Los Angeles Basin Hot Spots
The Los Angeles Basis represents one of the most complex airspace areas in the world. It is made complex by a combination of factors not found anyplace else in the U.S.; or in the world. The Basin is geographically constrained by a ring of mountain that surrounds an airspace region that serves between 13 and 15 million people; one of the largest population centers in the world. The Basin runs northeast to southeast. The mountains that range to 11,000 feet; and nothing to the west but ocean. The region’s year-round good-flying weather has generated one of the largest centers of aviation users in the country – from beginning student pilots and schools to airlines and their highly trained air transport pilots; and including varied range of military operations, air taxi services, commercial operators, emergency, police, fire and other general service aircraft to media reporting and charter services. SCAUWG has identified 10 major HotSpots within the Basin. A PowerPoint presentation that features each of the 10 aerial HotSpots can be accessed here.
Anaheim 3 Departure from Long Beach
There have been several instances in which pilots have mistakenly joined the SLI 319 radial at the Seal Beach VOR when departing Long Beach on the Lake Huges Transiton of the Anaheim 3 Departure. The departure should proceed on the SLI 058 radial. Departing on the SLI 319 radial conflicts with heavy jets crossing SLI at 7000′ inbound to LAX. Please review the Letter to Airman and its appeded graphic here!
High Performance over South Bay
In May, 2009, a Cessna 172 with a CFI and student aboard and a Cessna 310 flown by a CFI were involved in a mid-air collision approximately 5 miles south of the Long Beach breakwater — in the area identified as HotSpot #7 in the SCAUWG presentation created almost a year earlier. This South Bay area is particularly difficult because the airline traffic departing Long Beach Runway 30 must make a left turn and depart over the South Bay area to avoid conflict with jet traffic departing Los Angeles International. Concurrently, the South Bay area is a very popular student training area serving Long Beach and three other general aviation airports in that part of the basin. And a range of 1500′ mountains jut out into the Pacific Ocean just north of the bay, forcing traffic flying along the coastline and under the Class B airspace to funnel through the South Bay area. Renewed focus has been targeted at this area. Click here to see an 8-slide PowerPoint presentation that addresses the South Bay area specifically; and reflects on some possible outcomes of this problem currently being reviewed by the FAA.
Burbank Hang Gliders
For nearly 40 years, hang gliders have shared the skies around Burbank Airport with general aviation and air transport aircraft. Many pilots skirting the perimeter of the LA Basin hug the mountains to the northwest to avoid the Class C and Class B airspaces that get pinched by the mountains in that area. As a result, there has been an increasing amount of penetration in the glider-marked area marked Mountain Peak area north of San Fernando Valley. Joe Greblo, a FAASTeam member and active Hang Glider Pilot has created a PowerPoint presentation to better assist powered pilots as they transit that area en rout in or out of the Basin; and particularly Burbank, Van Nuys, and Whiteman airports. Click here to see this 8-slide PowerPoint presentation.
Perris/Elsinore Parachuting — Look Out For Falling Bodies
On the eastern perimeter of the LA Basin are two very popular parachuting centers. They are housed on private airports in Paris and Lake Elsinore. The drop zones around these airports are from 4,000′ to 15,000′. Parachutes might open as the chutist exits the airplane; or the chutist may free-fall for multiple thousands of feet and only open the chute at 2000′. Transiting planes looking up have difficulty seeing airplanes 2 miles above them … and parachutists in free-fall are virtually impossible to see. And chutists may free-fall for up to 70 seconds before pulling the cord. Harry Leicher, ATP, CFII, and USPA PRO Rated Skydiver put a presentation together to help pilots understand what to expect in and around Drop Zones. Click here to see the 37-slide PowerPoint presentation.
Las Vegas Hot Spot!
Las Vegas has requested help in distributing information relative to ground operations at North Las Vegas Airport (VGT) before the Memorial Day weekend. This is a matter of significant importance as VGT has the highest incidence of runway incursions in the nation. More than 90% of incursions at VGT come from transit pilots and the overwhelming majority are from CA. Please review the graphic of this VGT hotspot here!