The Plane Tales Airport

At Latitude 34° 56′ 3″ north, longitude 10° 38’38″ west lies the Plane Tales home base: The Santa Rosa Route 66 Airport, known in aviation lingo as “SXU.”


Why Route 66, you ask? Well, our runway 08/26 is Route 66. Yeppers. The original runway was a chunk of the historic byway that was bypassed by the interstate system. Of course, the original pavement has since been replaced several times over, but the runway still lies on the right-of-way of the old highway, and as you lift off in the early morning or as the sun sets, you can still see the ghost of the old highway extending beyond the runway thresholds to the East and to the West.

The altitude is 4,791 feet, and on a hot day in the summer (and trust me on this, our summers are plenty hot in this part of New Mexico) the density altitude can reach over 8,000 feet. For you non-pilot readers, this means our plane performs twice as badly as you’d expect. Hot air expands. It’s thinner. Flying out of Santa Rosa in the summer is like flying out of Leadville, Colorado in the winter.

We don’t actually live in Santa Rosa, but it’s the nearest airport. The field sports two runways, both about 5,000 feet long, sells both Av Gas and Jet Fuel, and has a swanky little terminal slightly smaller than my living room at home. Oh, and it also has a six-plane “T” hangar. The Plane Tales Plane is currenlty the only resident aircraft (although in the winter, a boat lives in one of the adjacent hangars).

It’s like having a private airport all to ourselves!

5 thoughts on “The Plane Tales Airport

  1. Sounds like a cool little airport.. I just read a couple of your air race stories AND about the Ddrone. Very interesting. My youngest grandson bought a Phantom4 last year and likes it alot.
    I’m hoping to fly down your way this summer (I fly out of S12) in Oregon. Last time I got close was in April 2012 when I bought a Cessna 150C in Salida, Colorado and flew it back out to Oregon via Taos, Gallup, Williams Arizona and up through the valley in California. Great trip, but I had just started flying again after a 37 year absence so I quickly relearned about density altitude!
    Thanks for sharing your experiences for the rest of us to enjoy.
    Larry Eckstein

  2. Flew into SXU this morning and got out of the airplane and walked around. Walked over to the Air Force jet, into the pilots lounge. Had a water and cookie, put a $5.00 into the can and started looking around. (I wanted to leave a $50.00 check). None in the airplane) because you have such a delightful program there. I scored a Plane Tales 53 Flight Journal and had to get back home.

    Please keep the lounge as cool as it is now. I’ll be back. Always a nice flight from the ABQ area.


  3. I just visited your airport- twice in the same week. A friend and I were on a mission to beat the cold of the Colorado mountains and Santa Rosa was a stopping point between us and South Texas. What a nice spot you’ve got, too bad we missed your airplane… We’ll have to stop back by in the future.


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