22nd of 57, KONM

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by SkyHog, May 29, 2006.

  1. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

    Feb 23, 2005
    Castle Rock, CO
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    Everything Offends Me
    Socorro Municipal Airport (KONM)

    Socorro is one of those cities that everyone here knows exists, but few people ever actually go to unless they are students at New Mexico Tech. There's nothing wrong with Socorro, its just not one of those cities that screams out "visit me!"

    The airport is easy to spot from a ways away. Just south of the city of Socorro itself, you can make out the runways from miles away even at fairly low altitudes. The Socorro VOR is located approximately 20 miles north of the airport, and is a useless navaid for VFR flight since from directly over the VOR, the airport is not visible, but the Florida NDB, located about 5 miles north, will take you directly to the airport if arriving from the north.

    There is a dinky little terminal building at the airport, and the back door is always unlocked. Inside you will find a bathroom and a bunch of torn shirt tails from student solos, but you will never find a person (in my experience, that is). To get fuel, you have to call the phone number that is posted in the terminal building and wait for someone to meet you at the airport.

    Off to the west of the airport is the Very Large Array or VLA. Magdalena is much closer to the VLA if you don't mind landing at a dirt strip instead, but finding a car to rent will be much easier in Socorro. At the top of the mountain just to the west of the airport is an observatory with restricted airspace up to 45,000 feet during the summer months.

    To the east of Socorro is New Mexico's largest area of Restricted Airspace, the R-5107s (A through J) the R-5111s (A-D) and the R5103s (A-C). Certain parts of the airspace may not be hot at all times, while others will ALWAYS be hot, so make sure you check with a preflight briefer before punching holes in the hashed blue line. You learn pretty quick flying down here that its often better to wait a few hours to takeoff if the r-space is going cold, because you'll be diverting many hours out of the way if its hot.

    The fuel price was not posted at the airport on the day that I flew through, and I did not want to call the on-call fuel guy to ask the price as it was getting a bit late on a Friday anyways, but just based on the hassle to get the fuel in the first place, I would avoid Socorro as a possible fuel stop. Belen is just north and has an actual FBO of sorts.

    I know y'all didn't want to hear any more excuses, but these pictures suck. I left my camera on the wing of the airplane in Belen and didn't find it until the next day, so these are all with my phone.

    1) On the Ramp at Socorro
    2) Lots of fuel, none for me

    Airport Elevation: 4875 Ft
    Runways 15/33: 5841'x100ft, Asphalt in pretty good condition
    Runways 6/24: 4590'x60ft, Asphalt in good condition
    CTAF: 122.8

    Nick's NOTAMS: Fuel is not easy to get here. Beware of restricted airspace to the east and west.

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