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San Diego's Lindbergh Field, An Extreme Airport?  
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 17807 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?

96 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineusctrojan18 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 17742 times:

You basically answered your question why it is extreme. It is challenging for pilots because 27 doesn't have ILS. So yes, it is extreme

User currently offlineas739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6077 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17593 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.

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 1):
It is challenging for pilots because 27 doesn't have ILS

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!"
User currently offlineflyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1113 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17557 times:

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 1):
It is challenging for pilots because 27 doesn't have ILS. So yes, it is extreme

Any approach not preceded by vectors to final for an ILS qualifies as an emergency in my book  



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User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17498 times:

I've flown 727s and A320s out of SAN for years (like 25) and have never understood what all the fuss was about. And neither do the fellow pilots at my airline.

LGA and DCA by any measure are more of a challenge on an everyday basis than SAN ever will be.


User currently offlineUA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 17482 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.


User currently offlinepnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2224 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 17414 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.

User currently offlineredzeppelin From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 17222 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.


Happiness is rediscovering a forgotten L-1011 in your flight log.
User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 16851 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.

+ one.

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.


User currently offlineTrnsWrld From United States of America, joined May 1999, 914 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 16719 times:

Single straight runway located in sunny California. Yeah I'm gonna go ahead and say this airport being ranked anywhere remotely close to even 100 extreme airports is a bit of a stretch  

User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 16381 times:

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 1):
You basically answered your question why it is extreme. It is challenging for pilots because 27 doesn't have ILS. So yes, it is extreme

My question is: How could SAN be considered the 10th. most extreme in the world?! Just a few ranks behind LUA, SXM, SBH & HKG (Kai Tak), so no I didn't answer my question!


Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 4):
LGA and DCA by any measure are more of a challenge on an everyday basis than SAN ever will be.

Why?


Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 5):
1) The PSA 727 Crash

Actually they did mention this crash.


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.

   EGE was on the list too.


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3462 posts, RR: 47
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 16266 times:

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 4):

I've flown 727s and A320s out of SAN for years (like 25) and have never understood what all the fuss was about. And neither do the fellow pilots at my airline.

IMHO, just plenty of "press" about how "difficult" it is. Nothing more, nothing less.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4321 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15769 times:

Seriously, since when did not having an ILS make for a challenging airport ?!


San Diego is a delight to fly in and out of. So it's a non precision approach, if you can't handle that as an Airline Pilot stay home and watch Doctor Phil.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 14979 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 10):

London Gatwick by a mile


User currently offlineNDiesel From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 14465 times:

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 13):
London Gatwick by a mile

I thought STN came in at 2nd in terms of largest airport with single runway ops? I couldn't find the number of flight movements for SAN, but STN had 143 511 last year and more passengers that SAN.



Delta MD-11 JFK-CDG - Upon sunrise I fell in love with Aviation
User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 14030 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.

Why?

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?


User currently offlineUA787DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 420 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 13715 times:

Quoting NDiesel (Reply 14):

SAN carried only 200,000 fewer pax last year, and will overtake STN this year. SAN also had around 200,000 movements, far more than STN. LGW beats everybody with double the pax and 250,000 movements.


User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 719 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 12943 times:

Just to be fair SAN is technically the worlds busiest single runway airport because LGW has 2 runways, realistically it is LGW because one runway will always be unusable.

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 11):

But there are other airports I would give in SOCAL that are more dangerous like SNA, AVX, BUR



Boiler Up!
User currently offlineB737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 12547 times:
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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!!
User currently offlineCaspian27 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 12045 times:

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.


Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7967 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11919 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.

User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 922 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11872 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Thread starter):
relatively short runway,

.......and to add on to what others have said - at 9400', SAN is hardly "short". But the myth continues to propagate.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlinezbbylw From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1981 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 11758 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.


Keep the shinny side up!
User currently offlineB777LRF From Luxembourg, joined Nov 2008, 1285 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago) and read 11704 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
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3354 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago) and read 11513 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!!!!!
User currently onlineTomassjc From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 835 posts, RR: 2
Reply 25, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago) and read 12027 times:
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Quoting TrnsWrld (Reply 9):
Single straight runway located in sunny California


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't Runway 9 have an ILS and can be used during those times, wind permitting?

Tomas SJC



When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
User currently offlineSANMAN66 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 784 posts, RR: 2
Reply 26, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago) and read 12061 times:
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Quoting RayChuang (Reply 20):
that parking structure at the end of the runway

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 it was hampering the approaches into SAN. People used to
say "Because they built that parking garage there" We can kiss widebody service to Lindbergh goodbye!
30 years later, the widebodies are still coming here.


  

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 11):
just plenty of "press" about how "difficult" it is. Nothing more, nothing less.


Throw in a little folklore also! I'm not doubting the steep approach,but it appears the media is once again
making things sound worse than they really are.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
San Diego is a delight to fly in and out of.

Flying into SAN at night is a beautiful sight!



PSA Gives you a lift!
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 27, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 12066 times:
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Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 4):
I've flown 727s and A320s out of SAN for years (like 25) and have never understood what all the fuss was about. And neither do the fellow pilots at my airline.
Quoting Caspian27 (Reply 19):
I would think most airline pilots wouldn't consider SAN extreme.

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 what he thought was the hardest place he flies to and the pilot listed SAN among a few other cities.

