy 13 Uphill 0.4%
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Information updated December 7, 2022 @ 9:42pm
Description: Sitting at the base of the Needles Overlook Rustler Canyon is one of the closest airstrips to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. An intense 4x4 trail named Lockhart Basin connects Moab to the Needles District and runs along the base of the canyon. The road passing through the airstrip heads out to Newberry Butte Overlook which is part of the Indian Creek Wilderness Study. A section of the Hayduke Trail which spans from Zion to Arches National Park can be accessed from here. In the evening the light on the cliffs can offer a spectacular photo opportunity. Please be cognizant of the proximity to the park areas.
I’ve been keeping an eye on this dirt strip for a while and this morning the weather was near perfect for my first attempt at landing this strip. It’s unique as it’s just on the edge of the Canyonlands Nationa Park. I’ve been practicing my slow flight skills and my approach was stabilized at around 50 kts and zero wind correction was needed. I landed northbound and kept the nose off the ground as long as possible…which was probably about 50 - 75’. I was able to stop in around 400’ without too much braking power. I explored the area and walked the runway to check for any major issues. The runway is pretty soft and there are ruts as this is also used as a 4x4 access road to the canyon. Cows have pocked up the runway a little but nothing too major. When I was ready to leave I took off southbound as the wind was picking up just a little. I found a couple of dips that I knew I wanted to be off the ground by so I made a mental note of where they were and decided to use the full flap technique to ensure I was flying by the mid-way point. The overall usable runway is around 1500’ but for the trike, I would say about 800 were usable. I applied full power and had 1 notch of flaps down then added full flaps after about 4 seconds (1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato…etc…I actually verbalize this to help me count down). I glanced down when I added full flaps and I was around 30 kts…then flying around 40 kts. I rotated the nose over a little and allowed my airspeed to increase to 65 kts then removed 1 notch of flaps and climbed to around 500 AGL then cleaned up the flaps and lowered to Vx. I estimate my take-off to be under 500 feet as I was flying well before a rock that I placed alongside the runway at my abort point (800’). What a hoot! The Sportsman continues to amaze me with the shortfield abilities. I would have to say that the take-off was pretty bumpy and somewhere along the way my front tire tagged the front fairing as I could see tire marks on the fairing that were not there after my landing.