Jason Daniel Shaw
Last Flight From Santa Monica Airport
Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) – Los Angeles, CA
On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, the Santa Monica airport closed to shorten its runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet despite the efforts of many, including the FAA. The city ultimately wants to close the airport forever, citing “the health and well-being of its citizens” as the reason. In the meantime, they have completly disregarded the safety and well-being of the pilots and the residents by shortening the runway.
One Last Landing
The airplane was relocated to Torrance airport while Santa Monica airport is closed for the shortening. However, we needed to get one last flight in to pay our last respects. The weather was beautiful so it made for an amazing sunset flight. We picked the plane up at Torrance (the potential new home for N84347) and headed for KSMO. The mini-route over LAX has been closed a lot lately. Normally, they only close it when the marina layer has moved in but lately they have been closing it even in good weather. We had to take the LA Special Flight Rules to get over LAX which means climbing to 4,500 feet, instead of the 2,500 for the mini-route. This gave us a nice view around the Palos Verdes peninsula and on the other side caused us to fly a ways along the Malibu coast to lose altitude before turning back to Santa Monica. Marco executed a perfect landing and we taxied back to our parking spot to reset the GoPros before taking off again.
One Last Takeoff
Since we were coming from Torrance and only stopping in for a visit, we did our Santa Monica landing before our takeoff. I was able to setup my first Instagram Live of the sunset takeoff. I was even able to talk to everyone as the comments popped up. The iPhone’s signal lasted until just south of LAX which was longer than I expected. It was pretty awesome and I will be doing more of these live streams in the future. Make sure to follow me if you want to see them. The light for the takeoff was perfect and the fires that are burning in Ventura County provided just enough haze to make the coastline look magical.
Dinner in San Diego
The nice thing about being a pilot is being able to fly somewhere for dinner. We decided to make our way to San Diego to grab dinner before taking the plane back to Torrance. I really want to understand what everyone thinks of the situation with the Santa Monica Airport. Leave a comment below or over on my instagram feed, where I talk about this in my latest post. Let me know what you think. What else can we do?