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Why Do PHX-SFO Flights Not Overfly The Sierras  
User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 334 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12636 times:

I've been watching flights between PDX and SFO recently and noticed their routes seem to avoid the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, which would be a more direct route to PDX. Instead, they fly over the eastern LA basin. Does anyone know why this less-than-direct route is used? Thanks.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12600 times:

Are you talking about Portland to San Francisco?? If you are, why would they ever get as far south as the eastern LA basin or even the Southern Sierra Nevada?


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3081 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12502 times:

Most seem to file the Golden Gate 6 arrival,

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/S...9/history/20120921/1853Z/KPDX/KSFO

Can't get much more direct than this.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/S...9/history/20120920/1639Z/KSFO/KPDX



[Edited 2012-09-21 16:18:49]


The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26450 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12459 times:

Quoting AirCalSNA (Thread starter):
I've been watching flights between PDX and SFO recently and noticed their routes seem to avoid the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, which would be a more direct route to PDX. Instead, they fly over the eastern LA basin. Does anyone know why this less-than-direct route is used? Thanks.

Are you talking about LAX? Because PDX-SFO would be going way out of the way if they flew over L.A.

Anyway, looking at Flight Aware, it appears they go east and south and take a fairly direct route to LAX. Sort of routes over the Fresno area and fly similar routings.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineMDCJets From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 175 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12419 times:

Perhaps you mean PHX? (Phoenix AZ)

User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 334 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 12410 times:

Quoting MDCJets (Reply 4):
Perhaps you mean PHX? (Phoenix AZ)

Yes, I meant PHX, not PDX. Sorry about that!


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2560 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12313 times:

It has to do with the available routing, depending on restricted areas, other traffic, and weather. There's a huge swath of restricted airspace north of Las Vegas, and also over the northern Mojave desert (China Lake), and these areas are for all practical purposes, always 'on'. A straight-line flight PHX-SFO would go right through the China Lake restricted airspace, so the routes go either north or south of it. Weather can change things to, for instance if a huge thunderstorm is brewing over the desert. But in general it's shorter to swing a bit south over the mid-mojave. You could go right over Vegas, but that airspace is really crowded, and ATC doesn't usually allow those flights to be routed that way. And if you went north, you'd have to take a huge detour to get around all the restricted & prohibited airspace in southwest Nevada.

I flew for America West for two years, based in PHX and LAS, so I did a lot of flying in this area.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlinerickabone From United States of America, joined May 2006, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12301 times:

There's a whole lot of Restricted Airspace on a direct route between PHX and SFO... China Lake, Edwards, Mojave all lie on the route.

User currently onlineTomassjc From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 868 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12208 times:
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I've recall being on a PHX-PDX flight during the winter that routed north over Utah, flew just west of Boise and then into PDX. Perhaps a more favorable routing due to winds aloft?

Tom SJC



When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
User currently offlinefat-g4 From United States of America, joined Sep 2011, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12143 times:

Same thing with the LAS-FAT route. You usually go north out of Vegas following the border, then go direct west into Fresno overflying Shaver Lake. Either that, or they will take the southerly route. Flying out of FAT, alot if times you'll go direct shafter overflying Barstow and whatnot on your way in. They never fly straight across due to the restricted airspace.

User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 11876 times:

Quoting fat-g4 (Reply 9):
overflying Barstow

And, THAT, my friends, is the best thing you can do.....     



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinerlwynn From Germany, joined Dec 2000, 1081 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10586 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 10):
And, THAT, my friends, is the best thing you can do.....     

There is an In-And-Out there.



I can drive faster than you
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 10530 times:

Quoting fat-g4 (Reply 9):
Same thing with the LAS-FAT route. You usually go north out of Vegas following the border, then go direct west into Fresno overflying Shaver Lake. Either that, or they will take the southerly route. Flying out of FAT, alot if times you'll go direct shafter overflying Barstow and whatnot on your way in. They never fly straight across due to the restricted airspace.

Out of LAS to FAT you will go to the north. When R2508 overflights are low, then the route on the north side would be SHEAD direct KFAT or even SHEAD---SANGO--KFAT. This is really only on weekends, holidays and evenings. During the day, Monday thru Friday you can expect R2508 overflights to be higher, usually at or above FL310 and due to the fact that KFAT is only about 60 miles west of 2508 it's not really helpful to send KFAT arrivals from any airport through 2508, so you can expect a routing like SHEAD--LIDAT--BIH direct Fresno. The south is a different story, when 2508 is active there are NO overflights in the south due to R2515 over EDW and R2505 and 2524 for China Lake, so a routing to FAT would be something like HEC--PMD--EHF. On the weekend we do get plenty of ASH and AAL flights that come through routed BLH--TTE for the ALTTA8 arrival into KFAT.

Reference flights going to PDX from say PHX, can't happen during the week and the do need to be routed through the south due to more room. There is just a small corridor about 30 miles wide between R2508 and the Nellis Ranges, R4800 complex. It's really only LAS arrival and departure traffic that flies through there. Like I said when we completely open up R2508 we take alot of overflights and the PDX arrivals will be routed direct MOXEE for the MOXEE6 arrival and that takes aircraft from say PHX, directly south to north through R2508.

