itsjustme
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SNA Take Offs

Mon May 17, 2004 8:35 pm

I know that due to complaints of excessive noise from area residents, aircraft departing from SNA are required to make a rather steep take off and must scale back their engines shortly after departure. I'm not real comfortable when flying to begin with and I find these departures to be a bit unsettling. Do these requirements make SNA departures more cumbersome to you as pilots? Also, do these steep departures and scaling back of engines cause any increased stress on the aircraft? And finally, are these types of departures considered, well, "tricky", for lack of a better word? Please be candid as I have often wondered how commercial airline pilots feel about departing from SNA given what I would think are unique requirements for departing aircraft.
 
SlamClick
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Mon May 17, 2004 9:44 pm

Have not been there in a year or more but I believe they are almost normal departures now.

As I recall, about ten years ago they were fairly high workload and I did not like them a bit.

We had a special performance page for Runway 19. We would enter the table at the temperature and our takeoff gross weight. It would give us a "cutback" power setting which was far lower than cruise power.

We would line up, go to full power, and hold the brakes. As the thrust began dragging the wheels we would release the brakes and begin the takeoff roll. At the cutback height (I think it was 800 AFE) the pilot not flying would pull the power back to the cutback setting while the pilot flying maintained the required speed - to the knot! He would also navigate the departure course very precisely and we had a map of the noise sensors on the ground to help with that.

Even if we did the power and airspeed perfectly if you overflew one of the sensors, which were only a couple hundred feet apart, you would "ring the bell" and it would record the time and your flight number and the decibels. If you could not maintain all your departures below the noise limit and the overall score of your departures low enough, the airport authority would either fine you thousands of dollars or take away "departures" from your company and give them to your competition. Not a very subtle form of blackmail. Oops! Sorry! "Blackmail" is illegal. What they were doing was legal, the ethics of it balanced by the greed of the airlines willing to go along with it.

At my company the engineering had been done pretty well. No matter what our load was and no matter what the temperature, we would cross the coastline at 2300' MSL, with the captain's eyebrows on the glareshield hanging on to the airspeed and ground track and the first officer's eyebrows on the glareshield and hands on the throttles keeping the power setting where it had to be.

The Orange County coastline was a VFR corridor with traffic as heavy as any place in the world and we wallowed through it at Cessna altitudes, with neither pilot having the time to glance outside the windows for more than a second or two.

But it was safe. It was legal, therefore it had to be safe. Right?




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itsjustme
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Mon May 17, 2004 10:25 pm

SlamClick-
Thank you for your response. I flew out of SNA less than a month ago on an SWA flight and, as has been the case when I've departed SNA on Southwest in the past, the officer who did the pre-departure announcement from the flight deck advised us of the unique departure we as passengers were about to experience. I'm obviously not a pilot but the lingo he used was identical to what you just used ("We're going to go up to the line and go to full power while holding the brakes..."). He had warned about the steep departure as well and the first time I experienced it, I didn't know if I was headed for HOU or the moon.
 
SUPRAZACHAIR
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 18, 2004 7:55 am

SlamClick described it to a T. I just flew out of SNA on AS last Friday and we held the brakes, climbed steeply, the pulled back power until we were beyond the coastline and powered back up and departed normally from there. Gotta love hard nosed noise abatement Nazi's in O.C.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 18, 2004 11:53 am

Don't tell me those flippin' Newport Beach NIMBYs bitch about the convenience of SNA when they have to get out of town. Oh that's right - there's a few G-V's based there...god I wish they'd all shut up.
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fspilot747
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 18, 2004 3:23 pm

Those take-offs are fun, man, nothing to worry about. I'm on the ramp 6 days a week at SNA, and it's so incredible to watch up close! I've had the opportunity to talk to a few pilots who regularly fly out of there, and they all seem to enjoy it. Full power, hold the breaks, let go, pull back past 20 degrees on intial (if I remember correctly), then level off and bank.

Nothin' like the Musel Six departure on a 757 out of SNA..



