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Santa Monica (KSMO) Tips or Gotchas?



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 12th 05, 01:22 AM
Hamish Reid
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Default Santa Monica (KSMO) Tips or Gotchas?

I'll be flying one of our 172's down to Santa Monica (KSMO) sometime in
the next few weeks, probably this coming Friday (returning the following
day). I'll be arriving from Oakland, stopping somewhere like Santa Maria
or San Luis Obispo for lunch before arriving IFR into SMO with a couple
of passengers at around 3pm.

Any tips on Santa Monica airport and associated FBOs? I'm familiar with
the area from the ground, but haven't flown into SMO itself before, and
don't want to miss any less-obvious gotchas or make a major faux pas or
something. And for the IFR bits -- should I expect the Fernando 5 /
DARTS arrival pretty much as-is, or should I expect to get a more
complex airways routing -- or just a series of vectors? I'm happy with
any combination, but it'd be nice to be forewarned...

And one dumb question -- do you tip FBO staff if they've parked your
plane for you somewhere and retrieved it again? OK, since this is LA and
it's a species of valet parking, of course you do, but how much? They
did this once (very competently, with impressive attention to detail) on
a crowded ramp at Santa Barbara, and I hadn't a clue what to give 'em...

Thanks,

Hamish
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  #2  
Old June 12th 05, 01:59 AM
Don Tuite
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I was well treated by Supermarine a few years ago. They're on the
North side of the apron, at the ocean end. I don't think a tip is
necessary for schlepping a 'hawk with a tug. I did phone ahead, in
case they wanted to tell me anything.

Don
  #3  
Old June 12th 05, 02:13 AM
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Add me to the list of pilots who find themselves much more baffled
after landing (where is the FBO for little airplanes?) than I am in the
air.

I've flown from northern CA to KSMO several times, both VFR and IFR.

IFR, I've gotten vectors, not a published arrival. There's a lot going
on down there and they've got good radar coverage, so they're going to
use it to keep everyone going. Unfortunately, this means you might be
in the air a little longer than you'd like.

VFR, by the way, it's pretty easy to get in without much fuss and avoid
the vectoring. If the weather is clear, you may considered canceling
early. You can get into KSMO from the north\northeast without having to
penetrate any B or C space.

Once on the ground, I'd recommend Supermarine. It's the nice FBO and
they handle corporate jets as well as spamcans. American Flyers, a
flight school on the field, also has an FBO and they can park and fuel
your plane, too. Their gas is a good deal cheaper but their facility
more homely.

One nice thing about Supermarine is that they seem more capable of
arranging a rental car than American Flyers.

Other note: on takeoff, climbout straight ahead all the way to the
beach before turning on course. Really, noise abatement is important at
this airport, constantly under siege from rich people with no love for
aviation.

I don't know about tipping FBO staff. I have never done it, but then
again, I know nothing. This falls under the category of important
things your instructor never taught you. Hey guys, what is the policy?

-- dave j

Hamish Reid wrote:
I'll be flying one of our 172's down to Santa Monica (KSMO) sometime in
the next few weeks, probably this coming Friday (returning the following
day). I'll be arriving from Oakland, stopping somewhere like Santa Maria
or San Luis Obispo for lunch before arriving IFR into SMO with a couple
of passengers at around 3pm.

Any tips on Santa Monica airport and associated FBOs? I'm familiar with
the area from the ground, but haven't flown into SMO itself before, and
don't want to miss any less-obvious gotchas or make a major faux pas or
something. And for the IFR bits -- should I expect the Fernando 5 /
DARTS arrival pretty much as-is, or should I expect to get a more
complex airways routing -- or just a series of vectors? I'm happy with
any combination, but it'd be nice to be forewarned...

And one dumb question -- do you tip FBO staff if they've parked your
plane for you somewhere and retrieved it again? OK, since this is LA and
it's a species of valet parking, of course you do, but how much? They
did this once (very competently, with impressive attention to detail) on
a crowded ramp at Santa Barbara, and I hadn't a clue what to give 'em...

