Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Texas: Northwestern Houston area

© 2016, © 2017 by Paul Freeman. Revised 3/6/17.

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Collier Airport, Houston, TX

29.88, -95.48 (Northwest of Downtown Houston, TX)

Collier Airport, as depicted on a 1964 Sectional Chart.



This small general aviation airport was evidently established at some point between 1960-64,

as it was not yet depicted on the February 1960 Beaumont Sectional Chart.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Collier Airport was on a 1964 Sectional Chart,

which depicted Collier as having a north/south paved 3,600' runway.



The earliest reference to Collier Field came from Dale Muenzler, who recalled, “Collier Field... I soloed & finished my private ticket around 1965.

Bill Collier was a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve or the Army Reserve. He owned & ran this airport for many years.”



The only photo which has been located of Collier Airport was a 10/16/66 USGS aerial view,

which depicted Collier as having a single north/south runway,

with 4 rows of T-hangars, an office, and 11 light single-engine aircraft on the west side.



The 1967 USGS topo map depicted Collier Airport as having a single paved north/south runway with 5 buildings on the west side.



The 1970 TX Airport Directory depicted Collier Airport as having a 3,600' paved Runway 17/35, with 4 rows of T-hangars & an office on the west side.



Collier Airport presumably fell victim to rising suburban property values (like thousands of other small general aviation airports),

and evidently closed at some point between 1970-77,

as a 1977 TX General Land Office aerial photo showed housing being constructed,

with no trace remaining of the former Collier Airport.



The last depiction which has been located of Collier Airport was on the 1982 USGS topo map.

Ironically, even though the airport had ceased to exist for over 5 years by that point,

the 1982 USGS topo map still depicted Collier as having a single paved north/south runway with 5 buildings on the west side,

and possibly another row of T-hangars having been added on the northwest side.



A 2014 aerial view showed no recognizable trace remaining of Collier Airport.



A 9/17/15 photo by Dale Muenzler of the remains of a Collier Airport turf taxiway.

Dale reported, “If one follows Long Leaf Drive off of Albonson, right before a drainage ditch,

turn North/left on a small driveway and a portion of the old turf taxiway is visible.

Most of the remaining runway is now a drainage ditch for Harris County’s Flood Control.

Come to think of it, how convenient would it be to have a straight & level site for a ditch.”



As of 2015, street maps label the site of Collier Airport as the Inwood Club Estates housing development,

with Bayou Forest Drive passing over the alignment of the former runway.



Thanks to Dale Muenzler for pointing out this airfield.

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Flying Acres Airfield, Houston, TX

29.95, -95.57 (Northwest of Downtown Houston, TX)

Flying Acres Airfield, as depicted on the April 1965 Beaumont Sectional Chart.



This fly-in community was evidently established at some point between 1953-65,

as it was not yet depicted on a 1953 aerial photo.

The earliest depiction which has been located of Flying Acres Airfield was on the April 1965 Beaumont Sectional Chart.

It depicted Flying Acres as a private airfield having a 2,600' unpaved runway.



Steve Durrett recalled, “There was a fly-in housing development called Flying Acres.

I used to go by this place as a kid in the 1960s.”



Flying Acres Airfield, as depicted on the 1968 USGS topo map.



Dale Muenzler recalled, “My wife & I flew into Flying Acres once just to look around & exercise our freedom to do so.”



The 1970 USGS topo map depicted “Flying Acres Landing Strip” as an unpaved east/west runway with a smattering of small buildings along the north side.

Note how little development surrounded the airfield in the early 1970s.



The earliest photo which has been located of Flying Acres Airfield was a 1977 USGS aerial view looking northeast,

showing an unpaved east/west runway with some homes & hangars along the north side.



The 1977 Houston Terminal Aeronautical Chart (unfortunately cropped)

depicted Flying Acres as a private airfield having a 2,600' unpaved runway.



The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Flying Acres Airfield was on the 1992 Houston Terminal Aeronautical Chart.

Flying Acres' published runway length had decreased slightly to 2,400'.



The 1995 USGS topo map still depicted depicted Flying Acres as an unpaved “Landing Strip”,

but no longer with a name, possibly indicating the airfield had been closed by that point.



A circa 2010 aerial view looking north at a hangar along the north side of the Flying Acres Airfield runway.



