Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 10:02 am

Takeoff Separation?

Tue Feb 12, 2002 6:02 am

this weekend i flew HPN-ORD-SFO When we flew out of ORD, the plane in front of us on the runway was just barely at rotation when we throttled up for takeoff. Is this normal? I thought that takeoff separation was about 2 minutes, especially after the AA587 disaster.

fyi, aircraft in front of us was an MD-80, our ship was an AA 738.
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: Takeoff Separation?

Tue Feb 12, 2002 6:16 am

Hi Pshifrin!
How could you see the a/c in front of you was rotating?  Smile Were you in the jumpseat or something?
I'm no expert, but since both a/c are roughly the same size, separation may not be such a big issue?

Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2000 3:07 pm

RE: Takeoff Separation?

Tue Feb 12, 2002 6:57 am

I know controllers sometimes use aniticpated separation, meaning they feel that by the time the second a/c rotates they will have obtained their minimum separation. I think it is 2 minutes for heavies, and just 5 miles for everyone else.
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 10:02 am

RE: Takeoff Separation?

Tue Feb 12, 2002 6:58 am

I wish i was in the jumpseat! No, I was sitting at the window and our plane was perpendicular to the runway, we turned very quickly and powered up immediately, therefore, i'm assuming the other plane had just rotated, it was just a few seconds difference.
Posts: 2613
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Takeoff Separation?

Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:23 am

This is generally no problem provided the two aircraft are of the same wake turbulence category (or the preceding aircraft is of a lower category).

In the UK we sometimes delay for 2 minutes even in this instance but only if the aircraft ahead is on the same SID (Departure) as us.

Otherwise it's 2 minutes for a Light / Medium following a Heavy (or 3 minutes if the following a/c is departing from a runway intersection - i.e. not full-length).
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 10:50 am

RE: Takeoff Separation?

Tue Feb 12, 2002 9:53 am

Probably my favorite aviation memory happened last summer at SFO. I was aboard a United 733 bound for ONT, we lined up on 1L while an Alaska MD-80 had started its run on 1R, we were roughly about 1000ft behind it when it rotated - then we rotated and at about 1000agl we made a slight left turn about 10 degrees. Simultaneous approaches/departures are quite a sight.

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