Flying in the San Fran Area

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Tarheel Pilot, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    So I'll be going out to the San Fran area with my girlfriend to visit her family, and one of the things we want to do is to rent an aircraft and fly around San Francisco, see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the coastline all from the seat of a LSA (I say LSA because I just love those sporty little aircrafts). However, the only Class B I've ever encountered in my life is Charlotte TRACON and they're usually very accommodating as long as you're not flying at peak traffic time. Which is fine for me since I always flew on the weekends.

    With this in mind, is there anything I need to know about San Fran TRACON, any "gotchas" I need to keep an eye out for?

    This will be a VFR flight (not instrument rated) in the daytime.
     
  2. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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  3. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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  4. John221us

    John221us En-Route

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    If you are just looking for a Bay Tour, just go with a CFI in the right seat, otherwise, you will need to get checked out, before you can rent. You can stay under Bravo across the bay and over the Golden Gate Bridge pretty easily. Stay North of the Bay Bridge and under 2,000 and you will be fine. You can then hug the coast south to HAF, which is a great place to spend a day. There is one low Bravo shelf you have to watch out for(1,500) as you approach HAF from the North.
     
  5. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    Agreed. While it's easy enough to transit Bravo, you're still at the mercy of ATC's vectors which may or may not be favorable. You can see practically everything you want under the lower shelves of SFO class B.
     
  6. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That is an excellent link. Wouldn't it be great if flight schools/FBOs around the country published similar guides? King County Airport (Boeing Field) has a handout, but it is not as full of goodies as this one.

    Bob Gardner
     
  7. JeffDG

    JeffDG Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's part of the business model that OpenAirplane is going with. All of their FBOs have similar "Local Procedures" pages.
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think we need to encourage Kimberly to get busy gettin her commercial rating. This activity could be a good income opportunity for her!
     
  9. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    Great link Jeff. San Carlos has a good group of instructors and give local flying seminars all the time. I'd check in with them. Have fun and don't forget to stop at Half Moon Bay for excellent food within easy walk of aircraft parking. Park at the extreme south end and walk thru the gate to delicious heaven.
     
  10. CaptLabrador

    CaptLabrador Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Im sure there are, but I dont know of any LSA's at san carlos to rent. Going out of san carlos for a bay tour is cool though because they will typically clear you through Class B right over SFO. Pilot nerd goodness.
     
  11. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not an LSA, but West Valley at PAO has a Pitts Special on the line. That ought to make an interesting bay tour.

    There is also at least one guy in Sonoma giving Stearman rides.

    I find it hard to believe you'll ever get cleared over KSFO, but KSQL bay tours do routinely get 1500 foot transitions, west of 101 (that's half the Class B). But you only need to transit their airspace, pretty easy from anywhere south of KSFO.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  12. CaptLabrador

    CaptLabrador Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well, Almost over sfo :)

    [​IMG]
     

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  13. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's west of 101. You'll usually get cleared that close. 101 is very close to the 1L and 1R numbers.
     
  14. ainokea

    ainokea Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Speaking of Bay Tours I got one in an Airbus 330 today at 3000 ft. :)
     
  15. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's the normal, everyday visual approach into KSFO. They do close tandem landings in good weather, over the Bay. It occasionally freaks out a passenger, as both the other aircraft and the bay surface get pretty close before landing.

    There is a very well done video of the LHA A380 making the Shoreline transition and that visual floating around the web.
     
  16. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    When are you here?

    You can call. I do Bay Tours practically every weekend. Depending where you are flying out of there are different things to do / ask for.

    Kimberly

    7 0 7 7 9 9 6 3 1 4 cell


    [​IMG]
     
  17. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    PS - I'm a private pilot. I just meant if you have questions you can discuss them with me. I realize you want to fly alone with your girlfriend in a rented LSA. North Coast Aviation out of KSTS (about an hour north of SF) just bought a brand new LSA.
     
  18. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Just called and they have THREE LSA's.

    Dual Dynon Glass with Garmin 700 brand new CTLS

    (takes several hours to get checked out in due to the "slippery" all composite construction)

    Skycatcher

    Tecnam Sierra

    The first two are $125 per hour so I would assume the third one is too. That is wet and there is no fuel surcharge on top of that.

    In an LSA for an abbreviated Bay Tour plan on 2.0 hours hobbs from KSTS because I usually do 1 - 1.5 from Petaluma if I don't fly the coast.
     
  19. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Wow! Awfully nice of you to check this info out for the OP Kimberly.
     
  20. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Thanks, hope he read it. Haven't heard from him.
     
  21. Tarheel Pilot

    Tarheel Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    Wow very nice, thank you so much for the information! :D
     
  22. CApilot55

    CApilot55 Pre-Flight

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    Another recommendation is Skyview Aviation out of KTCY the city of Tracy,CA. It is about 55 minutes east of San Francisco. They have a LSA Dova Skylark on the line. www.skyviewaviation.com
     
  23. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Those guys treated me real nice when I took a break out there once.

    The tradeoff is that Tracy is HOT AS HELL this time of year. It's really nice around the Bay. Right now, low 70s, light wind, and CAVU conditions.

    Get a load of these METARs (none available at Tracy, so I substituted Stockton).

    [FONT=Monospace,Courier]KSTS 192053Z 17006KT 10SM HZ CLR 29/15 A2987 RMK AO2 SLP107 T02890150 58012[/FONT][FONT=Monospace,Courier]
    KSCK 192055Z 31007KT 10SM CLR 34/10 A2983 RMK AO2 SLP101 T03390100 58019[/FONT]
    [FONT=Monospace,Courier]KPAO 192047Z 36011KT 30SM SKC 22/ A2990

    FWIW, that 11 knot wind stuff is BS. It's barely making the flags twitch out front. But it's nearly an hour old.
    [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  24. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I had lunch at STS on Wednesday. Best BLT I ever had, and the onion rings were VERY tasty!
     
  25. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    Too bad I work during the week, and on Wednesday I was on my first business trip in over a decade (Laramie, WY)
     
  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, just because I prefer flying on weekdays, that doesn't mean I can't fly on weekends. :)
     
  27. CApilot55

    CApilot55 Pre-Flight

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    On the other bright side at TCY you can get really good at xwind landings!
     
  28. EpicDraws

    EpicDraws Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No need to go that far, KSQL tends to cooperate for crosswind practice.