L0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1556 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 17948 times:
On a recent "The World's Most Extreme Airports" show, I was surprised to see my hometown's airport, San Diego's Lindbergh field listed at #10. I know SAN is not your average airport for a major US city with its single, relatively short runway, proximity to downtown San Diego and high terrain in Point Loma, but to be ranked the 10th. most extreme airport in the world was something I didn't expect. So what do you think, is SAN really that challenging for pilots?
as739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6124 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17734 times:
Many, if not all, airlines require additional training for SAN operations. Now granted this sometimes is nothing more then a short video, the airport is a little bit of a challenge. It's what makes Lindbergh so unique.
I'd have to disagree with this. Commercial pilots have flown hundreds of visual approaches and a true pilot doesn't need a ILS. There is an RNAV approach anyhow that is virtually the same thing. The issue is the combinations of terrain, obstacles and the often forgotten marine layer that can cause mild haze.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
UA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17623 times:
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 4): LGA and DCA by any measure are more of a challenge on an everyday basis than SAN ever will be.
I think it got such a high ranking for a few reasons.
1) The PSA 727 Crash
2) Its the 2nd busiest 1-runway airport in the world
3) They keep building new things around it. Flying lower than the parking garage is interesting.
4) It gets so much hype about how they need a replacement
It honestly isn't super challenging, but it gets so much attention its hard to miss.
pnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2235 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 17555 times:
We booked late for a convention in San Diego. That meant instead of getting a room at the Marriott or Westin we had to book into the Ramada. My room looked towards the Harbor and Navy Base. My boss and his wife were on the other side of the building and up one floor. I still laugh when my bosses wife said she could lie in bed and wave at the people in the planes going past the window. Well a slight exaggeration but not by much. The airport location is not much above sea level and below the level of the hotel. That is part of a reason the as well the airport is a challenge to land at.
redzeppelin From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 572 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 3 days ago) and read 17363 times:
I flew PHX-SAN in about 2003 on HP. They announced as we were departing the gate at PHX that it would be the first flight commanded by a newly promoted captain. I could see that it worried a few of the pax around me. I would have forgotten the flight by now if not for the fact that it ended with my first ever go-around after we apparently came in a little high. I saw a few people hanging on really tight on the second approach. Anyway, I enjoy telling that story whenever the topic of SAN's challenges comes up.
PassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16992 times:
Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 4):
LGA and DCA by any measure are more of a challenge on an everyday basis than SAN ever will be.
This is such an exageration. Top ten in California sure...in the world, I doubt it. SAN should be disqualified simply because it's in so-cal so no matter how bad the airport is, the weather never really gets THAT bad. SNA is worse in my book and we haven't even left the state yet. TVL, EGE, MSO, BTM, and just about any airport AS flies to in Alaska besides ANC and FAI.
Maybe top ten worst with wide-body service...then maybe.
Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 5): 2) Its the 2nd busiest 1-runway airport in the world
What's the busiest?
Quoting pnwtraveler (Reply 6): We booked late for a convention in San Diego. That meant instead of getting a room at the Marriott or Westin we had to book into the Ramada. My room looked towards the Harbor and Navy Base. My boss and his wife were on the other side of the building and up one floor. I still laugh when my bosses wife said she could lie in bed and wave at the people in the planes going past the window.
The Ramada must be a favorite for fellow a.netters visiting San Diego.
Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 8): This is such an exageration. Top ten in California sure...in the world, I doubt it. SAN should be disqualified simply because it's in so-cal so no matter how bad the airport is, the weather never really gets THAT bad. SNA is worse in my book and we haven't even left the state yet. TVL, EGE, MSO, BTM, and just about any airport AS flies to in Alaska besides ANC and FAI.
maxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1088 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 14171 times:
Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 10): Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 4):
LGA and DCA by any measure are more of a challenge on an everyday basis than SAN ever will be.
Both LGA and DCA have short 7,000 to 7,500 foot runways or less like 33 at DCA 5,500 which either terminate into a body of water or onto an expressway. The River Visual to 19 at DCA involves following the Potomoc River exactly to avoid the restricted airspace, with a low altitude turn to final that would get me fired if I tried it anywhere else. LGA has the Long Island Expressway Visual to 31 which is another barnstormer manuver involving a low altitude turn over the 1964 World's Fair Unisphere. Throw in strong, gusting winter crosswinds and marginal braking action reports and you are operating under a reduced margin of safety, that's for sure. And all SAN has is a parking garage? In good weather with light winds most all the time. and no ice on the runway?
B737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 12688 times:
My memory of SAN goes back to the mid-sixties and US Navy/Marine Corps boot camp. The departures and arrivals would go right over us and boy did we all want to be on those departures. Back then it was mostly PSA flying B727's (I believe I'm correct in that). The most interesting aspect, even back then, was the close proximity of highrise office buildings. SAN seemed like it was "downtown" even then.
Sounds like a Beaver on floats..........we're saved!!
RayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8002 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 12060 times:
The biggest problem with SAN is that steep approach to Runway 27, regardless of that parking structure at the end of the runway. I have concerns that one of these days, a pilot may misjudge the landing approach and something really horrible will occur.
zbbylw From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1984 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11899 times:
SAN is not that big of a deal. I like flying into it because the view is nice and it's warm in SAN but otherwise nothing too exciting. Yes 27 does not have an ILS but many airports that regularly see planes bigger than DH8s also have Non-precision approaches. While most places do it is certainly not a big deal if you have to fly a LOC approach! Especially with how we fly approaches now flying a constant decent angle... You treat the MDA like you would a DH on an ILS, decent down to an altitude and either land or go missed. No step downs etc... Passed the faf.
