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Contact: Abby Wines, 760-786-3221
DEATH VALLEY, CA – The Chicken Strip, a remote backcountry airstrip in Death Valley National Park, has reopened after volunteers with the Recreation Aviation Foundation repaired it. The National Park Service closed the Saline Valley airstrip due to safety concerns after a storm washed it out in July.
The Chicken Strip is notorious among pilots for being a difficult backcountry landing strip. The airstrip is approximately 1,400 feet long and 35 feet wide. The Chicken Strip is in Saline Valley, a remote western part of Death Valley National Park.
There were three incidents at the Chicken Strip this year, including two before the flood damaged the airstrip. On June 5, a plane crashed while attempting to land – when the airstrip was still in standard condition. A parked plane flipped over in high winds on July 1. On July 12 a plane aborted an attempted landing at the Chicken Strip due to storm damage to the runway surface.
The Chicken Strip is maintained by volunteers coordinated by the Recreation Aviation Foundation under a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Park Service.
Superintendent Mike Reynolds said, “We really appreciate the work the Recreation Aviation Foundation put in to get this airstrip back into a condition that pilots can land safely. Their timing is perfect; interest in Saline Valley is picking up as the weather cools down."