All Airstrip Reports
This has become quite a bit rougher with some new plant growth and blown in sand. I would say 31's and suspension minimum at this point. Hope to project on this soon, it's a great spot with access to some amazing terrain!
still short, still rough. a few small washouts across the runway. Definitely do an inspection pass. Nice quiet spot, just me and the coyotes this morning
The Hurricane Mesa airstrip is closed. I flew over it and captured some videos and photos. It is in extremely poor condition with weeds growing up through the asphalt the entire length of the runway. The neat thing about it is that in the 1950s the mesa was use by the air force as a test site for supersonic ejection systems. The rail system for the rocket sleds they used in the tests still exists, as do several buildings and various types of towers. A search for Hurricane Mesa rocket sled will turn up some interesting videos of those tests. I have included three photos of the airstrip as viewed from south to north. A fourth photo show the overall mesa top from the north. The landing strip is just below the nose of the airplane and the long brown strip on the right side is the rail system for the rocket sleds.
Runways were generally in good condition, fairly firm base with about a one inch layer of powdery dirt on top. There are, however, some nasty woody plants with long spikes that could present a puncture hazard. These seem to be mostly at the runway ends, especially the west end of the long runway. There are also scattered soft weeds growing on both runways that don't present serious difficulties. The previously reported gnats are gone. Info from Antelope Island State Park says these are biting midges that appear in the Spring, and can leave painful welts. They die after three consecutive days of 90 degree-plus highs. Morning temps were very nice, but heated up rapidly starting about 11.
South end of strip has a small erosion dip with plant growth 50ish feet from the end (sorry, didn’t get a pic). Otherwise in great shape. Landed north took off south. Calm winds with warm and humid July morning. Very good area to camp.
Most challenging “strip” I’ve ever landed. The description/advice is a bit hard to understand in my opinion. Very calm wind, still in the morning shadows, with no thermal activity when I visited. I over flew and rolled it 4 times before committing and landing. Ultimately I decided it was best to land SE end approaching NW end (29), which means I came in on a left base close on the cliff face and talus slope. Turning final was low, slow, and basically touching down right as I leveled out of the turn. Rolled out going toward “the hill” meant also going though a ravine or two that are more suited for an ATV at that speed. Sandy soil helped to absorb and slow, and I only ended up using roughly 1/2 the strip. Took off from the NW end (11) right back at the cliff face. As I rolled off “the hill” the wings weren’t quite ready to fly so I slowly settled back into the strip with a light bounce and then held ground effect for a few seconds before a right turn out to the south. If weather/winds/drafts wouldn’t have been perfect, I would not have landed - not sure I would be willing to land again with my 8.00 mains and stock tailwheel. Probably would feel better with at least 8.50’s and a baby bushwheel.
Good easy backcountry strip. Similar to a large-gravel dirt road. Landing west is for sure advised, but with density altitude an underpowered airplane should be very cautious in a go-around with terrain rising deceptively fast. Picture is looking downhill from the west to the east - ready for take-off.