Big Bear Lake, Ca (L35)

January 2016

Route: From F70 we head north and climb to 8500 feet, (During windy or turbulent flights, we climb to 9500 feet for added safety) we then proceed to fly over the bigbear lake dam at the west end of the lake.

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Time in Flight: About 21min up and about 19 min down.

Airport Environment:

  • Runway is 5850 x 75 ft.
  • Right traffic runway 8
  • Left traffic for 26
  • elevation 6750ft
  • runway 26 has tall trees on final- follow the PAPIs.
  • fuel is cheap.

I have included approach/departure charts for VFR pilots that big bear FBO offers at the bottom of this report.

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Click for sectional

Just remember, CHECK THE DENSITY ALTITUDE! apparently it is somewhat easy for the non- disciplined pilot to turn their plane into a boat when departing to the west over the lake.

TIP: Tie down ropes are not left in the tie down locations due to snow plow activity. Either bring your own or borrow some from the friendly FBO.

Near by Accommodations: There is the famous restaurant called the Barnstorm with a great view and quaint atmosphere.  Some pilots rave about the food here, however, I found it to be  lackluster both for food quality and price. Your experience may differ. Fuel is available and is very cheap here. The catch is not to become too  greedy  and over fill your bird. Density altitude really plays a big factor, especially in the summer months.  The  Field elevation is nearly 6800 feet. You can see from the image below Google maps  illustrates that the water is quite close to the end of runway 08.  In recent years due to the drought the water has recessed a fair amount.

Down the road from Barnstormer is a great hole-in-the-wall burger joint just before the end of runway 08 called Broadway Cafe. This place is sure not to disappoint.

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*Update 7/9/16- Thelma’s is a great cafe to attend during your visit. It can be found in the google map picture above on the right hand side. Great food and great service every time.

However, they do provide an ATM.

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You would be wise to take advantage of the outside patio area. The ambiance is spectacular.

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As always, watch you density altitude. As many of you already know, this is what you are made aware of during your run-up….

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Looking East toward the ski slopes.

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Looking over Hemet enroute Bigbear

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Full from Thelma’s amazing food, enroute F70.

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Places Stayed: Because  bigbear  is so close we opt not to stay, but rather enjoy the afternoon. During the winter months (snowpack provided) you can call the airport  ahead of time and have a taxi  summoned and deliver you to the  ski resort. The taxi  will run you a steep $20 each way. I have found this to be a bit outrageous considering it costs about 30 dollars (if that) in 100LL each way.

TIP: Keep in mind that there is no Uber or Lyft in bigbear. A taxi is 20 bucks one way. A rental car can be had for about 40 bucks for the day.

Below is an amazing view of the area just west of the airport during our flight back to F70. Sadly, most of this video is  primarily of the back of my head. We are still working on finding a new camera man. Just kidding pops!

Departing runway 26 Jan 2016 looking south towards the ski resorts. The next few photos are facing the same way.

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Looking east back toward bigbear airport.

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As always, more to come as we  discover more.

Here are the pics of the VFR approach charts bigbear gives out at the FBO. ****These charts were gathered at the Bigbear FBO on 2/2016. Double check with L35 for any updates.****

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1 comment on “Big Bear Lake, Ca (L35)Add yours →

  1. Another helpful post. I like how you raised awareness to airport entry/exit procedures! Safe flying is what it’s all about!

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