Thanks,

Hamish


  #4  
Old June 12th 05, 04:18 AM
Brenor Brophy
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Hamish,

This brings back memories, one of my first "solo" IFR flights after getting
my rating was from Reid Hillview (RHV) in San Jose, down to Santa Monica
(SMO), I also used it as my qualifying long XC for my commercial ticket.
Here is the email I sent to my CFII afterwards letting him know how his
newly minted instrument pilot faired on his first trip into SoCal. Since
then I've flown into SMO on a couple of Angel Flights and I've Filed/flown
the same route as the first time (FERN5 STAR, vectors after VNY for VOR-A
approach).

BTW, I've always dropped Angel Flight passengers off at Supermarine, seems
like a nice place. Exit the runway on the RIGHT and pull well clear of the
runway before stopping for your after landing checklist. There is a
continuous apron along the runway in SMO rather than defined taxi-ways, so
you can pull off anywhere. This confused me the first time - I was unsure
where TWR control ended and GND began (some airports can be a real pain
about this - it is never clear exactly where you should stop. Example, in
PAO you need to pull onto the parallel taxiway - do that in RHV and they
will be asking you to phone the tower). I stopped as soon as my tail was
clear of the runway - when I called up GND they told me I should have taxied
well clear of the runway before stopping.

Brenor
.....

Leg 1 RHV to SMO

Filed: RV VINCO V107 PXN V113 ROM V485 VTU V299 SADDE SMO DIRECT, 9000'
Clearance from 13L at RHV : to SMO, Fly runway heading to 400', right 290,
RV VINCO V107 then as filed, Climb 3000' expect 9000' after 5 min.

On contacting NORCAL I got, Climb 4000', on leaving 2100' right 090. Then I
got own navigation and cleared to 7000'. Around Hollister I got cleared to
9000'.

Got an ammended clearance between just before FLW VOR on V485

"Cleared SMO, V485 OHIGH, then FERNANDO FIVE ARRIVAL, maintain 9000'

Before I got to OHIGH, I was cleared direct FIM (Fillmore VOR is back in
service)

Then got cleared down to 7000' & 5000' just passed VNY I got a couple of
vectors and a clearance the VOR-A approach into SMO.

Made a straight in approach to 21 at SMO.

Leg 2 SMO to SBP

Filed: RV SADDE V299 VTU V25 RZS V12 GVO V27 MQO SBP DIRECT
Clearance from 21 at SMO: to SBP, fly runway heading to intercept LAX R315,
then right 270, RV VTU, RZS then as filed, Climb 3000' expect 8000' after 5
min.

LA Approach cleared me to 6000', then "direct VTU when able".

After VTU I was given another ammended route "V25 RZS then direct MQO"
(skipped the GVO VOR, more direct off victor airways)

Flew that without problems and made a visual straight in approach to SBP.

Leg 3 SBP to RHV:

Filed: CREPE3.PRB V113 ROM V485 LICKE RHV DIRECT
Clearance from 29 at SBP: to RHV, CREPE3.PRB then as filed.

Basically exactly the route I filed, I flew it without change until I
started getting vectored for a visual into 31R at RHV.


  #5  
Old June 12th 05, 06:01 AM
Ben Hallert
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Other note: on takeoff, climbout straight ahead all the way to the
beach before turning on course. Really, noise abatement is important at
this airport, constantly under siege from rich people with no love for
aviation.


Almost. The requested noise abatement out of 21 is to turn left over
the VOR, then straighten out and fly the runway heading over the golf
course. The usual northbound departure request for VFR goes something
like "Cessna XXX holding short 21, right turn at shoreline."

When you land, just turn off the active and stop when you're at least a
plane length into the apron, it's all paved. Tower will usually tell
you when to contact ground, or they'll have you taxi with them
depending on who's in the bathroom or whatnot.

I second the suggestion to land VFR to avoid wacky vectoring. You can
save a lot of time coming down the coast(watch for traffic, it's a busy
corridor) and call into KSMO at Pacific Palisades (it's on the chart).


Oh, keep in mind that it's right traffic for 21 (the prevailing
runway), and left traffic for 03. They really don't want you getting
anywhere near LAX, it's right next door.

