Angel Fire, NM - 4th highest airport in U.S. - highest in NM

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Spencer Hamons, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Spencer Hamons

    Spencer Hamons Filing Flight Plan

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    Angel Fire, NM
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    AngelFire_Saratoga
    Looking to try out your mountain flying skills with a few "outs" available to you, then give Angel Fire (KAXX) a try. It can definitely be challenging, but with good planning, it is doable - as long as you have patience. The field elevation here is 8,380 feet, but what creates the challenge is that the runway is oriented North / South due to the geographical constraints of the valley, but the winds are primarily out of the West, so anticipate a cross-wind landing. Fuel is relatively inexpensive, but don't plan on filling up as your weight will be a consideration when the density altitudes are typically greater-than 9,000 feet, even in the Winter.

    If you are here in the Winter, there is a ski resort 2 miles away that will pick you up if you are staying there (Angel Fire Resort), at your convenience. There is also the T8 shuttle that can run you around as well. Skiing is both downhill, with 81 trails, high speed lifts, and a terrain park, as well as cross-country skiing - complete with all the rental equipment you could possibly need. In the summer, the same resort has a great 18 hole mountain golf course that is absolutely gorgeous (and your drives go really far at this altitude). If golf isn't your thing, there are 60 plus miles of mountain biking trails that has been ranked "best in the Southwest" by MTB Parks. There is also frisbee golf, hiking, and trout fishing in the area, plus some awesome Ziplining, including one 600 feet off the valley floor. While you are here, there are plenty of local restaurants, but one of my favorites is our local craft brew-pub - Enchanted Circle Brewing.

    Your "outs", if you are coming in and find that the conditions aren't within your envelope, are to Raton, NM just to the East, Taos just to the West, and Santa Fe to the Southwest. All of which have great things to do to waste some time while waiting for conditions to improve.

    We have had a number of close-calls and a few crashes over the years, mostly pilot error trying to outclimb terrain with insufficient performance. Because of that, I created a video to help orient pilots with the challenges of the area and to help with your pre-flight planning. You can find that video here:

    If you do plan on coming in and want some additional information, feel free to PM me, I am happy to give you a local's perspective.

    Spencer Hamons
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
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  2. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Dave Taylor
    Spencer, the T8 shuttle will now take anyone to & from the airport even if not a hotel guest; yay.
    And, you didn’t mention the ziplines!
    Also XC ski trails & rentals.
     
  3. Spencer Hamons

    Spencer Hamons Filing Flight Plan

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    AngelFire_Saratoga
    Good point, I do forget about the T8 shuttle...and definitely overlooked the ZipLine. Will have to see if I can edit that.
     
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  4. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Geosync
    was there last year. Beautiful area.