Best Places to Fly to in California

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by pcorman, May 25, 2005.

  1. pcorman

    pcorman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here's my Best of CA Fly-In spots:
    1. Best weekend: Columbia Airport -- Great campground on the field with showers next to grass strip (paved runway also).. 1 mile walk to Columbia state park, a restored gold town..

    2. Best on Airport Restaurant(s) - Matthews at Paso Robles and/or Harris Ranch... and can't forget the Beach Cafe (a 1 mile walk thru the dunes at Santa Barbara airport)

    3. Best Beach airport -- Oceano, cool 1950s diner with 10% off for pilots, walk to beach

    4. Best camping Airport -- Kern Valley, in a valley with mountains on 3 sides... interesting approach/landing... very remote feel...

    5. Best Out of the Way Airport -- Shelter Cove... flying north over the Pacific with 3000 foot mountains right down to the sea... no roads... no landing place, then all of a sudden, an airport on a flat piece of land jutting out into the Pacific... a couple of nice restaurants... oceanside hikes... very remote feel.. very pretty... wach for seafog.

    6. Best Tourist Airport -- Santa Ynez airport in wine country just north of Santa Barbara (think the movie Sideways) near Solvang (a tourist destination with restaurants and nearby wineries)
     
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  2. Richard

    Richard Final Approach

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    Ack...city life
    You gonna be at Watsonville next wknd?
     
  3. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    7. Best aviation museum airports: Chino (CNO) and Palm Springs (PSP). Other good ones at San Carlos (SQL) and Castle/Atwater (MER).

    8. Best you-never-know-what-you're-going-to-see airport: Mojave (MHV). Park in the vicinity of Scaled Composites and start walking around...
     
  4. pcorman

    pcorman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Absolutely going to be at Watsonville... may camp out on Friday if I can get out of work early enough
     
  5. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    Nice little museum at Santa Maria (SMX). Last time I was there they had a working Link trainer. Now that was a gas (and a challenge).

    Eric
     
  6. gonvrtd

    gonvrtd Pre-Flight

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    don't forget The Ding a Ling in Hollister!! Always a favorite stop of mine. Plus you can always see a few warbirds hanging out.
     
  7. pcorman

    pcorman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Best Air Museum (an UPDATE).. Palm Springs Air Museum is a must see. Two hangars for WW II; one dedicated to the Pacific, and the other to Europe. The Pacific hangar is a tribute to the xCats.. F4F thru F7F... also an SBD that was dragged out of a lake and totally restored. The other hangar had a cool collection of US fighters (P51s, etc) and B17, B25... even saw a Spitfire... well worth the visit. I was lucky enough to go this Memorial day weekend and there were living pilots/bombardiers sharing WWII stories... it was awesome.
     
  8. Michael

    Michael Pattern Altitude

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    and here are some photos to 2nd that...
     
  9. John221us

    John221us En-Route

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    Half Moon Bay is a great stop for food and scenery and Monterey Bay is fun for an overnight stop.
     
  10. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    :yesnod: Rate KHAF BEST airport for foodies! :yesnod:
     
  11. rottydaddy

    rottydaddy En-Route

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    I've only flown in SoCal, and not much, but I spent time at some great airports.

    I will ditto Chino... they are also a very friendly Class D (no problem with the slow, no-transponder plane I flew in there), the museum is incredible, and you are likely on any day to see awesome vintage aircraft hanging around and find someone who can hand-prop a Champ safely. I like the restaurant, too.

    Borrego Valley (L08): friendly little place, with hands-down the nicest FBO rest room I've ever seen. I usually don't care about that much, but this one stands out.

    San Diego Muni (KSDM): another laid-back Class D, with a decent restaurant, a small museum (which I never visited, unfortunately), a skydiving school, an excellent flight school/FBO (First Flight), and a very friendly EAA chapter that hosts a free lunch every Saturday (AFAIK).

    I've also landed at Ramona and Fallbrook, but didn't de-plane there.
     
  12. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Crap, did I miss something? I wish I knew about this stuff.
     
  13. pericynthion

    pericynthion Pre-takeoff checklist

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    you missed it by 7 years
     
  14. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    What did I miss?
     
  15. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Oh. Whoops. 2005 hello. I thought I had missed the Watsonville air show. That pilot guy I met who showed off the P51 at KHAF has apparently been doing shows there every year since 1960-something.
     
  16. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    Would that "pilot guy" be the famous Eddie Andreini....?
     

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  17. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Yes, I posted a thread about him weeks ago when I met him and saw his three planes.
     
  18. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    I'd put South Lake Tahoe in there. More laid back than Reno, beautiful scenery, sweet airport.
     
  19. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm flying to Santa Ynez tomorrow as my first flight as a private pilot!!! Couldn't talk anyone into going with me, so I shall go by myself and explore Solvang. So excited. :D
     
  20. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Congrats, and, don't worry - they will all come around. At first I thought nobody would ever fly with me, and now I can say that I haven't ONCE flown alone. You will find passengers. Let me know if you ever find yourself up here in the SF Bay Area.
     
  21. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    Gee, does your Mustang have a back seat??:wink2: Seriously, unless your circle of friends has some GA savvy it may take a while for them to get used to the idea. Once they hear about the utility and speed, you will be taking reservations I'm sure. Have fun tomorrow!!!!
     
