IslandHopper
Topic Author
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:28 am

Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 4:33 am

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.

 
desertjets
Posts: 7564
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 4:42 am

Did a little poking around and found this:
http://www.eee.org/bus/ivda/profile.html

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
 
sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned

Sat Mar 15, 2003 5:50 am

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.

Steve
 
jmacias34
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 10:50 am

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:05 am

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....
 
IslandHopper
Topic Author
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:28 am

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:19 pm

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.
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:37 pm

How far is that from Victorville?
 
IMissPiedmont
Posts: 6200
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 12:58 pm

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 2:55 pm

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.
 
Goldenshield
Posts: 5005
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2001 3:45 pm

RE: Story Behind Huge SBD Int'l Airport, Abandoned?

Sat Mar 15, 2003 7:34 pm

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.

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