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LAX-FRA Lufthansa Flight  
User currently offlinePropilot83 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 643 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5185 times:

Once upon a time, like a decade ago, I was at LAX airport and I saw a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 take-off from LAX. I was guessing that it was flying to Frankfurt, Germany. I kept my eyes on the 747 until it disappeared on the horizon. I was trying to figure out when the Lufthansa Boeing 747 would turn towards the East-Northeast heading to Germany, but I never saw it anymore after it disappeared over the horizon, it just kept on flying towards the west. When airliners depart LAX to Frankfurt, Germany, right after take-off from LAX, how far do they travel westbound before turning towards its flight path towards Germany or Europe? Is there a VOR station out over the Los Angeles coastline over the Pacific Ocean that the airliner has to intercept before turning towards the east-northeast heading to Germany?

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 7154 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5122 times:

If you zoom in to LAX you can see that they turn pretty well straight after take off.

Turn to the south

Turn to the north

I can only imagine that the plane you saw wasn't going east.

wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineWard86IND From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 296 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5116 times:

This is the chart for a standard eastbound departure out of LAX:


As you can see, aircraft fly westbound over the ocean for as far as 15 nautical miles before turning back eastbound to cross over LAX and then onto their route.

Live your dream.
User currently offlineSwivelHeadLAX From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4812 times:

There are actually two main departure procedures that most of those European flights depart on. One is called the "LOOP" departure which was described by Ward86IND. Aircraft depart LAX on a westbound heading and have to cross back over the Los Angeles VOR (on the airfield) at or above 10,000 feet. They have to start the turn back to the Los Angeles VOR at 15 nautical miles.

A lot of the heavies are unable to comply with this climb restriction, largely in part due to their weight. In their case, the "SEBBY" departure is assigned. This procedure has the aircraft fly westbound 15 miles offshore, then turn back direct to the Seal Beach VOR (located near Long Beach) to cross it above 10,000 feet.

The only flights that depart northbound are Asian flights, trans-pacific flights, and other northwest US destinations. All of the other departures off LAX fly westbound for XX number of miles before they make a southbound turn to go east or northeast.

User currently offlineLAX25R From United States of America, joined May 2008, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

The Gorman departure can also be used for flights going to Europe, however in my experience plane spotting this doesn't happen as often. When they fly this departure, they'll fly West a number of miles, usually being cleared to 9,000' and then turned to the North over the San Fernando Valley and then onwards to Gorman before going the rest of the way.

User currently offlinePropilot83 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 643 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 4720 times:

Hey everyone, thanks for the all information, I appreciate it, today I learned something knew Big grin I am glad to finally know the answer.

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