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  #1  
Old 04-22-2018, 05:02 PM
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Arvey Fleur Arvey Fleur is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Sacramento, CA
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Smile Flying into John Wayne (SNA) Advice

I will be flying into SNA for the first time from norcal soon. Any advice on airspace, ground ops, ATC, etc? Thank you very much!
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2018, 06:13 PM
Jpm757 Jpm757 is offline
 
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Don't land on the taxiway!
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2018, 07:02 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
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I've been thinking about a similar trip, approaching from the north. To avoid flying across downtown, it looks like the two options are to stay out off shore (no thanks), or stay well inland and go from Ontario to Fallbrook, then turn east and approach SNA from the southeast.

Is there a better, more direct way for VFR traffic?
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2018, 08:05 PM
cardinalflier cardinalflier is offline
 
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I used to fly in KSNA to visit my daughter in Orange County. You need to take a big credit card and study the vfr corridors thru the LAX airspace. The controllers are good but will not cut you any slack if you are not prepared. I now fly into Chino and drive about 15 minutes more. Chino has an ILS if necessary, no Bravo to deal with, a friendly FBO,and much lower prices. Also, I generally don?t have to deal with the marine layer. Bruce Estes
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2018, 08:24 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinalflier View Post
I used to fly in KSNA to visit my daughter in Orange County. You need to take a big credit card and study the vfr corridors thru the LAX airspace. The controllers are good but will not cut you any slack if you are not prepared. I now fly into Chino and drive about 15 minutes more. Chino has an ILS if necessary, no Bravo to deal with, a friendly FBO,and much lower prices. Also, I generally don?t have to deal with the marine layer. Bruce Estes
Thanks Bruce, that is a great suggestion. The mid-AM stratus was also a concern.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2018, 08:51 PM
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I recently flew into SNA for the first time to meet a friend. Just get SoCal approach for flight following and no worries. They will direct you and hand you off to the tower. SoCal ATC is very friendly and they really want ALL aircraft to be talking to them. LA is a busy airspace.

I called both FBO's and chose ACI Jet. They waived any fees for stopping in if you bought some fuel (don't remember how much - maybe 15 gallons?).
I had my friend pick me up, we went to do lunch, then back about 3 hours later. Plane was filled up and I took off with just a fuel purchase.
FYI, the run up area for the smaller runway is midfield, so be prepared to take off when you get to the end of the taxiway at the runway. Don't expect to do your runup at the end of the runway. Clearance delivery will give you a squawk code, then just fly where they tell you until you are on your way.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2018, 09:10 PM
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I took my PPL in a clipped J-3 at Sunrise Aviation at KSNA. I had a 757 holding for me one day as I zigged and zagged en route to the tie down. He asked ground if they could switch aircraft as it looked like we were having more fun.

KSNA is welcoming to GA traffic. Yes, there's clearance delivery, ground and tower(s) frequencies (if they're busy). Do study the airport chart, familiarise yourself with the VFR reporting points (consider listening to liveatc with a sectional handy) and use the "three aircraft lengths" guideline when following jets on the ground.

When transitioning LAX, I enjoy the mini route. Do study the various transit options. Flight following is your friend.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2018, 10:28 PM
StressedOut StressedOut is offline
 
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If you're coming from the north you can cross over LAX using the VFR corridor. Consult a LAX terminal area chart for the specific procedures.

Basically you transit starting over KSMO and fly directly over the center of LAX at 3500 ft. Set your transponder to 1201 and announce your progress on a particular frequency (I've forgotten which one, but it's on the TAC). You actually clear the southern boundary of Class B airspace as you pass the 105 freeway which is on the south perimeter of the field.

After that you can fly to Long Beach harbor (flying over the Queen Mary) being careful to avoid Torrance (Zamperini Field) airspace. Fly along the coastline and report at one of the reporting points on the TAC when you make contact. It's Class C airspace so call early or better yet call SoCal approach for flight following upon clearing the VFR corridor. Easy peasy.

If there's any jet traffic inbound to the long runway you'll probably get instructions to fly over at midfield and enter left traffic for 20L. Because the runways are close to each other they want to you cut the corner from base to final. Do not make a 90 degree turn. Make two 45's. Much less chance of overshooting the centerline and potentially putting yourself in the way of a 757 on short final for 20R.

I've made that turn right when the big iron is off my right wing just 400 ft away. Quite a neat sight. Sometimes you'll see passengers staring at you with wide-eyed wonder

Disclaimer: It's been four years since I last flew so make sure to get your information from the latest TAC.
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Last edited by StressedOut : 04-22-2018 at 10:40 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2018, 10:47 PM
KTOA KTOA is offline
 
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Get a Los Angeles TAC chart. You can use the Coliseum, or Hollywood Park, Coastal route.

If you use the SFRA over LAX, SoCal will drop you and you'll have to pick them back up as you exit. Just get the new freq you'll need before you leave them.

The mini route is now often unavailable due to lack of staffing at the LAX tower.

SoCal is great to work with. As you cross Gorman southbound they'll soon ask how you want to transition - just tell them which route you want.

For pilots new to the LA basin I strongly recommend getting a TAC chart and use a highlighter to outline the Bravo boundaries. Then highlight the base altitude for each zone. What originally looked confusing now starts to make sense. They're just funneling the traffic into LAX. Spend some time studying it and you'll minimize the chance of any issues.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2018, 12:51 AM
Reaver Reaver is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTOA View Post
Get a Los Angeles TAC chart. You can use the Coliseum, or Hollywood Park, Coastal route.

If you use the SFRA over LAX, SoCal will drop you and you'll have to pick them back up as you exit. Just get the new freq you'll need before you leave them.

The mini route is now often unavailable due to lack of staffing at the LAX tower.

SoCal is great to work with. As you cross Gorman southbound they'll soon ask how you want to transition - just tell them which route you want.

For pilots new to the LA basin I strongly recommend getting a TAC chart and use a highlighter to outline the Bravo boundaries. Then highlight the base altitude for each zone. What originally looked confusing now starts to make sense. They're just funneling the traffic into LAX. Spend some time studying it and you'll minimize the chance of any issues.
Agreed, definitely study the LA TAC before your flight! Another option for getting to SNA from the north (I see you're coming from the SAC area) is to drop down under the bravo near EMT and just follow the freeway south toward SNA. You can stay on flight following, and no risk of being told that the Mini Route is closed.
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