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WN Lone Star One - Unusual Flight Path @ SAN

Sat May 15, 2004 3:36 am

11:30 AM Pacific time, May 14, 2004. During my prep period at the school where I teach in National City, I heard a jet flying directly over. A bit unusual, as most traffic is passing from right to left (looking north) on approach to SAN runway 27.

I went outside to investigate, and saw Southwest Airline's Lone Star One flying due north over my school, wheels up:

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Photo © Bruce Leibowitz

I am assuming it made a missed approach turn, headed in a counter-clockwise circle for another attempt at landing. However, in five years, I've never seen a passenger aircraft fly that route.

Anyone have any information?
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RE: WN Lone Star One - Unusual Flight Path @ SAN

Sat May 15, 2004 9:33 am

They were on visual approaches to 27 today. (Wasn't it gorgeous?!) Sounds as if they may have been doing some north & south bound tracking momentarily (aka "S turns") along the westbound final approach course to lose altitude. If there isn't a lot of traffic in the pattern, unusual maneuvering is often OK with the tower controller.

Once landing in JFK I was on the jumpseat and the crew realized they were going to be waaaaaaaaaay high. The requested and were granted approval to do a 360 (and we were at 800') to get down on very short final! I imagine THAT looked pretty strange to the people who lived in the apartments below us too.