Pilots in the Atlanta Area - PDK vs. LZU

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by easik, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. easik

    easik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm considering one of these as my home airport. PDK although closer seems a lot busier and more corporate-like with a few mom n pop businesses. Where as LZU is a bit further out, But the few times I've been there, it's been fairly quiet and I see some pilots/owners hanging around.

    What's been your experience flying in/out of these airports? please share your thoughts on how busy they can get, pilot community, hangar cost, fuel etc. Thanks.
     
  2. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    PDK is a nightmare for this suburban pilot. The costs are extremely high, the traffic can be insane, and the security rules make it a PITA, at least as a transient pilot.

    LZU, on the other hand, is a typical suburban airport.
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    LZU would have my vote, a lot less busier than PDK. Both nice airports however.
     
  4. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    PDK is pretty much a PITA during the day. Can be crazy busy but they do have some good controllers there. A couple females are very good. Generally I avoid the place unless I’m in Atlanta in the middle of the night. Plenty of FBOs / training facilities and a good aviation restaurant. Only been to LZU a couple of times but they’re slower and easier to get in and out of. RYY isn’t all that busy either. Personally I’d go with either LZU or RYY. Heck, if you’re real far on the northside you can look into CNI. 575 up to 515. Easy drive. While non towered, plenty of aviation activity out of there.
     
  5. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    Which one can you get to during traffic hours? Which one has the services you want?
     
  6. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    I flew a SR22 out of LZU for over 4 years and now am flying a Baron, and sometimes a SR22, out of PDK.

    Hangars cost and availability is much better at LZU. At PDK there is a wait list and it costs more. Fuel isn't cheap at either, but it's not super expensive either. Plus there are nearby airports with lower fuel prices if you need a large refill.

    PDK is busy, but you don't run into 20 trainers in the pattern. Getting out IFR can have a delay at times, but largely due to Atlanta ATC. Getting out VFR is generally pretty quick.

    PDK does have a crossing runway, so in big crosswinds that can help.

    LZU has an active and well run EAA chapter with monthly pancake breakfast.

    Being just barely outside the Atlanta 30 nm ring means that IFR departures tend to be a bit quicker.

    Both airports have a restaurant on the field.

    Traffic in Atlanta sucks on a daily basis. Where you live can make either or both hard to get to at times. When do you like to fly? How is the traffic at that time to each? Also, the police love to keep things in check speed-wise on 316 on the way to/from LZU. I never got a ticket, but I saw plenty of people that did. Traffic moves fast in Atlanta, but that's not a great place to go fast.
     
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  7. Brian Jones

    Brian Jones Filing Flight Plan

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  8. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Which one do you want to drive to? If you live in midtown, you obviously don’t want to drive another 1-4 hours past PDK to go to LZU. If you live in between, LZU is going to better as a base.
     
  9. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    1-4 hrs to drive from PDK to LZU?
     
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  10. JacksonHandy

    JacksonHandy Filing Flight Plan

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    New around here, starting research to be a student. Posting to subscribe.

    <returns to lurking>
     
  11. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ya gotta say more than that! :eek:
    Where ya located, what are your flying plans, do you like gladiator movies, etc. that's the stuff we need to know. Oh, btw, welcome.
     
  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Rush hour maybe but I never saw 4 hours.
     
  13. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    In Atlanta...yes.

    Ok, maybe 4 hours is an exaggeration. Maybe. I know it's taken me 6 hours to drive from midtown up 85 to the SC border. Most of that traffic was south of the big outlet mall.
     
  14. JacksonHandy

    JacksonHandy Filing Flight Plan

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    LOL, thanks for the welcome.

    I'm in Alpharetta, on the north side, but work 10 mins from PDK. Trying to fulfill a life goal, wanted to fly forever, neighbor has an SR-20 at PDK and I've been up with him a couple times, just reinforced my desire.

    I travel a lot for work, would like to do some of that on my own terms eventually. Missions are ATL-CVG, ATL-JAX, or ATL-RIC then drive typically, so I figure it would be fun to eliminate the 1.5 hour drives at either end.

    Living north means that flying out of ATL is a time suck, so it'd be faster to get closer to where I go, or at least that is the excuse I'd use with the wife.

    Have to pay off this MBA first, saving up for all of that.
     
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  15. easik

    easik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All good pointers. LZU + 30 mins drive is looking more attractive. Thanks guys.
     
  16. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Cleared for Takeoff

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    FYI I lived in the Alpharetta/johns creek area, exit 10 off 400 and flew out of PDK and LZU, but ended up mostly flying out of lzu. I flew with the flight school of Gwinnett. Advanced aviation and eventually joined the FlyLZU.com club. Lzu was certainly quicker to get off the ground. Fuel trucks were pretty quick and everyone over there was pretty cool. I know hangar availability is much better at LZU too. I’d say go Lzu unless you are much closer to PDK.
     
  17. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Look up at the top right of any thread. You will see a 'Watch thread'. Just click on that to subscribe.