B777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1326 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11845 times:
Whenever you see a TV showe called "world's worst/best/biggest ..." and that show was produced in the US, it's almost guarenteed 99% of the contents will have a heavy US bias, and will thus be worldly in name only. Same league as the "World Series" of baseball.
I could probably name you 100 airports that are far more challenging than SAN, but neither of them are in the US and so they didn't pass the litmus test for this show.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
StarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3359 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11654 times:
Quoting L0VE2FLY (Thread starter): On a recent "The World's Most Extreme Airports" show, I was surprised to see my hometown's airport, San Diego's Lindbergh field listed at #10. I know SAN is not your average airport for a major US city with its single, relatively short runway, proximity to downtown San Diego and high terrain in Point Loma, but to be ranked the 10th. most extreme airport in the world was something I didn't expect. So what do you think, is SAN really that challenging for pilots?
When I look at that list I wonder why WLG didn't make it because where it is located and the conditions it deals with and IIRC you need a certification to fly there.
Also considering the nickname for Wellington is Windy Welly .
Quoting Caspian27 (Reply 19): I would think most airline pilots wouldn't consider SAN extreme. A little out of the ordinary maybe, yes. An airport like ASE however is extreme and somehow never makes it onto these lists.
I don't think many would consider SXM extreme either.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
: There's a wee bit of low ceiling threat during those "May/June Gloom" mornings, foggy fall nights, and during the occasional winter rains. But doesn'
: That parking structure has been there for the past 30 years. The FAA would never have allowed to let the parking garage to be built in that spot if i
: I agree, but there are some pilots who will list SAN as their most challenging airport. A friend sat next to a WN pilot recently and he asked him wha
: The TV show called SXM extreme not because of the approach over a beach, but because of people hanging on to the fence when an airplane powers up for
: I'm with you Max! I really had a good time flying into SAN and landing on 27. Two, Three and Four holers. Remember the hotel (with restaurant on top)
: Like my Navy friends say, coming aboard the boat on a nice sunny day is huge fun. Same for the River Visual 19, Expressway Visual to 31 or the VOR 13
: San Diego is a nice city, has great views when you land and is quirks, I bet Mexico City is more challenging, and since Ill be landing in Paro (Buthan
: I can also tell you from personal experience that MEX is far more challenging than SAN to operate out of.
: Well I have flown in and out every week for the past 10 years, sometimes more than 6x a week. In all of those years only 6 go arounds and 2 of those w
: . Why is the second runway not used? For a 737/A320 it isn't, but for a widebody at MTOW, it is. . Fog is the only weather problem SAN has and I don'
: I've lived in both NYC and DC, and flew primarily out DCA and LGA. Loved flying in on both approaches. This is anecdotal, but once sat next to an AA
: It is on the list because it looks dramatic. Pictures of large aircraft flying below buildings shows well. These shows are heavy on visuals and light
: I agree. I was just casually referring more to the hazing marine layer that often makes depth perception a challenge while executing a visual approac
: 1. The caprtain might not of even been flying that leg. 2. I'm sure the captain had many years experience in the right seat.
: I've heard that the reason LGW's second runway is not used is because both runways are too close together to be used simultaneously. So most of the t
: I know it's VERY rare (happens maybe a couple hours every year on average), but I think landing on either 01L or 01R at SFO would be MUCH more extreme
: 1. Yes, that is a likely possibility. 2. Absolutely the captain had many years in the right seat. That is fact. Which means it probably wasn't his fi
: You're right MEX is more challenging. Due to the high density altitude and transition to final. I have only flown a narrow body into there but I am s
: Actual I would classify it as one of the more fun airports except when you are limited by T/O to the east .Flown Dc9 to 744 to SAN over last 30 plus y
: I find BUR to be much more 'extreme' than SAN. The preferred landing runway is only 5,800 feet and is used by aircraft as large as A-300s. When cleari
: Yea, I've always wanted to see a real video of those approaches because it reminds me of a sort of USA Tegucigalpa, but I could never find one (excep
: My thought as well. Poor minima, displaced thresholds on that 5800 ft runway, non precisions to the longer runway, precipitous terrain surounds and y
: While LGW has the taxiway that can be used as a runway, the number of times it has to be used due the primary runway being closed for maintenance or
: This will get you started. Bonus: it's a Convair 990! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aqI1q9-lGk
: Which is why I think it makes the list. Seems logical. Thank you for the numbers. 22.5% more movements is enough to wake everyone up... Eventually it
50 Barney Captain
: Weight restrictions happen on every take-off, every day. A 9400' sea level runway that has some climb gradient restrictions because of Point Loma, st
: Aircraft flying in and out of YTZ (Toronto Island) routinely fly below the level of the CN Tower's observation deck. It was rather bizarre the first
: The buildings are not as close as they appear. they're at least two to three miles away from the approach pattern. On one occasion, I was arriving on
: I think MDW is a bit extreme, at least when it's rainy or snowy.
: I have to disagree. Until November 2011, I lived in a 22 story condo on the highest point of downtown San Diego. I just used Google Earth for an unsc
: it certainly is the only BA outstationto require a widebody ground vehicle escort to the end of the runway!