So-Cal Complex/ATC Airspace Training Plan

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by brcase, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    I am planning some training for a friend of mine that purchased a Mooney and is based at Flabob.

    Below is the long version. But here are short version questions for local pilots…

    What airports are best for practicing Takesoffs and Landings near Flabob?

    Any tips/tricks/recommendations for practicing Takes off and landings and in this area?
    Any tips/trick for navigating/learning the airspace and ATC around the area?


    So where are the places we should visit (plan 1 or 2 hour stops) within about 150miles of Riverside?
    (Café’s, Museums, Soaring operations, interesting stuff especially aviation oriented, Places for him to come back and spend some time)

    -------------------------------------

    He hasn’t flown much for a few years and neither of us have flown in the So-Cal area much. He has been having difficulty finding an instructor that works for him. So, we are planning on me visiting for a few days and work on getting him his complex endorsement and getting him familiar and reasonably comfortable flying in the area.

    So here is what I am thinking we should do.

    Spend about 30-90 minutes in 1 or 2 sessions familiarizing ourselves with his airplane, ie. Slow Flight, Steep turns, Stalls. Transitioning between Cruise and landing configurations. Emergency Procedures. then return to Flabob for a few Takeoffs and landings.

    Spend another 2-3 hours probably in 2 to 3 sessions working on take offs and landings, including short, soft and emergency landings. We will like do the 1st hour or so at Flabob since that will be his home airport, But then I would like to perhaps move to a couple other Airports like maybe Riverside, Chino or Corona.

    How are these airports for practicing Takesoff and Landings?. Probably won’t be doing many Touch and go’s in the Mooney, but might do Stop and Go’s if that works. I hear Riverside can or is Busy. Any tips/tricks/recommendations for practicing Takes off and landings in this area, or better airports to do it at?

    Here is where I think this will start getting fun…
    Once we are reasonably comfortable with take offs and landings for the complex check out I prefer to do a number of short hops between airports to practice transitioning between cruise and landing. Here this has the added benefit of familiarizing him and I with the area and getting him more comfortable with the airspace and ATC.

    So where are the places we should visit within about 150miles of Riverside? We aren’t planning on spending a lot of time at any one place, But stopping for an hour or two to Eat and or get a quick intro to the sites/facilities would be fun.

    The Chino Air Museums seem like an obvious place to check out.

    We are both glider pilots so visiting the local Soaring Operations could be fun. Especially since he is thinking that using the Mooney to commute to some of the soaring sites. I am aware of operations at Hemet, Cyrstal Air, Lake Elsinore. Will probably call ahead to see if it worth visiting at the times we could be there.

    I am considering maybe finishing off the training with a visit out to Catalina Island.

    Thanks for any information recommendations you can provide.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  2. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    Flabob is a strange little airport. I recall EAA Chapter 1 is there, but I never found any hangar worth poking a head into. :)

    Riverside KRAL is perfectly fine for landings, it's a towered airport and can get somewhat busy (5 in the pattern) at times. They have a very active flight school.

    Chino KCNO is also okay for landings, as they have two runways, but they have "the" training ILS in the area and it can get mobbed. I didn't usually do landings at CNO as the controllers always sound stressed, and that made me stressed.

    Corona KAJO is untowered, short, obstacled, and also can get busy, particularly on the weekends. They used to have the cheapest avgas around, but Riverside seems to be making that play now. I can think of no reason to practice landings in a mooney there.

    If your learner is still figuring out rudder work on final, take him to either KSBD or KRIV for some long runways and have him drag that mooney on centerline in ground effect for 2 miles. March KRIV is actually open to the public and sleeeeeeepy, almost nobody realizes there's even an FBO there.

    If you are into cheap cheap avgas and $1 lunch that is pretty darn good, head over to Yuma KNYL.

    ==

    150 miles is a huge radius, but I think the must-see spots are KAVX (landing fee applies), KCMA, KSBP and maybe you'd throw KHII in there. I bet everyone has a favorite airport to stop at in what is basically the lower third of California. :)

    I think you'd do well to get your pilot up to scratch on airspace. That means visiting some airports in/around the class B and Cs, and trying one or all of the LAX transition routes. He/she may find themselves on the wrong side of some very large airspace, and it's trivial to flip to the other side once you've seen it done. It's also nice to learn that KBUR's class C is actually a lot easier than KVNY's nearby class D.

    This is a pleasant time of year to visit the Inland Empire.

    $0.02.

    - Mike
     
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  3. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Ditto what @schmookeeg stated. Some others to consider:

    KHMT is untowered, but Hangar 1 Cafe is there, and there are some neat older warbirds tied down.
    KFUL if you want to practice some landings at a towered field and Wings cafe is quite tasty
    KOKB (another untowered field) if you want to practice flight following and fly along the coastline
    F70 (yet another untowered field) if you want to stay in the valley area
    KSPS if you want to use/practice TSRA and land at the field. Very nice museum there as well
    KSZP (Santa Paula) for less expensive fuel and a nice cafe
    KCMA (Camarillo) for some bumpy ride practice over foothills, but a nice milk shake reward at Waypoint Cafe.

    In terms of practice area, it's fairly open between KHMT (Hemet) and F70 (French Valley). Likewise, there's a practice area over La Habra between KEMT (El Monte) and KPOC (Bracket Field).
     
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  4. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Thank you exactly the kind of information I am looking for. I also had some recommendation that maybe the 1st few hours, when we are more interested in learning the airplane than dealing with ATC that we should try the Victorville, Apple Valley area.

    Thanks again

    Brian
     
  5. rtk11

    rtk11 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Hi Brian, Victorville/Apple Valley are good, but subject to winds, turbulence, and weather. This coming weekend, we may see rain which will result in some winds, low clouds climbing over the mountains to get to the high desert area. Just something to keep in mind, otherwise it’s pretty open up there as well.
     
  6. Htaylor

    Htaylor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you go to the high desert for training, be sure to be talking with Joshua Approach. There can be lots of UAVs flying about. If high altitude ops are to be part of the training process, Big Bear is close by as well.
     
  7. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    There are lots and lots of airports to explore, and all the towered GA fields have plenty of space in their patterns for you. A good one to consider that is relatively sleepy, still towered and has a LONG runway is Brown Field/KSDM next to the border and still not far from you. I know a few instructors that love using the field for checkouts because stop and goes are super easy to get there, as you can sometimes have an 8000' runway to yourself for an hour.

    Also consider KOXR/Oxnard. Much, much less crowded pattern than KCMA (which can be an absolute zoo, and not just because the restaurant is the best on earth). Nice views of the ocean and fields, professional controllers and good areas around there to practice. Still 6000' of pavement to work with.

    I wouldn't want to learn a new airplane at Santa Paula - the pattern and approach are too quirky and challenging. Do that airport once you have a good grasp of your airplane's low speed handling and short approach angles.
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Good choices. @brcase, think about working in KSZP on NOV 1 if he seems ready.

    https://www.conejovalleyguide.com/w...anta-paula-is-open-to-the-public-the-fir.html

    https://www.santapaulaairport.com/flying-into-kszp/traffic-pattern
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020