View Full Version : California - where to fly?
5th Mar 2002, 22:23
Has anyone had any experience of flying there? I'm looking at going in either May/June or August/September for two weeks to have some fun and get my hours up.. .. .Any recommendations on which areas to visit / best aerodromes/ good routes / type of AC to rent and who from etc..... .. .I've heard that a good flight is over to Las Vegas but that it can get bumpy (which will be uncomfortable for Mrs.Sennadog) - any opinions?. .. .Cheers all.
6th Mar 2002, 03:34
Sennadog. .. .I used Rainbow Air at Long Beach back in 1999 (they still advertise in Flyer) for exactly the reasons you have in mind and was welcomed and well looked after (2 days getting used to SOCAL and the ATC chatter and the usual check-outs) and then they let me have a C172 for over a week.. .. .Did the aforementioned trip to Las Vegas and not a bumpy bit all the way! Plenty of sun and sandy desert though - take lots of water with you if you go. The thrill of flying at 10000' in a lil' ol' Cessna is great in itself, and then you have LV to look forward to! Watch out for hot and high scenarios and on the way back, why not visit Palm Springs (now that's what I call hot <img border="0" title="" alt="[Cool]" src="cool.gif" /> ). JDI.. .. .HTH
6th Mar 2002, 03:42
Go through the San Bernardino pass, it's only bumpy if there is a strong wind blowing over the mountains. Catalina Island is a great place to visit, just fly round it if the landing is too awesome! Just get the GF to take a camera and loads of film, she'l love the California experience!
6th Mar 2002, 12:34
If in Vegas, a flight over the Canyon is well worth it. I had a quick check out at North Las Vegas and we went out early morning. The view was awesome, no turbliance and we were back for a good breakfast, stomachs intact. If further west and wanting some fun, go see Sean D Tucker at King City - he runs an aerobatic school there and is worth a blast.
6th Mar 2002, 15:30
I flew in the Bay Area 3 years ago and had a mgnificent time. Visited Oakland (flew over the Golden Gate / Alcatraz - a real thrill) and over the wine country of Napa, Sonoma and up the beatiful North California coast to Mendocino / Little River (O48).. .. .Hilly terrain, plenty of redwood forests, rivers, dramatic coastline etc. make VFR beautiful and navigation easy. Away from San Fran the sky is yours.. .. .Santa Rosa has a number of rental operations.
Final 3 Greens
6th Mar 2002, 22:52
Rainbow Air have a good reputation.. .. .I would not fly with Air Desert Pacific personally.. .. .Cheers F3G
7th Mar 2002, 12:44
I can back up the good reports on Rainbow, their websitesite is . .. .<a href="http://www.rainbowair.com" target="_blank">www.rainbowair.com</a>. .. .Contains all prices, info, etc.. .. .If you want to fly to Catalina, Big Bear or over the Mexican border you will require a checkflight with an instructor - but these are then valid for life, i.e. dont have to do them every year, etc. You have to go up if you havent flown the aircraft type you want to hire for a while (I think 28 days), also you will require a checkflight if you have never hired from them before.. .. .They offer excellent block rates and I always hire the new PA28-181, they have new C172Sp will colour moving map for the 'boys toys' freaks amongst us <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" /> ). .. .My tips would be get the Big Bear and Catalina check flights done as soon as you get there, dont forget the Buffalo buger at Catalina!!! (Should be a requirement of he checkflight in my opinion <img border="0" title="" alt="[Razz]" src="tongue.gif" /> ). .. .I have flown up as far North as San Francisco and as far south as the Mexican border, next time I intend to get the Mexico checkout and go down to Baja.. .. .They always have a special of the week as well (last time was Archer II complex), where they knock extra money off the hourly rate, aircraft changes each week so keep and eye on theboard and you could pick up a bargain!. .. .Aircraft have good availiability and only ever had one prob with equipment which was fixed straight away. Instructors are all a good bunch as well (mix of American and UK instructors) and are willing to work around your schedule and arent adverse to joining you on a trip away if you want to get some hours in. We left once at 10am and landed again at 2.30am next day.. .. .Scenery is incredible and if you are not night rated get one of the guys to take you up over LA at night - amazing, you can even see the Hollywood sign! Mixture of deserts, ski resorts, towns, there is even a bloody good fly in steak ranch (only in America!). .. .Julian. . .. .