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"Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?  
User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10136 times:

For those who know these things please:

I´ve heard about "Captain only" rated airports.
I imagine this means that you need the captain at the helm during both take-off and landing, is this correct? I read somewhere Quito (UIO) is one for instance.

What other airports are "Captain only", and what are the criteria for an airport to get on this list? I am guessing restricted runway length, dangerous surroundings (mountains / active volcanoes) or maybe extreme weather circumstances?

If anybody knows anything about this............enlighten me please.


Ecuadorian MD11

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBigSaabowski From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10120 times:

KEYW used to be a captain only airport for landings at EV due to the short runway length (4800 ft, 1400 m). That has been changed using the logic that FOs will become captains having never landed at EYW before, except in the sim.

User currently offlineTb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1575 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10106 times:

We only have 1 official "Captains only" and it is DCA. DCA departures and arrivals aren't super tough, but we want the Captains doing them because, well, it's DCA.

Legs are always up to the discretion of the Captain though where I work. Anything from weather to runway length to the performance of the First Officer during his PNF duties determines whether or not the guy next to me is flying or not.



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineLHRjc From Netherlands, joined Apr 2006, 1964 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9973 times:

I believe FNC is.


"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8941 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 9961 times:

Santos Dumont (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro. Runway is VERY short and I hear the approach is quite challenging.


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineDispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 9951 times:

Tegucigalpa - look at it on YouTube...


Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 9888 times:

Aspen, CO

High rates of descent, coupled with a landing in a dead end valley that is very susceptible to wind sheer. Landings have to be spot on and stable because a go-around is right at the edge of the single engine performance envelope.

Checko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineZappbrannigan From Australia, joined Oct 2008, 247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9756 times:

I know Virgin Blue here have a couple of airports that are generally captain-only - generally the airports with narrow (30m) runways, and strip lengths around the 1700-1900m mark (Ballina YBNA and Maroochydore YBMC spring to mind). There are probably others.

User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 861 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9498 times:

Gibraltar, due to the possibility of turbulence due southerly winds around the very adjacent rock.

London City, for both the airlines I've flown in there with, due to the steep approach, short runway and the consequences of going off the end.

Dagali/Geilo, Norway, due to the compacted snow covered runway (low braking coefficient, can't see the runway markings).

Our First Officers are allowed to take off at GIB (if turbulence allows). Can't remember whether the same was true at the other two.

Salzburg and Split - if doing the circling approach its strongly recommended (in our company) that the Captain should land, but not actually a rigid rule.

Regards - musang


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9481 times:

Some airlines might also put more restrictions on FOs based on weather such as crosswind or braking action. Another reason might be Land and Hold Short.

Saabowski mentioned the restriction being changed, and I agree with that mentality. What happens when you upgrade and have to go there, or the captain becomes incapacitated on the approach? Better to gain the experience with the person sitting next to you supervising than never having the chance and suddenly being the supervisor.



DMI
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 9478 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 9):
Better to gain the experience with the person sitting next to you supervising than never having the chance and suddenly being the supervisor.

I know where you're coming from but everyone starts in the sim for the first time. What if the F/O is new to the jet and isn't as experienced? If it's a touchy approach I've always maintained that if someone screws up it better be me considering I signed for the jet and I'm responsible no matter who lands.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6817 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9462 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 10):
I know where you're coming from but everyone starts in the sim for the first time. What if the F/O is new to the jet and isn't as experienced? If it's a touchy approach I've always maintained that if someone screws up it better be me considering I signed for the jet and I'm responsible no matter who lands.

The problem with hard and fast rules is that it doesn't allow for individual circumstances, and thus IMHO leads to less effective training. It used to be that copilots were considered apprentices and captains were considered mentors, but this approach had its flaws, which manifested most spectacularly and tragically at Tenerife. CRM was the outcome, and while it has definitely been an improvement, it is not perfect. In the case of these airfields, my suggestion would be that the Captain would be strongly recommended to fly them, but given the flexibility to allow senior copilots that are close to upgrading to fly them; perhaps company training policy should specifically make sure that copilots coming close to being upgraded have experience flying in and out of all of the difficult airfields on the route.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineWestJetForLife From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9447 times:

I heard somewhere on a World Air Routes video that somewhere in the Faroe Is. is also Captain-only. It's Atlantic Airways flying up to the Faroes.

