I rose from bed this morning and I could hear by the sound of the planes that they were landing on Runway 31 at La Guardia. I called LGA ATIS and was surprised that they were using the Localizer approach. It's my favorite approach and I haven't gotten to enjoy that while ever spotting form my infamous "dock" across the bay from LGA.
I ate and got dressed and walked the few blocks to the dock. Obviously with my luck, the SECOND I got to the dock, they switched runways. Bastards in the tower must have seen me coming. I bet they had a good laugh. lol
But then, they started using Runway 13 for both departures and landings. Turns out this is very entertaing for a spotter, especially when I am on a dock in an elevated position while planes landing and deparintg are BOTH facing my direction.
Using River Visual Approach, I saw as all kinds of planes making that big turn from the Hudson, many turning early or late, making sometime very steep drops and such. I loved it.
But the interesting part is, with all the traffic at LGA, because of planes departing so frequently, landing planes had go arounds literally about every 15 minutes. It was weird.
Also, reminding me of pictures i've seen of Kai Tak, there were planes touching down at the beginning of 13 jsut as a planes was lifting off. Weird thing to see. I think it's kind of dangerous at an airport with the congestion that LGA has, along with the short 7,000 foot runways.
I saw a DL767 approaching as an Air Tran 717 was lining up for t/o. The 767 was dropping fast, and the curve of the wings were intense. The 717 was late it hitting the gas, and I expect the 767 to go around, but it seemed like both planes had wheels on the ground at the same time, avoiding each other by maybe 3,000 feet on the ground.
I know I'm babbling, but this was exciting to me.
Phil Derner Jr.