Flying Over Los Angeles During COVID-19

Flying Over Los Angeles During COVID-19

Jason Daniel Shaw


Los Angeles is currently on lockdown under “Safer at Home” due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, however, you are still able to go out as long you maintain social distancing. The weather was beautiful so we took that opportunity to get out and stretch our legs – or wings. General aviation flying can be a solitary activity which really works out during these times.

Santa Monica Beach during COVID-19


Departing Santa Monica airport, we made our usual right turn at the shoreline. That puts up directly over the Santa Monica Pier, which was deserted, due to being closed by the city. Since the beaches hadn’t been officially closed, they were packed with folks trying to get outdoors and enjoy their time. As we made our way further down the Malibu beaches, PCH was bumper to bumper with cars. We went as far as Point Dume before turning around and heading back.


Once we made it back to Santa Monica, we turned inland and flew over the 405, which looked much lighter than a normal Saturday. I have been saying lately that one positive about COVID-19 is that the Los Angeles looks like a normal city. If you have never been to Los Angeles, it would like just any other city at the moment and not over-saturated like normal. We continued on over UCLA, finally making it to Hollywood. We made a big turn around the Griffith Observatory for a closer look at the Hollywood Sign before establishing on the straight-in back to Santa Monica Airport.


One funny thing that happened was that as we were departing Santa Monica, someone (in a Cessna 172) was asking for a transition through their airspace. He continued to ask if they could help with a touch-and-go at LAX due to the light arriving and departing traffic there. For those that don’t fly or don’t fly in LA, 172s are really only allowed in an emergency to land at LAX. The Santa Monica controller paused and said that anytime he has asked for something like that in the past, they have adamantly denied the request but he could ask. The pilot then told him not to worry about it. It got me thinking, does it hurt to ask for a request like that? You never know if they might be bored and approve it, giving you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Check out some of my other recent flying posts below.

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