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkDaPblzy2Y

Nik



I need a drink.
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 9429 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 10):
I know where you're coming from but everyone starts in the sim for the first time. What if the F/O is new to the jet and isn't as experienced? If it's a touchy approach I've always maintained that if someone screws up it better be me considering I signed for the jet and I'm responsible no matter who lands.

I agree whole heartedly. There has been more than one instance where I left my ego at the marker and told the captain I didn't feel comfortable with the conditions. I did it back in Feb when I was coming back on line after a 4 month furlough and doing a circle to land at MDW in high winds.

It also hasn't hurt when a captain elected to land on my leg because of the conditions. I don't sign the release.

That being said, I don't think I have the ego a lot of us up front have.



DMI
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2872 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 9395 times:

Doesn't SAN have a restriction like this? I could have sworn I heard it mentioned during the harbor tour when they were talking about the airport...but I was too busy watchin the planes LOL!


"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9329 times:



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 11):
my suggestion would be that the Captain would be strongly recommended to fly them, but given the flexibility to allow senior copilots that are close to upgrading to fly them; perhaps company training policy should specifically make sure that copilots coming close to being upgraded have experience flying in and out of all of the difficult airfields on the route.

In theory maybe but in reality there's no such thing as a senior co-pilot about to upgrade. Every pilot has his/her idea of what their goal is and if a co-pilot is senior that doesn't mean his next move is to capt. There's too many possibilities and the capt wouldn't know them anyway. Secondly, if you have a few 1000 pilots then 10% will bend every rule if allowed; now you can have other serious problems allowing such deceisions to be at will. You write as if every one is on the "same page" and good buddies and all have the same mind set but it don't work that way therefore for the more demanding apps the co says let the capt do it. Lastly, if that co-pilot, senior or not, is flying with a check airman then he can make any app the LCA will let him do.


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3465 posts, RR: 47
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9313 times:



Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 14):
Doesn't SAN have a restriction like this?

Nope.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6817 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9244 times:



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 15):
In theory maybe but in reality there's no such thing as a senior co-pilot about to upgrade.

Well, I am an amateur, not a professional pilot, and have never worked for an airline. But since pilot promotions on every airline in this country that I know of are based on seniority, I find your statement somewhat incredible. Surely every copilot who desires to become captain (which I would think would be about 99% of them, but I could be wrong) would know exactly where they are on the seniority ladder, and most of them will be counting the days until they can upgrade. Similarly, the airline management will be equally aware of the situation. I would expect management to know how many new captains they are going to need in the near future, and to talk to the senior copilots to find out how many of them want to upgrade well before the time comes, and take steps to insure that they are ready for it. But maybe in the real world they do not have such foresight.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9213 times:



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
But since pilot promotions on every airline in this country that I know of are based on seniority, I find your statement somewhat incredible.

Sorry but that's the way it is.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Surely every copilot who desires to become captain (which I would think would be about 99% of them, but I could be wrong) would know exactly where they are on the seniority ladder, and most of them will be counting the days until they can upgrade. Similarly, the airline management will be equally aware of the situation. I would expect management to know how many new captains they are going to need in the near future, and to talk to the senior copilots to find out how many of them want to upgrade well before the time comes, and take steps to insure that they are ready for it.

Not really. As I said we have just under 5000 pilots and there is no predominate thought that every F/O is "just waiting for the day" to move to the left seat. Maybe at a regional where most guys may be lessor experienced but here all the pilots have had previous lives either in the military or corp. or whatever and for many lifestyle takes presidence over seat position. Some may want to wait until they can make the move and be senior, some may wait until they can hold capt. in another type or domicile. Of course the co. knows but unless the co. declares an "excess" bid they won't MAKE a guy move. Often you'll see the very jr. guys take the first opportunity to move because they were jr. anyway so what's the difference. The co. does not talk to anyone to see what they want to do, there's no point in that. Every pilot has a default bid that says where he would "like" to be but no one can really enforce that will. When seat positions are open there are a number of "practice" bids that let ALL the pilots know where they might be if they bid this seat/a/c but there are still no guarantees. For example I could have held a fairly senior position on the 777 but before the bid closed took my name off and decided to stay where I am. And lastly the co. ensures "when the time comes" that "you are ready for it" by sending you back to school and the sim and IOE flights with LCA. There's no need to worry about until then. The F/o needs to do his job and the capt. his, it works well that way.


