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Private airport or small field for landout?



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 25th 20, 10:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charles Ethridge
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Posts: 30
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

Hi all.

I'm a former cfi-i/mei and commercial glider pilot, but I've never gone cross-country in my PW-5 glider. Training up for it though. A question:

If you are in an area where the fields are small, but there are several private airfields around, which should be your priority?

Seems to me that the private airport would be safer, assuming you have enough altitude to overfly it. Also I notice that my (new) Oudie2 shows all the private airstrips around as potential landout spots.

Will you get in trouble (legal or financial) if you have to landout at a private airport (assuming you aren't declaring an emergency, of course)?

Ben
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  #2  
Old May 25th 20, 10:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Private airport or small field for landout?

There are stories of not being welcome at a private strip, but you'll be safer by far. Keep in mind that countless private strips are charted but have not been landable for decades. No substitute for local knowledge. Or overflying and snooping.
  #3  
Old May 26th 20, 12:15 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Private airport or small field for landout?

On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 5:35:28 PM UTC-4, Charles Ethridge wrote:
Hi all.

I'm a former cfi-i/mei and commercial glider pilot, but I've never gone cross-country in my PW-5 glider. Training up for it though. A question:

If you are in an area where the fields are small, but there are several private airfields around, which should be your priority?

Seems to me that the private airport would be safer, assuming you have enough altitude to overfly it. Also I notice that my (new) Oudie2 shows all the private airstrips around as potential landout spots.

Will you get in trouble (legal or financial) if you have to landout at a private airport (assuming you aren't declaring an emergency, of course)?

Ben


It might be useful to call or visit the airports you are considering.
Most airport owners are very welcoming.
You may also find that some are "Cessna" airports that are not wide enough for a glider. Others may be locked and not attended.
All that said, it is easier to apologize for landing on an airport than explain to the insurance adjuster why you broke your glider landing in a field next to a usable airport.
An airport tour on a non soarable day would be a useful exercise.
Good luck
UH
  #4  
Old May 26th 20, 12:17 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 105
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 5:35:28 PM UTC-4, Charles Ethridge wrote:
Hi all.

I'm a former cfi-i/mei and commercial glider pilot, but I've never gone cross-country in my PW-5 glider. Training up for it though. A question:

If you are in an area where the fields are small, but there are several private airfields around, which should be your priority?

Seems to me that the private airport would be safer, assuming you have enough altitude to overfly it. Also I notice that my (new) Oudie2 shows all the private airstrips around as potential landout spots.

Will you get in trouble (legal or financial) if you have to landout at a private airport (assuming you aren't declaring an emergency, of course)?

Ben


Go for the airports!
  #5  
Old May 26th 20, 01:01 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 427
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 7:16:00 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 5:35:28 PM UTC-4, Charles Ethridge wrote:
Hi all.

I'm a former cfi-i/mei and commercial glider pilot, but I've never gone cross-country in my PW-5 glider. Training up for it though. A question:

If you are in an area where the fields are small, but there are several private airfields around, which should be your priority?

Seems to me that the private airport would be safer, assuming you have enough altitude to overfly it. Also I notice that my (new) Oudie2 shows all the private airstrips around as potential landout spots.

Will you get in trouble (legal or financial) if you have to landout at a private airport (assuming you aren't declaring an emergency, of course)?

Ben


It might be useful to call or visit the airports you are considering.
Most airport owners are very welcoming.
You may also find that some are "Cessna" airports that are not wide enough for a glider. Others may be locked and not attended.
All that said, it is easier to apologize for landing on an airport than explain to the insurance adjuster why you broke your glider landing in a field next to a usable airport.
An airport tour on a non soarable day would be a useful exercise.
Good luck
UH


Yeah, Cessna (or Piper Cub) airstrips, watch out for them. If they only mow the middle 30-40 feet then a glider wingtip is likely to catch in the tall grass - bad! Research the facts in advance, and expect conditions (e.g., mowing) to change over time. If you have to land in an airstrip that looks iffy, plan the landing carefully. E.g., if narrowly mowed, land off-center and keep one wingtip high.

