Air Transportation:

Prescott’s Love Field is the closest public airport. Most air travel service is obtained out of the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, and many use the Shuttle bus service out of Prescott to catch flights out of Phoenix

Love Field airport North of Prescott was established in 1926. Commercial service was first provided by Arizona Airways in 1946, with 2 round trips per day to Phoenix. The largest airplane that has landed at Love Field is the Boeing 737. Firefighting Slurry bombers have operated from there on occasion and the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University campus is located nearby and is probably the most frequent customer with its aircraft & airport operation and management training programs, including multiengine aircraft.

The Quarter Circle “J” Ranch owned by the Gordons had an airstrip built on their land in a narrow valley between low hills just North and East of the main Skull Valley Townsite in about 1956. This dirt strip has been used by local ranchers and as an emergency landing site. County archive records show a “Ditch and Dike plan” dated 1962, that was constructed to collect and discharge the surface runoff affected by the airstrip construction and reroute it East of the Church, South into Dead Mule Wash.

There have been at least three airplane accidents on or near this strip causing the death of the pilots:

A military plane with two aboard in the mid1950’s;

A locally built homemade (Pientenpol Air Camper) airplane crashed during its second flight. The engine was not operating smoothly and it lost sufficient lift while making a tight turn near the strip in about 1997.

The third was piloted by Jim Edwards, who built his experimental high speed prop plane (cozy) in a small hanger adjacent to the Skull Valley landing strip. He came in for a landing and crashed about 1998.

One other military plane crash occurred in the late 1940’s SW of the Valley. Martin Mountain, one of the crew was able to hike to the Store for help.

Probably the most use of the airstrip was generated by Reverend Merle Heatwole. He was well known in the area and invited people to fly into Skull Valley to go to Church Services and the monthly Potluck. The Church is located just south of the airstrip and a fence style had been built near the Church so that pilots and their passengers could more easily get to the Church.

Other than the above events; there is only occasional use of the strip. Jon Lundell, a computer engineer from California, kept his plane there in 1991 to 1996. Jerry Christopherson, local rancher, has had one there beginning in 1998. He walked into the spinning prop in 2007, and was very fortunate to have survived.

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