A 2014 aerial view looking northeast showed the Flying Acres Airfield runway remained clear, and several hangars remained along the north side,

but there was no sign of any recent aviation usage.



Steve Durrett reported in 2015, “The last time I drove by there, it didn't appear to be in usable shape.”



Dale Muenzler reported in 2015, “Flying Acres... I just went by there & the trees have grown so large it would be difficult to land or take off from that one.”



A 6/18/16 photo by Will Denne of the last plane still being flown from Flying Acres Airfield – a Citabria.

Bill reported, “We met an older man who was washing his plane.

We talked to him about the airstrip, and he said he's been there since the 1990s, and he is the only one who is still flying out of there.”



A 6/18/16 photo by Will Denne looking along Flying Acres Airfield's grass runway.

Bill reported, “We walked the length of the runway.”



Flying Acres Airfield is located southwest of the intersection of Lou Edd Road & Perry Road.



Thanks to Steve Durrett for pointing out this airfield.

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Harbican Airport / Sack-O-Grande Acroport (9X9), Katy, TX

29.91, -95.83 (Northwest of Houston, TX)

A September 1993 aerial view by John Rich looking north at Harbican Airport.



According to the David Mafridge Airshows website, Harbican Airport was in operation for 25 years (opening circa 1971).



However, no airfield at this location was depicted on USGS topo maps from 1971-92,

and a 1973 USGS aerial photo did not yet depict any runway at this location.



The earliest depiction which has been located of Harbican Airport was a 1981 aerial view,

which depicted 8 single-engine aircraft parked along the north side of an east/west grass runway,

with a few small buildings on the northwest side.



The earliest depiction which is available of Harbican Airport was a September 1993 aerial view by John Rich.

It depicted Harbican as having an unpaved east/west runway, with 1 single-engine taildragger parked near a small hangar on the northwest side.



A September 1993 photo by John Rich of a Cessna 182 used for skydiving by “Skydive West Houston at Harbican Field, run by Pat Thysen.”



According to the David Mafridge Airshows website, David Mafrige purchased Harbican Airport in 1996 & renamed it Sack-O-Grande Acroport.



A 1996 photo of the first aircraft to land at Sack-O-Grande, 2 unidentified aerobatic biplanes shown in front of 2 hangars.



A 1996 photo of Andy “Airshow” Miller in front of an aerobatic biplane at Sack-O-Grande Acroport.



An undated (circa late 1990s?) photo of a Beech 18 & a Piper J-3 Cub at Sack-O-Grande Acroport.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Sack-O-Grande

was on the March 1999 Houston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Ron Plante).

It depicted Sack-O-Grande as a private airfield having a 3,900' unpaved runway.



A circa 2003 West Houston Practice Area Chart (courtesy of Mike Meadows) depicted the Sack-O-Grande aerobatic box.



According to the David Mafridge Airshows website, Sack-O-Grande was operated as a private airport

until it changed it's status to public as of 11/1/03.

The website said, “The airport sits on approximately 20 acres with a grass runway length of 3,900'.

The airport also holds waivered airspace for an aerobatic box

thus being the primary practice facility for many of the aerobatic pilots in the central Texas.”



As of 2014, the FAA Airport Facility Directory data for Sack-O-Grande described it

As having a single 3,950' turf runway 9/27, with “Numerous large holes throughout the runway.”

The owner was listed as Sack-O-Grande Inc., and the manager as Troy Maxwell.



Mike Meadows reported in 2014, “Up until recently it was owned by David Mafrige for 7 years.

David was an aerobatic competitor & airshow performer.

When he owned the airport, it held an airspace waiver for an aerobatic box from the surface to 3,500'.

The lowering of the Houston [Class] Bravo airspace that affected us in 2003

lowered his airspace to 2,500' rendering it useless for aerobatics.”



A circa 2012 aerial view looking north showed no sign of any aviation activity at Sack-O-Grande Acroport,

although the hangars & runway remained otherwise intact.



The 2014 Houston Terminal Chart depicted Sack-O-Grande as a public-use airport having a 3,900' unpaved runway.



Unfortunately, a 2014 NOTAM (courtesy of Mike Meadows) announced the closure of Sack-O-Grande Acroport.



A 5/2/14 aerial view looking northeast showed no sign of any aviation activity at Sack-O-Grande Acroport,

although the hangars & runway remained otherwise intact.



Sack-O-Grande Acroport is located northeast of the intersection of Sharp Road & Katy Hockley Road.



