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Questions about owning a grass strip airport

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SVSUSteve

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Most aircraft are capable of operating from a good grass runway. Of course that takes more work to maintain than the average bumpy private grass strip
Well, I've always wanted an excuse to own a steam roller or something similar (like one grass strip owner and classic vehicle collector I know does)....

And there's nothing that says you can't light a grass strip for night operations...
Hmmm...I never looked into it and I had never heard of a lighted grass strip since WWII bomber fields in England.
 

TFF

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Shoot, tons of lighted grass strips out there; people just not making more. About 10 years ago a local 2 runway grass strip, one 5000 ft with lights, got plowed under; sad. Heck there is a private strip north of me that has an ILS.
 

Toobuilder

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We seriously considered planting grass on our strip here, but in the end the lower maintenance of the asphalt won out. Given the right conditions, I would rather operate off grass than any other surface. When I was a kid, I recall attending some giant scale rc meets held on a sod farm. This particular surface was some kind of a very short clover that was as smooth and flat as a pool table... And it was miles square! Perfection!
 

SVSUSteve

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Heck there is a private strip north of me that has an ILS.
That would be sweet. Hell, I'd be happy with just a GPS/RNAV approach because it doesn't have the cost associated with it that an ILS would. I figure if they can do a **** RNAV approach to a lake they can do one to a grass strip. LOL

What airport are you referring to by the way?

Shoot, tons of lighted grass strips out there; people just not making more.
I guess it's just because I only paid attention to grass strips back when I was flying ultralights and even then I always planned my flights from hard surface runways to hard surface runways.
 

Dana

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Given the right conditions, I would rather operate off grass than any other surface. When I was a kid, I recall attending some giant scale rc meets held on a sod farm. This particular surface was some kind of a very short clover that was as smooth and flat as a pool table... And it was miles square! Perfection!
Absolutely! I keep my plane at a paved field, but always operate from the grass between the runway and taxiway if there are not planes parked on it. Tires last longer that way, too.

When I was a kid my Dad and I used to fly R/C sailplanes from a sod farm in upstate NY. No motors allowed there, just a Hi-Start (shock cord) to launch. There were always nearby bare dirt fields where the sod had already been rolled up, or plowed onion fields, so lots of good thermals. We'd launch, get some altitude, then lay on our backs in the beautiful sod and fly for an hour or so. Delightful!

-Dana

Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country is doing to you.
 

208Caravan

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The same can be said for hard surface runways as well. The well-publicized problems with the runway at Sao Paulo, Brazil is a perfect example of this.



There were some real jerks at the airport I was originally at.

Are you referring to TSA or do you just have some real @#!*% hangar rats down your way?
 

208Caravan

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I had that problem with mine for the first couple months, but I finally found all the low spot and pot holes. Fixed them.

I honestly LOVE grass strips, but the one thing to check on for a grass strip if you plan on using it year round is the water drainage. If not properly graded, water may pool, making the strip unsafe for landings. If you have time, visit the strip after a rain and see if there is standing water and how long it takes to drain.
 

stol

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Jackson Hole Wyoming
Shoot, tons of lighted grass strips out there; people just not making more. About 10 years ago a local 2 runway grass strip, one 5000 ft with lights, got plowed under; sad. Heck there is a private strip north of me that has an ILS.
I designed a GPS approach for my private grass strip. Since it is for my own use, the feds don't want to know or even care. Of course I don't need more the 400 feet for my Zenith 801 to come and go.... YMMV
 

Toobuilder

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I designed a GPS approach for my private grass strip. Since it is for my own use, the feds don't want to know or even care. Of course I don't need more the 400 feet for my Zenith 801 to come and go.... YMMV
I "sort of" did this with my strip... I placed a waypoint about a mile off the end of each runway so that if I "had" to get home under less than ideal conditions I might be able to pull it off. Before we had lights I tried a night landing in a Cherokee with a VERY anemic landing light... The only reference we use is a porch light of the house at the end of the strip and I got it way wrong. I was offset about 100 feet off centerline and as I was hunched forward trying to peer into the darkness, saw the oak tree appear in the dim light of the 5w bulb mounted in the cowl. I applied all 160 snarling horsepower to drag me around with inches to spare!
 

Monty

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I learned to fly gliders on the grass between a paved runway and a taxiway....I was actually apprehensive of landing on asphalt for a long time...:gig:.

Grass is easy on tires, and less likely to cause a ground loop if you aren't on the rudders like you should be.

There are a lot of lighted grass strips. Honestly the mowing where I live would drive me crazy, and the gas and maintenance to do so would be more than my shared bill for the hangar at the local airport.