FSP
 
SlamClick
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 18, 2004 9:35 pm

FSPilot747 it is not the start of the takeoff that we don't like. Holding the brakes and spooling up is no big. It is the deep cutback at a few hundred feet in the air to a power setting that gives us only about 50 feet per minute rate of climb that is not right. It is wallowing out across the coastline through all the Wichita flak in a nose-high attitude with no maneuvering speed and neither pilot giving full attention to traffic spotting that is unsafe.

If there is, no, make that when there is a midair, the pilots will be blamed for "failure to see and avoid" the traffic. Make no mistake though, the real cause will be the spoiled thousandaires (real millionaires don't live there) who can't decided which they hate more - jet noise or driving to LAX, and it will be the politically motivated airport manager and it will be the greed of the airline management whose chief pilot's rubber-stamp approval of a stupid procedure that will be to blame. And it is coming.

As I said in my first post, I believe that it has gotten better. If I'm not mistaken we no longer cut back below climb power. It has always been hard to believe that a jet at any power setting only two thousand feet above your house could be quieter than one at seven or eight thousand feet and climb power on a normal profile.

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AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 18, 2004 11:58 pm

...and they all seem to enjoy it.

Pretty much, but it does get boring after a few years.  Crying

...pull back past 20 degrees on intial (if I remember correctly),

Not "initial" but rather when clear of runway. Too many folks read into the procedure the rotation goes straight to 20+ degrees deck angle and have ended up with a tailstrike!  Angry

...then level off and bank.

Never "level off" but rather reduce pitch to maintain initial takeoff climb speed. At runway (climb) limited max weights that should result in about 300fpm climb... very slow and very uncomfortable for pilots relatively new to SNA. Again, very boring for those based there.

Nothin' like the Musel Six departure on a 757 out of SNA..

Channel-1 in an MD90 will beat the pants off ANY 757 SNA departure. Even better is going off RWY-01... we were usually passing FL250 [if ATC could stay up with us] by the time we crossed back overhead the field [270 degree right turn 5 miles north].  Big thumbs up

If I'm not mistaken we no longer cut back below climb power.

That went away a very long time ago [10+ years].

It has always been hard to believe that a jet at any power setting only two thousand feet above your house could be quieter than one at seven or eight thousand feet and climb power on a normal profile.

Expect to see even more reduction in the required "cut-back" setting in the near future. While at recurrent training last week I was informed AA had received authorization to eliminate the cutback entirely for the 738s. Haven't seen it in writing yet, but multiple checkairmen were saying the same thing. Seems the 738 is already quiet enough that "someone" has been able to convince enough "someone elses" that the plane will be quieter at 2k-3k feet in climb power than 1k feet at reduced climb power. Heck, what's a few [30+] years anyway?  Nuts

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fspilot747
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 12:46 am

Thanks for the corrections there, I had always been under the impression that they still chopped power significantly and leveled off.

And I agree, I don't see how any plane at any power setting is quieter at 2K then at 6 or 7k at even full power. It's all the yuppies living in Newport beach who make the rules  Big grin


FSP

 
AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 4:54 am

I had always been under the impression that they still chopped power significantly and leveled off.

There is still a "significant" power reduction, but it is not supposed to be any lower than the lowest climb power setting that produces an approx. 500fpm climb.

And I agree, I don't see how any plane at any power setting is quieter at 2K then at 6 or 7k at even full power.

It is a very rare event when you could be Newport Beach at 6-7,000 feet due to the multitude of VFR traffic and established IFR traffic patterns in the area. Normally the current power reduction procedure will have the average airliner [757/A320/737] overhead the beach between 2,000 and ~4,500 feet. It's the low altitude (i.e. heavy weight) guy that's the concern. With no restrictions he's only going to be about twice as high [according to SNA studies]. So the proper comparison would be the ~2,000 AGL low power setting noise vs. the ~4,000 AGL normal power setting noise. For classic MD80 or older planes it was found that the noise sensed on the ground was less using the [now] established power reduction procedures. OTOH, newer planes [MD90, 737NG, 717, etc.] have much quieter engines so the noise reduction associated with altitude increases significantly outweighs the noise reduction associated with power reduction. The 752 fits somewhere inbetween and I'm not sure anybody is spending the $$$ to challenge the current assumptions.

