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Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?  
User currently offlineIcareflies From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 57 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 6540 times:
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Hello all,

I've been reading this forum for a while, but this is my first time posting on the site, finally!

Last Saturday, I was in SJO waiting for my CO plane to get back to the US.
The incoming plane arrived 1 hour late, which caused my scheduled flight to leave 40mn behind schedule. ( With little time to get the plane ready, the people from SJO and the CO F/A did a wonderful job getting the plane ready to leave as soon as possible ).
To my surprise, after pushing instead of going toward the line behind a couple of TACA A320 planes, we went the opposite way to the runaway and took off from the other side compare to the other planes.
Why is that and how often does this happen?

Thanks

Alex


AF777-300ER and 9W737-900 - Love it! Love it
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 6485 times:

could be the active runway had a tailwind, and your flight needed a headwind for performance reasons. Not that common, but it does happen.

User currently offlineChase From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1054 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 6480 times:

Well, in general they'll switch directions due to wind direction. But I think it usually takes a while to make that switch, so that you don't have outbound aircraft coming at inbound ones, correct? Are you meaning that aircraft #1 took off Eastbound, #2 took off Eastbound, #3 (yours) took off Westbound, and then presumably #4 took off Eastbound, all in a relatively short period of time?

PS I hope you enjoyed your trip to SJO. I went there in October and it was great!


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6267 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 6467 times:

Maybe the tower allowed them to do this to help the crew get back on schedule? (assuming it was quicker to taxi to the "wrong" end of the runway...). Just a guess.


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 6451 times:

Quoting Icareflies (Thread starter):
To my surprise, after pushing instead of going toward the line behind a couple of TACA A320 planes, we went the opposite way to the runaway and took off from the other side compare to the other planes.

Why is that and how often does this happen?

We usually call them "opposite direction takeoffs" and they can (and in some cases, must) be done for a variety of reasons.

-Sometimes it's due to terrain issues. A good example is runway 18/36 at TVL. You land on 18 and depart on 36, all due to rising terrain south of the airport.

-Sometimes it's due to aircraft performace issues. A good example of that is 07L/25R at LAS. The normal flow out there is to use 25R for departures, but 25R has a pretty major uphill slope so max takeoff weights suffer in the summertime. Conversely, 07L has a downhill slope, and takeoff weights are much better than 25R, so flights that need 07L have to wait until ATC can build a "hole" in the line of 25R arrivals that are further out.

-Sometimes, it's to make-up time, assuming you're headed back in the same direction that you just came in from. A good example is ELP, where a DAL-ELP flight might use 26L for landing, and 08R to depart back ELP-DAL.

There are other possible situations, too many to list, but a couple of things that have to happen are that the surface winds have to be within tailwind limits, and ATC has to be able to accomodate the request.

It's been ages since I dispatched anything to SJO, so I can't say with any degree of certainty what the situation was for your flight, but I'm guessing it was probably one of the ones I mentioned.

[Edited 2008-02-26 17:48:19]

User currently offlineAtpcliff From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6405 times:

Hi!

If the tailwind is less than 10 kts (the FAA jet limit), and you're closer to the departure end of a runway, you always ask for an opposite direction takeoff, if it will help you leave quicker, and it is practical (safety, ATC, etc.).

cliff
KYIP



TRY. It's all you have control over, and it's what God wants.
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6324 times:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/3493331

I asked the same kind of question last summer after seeing a NW 747-400 taking off in the opposite direction to the regular flow. This might provide some further insight.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 5949 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6259 times:
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One time in SCL, Our flight to MEX took off to the North. While all other departures were being done to the South. I asked the pilot about it later, and he said it was to save time, since the winds were calm and traffic light. Hope this helps.


MGGS
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24347 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6079 times:

airport info bit:

Runway 7 or 25 may be used for departure. Significant weight penalty for
departures on runway 7 due to terrain. If runway 7 is the active departure runway
but you are too heavy to lift desired load off of runway 7, recommend entering
actual tailwind into AWP (up to 15kts) and checking performance on runway 25
before reducing payload and departing runway 7. Coordination with ATC will be
required to depart 25 when traffic is departing 7.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6267 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5999 times:



Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 4):
-Sometimes, it's to make-up time, assuming you're headed back in the same direction that you just came in from. A good example is ELP, where a DAL-ELP flight might use 26L for landing, and 08R to depart back ELP-DAL.

