fcogafa
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ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:43 pm

Taken at Heathrow recently. Looks like the photographer was in the right place at the right time, although it must have been a bit cold!

http://www.demotix.com/news/1040035/...-a340-causes-concern-take-heathrow

[Edited 2012-02-17 11:50:12]

[Edited 2012-02-17 12:02:24]
 
Independence76
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:50 pm

Wow.....I would be somewhat shaken seeing that bird rotate so late and climb so slowly.

Does anyone have the registration? Is it a "pre-X" model with the older CFM engines?
 
skipness1E
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:57 pm

Looks like an intersection departure, I was shocked to see a BMI A319 in a similar position not too long ago, I actually ducked.
 
kaitak
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:10 pm

I don't know, of course, but I'd be quite surprised if they performed a takeoff from an intersection; in icy conditions and with a high weight (for nonstop to CMB), you'd want every last inch, in case you need to abort (and it looks like they needed it!); I always thought that full takeoff power was a requirement during icy conditions?
 
skipness1E
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:16 pm

At Heathrow it's quite common to get an intersection departure, remember snow on the ground does not always equal ice on the runway. You can have one without the other.
 
DBQ
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:33 pm

Can we actually tell that this plane is low or is just a matter of giant airplane plus tricky perspective?
 
citationjet
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:34 pm

Remember that the A340 does not really climb, it relies on the curvature of the earth to gain altitude.  
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DBQ
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:42 pm

Quoting DBQ (Reply 5):
Remember that the A340 does not really climb, it relies on the curvature of the earth to gain altitude.

I heard someone at work say that our flight from SFO to ORD would take longer going east because we were going the same direction as the earth.
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:02 pm

I remember being on one of KL's old 743 combi a/c out of ORD on a night departure once, and wondering during the takeoff roll if we were going to go off the runway.... Then it climbed shockingly slowly, to the point that I wondered if there was a problem. I have no idea why that particular a/c took off that way. I understand the earlier A340 family a/c regularly perform this way, but it was a shock on a 747!

[Edited 2012-02-17 13:09:35]
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babybus
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:10 pm

I've seen that loads of times at LHR. The last one being a BA 744 that looked like it was expecting to park at Hatton Cross tube station.

Not sure how these planes cannot gain height but they make scary viewing.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
BA777ER236
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:24 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 2):
I was shocked to see a BMI A319 in a similar position not too long ago, I actually ducked.

In that case, you have NO idea of modern aircraft performance. There is NO way that a BMI captain would have taken an intersection departure without knowing and using the performance figures from that intersection! In any event, the performance would have allowed for an engine failure at V1 and clearing an altitude of 35 feet at the end of the TODA(take off distance available) which would be at the end of the 'clearway'. There is no way that you could be standing in the 'clearway', so the A319 - even on one engine would have been at least 28ft above your head (unless you are over 7ft tall!), so to 'duck' would be somewhat over cautious! None of the 09 departures would have been CLOSE to the scenario I have just described anyway!

Quoting kaitak (Reply 3):
I don't know, of course, but I'd be quite surprised if they performed a takeoff from an intersection; in icy conditions and with a high weight (for nonstop to CMB), you'd want every last inch

lee

How icy was it? How could you possibly know? Just because the weather was cold has NO bearing on the runway braking action. The runways at LHR are high friction surfaces and are treated for ice as necessary, but it is VERY rare to have breaking action assessments and reports that are less than medium. If so, then such doubts as to the runway state would have been communicated to the crew and they would have planned accordingly.

