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MCO Approach Steeper Than Normal?  
User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7
Posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3874 times:

I just flew into MCO from DTW a couple days ago and my ears are still plugged and popping. I notice this everytime I fly to MCO from DTW, but when I fly to DTW from MCO it doesn't happen while landing at DTW or when I fly to ATL. Why would it just happen to me when I come in to MCO? I am thinking perhaps the plane makes a steeper approach into MCO with all of the other airports around like Sanford etc.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDlx737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1902 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3829 times:

Living in Orlando, I have flown in here Beaucoup times and haven't noticed this all too much except for when there is bad weather (primarily summer afternoon storms). However, your theory of the other airports causing this is logical because when approaching 18L or 18R, the planes are vectored to the Orlando VOR and then line up with the runway bringing the aircaft right over KORL. I've flown with pilots at KORL and they've all told me they have to stay below 2000 ft in order to allow clearance for the airliners into MCO. So I assume the MCO pilots have to stay ABOVE 2000 until they're passed ORL. Maybe then is when they have to decend quicker? Just expanding on your theory. Hope I was of some help.

User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1345 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3749 times:

The smooth approaches into DTW or ATL could be because of the pilots using ILS. The steep approach into MCO is probably a visual procedure. Hlywdcatft, did you fly a 757-300?

User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

Iv flown an MD-80, 757 and a 737 inot MCO from STL and DFW and have also noticed the steep approaches.....the MD80 and 737 was on R17R, and the 757 was on 18L I think it was 18 something. I also noticed on the 737 we had waaaay more tunrs then I had on the 757 and MD-80. the 757 seemed to be a direct straight into runway landing but we did seem to drop heavily and have steep landings.

Alex

ps- i shouldn't say I flew into MCO I rode on a plane into...lol




Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

When they do the downwind/base/final approach at MCO, they do tend to drop them in steep and tight from my experience. Of course, I was on WN most of the time and they do that everywhere they can.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3582 times:

My ears started really hurting a ways away from MCO. My estimate was we were over Ocala at the time because I seen several horse farms and horse tracks below.

Thursday I was on a Spirit MD-80 and landed on Runway 17.

The time before that I was flying a NW 752 from DTW and landed on Runway 36R.

Today I seen several planes doing extremely high approaches over my apartment, a few WN 737s, an Air Tran A320 and a USAirways 762 (landing on 17 because AF1 was using 18R)


User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

I do not consider MCO to have a steeper approach than normal. The only thing that I can think of is due to Sea-Level variences. Considering FL is a very low lying state.



Sean from MCO



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineDlx737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1902 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3535 times:

I've seen approaches to runways change daily but here are some of the basic approaches I drew up on my own from memory and experience:


One of the more common ones:



Another of the more common ones:



Another 17R Approach which I have done a few times as an alternate to the
pervious:



Usually used for Weather if I'm not mistaken:



Usually used for weather like the pervious if I'm not mistaken



One of the least used ones: Flew on it once (rode it actually) bcause of severe wx in the area:



Seen it flown many times by WN and flights arriving from MIA/FLL area:














I know there are also many approach patterns from the NE but I have no knowledge or experience from that direction therefore I'm not going to try and guess.  Smile


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3493 times:

It's all standard stuff for entering a pattern from any of the 4 corners. This doesn't tell us anything about the horizontal profile, however.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineEALSYS1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 229 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3476 times:

I've never noticed anything at all. I've flown into MCO maybe 20 times and no ear popping, pain or anything. I can only guess it's a low lying thing since I've ALWAYS flown in from MIA, 6 ft above sea level!!

Sam


User currently offlineDlx737200 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1902 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3463 times:

I'm aware that this doesn't show anything about the horizontal profile but earlier, Atrude777 made a statement about how having so many turns when he approached MCO.

[Edited 2004-03-21 03:10:28]

User currently offlineAtrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5692 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3400 times:

Dlx737200- The 17R approach from the Northwest is the one we did, I remember that one huge turn we did and i was on the right and rememeber seeing the dipped wing, that is very familiar to me, however it was very cloudy and it was kinda raining so we seemed to do more turns then the usual but we took the same type of route that you showed on the map. We flew Southwest straight from STL by the way if anyone was wondering.
Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlineUSAir734 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

My first time to MCO was on a US 757-200 from PIT. I had the same problem. We landed on either 18L or R, not sure which one, but I also had a similar problem.

User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3319 times:

I forgot to mention when I flew from ATL-MCO I did NOT have the ear popping problem, but I am sure we also weren't flying at such a high altitude.

As for the approach I did into MCO on Thursday, it was probably the second or third one down. Like I said, I flew over "horse country" around Ocala, then headed Northwest where I could see the FL turnpike to my right (i had the rightside window seat). I do remember seeing a big lake which I assume was Lake Apopka since it was the biggest in the area. I could see the intersection of Highway 436 and I-4 out my window and at that time I was still heading east before turning south and pretty much following Highway 436 in to Runway 17R.

As for my flight last January on the NW 757, it was late at night and didn't quite have my bearings. I came in from the northwest, possibly overflew some of the theme parks before circling around Highway 417 (Greenway) and landing on 36R.