[Edited for cr@<hidden> use of smileys <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="biggrin.gif" /> ]. . . . <small>[ 07 March 2002, 08:45: Message edited by: Julian ]</small>
I can recommend Attitude Aviation at Livermore. They have all the normal stuff, then everything from a Citabria to a L-39! I had a go in an Extra 200 2 weeks ago, with a fantastic instructor called Luca. A few strands of spaghetti short of a full dinner, but huge fun. Nice location too.. .. .A PPruner called BayAreaLondoner will also have some strong views - he flies from San Carlos or Hayward?? I believe.. .. .Good luck
11th Mar 2002, 01:55
I went hours building last year with Air Desert Pacific - good rates, plane stayed together and the best flying I have ever done. Got as far north as Seattle with no probs. Send me an email if you want any info regarding your trip and i'll give you my number - I rember how many questions I had to ask!!!
11th Mar 2002, 06:17
skua - did you get any pics of your Extra experience? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="smile.gif" /> . .. .I do indeed fly from San Carlos. All the Bay Area airports are expensive compared the rest of the US (I'm told), but probably look fairly cheap compared to European prices.. .. .West Valley Flying Club gets good marks from most (they're at SQL and PAO and have Cessnas and Pipers mostly). <a href="http://www.wvfc.org" target="_blank">www.wvfc.org</a> is their site.. .. .Diamond Aviation at San Carlos is good too, but fewer aircraft - Cessnas and Katanas.. .. .The Bay Tour is a must, but other good flying destinations from up here are Monterey, Columbia, Sonoma, etc.. .. .BAL.
BAL. .Sorry no photos, didn't think an SLR and 5G in a crampled cockpit was a good idea ! Weather was less than marvellous anyway. The "warbird" SF260's were doing their bit at Livermore at the time - "only" $800 a go!. .. .Skua
13th Mar 2002, 15:43
I haven't been for a while now but one time I had real fun was when I hired an aircraft from Palomar for ten days and then flew across south ca into arizona. Airfield Highlights were Tombstone (a strip in the desert - make sure you arrange someone to pick you up and drive you into town so you can see the OK corral), Cal Black (near Rainbow Canyon), Grand Canyon (where I was cleared to land number eight on finals) and Kingman on route 66. Flying highlights were Tucson where I was cleared for a low pass over the aircraft graveyard for some great pix, Monument Valley which is just amazing and Nogales, where we parked up and then walked over the border into Mexico. Have a great time whatever you do. I agree with earlier guys who suggested Catalina and Big Bear - they are great short trips for doing your checkouts. Another fun time I had in northern ca was doing aeros with Celia Aragon's school at Livermore and then going off on a wine country tour but it can get foggy/hazy sometimes up there. have a great time
13th Mar 2002, 17:01
give Squadron 2 a try at San Jose, int'. .run by ex pat brit's.. .. .<a href="http://www.squadron2.com" target="_blank">www.squadron2.com</a>. . . . <small>[ 13 March 2002, 13:02: Message edited by: blended winglet ]</small>
13th Mar 2002, 19:05
If you end up as far south as San Diego try plusoneflyers.org. Good AC, cheap and you only need to fly one hour per day for cross country minimums. Most clubs insist on 3 hours per day.. .. .As for a trip try San Diego- Las Vegas (land at McCarren not the small one) - Canyon - Bryce - Sedona (Lots of Red Rocks) - Palm Springs - San Diego. You can cover this easily in 2 weeks with plenty of time off for shopping etc..