All jets taking off at LHR (and other airports with long runways) will use take off performance that will maximise engine life, which means using the lowest amount of thrust (known as 'derated' or 'flex') that will achieve a 'safe' take off. There are several criteria here, but in general terms, the maximum derate permissable is equivalent to 25% of maximum rated thrust. When derating, there must still be sufficient runway remaining to either stop or continue at V1. If the take off is continued, there must be sufficient thrust available from the remaining engine (still at 'derated' thrust) for the aircraft to climb to the 'screen' height of 35ft at the end of the 'clearway' at V2 and then continue the climb to the engine out (EO) accelaration altitude (usually 1000ft above airfield level), accelerate, retract flaps and then climb to the minimum safe altitude (MSA). MSA is usually taken as sector safe altitude (SSA) within 25 nm of the airport. If there is insufficient terrain clearance during this manoeuvre whilst following the Standard Instrument Departure (SID), then there will be a published 'emergency turn' which will ensure terrain clearance and the crew will be obliged to follow it in an engine out scenario.

It is not uncommon for long haul jets to take most of the runway to get airbourne a long way down the runway using the above criteria and a 'derated' take off. For short haul jets it is less common, but not unknown!

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greenjet
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:27 pm

According to ATI, the UK AAIB may be investigating this take-off.

"A late take-off performed by a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A340-300 from London Heathrow's runway 09R on 5 February, followed by a low climbing trajectory, may be under scrutiny by the UK authorities.

In response to a question from Flightglobal, the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch said only that it is investigating an incident on that date.

SriLankan Airlines was not immediately available to comment."
 
GSPSPOT
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting BA777ER236 (Reply 10):
so the A319 - even on one engine would have been at least 28ft above your head (unless you are over 7ft tall!), so to 'duck' would be somewhat over cautious!

.....Um, I think the poster was just using a bit of exaggeration to make a point. Sense of humor, anyone??
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BA777ER236
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:33 pm

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 12):
Sense of humor, anyone?

Exactly! That is why I wondered if he was 7ft tall!!!

 
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AR385
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:37 pm

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 8):
I understand the earlier A340 family a/c regularly perform this way, but it was a shock on a 747!

You should come down to MEX to do some spotting then. During the summer in particular, a full 744 will perform like you describe.

Before then, when we had the 742s, things were a lot more interesting.
 
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scbriml
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:45 pm

Quoting DBQ (Reply 5):
Can we actually tell that this plane is low or is just a matter of giant airplane plus tricky perspective?

Yes it's perspective. In the pictture with the lorry, the A340 is about 200m further away than the lorry.
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GSPSPOT
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:58 pm

Quoting AR385 (Reply 14):
You should come down to MEX to do some spotting then. During the summer in particular, a full 744 will perform like you describe.

Before then, when we had the 742s, things were a lot more interesting.

I can only imagine - the definition of "hot and high" conditions! The experience I had was in cool to cold weather though...
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skipness1E
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:26 pm

Quoting BA777ER236 (Reply 10):
In that case, you have NO idea of modern aircraft performance. There is NO way that a BMI captain would have taken etc etc

I have every idea actually, I was however shocked as it was VERY unusual to see an A319 as low as that A340 in the picture. I didn't consciously think it was a goner but I recall taking a step back as it was unusually low in comparison with all other departing traffic. In seven years of around and about LHR that was a first.

I was also rather happy to depart on a an A380 off 27L (same runway, opposite direction), from S4 ! I am well aware of the performance characteristics involved thanks, however it's rather human on such an occasion to step back and exclaim "Blimey that's a little out of the ordainary guv'nor!"
 
fiscal
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:05 pm

I must admit that I was wondering when we would get off the ground when I flew Air Asia X a340 out of Stanstead. It's funny how that after traveling on many flights, you get a sense for what is normal and what is different.
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:29 am

Seeing how low they are, you really have to wonder whether they could have suffered an engine failure at V1 and still made it. The Air Canada A343 used to depart HKG a bit like this at the peak of summer. Russian cargo flights also seem to depart like this....they must adhere to a completely different set of performance rules as the rest of the world!
 
andz
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:37 am

Where's that video of the 747 taking off from Bournemouth?

Ah, here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPJiOareZnA

The difference being, when a 747 rotates it climbs!
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seabosdca
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:15 am

Sorry, but I think the Il-86 takes the cake. It's sort of like a fat A340 with 737-200 engines...


