Cost of having your own runway?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by wbarnhill, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    I am no 'dozer expert, but it was not a real big one; inclined to say that it was a D5K, but uncertain.

    Unfortunately, while he overcame every challenge with creative solutions, it was cancer that stumped him, and we lost him earlier this year.
     
  2. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    Wow, when you look it up the whole area looks like a large grid. Might be easy to get lost if you don't know the area. Your runway looks like the only grass on that plot haha. Do you farm that land next to it?
    Okay, I'm trying to figure out what I'd need to tow a dozer that could push dirt for a runway. I think the D5K is 22,000lbs.

    Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    For crying out loud....... want to save money on building your own strip? The solution ain't rocket surgery folks......

    Get a helicopter......:yes::lol::lol::lol:

    I would love to have a backyard runway.

    And holy necropost......
     
  4. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    No kidding on the old post. I thought I revived a thread from 2013, nope 2006. Btw I think it's cheaper to make a 100k runway and have a 100k or less plane than a 500k+ heli.:D
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
  5. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Find a local logger, sell the good trees for lumber and the rest for pulpwood. A runway 75' x 3000' is just over 5 acres of land. Then you'll also want a few hundred feet of clear approach on both ends. Trust me, a 75' wide slot in the trees isn't that much space, but a 75' wide strip of asphalt in a larger clearing is a lot of runway to land on.

    Better make the opening in the trees 100' wide, which will push the land involved up to 6-2/3 acres plus the approaches. Lots of wood to sell. The lumber folks should clean it up nicely, and the money will go a long ways towards making a smooth area in the middle to land on. Don't forget to plan for drainage after rain.

    Oh, you'll need something larger than your home riding mower to tend it, too. A 6' wide finishing deck is great, if you've got a tractor to pull it. I've seen people mowing their large yards with a pull-behind mower with it's own engine, running pretty good speed, pulling it with a 4-wheeler. Equipment and upkeep, like with a plane, will become the larger expense over time, so select your equipment with care.
     
  6. Matthew K

    Matthew K Line Up and Wait

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    A local I know has a airfield that has 2 grass runways. One is 3000x50, I believe the other is the same, maybe a little shorter. He uses a nice big air conditioned kubota with at least a 12' pto mower(maybe larger) to maintain them. He does have about 60 acres to mow though along with other uses for the nice expensive tractor.
     
  7. psween

    psween Pre-Flight

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    Wow, when you look it up the whole area looks like a large grid. Might be easy to get lost if you don't know the area. Your runway looks like the only grass on that plot haha. Do you farm that land next to it?

    Yup, one big grid, easy to get around if you're local, but have had outside visitors need to circle a bit to see the strip. We don't farm it but my in-laws do, and the RV-10 that lives here belongs to my FIL.
     
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  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or tundras
     
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  9. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    They usually haul those front end loaders on a semi trailer. You can tow a backhoe behind a 3/4 ton pickup, and it COULD be done with one of those tractors (take the backhoe off). Take a look at the CAT 950. Whatever your excavator has that rents reasonable. You're going to have to have something to mow it with unless you pave it. I wouldnt recomend gravel.
     
  10. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    This post reminded me of this picture I took a while back... lol

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Get your seaplane rating and buy a lot on a lake.
     
  12. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :yeahthat:
     
  13. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just buy an old government drone facility like Dave Fletch at FletchAir did (TS36).
     
  14. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Or use oatmeal as pavement....
     
  15. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    Couldn't you build hangars and airport facilities to offset costs? Hangar space is pretty difficult to get around here.
     
  16. cgrab

    cgrab Cleared for Takeoff

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    A Case 450 (or better yet a Case 455 with a 4 in 1 bucket) would be light/small enough to be delivered by most flatbed trucks. It's maneuverable and can remove the average size stump. I assume that leveling the land includes both removing and adding dirt/fill to get it level. If that's the case, you may also need a dump truck. If you rent a dump truck and front end loader the truck can pull the loader to the site. I recommend air conditioning for any heavy equipment because, if nothing else, the insulation helps with the noise.
     
  17. Rock

    Rock Pre-Flight

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    I just bought a cabin on a lake...Hmmmmmmm
     
  18. Dean West

    Dean West Filing Flight Plan

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    Looking forward to hearing how your project ended.
     
  19. Dean West

    Dean West Filing Flight Plan

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    Did you build a $100K dock?
     
