geedo
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:16 pm

What Is The Departure Cable?

Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:50 am

Whenever our local Air Guard F-15's or other fighters that may be visiting here at PDX, get clearance from the tower to takeoff, they are always told that "The departure cable indicates up". They are also advised that the "cable is up" when they receive clearance for final approach. I have had a few explanations given for what this refers to, but I suspect it is mostly amateur's speculation. Can somebody give me the real word on what the cable reference really means? Is it a real cable raised on the tarmac? Something only seen or used by the ATC's? All responses are greatly appreciated.
Should this have been in the military forum?
I've got Titanic hopes and they aren't sinking
 
avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:14 am

There is an arresting cable stretched across both ends of the runway. Just like an aircraft carrier. The designation is BAK-9/12 or whatever the system model designation is that's in use at that airfield.
Fighter aircraft have a hook on the tail which the pilot may lower in the event of an emergency which will catch the cable and stop them quickly.
If the departure end cable across the runway is left in the raised position and the aircraft rolls over it at that high speed on takeoff it may upset the balance of the aircraft and become a BIG problem.
The cable at the departure end of the runway is normally lowered into a trough so that upset doesn't occur.
If you or the pilot are informed that the Departure Cable is up that means you need to be airborne before you get there.
You can tell where the cables are installed by looking for a large black square sign with a large orange circle (3 feet in diameter) in the center at both sides of the runway on both ends of the cable.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 3:52 am

Hi guys.

> GEEDO, I think this post could be in either form, so I believe it's fine here. Big grin

I did a photo search and found this picture at Portland Intl (PDX), which shows a large orange ball in the background (left of the 767's engine). It's not an orange circle on a black square, it's an actual round ball that looks to be about 3 feet in diameter, so it must be what Avioniker is talking about. I've never noticed one of these before. This is neat to learn about.


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Photo © John Martin



Does the red & grey object (under the 757's nose) in this photo at PDX have something to do with the arresting cable system? I've never seen equipment like this beside a runway before?


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Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
geedo
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:16 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:03 am

Thank you very much! I will be looking for them.
I've got Titanic hopes and they aren't sinking
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:26 am

Hi guys.

> GEEDO, here's a few more photos that I found of the orange ball markers for the arresting cables at PDX.

In these shots, beside the orange ball you can see the paved strip running off the side of the runway where the cable must lay across.

I can't tell by the photos if all the runways at PDX have these arresting cables, but it does appear that runway 28R / 10L have them.


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PS, why do I get the feeling I'll be dreaming about orange balls tonight?  Laugh out loud


Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:00 am

The red/gray object you asked about looks like a wind shear detector to me. They generally look like those tennis ball shooter machines and are scattered around the airport. Each station detects wind direction and speed, and airport ops look for major differences in wind directions and/or speed.
 
Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:10 am

Hello Corey07850.

Thanks for your info about that red & grey object at PDX. It does look like a tennis ball shooter. I'll have to look around the airfield for them the next time I'm out at Toronto Intl (YYZ).

I've heard the ATIS for YYZ report the different windspeeds & directions for the different quadrants of the airport. I think this is only done when the winds are quite variable, and I'd guess it's an automated system.


Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
geedo
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:16 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 10:36 am

Yes, I saw the orange balls today. I think they were even illuminated from inside. I noticed this because there was a heavy downpour when I was out there and visibilty was low.

Mr. Spaceman: I don't think the northern runway has it. The south runway is the longer of the two and used almost exclusively for military operations. I say almost because I have been witness to a few exceptions.

I wondered about those "tennis shooter" things as well. I used to think they were static, but I've seen them rotate. I also had the notion they were part of the wildlife dispersal system, as I could have sworn I heard them give out a loud "POP" of compressed air or something. Just uneducated speculation, my thanks again to all with the corrections!
I've got Titanic hopes and they aren't sinking
 
doug_or
Posts: 3125
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RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:06 am

I'd always thought they were for scaring birds.

anyway, I was unaware the F-15 had a tailhook.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
pilotpip
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 11:36 am


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Photo © Bevin Shively




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Photo © Bevin Shively



Yes, F-15s do have a hook. It is right in between the two engines like an F-18. Most Eagles that I have seen usually have wear marks on theirs as if they had been used. Hydraulic failures, while not common, happen often on the old A models of the Missouri ANG. Many airports that have military ops have arresting gear of some kind. You can find out what kind in the Airport/Facilities Directory (AF/D).  Big thumbs up

Being where these things are built, I've seen a couple aircraft snag the wire, it's way cool! It stretches out for a while to gradually decelerate the aircraft.
DMI
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Thu Feb 26, 2004 9:30 pm

I don't think the northern runway has it.

Not indicated on my Jepp charts, which show 10R/28L as having two bidirection arresting cable installations.

Yes, F-15s do have a hook.

Early models did not come with a tailhook, which was an option added later.

...usually have wear marks on theirs as if they had been used.

If it is not ground down, it was not "used." Probably lowered for system check, but a single field "trap" will grind down a considerable amount off the hook "point."

...I've seen a couple aircraft snag the wire, it's way cool! It stretches out for a while to gradually decelerate the aircraft.