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LMP737
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 5:25 am

Last year I flew out of SNA on a 737-800 where the pilot never bothered to throttle back. Guess he decided to thumb his nose at the powers that be and the well to do folks down in Newport Beach.  Smile
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itsjustme
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 7:43 am

It seems like SWA pilots are most diligent about abiding by the departure constraints. I've flown out of there about a dozen times over the past year and each time I've flown SWA (which has been 3 or 4 times), the officer who makes the pre-flight announcement over the PA has always made a point to brief us on the unique departure procedure we're about to experience. Other companies have either just done it without telling us or have executed a normal take off.
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 8:31 am

Hi guys.

The photographer of this new photo seems to be well aware of the tricky situation of how flights are operated out of Santa Ana (SNA).

He states .......

"Here is one of the most poorly designed airports in the country" ...etc, etc, ......

"Air Carriers do not like the noise abatement procedure because it's so dangerous" ...etc, etc, .......


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Silver1SWA
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 10:31 am

A friend of mine made a recent observation that he has noticed most of SWA's flights at SNA utilize the 737-700s. Could this be for noise reasons?

I flew out of SNA a couple times about 6 years ago and I really do not remember much about the departures, even though I'm fairly sure I knew about the "unusual" departures at the time. I'd like to experience it again...this time paying much more attention to it.
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waketurbulence
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 1:17 pm

The man who took the photo is one of the fine workers at ATC for SNA. I like many of his photos and hope one day to shoot SNA as well as he does. Thanks for all the good shots.
-Matt
 
SlamClick
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 11:04 pm

It was at one time rumored that AirCal and PSA only operated the BAe-146 as a noise-reduction system for SNA. That the 146 departures lowered their overall noise signature there enabling them to operate more MD-80 flights on which they actually made money.

Probably an urban legend.

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AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed May 19, 2004 11:27 pm

Probably an urban legend.

Nope, that is a true story. The SNA noise slot program is very complex. In one of its more complex formulas an airline's total average noise per departure is used. If an airline can reduce that overall average that formula will permit a few "excess" noise departures. AA originally assigned two daily 757 departures to SJC in order to use that formula to slightly increase the max weights [for noise] on their morning MD80 departures to ORD. For a time AA was even using QQ's departures to reduce AA's noise average [they were using some of AA's SNA slots at the time]. A very complex situation that AA tracks on a daily basis.
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asteriskceo
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 25, 2004 9:10 am

On my way to honolulu, after a quick B737 engine malfunction  Sad the captain told us about the noise abatement procedure and not to be afraid.

The only part I noticed was the lurching forward of the plane when they released the brakes, which was pretty cool. I didn't notice the plane being that steep and I never heard the engines cut back.
 
AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue May 25, 2004 3:44 pm

So the proper comparison would be the ~2,000 AGL low power setting noise vs. the ~4,000 AGL normal power setting noise.

Flew my first SNA flight since the new "non-cutback" procedures were put in place. Still too new to be in the latest changes to AA OpSpecs so the authorization is by way of a Flight Ops message attached to the flight plan. Don't recall the exact wording, but essentially it says the B738 has sufficient noise "buffer" to allow us of normal climb power settings. We were about 1,000 lbs below the runway maximum weight [for the conditions] and crossed the coastline at about 3,700'msl... a little less than twice the "normal" altitude for "Quiet Climb" departures.
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fanoftristars
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:51 pm

My last flight to SNA was everything stated without the power cutback. This was on a DL MD-90. That baby is a rocket climing from 19R. What I thought was more interesting was the descent into SNA. Crossing the Santa Ana mountains and all the turns down to the runway, with a slam down full brake landing. That was fun! can't wait to return to SNA.
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AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:48 pm

Crossing the Santa Ana mountains and all the turns down to the runway, with a slam down full brake landing.

