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Why Different SFO Approaches / Takeoffs?  
User currently offlinePmcdonald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2708 times:

I have the good fortune of seeing the 3 major bay area (SF) airports everyday as I live in SF, drive down 101 past SFO, over the San Mateo bridge which allows me to catch a glimpse of OAK, and from where I work I can catch SJC a/c. Today I noticed that a/c arriving at all 3 airports were coming in from the north/north east and departing south/south west; usually it is the opposite. This is my first year living out here so perhaps they reverse the flight patterns due to weather??? (This happens to be the first day of the "rainy season"). Just curious...Thanks.

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineC72 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2647 times:

Yup, it's because of the weather.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 44
Reply 2, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2598 times:

Aircraft should optimally depart and land into the wind. So it's most likely a wind shift. Sometimes bad weather along the approach, and rarely bad weather off the departure end, will also necessitate a change.
Here at KCLE, during lake effect snow we see aircraft arriving on Runway 28 and departing Runway 24L at Taxiway W. The winds would dictate landing on Runway 24L departing Runway 24C, but the pilots would not be able to see the field due to the heavy snow. Instead they land on Runway 28 with much more visual clearance.

redngold



Up, up and away!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2591 times:

Normal runway configurations out there are...

SFO arriving 28L and 28R, departing 01R and 01L;
OAK arriving and departing 29;
SJC arriving and departing 30L.

Most airline jets can take a wet runway max tailwind of only 10 knots, thus when the winds come out of the S or SE in advance of a low pressure system approaching the coast, things swing around. OAK and SJC goe to 11 and 12R, respectively, but SFO could be on alot of different configuraions. The most common for landing is 19L, and departures off 10R and 10L, but I've also seen them use 28L and 28R for departures--it just depends on the wind direction and speed.

Weirdest configuration I ever saw at SFO was when they had winds from 010 at 20 gusting to 30. They had arrivals on the ILS to 28R/L with a circle-to-land on 01R/L, and departures were off 28L/R.

Anything off the stadard configuration at SFO equals big-time ATC delays, since the airport can handle the same volume of traffic...


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6822 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2554 times:

I used to think you could expect those circle-to-land-1R approaches once or twice a year, but far as I know it hasn't happened much at all in recent years. And I haven't seen runway 10 arrivals in years either. (I remember one day they were landing the 10s on a clear day-- as I recall at least some of the arrivals from the east were cleared visual to the Golden Gate Bridge, depart the Bridge heading so-and-so.) But departures off the 19s still happen once in a while.

User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6822 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

To show you how rare runway 1 landings are at SFO: I was once listening as a United 747SP (from HKG, maybe) first called approach coming in off the Pacific. They gave him a vector for a straight-in to 1R-- then corrected themselves maybe 30 seconds later, saying he should expect to circle to land. I assume a straight-in would be out of the question, with terrain 1800 ft above runway elevation at 5.1-5.2 nm from the threshold?

User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2494 times:

I did one of the reversed takeoff's on 28L in 2000 in a CO 738 heading for EWR.

User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2486 times:

We have had arrivals on the 1's at SFO a couple of times so far this year. Most recent was just a few weeks ago in October. While most flights did the normal approach for 28 and then circle to land on the 1's, for the first time ever I did see a few straight in approaches to 1R. In over 30 years of hanging out at SFO, it was the first time I had ever seen straight-in approaches to the 1's


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Richard Silagi


User currently offlineKaiTakFan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1588 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2447 times:

Just the other night I was on United 150 Heavy (777) to ORD departing around 11:30PM. Runways in use were 28's. by the time I left they switched the runways. we went out 10R, United 863 Heavy to Sydney went out on 10L. I was rather surprized to go out that direction! I have only done it once before.

User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2586 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2414 times:

A couple of winters ago I flew into OAK during a wind/rainstorm, via WN. It was a hellish rollercoaster of a landing, but we did swing out over the ocean, right over the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and I could clearly see the markings of Naval Air Station Alameda before we landed FROM the north.

As much as I hated it, the guy next to me was a wreck--he kept on asking me (voice cracking) if I thought we were going to "make it."

Hope he meant land the plane safely though, come to think of it.

One particularly bad weather day last winter, a SF Chronicle story listed flight paths for all three Bay Area airports, and then marked what those paths would be in bad weather.

Very interesting to see what all those amazing people ATC'ers have to deal with.


User currently offlineCanarsie VOR From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2360 times:

They had arrivals on the ILS to 28R/L with a circle-to-land on 01R/L

What does this mean? Do they make the approach onto 28 and then literally circle around to line up for Rwy 1?

Please explain this procedure. Thanks.


User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2319 times:

Canarsie VOR, yes that is exactly what they do. The fly the approach as normal to the 28's and once inside the outer marker, they make a left turn to a modified downwind the 1R/1L and then base before turning a short final inside a mile of the end of the runway. The is no instrument approach to the 1's and there is not even a published standard visual approach. The approach is will usually look something like this:





User currently offlineAtcboy73 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1100 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

WOW, looks like an approach into some old airport in Asia, mountians and all.

User currently offlineAvilitigator From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Wow, I'm missing all the action at SFO. Thanks for posting the approach, Richard. I just moved from Redwood City to Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, so I won't be able to hit any of the SFO gatherings for a few years. Lots of spotting at SPN though (Continental, JAL, Northwest, puddle jumpers), and I can rent 172s to tour the islands.

User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2253 times:

Saipan?????? Oh my! Speaking of Saipan, you guys just a Japan Air System A300 (JA8465) ferry through there the other day. Right now it is sitting at SJC! It is heading to Smyrna TN. We think it is going to the scrap heap. It flew HND-Saipan-MAJ (Majuro, Marshall Islands)-HNL-SJC.

User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

And here is a shot of the JAS A300 caught on ACM's webcam:





User currently offlineCanarsie VOR From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2132 times:

Flygga,

Thanks for posting the approach path to RWY 1. I had no idea this was possible (considering the fog factor and all).


User currently offlineFlygga From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2126 times:

That approach is strictly a visual approach. The wind conditions that cause it are rare, when the do occur, they are usually accompanied by crystal blue, cloudless skies and unlimited visibility.



User currently offlineAvilitigator From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

Richard,

Thanks for the info about the JAS flight. I missed that one, sorry to say. But I'm off to Guam on Continental Micronesia tonight for a two-day conference so maybe I'll see some good aircraft along the way.

I remember when I first saw a plane landing on RWY 1. I was driving south on 101 and all of a sudden I saw a United 737 barrel right above me. I'll never forget that sight. Other drivers around me slowed down b/c they seemed surprised too.


User currently offlinePW100 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2002, 2451 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (11 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2062 times:

WOW...that's a really interesting approach indeed. Does the 747 also do this visual approach... base leg is at two miles final or so...

PW100



Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
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