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Strange AA Departure Out Of ORD

Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:27 am

After flying out of ORD many times, I've yet to do this departure again. Or even see any other aircraft do it. But, I've flown this "SID" a couple of times and they were both to LHR.

It was taking off to the East. Most aircraft go immediately out over the lake when heading to an eastern destination. However, we took off both times and turned north and followed the coastline all the way up to Kenosha/Racine and then turned east.

Any ideas?
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RE: Strange AA Departure Out Of ORD

Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:35 am

This istotally a guess, but I'll share it anyway... If MDW was using 22L for arrivals, I could see ORD sending traffic north before going east (as you described) to avoid the MDW traffic. However, I'd be curious to hear a more technical explanation from someone a bit better informed than I am.
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RE: Strange AA Departure Out Of ORD

Fri Jun 04, 2004 6:26 am

What time of day was it? Was there any type of event on the north-side of the city (eg. Cubs Game) that there would be a flight restriction for? My only other guess was that like a previous post said, MDW was using the 22's for arrivals and they needed to take you north first. (Is there still any type of flight restriction in downtown Chicago?)
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RE: Strange AA Departure Out Of ORD

Fri Jun 04, 2004 7:17 am

What airline do you fly normally? I would take a guess at BA given your username.


If its BA, Normally you go ORD-ELX. I've seen it like the UA flight, possibly might have something to do with the arrivals from the east coast and the way they enter chicago's airspace when ORD is on an east flow.

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RE: Strange AA Departure Out Of ORD

Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:14 am

Doesn't sound "strange" at all. Not common, but not unusual either. It just depends upon what route you've been assigned and how ATC is going to get you there. Happens somewhat regularly for NE bound traffic leaving ORD. Most often due to enroute weather or ATC equipment outages somewhere. You'll also see westbound traffic taking off from eastbound runways because their first fix "normally" uses those runways --happened to me last week.

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RE: Strange AA Departure Out Of ORD

Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:27 am

There are 4 arrival "gates" and 4 departure "gates" in Chicago Approach airspace. The arrivals are on the "corners" and the departures go out the "sides". It would largely be up to the dispatcher which route you were going to LHR. Remember, when going to LHR, you are NOT going to be flying 090 (east). You are going to be following the Great Circle route which will take you up over Canada.

The eastbound departure gate is usually quite packed with domestic aircraft going anywhere from Michigan and Ohio to the east coast and New England. In that case, it is better to get you out going over the north gate until leaving the departure space and then turning "northeast" in general.
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