Warner Springs Ranch Airport

Landing Notes

We look forward to your using this fine airport. Warner Springs Airport is the 14th airport to get its airport permit in California. It started in 1939. It has been used by the military, by famous pilots and personalities for many years. The runway was paved in the 1980s. The airport is Restricted - Glider, which is used for the gliders, Warner Springs Ranch owners and Ranch Guests ONLY. Prior telephone permission is required.

The airport is for the exclusive use of Ranch owners, their invited guests, and the sailplane operation. For most pilots, operating with sailplanes may be a unique opportunity. All operations at Warner Springs Airport are to follow safety procedures as outlined in "Standard Operating Procedures, Powered Aircraft or Sailplanes". Copies of these procedures may be picked up at the Flight Office of Sky Sailing at Warner Springs Airport. Prior to using the airport all pilots and passengers must sign a Waiver, please download sign and witness this form for everyone on board and turn in to the Flight Office. This release is mandatory for anyone using the airport.

In general, remember that a sailplane has right of way over all powered aircraft. This is simple, when you fly your pattern keep it in tight, because the sailplane cannot follow you if you extend too far downwind. Realize that the sailplane is far more maneuverable than your aircraft, and in most instances, will land on the dirt runways. Sailplane patterns will usually be lower and closer to the runway. Sailplanes are always descending. They may have to enter from any direction at any altitude. They are supposed to be at 600 - 700 feet AGL abeam the Office on downwind, while powered traffic should be level at 800 AGL from at least one mile out on the 45 entry. It is always best (and safest) to make a normal pattern entry since other traffic will be expecting you there. However, always expect gliders to appear from unusual directions, even landing downwind. The sailplanes & towplanes will often land on the dirt (not recommended for other traffic without prior approval and tailwheel).

We use 122.8 as our Unicom frequency. This means that we are not a tower nor are we in communication with all traffic. Warner Springs Unicom is an advisory only. When you call we can give you current winds and temperatures and recommended (currently in use) runway. As PIC it is up to you to decide on your landing. We will try to look outside and give you traffic advisories, but it is your responsibility to fit into the traffic pattern flow.

The best and safest procedure when entering a complex pattern, as you will find at Warner Springs, is to enter the pattern on a 45 deg entry for an upwind leg, fly up wind parallel to the runway, make a crosswind leg over the departure end and then make a normal downwind leg. By making a pattern around the airport you will have the opportunity to look things over, and as an added bonus, others will see you. Both traffic on the ground and in the air will understand your intentions and give you more room. Note: over head or mid-field entry is NOT SAFE and is not in the AIM (check!), do not use it here.

In order for the sailplanes to depart they have to pull out on the runway, hook up the tow rope to the towplane, get in, complete a pre-takeoff check, get the towplane ready and then depart. This all takes some time. By making a pattern around the field as described above, they would either have time to depart or move off the runway so that you can land.

After landing, please taxi back on the runway to transient parking. If you see a sailplane or towplane on approach it is best to just stop as they will probably land on the dirt. If they need to use the runway you will be surprised at how little they need. Only if it is apparent that they will need more room should you move off the pavement! The sides have some ruts so prop/nose wheel damage may occur. The best procedure is to stop so they know what you are doing.

For run-up, please use the cement area on the North side of Rwy 26. Try to contact the Unicom as soon as you start-up so that they can coordinate the glider launches to get you out the quickest. This is also a good plan on initial contact with Unicom to advise them approximately how long it will take before you arrive in the pattern. Also, please advise, at your earliest convenience, if you will need a ride to the Ranch and that you are a guest or Owner and how many are on board. Letting us know early allows us time to get a driver and vehicle ready.

There is security on the airport 24 hrs per day. If you need a ride after hours prior arrangements must be made. NO NIGHT OPERATIONS! Our hours are 9 to 5 daily.

We hope that this information makes your visit to Warner Springs Airport more enjoyable and safe. We recommend that you visit the Flight Office and find out more information on sailplanes. You may even find a new sport. Sky Sailing enjoys a safety record second to none, and we hope that you too will become more informed.


Aviation Fuel IS NOT AVAILABLE except in Emergency (if you need it we will get it! Do not take a chance! Do not plan to fuel here, but if you need it, ask.)

Bret & Karen Willat, Airport Managers

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