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 7):
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.

Not the ideal time for a go-around, but go-arounds are very common at SAN. Too common to make any correlation to the Captain being freshly promoted, in my opinion.

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.
Quoting TrnsWrld (Reply 9):
Single straight runway located in sunny California.

Enough with the sunny California stuff. San Diego gets weather, and it's the kind of weather that restricts visibility and is the number one problem for the airport. Around every change of season San Diego has big problems with fog and the fog likes to hit during the busiest travel periods. Week of Thanksgiving ALWAYS has fog issues and just last week at the start of Spring Break we've had fog disruptions. One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is how when visibility restricts landings to runway 9, due to departure weight restrictions many departures will use runway 27. So you'll have both runway 9 and 27 ops taking place at the same time. That's a less than ideal, challenging situtation that is actually very common.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11849 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 24):
I don't think many would consider SXM extreme either.

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 takeoff. The people are basically "flying" hanging on to the fence for dear life while in the jet blast of an airliner starting its takeoff roll. I believe they call this fence surfing. I call it stupid. I have seen a video on "Worlds Dumbest" or one of those similar shows where a person lost her grip on the fence and got blown across the road onto the beach. She was lucky to have only minor injuries. In my book though, this would not qualify SXM as an extreme airport.


User currently offlinecubastar From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 407 posts, RR: 5
Reply 29, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11675 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
San Diego is a delight to fly in and out of. So it's a non precision approach, if you can't handle that as an Airline Pilot stay home and watch Doctor Phil.

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) just to the north of the centerline of the runway? Just fly by it and you were at the correct altitude if it was just level with your window.

As for DCA, the river approach to 18 was super fun. Also, the LGA expressway and the JFK carnarsie approach to 13. I may not have spelled the name of the approach to JFK correctly.


User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 30, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11500 times:

Quoting cubastar (Reply 29):
As for DCA, the river approach to 18 was super fun. Also, the LGA expressway and the JFK carnarsie approach to 13. I may not have spelled the name of the approach to JFK correctly.

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 13L/R at JFK (the official name for the Carnarsie visual). Throw in nighttime, strong turbulent shifting crosswinds and a rain or snow swept 7,000 foot runway that ends up in the Potomac or East River and you can see why calling SAN an extreme airport is laughable.

[Edited 2013-03-23 11:41:25]

[Edited 2013-03-23 11:43:10]

User currently offlineTheRedBaron From Mexico, joined Mar 2005, 2188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 31, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11463 times:

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) in a few months..I get that will reset my perception on difficult approaches ..
Regards
TRB



The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 32, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11444 times:

I can also tell you from personal experience that MEX is far more challenging than SAN to operate out of.

User currently offlineDLSANMan From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11307 times:

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 were on the same day. I have had multiple diversions though due to Fog/Low Ceilings and diverted to LAX, ONT and PHX. This year I have had more evening landings from RWY9 then ever. I always love to hear the comments on board when we land "reverse'. Ooh Ahh I have never landed this way. From my perspective, people (those that only fly a few times a year) seem to worry because of all the hype. For me, I love coming home every time I arrive!

User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11298 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
So it's a non precision approach, if you can't handle that as an Airline Pilot stay home and watch Doctor Phil.

  
.

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 17):
Just to be fair SAN is technically the worlds busiest single runway airport because LGW has 2 runways, realistically it is LGW because one runway will always be unusable.

Why is the second runway not used?

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 21):
.......and to add on to what others have said - at 9400', SAN is hardly "short". But the myth continues to propagate.

For a 737/A320 it isn't, but for a widebody at MTOW, it is.

Quoting bohica (Reply 28):
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 takeoff. The people are basically "flying" hanging on to the fence for dear life while in the jet blast of an airliner starting its takeoff roll. I believe they call this fence surfing. I call it stupid. I have seen a video on "Worlds Dumbest" or one of those similar shows where a person lost her grip on the fence and got blown across the road onto the beach. She was lucky to have only minor injuries. In my book though, this would not qualify SXM as an extreme airport.

  
.

Quoting as739x (Reply 2):
the often forgotten marine layer that can cause mild haze.
Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 25):
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't Runway 9 have an ILS and can be used during those times, wind permitting?
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 27):
Enough with the sunny California stuff. San Diego gets weather, and it's the kind of weather that restricts visibility and is the number one problem for the airport. Around every change of season San Diego has big problems with fog and the fog likes to hit during the busiest travel periods. Week of Thanksgiving ALWAYS has fog issues and just last week at the start of Spring Break we've had fog disruptions.

   Fog is the only weather problem SAN has and I don't think it's too bad compared to other airports.



Quoting DLSANMan (Reply 33):
Well I have flown in and out every week for the past 10 years, sometimes more than 6x a week.

You're so lucky!


User currently offlineus330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3866 posts, RR: 14
Reply 35, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11076 times:

Quoting cubastar (Reply 29):
As for DCA, the river approach to 18 was super fun. Also, the LGA expressway and the JFK carnarsie approach to 13.

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 MD80 captain deadheading after flying the plane up to DCA--according to him, the only time he ever really feels challenged on a standard approach anymore is the River Visual.


