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Takeoff/Landing At LAX  
User currently offlineHomer71 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2269 posts, RR: 13
Posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5855 times:

I know that, at LAX, takeoffs and landings predominantly use 24 L/R and 25 L/R. However, I have seen (on Passur) the use of 6 L/R and 7 L/R, in other words, approaches from the ocean and takeoffs over the city.

In what cases would they utilize the easterly approach? Is it strictly weather-related (I guess prevailing winds, etc.) or is there something else (such as noise abatement)?

I'm planning on flying to LAX this weekend and would love to experience a landing from the Pacific for a change!

[Edited 2004-11-16 20:41:35]

"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLaxx5 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5816 times:

One reason for the use of 6L/R and 7L/R is winds. If the off shore winds are strong then the runways will switch.
Also I have noticed, but don't have details, that around midnight 6L/R are used for landing and 25L/R are used for takeoff for a short period of time. Around this time I have also seen 7L/R used for takeoff. This action around midnight I would guess is for noise abatement.

User currently offlineCenturion493 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5779 times:

Agree with Laxx5 re the approach patterns at LAX. The Santa Ana winds dictate the arrival and departure patterns at the airports in the LA basin. The winds typically occur during OCT-NOV and most recently as a few days ago. Sometimes it is significant with gusts as high as 50-60 Kts although sustained winds are not that high. As I mentioned, they affect almost all airports in the basin as most runways are aligned mostly E/W since the prevailing winds are from over the water inland. In re the night time realignment, yes it is for noise abatement.

Unfortunately, (for you as we kinda hate them!) there are no Santa Ana winds forecast in the immediate future (They are also the cause of major brush fires out here that burn from east to west and to the sea because the they really bring out the idot pyros) Usually happens when we get a high pressure that moves to the four corners area and sits. Combined with a cut off low off the cal coast, significant wind results. Some very interesting crab angles have often been the result. I for one have flown into LAX and SNA with such radical angles that I swear I was looking out the windows of the cockpit instead of the windshield to see the runway......


User currently offlineHomer71 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2269 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5717 times:

Thanks for the info...no problems, landing on 24 or 25 will do just fine, I'm on the right side of the plane and will get a nice view of downtown LA and the mountains.

"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
User currently offlineMikeyUSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5608 times:

The noise abatement ops are affectionately known as "suicide ops" because the departures are in the face of the arrivals.. arrivals on 6L/R and departures on 25L/R. Used 0000 to approx 0600 local time, when there isn't much traffic, assuming winds are less than 10 kts in any direction, otherwise straight west or east ops would be used.

User currently offlineFlyabunch From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 521 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5599 times:

I have had the opportunity a number of times to experience landing and taking off from the sea towards the city. The takeoffs are not that special, except that they are pretty rough due to the winds. The landings though, are great. You expect to see the city and all of a sudden you are down low over water without having the land in site. When you finally see the beach, it seems like just a few seconds and you are touching down. It is a great experience.


User currently offlineWesternDC1010 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 332 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5510 times:

For a few days in April back in 1992, there were no off-shore winds caused by Santa Ana conditions. Yet there were daytime departures using 24 L/R, but arrivals using 6 L/R.

The reason?

The infamous Los Angeles Riots.

- Ron
Western DC-10-10

Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
User currently offlineUalflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 58 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5381 times:

They usually use 6 l/r and 7 l/r when there are strong winds and rain showers.

User currently offlineIowa744fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 931 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5328 times:

One of my fond memories from LAX are due to those winds. A few years back (early 2000 I think), we were flying back from HKG on UA. The winds were gusting from the east, but we still landed from the east. Anyway, the plane was just getting buffeted really badly and when we reached the runway, a sudden gust or something must have hit the plane cause we just got slammed into the ground. The F/A said that it was one of the hardest landings that he had ever experienced (Given how much our heavy 744 was shaking, I felt sorry for my friend who was flying the next day into LAX on an EMB-120). Anyway, when we went to take off again, we proceeded out to 25L and the pilot announced that we were 8th or 9th in line. After 4 take offs, they suddenly stopped and no word was given for about 15 minutes until the pilot announced that winds had kicked up from the east and the airport was stopping ops temporarily. After another 15 minutes, the pilot announced that the airport was turning things around and I watched as all the planes in front of us taxied by us on the runway to head to the other end. Then, we just sat there for about 10 minutes...then turned into that main. area just east of the terminals (could see about 15 planes behind us) and sat there for 30-40 minutes. When we finally moved again, all the other planes were gone and we were told to taxi to 6R at the other corner of the airport. Anyway, after waiting again out by the distant int'l gates, we finally took off about 2.5 hours late. We got to DEN just late enough to miss our flight to DSM and were to wait 5 hours for the evening flight (at 9PM). Unfortunately, a storm front moved in and started dumping snow in the area and after many delays, we did not get out of Denver until 1AM. Kind of sucked, but it gave me plenty of time to watch planes. On the plus side, we were stranded in the terminal instead of on a plane.


