Kern Valley Airport: A Perfect Fly-In Destination for Pilots

Kern Valley Fly-in

Kern Valley Airport

April 27 & 28, 2024

We pulled it off! The High Sierra Pilots Flying Club’s first overnight fly-in! Eight planes with 19 people flew from our home base in Carson City (CXP) to the Kern Valley Airport (L05) on Saturday, April 27th, and flew back the next day.

HSP staff flew a scouting trip to L05 beforehand so they present a thorough pre-flight briefing at the monthly safety meeting held the previous week. This briefing increased confidence and excitement for those of us planning on making the trip.

Multi engine pilot getting ready to fly a Piper Aztec.

The Event

Planes departed CXP at various times on schedules of their choosing (one of the bennies of general aviation, right?) The early birds experienced smooth air; the later departures encountered a few bumps.

The Kern Valley Airport and camping facilities are modest. The grassy meadow-like ground was perfect for tent camping. Our activities included fishing and hiking on the Kern River bank (the river level was almost bank full), eating at the café (apparently with monster onion rings), and, of course, socializing.

The social gathering started at the central picnic table after the anglers returned from the river (without mishap or fish). As the sun set behind the nearby western granite hills, ambitious club members started a killer campfire in the large cement fire pit. Hot dogs roasted over the open flames.

The shuttle van driver Tony provided rides into town and regaled his passengers with his stories. We enjoyed good breakfasts Sunday morning at the café onsite. Sunday morning departures at our leisure.


The flying was great and the Kern Valley is gorgeous, but for me the highlight of the trip was the social gathering and group dynamics. I was impressed with the high-quality story telling (which I greatly appreciated as a wannabe chronicler). Surprisingly, or not, there was minimal aviation talk. We mostly shared origin stories – where and how we grew up and how we came to be here at the Kern Valley Airport campground at this particular moment in our lives; gratefully transported by the amazing technology (and the bit of magic) we call general aviation.

We are all, especially Bryan, pleased with the success of the overnight fly-in. How do you measure such success? Foremost, of course, there were no accidents or incidents. Decent flying weather and decent camping (maybe a little cold at night). To borrow a bit of military terminology – all aircraft flew to the target, accomplished the mission, and returned safely.

The mission was to enjoy the flying and the social dynamics; to relish the sense of accomplishment that comes with piloting an aircraft; to gather and to share.

As we savor this event, we are making plans for the future.

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