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Hour building in California

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Hour building in California

Old 21st Mar 2014, 16:00
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Nottingham
Age: 31
Posts: 5
Hour building in California

Hello all

I am planning a trip to California some time this year to build up some hours for my CPL training.
Can anyone recommend any airfields with good aircraft availability and relatively close to a town or city.
I have looked at Fly Corona at Corona Municipal Airport which appears to be what I'm looking for, I just wondered if anyone has any experience of this airfield/ company, or if you could recommend any other fields.

Thanks in advance.

Matt

Ps, sorry for the brief message / bad grammar, I'm texting on my phone and have fat thumbs.
matt_bell11 is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2014, 07:20
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: London
Posts: 156
Hi Matt - I'm in SoCal at the moment doing exactly the same thing - I'm flying out of Long Beach. There are a lot of firms here - I'm with Pacific Air who I've been happy with. If you do a search in the North American forum, I asked the exact same question about good fields and got some great responses, some of which I've visited already and some I plan to do in the next couple of weeks.

I considered Fly Corona, and the guys there were hugely helpful. I have actually flown into there as well and it's a great small airfield, but I actually like the busy-ness of a bigger field where you have to be on top of the R/T and there are other options in case your plane goes tech (actually happened to me today) and/or the weather is not great - although inland (as Corona is) tends to be a bit better than on the coast. In the end chose LB as it's a bigger city and for me, I wanted there to be something to do other than flying and Corona as a town, seemed a bit small for me.

If you are interested I am writing a blog on my experience - you can take a look at this link Learning to fly from Day 1

My advice - do it - you won't regret it.
Straighten Up is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2014, 07:21
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: London
Posts: 156
http://www.pprune.org/north-america/...alifornia.html

Here's the other link
Straighten Up is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2014, 14:27
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Nottingham
Age: 31
Posts: 5
Many thanks for the reply, Straighten Up, I've read through your blog; it sounds like you're having a great time out there!!

Would you recommend Long Beach and Pacific Air based on your experiences? I'm a bit reluctant to go to a larger airport as I don't fancy waiting round on the tarmac for dozens of aircraft to land, all the while the Hobbs meter is ticking away merrily.

Also, is the airfield far from the local amenities?

Keep the blog coming, it's great reading!

Thanks again.

Matt
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Old 22nd Mar 2014, 17:34
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: London
Posts: 156
Hi Matt,

Thanks - glad you like the blog. I've been very happy with Long Beach - there are 5 runways (3 typically in use at any one time) and the commercial traffic lands on 30/12 where the GA traffic is on 25/07 L and R. I've not waited for more than 2-3 minutes at the hold, while another GA lands and only once had a pattern extended significantly due to a biz jet having to go around and do their own pattern 500ft above me - and that was a) quite cool and b) I was in the air so wasn't fussed. Being at a busier airport also means you learn more about the airspace, and probably become more competent with the R/T, which is slightly different here.

I've also been happy with Pacific Air, they have 1 x 152, 2 x 172 and 2 x 172 G1000, as well as a 182. The aircraft are comparable quality to those that I trained on in the UK (i.e. a bit old but perfectly functional and very well maintained) and I've only had one tech issue for which I just switched into the other aircraft and I expect it'll be fixed within a day. The other school I had planned to go with (LBFC) - were booked up solidly for 2 weeks when I arrived despite me telling them in advance that I was there for 4 weeks to hour build - which I was a bit disappointed with - although to be fair the instructor there was helpful in finding me an alternate option.

The airfield is a 15 minute drive from the downtown area, and I would say you need a car - mine is $25 a day - not just for this but generally getting around the LA area - it's not really public transport friendly. I chose to stay downtown so that I would have options for the evening or days off flying and also if there was a problem weather-wise. On this note when are you planning to come as I've heard that June is not a good month in LA (June Gloom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The other option I would consider is somewhere like Phoenix where the weather is probably more consistent - although in the summer you will bake - even in Palm Springs in March I've seen temperatures in the 30s!

If you are coming on your own, I'd really recommend getting a room in an apartment rather than a hotel. A month alone could get a bit lonely and it's nice to have a bit of company. I've been very lucky here and am happy to give you details via a PM of the people I've stayed with. It's also been hugely helpful with building contacts inside and outside of the local aviation industry and getting tips and hints of places to visit.

Feel free to ask any other questions or PM me if you want any help.
Straighten Up is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2014, 11:16
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: LAX
Posts: 68
@Straighten Up

Loved the blog. Too easy to take for granted the great GA flying we have around here, to which I plead guilty. Suggest L35 (Big Bear) while you're here for a challenge.


ETA: if you find yourself at KPSP or are planning a trip here, send me a PM. Lunch on me if our schedules match up.
mseyfang is offline  
Old 29th Mar 2014, 16:23
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: London
Posts: 156
Hour building in California

Thanks for the offer. I may yet make PSP - I've been into Thermal a couple of times. Big Bear also in the plans - landed at Sedona yesterday which was tough too!!
Straighten Up is offline  
Old 10th Nov 2016, 20:05
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 13
Guys, did you eventually did time building at Fly Corona? I would love to fly some hours in California and they seem cheap and interesting.
Thanks
IFly0toATPL is offline  

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