All landouts (other than at big wide public airports) are somewhat risky. Ag fields have their own risks, such as unseen rocks or ditches. But some are pretty clearly low risk: if it's a freshly mowed hay field with uniform pattern and color, for example.

Ideally, local XC glider pilots share the local knowledge about the available fields. To some extent this knowledge makes it into the downloadable waypoint files that you can get on the web, but don't count on that.

  #6  
Old May 26th 20, 01:01 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
MNLou
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Posts: 251
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

Having done both in my PW-5, I'd take the private airstrip every time.

The comments on runway width,especially in corn country, are valid.

However, you can probably stick a PW-5 in at about any private strip.

I use Google Earth to confirm private strips in my database whenever possible.

Lou
  #7  
Old May 26th 20, 01:37 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
AS
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Posts: 510
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 7:17:09 PM UTC-4, wrote:
On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 5:35:28 PM UTC-4, Charles Ethridge wrote:
Hi all.

I'm a former cfi-i/mei and commercial glider pilot, but I've never gone cross-country in my PW-5 glider. Training up for it though. A question:

If you are in an area where the fields are small, but there are several private airfields around, which should be your priority?

Seems to me that the private airport would be safer, assuming you have enough altitude to overfly it. Also I notice that my (new) Oudie2 shows all the private airstrips around as potential landout spots.

Will you get in trouble (legal or financial) if you have to landout at a private airport (assuming you aren't declaring an emergency, of course)?

Ben


Go for the airports!


Please do some thorough recon before blindly sticking your glider into an unknown field! For years, we had a field south of our home base here in SC which was on the sectional, however, it was used to grow hay! Sometime during the summer, these large round bails would appear, making the field obviously unlandable but before that, the even vegetation made it look very inviting. The field was purchased by an aviation buff and is now safe to land on again at any time.

Uli
'AS'
  #8  
Old May 26th 20, 02:18 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
jfitch
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Posts: 1,023
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

On Monday, May 25, 2020 at 2:35:28 PM UTC-7, Charles Ethridge wrote:
Hi all.

I'm a former cfi-i/mei and commercial glider pilot, but I've never gone cross-country in my PW-5 glider. Training up for it though. A question:

If you are in an area where the fields are small, but there are several private airfields around, which should be your priority?

Seems to me that the private airport would be safer, assuming you have enough altitude to overfly it. Also I notice that my (new) Oudie2 shows all the private airstrips around as potential landout spots.

Will you get in trouble (legal or financial) if you have to landout at a private airport (assuming you aren't declaring an emergency, of course)?

Ben


One advantage of an airstrip is that it is less likely to have power lines on approach. An ag field may or may not, they are very difficult to see until too late.
  #9  
Old May 26th 20, 02:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Roy B.
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Posts: 252
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

Ben:
While generally a private airstrip is better than a soft farm field, a good rule is to never set up a final glide to a private airfield that you have not seen recently - even if just from the air. There may be issues with width (especially in corn country), hay bales, mowing equipment, overgrowth, etc and sometimes it has simply vanished or been planted over. I've never been unwelcomed by a private airstrip owner but I have had some last minute surprises that would have been better to avoid.
ROY
  #10  
Old May 26th 20, 02:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
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Posts: 516
Default Private airport or small field for landout?

On Mon, 25 May 2020 17:01:29 -0700, MNLou wrote:

I use Google Earth to confirm private strips in my database whenever
possible.

I do exactly the same - its an easy and quick way to look over fields you
have the lat/lon for and decide whether its worth going to look at the
field.

You can zoom right in too, making it easy to use the ruler tool to
measure runway lengths and widths to +/- 3ft and to see what type of
surface the field has. Some Microlite strips are even narrower than light
aircraft strips.

Other suggestions:

- avoid landing in fields containing animals, both to avoid annoying
the farmer and because even a sheep or goat bolting across in front of
a landing glider could spoil your day

- a field with three straight edges and one meandering, possibly lush
edge probably slopes toward the meandering edge (could be a stream)
and you don't want to be landing along or toward the stream if there's
much slope on the field

- if a field changes colour along a straight line without an visible
fence line, bewa electric fence, which can take your head off if
you hit it.

- if a power line crosses a field you're more likely to see tufts of
grass round the poles than to line itself


--
Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org

 




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