There’s nothing like flying to escape the beaten path. Returning from Massachusetts to Arizona, Jean and I steered for Warren and Melissa Smith’s private Atlanta, Illinois farm strip. Landing on grass is like alighting on a cloud, but you must always scout it first. Warren, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, shared details.
“It rained the other night, so I drove the strip in my car,” he said. “It’s in great shape, plus I confirmed the 2300-foot usable length with a wheel. Ideally, land from the south because there’s a 300-foot overrun at the north end–touch down upon clearing the corn. From the north, land past the metal “Hoblit Farms” building. In case of concerns, of course, divert to nearby Logan County Airport.”
We’d hoped to make Illinois nonstop, but headwinds dictated refueling at Logansport, Indiana. Despite bargain prices, I resisted topping tanks; it’s best to operate light on turf.
During our final one-hour leg, I reviewed soft-field procedures and runway requirements. Although 2300 feet is plenty for a Skylane, grass demands proper technique and lengthens takeoff roll…
**READ THE ENTIRE COLUMN, “LAND ON A CLOUD“**
Top photo: “The Flying Carpet at Hoblit Farms’s private grass strip, Atlanta, Illinois.” [Larry Collins photo.]
Lower photo: “Larry Collins, Warren and Melissa Smith, and ‘Ace,’ greet us at the Hoblit Farms strip.”
SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE!
And check out the following video of the Flying Carpet in Illinois Farmland, by Larry Collins.
(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)
©2017 Gregory N. Brown
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!