js
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2001 12:42 am

SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:13 am

Anyone know why the regular winter approach pattern is in effect this morning (landing to the west and taking off to the south)? The weather outside is clear and visibility is very good.
 
UA744Flagship
Posts: 1433
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 1999 1:55 pm

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:51 am

clear skies + good visibility = turbulence + strong associated crosswinds

note that:

overcast skies + shitty vis + rain, etc. = turbulence + strong associated winds

as well... which is why I landed on the 19L and witness several UA 747-400s taking off on said runway when I arrived back at home for winter break on December 14th, in the midst of a fairly large rainstorm, with huge headwinds that made our groundspeed seem really slow on final approach.

IIRC, takeoff procedures on 19L call for an immediate left turnout after gear retraction.
no wire hangers!
 
johnboy
Posts: 2560
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Fri Jan 17, 2003 11:16 am



I flew into SFO today, Jan. 16th on BA285 from LHR, and arrived in the Bay Area to find pretty good weather.

We were flying from eastern Washington over Redding, over Napa/Sonoma Valleys and made a sharp bank off of Stinson Beach to head back over Angel Island, and on into SFO from a "bad weather" approach (i.e. landing towards the west direction on the runways that domestic flights usually take off toward the east).

I also noticed a WN flight landing at OAK from the "bad weather" approach, i.e. from the northern direction, as our 747-400 flew over that airport.

Weather didn't seem to be a problem, neither did winds (which in my dreadfully limited experience I would expect the plane to be rocking all over the place). Very calm indeed.

The pilot actually took the time to point out some landmarks as he was "gliding" around the Bay prior to landing.
 
modesto2
Posts: 2671
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Fri Jan 17, 2003 2:48 pm

I arrived in the Bay Area on a WN flight headed for OAK on December 14. We landed on runway 29 with a UA 757 flying over us on finals to 19L. Exciting stuff!
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Sat Jan 18, 2003 12:42 am

Go to http://www4.passur.com/sjc.html

open the radius up larger and you can see the SFO approach and what is coming in.
 
js
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2001 12:42 am

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Sat Jan 18, 2003 6:06 am

Johnboy -

I saw your plane coming in! I was spotting from atop Twin Peaks in San Francisco and watched BA285 coming in over the Bay and I also saw that WN plane that was landing below you in Oaktown. Sounds like you were sitting on the left side of the plane. Those on the right side had an amazing view of downtown SF as the pilot banked over the Bay Bridge. Just ahead of you was LH454 coming in from Frankfurt, taking the same approach in over the Bay.
 
flyboy7974
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 4:35 pm

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Mon Jan 20, 2003 5:41 am

I did mention about this in my HP/BA trip report I posted a few days ago. I flew into SFO on 12/26, but in miserable conditions, and with this same flight pattern.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Mon Jan 20, 2003 6:05 am

I enjoyed these flight patterns. I live here in San Francisco's Twin Peaks district near Sutro Tower. Looking up from my bedroom window I could hear and see the planes coming in ready for approach.
Bring back the Concorde
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:15 am

Isn't that SFO's usual approach pattern? I watched that BA 744 come in on Jan 16 on passur.com and don't they usually come in over the bay like that from the southeast?
 
johnboy
Posts: 2560
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: SFO Approach Pattern - Jan 16th Am

Mon Jan 20, 2003 6:03 pm

Glad to see everyone was watching over me that day!

I usually see planes landing from the south on those parallel runways whose approach goes over the San Mateo Bridge.

However today, our plane landed on the set of runways that domestic flights usually depart from, i.e. we made a sharp turn right while flying south over Alameda.

On the ground I can tell when this flight path is being used, because the planes come down relatively low over Concord/Martinez (usually thru low clouds and fog/rain).

The one time I've flown the bad weather approach into OAK, we followed the same path as the WN plane I saw below us. And let me tell you, it was quite a roller-coaster ride too.

BTW, there couldn't have been more than 100 people total on the BA flight that day, so I got an entire row in the middle section to sleep in for a couple of hours. The flight from Cape Town the night before was packed, and miserable as hell.

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