Flying into Santa Barbara?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by NoBShere, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi all, looking at making a weekend trip to Santa Barbara in the fall from San Jose with my better half. Any first hand information on GA into SBA? Curious about parking, coastal fog that time of year (October-ish), any other first hand tidbits?

    Thanks
     
  2. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    The approach from the North is slightly tricky. Following the 101, tower likes to be contacted “Over the grade” at the crest of the hill. Since the airport is just on the other side of the mountain plan on a steeper then normal descent to pattern altitude. Due to high perf aircraft in the pattern, you may come in a littler faster than usual and need to lose speed and altitude. A brief slide slip worked for me.

    Last time there, some pilot ahead of me was very confused about descending quickly. Tower reminded him he’s was too high and reduce altitude. His response was a classic; “I don’t know how”. After a few other pilots made remarks about this, tower had him to a 5 mile right base turn.
     
  3. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    There is an optical illusion if you're landing on 15L/R. The terrain slopes upward from the airport north to the base of the mountains three miles or so away. The result is a tendency to be too high on final. If you're at a "normal" height turning final, your eyes tell you you're much too low. I've been flying into SBA for 50 years; I trained for my CFI there in 1970. Still, when I went back there for a visit last October, and even remembering and expecting the optical illusion, I was still too high turning final for 15L. :oops:

    The Signature FBO at the northeast corner of the field wasn't inexpensive, but they treated us and our 172 well. Signature also runs the self-serve pump, a buck a gallon cheaper, but it's way over at the northwest corner of the field.
     
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  4. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    VFR or IFR? The controllers there are good, relaxed and professional. Get FF - it is a Class C.

    There is a bump in 15/33L/R where the long runway passes through. Treat landing on those like a soft field. Signature there is relaxed and reasonable for gas on the weekends.
     
  5. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Been there quite a few times from Nor Cal in my 182...just track 101 to a tee all the way in and altitude is not really an issue unless you wanna cut a corner and drop down over the hill.

    Being mortally opposed to Signature in general, I use Atlantic there and have always left happy.
     
  6. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Ah, the bump. Your on final, cross the fence, got it, round out, settling, flare, pull back a little, I got this nailed, gonna be a greaser, pull back, stall horns gonna squeak in a second, I got this baby nailed, gonna be a greaser, boom, ah sh*t. Been there done that, more than once. Ain’t that bad though, just a little bump.
     
  7. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I was there once, the only memorable thing I can think of was the tower having me land simultaneously with a 172 on a parallel runway. I don't think there are any big gotchas, nothing too much different than any other towered field. There was some traffic but it wasn't crazy busy and the controller was nice enough.
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Coastal fog may be there, may not, the June Gloom season should be over but it can happen anytime. Over the hill at IZA is a place to go if so, have your better half google Solvang, may trip her trigger. I’ve parked at both Signature and Atlantic, no bad experience at either. Atlantic on the the South side is walking distance to Goleta beach. Through the fence, a few more steps and you are there. Check this out https://www.beachside-barcafe.com/
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  9. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    Solvang > Santa Barbara, IMO.
     
  10. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    Santa Barbara >>>> Solvang. Santa Ynez and Los Olivos, however...

    Also, if you want to go to Santa Barbara itself, and you aren't IFR, I'd consider KOXR or KCMA over KIZA. The physical distance is closer to KIZA, but the roads are out of the way - while it is a straight shot on the 101 from the two Ventura County Class Ds.
     
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  11. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-Flight

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    SBA is no big deal. I go there a couple of times a month. Friendly controllers. Instrument rating is helpful if you want to go there in the morning. VFR, get flight following, they’ll probably have you follow 101 south which will put you on an extended right base. Aim at the control tower when you see it and you’ll be good to go for 15L/R. If they offer you 15 and you don’t want it, ask for the longer runway.

    I have not noticed any optical illusions or bumps that caused any issues for me.
     
  12. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks everyone. I will be VFR, btw.
     
  13. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Have ya chosen an FBO yet?
     
  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    this is so true, I always see people recommending Santa Ynez however if you want to get to Santa Barbara there's no real easy way via road to get there..

    Also, either Santa Barbara nor Solvang are that impressive personally speaking. The little Danish town in Solvang seems very contrived, the last time I was there it felt a little bit like Disney and not authentic, maybe I was expecting too much, but when I visited there I was pretty disappointed relative to how much it was talked up by the locals here (San Diego) that it's something we absolutely had to see. As far as Santa Barbara, the pier (Stearns Wharf) and some of the restaurants are good, but the main drag is mostly chain shopping stores like Banana Republic, StarBucks, and all that sort of thing. Still, I prefer it over Solvang since at least you are on the water and the ocean is very beautiful there.. on clear days the Channel Islands look quite epic and mystic out on the horizon..

    Personally I would put Catalina Avalon well above both of those as a flying or weekend destinations, if you can afford it and you booked in advance the old Wrigley Mansion is an epic place to stay at Avalon for a romantic weekend
     
  15. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    Mortally or morally or both
     
  16. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Yes, I die a little inside every time I have to use Signature!
     
  17. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    If Santa Barbara is IFR due to coastal fog, there's a good chance Oxnard and Camarillo would be, too, as they are also on the coastal plain. Santa Ynez, on the other hand, is shielded from the coast by the mountains, and is more likely to be VFR.

    Different strokes, I guess. We like Solvang, kitsch and all. The food is wonderful, and there is an excellent outdoor theater with Shakespearean and other stage productions. Solvang, at least, has an authentic heritage, having been founded by Danish settlers in 1911.

    47 years ago this month I borrowed the keys to my dad's Cessna 150 to take a young lady from Oxnard to Solvang for a picnic. She must have liked the trip; she's still flying with me. :)
     
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  18. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    OXR, maybe, but CMA will clear up sooner and potentially offer more holes to shoot.
     
  19. Cogito

    Cogito Pre-takeoff checklist

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  20. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You folks are a wealth of information. The Camarillo suggestion has caught my interest as we haven't been there before via air or land.
     
  21. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There's also a CAF museum at CMA.