User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1356 posts, RR: 2
Reply 36, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10788 times:

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 on documentary style content. Also because it is easy to get to (for a US based TV crew) and appealing to the staff (esp if the show was filmed in winter). The show also seemed to want to get a variety of airports - otherwise I think they could have all been mountain airports.

The original thread discussing the show ( "The Most Extreme Airports On" T.V. Tuesday (by redtailsforever Jul 19 2010 in Civil Aviation) ) also agreed SAN as a weak choice for the show.


User currently offlineas739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6077 posts, RR: 24
Reply 37, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10722 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 34):
   Fog is the only weather problem SAN has and I don't think it's too bad compared to other airports.

I agree. I was just casually referring more to the hazing marine layer that often makes depth perception a challenge while executing a visual approach at SAN.



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlinejohns624 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 899 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10616 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 27):
Too common to make any correlation to the Captain being freshly promoted, in my opinion.

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.


User currently offlineSANMAN66 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 784 posts, RR: 2
Reply 39, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10628 times:
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Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 34):
Why is the second runway not used?

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 time they use the unusable runway as a
taxiway, or when they are making repairs to the other one.



PSA Gives you a lift!
User currently offlinerickabone From United States of America, joined May 2006, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10545 times:

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 than landing at SAN.

User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 41, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10177 times:
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Quoting johns624 (Reply 38):

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 27):
Too common to make any correlation to the Captain being freshly promoted, in my opinion.

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.


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 first time flying to SAN.

[Edited 2013-03-23 14:11:30]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinezbbylw From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1981 posts, RR: 7
Reply 42, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10010 times:

Quoting TheRedBaron (Reply 31):

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) in a few months..I get that will reset my perception on difficult approaches ..
Regards
TRB

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 sure the wide bodies have fun.



Keep the shinny side up!
User currently offlinefilejw From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 43, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9920 times:

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 years and its always a good time..

User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3115 posts, RR: 4
Reply 44, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9895 times:

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 clearing there is no separation between runway and ramp/taxi lane.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Vivian A Watts



The preferred departure runway has terrain issues and only affords about 6,700' of usable takeoff distance available. This results in load limits for transcon flights; I remember figuring the usable payload down to the checked bag in A-320s. No room for error. While such precise load limits are common with regional aircraft, it most likely is because of center of gravity limits or exceeding either maximum zero fuel weight or max takeoff weight... not exceeding a runway's performance limit.

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 13):

London Gatwick by a mile
Quoting web500sjc (Reply 17):
Just to be fair SAN is technically the worlds busiest single runway airport because LGW has 2 runways, realistically it is LGW because one runway will always be unusable.

Even though LGW can only use one runway at a time, having two runways is still a huge benefit when one runway is closed due to maintenance or a disabled aircraft. SAN doesn't have this benefit. Unlike LGW, It truly has one runway and therefore is the busiest single runway airport in the world.

[Edited 2013-03-23 15:02:36]


FLYi
User currently offlineusctrojan18 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9316 times:

Quoting rickabone (Reply 40):
Quoting rickabone (Reply 40):
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 than landing at SAN.

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 (except FSX videos). If anyone has one that would be great.


User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9259 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 44):

My thought as well. Poor minima, displaced thresholds on that 5800 ft runway, non precisions to the longer runway, precipitous terrain surounds and yeah, move the freakin' terminal already before someone gets killed. Runway centerline to aircraft parking area minimum distance is 500 feet. Those tails on the gates are at no more than 300 feet if that.

As for SAN? Gimmie a break. Climbs out of runway both runway ends are a mess due to obstacles, but arrivals are nothing, just crappy minima. That airport is pure narrowbody nirvana, just a widebody headache depending on where you want to go.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24643 posts, RR: 22
Reply 47, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9232 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 44):
Even though LGW can only use one runway at a time, having two runways is still a huge benefit when one runway is closed due to maintenance or a disabled aircraft. SAN doesn't have this benefit. Unlike LGW, It truly has one runway and therefore is the busiest single runway airport in the world.

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 a disabled aircraft is quite minimal I believe. That would make a very small difference in LGW's trafic data. There's no comparison between LGW and SAN in terms of passenger traffic. LGW is normally considered the busiest single-runway airport. I've never seen anything official that gives SAN that title.


User currently onlinemaxpower1954 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 1072 posts, RR: 7
Reply 48, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8986 times:

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 45):
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 than landing at SAN.

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 (except FSX videos). If anyone has one that would be great.

This will get you started. Bonus: it's a Convair 990!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aqI1q9-lGk


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12784 posts, RR: 100
Reply 49, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8894 times:
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Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 5):
2) Its the 2nd busiest 1-runway airport in the world

Which is why I think it makes the list.

Quoting FCAFLYBOY (Reply 13):
London Gatwick by a mile

Seems logical.

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 16):
LGW beats everybody with double the pax and 250,000 movements.

Thank you for the numbers. 22.5% more movements is enough to wake everyone up...

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 17):
LGW has 2 runways, realistically it is LGW because one runway will always be unusable.

Eventually it will have be able to use both runways... however, I expect one to be moved (increase seperation) and a taxiway installed between them first.

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 34):
Why is the second runway not used?

A lawsuit by the NIMBYs limits LGW to single runway operation until some future date (I forget the expiration).

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 922 posts, RR: 13
Reply 50, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8497 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 34):
Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 21):
.......and to add on to what others have said - at 9400', SAN is hardly "short". But the myth continues to propagate.