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jbguller
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:30 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 21):

Seems anything Ilyushin should take the cake! There's this IL-76 from YSCB we all know about...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWtdtuspnoM
 
kaitak
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:09 am

Quoting BA777ER236 (Reply 10):
How icy was it? How could you possibly know?

Look at the hangar and house roofs! (And not to mention an icy sweat running down the pilots' backs!)
 
SASMD82
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:41 am

I must admit that the A340-300 usually needs a lot of runway. Then why does AF operate them on the CDG - SXM - CDG line? KLM make a fuel stop at BON because of the lenght of the runway at SXM.

But why is the A340 the only plane 'accused' of its long take off rolls? Back in the late 90s I loved to stand at the end of the runway at Schiphol to watch the 747-200/-300 departing during summer. Those dramatic take-offs were awesome! (Lifting up at the end of the runway and climbing out very slowly). Last summer we only had those Kallita B747-200s, awesome!

We also have those notorious Il 62 departing from Tivat, Montenegro.
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gkirk
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:50 am

There was that infamous pic of a PIA B747-300 taking off at MAN somewhere....


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ghifty
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:52 am

Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 24):
But why is the A340 the only plane 'accused' of its long take off rolls? Back in the late 90s I loved to stand at the end of the runway at Schiphol to watch the 747-200/-300 departing during summer. Those dramatic take-offs were awesome! (Lifting up at the end of the runway and climbing out very slowly). Last summer we only had those Kallita B747-200s, awesome!

Probably because the 747-200/-300 aren't as common as the A340...
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zeke
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:02 am

Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 24):

The 340 does not need a lot of runway, it uses less runway than many twins if operated the same way. The misconception that it uses a lot of runway comes from the fact that it is a quad, it will only reduce the thrust available by 25% at most, or even less in the event of an engine failure. Twins appear to use less runway with all engines operating, as their takeoff performance often has a single engine acceleration segment between V1 and Vr while still on the runway, passengers and spotters never see this as engine failures are rare.

Most 340 takeoffs are done with "FLEX" thrust, similar to the assumed temperature method used on Boeings. With a FLEX takeoff, in the event of an engine failure, TOGA is still available, so the pilots can still select TOGA on the live engines reducing the amount of thrust lost.

Runway conditions and regulatory framework that the aircraft operates in also can change takeoff performance, it is not uncommon to have different screen heights for dry and wet runways.

I would wait for the report to come out for this event, it maybe a load sheet or loading error, error in obtaining takeoff performance data, error in pilot technique with thrust application, crosswind takeoff technique, rotation technique, or even no error at all.
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Max Q
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:16 am

Quoting BA777ER236 (Reply 10):


In that case, you have NO idea of modern aircraft performance. There is NO way that a BMI captain would have taken an intersection departure without knowing and using the performance figures from that intersection! In any event, the performance would have allowed for an engine failure at V1 and clearing an altitude of 35 feet at the end of the TODA(take off distance available) which would be at the end of the 'clearway'. There is no way that you could be standing in the 'clearway', so the A319 - even on one engine would have been at least 28ft above your head (unless you are over 7ft tall!), so to 'duck' would be somewhat over cautious! None of the 09 departures would have been CLOSE to the scenario I have just described anyway!

Quoting kaitak (Reply 3):
I don't know, of course, but I'd be quite surprised if they performed a takeoff from an intersection; in icy conditions and with a high weight (for nonstop to CMB), you'd want every last inch

lee

How icy was it? How could you possibly know? Just because the weather was cold has NO bearing on the runway braking action. The runways at LHR are high friction surfaces and are treated for ice as necessary, but it is VERY rare to have breaking action assessments and reports that are less than medium. If so, then such doubts as to the runway state would have been communicated to the crew and they would have planned accordingly.

