Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Paths To/from SNA

Tue May 16, 2000 7:29 am

This kind of goes along with the "spotting at home" thread. Perhaps WinAir can answer my question. And that is: what flight path do the planes coming into SNA follow? They always seem to come out of nowhere. It's not like the flight paths to LAX or ONT, both of which I've traced as far out as Palm Springs or LAS!!!!!
Take Americans MD-90 flights inbound from SJC. Where do they come from? Do they stay out over the ocean and not come inland until-say Huntington Beach or something? Look at a map of the LA area for example. One would think that a plane coming from SJC or SMF to SNA would pass right over Walnut, West Covina or City of Industry (which is where I am). yet I've never once seen ANY planes heading southeast towards SNA from here.
Does this make any sense to anyone?
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Joined: Mon May 01, 2000 10:52 am

RE: Paths To/from SNA

Tue May 16, 2000 7:44 am

I know why the air traffic controller do not want bothering across the LAX traffic landing/departure patterns. The only way the SID/STAR following procedures map charts. The SID/STAR called "TANDY3" arrival. The pilot must fly from Fellows FLW VOR or Filmore FIM VOR to PAROL (waypoint) then to Santa Catalina SXC VOR then to ALBAS (waypoint) to approach Santa Ana RWY North or South. The flight path is west of LAX on the ocean. It depends on weather or airline policy flight plan or FAA or ATC requested. Get it?

You can look it up map flight chart NOAA or Jeppesen.


Posts: 6309
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Paths To/from SNA

Tue May 16, 2000 10:45 am

Haven't been down there lately, but IIRC 134.35 MHz handles SNA arrivals from the north, along with the LAX-LGB departures via Thermal. Don't recall the LA Center freqs-- as you've maybe noticed, arrivals from LAX-OAK are routed via San Marcos while SJC flights come down the Valley (via Avenal and Fillmore, maybe).
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Paths To/from SNA

Tue May 16, 2000 2:27 pm

SNA arrivals from the north are routed two different ways. SFO/OAK/PDX/SEA etc. flights normally pass about 10 miles west of Santa Barbara headed toward Santa Catalina. SJC/SMF/RNO etc. flights normally pass over Malibu coastline toward Santa Catalina.

Usually we are vectored off the STAR arrival to hug close to LAX airspace and cross the coast eastbound very near Hunnington Pier for downwind entry and spacing with arrivals from east. I try to report "airport in sight" and request "short approach" which lets ATC know they can squeeze us in wherever. Works about 50% of the time.

Arrivals from east cross over Saddleback Mountain at 7,000 feet and either descend along western slope to an approx. 12 mile straight-in or are vectored across the final approach path to enter downwind traffic. If one is real lucky and there is no traffic we can occasionally receive visual approach clearance just passing the mountain. Makes for a fun and interesting descent.  

When Santa Ana winds are blowing, SNA lands northbound. Traffic over the mountains stays south of SNA until over the ocean, then is vectored to final approach spaced in between traffic from north. Final approach crosses Newport Beach at/above 2,000 feet.

If you're into radio traffic, VHF 121.3 is the SoCal Approach control freq. that handles SNA finals.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Paths To/from SNA

Tue May 16, 2000 11:54 pm

Well,the previous post pretty much said it all. All I can say is that I flew several months ago from OAK-SNA on WN. It was actually dark until we got to Santa Barbara, but we headed out across Santa Monica Bay......and kept on going! I'm thinking,"when are we gonna make this turn?"
Finally, as we passed Long Beach Harbor (I would imagiine over Seal Beach/Huntington Beach) we made a quick left bank, and went directly inland for a bit. Until that point, I assumed we would be landing from west to east.
Took a LO-O-O-ONG right bank over the Orange Crush, Crystal Cathedral, UCI Medical Center, etc. and came directly into SNA from that direction.

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