  20. Matthew Thomason

    Matthew Thomason Filing Flight Plan

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    I just built an air strip in the shape of an X in all four of the cardinal directions, the run ways are 5,000 feet long with a 500 feet circular turnaround on each end, by 250 feet wide,to have room for plans to taxi and refuel, 18 inches thick reinforced concrete with 9 inches of black top, along with the landing lights and such i paid 2.8 million for mine and it's not open to the public, just the few guys and gals i know who fly too.
     
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  21. Gerhardt

    Gerhardt En-Route

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    So you're saying it's open to fellow PoAers! Sweet. We'll need coordinates for our fly-in.
     
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  22. Turningfinal

    Turningfinal Pre-takeoff checklist

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    :rofl:
     
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  23. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Wouldn’t that be more of a + than an X?
     
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  24. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, forget prevailing winds and just pave a solid 10 acre square.
     
  25. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Beat me to it.
     
  26. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    There is a private runway with 15 acres and a building site for sale near Red Feather Lakes in Colorado for $350k. Its 25C0, calling it Crystal Lakes Airport now. Its about 40 miles NW of Fort Collins.
     
  27. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    And Elvis flies in regularly, I bet
     
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  28. Maciej

    Maciej Line Up and Wait

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    This is one of those moments where you don't realize how badly you're about to get owned...
     
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  29. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    That's not the ... (had to go google maps browsing for this) Laramie River Dude Ranch? I found that one year while hunting. Pretty impressive!
     
  30. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    No this is near Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes. Different place.
     
  31. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hmmm. 4225' of dirt runway, at 8,440 MSL! That's up there.

    3CO0 near Delta was recently for sale as well - 3 runways, 2 homes, $375K. Listing was removed a couple months ago, but it doesn't indicate "Sold".
     
  32. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    OK, I'll play. I design airports for a living. 5000 x 250? An A380 can land on 150 feet wide. Only aircraft that would need 250 feet wide is Stratolaunch, and 5000 is not adequate length for that. 500 foot turnarounds? No reason for that dimension. A simple Aviplan (nee PathPlanner) run will show that. 9 inches of asphalt over 18 inches of concrete? No reason to accept the mx costs of asphalt when you have just put in concrete, which has much better lifecycle costs. Not to mention the reflective cracking issue. Almost certainly no reason a wind rose analysis would show the need for two perpendicular runways. So if someone actually did this, holy cow they got snookered.

    And building 2 x 5000 feet of 250-foot-wide runway plus turnarounds plus lights for $2.8 million. Nope. You're off by probably a factor of 15 to 20, depending on site work.
     
  33. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Maybe they used 2 shovels and a wheelbarrow for cost savings....
     
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  34. LoneAspen

    LoneAspen Line Up and Wait

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    Along with some of those dudes that hang around outside the local home improvement store.
     
  35. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Friends..... this is the singular most important comment to this discussion. I farm for a living and own farm land. Just because you may own land you are not allowed to do with it as you please. Laws are on the books that prevent the disturbance of HEL [ highly erodeable land ] or wetlands. What constitutes HEL or wetlands will make you scratch your head. Now we have the WOTUS [ Waters of the US ] in front of us that will impose even more regulation. Thankfully the current administration is trying to undo WOTUS. By the way, WOTUS was made law by the Obama administration without a single vote from congress.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  36. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    I had a friend whose Dad was a WWII British fighter pilot. Started flying for the RAF in 1938.
    We were talking over a pint one evening and he told me that at the beginning of the US involvement in the war, American runways killed almost as many British pilots as the Germans.
    British fighter bases were just a big square of turf. No such thing as a crosswind takeoff or landing. Just taxi out face it into the wind and go. Repeat on landing.
    He admitted to tearing the gear off more than one Spitfire before borrowing an American pilot and a Tiger Moth to teach him how to survive in a crosswind.
     
  37. SoonerAviator

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    Would have been a perfect spot for this:
    [​IMG]
     
  38. Maciej

    Maciej Line Up and Wait

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    I was alluding to the fact the poster in question is in a position to be able to accomplish a project, whether or not they got the specific details wrong is an entirely different discussion. Your response was questioning the credibility of the existence of the field as a whole, which is what I was pointing to.
     
  39. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I have landed on curved runways before, but they were not paved.
     
  40. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Heck, I don’t design airports for a living but even to me those dimensions made no sense at all. The alleged cost also seems extremely low to this casual observer.