I've always dreamed of living on a grass strip, real estate is getting too expensive here for that, and the geography is not conducive. Kansas or OK on the other hand........
 

Dana

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...Before we had lights I tried a night landing in a Cherokee with a VERY anemic landing light... The only reference we use is a porch light of the house at the end of the strip and I got it way wrong. I was offset about 100 feet off centerline and as I was hunched forward trying to peer into the darkness, saw the oak tree appear in the dim light of the 5w bulb mounted in the cowl. I applied all 160 snarling horsepower to drag me around with inches to spare!
Did you try it again?

-Dana

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors-- and miss.
 

Joe Fisher

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Galesburg, KS South east Kansas
I have 2 each lights one on each side at the best touch down point and some drive way reflectors that light up in the landing light. I haven't done it in 12 years but before I would usually make one night landing a month with no trouble at all.
 
S

Skysurfer

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There's a guy close to me who went to the Council to ask if he could build a runway and hangar on his field out in the countryside - result: public enquiry - so far as I know it hasn't been resolved yet but there were 30 objections. I guess a lot of his neighbours imagined they'd have 747s and fighter jets flying over their houses. He would have been better off just starting to fly his own plane (he's planning to get a real quiet European ultralight) for a few years so the neighbours would have got used to it and then apply for permission - or just continue flying.

Let sleeping dogs lie!
 

Monty

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Why would it be so much work to mow the gras every time? Only mow the parts on the beginning and end and accept a fairly narrow strip?

Trust me.....this ain't the English channel....or Cali-forn-I-A.....Things are brushy around here.

I maintain about 5 acres of grass, and 25 acres total....it's a lot of work...:gig: Mow it regularly or bail it.....

gas-maintenance on mowing equipment is a major expense in the spring/summer/fall...especially if it rains. 48 inches per year, and 90 deg F temps makes for lots of grass....and work.

I have a good friend who lives even farther South on a 5000ft grass strip....mowing is a pain.
 

SVSUSteve

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Trust me.....this ain't the English channel....or Cali-forn-I-A.....Things are brushy around here.
We have the same problem here. Outside of lawns, you leave the stuff unmowed for two months and you have a foot of grass which I don't think would be great for a takeoff.

I have a good friend who lives even farther South on a 5000ft grass strip....mowing is a pain.
Build a little extra hangar space and "rent" it out in exchange for the renter either mowing himself or hiring someone to do it. LOL
 

autoreply

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Rotterdam, Netherlands
Trust me.....this ain't the English channel....or Cali-forn-I-A.....Things are brushy around here.

I maintain about 5 acres of grass, and 25 acres total....it's a lot of work...:gig: Mow it regularly or bail it.....

gas-maintenance on mowing equipment is a major expense in the spring/summer/fall...especially if it rains. 48 inches per year, and 90 deg F temps makes for lots of grass....and work.
No worries, in summertime here it grows just as fast. A neat lawn requires twice weekly mowing in fertile ground.

What I meant is, why cut all the grass? Many French airports let it be and only cut a small strip on the main runway. Over a foot of grass isn't really such a problem except for where you're landing obviously. If you screw up the landing, the tall grass still won't really cause much damage, except for green stains.
 

208Caravan

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Trust me.....this ain't the English channel....or Cali-forn-I-A.....Things are brushy around here.

I maintain about 5 acres of grass, and 25 acres total....it's a lot of work...:gig: Mow it regularly or bail it.....

gas-maintenance on mowing equipment is a major expense in the spring/summer/fall...especially if it rains. 48 inches per year, and 90 deg F temps makes for lots of grass....and work.

I have a good friend who lives even farther South on a 5000ft grass strip....mowing is a pain.
I know where your coming from, I've got 300 acres and 250 of it is hay field. Every hay season, it's a living hell. I just want to thank mister Case for making such darn good equipment.:gig:
 

Monty

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I know where your coming from, I've got 300 acres and 250 of it is hay field. Every hay season, it's a living hell. I just want to thank mister Case for making such darn good equipment.:gig:
I have a case 830D....1960 something-ish year model. It is an implement, but not too maneuverable. It has the Case-O-Matic transmission. Rather interesting, a manual trans with a torque converter. The clutch pedal is just a valve....no stiff clutch pedal to stand on...

Glad I don't have 250 acres of hay to contend with. I use my tractor mostly to maintain my driveway and bush-hog the borders. Lately I've been using the ZTR instead of the tractor for the 5 acres of grass.

Unless you live in the land of expensive hangars, the local municipal airport is not a bad deal.

Though I am still jealous of those living on their own strip......
 
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