16 July 2008

SoCal approach, You're the greatest!

LAX from 9500 ft:

We recently had occasion to fly from San Luis Obispo (SBP) to San Diego (MYF). The direct course line is out over the Pacific Ocean and just barely clips the west side of the LA Class B airspace. But it's far enough from shore to make the family a little uncomfortable. I know there are ways to transition the LA Class B, but I'm unfamiliar with those. I asked another pilot and a CFI, but not having the TAC chart, it all ended up with a lot of hand waving.

Filing IFR is my usual plan for dealing with the LA airpspace, but SBP is in a RADAR hole and IFR delays can be... long.

AOPA's flight planner showed deviating to the East only added about 5 minutes flying time. I figured that was a better bet than an airspace bust.

Departing SBP we contacted Santa Barbara approach for flight following. About 20 NW of Van Nuys, we were cruising at 9500 ft. SoCal controller asked about our plan for transitioning the LA airspace. I honestly fessed up "I'm unfamiliar so we are going around the East end over Ontario...." and quickly added "But if you have a better idea, I'm all ears!".

"Stand by, I'm working on it.."

He came back a few minutes later with "Can you navigate direct VNY, Direct SLI?" The simplicity of the question stunned me for a second. Is that all? Is this a trick question?
I replied with a hearty "Yes Sir!"
He explained "The next controller is going to clear you for the C@$%&&# (garbled) transition. Smile and nod. It's just what I told you." (He actually said that).

"Thank you Sir!" Woo Hoo!

Sure enough, a frequency change and the next controller came back with "Nxxxx cleared into class B via the Coliseum transition, maintain 9500." Yee Haw... we're cutting straight over the top of LA.

1 comment:

DJK said...

What are you flying? I have a buddy that flies Gulfstreams-G400 and G450. He's in Switzerland right now....I keep telling him to start a blog...there's plenty of people out there intersted in pilot stuff. Not to mention all the different places that he visits.