For a 737/A320 it isn't, but for a widebody at MTOW, it is.

Weight restrictions happen on every take-off, every day. A 9400' sea level runway that has some climb gradient restrictions because of Point Loma, still clearly allows adequate wide body international ops.

I lived in SAN for 20 years and have been routinely flying in and out of there for the past 30. Beautiful? Yes, but extreme it is not.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlinecornutt From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 51, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8405 times:

Quoting ADent (Reply 36):
It is on the list because it looks dramatic. Pictures of large aircraft flying below buildings shows well.

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 time I saw that.


User currently offlineSANMAN66 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 784 posts, RR: 2
Reply 52, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8144 times:
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Quoting ADent (Reply 36):
It is on the list because it looks dramatic. Pictures of large aircraft flying below buildings shows well.

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 a WN flight into Love Field and the
tallest buildings (downtown Dallas) looked a lot closer than the skyscrapers in downtown San Diego.

[Edited 2013-03-24 14:21:10]


PSA Gives you a lift!
User currently offlinealggag From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 8039 times:

I think MDW is a bit extreme, at least when it's rainy or snowy.

User currently offlinetootallsd From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 8076 times:
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Quoting SANMAN66 (Reply 52):
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 a WN flight into Love Field and the
tallest buildings (downtown Dallas) looked a lot closer than the skyscrapers in downtown San Diego.

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 unscientific measurement to the center line of the approach and got 550 yards as the result. That is much closer than several miles. The building is about 3,100 yards from the runway threshold -- so in that distance I agree with your assessment.

From my balcony on the 10th floor, we looked slightly up to arriving flights. From the 22nd floor, you were looking down onto the top of the wing.


User currently offlineby738 From Tonga, joined Sep 2000, 2237 posts, RR: 1
Reply 55, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7964 times:

it certainly is the only BA outstationto require a widebody ground vehicle escort to the end of the runway!

User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 56, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7444 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 34):
Fog is the only weather problem SAN has and I don't think it's too bad compared to other airports.

Thunderstorms and wind, too.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 2
Reply 57, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7315 times:

As others have already said, SAN is not an extreme airport. There are far more challenging airports in the United States, much less world wide. If anything, SAN is one of my favorites because it's not really all that difficult, but has some great views on approach to 27.

Just in the western US I'd put all of these ahead of SAN in terms of challenge (some only served by regionals):

IYK - terrain and windshear
MMH - terrain and windshear
ACV - weather
OTH - weather
EAT - terrain
MSO - terrain
BTM - terrain
RNO - terrain and windshear
DEN - windshear
ABQ - windshear
ASE - terrain
EGE - terrain
JAC - terrain and runway length (there's been lots of overruns here)
BUR - runway length and heavy VFR traffic from VNY
SNA - runway length and noise abatement procedure



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineMountainFlyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 474 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7263 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 57):
IYK - terrain and windshear
MMH - terrain and windshear
ACV - weather
OTH - weather
EAT - terrain
MSO - terrain
BTM - terrain
RNO - terrain and windshear
DEN - windshear
ABQ - windshear
ASE - terrain
EGE - terrain
JAC - terrain and runway length (there's been lots of overruns here)
BUR - runway length and heavy VFR traffic from VNY
SNA - runway length and noise abatement procedure

Certainly. I'd throw in SUN as well.



SA-227; B1900; Q200; Q400; CRJ-2,7,9; 717; 727-2; 737-3,4,5,7,8,9; 747-2; 757-2,3; 767-3,4; MD-90; A319, 320; DC-9; DC-1
User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 922 posts, RR: 13
Reply 59, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7284 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 56):
Thunderstorms and wind, too.

In SAN?????    Now that I've never seen.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 2
Reply 60, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7193 times:

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 58):
Certainly. I'd throw in SUN as well.

True. Forgot about SUN.

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):
Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 56):
Thunderstorms and wind, too.

In SAN?????    Now that I've never seen.

Agreed that it's pretty rare to see thunderstorms at SAN. Rarely some of the winter Pacific storms kick off a few thunderstorms from the instability of the storm and would have accompanying wind, but it's certainly unusual at SAN.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 61, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7142 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):
In SAN?????    Now that I've never seen.
Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 60):
Agreed that it's pretty rare to see thunderstorms at SAN.

It's not an everyday occurrence, but neither is fog. Note that I said that in reply to "Fog is the ONLY weather problem."

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 57):
OTH - weather

Terrain is also an issue here. And ships...



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 62, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7136 times:
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Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 61):
Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):
In SAN????? Now that I've never seen.
Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 60):
Agreed that it's pretty rare to see thunderstorms at SAN.

It's not an everyday occurrence, but neither is fog. Note that I said that in reply to "Fog is the ONLY weather problem."

Whoa...fog is much more common!

I can count on one hand, in my 8 years working at SAN, how many times thunderstorms have actually hit SAN. They are very common in summer and fall just a few miles east, but SAN is RARELY affected.

Fog on the other hand, SAN has been affected by fog probably 5 days this month alone.

[Edited 2013-03-25 13:38:04]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 2
Reply 63, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7128 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 61):
Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 57):
OTH - weather

Terrain is also an issue here. And ships...

Indeed. All that and an ILS that's often useless due to tailwinds make OTH a real pain in the rear.

