KVNY (Van Nuys)

A few miles due east of where I live is Van Nuys Airport. It’s one of my “happy places”. I took my first flying lessons there. They have airshows there. It’s the subject of one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, “One Six Right“. (Highly, HIGHLY recommended!) Sometimes the best thing of all is that Van Nuys Airport has a wonderful public viewing area where you can go and just watch planes take off and land. I used to do that a lot at lunch time when my office was just a couple of miles away.

These pictures are from December 22, 2006, and it’s obvious that the Santa Ana winds were blowing and something was burning.

IMG_7525_smallThe legendary tower.

IMG_7570_smallA lot of big business jets fly out of Van Nuys, like this Gulfstream 1159A that’s registered to a Hollywood production company.

IMG_7552_smallA lot of little guys fly out of Van Nuys, like this newer Cirrus SR-22.

IMG_7541_smallOr this Navion G that had just arrived.

IMG_7482_smallWe (the little guys) often end up on 16L/34R to leave 16R/34L to the big guys. No worries. The viewing area is right next to the 16L/34R runway, so you get your best views of those planes.

IMG_7531_smallChannel 5’s helicopter was leaving. They now have a new helicopter, which flies out of Whiteman.

IMG_7529_smallChannel 7’s helicopter heading out toward Simi Valley. A lot of the LA area news helicopters fly out of Van Nuys (and Whiteman, which is nearby in Pacoima).

IMG_7493_smallChannel 11’s helicopter landing, next to one of the big Sky Cranes that they use for fighting brush fires.

IMG_7488_smallTwo of the big Canadian water bombers…

IMG_7486_small…are often based at Van Nuys for the brush fire months.

IMG_7509_smallThe fact that they were both going somewhere in a hurry…

IMG_7502_small…probably meant that someone somewhere in Southern California was having a bad day.

If you’re in the San Fernando Valley and you’ve got a couple of hours to kill between sunrise and sunset, go visit. There’s a play area for the kids, benches for the adults, and some picnic tables if you want to bring lunch. It’s a happy place!


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