Booorrrriiiinnnngggg. Oh sorry, probably not for you landlubbers. Once diverted off Big-E and took a last minute field trap at Miramar. The 4 other aircrew were all excited since they had never done that before. All 4 were sadly disappointed as it truly is boring event for an experienced "tailhooker." Normally about 1/4 the stopping force of a CV's arresting gear = very boring.  Smokin cool
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 1:49 am

>>>I wondered about those "tennis shooter" things as well. I used to think they were static, but I've seen them rotate. I also had the notion they were part of the wildlife dispersal system, as I could have sworn I heard them give out a loud "POP" of compressed air or something. Just uneducated speculation, my thanks again to all with the corrections!

They are devices to scare away the birds. I was on a cockpit jumpseat ride into BHM and noticed some at the approach end of runway 6, and I called the tower to ask. If they see birds congregating, they trigger the thing remotely, and away go the birds (for awhile, anyways).
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:32 am

AAR
All 15's had hooks but the problem came in 72 and 73 when 291 did the tests at EDW and the hook came out. 085, 086, 087, 108 and 109 were all delivered to the Nickel with hooks in 74.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:35 am

All 15's had hooks but the problem came in 72 and 73 when 291 did the tests at EDW and the hook came out. 085, 086, 087, 108 and 109 were all delivered to the Nickel with hooks in 74.

Very interesting. We had a number of -15s out to Miramar for Topgun sessions during early 1980s and none of them had tailhooks... we even had to remove the cross-deck pennants since the USN ones do not retract into the ground ala the BAK-xx designs. The -15 pilots said the early models didn't have tailhooks, which is where I got my obviously incorrect info from. Embarrassment
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
avioniker
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 5:38 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:33 am

Were those, maybe the first E's?
I never had anything to do with them aside from sharing the runway at "Shady J" my last 5 years in the war.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
dc10hound
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:18 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:39 am

I just dug this out of the archives. I just knew I saved this for some reason. I hope it might of interest to you guys...

Excerpt from the F-15C/D "Dash One" Checklist:

USAF T.O. 1F-15C-1CL-1 (Page E-34)

LANDING GEAR EMERGENCY - LANDING

Before Attempting Landing, Consider: Arresting Gear Limitations
Crosswind
Runway and Overrun Condition
If Considerations Not Favorable - EJECT

BEFORE LANDING

1. Jettison Armament (Consider Retaining Racks)
2. Dump or Burn Excess Fuel
3. Retain Empty External Tanks (Depressurize - Open Slipway)
4. Flaps - Down
5. Fly 18 Units AOA With Flat Approach

LANDING NOT RECCOMENDED

One Main - No Nose

Retract Gear and Refer to All Gear Up

If Gear Will Not Retract

- Recommend EJECT

ARRESTMENT NOT RECCOMENDED

All Gear Up 1

- 170 Knots Touchdown Speed

Both Main - No Nose

Do Not Shutdown Engines Until Stopped

APPROACH END ARRESTMENT RECCOMMENDED

No Main - Nose Down

Jettison C/L Tank

If Arrestment Not Practicable:

- Do Not Shutdown Engines Until Stopped

One Main - Nose Down

If Arrestment Not practicable

- Retract Gear and refer to All Gear UP

If Gear Will Not Retract

- Recommend EJECT

We had a Pilot flying an Eagle out of Bitburg with the last configuration. He landed the aircraft. Damaged was limited to the centerline tank and wing tip.
Note that the checklist says recommend Ejection.

He told me that he airplane was flying perfectly fine except for the gear detail.
Why should he jump out of it?

I have more info on BAK 9-12 Engagement Speeds/Weights

Anyone interested?









"Eagles soar. But weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.."
 
bio15
Posts: 1048
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 8:10 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:38 am

Hi guys, I think I got confused with some posts here, do airliners have the chance to arrest the cable sometimes? That's insane!  Nuts

Does the 'boring-long-run' happen with the fighter aircraft?

Sorry for my miscomprehension
-Alfredo
 
Contact_tower
Posts: 534
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 4:05 am

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:09 am

"do airliners have the chance to arrest the cable sometimes? That's insane! "

Well, we have our arresting systems on the overrun to each runway, so it is not a factor. However, we have experienced that aircraft including a 737 have landed short of the threshold snagging the cable with the main landing gear, dragging it for a few feet before it let go.

(It completely thrashed the AAB34B-1C, it's not designed to arrest aircraft that heavy. No damage to the 737)

No problem for the 737, they regularly take off over the cables at other airports that have them inside the threshold. Landing over one is not recomended, and not done.
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2820
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Sat Feb 28, 2004 2:37 pm

The F-15A models that the 131 FW of the Missouri ANG have the hooks on them. Was it something that could later be retrofitted?
DMI
 
dc10hound
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:18 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:14 am

"Eagles soar. But weasels never get sucked into jet intakes.."
 
geedo
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 3:16 pm

RE: What Is The Departure Cable?

Wed Mar 17, 2004 11:37 am

That is great information! Thank you very much!
I've got Titanic hopes and they aren't sinking

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