Sunrise Valley Ranch Airstrip east of Prineville, Oregon, just got an FAA identifier: 29OR.
According to officials with the Recreational Aviation Foundation, RAF Oregon Liaison Richard Mayes worked hard with the owners to make this happen, originally identifying the potential airstrip location and runway alignment for safe approaches, aircraft parking area and access.
He advised the Fildes family of the Oregon Recreational Use Statutes and the RAF’s “Guide for the Private Airstrip Owner,” and they cooperated to make an airstrip on their privately-owned working ranch open for public use.
Sunrise Valley Ranch, an 11,000-acre working cattle ranch, boasts a 2,100′ x 60′ dirt airstrip that sits in a small valley at 4,400′ elevation, surrounded on three sides by 6,400′ mountains. The airstrip can be challenging on hot, windy days. Review of the safety briefing, and due consideration of pilot and aircraft capabilities, is essential before use, RAF officials advise.
Visitors to the ranch are welcome to camp adjacent to the airstrip, stay in the ranch’s rustic lodge, or just stop in for a family style meal. Local pilots have already made this a favorite destination for weekend breakfast and the dining area is often crowded, so be sure to call ahead at 541-477-3711, RAF officials advise.
Activities available at the ranch include hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, or simply enjoying the peaceful environment.
While local volunteer pilots handled the earthwork and drainage, Mayes advised on end and boundary markings, parking and windsock placement, completed the FAA documents for charting, and prepared the pilot’s safety briefing.
Topping off all this work, the Fildes hosted an opening day fly-in to introduce the new airstrip to the community.