The Mogollon Rim is a vast escarpment that bisects Arizona from SE to NW, with spectacular cliffs standing 2000' above the valley below. The Rim stretches for several hundred miles and is normally a good place to avoid in a small aircraft. On some days, a wall of clouds forms at the rim and presents an impenetrable barrier to VFR pilots, stretching from close to the ground to well above the ceiling of the average Cessna.
The Mogollon plateau is above 7000' ahead and the pattern altitude of 5,800' at Sedona involves descending well below the rim.
Sedona airport sits on top of a mesa.. The field elevation is 4827 feet, 400 feet above the city of Sedona. This is the view from Downwind for the landing runway, 03.
Below the Airport is the town of Sedona. Note the undershoot area: a solid wall of cliff!
Turning finals with plenty of height in case of downdrafts. Local pilots treat airports like this with considerable respect, although I'm not sure what they would make of our 2000 foot grass strips in England ! Sedona's 5131 foot paved runway seems to go on for ever.
The runway slopes upwards toward the Mogollon Rim. There are reputed to be fearsome downdrafts on windy days, but today the air is as smooth as silk.
On the ground. This is one of the prettiest airports I have visited in the US, and landing here allows you to get much closer to the Mogollon terrain than would normally be wise.
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