I've seen planes later at night (coming from SE Florida) when it isn't busy make much quicker turns into MCO. Usually this occurs on one of the late night Florida Cargo flights like Kitty Hawk from MIA and a lot of corporate flights and commuter B1900 flights. I have seen many planes approach from the east as close to MCO as Hoefner Ave.


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3227 times:

The STAR from the North goes just west of JAX, then straight down the state over Ocala as mentioned, near Apopka, then makes a 45 degree left toward the city. At that point, you turn left to enter the pattern for the 17/18s or right to enter a downwind for the 35/36s. If you are in the north flow, you will, of course, make either one long turn or two short ones to the left to get lined up on final.


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3201 times:

I have had my ears pop several times on approach into CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO. Man it REALLY sucks when you have a head cold, and your just trying to un-pop your whole way there. I had that a few times on CO, once on US, and on AA. I also have experienced a steep take off from CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO on AA to JFK (757.) It was so steep I think someone puked 5 rows behind me.

In sum, I do think there are steep approaches into CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineIfly2eat From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3148 times:

Normally when cleared for a visual approach to one of the 18's you are cleared for a visual to cross the Orlando VOR (Executive Airport) at or above 2500. This keeps above their traffic pattern. This gives you a bit steeper approach. The trick (for me at least) is to get the gear and flaps out before the VOR and then dive to get back on the normal 3.0 degree glideslope. As far as when MCO is landing north, they tend to keep a tad higher so you don't over fly Kissimmee and its airport too low.


Fly the friendly skys and stay out of mine.
User currently offlineBigB From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 596 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3107 times:

The Ear popping thing is a sea level thing. Plus, if you have headphones or anything covering ya ears. They will pop.


ETSN Baber, USN
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6380 posts, RR: 17
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

Worst ear pain I've ever felt while descending was into MCO in Dec. 1992. Horrible!  Wow!


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineERfly From United States of America, joined Aug 2002, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3060 times:

Landing in MCO, the aircraft is vectored over the ORL VOR which is located on Orlando Executive. Because of inbound and outbound traffic to Exec, MCO traffic must remain at or above 2500' until south of the VOR. That puts you on a less than 10 mile final to 18L. Its very tricky to get slowed down and to get down to make a decent approach. Most guys slow the airplane get it fully configured over the VOR and then slam dunk it into MCO. Its a tricky approach.

User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3023 times:

C'mon guys... the difference between having an airport at 25', and one at 525' is loose change compared to decending from 31,000'. Think about it! The air pressure difference is negligible at that point.

Not only that, the cabin pressure change is regulated so that there is continual, comfortable change all the way down. Just because the plane is decending at 2500'/min. doesn't mean that the cabin pressure is doing that.

Also, are we talking about ears hurting during the last 6 minutes before touchdown or the final 20 minutes as you decend out of cruising altitude?



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineIfly2eat From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days ago) and read 3010 times:

Thanks ERFly. Did I miss something?

As far as this ear thing. You have got to be kidding me. An airliner can be descending 4000 ft/min and the cabin will usually keep somewhere around 500 ft/min. Could your ear pain be because you northerners have head colds and sinus infections you don't know about and get on a plane to enjoy the Florida weather?



Fly the friendly skys and stay out of mine.
User currently offlineTheFLCowboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days ago) and read 2977 times:

I thought the cabins were pressurized to 6000 feet or something? If thats true, the ear-popping thing wouldnt matter.


A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
User currently offlineTLHFLA From United States of America, joined May 2003, 593 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

I had a strange approach to MCO last year flying in on AA from STL. We came in from the north, flew over the western part of town, passed the airport, turned toward the east and back to the north and landed on either 18 L or 18 R (can't remember which one) facing north. The weather was good that day, so I am not sure why we had do the "loop."


Bill in ATL
User currently offlineFlyboySMF2GFK From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2869 times:

The pressurization on an airliner is usually based on a PSI ratio which differs in each type of aircraft. Up to a certain altitude the computer will try to keep it on a "schedule" that is based mainly on comfort (200-500 fpm is normal). If you fly too high it can't keep underneath the max differential which causes the outflow valve to open keeping the ratio in check, hence cabin altitude will climb. If it didn't you may overstress the hull - don't try it at home.

If your cabin altitude climbs over 10,000' the pax will get a nice surprise in the form of the oxygen dixie cups falling from the passenger service units. Also if you do a zoom climb or descent, the computer will try to keep the cabin climb/descent rate consistent (but not exactly) with the aircraft climb/descent rate so that the ratio isn't again busted. This is why a slam dunk approach may feel more uncomfortable - ear block or no.

Maybe some pro's could shed more light.


25 Continental : I flew MSP-MCO last August. I found the approach to be normal, no irregularities whatsoever. Quite a nice approach I must add! co
26 InnocuousFox : "I had a strange approach to MCO last year flying in on AA from STL. We came in from the north, flew over the western part of town, passed the airport
27 HlywdCatft : **Could your ear pain be because you northerners have head colds and sinus infections you don't know about and get on a plane to enjoy the Florida wea
28 HlywdCatft : Whats the deal with the last couple of days? All traffic at MCO appears to be departing on the 36's including Southwest, Air Tran, Delta etc that norm
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