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Last week I went to visit my friend out in California City and noticed they do have an airport over there, so here is my idea. Would it be practical to fly GA aircraft between California City and Los Angeles on a commuting basis, multiple times every week if not daily? Or generally commuting using aircraft in the rural area? I know some areas in Alaska people doing exactly just this, but is this doable everywhere?

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  • $\begingroup$ LA specifically could be hard to do. They are often cloud covered, making landing for small planes difficult. Takeoff into zero-zero conditions is not something I would do, in case you needed to make an emergency return landing. I would suspect LAX has high fees too. You might find other nearby airports more affordable. I would imagine California City is almost always clear, being inland of the coastal mountains and on the edge of the Mojave. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads Nov 12 at 15:21
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As for the latter part of your question, is it doable everywhere, the answer would be a resounding no.

Unless you are a proficient IFR pilot, the climate would be one of the limiting factors in many places. For example where I live in, we have four seasons, of which the fall, with mostly IMC weather, lasts for about 6 months, leaving the other half of the year somewhat doable for a proficient VFR pilot. Now, I'm not kidding, it really is like that here: a couple of years ago it was cloudy (low level overcast) for three months in a row. Most of the cloudy days then were of the sort that would have made commuting under VFR very risky to say the least.

Another hurdle might be the cost. Again, as an example, where I live flying a private plane is ridiculously expensive. Even more so, if you want to hold an IFR -licence, which would be an absolute necessity if you wanted to commute by private plane here.

And one thing is scheduling. Unless you live and work very near an airport, you must consider transit times between your home, departure airport, destination airport and your workplace, and the other way around. Add half an our of flight preparation twice per day, and any time savings you might have thought of will quicky dissapear.

Generally I'd say it depends heavily on local conditions, but commuting by a private plane is (unfortunately) not a viable option everywhere. And I do not think it's a financially viable option anywhere...

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This should be reasonably practical. For three years I have commuted daily in my Lancair from one urban SoCal airport to another, except for a couple of months when I was going to MHV every day instead. Very occasionally I'm forced to drive due to weather, airport/airspace closures or aircraft maintenance.

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