Kern Valley (L05)

Follow along as we fly our Piper Comanche 260B to Kern Valley airport and camp next to the runway. We will enjoy good food, beer and breath taking scenery.

Its gonna be a GREAT day to fly…..(Canyon Lake, California sunrise)

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Stretching out after a good night sleep in the hanger. Headed to Kern Valley airport

Wingspan of the Comanche
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This flight we will do something we have never done before….. bring our dog Maggie and Lola.

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Route:

Departing French Valley we climbed to 8500 feet contact SoCal on 134.0. So CAL was very busy and had us contact them when we got over Ontario international airport. On this particular day March GCA frequency was down for maintenance which caused a bit of a delay in obtaining flight following.

*This is  my route from ForeFlight. Please do your own planning you may have to take the alternate route due to various other situations.  This is just to provide a general idea.

Enroute:

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Winds were calm and the Comanche performed flawlessly. I calculated the True Airspeed a few different times to make sure I was doing it correctly. Pictures speak for them selfs.

16 degrees Celsius……

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pressure altitude 8300feet.

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Equals 190mph True Airspeed. The Comanche is rated for about 185 mph. Must be my wax job……

True airspeed
190 mph true

The dogs did great. Here you can see Maggie nervous but cooperative and she wonders why everything looks so different than in the car. Lola is too small and is behind the baggage.

 the Mojave Desert
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Maggie’s Photo-bomb

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***The following photos below will  coincide with this screenshots from FlightRadar ***

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Flightradar24

Kelso valley airport looking Southbound.

 Kelso Valley Airport
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This picture BELOW corresponds with the ABOVE FlightRadar photo and represents the path just beyond Kelso valley airport headed north toward Lake Isabella.

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Next picture correspond to the FlightRadar photo BELOW. 

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Flightradar24

Looking west toward Lake Isabella. Corresponding Flight Radar picture above.

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Coming from the East, we over fly the lake and tune to the CTAF frequency. We give our position and ask for a weather report.

TIP: Kern Valley airport L05 has no weather reporting so someone at the airport will give you an approximate wind report when asked.

The right downwind leg requires you to get nice and cozy with the hills to the west, as seen below….. check out the phos-chek fire retardant from the recent fires.

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The following pictures are of the base to final leg of the landing……

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*Thanks to my wife for hanging in there and grabbing those photos!!! Truly awesome pictures!!

TIP: Don’t try to make your base to final a square pattern, you will either overshoot the runway or fly into the hills on the East side. You will need to just round out your base-to-final leg.

Upon landing we taxied right to the camping area.

Airport camping
Airport camping

No other camping buddies……

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Time in Flight:1hr 2min.

Airport Environment:

  • Runway 17 RIGHT PATTERN and 35 LEFT PATTERN.
  • length 3500 feet X 50feet
  • pattern altitude 3600feet
  • field elevation 2614 feet

* downwind leg for runway 17 requires you to overfly the hills on the West. If you don’t over fly the hills you will fly too tight of a pattern and end up over shooting runway 17

FBO:

No traditional FBO to speak of but there is a great cafe and the airport operations manager named Richard who is a wealth of knowledge.

 

Near by Accommodations:

The cafe is small but has great food. They offer outside seating as well. Dominique is very friendly and accommodating, he make great food and made us feel very welcome. img_0588

Update12/14/2016:  during our second trip to Kern Valley Airport we found some locals who are eating at the café. The famous “pilot”burger was the burger choice.

There is the Kern River Brewery about 2 miles north of the airport. The airport usually has personal cars that can be rented from the airport but both were down for maintenance. Steve, who is part of the operations of the airport, offered us a friendly ride into town at no charge. This place has a hometown family feel to it, and we love it!!!

KRBC
KRBC

Outside was very accommodating to pets. Our dogs got to hang with us for this dinner.

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The burgers at Kern River brewery are way above average, and the beer was great.

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Update 12/14/2016:  We took a day trip up to Kern Valley Airport just for a burger and KRBC’s Sequoia Red. No beer for me, of course.

Pastrami burger
Ryan and Stacey will join us during this trip to Kern river brewing company
Sequoia REd
KRBC
Ryan is showing his love for the Kern River brewing Company

END OF UPDATE………

The flight of IPA beer was great. I found this to be among my favorite breweries. Each IPA was very good but yet very different, making it difficult to to choose my favorite.

TIP: Go to the Kern River Brewery……

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Places Stayed:

— Airport camping!!! What else? How the Hell can you beat this???…….

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This trip we camped next to the runway. This camp ground is one that you can taxi your plane to and camp near by. It’s truly an amazing airport.

While walking to the cafe, I took this photo looking north to runway 17.

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Can you see the Comanche in the background?

Airport camping
Airport camping with fire next year playing ……. priceless
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Here is Richards Piper PA22. This is going to be my next plane. Richard is the Go-to guy at the airport. He runs the whole sh-bang including being the A&P mechanic at Raven Aviation. Its a blessing to have such skilled aircraft maintenance at such a small airport.

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PA-22 at Raven aviation located on the Kern Valley Airport

This is my view from the shower in the morning..

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Thoughts:

This little airport is a gem and is our new favorite destination. It boasts ample solitude with great food and great beer near by, stunning vistas, along with many outdoor activities.

There will be much more to add as more time allows us to check things out more in depth. This trip was merely an over-nighter.

The reasons why we loved this trip so much is because the flight was easy and scenic and there is camping on the runway, how cool is that? This area is spectacular and home to many outstanding views. There is great food at the airport and also great food and beer 2 miles away at the Kern River Brewery

Here at Kern we did not feel as if we needed a rental car or Uber (no Uber available anyways) this helped cut costs down. Here, you really feel as if you can get away from it all and enjoy a peaceful family friendly vacation.

During the summer months here, you can raft down the river, mountain bike (I’m told the best 2 mountain bike trails in California are here in Kern Ville) fishing and camping along with nearly every outdoor activity you can think of. And it’s only one hour away.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE ABOUT A PARTICULAR ASPECT OF THESE WRITE UPS THEN EMAIL ME A 9238p @ bywayofcomanche.com

-May your props always spin

 

1 comment on “Kern Valley (L05)Add yours →

  1. Awesome write-up and pics, thank you! I’ve been meaning to make it to this gem of an airport to camp this summer and hopefully will in the next few weeks. Keep up the awesome reports, and pics on instagram too (I follow you… @bgiesbrecht). Love your Comanche as well…one of my favorite machines.

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