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Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?  
User currently offlineIslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2694 times:

I was driving around San Beranardino yesterday when I happened upon a huge airport that was all but abandoned. I knew Norton Air Force base had once been in this area, but had never happened upon it. There's lots of abandoned buildings and apartment complexes overgrown with weeds.

I saw a forlorn white 727 with engines removed and a Southern Air 747-200 behind a hangar, so I thought I would explore this airport a little. I turned into a wide boulevard (three lanes one-way) with a huge virtually empty parking lot on either side. It curved in front of a terminal building, proudly proclaiming "San Bernardino International Airport" which looked pretty modern, yet again empty. It really looked like a good size civilian airport that's never been used. Very spooky.

I nosed around some more and saw an abandoned fast food restaurant (Andy's Burgers) and a row of about seven tattered AA 727s. I'll have to wait until I get a good sunset and take a pic of these.

My guess is that someone tried to re-purpose the abandoned base as a civil airport and it didn't do well, being so close to ONT and all. Was/is civilian service ever conducted there? Or is it just a place to park abandoned aircraft? There's a few military people around, but no military jets.

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7906 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2673 times:

Did a little poking around and found this:

It is the former Norton AFB. It seems that the agency in charge of the place has high (read unrealistic) hopes for the place. It just looks like another decommissioned base that is pretty quiet. Though it is operational.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineSllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2632 times:

I actually saw my first An-124 "up close and personal" there when I flew a friend over to pick up a Cessna 401 from a shop there that did work on the old Cessna autopilots.

The biggest issue with the airport is that it is effectively closed in IFR conditions. Because of its relative proximity to the mountains there, the ILS approach has very high minimums -- something like 1500' AGL (and about 4 miles out from the airport) as compared to 200' AGL for a "typical" ILS approach.


User currently offlineJmacias34 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 380 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2559 times:

Last fall there was talk of FedEx starting Tokyo-San Bernardino but the lack of a full fleged customs facility was the deciding factor. My link is outdated but it was from the Press-Enterprise....

User currently offlineIslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2468 times:

Thanks for the info and link, guys. Looks like I've found a new spotting location. I just had to cancel my a.net membership because I can't afford the $60/year it takes to stay on. I'm sure Johan will kill my username soon, so farewell! It's been great talking with everyone.

User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2444 times:

How far is that from Victorville?

User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6544 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2414 times:

HlywdCatft, it's about enough time to drink a pot of coffee enroute. Of course that's what I have every morning on my way to work.

I really don't know the distance in miles, just that to a person who lives in Arizona, me, it is a short drive south over a few small hills. My brother lived just north of VCV years ago and I used to drive to SBD and ONT for fun while he was working. Made it back for dinner every time. Of course I must admit that if I visit the nearest "major" airport it's a 4 hour roundtrip.

The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6170 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2370 times:

Seeing that I live near VCV, and work at ONT, VCV is a 40 minute trip. SBD is about 30 (with no traffic).

I have done patterns at this airport, both in and out of training. On my required 3 stop solo, This was my second one.

Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
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