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Building an airstrip


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Does anyone know how to build an airstrip? - Just curious and has nothing to do with anything I am doing or thinking of (maybe in 10 years or so that may change)!!!

 

Say you have 200 acres of flat grazing land and you want to put an airstrip in.

 

How do you know what direction to have it?

 

What sort of drainage would you need?

 

What kind of grass or gravel would you want?

 

The Camden Haven strip was very green and incredibly soft which was nice for landing but created more resistance when taking off causing a longer take off run. But then you don't want the surface to become hard and rough very quickly as well.

 

 

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One friend of mine has two dirt strips amongst his crop. One north/south the other east/west, both are about 300m long. (Flys an Airborne) He's on 2,000 acres and walks from the kitchen, 100m to the shed, fires up, taxies along his driveway about another 150m then he's on the strip.

 

We don't get a lot of rain here to worry too much about drainage. A couple of time during the year he runs over it with a tractor and harrow to soften and level it. It gets sprayed when required.;)

 

 

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Ian,

 

Some related threads are out there already, but here are some thoughts based on my experience:

 

* I decided I wanted a strip on our farm 3 years before actually building it.

 

* At that time I put a temporary windsock in and observed its movements in various conditions. I also took wind speed measurements near the sock and other parts of the property.

 

* 3 years later I had enough data to decide on the final location. (I was working overseas a lot at the time - which is why I took so long to get to this point; otherwise the homework could have been over just a few months).

 

* I next cleared gum-trees that I had noted were causing a bit of turbulence; I used a stump grinder to make the stumps disappear.

 

* My neighbour also dropped 2 huge trees on his land that were below my intended approach path.

 

* I marked the outline of the strip with tomato stakes, then ploughed and harrowed the area: 700m long by 10m wide.

 

* I then had a friend "borrow" a grader from local Council duty and he spent about 2 hours levelling and creating a spoon drain down one side - to stop water from crossing the strip and causing erosion.

 

* I then bought a mix of couch and rye grass and sowed that down.

 

* I built a hanger off to one side of one end of the strip - from a kit - but using a professional to erect it.

 

* I then invited a friend to come and test it; he flew a Jabiru in without having seen the strip from the ground.

 

* Then I bought an a/c to land on it and go in it :-)

 

My a/c is a trike, but the hanger will hold a Jabiru or similar + the trike.

 

The hanger / strip is almost 2 kms from our house - but I just ride one of the quad bikes up there - with a jerry can clipped on the back - filled from our on-farm bulk storage (Being careful not to use the diesel pump :-)

 

What I love about this style of arrangement is I can be sitting on the back verandah having coffee and checking out the heavens - then note that conditions look good - and literally 10 mins later be in the air. No long trips to the airfield; no waiting for the a/c to return from another booking; no wasted trips due to conditions changing, no ASIC card...... Fly-boys (& girls) nirvana for sure...

 

Pic shows house in the foreground and strip paddock circled.

 

1706119018_Inverness1.JPG.e9fcac8b9ad4cdbcef27127723125a72.JPG

 

 

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I have a working dairy farm and are going to built a strip on it. The wind rose info site quoted in DavidH message is very usefull. I am in the lucky postion of having a close neighbour that has done all the ground work before he built his strip so I only need copy what Tony has done.

 

I can get about 550M E/W. I still have to ask a neighbour to drop two large gums 200M no my west approch. Tony the neighbour with the airstrip advised not to use scoria as prop damage can result.

 

 

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Jodel, what model of Jodel do you have? I have an 0-200 engined D11 'Sky Princess', but I haven't actually flown it yet, (I'm in Perth and its in Tasmania). I'm picking it up and flying it back in 2 weeks time. I have flown Jodels before though, and think they are the dogs danglies, performance like a $100k+ LSA at a fraction of the cost, and with the simplest maintenance and repair on the planet.

 

 

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When my plane is built, I am hoping to put an airstrip in at my boss' place. No worries about wind direction, we only have one spot the strip could go and that is on a pretty bad sideslope. All I'm planning on doing is mow the grass short, fill a couple of holes, maybe a fence rerouted, and a few less trees (to wherever with carbon trading).

 

And a portable transceiver for the 'ground staff' so I can call them to get the cows off the strip.

 

Also no useage during milking hours, the dairy farmers might object.

 

 

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Stock on the strip. Usually they will clear off as soon as you put in an appearance, if not buzz the strip to one side, preferably the side with the most scrub. That will move them all in one direction. Beware of the lone bull of the same colour as the strip. I had to go around because of a brahman on a sand coloured strip which I didn't see until short final. The other trap is arriving just before last light to find cattle on the strip.

 

If it is fully fenced, no cattle but you will have to mow it more.

