Airport Information

California City Airport
Caracole Soaring Glider Traffic Pattern Notes

Runway headings are 6 (easterly) and 24 (westerly).
Power pattern is left turns to runway 6 and right turns to runway 24 landings. North side.
Glider pattern is left turns to either runway of landing. All patterns are recommended to use a 45 degree entry leg to downwind leg at midfield, downwind at 3300 msl (800 agl).

Gliders are recommended to make base leg no further out than the extensions of the main runway overruns. On windy days, base leg will be well within the ends of the main runway to allow return and taxi to the ramp edge at midfield.
Typical landings are expected to taxi/roll to a return at the ramp edge.
Do not taxi or roll into the ramp ! Halt at the edge of the ramp area.

WIND INDICATORS: wind tee is at north side midfield, wind socks are at each end north side, flags and trees at midfield parking, drop zone windsocks, dust, tumbleweeds.

Gliders launch from taxiway at midfield.
DEPARTURE EMERGENCIES may land straight ahead on taxiway or dirt overruns. If below 200’ agl, the only safe landing areas are 90 degrees to the left of departure heading, Drop Zone (south) and dirt field (north).
Assess surface winds prior to launch, to qualify if you can make a downwind landing. Normal landings are NOT on the taxiways.

LANDING AREAS for gliders are SOUTH side of taxiways. Glider runway for 24, ordirt on South side of glider runway 24. For Runway 6, use dirt runway next to parachute hangars, paved “R” is touchdown zone. Main runway 24/6 has runway lights at 75’ width and 200’ intervals, halt at midfield junction. Main runway extensions are landable.
Walk the infield, as it is only landable in restricted places alongside the main runway.
WATCH for the embankment precipice north of the taxiway. See sandbags & abutments.
Runway landing priorities are:

  1. glider runways,
  2. main runways,
  3. taxiways,
  4. overruns of main runways,
  5. infield areas close to main runway (hazardous).

California City with a new ramp, taxiways, and old faded glider runway 24.

Final approach for Rwy 24, too far out for a glider and too low.


  1. Parachute hangar tiedown/taxi area at west end = x-traffic.
  2. Midfield taxiway junction at the ramp = traffic density.
  3. Dirt to asphalt transitions = rough spots due to erosion. Rwy 6 - X marking rough.
  4. Drop Zone = mid air collisions with bodies in free fall, go elsewhere. By NOTAM only.
  5. Glider runway entry to ramp = people, cars, taxiing planes are not aware of gliders.
  6. PAPI lite boxes in infield, and in overruns - just wider than runway.

Emergencies require pilot decision making to make a safe landing. Variations from standard traffic patterns may be needed and appropriate. LAND SAFELY.

Working lift ( or sink) to below a safe approach and standard pattern may earn you some stern words. Expect the worst for wave flight conditions, arrive home at 2000 agl or more.

6/03, 3/05, 10/05, 12/09