Jacumba Airport , California


Lat/Long: 32-36-57.1000N / 116-09-55.3000W
Elevation: 2844 ft. / 867 m (estimated)

Variation: 13E (1985)

RWY: 07/25

Length: 2,510 ft.

Surface: Gravel/dirt




November 28, 1992


East of San Diego between highway 80 and the Mexican border there's an airport called Jacumba. In 1992 I visited it the first time with a friend from El Cajon... I happened to see a glider plane trailer sitting in his front yard.


The airfield is made of a fine gravel. In spite of being in the desert, the altitude made the temperature quite cool.


As you can see in the pictures below, the planes were kept outdoors.

The picture on the left shows the tow winch.... not very trustworthy looking!


At the time I visited Jacumba in 1992, I was told that there were only 5 winches in the whole USA, and this was one of them.

In order to get a longer tow line, the winch was placed as far up as possible. They cut away some of the brush with a machete.

I had the opportunity to take a flight with one of the instructors, in a Schweizer 233 (?). In the aerial views below you can see the Mexican border which runs parallel left of the runway.


The rest of the equipment wasn't very trustworthy, either.




In 1994 I had the chance to visit Jacumba once again, together with Tommy. This time he had the chance to fly the Schweizer 233 and "risk" the winch take-off.

This airplane was the "star" of the movie "Schnee über den Wolken" (sorry, don't know the original title)



Passing through on a trip from Arizona to San Diego I stopped once more to see what had become of the air strip. As a farmer near by told me, it is now only being used by the border patrol. I walked on the grounds and within a minute a jeep stopped by me, asking me what I wanted there. After I explained that I had once flown here, they left.

up-date: 03.10.2011