Sounds like you got a pilot with little SNA experience. If you truly had "full brake landing" the plane probably would have stopped 2/3 of the way down the runway. Most new-to-SNA pilots think they need all sorts of drag (and turns) to descend from overhead Saddleback Mountain. Not true... but it takes a while to learn what you can/can not do as it can get pretty close to the performace capabilities of your airliner. Most new-to-SNA pilots also think they need "full autobrakes" (or at least one of the higher settings) because that's what most airline OpMan's "recommend." Frankly, I only set autobrakes to their minimum setting because AA requires it. With MD90 (no autobrakes) I seldom used any brakes at all... except to turn off at taxiway-E. Done properly, you should make only two turns, use no spoilers, use minimum/idle reverse thrust and minimum braking when landing at SNA. Of course, I've got 17 years of practice.  Big thumbs up
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fanoftristars
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:19 am

AAR90-

Well it sounds like your experienced way is not as fun  Smile J/K. Maybe it wasn't "Full" brakes, as we rolled all the way to the end of the runway and we were slowing the entire way, but I guess due to the short runway pilots can't float it for a super smooth landing. When you get there, you've got to put it down quick and hit the brakes. Am I correct?
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AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:09 am

When you get there, you've got to put it down quick and hit the brakes. Am I correct?

I wouldn't call it "quick," but you've only got one shot at getting it right. Miss, even slightly, and you need to "take your 'hit' like a man" and set it down promptly. The longer you wait, the more you hope you've got enough brakes.

...sounds like your experienced way is not as fun.

Depends upon who's viewpoint your looking at things from. Vast majority of SNA pax don't want the rough ride using speedbrakes and early landing gear extention provide. They'll also remain silent after you've "greased" the touchdown having flown the entire way from Saddleback Mtn. at idle power. The only folks who say anything are the aviation enthusiasts who appreciate the difficulty of making a smooth approach & landing at SNA. The real smart ones even know how short a true "short final" from downwind can be.  Big thumbs up
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fanoftristars
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:14 am

AAR90,

Thanks for the info. I was of course joking about the "experienced way"! So, since I'm not one of the real smart ones...lol...how short is a true "short final"?

jeff
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itsjustme
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Sat Jun 05, 2004 8:49 am

I'm going to toss in a curve ball here but my question stays within my topic title. For the pilots who frequent SNA, do you have any feelings, good or bad, about having to change your approach and departure route when the Santa Ana winds kick up and force a reverse approach and take off? Is it a welcome change and one that you wish would occur more frequently or doesn't it really matter?
 
AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:17 am

...how short is a true "short final"?

Hint: Does the name "Doubletree Approach" mean anything to you?  Nuts

...have any feelings, good or bad, about having to change your approach and departure route when the Santa Ana winds kick up and force a reverse approach and take off? Is it a welcome change and one that you wish would occur more frequently or doesn't it really matter?

Most FO's I fly with don't like it, but I think of it as a welcome change and a slightly different challenge. No longer a challenge for the approach, but trying to get smooth touchdown [difficult during windy S.A. conditions], smooth braking to turn-off at the end and park in less than a minute. I don't really have much control on the timing, but it is fun to try anyway.  Big grin
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DeltaGuy
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Sat Jun 05, 2004 11:03 am

Was out there recently, and checked out SNA and nearby ex-MCAS El Toro...there's been talk to making that into a commerical airport. That effort has been, to say the least, controversial....anyone think this would be a much better solution to the mess SNA is?

Great explanations from everyone...tried to avoid the SNA loads so far, maybe one day I'll hop into there.