  22. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So my best friend has agreed to go up with me Sunday. I want to take her somewhere scenic with a good restaurant. Any ideas? I've been to[and eaten at] Camarillo and Carlsbad [CRQ], so I'd like to go somewhere new. Keep in mind I'm out of Orange County, so ANY ideas where I should go in southern california for a lunch date are greatly appreciated. :D
     
  23. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Wish I could help. Jealous of your bravery..... was gonna say if it was my first passenger I'd stick to something I knew how to do already. Then again, I just remembered some said my first passenger flight was "too much" (I went into / near Bravo airspace for the first time). It was definitely a challenge but fun - no GPS and a TAC only and I kept saying "Are we in the other ring yet? What is my altitude now?" Constantly scouring the map and looking outside.
     
  24. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Avalon, everybody in SoCal has to fly in for a Buffalo Burger.
     
  25. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ah, yes! But my flight school requires me to be checked out to fly there. Maybe I'll see if I can get that done before Sunday. I've been there once, but in the backseat. [to the airport... I've been there many a time when I was younger!] I love Catalina, and my best friend is Canadian so she's never been there- that would be awesome. I hope I can get it worked out.
     
  26. river_rat

    river_rat Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You can go to Santa Barbara and park at Atlantic Aviation and the Beachside Cafe is within walking distance, about 0.6miles. I have only gone to the Elephant Bar at Santa Barbara, too lazy to walk.
     
  27. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Before my first lesson, I found Catalina on YouTube. Knew nothing about it. Said then and there it was my dream destination. Found out later how tough it is and thought "nevermind." Now I don't know. Would be cool one day to go and find out. A lot of people around here with "nicer planes" can make it down there and back in a day so perhaps one day I'll hitch a ride.
     
  28. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It's not tough in the slightest, over 3000' of runway. My second lesson we stayed in the pattern there because I had to go back to work that evening. First few lessons my CFI would pick me up. After that I'd get rides back and forth in Catalina Flying Services Beech 18s. Just look at the runway, not the cliff at the end, it's all the same. When you're on the runway it only looks like you have half the runway you really do because of the hump. Just avoid landing at sunset because it's right in your face. If you do, remember to land on the light shiny streak, not the dark next to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  29. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's what worked for me the time I landed there.

    I once landed at sunset at Oakland, and in retrospect I wished I had gone around and let the sun get lower.
     
  30. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Always look where you want to go. Once you see what you want to avoid, never look at it again.

    A guy in an Arrow was landing into the sun and went for the dark stripe, he landed on the VASI :rolleyes:
     
  31. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yesterday I ended up going to Santa Barbara. I wanted to go to Santa Ynez, but it was IFR. Also the first time I've been cleared through the Class B! Normally I go Special Flight Rules, but there was a scattered layer of clouds right where the SFR corridor was, so I requested the Coastal route. Went through the Class B via the Coastal route on the way back as well- I like having flight following when possible.

    It was a really nice day yesterday, my best friend's first GA experience ever. We ate at the Elephant Bar, and then went on the beach. Friday I'm going to take her to Catalina for her birthday, I'm going first this week with an instructor to be checked out there.

    Also- I got a tour of the TRACON facility [where SoCal ATC are] this weekend in San Diego. It was really awesome, one of the traffic controllers gave the tour himself; and we got to go in and see them at work and do some simulated work ourselves. Really neat and gave me a whole new appreciation for what they do. If anyone is in southern california, I highly recommend doing the tour. There's a tour for NorCal too, I believe. And probably the other TRACONS.

    Anyways- that is my weekend in a nutshell. :D I'll try to post some pictures if I can figure it out.
     
  32. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    I would love to do this tour if I can do the simulated work myself, sounds very educational.
     
  33. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It totally was! And they told us what they like to hear on the radio- what helps them and what doesn't. Changed my procedure a little :D

    They also spent most the time trying to get us to become Air Traffic Controllers. A few of my friends are seriously considering it.
     
  34. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    I hear in places like SFO they can make six figures (eventually) so that is not a bad job - the stress may be high though.
     
  35. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yep. The ones I talked to did. They said the SoCal TRACON is the busiest traffic control center in the world IE they get paid the highest.
     
  36. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    As far as the FAA is concerned, ATC personnel must be retired at age 56 and no one over age 30 will be accepted for training for such a position; at least that is what the information in this link seems to indicate to me:

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ahr/jobs_careers/occupations/atc/hr_policies/emp_120/

    (One could avoid the maximum enrty age perhaps by training in the military or training and working in some other country that has less draconian age requirements.)
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    We were talking about this at PoA dinner last week. I thought they bumped it to 35 when they were hurting for people a while back, but can't find any references to it now.
     
  38. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    I know for fact that overall the most complex center FAA considers to be the Cleveland center (I am talking whole Center, not any Tracon area). It has the highest density of enroute traffic plus a few large airports though none mega-large. ZOB controllers are highest paid on average.
     
  39. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ok. I was merely relaying the information that the controllers themselves told me. I don't know why they would make that up, maybe they meant TRACON but they said air traffic control facility. I assumed that meant everyone.
     
  40. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    Sooooooo BACK TO THE THREAD SUBJECT! :yesnod:

    Has anyone been into Catalina lately? What was the condition of the runway?