By Rick Bosshardt 

It’s not often that we can find new dirt strips to add to our backcountry playground here in Arizona, but last November I saw a post on Facebook that had me intrigued! So on the way to our normal monthly Grapevine flyout, Chris Nugent and I flew out towards Safford to check it out.

It turns out that a strong aviation family, led by their patriarch Ron Leavitt, purchased a chunk of land near Safford and put in two perpendicular dirt runways, calling the place “Propwash Ranch!” Besides the nicely graded strip (suitable for most trike planes as well) with distance markers, they have a newly built sun shade that can cover at least three planes.... or many picnic tables, as well as a porta-john and a nice domed workshop. What a cool place!

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Ron’s son Jordan, along with mom Sandy, brother Josh, and sister Jenny, organized their first Breakfast Fly-in that day in November, and they had a great showing with more than a dozen planes, many of them who camped out the night before and enjoyed the large stone firepit and campfire under the stars. They were all welcoming when we showed up, and I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of turnout we could get to “welcome them” to the AZ Pilots Backcountry community, if we were to advertise it on the APA Website and to organize a weekend that didn’t conflict with other APA events.

So, we jointly chose a free weekend, and hereby announce and invite everyone to the second Propwash Ranch Campout and Fly-in Breakfast to be held on March 12-13! Come join the Leavitt family with their awesome hospitality and get to know this wonderful family and airstrip!

This event will be posted on the AZ Pilots Association website calendar (https://azpilots.org/jcalendar/icalrepeat.detail/2021/03/12/53836/-/campout-and-b-fast-fly-in-at-propwash-ranch) , along with exact coordinates, information and recommended landing procedures.

According to the Leavitt family, any and all pilots are welcome to use the airstrip at any time, even if they are not around. Come and check it out next month!

And as a side note, a great big THANKS to the Leavitt family for stepping up and volunteering to be the APA eyes, ears, and caretakers for our prized Double Circle Ranch Airstrip! They recently had a camp out and clean up there, and produced a great YouTube video that you can watch here.

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