The Nellis Ranges, R4800 complex, tend to always be HOT and it is rare that they allow overflights at all.

Sorry if I got too technical.  Smile



FX1816

[Edited 2012-09-22 01:56:09]

User currently offlineBobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1718 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 10299 times:
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BFL-SLC had good revenue for delta. Good loads and decent yield, but costs were nearly 20% higher than FAT-SLC. I enquirer to Skywest as to why and they said the direct routing of BFL-SLC was over restricted airspace and FAT wasn, so the mileage from BFL was nearly 100 miles longer than from FAT.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 9931 times:

You really need to look at some aviation charts to see the large restricted areas in California - but basically everything from Bishop in the north to Palmdale in the south - from the foothills of the southern Sierras in the west to the Nevada border in the east is restriced airspace.

User currently offlineYellowstone From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3071 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9602 times:

Here's a link to a direct PHX-SFO flight plan drawn in Skyvector. Note that it crosses through the restricted areas in central California, outlined in blue markings looking like this: ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

http://skyvector.com/?ll=35.54742372...04&zoom=6&plan=A.K2.KPHX:A.K2.KSFO



Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
User currently offlineMrFord From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 143 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8744 times:

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 15):
Here's a link to a direct PHX-SFO flight plan drawn in Skyvector. Note that it crosses through the restricted areas in central California, outlined in blue markings looking like this: ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

http://skyvector.com/?ll=35.54742372....KSFO

Just a quick thanks for allowing me to discover that website! Definitely going into my favorites



"For radar identification throw your jumpseat rider out the window."
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8334 times:

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 11):
Quoting mayor (Reply 10):
And, THAT, my friends, is the best thing you can do.....

There is an In-And-Out there.

Well, my experience with Barstow is about 40 years ago, or so.  



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 334 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 4563 times:

Thanks folks ... I guess that should have been obvious to me, but I was thinking maybe they wanted to be over more populated areas in case they needed to set the plane down unexpectedly.  

User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2560 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4315 times:

Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 18):
I guess that should have been obvious to me, but I was thinking maybe they wanted to be over more populated areas in case they needed to set the plane down unexpectedly.

If that were a reason for any airline routing, nobody would ever fly over the oceans. Today, the only things that prevent airliners from making relatively direct flights are restricted airspace, traffic flow routings, weather, and ETOPS requirements.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6018 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2858 times:

Wow. I really overslept yesterday and missed this thread. FX1816 spells it out pretty nicely, though. At my airline we usually go the north route over BTY and OAL to get to FAT, but sometimes, due to driftdown over the Sierras, the southern route over HEC-PMD is the only viable option. Sure, we get everyone there a few minutes late, but at least we get everyone there.

Quoting mayor (Reply 17):
Well, my experience with Barstow is about 40 years ago, or so.

If you ever stop in Baker, you can see what's left of the Silver Lake 4-course range.  

[Edited 2012-09-23 08:56:51]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2844 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 20):

If you ever stop in Baker, you can see what's left of the Silver Lake 4-course range.

When I was in the Air Force, stationed at Travis, we did our winter airdrops (too wet, up north) at a dry lakebed, north of Baker.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2838 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 20):
Wow. I really overslept yesterday and missed this thread. FX1816 spells it out pretty nicely, though. At my airline we usually go the north route over BTL and OAL to get to FAT, but sometimes, due to driftdown over the Sierras, the southern route over HEC-PMD is the only viable option. Sure, we get everyone there a few minutes late, but at least we get everyone there.

        

Hey better late than never?   If you don't mind me asking, who do you fly for? You can PM me if you want, I'm pretty well versed on alot of these routes working at Joshua Appch.

FX1816


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6018 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2810 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 21):

When I was in the Air Force, stationed at Travis, we did our winter airdrops (too wet, up north) at a dry lakebed, north of Baker.

And that would be Silver Lake. The range is just to the NE of the lake.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10399 posts, RR: 14
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2785 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 23):

And that would be Silver Lake. The range is just to the NE of the lake.

Maybe they changed the name......as I recall, it was called Silurian Lake......straight north, out of town, just a few miles and the lakebed was just off the road, on the east side.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
25 Post contains images Goldenshield : If it's what I'm seeing on the map, the lake you're talking about is about 20 miles N of Baker. Silver Lake is just N of town, and end about 10 miles
26 mayor : You're probably right.......it's been a long time but the drive didn't seem that far. The dropzone would have to be rather large (and it was) and it
27 DocLightning : "We were just outside of Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take effect." --Hunter S. Thompson
28 Post contains images LV : Baker is a nasty four letter word to anyone who has had to drive between Vegas and anywhere in California
29 Post contains images Goldenshield : But! But! Wherever will I get my authentic Greek food, Alien brand Jerky, and the local tempurature?!!
30 DocLightning : There's that great Greek place, Mad Greek. And the world's tallest thermometer. It read 107F when I was there in 2002.
31 Post contains images mayor : But, it's 5 letters............. That's why I'm glad we were there in the winter.
32 UALWN : In 2005, I spotted the biggest 'roach I've ever seen in a restaurant at Mad Greek... Gyros was good though. The place is crazy.
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