That is an impressive bridge across the bay though. Beautiful place to fly into when the weather is nice.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 64, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7094 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 63):
That is an impressive bridge across the bay though. Beautiful place to fly into when the weather is nice.

I hope that I'm just mis-reading that...

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 62):
Whoa...fog is much more common!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it ISN'T a problem. I'm just squashing a loaded statement.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineB737900 From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6957 times:
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Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 57):
Just in the western US I'd put all of these ahead of SAN in terms of challenge (some only served by regionals):

I am assuming that you are not including Southeast Alaska in your west coast list. That area is the extreme west coast. But if you were to include that geographic area, one would have to include SIT, JNU, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg as difficult airports to get into. Weather and terrain would be the difficulties. With emphasis on weather and terrain! Just a thought.



Sounds like a Beaver on floats..........we're saved!!
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 66, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6852 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):

Thunderstorms over the mountains, Santa Ana's and waterspouts off the coast of Southern CA are not uncommon. This would also apply to the LA Basin airports.

[Edited 2013-03-25 19:05:46]

User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2741 posts, RR: 2
Reply 67, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6765 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 64):

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 63):
That is an impressive bridge across the bay though. Beautiful place to fly into when the weather is nice.

I hope that I'm just mis-reading that...

Err, yeah.  

I guess I didn't think of reading it literally as flying into the bridge. OTH is a beautiful place when the weather is nice. Kinda neat breaking out from the VOR/DME B approach and seeing that big green bridge stretching across Coos Bay.

Quoting B737900 (Reply 65):
I am assuming that you are not including Southeast Alaska in your west coast list. That area is the extreme west coast. But if you were to include that geographic area, one would have to include SIT, JNU, Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg as difficult airports to get into. Weather and terrain would be the difficulties. With emphasis on weather and terrain! Just a thought.

Indeed. I'm not familiar with the airports in Alaska, but I've heard they can be extremely challenging.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 922 posts, RR: 13
Reply 68, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6496 times:

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 66):
Thunderstorms over the mountains, Santa Ana's and waterspouts off the coast of Southern CA are not uncommon. This would also apply to the LA Basin airports.

Wow, what a stretch this thread has taken. Every airport in the world is impacted by weather - every. The very infrequent TRW's over the mountains have very little impact on the ops at SAN, some 30 miles away. Santa Ana's? Never, in 30 years have I heard of an operational disruption from those easterly winds. ONT - absolutely, but not SAN. Waterspouts? Now we are reaching. Those incredibly rare waterspouts out over the ocean impact SAN about as much as those TRW's over JLI - that is to say, not at all.

SAN is extreme in only 2 ways imo; it's beauty and it's benignness. There are literally dozens of U.S. airports that get my attention when operating in to them either because of runway or weather patterns - SAN isn't one of them. And that's a good thing.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6386 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 68):
Wow, what a stretch this thread has taken. Every airport in the world is impacted by weather - every. The very infrequent TRW's over the mountains have very little impact on the ops at SAN, some 30 miles away. Santa Ana's? Never, in 30 years have I heard of an operational disruption from those easterly winds. SAN. Waterspouts? Now we are reaching. Those incredibly rare waterspouts out over the ocean impact SAN about as much as those TRW's over JLI - that is to say, not at all.SAN is extreme in only 2 ways imo; it's beauty and it's benignness. There are literally dozens of U.S. airports that get my attention when operating in to them either because of runway or weather patterns - SAN isn't one of them. And that's a good thing.

I'm not arguing that it is an extreme airport. I simply stated a fact in response to this comment you made about the existence of thunderstorms:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):
In SAN????? Now that I've never seen.


If you are going to insist that the airport is not impacted by Santa Ana's then I'd have to decline to agree with you on that point as well. Runway 9 operations carry quite a weigh penalty:

RWY 9: 400-1 with minimum climb of 610’ per NM to 1900 or standard with a minimum climb of 686' per NM to 1900.

[Edited 2013-03-26 12:49:06]

User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5554 posts, RR: 6
Reply 70, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 6376 times:

Quoting bohica (Reply 28):
I have seen a video on "Worlds Dumbest" or one of those similar shows where a person lost her grip on the fence and got blown across the road onto the beach

She didn't just get blown onto the beach, she went headfirst into the raised concrete curb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CGBJe_Yu-k



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 71, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6106 times:

Yes, there is terrain, yes there is weather, yes it's busy at times, yes, yes, yes...but the subject of this thread isn't "does SAN have challenges to aircraft operations" this thread is about SAN being #10 in the world, or put another way, there are only 9 other airports IN THE WORLD that are more difficult to operate into/out of then SAN! I think the conclusion is that SAN might not even be NUMBER 10 in the western US, maybe not even in California, forget about THE WORLD!

User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 72, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6040 times:
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Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 71):
Yes, there is terrain, yes there is weather, yes it's busy at times, yes, yes, yes...but the subject of this thread isn't "does SAN have challenges to aircraft operations" this thread is about SAN being #10 in the world, or put another way, there are only 9 other airports IN THE WORLD that are more difficult to operate into/out of then SAN! I think the conclusion is that SAN might not even be NUMBER 10 in the western US, maybe not even in California, forget about THE WORLD!