All jets taking off at LHR (and other airports with long runways) will use take off performance that will maximise engine life, which means using the lowest amount of thrust (known as 'derated' or 'flex') that will achieve a 'safe' take off. There are several criteria here, but in general terms, the maximum derate permissable is equivalent to 25% of maximum rated thrust. When derating, there must still be sufficient runway remaining to either stop or continue at V1. If the take off is continued, there must be sufficient thrust available from the remaining engine (still at 'derated' thrust) for the aircraft to climb to the 'screen' height of 35ft at the end of the 'clearway' at V2 and then continue the climb to the engine out (EO) accelaration altitude (usually 1000ft above airfield level), accelerate, retract flaps and then climb to the minimum safe altitude (MSA). MSA is usually taken as sector safe altitude (SSA) within 25 nm of the airport. If there is insufficient terrain clearance during this manoeuvre whilst following the Standard Instrument Departure (SID), then there will be a published 'emergency turn' which will ensure terrain clearance and the crew will be obliged to follow it in an engine out scenario.

It is not uncommon for long haul jets to take most of the runway to get airbourne a long way down the runway using the above criteria and a 'derated' take off. For short haul jets it is less common, but not unknown!

Very well explained BA 777 but you can't let the facts get in the way of a good story, especially this hysterical post..
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9w748capt
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:24 am

What the heck does the "ALK" in the thread title mean? some weird 3-letter identifier for UL?
 
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lapper
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:55 am

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 29):
What the heck does the "ALK" in the thread title mean? some weird 3-letter identifier for UL?

ALK is the ICAO code for UL. Sri Lankan Airlines used to be called Air Lanka.
 
tcasalert
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:10 am

I have seen this a few times at LHR, most notably with the SA A340 which seems to skim the tops of the lorries driving along the A30!

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 29):

What the heck does the "ALK" in the thread title mean? some weird 3-letter identifier for UL?

It's UL's ICAO code.
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pumaknight
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:39 am

Moot point I suppose, but having stood for many a happy hour at LHR watching the heavies depart, this A340 would have made me stop and gasp...it is definately low, real low, even for a heavy. Low enough to be a hazard...nope, beacuse there is no notable obstacle between the runway end and a long way to a safer altitude...but it is defeinatley outside normal operating protocols.

I have seen a Virgin A340 do a similar climbout a few years back and trust me, until you seee it clear the houses and you see it successfully climb to a more normal departure alititude, you do hold your breath. There is a ceratin anxiety when they are that low and that slow. Be interesting to see why this one was so low.
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AirGAbon
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:50 am

IB and AF use A340-300 from high airports in South America non-stop to MAD and CDG i.e BOG-CDG or BOG-MAD, MEX-MAD, in the past AF MEX-CDG.

And don't forget AF flies non-stop SXM-CDG with A340-300, short runway. A 777 cannot do it.

Also MK non-stop MRU-LHR from a hot climate etc. So A340-300 performaces aren't that bad. Again sometimes a kind of urban legends
 
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scbriml
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:53 am

Quoting pumaknight (Reply 32):
I have seen a Virgin A340 do a similar climbout a few years back and trust me, until you seee it clear the houses and you see it successfully climb to a more normal departure alititude, you do hold your breath.

The houses of Mytrle Avenue are a minimum of 150m south of the centre-line of 09R. 27L landings and 09R departures are not that close to those houses. There are no other houses anywhere close.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 31):
I have seen this a few times at LHR, most notably with the SA A340 which seems to skim the tops of the lorries driving along the A30!

The centre-line of 09R intersects the A30 500m from the end of the runway. Any plane that "skims the tops of lorries" on the A30 is probably doomed.

These are both issues of perspective.
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GBLKD
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:24 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 34):
The houses of Mytrle Avenue are a minimum of 150m south of the centre-line of 09R. 27L landings and 09R departures are not that close to those houses. There are no other houses anywhere close.

Glad someone said it. No houses at all in it's path but it probrably scared the horses in the field behind Myrtle Ave a bit.

