Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Cable Airport: Fun in the California Sun
Do you like to watch airplanes? 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. 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. Nice!
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 operations daily, 80% from the 97 aircraft home based here. There are two IFR approaches: VOR-A and RNAV (GPS) RWY 06. Coastal fog can reach this far inland and smoggy afternoons can make navigation challenging.
The Cables were well known for their hospitality. Foothill Flying Club 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. If you arrive on a weekend, you'll hear our friend David manning the Unicom. He also teaches ground school classes in the evenings.
Cable is a full-service airport. Foothill Aircraft offers parts, FAA certified service, and airplane sales. When we were there, two Piper Arrows were in the sales lot. They were nice, but of course we like our 997 better.
Also on the field are: the Av8r General Store with snacks, clothing, and pilot supplies; very reasonable gas prices at the fuel island or via truck (check the website for current prices); and E.A.A., 99s, and Civil Air Patrol chapters.
If you plan to stay, try the Doubletree Hotel in Claremont on Historic Route 66 (Foothill Blvd). A Yellow Cab costs about $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 7-3 daily with indoor and outdoor seating. Forget the $200 hamburger. Get Mike’s Big Burger and fries for only $7.25. This place is a favourite with locals and pilots alike. There's plenty of airplane parking out front, and car parking next to the terminal building. It's so good to see such an active general aviation airport these days.
And, there's an annual Air Show each January. Check their website for upcoming dates. So, come to Cable Airport for some fun in the California sun and lots of airplanes, too. -- Margy