 

 

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Strip and Dam Wall

 

Hi all:)

 

Have a small strip (340m x 16-20m) facing 09 and 27, built on a dam wall. Have tried to make it as safe as possible with a lot of input from a mate who is a flying instructor. It has a sloped off-ramp (of sorts) on one end in case of brake failure and a cleared approach of 400m at the other end. The strip has a slope on it and for my skill level, I only fly in light winds at the moment. The good news is that it is close to my house and there are plenty of cane fields around - which hopefully I won't ever have to use.

 

gav:)

 

stripskyranger.thumb.jpg.a0d43d3f5bca350629a4bc93b923cb89.jpg

 

 

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Guest mudjeep

I've just recently bought 100 acres near Tarago NSW. The land is undulating but there's a spot where I can fit a 400m strip with a 3 degree slope. Luckily it's pretty much into the prevailing wind. I'm not exactly sure of the process yet but I imagine I'll need to spray it, plough it, level it and seed it. It'll be fenced from the horses (about 35m between fences - does that sound enough?) but we are thinking of letting alpacas graze it when not in use (light hooves). Our main driveway will cross it (I get to put up a "Give way to aircraft" sign!) and will also double as taxiway for a short distance. Our house will sit on the hill and overlook the strip. I'm going to buy a tractor with a box scraper (combined dozer/grader/scarifier/ripper) and a loader and hope to do the whole lot myself. With a bit of luck construction will commence around Christmas.

 

I'm also thinking of writing a story about it for one of the magazines.

 

 

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Bushpilot has the idea!

 

I would just add that to control any unwanted livestock, at a safe distance from the strip you could build an electric fence, very minimal damage if you did ever happen to run into it!

 

This is also very good for mowing the strip as well. As all you have to do is borrow 1000 sheep from the neighbour for a day or two every now and then and you have a mown and compacted strip. The only catch is you may get Poo Poo on your aircraft if you use it to soon after. Tip on cleaning "Do it Soon"

 

The other thing is up or down a hill is great, however preferably no side slope!

 

Safe Skies and Strips

 

Cheers Guy

 

 

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I didn't go for plough method as the paddock had been cropped that year and was reasonably flat.I rolled it in both directions to break the wheat stubble and then ran the hayrake over it to move the straw aside before harrowing it.All of this made it very dusty and soft,it really needed a good fall of rain to pack it down,but rain(especially when you want it)has been hard to come by for about 6 years.It has been packed down well now for a couple of years but still needs to be mowed,sprayed or have a big length of steel dragged along it as required.As for sheep,anybody that has had anything to do with them knows that they all follow each other and they tend to drag their feet and leave tracks up to 40mm deep and 200mm wide(they use the track again and again).If I could keep the sheep out I would but our farming program has the sheep in the stubble after harvest.They respond well to a low flyover if they are on the strip,but the strip is 1100m long and I'm in a Thruster so can usually land before or after them.

 

PS. I chose the only paddock we have in over 4000 acres that has no trees.

 

 

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To spread the dung, usa a chain harrow and if that is not available a sheet of weldmesh 8-200 or similar dragged at about 15kph will do a good job. 8-200 is 8mm dia, with 200mm spacing each way usually 6m * 2.4m.

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I'm curious about the regulatory side of building a private strip.

 

Is there a need to notify anyone in officialdom when you build a strip - CASA, AirServices?

 

What are the advantages of being a Registered ALA (I don't mean Certified). I presume it gets you a Y*** designation? What else?

 

What do you have to do to get a Y***?

 

Are there any insurance issues for a pilot using a non-Y*** strip, assuming PPR has been satisfied?

 

Ron

 

 

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Guest High Plains Drifter

Ron,

 

If the strip is to be built OCTA, I dont think CASA or ASA have any interest.

 

Your local Council may have some regs re airstrips or aircraft operating from a padock.

 

Registered ALA and Y, I dont know about, and re insurance, best talk to your insurers.

 

HPD

 

 

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Cessnock council rulze state that a property cannot be used as an airport. i don't belive a council can stop you from taking off or landing on your property unless neighbours lodge a noise or similar complaint.

 

 

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I vaguely remember years ago some issue about a Commonwealth regulation about not being able to have an airstrip within 10 miles of a certified airport.

 

Brobenah (Leeton) was outside the distance from Narrandera. I think it is 14 nm and about 24 nm from Griffith without checking it out on the GPS.

 

 

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Guest Flyer40

On the other side of the coin, a mate of mine owns an airstrip at Noosa. It's been in their family for decades, but after they rejected many offers from property developers who tried to buy them out, the council imposed a restriction that only the property owner can operate from the strip. You can draw your own conclusion about that.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

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