Posted by MSA on May 5, 2020
Important disclaimer: Regardless of information presented in documents, databases or at pilot briefings, determining whether a safe landing can be accomplished at any location is in all cases solely the responsibility of the pilot.
The following airfields appear on some charts, but have issues that make them difficult or unsuitable for landing, and thus ineligible for a contest airfield landing bonus:
Beaver Springs (aka Cameron) – in the Lewistown valley, about 20 miles northeast of Lewistown. Persists on some charts despite having been a drag strip for many years. Best landing option in this area is probably Gilfert field (see below), about a mile north.
Cargill – in the Lewistown valley, about 10 miles southwest of Lewistown. Former runway is now an agricultural field. It and a number of farm fields in this area might be acceptable landing choices, depending on the status of crops. Best landing option in this area may be Wagner field (see below), about 2 miles northeast.
Hilling – in the Stone Valley, about 8 miles north of Mill Creek. High-tension power lines across the middle of the runway (!) add substantial hazard to an otherwise good field.
Ickes – Reported 8 miles NNW of Bedford Airport. No obvious runway; fields in the area may be landable.
Krill – Reported 5 miles SW of Grimes Airport. No obvious runway; fields in the area may be landable.
Krout – a couple of miles east of Lewistown, at the foot of Shade Mountain. Is no longer classified as an airfield, but might be landable.
Krumenacker – 9 miles north of Ebensburg. Narrow runway may be bordered by crops.
Mapleton – 3 miles WSW of the Mill Creek turnpoint. Narrow runway may be bordered by crops.
Mountain Hide-Away – near Mill Creek, in the high wooded area between Jacks Mountain and Stone Mountain; slopes uphill to the southwest. Of little use to glider pilots – it is high enough that it would be easy to glide from here to fields at the southwest end of the Big Valley, and a trailer retrieve would involve a steep climb on a difficult dirt road.
Sankey – Reported 9 miles WSW of Midstate Airport. No runway or attractive landing option is apparent.
Shangri La – about 4 miles northeast of Lewistown. Appears to have been recently re-converted from a hay field back to a possibly usable airstrip.
Shippensburg (N42) – about 3 miles east of the town of Shippensburg. This airfield has been closed.
Shirleysburg (aka Mt Union) – about 5 miles south of the town of Mt Union. Now owned by a fire department; heavy equipment may be parked there. Possibly usable in an emergency, but a landing would probably be unwelcome.
Strohmeier – Reported 10 miles north of Ebensburg. No obvious runway; fields in the area may be landable.
Strittmatter – 7 miles NNE of Ebensburg. Narrow runway may be bordered by crops.
Yost (aka Turtle Rock) – about 7 miles NE of Waggoners Gap. Runway isn’t obvious; may not be mowed regularly.
The following airfields (not all of which appear on all charts) are considered generally suitable for glider landings and eligible for an airfield landing bonus. But pilots – especially those flying long-wing gliders – should in all cases use caution and keep the disclaimer (above) in mind.
Carms (40:44.441 77:17.768 716 ft) – about 2.5 miles NNE of the village of McClure. Possibly a bit narrow for gliders over 15m span, especially when crops in adjacent fields are high.
Centre Airpark (40:48.704 77:39.433 1307 ft) – about 2 miles north of where Route 322 emerges from the northwestern side of Seven Mountains. Slightly higher at the east end. May be hard to spot from the air.
Gilfert (40:47.038 77:12.399 630 ft) – about a mile north of Beaver Springs. East end may be wet, but this is a smooth airfield and a good alternative to Beaver Springs (above). May be hard to spot from the air.
Hostetler (aka Mcalevys Fort; 40:37.85 77:51.017 760 ft) – in the Stone Valley, about 7 miles west of Belleville. Slopes substantially uphill to the southwest. May be hard to spot from the air – look for a road along the southeast edge of the field.
McCardle (40:38.721 77:33.316 600 ft) – about a mile west of Lewistown, and close to the Route 322 gap through Jacks Mountain. Has a “dogleg” runway. Collects gliders on days when it’s tough to return home from the east; if you land here, promptly clear the runway for others to use.
Mifflintown (Turnpoint #5) – usable but a bit narrow for gliders with more than 15-meter span – use caution near runway lights.
Planeview (aka Peacheys; 40:33.386 77:48.613 1030 ft) – in the Big Valley, about a mile north of Allensville. Higher at the southwest end and somewhat rolling. Suitable for landing, but not for an aero retrieve.
Pennfield (40:51.0 77:36.983 1200 ft) – about 4 miles south of Penns Cave airfield. May be hard to spot.
Snook (40:44.005 77:15.983 710 ft) – about 5 miles southwest of Beaver Springs, near the village of McClure. Suitable for landing, but too short for an aero retrieve.
Wagner (40:33.0 77:37.0 520 ft) – about 4 miles southwest of Lewistown, near Blue Mountain and the Juniata River. No known problems.
University Park Airport (KUNV) – This airfield north of State College has seen a significant increase in corporate and commuter traffic in recent years. It now has a tower (128.475 MHz) and is surrounded by Class D airspace: radius is 4.5 nm; top is 3500’ MSL.