Thanks to Mike Meadows for pointing out the closure of this airfield.

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Goodyear Blimp Airfield, Spring, TX

30.06, -95.43 (Northwest of Houston, TX)

A 1973 aerial view depicted the Goodyear Blimp Airfield as having a blimp hangar at the northwest corner, and 2 blimp mooring circles.



This blimp airfield was evidently established at some point between 1967-69,

as nothing airfield-related was yet recognizable on a 1964 aerial photo (courtesy of David Owens),

and no airfield was yet depicted at this location on the September 1967 Beaumont Sectional Chart.



Starting in 1969, the Goodyear airship America was based at this facility in Spring, TX.

During its travels the blimp's night signs were used to display advertising messages,

and its TV camera filmed many sporting & public events.



The earliest depiction of the airfield which has been located was a 1973 aerial view.

It depicted the Goodyear Blimp Airfield as having a blimp hangar at the northwest corner, and 2 blimp mooring circles.



Inexplicably, no airfield was yet depicted at this location

on the March 1973 Houston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).



The 1976 USGS topo map labeled the airfield as “Goodyear Blimp”.



The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Goodyear Blimp Airfield

was on the September 1977 Houston Terminal Area Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).

It depicted “Good Year Blimp” as a private airfield with a 1,700' unpaved runway.



The earliest photo which has been located showing a blimp at the Goodyear Spring facility

was a 1979 photo by Rick Oleson of a Goodyear Blimp moored at the field.

Rick recalled, “I lived in Houston from 1978-82 & visited the base a number of times.

They built a new blimp in Spring - I think it was to be based in Atlanta -

and when it was finished it flew alongside the Houston blimp around the city for trials before being delivered.”



The August 1981 Houston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Steve Cruse)

depicted “Goodyear Blimp” as a private airfield.



The 1982 USGS topo map depicted the “Landing Field (Blimp)” as having 2 blimp mooring circles,

along with a single hangar on the northwest side of the field.



The August 1985 Houston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)

depicted “Goodyear Blimp” as a private airfield.



A November 28, 1987 aerial view of the Goodyear Blimp field (courtesy of David Owens)

showed the blimp hangar in the northwest corner,

two paved blimp mooring circles in the center of the field,

and a viewing area at the northeast corner of the property.



Eric Bauer reported, “I work about 1 mile from the Goodyear Blimp site in Spring,

and used to routinely watch the blimp fly over my office at low altitude as it was preparing to land.”



An undated photo looking west at the Goodyear Blimp America moored at the Spring Blimp Base.



A circa 1991-93 photo by David Handley (courtesy of Brian Handley) of a Goodyear Blimp taking off from the Spring Blimp Field.

Brian recalled, “My Dad was taking these photos because the blimp base was scheduled to be closed.

There was a viewing stand on the east side of the interstate (west side of the grounds).

In most of the shots you can see the netting of lights on the side of the balloon that was used to show advertising at night.

As a kid, I used to run outside at night to see the blimp flying in the sky with the light-up scrolling banners.”



A circa 1991-93 photo by David Handley (courtesy of Brian Handley) of the Goodyear Blimp hangar at the Spring Blimp Field.



The January 1992 Houston Terminal Area Chart depicted “Goodyear Airship Operations” as a private airfield.



In 1992, the home base of the Goodyear airship America was moved to Akron, OH.



However, the February 1993 Houston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Steve Cruse)

continued to depict “Goodyear Airship Operations” as a private airfield.



According to Greg Havens, “The old blimp base... was closed around 1993.

One of the last occupants was Genesis tuning up & preparing for a tour.

We could hear them whenever we drove by.”



The 1995 USGS aerial photo depicted that a Home Depot & its parking lot had been built over the location

of the blimp mooring circle on the southern part of the field.

It also appears as if the blimp hangar on the northwest corner of the field had been removed.

Other portions of the blimp field still remained intact though,

including the blimp mooring circle in the center of the field.



In the 2002 USGS aerial photo, the remaining traces of the former Goodyear Blimp airfield had been built over,

and the site was no longer recognizable as ever having been an airfield.



Greg Havens reported in 2006 that the site of the former blimp base “is now a Home Depot & a Lowe's hardware store.”



The site of the Goodyear Blimp Airfield is located southwest of the intersection of Interstate 45 & Meadow Edge Lane.

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