Route: We departed French Valley, CA (F70) and flew up to 10,500 feet over Los Angeles’ Bravo airspace directly to the San Marcus VOR by Santa Barbara, CA. then direct to Oceano L52 (Pismo Beach).
Enroute: Lets pull this bird out and into the amazing sunshine of SoCal!!
After dialing up 1800-wxbrief and obtaining a standard weather briefing, we loaded the three of us (Ryan, Monique and my self) and all of our camping gear, food and drinks in the 260B.
Allow me to introduce you all to Ryan. Ryan is a good friend of Monique and I and is a skilled paramedic. He is a great passenger to have with us too. You will be seeing more of Ryan on these reports soon.
TIP: I ALWAYS call 1800-wxbrief before EVERY flight no matter the distance to at least check on TFRs and NOTAMS. I have become religious about doing so. In return it has helped me be a safe pilot.
Lake Elsinore, CA not looking so great among the drought.
Los Angeles from 10.5.
Passed LA and onward to Oceano L52.
Time in Flight: 1hr 24min with SoCal diverting us over LA’s Bravo airspace, as usual.
- Class E non towered
- Runway length- 2300 feet by 50 feet
- Narrow taxi ways
- Runways 11 Right traffic and 29 Left traffic
- Field elevation 14feet or so.
- Runway 29 has telephone poles and palm trees just east by about 500-1000 feet or so. You will over fly a storage area on final approach. (my video is below)
- NO WX REPORTING
- NO IFR approach
- RUNWAY CAMPING!!! 🙂
- Cheap fuel!!!
Oceano is nearly always covered in an overcast layer, however, just about 1-2 miles to the east is usually clear sky.
TIP: L52 has no weather reporting. The nearby weather reporting stations are outside of the airports “micro climate” and will most likely report clear sky with sun, however, this may not be the case at the airport.
EXAMPLE: Below is a picture looking east. As you can see, it is OVC above the runway, however, about 2miles EAST is nice BLUE and CLEAR sky. Most often times this is the case. Stay below the OVC and the sky will mostly clear up.
Allow me to say that I REALLY like Oceano’s airport (L52). It is small and quaint. There was not much traffic. People were friendly (when you saw people) and it is rustic.
The FBO has a pilots lounge….. and a Dr. Pepper soda machine. Inside are movies and a 12inch “Boob-Tube”, coffee machine, a table, vending machine and some literature….Nothing fancy, just what I like.
I never really saw anyone who actually ran the airport, but we did see this note…..**Allow me to point out the last line….. “Drunk most of the time- sorry” This airport now holds a special place in my heart for humor!!!
Near by Accommodations:
Figueroa Mountain Brewery- Great food and beer, as you can see. I would like to make a note of the Davy Brown Ale and the Danish Red Lager. Both of which are remarkable and we ended up buying a 6pack of the Danish Red Lager to enjoy by the camp fire. Here is a link to their web site http://www.figmtnbrew.com/catalog/beers – You may have to copy and past the link, sorry.
Pictured below is the bacon avocado burger with a Danish Red Lager.
Monique and I love camping and being in nature (Read as “I’m broke and trying to start this business by reviewing airports and don’t have money for a fancy hotel”)
TIP: I do believe that the camping fee has changed and is now 12 dollars. Tie downs are 15 dollars.
Our initial attraction to this airport was it’s campground on the runway. You can not camp here unless you fly-in.
TIP: No need to bring your own fire wood. Each fire ring was supplied with a generous amount of fire wood. There was chopped wood already provided by the FBO at the west end of the campground….I think….. If not, I left extra money for who’s ever fire wood that was, sorry. Haha.
The campground has bathrooms but not showers. The bathrooms are nice and neat with complimentary soap, mouth wash and other goodies that made for a nice touch.
Camping while still being able to look at the Comanche, priceless.
CLICK FOR LARGER PICTURE
Did I mention the ocean was about 200 yards away?
We used Uber for our transportation. According to the FBO, enterprise is available but we never looked into the price per day. During all of our travels, we have found that we can usually get a rental car for about 60 bucks a day.
We used Uber for about 4 trips costing us about 90 dollars or so. Uber drivers offer great insight to the city, however, Google can offer similar benefits.
Tip: if we were to do that trip again we would get a rental car. Uber adds up quickly. We spent about $90 on Uber in two days. I’m sure a rental would have saved us at least 30 dollars in and allowed for more freedom.
Avila beach was a wonderful destination that is only about 10 miles from the airport, costing $27 for Uber one way.
Avila beach has a unique micro climate that does not allow the marine layer to fully access the beach. It may be in part from the peninsula blocking the westward winds. See picture above.
Looking west at the peninsula.
Marine layer being kept at bay. Apparently Avila beach is often sunny even when the surrounding areas are overcast. I Wish they would put an airport here.
The Avila beach brew and wine bar provided a great selection of cold beer with great service.
We visited the “Inn at Avila beach” and discovered a truly unique experience that included an old Spanish style decor, fresh baked pies complimentary to guests on a daily basis and our own personal tour of the hotel by Chase.
Walking into the main entrance as fresh home made baked pie hits your nose.
Some rooms come with generous sized romantic tubs perfect for a romantic get away. Rooms with views of the beach are plentiful too.
The Inn offers some prime roof top viewing with several separated private lounge areas for family time. They also come with amazing views of the beach.
For breakfast we wandered down to this place to eat. Zorro’s is Mexican cuisine with roadside seating and delicious food. It is only about a7 dollar Uber ride from the airport.
Ryan is seen her about to mow down the chile verde omelet (pork omelet with green salsa for you gringos) I HIGHLY recommend this dish!
We departed off runway 11 due to the overcast layer lingering just west of the airport. I carefully re-fueled being mindful of the short runway and heavy load.
Comanche reached 85mph with roughly 300 feet to spare and made Monique question weather or not we would lift off, but we did. I forgot to tell her I was gonna stay in ground effect the entire way down the runway. Sorry honey!
Departing to the East looking back west toward the airport and the marine layer. Hard to tell but it’s sunny and clear in front of us as we had our heads slightly in a small cloud during climb out.
This was taken about 15 seconds after the picture above. See what I mean?
We all agreed that Oceano is a repeat trip. Oceano offered us what we love, solitude, camping, good food and beer. For exercise you can run on the beach of Pismo. The flight out was brief but enjoyable. I recommend a fly-in camping trip here so long as the weather is not IFR.
-May your props always spin.