If you're at the right gate (for WN, that's your two gates on the North side of the B concourse), and you push back for an 8R departure at ELP, your taxi distance is only about 800 feet  Wink



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineABpositive From Australia, joined Nov 2005, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5948 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 9):
your taxi distance is only about 800 feet

And you don't need to queue up behind all the other aircrafts!


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6267 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5913 times:



Quoting ABpositive (Reply 10):


And you don't need to queue up behind all the other aircrafts!

Conjestion at ELP is when you're #3 for departure...IIRC, there's ~70 scheduled departures daily, and only about 48 of those are passenger ops (the rest are freight)  Smile



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4765 posts, RR: 43
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5629 times:

That is quite common at SJO.

There is a big weight penalty for a 07 departure, and sometimes for some (far) destinations, 25 is the only option. However, often you have to wait quite a while, as there can be no arrivals on 07, and the 07 approach/25 departure path has to be clear.

ATC at SJO is very accommodating and sympathetic when you need 25, but one still has to wait their turn.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineIcareflies From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 57 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5517 times:
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Quoting: OPNLguy
-Sometimes, it's to make-up time, assuming you're headed back in the same direction that you just came in from. A good example is ELP, where a DAL-ELP flight might use 26L for landing, and 08R to depart back ELP-DAL.

In my case I would think it is the mean reason because we were the only plane late and the planes after us took off as usual.
I didn't know it was possible. But I guess that day the wind was pretty low so no real impact on take off.

Thank you guys for your help.

PS: Yes Costa Rica was nice especially in February when you live in Chicago



AF777-300ER and 9W737-900 - Love it! Love it
User currently offlineATCGOD From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 661 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4191 times:

We get that a lot at Boise too. QX destinations to the west (Seattle, Portland) the pilots will generally early morning or late evening ask for (and most of the time receive) a 28 departure if winds are light and we can approve it. WN does that a lot too. It saves the airline money because taxiing a little longer to the other than active runway is a lot more efficient than departing and climbing back to the direction your destination is.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31580 posts, RR: 57
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

Wind direction changed or your Flight crew requested for the same to reduce flight time.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineNbgskygod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 729 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3280 times:

Many times pilots will ask for a different runway for departure to better affect taxi times and to make up time. It may also have been that some of the TACA planes were holding for some sort of delay, so rather than have your flight join the queue the controllers moved your flight around them so you could leave.

This happens a lot. A flight taxiies out, and just before departure a Ground Stop or other delay pops up, and the flight is stuck. Sometimes its better to go back to the gate, but sometimes, its best just to stay put and wait it out.



"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2254 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3250 times:



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
Maybe the tower allowed them to do this to help the crew get back on schedule?

My experience has always been that taking off "against the flow" does not save time in fact it usually is a bigger delay. I've never had ATC show preferential treatment to a flight because they were late, heck we're all late. If going against the flow got me out quicker I'd do it all the time. I've had depts that against the flow was required for perf. and our place in the sequence did not change.


User currently offlineFlykal From Australia, joined Sep 2003, 442 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2999 times:



Quote:
Hi!

If the tailwind is less than 10 kts (the FAA jet limit), and you're closer to the departure end of a runway, you always ask for an opposite direction takeoff, if it will help you leave quicker, and it is practical (safety, ATC, etc.).

cliff
KYIP

Have to disagree with you there. I guess if you are flying into small regional airports, that may be possible, but you don't 'always' ask for an opposite direction takeoff at major airports. In fact, I've never heard that being asked once. As for an opposite direction takeoff being safer, I would suggest perhaps the opposite, especially if ATC has to worry about traffic separation.



One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31580 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2942 times:



Quoting Flykal (Reply 18):
I guess if you are flying into small regional airports, that may be possible, but you don't 'always' ask for an opposite direction takeoff at major airports. In fact, I've never heard that being asked once

Out here it does occur & BOM is a major Airport.
About being granted permission by ATC frequently is another issue.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
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