I think what gets overlooked is that the name of the show is "Most Extreme". That, to me, is a vague title. I've heard many refer to that top 10 as "scariest airports in the world"... No, it's "Most extreme" which can really mean a wide variety of things, all open to interpretation.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 922 posts, RR: 13
Reply 73, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5993 times:

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 69):
I'm not arguing that it is an extreme airport. I simply stated a fact in response to this comment you made about the existence of thunderstorms:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):
In SAN????? Now that I've never seen.

Correct. Flying out of there for the last 35 years and living there for the past 20, my observation is TRW activity within 10nm of SAN is virtually non-existent.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 74, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5926 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 73):
Correct. Flying out of there for the last 35 years and living there for the past 20, my observation is TRW activity within 10nm of SAN is virtually non-existent.

My radar says otherwise. But then again, I don't live there, so I can't possibly know what's going on...

I had 2 lightning strikes in one day back in February, too. February, of all months.

[Edited 2013-03-27 02:14:45]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 75, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5693 times:
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Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 73):

Quoting Boeing717200 (Reply 69):
I'm not arguing that it is an extreme airport. I simply stated a fact in response to this comment you made about the existence of thunderstorms:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 59):
In SAN????? Now that I've never seen.

Correct. Flying out of there for the last 35 years and living there for the past 20, my observation is TRW activity within 10nm of SAN is virtually non-existent.


Like I said above, in my 8 years of working at SAN, I can count on one hand how many times the airport has actually experienced a thunderstorm.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineBarney Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 922 posts, RR: 13
Reply 76, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 75):
Like I said above, in my 8 years of working at SAN, I can count on one hand how many times the airport has actually experienced a thunderstorm.

Yup. But don't tell Goldenshield - he's convinced it's more of an issue. I don't see a mean average of 3 a year worth even mentioning - right near the bottom of the list. For comparison, ABQ averages 44, and TPA a solid 55. Heck even ONT gets 5.

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westcomp.th.html

MEAN MONTHLY AND ANNUAL NUMBER OF THUNDERSTORMS

ALAMEDA NAS * * * * * * * * * * * * 6
BAKERSFIELD * * 1 * * * * * 1 * * * 3
BEALE AFB-MARYSVILLE 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12
BISHOP 0 0 0 * 1 1 5 3 1 * * 0 12
BLUE CANYON * * 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 1 * 0 12
BLYTHE 0 * * * * * 3 3 2 * 0 0 9
CAMP PENDLETON MCAS * 1 1 0 * * * 1 * * * * 5
DAGGETT-BARSTOW AP * * * 1 * 1 4 4 2 * * * 12
EDWARDS AFB * * 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 * 10
EL TORO MCAS-TUSTIN 1 * 1 * * * * * * 1 * * 3
EUREKA 1 1 * * * * * * * * 1 1 4
FAIRFIELD-TRAVIS AFB * * * * 1 0 * 0 * * * 0 2
FORT ORD-MONTEREY 1 1 1 1 * * * 1 1 1 1 * 8
FRESNO * * 1 1 1 1 * * 1 1 * * 5
IMPERIAL BEACH NALF * * * * 0 * * * * * * * 5
LEMOORE NAS * * 1 * * * * * 1 * * * 2
LONG BEACH * 1 1 * * * * * 1 * * * 4
LOS ANGELES AP * 1 1 * * * * * * * * * 4
LOS ANGELES CITY 1 1 1 1 * * * * * * 1 1 6
MIRAMAR NAS * 1 1 * * * * * * * * * 2
MOFFETT FIELD * * * * * * * * * * * * 6
MT SHASTA CITY * * * 1 3 3 3 2 1 * * * 13
NEEDLES AP * * * * * * 4 4 2 1 * * 13
NORTH ISLAND NAS * * 1 * * * * * * * * * 1
OAKLAND * * * * * * * * * * * * 2
ONTARIO AP 1 1 1 * * * * * 1 1 * * 5
OXNARD-PT MUGU PMTC 1 1 * * * * * * * * * * 2
REDDING 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 * * 13
RED BLUFF * 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 * * 10
SACRAMENTO * 1 1 1 * * * * 1 * * * 5
SANDBERG * * * 1 1 * 1 1 1 * * * 4
SAN DIEGO * * * * * * * * * * * * 3
SAN FRANCISCO AP * * * * * * * * * * * * 2
SAN FRANCISCO CI * * * * * * * * * * * * 2
SANTA BARBARA * * * * * * * * * * * 1 3
SANTA MARIA * * * * * * * * * * * * 2
STOCKTON * * * 1 * * * * * * * * 3
THERMAL AP * 0 * * * 0 3 2 1 * * * 7
TUSTIN MCAS 1 1 1 * * * * * 1 * * * 4
VICTORVILLE-GRG AFB 1 * 1 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 1 * 13



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 77, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5496 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 76):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 75):
Like I said above, in my 8 years of working at SAN, I can count on one hand how many times the airport has actually experienced a thunderstorm.

Yup. But don't tell Goldenshield - he's convinced it's more of an issue.

Um, no. Don't put words in my mouth. You're changing the context of what I've said, and spinning it.

ALSO, there's more than just storms at/over the airport. you have to look at how even a small storm not over the airport affects the traffic flying through the area.

[Edited 2013-03-27 13:06:04]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 78, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5465 times:
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Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 77):
Um, no. Don't put words in my mouth. You're changing the context of what I've said, and spinning it.

