Heath Canyon Airport [CLOSED]

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Picture of TomcatDoc

Heath canyon

I flew in here in about 1994 doing a CAP border recce. I have to say it was the scariest thing I'd ever been a part of in civil aviation. The PIC "Dave" had been there multiple times before. The brush along the sides of the runway was so high that a low wing plane would not have been able to land there. They said it was 30 feet wide,but it was more like 10-15 feet wide. We landed to the NW, uphill. After landing we taxied back and shut down. The treat about this place was that the owner had a one table "restaurant" at the bottom. He came out and fixed us lunch.The owner apparently used to work as a geologist right across the border.

The takeoff was rather interesting. It took almost full power to taxi up to the top of the hill. We prepped for a SE departure, Short Field flaps (C-172/180hp) held the brakes, full power. The upper portion of the runway (RY11 I think) was flat, with what seemed like a precipitous drop off after about 500'. The C172 basically just flew off the edge and kept flying. A sharp left to stay inside US airspace and we were off!

I never went back, but I will also never forget it. All the rest of the airports we landed at that trip were easy in comparison.

Im sorry to see it closed, now with 4000 more hours than I had then (150 hours then) I'd definitely try it again.The food was pretty good too.

Picture of animebirder


Airnav and FAA now list this as CLOSED INDEFINITELY so there we go.

Picture of misterbick

Heath Canyon Airport

In the late 1970s I made several trips to Heath Canyon Airport carrying flourspar miners to and from their work It was not a landing strip for the faint of heart and I would not advise anyone to attempt to land there without some dual with a pilot experienced with the runway. It is a one way runway which lands to he northwest and departs to the southeast. The approach is over a bluff (which can be seen in the picture) that is about 300' high and about two miles southeast of the runway and you are landing on a runway that, though paved, is very narrow. About 500 feet after touch down the runway climbs a hill and then stays level for about 800' before climbing another hill. It is best to touch down shortly after the threshold. There is nearly always a strong crosswind from the west. Once over the bluff you are committed to land as the runway ends against another high bluff which would make any attempt at a go around nearly impossible. Takeoffs should be done from the northwest threshold. I found that, in a Cessna 210 I was not at VR before the first "roller coaster" hill and I had to hold forward pressure so as not to be thrown into the air before the plane was ready to fly and then make a sort of "ski jump" off the second hill. Sometimes I could climb straight out but not usually.

However, this is all moot as I notice that the 2009 DigitalGlobe picture shows X's on the runway.This is just as well as Somebody might be tempted to land there and it really is a dangerous strip.

Picture of ptomblin

re: Heath Canyon Airport

Reply to @misterbick: The FAA still marks it as open.

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