DeltaGuy
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LMP737
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Sat Jun 05, 2004 11:32 pm

Deltaguy:

Thanks to the NIMBY crowd (NIMBY's with $$$$$) an international airport will not see the light of day at El Toro.
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747srule
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SNA Take Offs

Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:11 am

About the only thing I know is that no flights are permitted to takeoff before 0700.If noise is a problem,why don't they put deaf people in the homes near the airports?
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itsjustme
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:54 pm

Yes, no departures between 2200-0700, although arrivals are allowed up until 2300. Those Newport Beach richies need their beauty sleep you know.
 
skymileman
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:00 pm

One thing I noticed about SNA is that none of the airlines seem to own their own gates. United rolled up the ticket reader on a cart and put the united logo on a little TV on the backsplash.
 
tinpusher007
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:16 am

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 20):
With MD90 (no autobrakes) I seldom used any brakes at all... except to turn off at taxiway-E. Done properly, you should make only two turns, use no spoilers, use minimum/idle reverse thrust and minimum braking when landing at SNA. Of course, I've got 17 years of practice.

Are you saying that the MD-90 has no autobrakes and that you also seldom use any manual braking at all? Also, if SNA has a relatively short runway, why would you want to only use min/idle reverse, min braking and no spoilers?

Im not questioning your 17 years of "practice" and I myself as a commercial pilot and CFII have never flown a jet, but I do have a working knowledge of airplanes and what you're saying makes very little sense to me. Could you clarify?
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AAR90
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:30 am

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 31):
Are you saying that the MD-90 has no autobrakes and that you also seldom use any manual braking at all? Also, if SNA has a relatively short runway, why would you want to only use min/idle reverse, min braking and no spoilers?

Im not questioning your 17 years of "practice" and I myself as a commercial pilot and CFII have never flown a jet, but I do have a working knowledge of airplanes and what you're saying makes very little sense to me. Could you clarify?

Sure, the discussion/description was for the visual approach from the east (what used to be the "Eastside Arrival"). AA's MD90s had no autobrakes (the MD80 autobrake system couldn't handle the MD90's carbon-fiber brakes). Those brakes were so good that one tried to very gently apply brake pressure to heat the pads and in doing so you used very little actual brake pressure to stop the plane. It helped that the V2500 fan was rather large so idle reverse thrust was rather significant. No spoilers was a comment meant for the approach. Properly flown from over Saddleback Mountain one can easily get an airliner down to the runway without using spoilers/speedbrakes. That requires experience to learn just how quickly the plane will slow down and how close you're willing to get to the runway before you get too uncomfortable (and configure for final approach... early).
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tinpusher007
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:47 am

Thank you AAR90...that makes much more sense now. I wasn't aware that you were speaking of the spoilers with refernece to the approach to the rwy. I have heard some impressive things about the performance of the MD-90, but never flown on one...just DL's 88's.
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HAL
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:06 am

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 6):
If I'm not mistaken we no longer cut back below climb power. It has always been hard to believe that a jet at any power setting only two thousand feet above your house could be quieter than one at seven or eight thousand feet and climb power on a normal profile.

You are right. I fly the Airbus for America West in and out of SNA a lot, and we don't cut back to less than climb power. Each airplane type in our fleet has a specific page of information on departure procedures. Our procedures in the Airbus are:

SETUP:

1) Flight Directors on
2) ILS Switches on
3) manually tune ISNA ILS
4) Determine and set V speeds from Speed Book. Target speed after liftoff is V2 + 10 kts. Set this speed on the climb page.

ALL ENGINES OPERATING - BLEEDS OFF/MAX THRUST PROCEDURES:

1) MAXIMIZE VISUAL WATCH FOR TRAFFIC THROUGHOUT
2) "Cleared for Taeoff." Hold brakes, advance thrust levers to 1.05 EPR, release brakes and set "TOGA"
3) Normal rotation at approximately 3 degrees/sec to initial pitch attitude and target V2 + 10
4) At 1000ft, Pilot Flying commands "Climb Thrust". The Pilot not Flying briskly places the thrust levers to the climb detent.
5) Turn on autopilot and LOOK FOR TRAFFIC.
6) At 5.6 ISNA DME or 5000 ft, whichever comes first, select "Managed Speed". Flaps up on schedule, reconfigure the bleeds.

Not too much extra work, but a pretty steep departure profile.

HAL
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efohdee
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:37 am

Man I would just love to buzz the NIMBY's in some afterburning device.

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efohdee
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RE: SNA Take Offs

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:44 am

and again.........


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