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!