The truck looks like it's pulling a standard 14ft high trailer, I'd guess that the perimiter fence at LHR is about 20ft so if it clears the fence it's cleared the truck. Average double decker bus going past is 14ft 6ins high so to pose any real threat to the traffic any aircraft has got to be only around 13-14 feet agl.
It's all down to perspective, I've stood there on the grass at Myrtle and thought a couple of heavies looked close. Walk up the A30 a bit to opposite the threshold and it looks more "normal".
 
jwhite9185
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:48 pm

I was in Staines earlier and i saw a ALK A343 fly over. Seemed a LOT lower than the EK 777 that flew over just before it. Might just be the fact the A343 is underpowered.
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alberchico
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:21 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiFIONKDRpg&feature=player_embedded#!

it seems that many airlines do these extreme takeoffs
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vv701
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:19 pm

Quoting Independence76 (Reply 1):
Does anyone have the registration?

According to this site:

http://www.lhr-lgw.co.uk/lhr-movemen.../feb12/feblhrmore12/mlhr050212.mht

the UL 343 operating into and out of LHR on 5 February - the date accompanying the photos - was 4R-ADG.
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:31 pm

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 36):
I was in Staines earlier and i saw a ALK A343 fly over. Seemed a LOT lower than the EK 777 that flew over just before it. Might just be the fact the A343 is underpowered.

Or maybe, that it isn't at all underpowered but a quad relatively to a twin. And to speak of a 6hours flight to DXB vs. a 10+ hours flight to CMB...

But hey, why even think about informing yourself when you can repeat myths.
 
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scbriml
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:53 pm

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 36):
Might just be the fact the A343 is underpowered.

It's amazing it was ever certified.   

Will this "underpowered" myth never die?   
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airsmiles
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:29 pm

Looking at the FR24 replay 4R-ADG passed a point between Hounslow and Richmond at 500ft after take-off, whereas the preceding San Francisco bound Virgin B747-400 passed a closer spot to Heathrow at 1,125ft. Whatever the reason, the Sri Lankan did seem particularly low. Looking at a selection of low haul take-offs I think at the same spot the Sri Lankan passed 500ft, others were making around 1,500ft.
 
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:32 pm

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 36):
I was in Staines earlier and i saw a ALK A343 fly over. Seemed a LOT lower than the EK 777 that flew over just before it. Might just be the fact the A343 is underpowered.

No, it's because the 777 is a twin and the A340 a quad, Zeke explained it very well in his post above.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:48 pm

I once experienced a very low climb out on an A343 after one of the engines lost power just prior to rotation. It did seem that we skipped the fence and took a much longer than normal time to climb.


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ssteve
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:04 pm

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 43):
I once experienced a very low climb out on an A343 after one of the engines lost power just prior to rotation. It did seem that we skipped the fence and took a much longer than normal time to climb.

That's because the a343 is underpowered... as a tri-jet.
 
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RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:15 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 44):
That's because the a343 is underpowered... as a tri-jet.

Anything operating at 75% availability is under-powered. However in that situation I'd rather have 75% power than 50% power still available on a twin.


Dan  
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
N405MX
Posts: 1156
Joined: Sat May 01, 2004 1:46 pm

RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:52 pm

I wonder if in those cases the TCAS starts warning.... "lorry ahead; CLIMB NOW !"......
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Dldiamondboy
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:21 pm

RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:22 pm

I have heard it said that an A340/200/300 cannot climb out of its own wake turbulence! LOL!
 
boysteve
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:02 am

RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:54 pm

Quoting DLdiamondboy (Reply 47):
I have heard it said that an A340/200/300 cannot climb out of its own wake turbulence! LOL!

No plan can! The wake terbulance is always behind it so it never needs to!
 
Delta777Jet
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Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2000 6:19 am

RE: ALK A340 Very Low Departure Photos - LHR

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:45 pm

May be just a wrong derated take off performance calculations as it was the case with the A 340 almost crashed in Melbourne some time ago. May be in this case the crew identified their mistake and applied full thrust later during take off run ?
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