I learned to fly 24 years ago at Oakdale Municipal Airport. It’s been my home base ever since. So now that I’m flying my PPG I’d like to keep flying from Oakdale. the only problem is that there isn’t much room for PPGs to operate there and the runway does not align with the prevailing winds there. There is an unused 15 acre field on the airport property on the south side of the airport that would be perfect for PPG launches. At one time it was being developed for hangars but was abandoned after asphault was put down.
My buddy Dennis and I discussed this yesterday. He does construction for a living and specializes in dirt grading and levelling. He gave me some ideas of what would need to be done to make this field usable. After a discussion of what could be done and for how much we agreed that this should be done in phases so as to keep costs below certain thresholds that would trigger a lot more bureaucracy and paperwork. Phase 1 would be the green shaded area on the west side of the photo. The entire land area of this section is a little over 7 acres. Dennis suggested that the area first be disced so as to knock down the weeds and allow us to see the lay of the land. Dennis knows someone who could do it relatively inexpensively unless the City has access to similar resources that would be cheaper for them. After it is disced the area could then be graded and compacted.
My only concern with using only this area is the house just south of the airport. This is shown shaded in yellow. I don’t want to overfly that house at low level and start generating complaints that we don’t currently have. However, with careful descent planning we can avoid the house.
The best option for not overflying the house would be to improve the green shaded area to the east. Dennis expressed concern about removing the decayed asphalt in this area. It would be very difficult to remove the weeds which would allow the asphalt to be recycled. More than likely it would have to be dumped at an added cost. However, being able to land in this area would align aircraft better with the prevailing wind and also avoid overflying the house. The black line represents the position of Oakdale’s old cross wind runway which aligned perfectly with the prevailing winds there. At any rate having access to this entire area would give us launch options no matter what direction the wind was coming from and would allow us to not overly any houses on landing. We will also have to look at how we access that area. There are no roads so it would involve crossing the runway. I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.
Anyway, I’m going to submit this to the City’s Airport Ad-hoc Committee and see if we can get some funds and a start date.