Comments 1 to 14 of 14
Busy Area, Good Fuel Stop
This is one of the fields Harv's Air operates out of (they own this one). The area around Steinbach can be quite busy during the days. If you are passing through I would consider stopping at Harv's for fuel - the staff are great. This is a prior permission field, but I received it with no problems.
Great grass strip, and there is also a floatbase just north of the field on the Kaministiqua River.
Parts of the runway are used by vehicles. When I landed there earlier this year the centre of the runway looked fine, but not far from it the gravel looked to be several inches deep and loose. The worst area was the turn around at the west end, where the gravel was very loose and had some ruts from vehicles. As long as you watch for and avoid the worst looking areas the runway should be fine when taxiing. On take off and landing be sure to stay on the centreline where the gravel isn't as loose. My opinions may also be due to my limited experience flying from gravel strips.
Greenbank looked to be very well maintained when I stopped in this spring.
The main runway has a very noticeable upslope to the north. If the wind favours a northward take off don't forget to consider the slope. I would estimate (taking off to the north) the first 700-1000' is slightly downhill or level, followed by the upslope for about 1000' before it levels off again and makes a slight bend to the right.
When I landed here the wind was from the north. I was comfortable with and knew the performance of the aircraft I was flying. I chose to take off uphill into the wind, with a plan to abort and take off downhill if not airborne and climbing halfway up the hill (it would also make backtracking to the far end quicker if I had to take of downhill and downwind). The first part of the runway that was relatively flat made all the difference and I was airborne just after the upslope began. Aircraft type and power effects whether you should take off downhill/downwind or uphill/upwind. Consider your aircraft's performance and definitely have a go/no-go point in this situation.
Additionally, the buildings at the southwest corner are 30-50' above the runway, and some gravel looked to have been put/shifted onto the crosswind strip. I only took a quick look while taxiing, but I recall that the runway looked fairly unusable. Hopefully a local pilot can correct me if I am wrong. If you are planning to use the crosswind strip I would call the operator to ensure it is usable or make a low pass or two to check the runway condition.
A house with a yard full of trees is right at the south end of the runway. There are a couple large trees (80' AGL from the CFS) on the centreline. Rather than approach over the trees, I flew my approach just west of the runway and slipped over to the runway once past the trees. This worked very well and I am fairly certain I landed much earlier than I would have if I had flown over the trees. If taking off to the south I would definitely turn slightly right once airborne to avoid the trees and the home.
The airport staff were very friendly and helpful. The grass strip was well-maintained and the terminal was very nice - full of expertly crafted models. There is also a small museum covering the airport's contribution to flight training in the Second World War.
This was a nice grass strip at a farm, quite literally with a barn/silo/farmhouse at the north end of the runway. Trees at the south end should not pose any problem for take off or landing. There is a small pond at the south end that the CFS advises geese roost in. When I visited this airfield there was a smudge pot or similar by the pond, presumably to keep the geese away from the runway.
The windsock is quite small, and mounted on top of the small building north of the runway. The field looked like it was well maintained despite the countless dandelions when I landed here. There is a very slight downslope towards the east end and the trees that should not be a problem for most any aircraft.
I did some IFR training at Mirabel. It's almost a shame that such a large, sprawling airport is largely closed (many taxiways, one runway, no passenger service, etc). At least it provides the local flight schools with a great place to train for ILS approaches and not worry about all sorts of commercial flights coming and going.
There is a bird sanctuary near the airport, so be sure to keep a good lookout for birds.
There is a shorter crosswind turf strip at Smiths Falls that is not depicted in the CFS (visible on the map above). A flying club member recently told me to feel free to use the grass if there was a good crosswind on my arrival on a cross country flight. I would guess it is about 1500' long.
Missed my chance
I skipped the restaurant since it was a refuelling stop in the morning, but it sounds like I missed some good food. The FBO staff were very friendly as well.
🔗 Sun, 22 Jul 2007
— @StudentPilot at Fort Frances Municipal Airport, Canada
Even if no on is making calls or intending to land at Fort Frances, keep a good eye out for traffic flying in to International Falls just across the border. There is also the floatplane traffic flying from the town to keep an eye out for.