If you are on the right hand side of the plane, you should get a nice view. If you are flying in from Houston (listed on your profile) or the east, you will get a nice view of the entire north side of the Los Angeles basin. You should get to see the areas all the way in the east like Pamona, Ontario, Claremont, etc. You should fly just south of the Ontario Airport and will get a great view. I also like to look for the Pamona-Pitzer and Claremont-McKenna-Mudd-Scripps college area because I when I played football at my undergrad in Iowa, we scheduled a game with the latter and played out there every other year. Anyway, continuing on, you have more of the city and as you get closer to downtown LA, you should be able to see the Rose Bowl and I think the Colliseum and downtown as well. I assume that you can see USC, but I never figured out which part it is....The Irish will beat USC next week!... What airline are you flying? Generally, UA, AA, CO, and DL land on the southern runways (25L/R) and NW, WN, and US land on the northern runways (24L/R) due to their locations on the airport. Unfortunately, on 25 L/R most aircraft exit the runway before you get a decent view of the TBIT and the int'l widebodies.

On a related note, can anyone tell me what the view is like from the left hand side of the aircraft? I have been into LAX only about 5-6 times, and I have always been on the right hand side. Can you see SNA or LGB? Are they too far away? I know that SNA is like 40 or so miles, so perhaps. Do you guys think that the view is better on the left or right side? I am flying in there tomorrow on UA, and I have a window on the right side. Should I try to switch to the left?

User currently offlineCenturion493 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5286 times:

Oh yeah, forgot to mention the infamous RK Riots which caused the reversal of normal ops.....strange sight also....smoke from all the car and shopping center fires obscuring vis. I also think they didn't want to risk the knuckleheads taking pot shots at aircraft on short final!!!

Anyway, as Iowafan mentions, coming from the east as is the norm, you will have a nice view of the basin and downtown assuming no late night and early morning stratus. In re: USC, can you say FIGHT ON and #1 ??? It is just north of the coliseum.

During a landing to the west at LAX and sitting on the left side of the aircraft you should be able to see LGB and SNA if this is no coastal stratus hanging around. (Generally very thin and clears around 10 - 11 AM daily). Assuming then that it is clear and that you are on a straight in from the east, as you step on down during the approach, from the left side you will be looking at the orange county area that spreads out from Saddleback peak to the water. The route generally parallels the 91 fwy from out in the Ontario area to the coast. If it is really clear, you should be able to see SNA and MCAS ELTORO (Now Closed) on the horizon and the communities of Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Anaheim (Disneyland) etc.... With some luck, you can make out Anaheim Stadium, the Pond and Disneyland if you know what you are looking at while on the approach. The runways at SNA are 19L&R so they will be almost straight out from you on the left as you fly the 25's at LAX. The LGB complex will be very close and below as will be Fullerton Muni and Compton Muni. As you continue your descent, you may also be able to see Long Beach harbor along with the Queen Mary and the dome where Hughes' flying boat used to be kept. The Freeway's that you will be crossing from east to west are the I5, 605, 710, 110 and finally the 405 just before touching down. On short final, you will be right next to the relatively new 105 freeway and if you look carefully, you will see GA aircraft in the pattern at Hawthorne which is just on the other side of the 105. When you are in the pattern at Hawthorne and turn base to final you are sometimes right next to a heavy. When you are on short final to the left side of LAX if you don't know about it, you can be startled by seeing landing lights coming at you as the GA aircraft turn downwind to base at Hawthorne.

Whoa, this is way longer than I thought but hope it gives you something to look for.....



User currently offlineATA L1011 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1453 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5269 times:

I do recall LAX is alot slower in turning things around then most other airports when wind direction changes. DFW has a fast turnaround when it happens which is quite often here.

Treat others as you expect to be treated!
User currently offlineHomer71 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2269 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5242 times:


Thanks for the info on the approach, I will be flying IAH-LAX on a CO 764. I forgot, it will be a late evening arrival, so I will, hopefully, be getting some nice views of the night lights...

[Edited 2004-11-17 19:22:52]

"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
User currently offlineIowa744fan From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 931 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (11 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5196 times:


The Irish fans say "Bring It!"  Smile

Sorry, but as an Irish fan, I have to dislike USC (I came within a hair of accepting and going there, but changed my mind at the last minute...would have been interesting!)....although not nearly as much as I hate Boston College. Michigan is up there too. We ruined Michigan's perfect season...now hoping that we can do the same to USC's season. I bet that the BCS is on our side too!  Smile Also, thanks for the description of the south. Perhaps I will see about switching tomorrow.


You are welcome. I hope that you enjoy the flight and that it is clear so that you can see the entire basin all lit up. It is quite impressive when coming into ONT so that you are already descending. You fly over a mountain pass and the whole metro area is just aglow beneath you. Quite impressive. Enjoy.

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