ALSO, there's more than just storms at/over the airport. you have to look at how even a small storm not over the airport affects the traffic flying through the area.

I think you're reaching a bit.

Let's face it. The number one, and practally the only weather issue SAN has is visibility. The random storm here and there is possible, but hardly worth mention. I'd say there's a greater chance of an earthquake disrupting SAN ops than wind and thunderstorms.

[Edited 2013-03-27 13:23:47]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 79, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5439 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 78):
I'd say there's a greater chance of an earthquake disrupting SAN ops

Now I think you're reaching a bit there.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 26
Reply 80, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5421 times:
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Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 79):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 78):
I'd say there's a greater chance of an earthquake disrupting SAN ops

Now I think you're reaching a bit there.


Haha maybe, but...

There has only been one storm that I can think of in my time working here that caused SAN to basically shut down. There has been one significant earthquake event in that same time. Plus, the earthquake that caused a rebuild of gates 1 and 2, but I'll only count that has half since it happened right before I got to San Diego.

 

[Edited 2013-03-27 13:54:42]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineBoeing717200 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 81, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5324 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 76):

You're also trying to spin my words. I said over the mountains which isn't San Diego and is in an area where the dry air from the desert bumps ups against storms from the west and thunderstorms would therefore be common.


User currently offlineCaspian27 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 381 posts, RR: 0
Reply 82, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5199 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 57):
IYK - terrain and windshear
MMH - terrain and windshear
ACV - weather
OTH - weather
EAT - terrain
MSO - terrain
BTM - terrain
RNO - terrain and windshear
DEN - windshear
ABQ - windshear
ASE - terrain
EGE - terrain
JAC - terrain and runway length (there's been lots of overruns here)
BUR - runway length and heavy VFR traffic from VNY
SNA - runway length and noise abatement procedure

Good list, but I would throw windshear on every single mountainous airport on this list. I have no experience at IYK,MMH,ACV, OTH or EAT. But the others on the list, I fly to on a regular basis. Some of the worst windshear I've experienced as a pilot has been into DEN (which you listed), ASE, EGE and MSO. I personally wouldn't include BUR or SNA, short runways and busy airspace yes, but nothing I would call extreme. The noise abatement procedure is a little out of the ordinary, but I would call it fun as opposed to extreme.



Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4881 times:

Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 50):
Weight restrictions happen on every take-off,

They may happen but we never hear about them, unlike BA's flights.


Quoting cornutt (Reply 51):
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 time I saw that.

   Loved the views up there, YTZ is kinda a mini SAN.


Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 62):
Whoa...fog is much more common!

I can count on one hand, in my 8 years working at SAN, how many times thunderstorms have actually hit SAN. They are very common in summer and fall just a few miles east, but SAN is RARELY affected.

Fog on the other hand, SAN has been affected by fog probably 5 days this month alone.

   I don't even remember when was the last time SAN had flight disruptions due to thunderstorms, it's always fog.


Quoting Barney Captain (Reply 68):
Wow, what a stretch this thread has taken.

You should check out some threads on the non-aviation forum!


Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 70):
She didn't just get blown onto the beach, she went headfirst into the raised concrete curb.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CGBJ..._Yu-k

Ouch, that looked so painful, hope she wasn't seriously injured.


Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 71):
Yes, there is terrain, yes there is weather, yes it's busy at times, yes, yes, yes...but the subject of this thread isn't "does SAN have challenges to aircraft operations" this thread is about SAN being #10 in the world, or put another way, there are only 9 other airports IN THE WORLD that are more difficult to operate into/out of then SAN! I think the conclusion is that SAN might not even be NUMBER 10 in the western US, maybe not even in California, forget about THE WORLD!

  


User currently offlineusctrojan18 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4851 times:

This whole debate is kind of pointless since the History Channel isn't gonna send a crew to a different airport, and then replace the film of SAN with that airport, so that all future showing of Extreme Airports don't show SAN. I think it's kinda funny that the A.net took it this far though.

User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4553 times:

Quoting usctrojan18 (Reply 84):
This whole debate is kind of pointless since the History Channel isn't gonna send a crew to a different airport, and then replace the film of SAN with that airport, so that all future showing of Extreme Airports don't show SAN. I think it's kinda funny that the A.net took it this far though.

Of course they're not gonna change it, they don't have to, considering the fact that 95+% of the population can't differentiate between a Boeing & an Airbus! Let alone know the world's most extreme airports.


User currently offlineUAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2392 posts, RR: 12
Reply 86, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4495 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 57):
DEN - windshear

I was going to say that DEN really isn't all that extreme but I bet its one of the only airports where you can pretty much guarantee you will see several tornado's each year from the window. The thing about DEN is the weather there can be EXTREME and like nothing you have ever seen before but give it 15 min and things will be all better. The most unforgiving part of DEN weather has to be the hail, that can ruin an airlines day.



/// UNITED AIRLINES
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 752 posts, RR: 1
Reply 87, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4415 times:

Another thread bites the dust to the tune of trying to be the smartest guy in the room.

User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 88, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4177 times:

Quoting DualQual (Reply 87):
Another thread bites the dust to the tune of trying to be the smartest guy in the room.

