Southern California - Brackett Field - KPOC
If you're looking for a destination that provides a lot of activities to choose from, it's hard to beat Southern California. It has everything from big cities to small
towns, not to mention oceans, lakes and mountains. The weather is almost always nice and you could spend a month there and never
run out of things to do.
We flew into Southern California from the east (El Paso, TX). As we flew over Palm Springs, we could see smoke ahead of us. We knew there
were a few wildfires burning in the Southern California area and it was apparent that at least one of them was still burning strong.
The sky over Palm Springs was clear, but as we approached the Banning Pass, it became more and more difficult to see.
We were transferred to SoCal Approach over Banning. For such a busy airspace area, we were very surprised at how polite
the controllers were to us.
Considering this was our first flight into Southern California, we had a bit of apprehension. LAX is one of the busiest airports
in the US and the SoCal area has numerous small airports and plenty of air traffic to keep everyone on their toes.
As we entered the SoCal Valley, the smoke became very dense. We descended down to 3000 feet. We could barely see the ground from that
altitude and we had very little visibility in front of us.
We chose to fly into Brackett Field (KPOC) in La Verne. This airport is just west of Ontario and approximately 35nm E-NE of LAX.
SoCal approach requested that we stay north of I-10 as we flew west toward Brackett. There are quite a few airports along this path,
so you have to pay close attention to your position and avoid potential conflicts with airplanes approaching and departing nearby airports.
As we approached Brackett, SoCal Approach transferred us to Ontario and a few minutes later we were transferred to Brackett Tower.
Brackett Field is a nice airport with two parallel runways. It's close to the mountains and surrounded by a golf course,
Puddingstone Resevoir and the Pamona Raceway.
Brackett is a nice sized airport with all the necessary services. The main terminal building has a nice pilot/gift shop, a restaurant and
Puddingstone Resevoir and Brackett Field to the Right
While in the Southern California area, Disnelyand is an obvious vacation spot. It's only about 30 minutes away.
Additonal destinations might include SeaWorld in San Diego, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm,
the San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios Hollywood as well as the famous beaches.
The morning of our departure back home, we decided to have breakfast at the airport. Brackett Field has a
nice restaurant called Norm's Hangar. You can choose to eat inside or they have a covered eating area outside
next to the ramp. We chose to sit outside and watch the planes take off and land. They have a loudspeaker
speaker so you can here planes talk back and forth to the tower, which is fun to hear.
Norm's Hangar Restaurant
The food was pretty good with large portion sizes. They offered quite a large selection of items and the prices were fairly reasonable.
It must be a fairly popular location because all the seats were filled and there was a waiting line of about 15 people.
After breakfast we fueled up and departed over Puddingstone Resevoir. After crossing the Orange Freeway, tower gave us the go ahead to
make a right turn heading north. The smog was so bad that we could barely see the mountains that were only 5 miles in front of us.
Shortly after we were turned east and switched over to SoCal Approach. SoCal Approach directed us safely out of the valley and east
to start our journey home.