Get a copy of the terminal chart if you're going to be in the area,
it'll make life easier. The sectional just doesn't have some of the
stuff that you need to really get around quickly, like the VFR corridor
over LAX.

Instead of stopping at Supermarine, you might want to stop at the
transient parking on the south side of the field, there's a good
restaurant there (Typhoon) and nice outdoor tables.

  #6  
Old June 12th 05, 07:12 AM
Larry Dighera
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On 11 Jun 2005 22:01:53 -0700, "Ben Hallert"
wrote in .com::

(watch for traffic, it's a busy corridor)


If you come down the coast, burn a landing light and contact Santa
Barbara Approach Control 20 miles north (or west). Radar Advisory
Service is prudent from that point due to traffic congestion. But you
probably knew that.


  #7  
Old June 12th 05, 06:02 PM
Hamish Reid
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In article ,
Hamish Reid wrote:

I'll be flying one of our 172's down to Santa Monica (KSMO) sometime in
the next few weeks, probably this coming Friday (returning the following
day). [...]


Thanks everyone for the tips and suggestions so far -- it sounds like
Supermarine will work just fine for the FBO (even with those fuel
prices...), I'll keep my noise down, and I'll keep a look out for the
non-taxiway taxiways. As for tipping -- well, I still don't know, but
it sounds like there's not much consensus there anyway. I
originally come from a part of the world where tipping is only done
when service was exceptional, and the tip might be only 10% at that, so
tipping's always been a mystery for me here.

And I probably should have been clearer about the IFR thing -- I'm
actually fairly famililar with SoCal's airspace VFR (although I've
never landed at SMO before), but part of the reason for doing this
flight is to do it IFR, at least between Santa Maria or San Luis Obispo
and Santa Monica (both ways). I only recently got my IFR ticket, and I
just thought it'd be interesting to try something new -- even if it
means I'll be vectored from here to eternity (I'm based at Oakland -- I
know what it means to be vectored :-) ...).

Thanks again,

Hamish
  #8  
Old June 13th 05, 07:27 AM
John Harper
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Another vote for SMO/Supermarine... I've been there three
times in the last couple of years and been very happy
with their service... rental car waiting on the ramp,
that kind of thing.

I just about always fly IFR into the LA area, and have never
had any truly awful vectors. About the worst was going into
LAX on an IMC day when they sent me maybe 15 mins out of
my way. LGB is fun because they hold you at 6000' over the
LAX final then you get to dive bomb into the airport. I don't
recall anything special at SMO.

There is a truly excellent evolved-Japanese restaurant on the
field, The Hump. I believe Typhoon is also very good but I don't
know because I've never been able to resist The Hump!

As for tipping... never done it, seems to be a fairly broad
consensus. Of course assuming your name is indicative of your
origins, I would understand that tipping wouldn't come
naturally :-)

John
  #9  
Old June 13th 05, 03:46 PM
Hamish Reid
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In article [email protected],
John Harper wrote:

As for tipping... never done it, seems to be a fairly broad
consensus. Of course assuming your name is indicative of your
origins, I would understand that tipping wouldn't come
naturally :-)


You got it :-)

Hamish
  #10  
Old July 12th 05, 11:51 PM
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John Harper wrote:
Another vote for SMO/Supermarine... I've been there three
times in the last couple of years and been very happy
with their service... rental car waiting on the ramp,
that kind of thing.

I just about always fly IFR into the LA area, and have never
had any truly awful vectors. About the worst was going into
LAX on an IMC day when they sent me maybe 15 mins out of
my way. LGB is fun because they hold you at 6000' over the
LAX final then you get to dive bomb into the airport. I don't
recall anything special at SMO.

There is a truly excellent evolved-Japanese restaurant on the
field, The Hump. I believe Typhoon is also very good but I don't
know because I've never been able to resist The Hump!

As for tipping... never done it, seems to be a fairly broad
consensus. Of course assuming your name is indicative of your
origins, I would understand that tipping wouldn't come
naturally :-)


With the cost of SoCal real estate, SMO is a great candidate for
conversion to commercial/residential uses. The property taxes
alone would contribute to shoring up Arnold's fiscal problems.

JG

 




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