What are you talking about?! Folks always try to prove themselves right everywhere and all the time, it's not only on this thread / forum / website.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 2954 posts, RR: 7
Reply 89, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4119 times:

Quoting UA787DEN (Reply 5):
I think it got such a high ranking for a few reasons.
1) The PSA 727 Crash

PSA 182 could have happened at any airport in pre-TCAS days, and it often did. That's a poor example of sensationalism.

It's like calling GOL an unsafe airline because they had a mid-air that wasn't their fault at all, as another publication did.


User currently offlineSANMAN66 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 784 posts, RR: 2
Reply 90, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3941 times:
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  Agreed!

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 89):
PSA 182 could have happened at any airport in pre-TCAS days, and it often did. That's a poor example of sensationalism.

Back after the crash happened there was a push to have the airport moved (Miramar), of course some people blamed
the crash on the location of Lindbergh. The crash happened in North Park, about three miles from the airport.

[Edited 2013-04-03 10:22:05]


PSA Gives you a lift!
User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (1 year 3 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 89):
PSA 182 could have happened at any airport in pre-TCAS days, and it often did. That's a poor example of sensationalism.

It's like calling GOL an unsafe airline because they had a mid-air that wasn't their fault at all, as another publication did.

   Even in the post TCAS days there have been 3 major mid-air collisions in less congested airspaces than SAN, ES 611 / V9 2937 and SV 763 / K4 1907, plus the GOL accident.

I wonder if modern general aviation aircrafts similar to the one involved in the PSA crash have any form of on-board collision avoidance system?


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 2954 posts, RR: 7
Reply 92, posted (1 year 3 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3529 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 91):
ES 611 / V9 2937 and SV 763 / K4 1907, plus the GOL accident.

At least K4 did not have TCAS so that's not a correct example.

What's different about those other two accidents? You''re forgetting some key points

In the ES/V9 accident, the V9 crew ignored TCAS and followed the controller. If they'd followed what TCAS told them to do, they collision would not have happened.

GOL was doing everything thing right. The other airplane accidentally turned off his Transponder. Thus he was invisible to GOL's TCAS. Transponders shouldn't be turned off in flight.

Bottom line is there has NEVER been a mid-air between two airplanes with functional TCAS and Transponders, who followed the TCAS guidance.

[Edited 2013-04-09 14:58:25]

User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1356 posts, RR: 2
Reply 93, posted (1 year 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3428 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 91):
I wonder if modern general aviation aircrafts similar to the one involved in the PSA crash have any form of on-board collision avoidance system?

It is not required. It is becoming affordable with ADS-B. The deadline for ADS-B is 2020. The service is not fully useful until basically all aircraft are equipped, but as more planes are equipped and ground stations built it will be better.


User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 94, posted (1 year 3 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3423 times:

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 91):
Even in the post TCAS days there have been 3 major mid-air collisions in less congested airspaces than SAN, ES 611 / V9 2937 and SV 763 / K4 1907, plus the GOL accident.
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 92):
At least K4 did not have TCAS so that's not a correct example.

I took LOVE2FLY as referring to an era...as in the era since TCAS has been developed. The fact that we have still had several mid-airs, notwithstanding TCAS, is a problem to be addressed.

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 91):
I wonder if modern general aviation aircrafts similar to the one involved in the PSA crash have any form of on-board collision avoidance system?

At most they have a Traffic Awareness System. The system tells them the range/bearing to traffic so they know where to look, however, they get no avoidance information.

Mode-C transponders are still not required everywhere and I think that this is still a deficiency in the system.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 2954 posts, RR: 7
Reply 95, posted (1 year 3 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3308 times:

Quoting ADent (Reply 93):
Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 91):
I wonder if modern general aviation aircrafts similar to the one involved in the PSA crash have any form of on-board collision avoidance system?

It is not required. It is becoming affordable with ADS-B. The deadline for ADS-B is 2020. The service is not fully useful until basically all aircraft are equipped, but as more planes are equipped and ground stations built it will be better.

ADS-B itself does not yet have a collision avoidance function. Even with airplanes that will soon display ADS-B-in data on the Flight Deck, it's still only TCAS that does the alerting. Will be that way for the foreseeable future.


User currently offlineL0VE2FLY From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 96, posted (1 year 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3076 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 92):
What's different about those other two accidents? You''re forgetting some key points

In the ES/V9 accident, the V9 crew ignored TCAS and followed the controller. If they'd followed what TCAS told them to do, they collision would not have happened.

GOL was doing everything thing right. The other airplane accidentally turned off his Transponder. Thus he was invisible to GOL's TCAS. Transponders shouldn't be turned off in flight.

Bottom line is there has NEVER been a mid-air between two airplanes with functional TCAS and Transponders, who followed the TCAS guidance.

I just said these crashes happened in the post TCAS years, NOT because of TCAS failure. It's often human errors to blame in most accidents in aviation and otherwise.


Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 94):
I took LOVE2FLY as referring to an era...as in the era since TCAS has been developed. The fact that we have still had several mid-airs, notwithstanding TCAS, is a problem to be addressed.

   Exactly.


Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 94):
At most they have a Traffic Awareness System. The system tells them the range/bearing to traffic so they know where to look, however, they get no avoidance information.

Mode-C transponders are still not required everywhere and I think that this is still a deficiency in the system.

That's one of the reasons why a lot of folks, most of which know nothing about aviation, say big planes are safer than small ones!


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