Top 6 small airports in Southern California

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by mr_happyland, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In my latest video, I put together a list of my favorite airports to fly to in Southern California. My criteria was a combination of factors such as restaurants, transportation, cool things to do etc... There are many good ones to choose from but this is what I came up with:

     
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  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    1. kern valley
    2. oceano
    3. big bear
    4. santa ynez
    5. catalina
    6. camarillo
     
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  3. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You're the same guy that tells everybody how the movie ends!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  4. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father.
     
  5. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I like everything on this list except for I would swap out Santa Monica with Camarillo
     
  6. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I strongly disagree. The city of Santa Monica does not want you there. They charge you for every landing (something like $14 last time I was there). They closed the Typhoon restaurant and I believe nearby Spitfire Grill is closing soon too. They want to drive away all business even before they shut the airport down entirely in 2028. Meanwhile Camarillo embraces general aviation. That place is packed on the weekends.
     
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  7. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Damn, really?

    Camarillo is a cool spot, but it's almost TOO busy on the weekends
     
  8. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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  9. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

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    As usual, nice editing......and the best airframe.
     
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  10. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Lol, no.

    Spitfire is getting a new owner, and I still don't think SMO will close

    Camarillo does get way too busy sometimes, but for good reason.

    Too bad he doesn't fly it as fast as he should :p
     
  11. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Line Up and Wait

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    No Palomar? The Landing is easily the best place to fly into and eat in SoCal.
     
  12. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    6? That’s easy...
    Chino
    Cable
    Corona
    Catalina
    Compton
    Camarillo

    Any airport that starts with a “C”:)
    FYI - Compton is a beautiful little airport with a lot of nice people based there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  13. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    it's a cool spot for sure and I brought my dad there and a lot of my flying friends there as well however as far as doing anything else it's limited.. places like Kern, AVX, etc, have stuff to do outside the airport. Doesn't revolve purely around aviation
     
  14. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Probably the weight and aerodynamic drag from all the GoPro's. :D
     
  15. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    LOL
     
  16. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Camarillo has lots to do in and around it. You can go outlet shopping!
     
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  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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  18. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    How about 6 of the most depressing/deserted So. Cal Airports(ok, yes, I was based in San Diego at the time):
    1. Banning
    2. Brawley
    3. Chiraco Summit
    4. Calipatria
    5. Blythe
    6. Imperial
     
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  19. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    What about Columbia?

    I like it better than Big Bear, since it is less touristy...
     
  20. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How did Daggett miss your list?
     
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  21. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I vaguely remember going there so maybe I just blocked it out, or maybe I never went there.
     
  22. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Haha...that's a great idea actually. At least Chiraco Summit has some old WW2 stuff to look at.
     
  23. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I want to be in one of your videos one day. That would be cool.
     
  24. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We all have dreams
     
  25. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You both fly Grumman so it would seem you could have a flight together that only exists in the editing bay :)
     
  26. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Columbia is awesome! Camping there is on my to do list. I didn’t include it b/c it’s not Southern California otherwise it would be a strong contender.
     
  27. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    Oh, Duh.. I didn't draw the connection to Southern California... That explains why so many of my old favorites aren't on the list.

    How about Agua Dulce? Has it fallen into disrepair like so many other remote public airports?
     
  28. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Santa Paula should have been included. It's definitely small but a great community there.
     
  29. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Santa Paula is definitely a great airport. It's always my go-to for cheap fuel. Great community for sure.
     
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  30. Pim de Kast

    Pim de Kast Filing Flight Plan

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    Beautiful :)
     
  31. mcdewey

    mcdewey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Camarillo is a favorite of mine. Many wonderful times at Waypoint Cafe with family and friends over 30 years. We went there every time we went to visit my in-laws and there are so many memories. When my father-in-law passed away, we had a plaque put on one of the benches with his and my MIL's names. Bench is over at the side entrance. Capt Richard J Miller, USN Ret and Lois Miller.
     
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  32. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    It would take something of a miracle to undo that done deal.
     
  33. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    No. A lot of work was done there, hangars, cafe, BBQ pit etc. Even a swimming pool. But they got busted for doing some stuff without permit, the swimming pool I think is gone. The locals were not happy and while unsuccessful in getting it closed, were successful in getting operations there severely restricted.
     
  34. Spacedoc

    Spacedoc Filing Flight Plan

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    Loved the video. I'm currently in PPL training down in the LA basin (first solo this week!) and most of these have been on my list of places to go once I get my PPL.

    Question about Kern Valley- what route do you take from the LA area? Over Gorman to Bakersfield and up the canyon or follow the 14 up through the Edwards MOAs and over the hills near Inyokern?
     
  35. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats on the upcoming solo! It's a great feeling. The solo cross countries are even better.
    As far as routing goes, I've gone both ways. I think the central valley route is a little shorter for me, but sometimes other aspects play a role. If the central valley is LIFR, I've gone the desert route. If winds are strong from the west, you're gonna get a rough ride on the desert side, as it's on the leeward side of the mountains.
     
  36. Spacedoc

    Spacedoc Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the response- so it sounds like both options are viable but weather dependent. Makes sense.

    Actually, I DID have my first solo earlier this week. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I'd be, but after going around on my first trip through the pattern due to a wonky final I did think to myself "I'm gonna have to land this thing eventually..." And I did!
     
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  37. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    You should shoot those approaches on the way! Keep current!
     
  38. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually, Chiraco Summit has a cafe and General Patton museum so close it is essentially on the field.
     
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  39. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    IPL is fairly busy.
     
  40. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agua Dulce was bought by the Spears family, the one that ran a NASCAR team for years. They did alot of improvements so its still a nice airport. They used to have a monthly BBQ flyin in the summers but that stopped about a year or two ago.