User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1518 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8913 times:



Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 6):
Aspen, CO

High rates of descent, coupled with a landing in a dead end valley that is very susceptible to wind sheer. Landings have to be spot on and stable because a go-around is right at the edge of the single engine performance envelope.

Who restricts Aspen?


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 8880 times:



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Surely every copilot who desires to become captain (which I would think would be about 99% of them, but I could be wrong) would know exactly where they are on the seniority ladder, and most of them will be counting the days until they can upgrade.

I know plenty of guys that prefer to stay in the right seat of their equipment because they have a much more desirable schedule. Having the schedule you want because you're senior enough to hold it in the right seat or lower-paying equipment often trumps sitting in the left seat of the biggest thing on property. Likewise there are a ton of captains at my regional that have no desire to move to the majors. The massive pay cut and commute to sit reserve in somewhere like Newark isn't worth it to them.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
I would expect management to know how many new captains they are going to need in the near future, and to talk to the senior copilots to find out how many of them want to upgrade well before the time comes, and take steps to insure that they are ready for it. But maybe in the real world they do not have such foresight.

Airline management foresight? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Seriously, they have no idea what they'll need a month from now. If the economy dumps, they might be furloughing and displacing. 6 months later they're short staffed and hiring like mad.

We're not copilots. We're first officers. I hate the term copilot. It infers that we're just along for the ride.



DMI
User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 8864 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 20):
I know plenty of guys that prefer to stay in the right seat of their equipment because they have a much more desirable schedule. Having the schedule you want because you're senior enough to hold it in the right seat or lower-paying equipment often trumps sitting in the left seat of the biggest thing on property. Likewise there are a ton of captains at my regional that have no desire to move to the majors. The massive pay cut and commute to sit reserve in somewhere like Newark isn't worth it to them.

 checkmark  My father was quite senior on his type as an FO and help pretty good lines. He then upgraded to Captain about 6 years ago and is in the middle of the pack due to his company seniority.

With ASA, I knew many many guys that were pretty senior Captains on the CR2 but chose to stay there for whatever reason even though they would be near the told of the line anyway for the 70 seater. There was also a guy, in the top ten for overall seniority with the company, flying the ATR as s captain although he would have probably been the most senior CR7 Captain. He loved the routes and scheduling of the type.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineDescendVia From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 8707 times:

EGE (for at least UA) is a captain only airport. The captain has to fly every approach, arrival, and departure. Plus the LOC(FMS) 25 (A319/320 and 757 only) is a SAAAR approach and the airport in general is a special qualification airport. Most of the ski airports for us are either captain only or supervised operation airport with a ton of airline only procedures. For example the Silver ILS16R into RNO lowers the minimums by 1,831 feet over the public use ILS16R.

Quoting LHRjc (Reply 3):
I believe FNC is.

Yes it is and if you read through the airport pages they also require a certain number of approaches in the sim and like one or two jumpseat flights before being signed off.


User currently offlineMastropiero From Spain, joined Dec 2005, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8497 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 13):
I agree whole heartedly. There has been more than one instance where I left my ego at the marker and told the captain I didn't feel comfortable with the conditions. I did it back in Feb when I was coming back on line after a 4 month furlough and doing a circle to land at MDW in high winds.

Sorry for going a bit off-topic, but what would be the procedure for handing the aircraft to the captain? I know that if he wants to take over he´d say "My aircraft", or similar. Is it the same if, as you say, you don´t feel comfortable and would rather have him/her carry on flying?


User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3144 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 8476 times:

"Hey Bob/Sally, It's been a while since I've been here and don't really feel comfortable with the wind/conditions. Do you mind taking this one?"


DMI
25 Mastropiero : Lol... thank you for that, I thought it would be something a bit more formal.
26 Post contains images EcuadorianMD11 : Yep, the pic shows you all............. I had the pleasure of landing there in a chopper, but I saw (and heard) the 737´s and the A32X´s giving it
27 XFSUgimpLB41X : Being a Captain only airport is not a regulation.... it is only an airline operation specific deal. Someone listed DCA and UIO on here... I'm sure SNA
28 FlyingColours : The Greek Islands have a great many of challenging airfields but I believe Samos (LGSM/SMI) is the toughest one that sees any jet action. I'm not too
29 DXing : There are a number of airports designated "special airports" due to a variety of reasons. Most are no big deal. A small number of airports have such u
30 Dispatchguy : Here is one airlines list of when a new-hire F/O may not perform a landing: At airports designated as “Special Airports” in the Jeppesen Route Man
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