Saline Preservation Association

The voice of Saline Valley

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flying chipmunk

Posts: 3
On March 14, 2013, my son and I flew in to the Chicken Strip from Bishop, about a 45 minute flight (including about 5-10 minutes hunting and overflying the strip before landing). The Chicken Strip was adequate to get in and out in a Cessna Cardinal RG at 2,400 lb. (400 lb. under the maximum 2,800 lb gross weight). We touched down within 50 ft. of the runway threshold and used less than half the runway to slow down. It would have been better to have touched down about 1/3 of the way down due to the unevenness of the first few hundred ft. There were three tie-downs available. It is about a 1/2 mile hike from the tie-downs to the main hot spring area, and another 3/4 mile to the Palm spring. On departure, shortly after sunrise, using short field techniques to the max, we were airborne with about 300 ft. to spare, then flew in ground effect until reaching climbing speed. It took about 1 3/4 hours to reach our next destination, Boulder City. 

After this experience, we don't recommend to others to attempt this in a RG, as we were concerned the gear may not hold up while we were bouncing. It's possible that we simply got lucky. Non-retractable tricycle gear airplanes as well as tailwheels should be able to handle it without difficulty, as long as you consider the density altitude's effects on your airplane's performance in planning when to arrive and depart.

A friend of ours who works at Joshua Approach advises that they really appreciate pilots contacting them on the radio when flying in the area. Although the Chicken Strip area is below their radar coverage, they can still usually hear you, and when they know you're there, they can keep the fighter jets away from you. I encourage maximum use of this service to prevent an unnecessary accident (which, in turn, may result in further regulations that may close the possibility to fly in). 

Lizard Lee is doing a fine job maintaining the pools. They were all clean and algae free. They emptied, cleaned, and refilled each of the pools in the main area, one pool at a time, while we were there. The two pools in the Palm Spring area were equally clean and algae free. There may have been up to 25 or so people in the main area at a time, but it was never crowded, as some may be in one pool, others in another, others laying out in the grassy area, and so on. (Those I talked to said there would be more people there on weekends, but still never too crowded.)

Posts: 158
I walked the strip on MLK weekend 1/20/13 and it looked great, windsock decent, hoping to fly in president's weekend with my Piper Arrow.
Tahoe Bob

Posts: 21
Windsocks - I checked around here in IYK (Ridgecrest CA) and they have upgraded their socks so some old socks are available for free. Attached photos show physical conditions etc - so if pilots are interested, please contact me for release to your hands of the socks or holders. This offer may well time-out within the month.
JohnD@SalinePreservation.Org (760)375-8281

Attached Images
jpeg CS_Poss_Alt_1.jpg (132.95 KB, 39 views)
jpeg CS_Poss_Base_bolts.jpg (164.75 KB, 30 views)
jpeg CS_Poss_Sock.jpg (138.88 KB, 35 views)
jpeg CS_Poss_Sock_Size.jpg (134.61 KB, 36 views)
jpeg CS_Poss_Total_Length.jpg (116.72 KB, 40 views)


Avatar / Picture

Posts: 27
Two weeks ago I greased the windsock bearing surface so it rotates freely and gives a better picture. It could use a couple brass washers or some other bushing to make it better since the steel on steel bearing surface is wearing. There is space between the 1-1/2" pipe and the sleeve that could hold a bushing, but maybe some brass washers would be enough. 

The new windsock pole is very nice, but if the windsock was replaced recently it does not last long. As of two weeks ago the sock was torn in a couple places. I expect it should be replaced in the fall for the new season. I'd love to hear suggestions for sources of a high quality long lasting sock.

There was a minor landing mishap while I was in the springs. A Kitfox taildragger got squirrely and side pressure on the large tundra tires pulled the nuts right off the stub axle bolts. There were no injuries and only minor damage which was repaired with the resources available at the springs. Two days of soaking later he was continuing his travels. 

Pictures of all the above are available HERE

I also watched a C170 with STOL pull off a 10-15k downwind landing. It was a fine landing but he clearly was a very experienced pilot who flies in there often. Very impressive but I won't be trying that myself anytime soon.

Fly safe!
Sam D.

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 807
Pilots report that the windsock does not give accurate picture. Be careful when you land.

Posts: 1
windsock has been replaced. 

thanks to whoever did that.
Sam D.

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 807
Please read these 2 posts about the Windsock:

Post 1     

Post 2


Posts: 26
Delorme makes the same type of unit as the Spot Connect called the inReach.  The difference is the spot can only send a text message where the Delorme can send and receive.  I keep waiting for one of these GPS companies to come out with a hand held GPS that does all of this.

Posts: 5

It was purely a curiosity thing.  I never use more than 10 minutes a month, but i carry the phone for emergencies or if someone really needs to reach me.  When i got the cell phone at Costco and said I want something to be able to use in Death Valley the saleman responded "Go with Verizon because they have the best coverage".  WRONG!


SPOT now sells a unit that allows you to send short text messages to people using their satellite, connected via your cell phone.  That might be the solution, but i'd have to learn to text!  And there is a yearly fee.  Wilson sells a cell phone booster that might do the trick, but it costs about $380 or so.


Posts: 294
I have a Tracfone which uses 'everyones' towers, but had a VERY hard time finding a place to get even a weak signal anywhere near the Springs. I was able to call out only after hours of driving around and trying/retrying calls. I am not a Chatty Cathy but on occasion I need to call back home. I warn others not to count on cell service at the Springs. You may have to work/drive for it. Really, just as well, if you know what I mean.

George Derrick
ATT works fine. Also many other places in the valley. 


Posts: 5


I drove in on the week before thanksgiving 2011 and the runway was still as smooth as a baby's butt!  Great job!


I and two pilot friends just finished a Bushcaddy R-80 ELSA project airplane, so now I have something to get my Sport Pilot License in, hoping to start up in early Jabuary.  Chicken Strip will be at the top of my trip agenda when I finsih!


But I walked all over with my Android phone/verizon and could find no cell service.

desert rat

Posts: 5
Try again to post a pix.
desert rat

Posts: 5
Open...Good condition.
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