Mefford Field

A few months ago, on a uncontrolled field tour, I landed at Mefford Field (TLR) in Tulare, CA for the first time.  On a tour I like to take a quick picture of something on the field and then pop right back up into the air and on to the next field.  At Mefford I saw an older looking Piper dealership/service center that seemed worth a second look.  I did take a snapshot form the cockpit, but it really didn’t turn out at all.  So yesterday I hopped in the plane to check it out.

I say “hopped,” but it actually took a little doing.  I left my EFB at home and had to go back for it, then I needed to get some air in the tires, and finally get an IFR climb out of Santa Monica to get through the marine layer that’s been hanging around all July.  But, more or less, I hopped in the plane.

Once I hopped successfully, it was an hour and a half of flying to get out to Tulare.  There’s always something to see.  Yesterday I flew over a fellow doing aerobatics near Fillmore, a little bit of cloud cover and convection in the Gorman area, and through the haze and smoke from a wildfire to the north.  It was nowhere nearby, but the Central Valley traps the smoke.  Then into the pattern and onto the ground.

There was a helicopter in pattern the whole time I was there – about a half an hour – but that was it.  The field was basically deserted, but the Golden State Highway (the 99) was packed with people passing the field by.  It made for a wistful atmosphere.

I tied the plane down and poked around.  In addition to the dealership, I found an old hangar, a pair of aircraft on static display as war memorials, and several aviation businesses.  I got the impression that TLR is a working airport, and I was here after hours.

Here are the pictures I took as I walked around:

After spending a half an hour or so walking around and taking pictures, I popped over to Porterville Airport (PTV)  for lunch at the Airway Cafe.  The Airway Cafe is a great airport cafe, and I’m always happy to get a chance to stop by.

After lunch, I popped back up to Santa Monica – enjoying another hour and a half of flying.

In some sense, it’s strange to spend all that time for a few pictures of airport buildings.  I think it’s a great way to spend a Saturday.

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