VFR SoCal video

inigo88

Composite-lover
Hey that's where I fly! And sorry to be a debbie downer, but all I see is a guy scud running (looks like <500 ft most of the way). Climb above 700 ft AGL and bam, you're in Class E airspace and violating VFR cloud clearance requirements (500 ft below, so the ceiling would have to be at least 1200 ft). Stay below 700 ft in Class G and as soon as you cross the shoreline, bam - you're violating FAR 91 minimum altitude over congested areas. The special VFR clearance is nice, but it sort of doesn't work if you're already violating VFR wx mins before you call.

I love flying low over open (uncongested) water just as much as the next guy, and it's often even required in some cases (offshore class B transition at SAN for example) but I personally wouldn't have done this.

EDIT: Skip to 08:20 for the part where he flies INTO a cloud, then dodges the cross on Mt Soledad and overflies the houses at the top by a couple hundred feet. Hope the guy takes his video down while he still can...
 

OCArmory

The local gunrunner
I know. Let's do something illegal, video it, and then post it on you tube. We have a hard enough time showing surrounding communities that GA is safe. Please don't give them more fuel for the fire.
Mike
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Couple of observations.
1. This guy thinks he's a badass but nothing in the video is really all that intense. He had good vis all the way.
2. I didn't see any blatant FAR violations. I don't know the airspace and terrain, and didn't have an altimeter, but I disagree that he was <500 most of the time...the only time I thought he was excessively low was at that one hill, and I have no idea why he didn't just pass to the left of it rather than trying to squeeze between clouds and high ground then buzzing those houses. As far as visibility, I saw some spots where the visibility was certainly reduced but still appeared to meet 14 CFR 91 visibility requirements. It's hard to prove anything cloud clearance wise without your 500/1000/2000 foot tape measure.
3. I, of course, stringently adhere to all applicable FARs when operating any aviation appliance. However, if I were to engage in some low-level hot dogging, I would do it far, far differently than this induhvidual. First, I would not do it in an area rife with things like cell phone towers, other nimrods likely to be doing the same thing in airplanes, and Nanny-state Kalifornians liable to complain to The Fuzz about an "OMG dainjerous low flying airplane!". Second, if I were filming it, I would keep the video to myself rather than putting it on The YouTube. Finally, if I ignored all of the previous and did post it to The Tubes, I would certainly not include the level of possibly incrimating detail that he did. Not that he necessarily did anything illegal, but it doesn't take much for an FAA inspector with a bee up his butt to make life difficult for a pilot.
Oh and finally...the guy is pretty obviously a nimrod who probably needs to get his ego taken down a few pegs.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
Dude definitely entered clouds at least twice and was intentionally a couple hundred feet over that mountain covered with houses. Doing it when you get stuck is one thing, doing it intentionally from takeoff is another, filming it and putting it on the interwebs is a whole different level of fool. I mean, he's in a Bonanza, get a clearance. I've got no sympathy for him if Mr Inspector shows up asking a few questions.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Dude definitely entered clouds at least twice and was intentionally a couple hundred feet over that mountain covered with houses. Doing it when you get stuck is one thing, doing it intentionally from takeoff is another, filming it and putting it on the interwebs is a whole different level of fool. I mean, he's in a Bonanza, get a clearance. I've got no sympathy for him if Mr Inspector shows up asking a few questions.
Eh, like I said, buzzing the houses? Not good. Having spent a fair amount of time remaining VMC around clouds I'd like to point out that there is a fine line between "cloud" and "area of fog/mist/rain that while reducing visibility still meets the applicable 1,2, or 3 miles for legality purposes" and from what I could see in the video it looks a little more like the latter than the former. Did the guy bust cloud clearance requirements? Probably, but like I said without your 500 foot tape measure its awfully hard to prove. Now I don't disagree that the guy probably needs an attitude adjustment as well as a lesson on what is and what is not a good idea to do over a heavily populated area, or put on the Internet, but I won't go around yelling "OMG a dangerous lawbreaker!"
 

tomokc

Well-Known Member
As long as we're throwing the book at this knucklehead, that's appears to be a little faster than a "brisk walk" to me.
 

juxtapilot

Snowflake
Doesn't look like that guy violated any fars... the only time it looks like he was low was when he landed and took off... I didn't see him fly through any clouds either.. just a couple areas of reduced visibility and mist. NBD.
 

jskibo

Done
Not as bad as that idiot realtor from SoCal a few years ago with the flight through the mountains where the bush pops out of the clouds 10 ft off the wing.
 

inigo88

Composite-lover
Eh, like I said, buzzing the houses? Not good. Having spent a fair amount of time remaining VMC around clouds I'd like to point out that there is a fine line between "cloud" and "area of fog/mist/rain that while reducing visibility still meets the applicable 1,2, or 3 miles for legality purposes" and from what I could see in the video it looks a little more like the latter than the former. Did the guy bust cloud clearance requirements? Probably, but like I said without your 500 foot tape measure its awfully hard to prove. Now I don't disagree that the guy probably needs an attitude adjustment as well as a lesson on what is and what is not a good idea to do over a heavily populated area, or put on the Internet, but I won't go around yelling "OMG a dangerous lawbreaker!"
I should have put a disclaimer saying "in Alaska, this would be a non event." Seriously, you guys fly in so many areas where you're in Class G airspace and can use the 1 SM/clear of clouds rule to your advantage (FAR 91.155), and aren't restricted by the Minimum Safe Altitude rule of 1000 ft AGL (within a 2000 ft radius, ~half a mile) (91.119) since you're almost never over a congested area. It gives you a lot of wiggle room to pick your way through this kind of stuff. It also doesn't surprise me that what I might call a cloud, you would call "mist," simply because you're fighting weather systems on a daily basis that are outside the current scope of my imagination. But this isn't AK, this is southern California - land of FSDOs full of inspectors surfing youtube. ;)

Around the 5:00 mark he is definitely below 500 ft. The cliffs he flies wings level with are ~100 ft elevation in that spot (and no more than 300 ft at their highest anywhere in that area). I don't even have a problem with that (uncongested water, more than 500 ft away from any people) I just wanted to point it out for reference because I think the wide angle lens plays tricks on you. Then buzzes the top of Mt Soledad at <900 ft (the radio towers at the top, just to the west of the cross, go up to 1049 ft), and further descends. If one were clever you could argue that 91.119(b) doesn't apply, because he was in the process of takeoff/landing, but the problem is Soledad is 6 nm away from MYF (3 nm outside the Class D) and the TPA for runway 28L is over 1400 ft MSL even when you finally get to the downwind.

I'm not trying to be another idiot shouting someone is "dangerous" on JC because they violated my personal minimums (and were actually perfectly legal), but IMHO that "mist" looked an awful lot like an extension of the coastal stratus marine layer... and personally I think that if you fly into something white and fluffy and you can't see for a second, you're probably in a cloud. I might change my tune when I start seeing more real weather however, but I can tell you I've shot ILS approaches in socal on days just like that and everyone else was doing the same. And like I said, with all the FSDOs and congestion down here, why risk it? (And why post it on youtube afterwards and advertise it?)

Edit:
TwoTwoLeft said:
The pilot in video #1 is a tool.

Video #2 is AWESOME!
Haha omg video 2 IS AWESOME!!!! Tree.... Tree??! TREEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Whoops guess he's going around it! :D
 
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