>>>Actually if I am correct, the 120 degree mark has nothing to do with lack of lift through the thinner air (though it is a factor). But the performace charts onboard do not go above 120.
Correct. There is a value called "MOT
" (maximum operating temperature), and it's not the same for all aircraft/locations. I don't know what the MOT
is for the Airbii family and the DC9/MD80 variants, but for JT8D-powered 737s, it is indeed 120F. For the CFM-powered 737s, it's higher, 126F. Even though PHX
did briefly get to 122F some years back, it's a long way from 122F to 126F, and I doubt that you're likely to see the same effect on flights that it did a few years ago.
And, as far as the original question in the thread, it would appear that -somebody- blew a tire on the runway, and irrespective of whatever the temperature was, the essential fact is that the runway has to be checked for any tire debris before other landings/takeoffs. (You don't want subsequent aircraft hitting it it, or ingesting pieces into an engine.) It may take a few minutes to get someone out there, and another few to check the runway, but even taking a runway out of service for 10-15 minutes can produce delays, especially if it happens at a "peak" time.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.