Friday, April 20, 2007

Cable Airport - Fun in the California Sun

Do you like to watch airplanes land? Do you want to make Southern California a destination, but want to avoid busy airspace? Want a great hamburger with a view? Come to Cable Airport. Cable, in Upland, California, is the largest privately owned public-access airport in the United States. Airplane aficionados Dewey and Maude Cable began its construction in 1945. At the time, the area was rocky, rural, scrub land. It is still rocky, but no longer rural.

Runway 6/24 is lighted and 3864 feet in length. It parallels the nearby the San Gabriel Mountains, with headwind landings about 90% of the time. Arrival from the north through Cajon Pass and along the San Gabriels keeps you out of Ontario International Airport’s Class C airspace. It’s still a good idea to talk to ATC because it gets really busy along this route. Cable Airport is uncontrolled and averages 252 takeoffs and landings daily, 80% from the over 450 aircraft home based here. There are two IFR approaches: VOR RWY 06 and GPS RWY 06. Coastal fog can reach this far inland and smoggy afternoons often make navigation challenging.

The Cables were well known for their hospitality. CableAir continues the tradition. Rent a plane, take lessons (ground or flight), purchase pilot supplies or get information about the area. They are always ready to help. We are a little prejudiced. Our good friend David works there. Need some radio work? Try Pacific Coast Radio. They just installed our Garmin 430 GPS.

If you plan to stay, try the Doubletree Hotel in Claremont on Historic Route 66 (Foothill Blvd). A Yellow Cab costs less than $15. The Old Schoolhouse is next door with restaurants and shops. Got a hankerin’ for lots (and I mean lots) of good Italian food? Buca di Beppo Restaurant is out front.

Maniac-Mikes restaurant is on-field. It’s open 6-3 daily with indoor and outdoor seating. Forget the $200 hamburger. Get Mike’s Big Burger and fries for only $6.20. Or try the Buffalo Inn. Go out the airport entrance, turn right on Central and then right again on Foothill Blvd. It is less than a mile on the south side of the road. Our favorite is the steak sandwich, but the buffalo burger is good, too. Staying overnight or not flying? Get one of their many bottled or on-tap beers to go with the homemade potato chips and salsa. On weekends, there’s entertainment.

Come to Cable Airport for some fun in the California sun. -- Margy

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