icareflies
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Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:24 am

Hello all,

I've been reading this forum for a while, but this is my first time posting on the site, finally!

Last Saturday, I was in SJO waiting for my CO plane to get back to the US.
The incoming plane arrived 1 hour late, which caused my scheduled flight to leave 40mn behind schedule. ( With little time to get the plane ready, the people from SJO and the CO F/A did a wonderful job getting the plane ready to leave as soon as possible ).
To my surprise, after pushing instead of going toward the line behind a couple of TACA A320 planes, we went the opposite way to the runaway and took off from the other side compare to the other planes.
Why is that and how often does this happen?

Thanks

Alex
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bucky707
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:36 am

could be the active runway had a tailwind, and your flight needed a headwind for performance reasons. Not that common, but it does happen.
 
chase
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:38 am

Well, in general they'll switch directions due to wind direction. But I think it usually takes a while to make that switch, so that you don't have outbound aircraft coming at inbound ones, correct? Are you meaning that aircraft #1 took off Eastbound, #2 took off Eastbound, #3 (yours) took off Westbound, and then presumably #4 took off Eastbound, all in a relatively short period of time?

PS I hope you enjoyed your trip to SJO. I went there in October and it was great!
 
KELPkid
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:40 am

Maybe the tower allowed them to do this to help the crew get back on schedule? (assuming it was quicker to taxi to the "wrong" end of the runway...). Just a guess.
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OPNLguy
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:45 am

Quoting Icareflies (Thread starter):
To my surprise, after pushing instead of going toward the line behind a couple of TACA A320 planes, we went the opposite way to the runaway and took off from the other side compare to the other planes.

Why is that and how often does this happen?

We usually call them "opposite direction takeoffs" and they can (and in some cases, must) be done for a variety of reasons.

-Sometimes it's due to terrain issues. A good example is runway 18/36 at TVL. You land on 18 and depart on 36, all due to rising terrain south of the airport.

-Sometimes it's due to aircraft performace issues. A good example of that is 07L/25R at LAS. The normal flow out there is to use 25R for departures, but 25R has a pretty major uphill slope so max takeoff weights suffer in the summertime. Conversely, 07L has a downhill slope, and takeoff weights are much better than 25R, so flights that need 07L have to wait until ATC can build a "hole" in the line of 25R arrivals that are further out.

-Sometimes, it's to make-up time, assuming you're headed back in the same direction that you just came in from. A good example is ELP, where a DAL-ELP flight might use 26L for landing, and 08R to depart back ELP-DAL.

There are other possible situations, too many to list, but a couple of things that have to happen are that the surface winds have to be within tailwind limits, and ATC has to be able to accomodate the request.

It's been ages since I dispatched anything to SJO, so I can't say with any degree of certainty what the situation was for your flight, but I'm guessing it was probably one of the ones I mentioned.

[Edited 2008-02-26 17:48:19]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
atpcliff
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:57 am

Hi!

If the tailwind is less than 10 kts (the FAA jet limit), and you're closer to the departure end of a runway, you always ask for an opposite direction takeoff, if it will help you leave quicker, and it is practical (safety, ATC, etc.).

cliff
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PanAm747
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:11 am

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...general_aviation/read.main/3493331

I asked the same kind of question last summer after seeing a NW 747-400 taking off in the opposite direction to the regular flow. This might provide some further insight.
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AR385
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:35 am

One time in SCL, Our flight to MEX took off to the North. While all other departures were being done to the South. I asked the pilot about it later, and he said it was to save time, since the winds were calm and traffic light. Hope this helps.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:23 am

airport info bit:

Runway 7 or 25 may be used for departure. Significant weight penalty for
departures on runway 7 due to terrain. If runway 7 is the active departure runway
but you are too heavy to lift desired load off of runway 7, recommend entering
actual tailwind into AWP (up to 15kts) and checking performance on runway 25
before reducing payload and departing runway 7. Coordination with ATC will be
required to depart 25 when traffic is departing 7.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
KELPkid
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:01 am



Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 4):
-Sometimes, it's to make-up time, assuming you're headed back in the same direction that you just came in from. A good example is ELP, where a DAL-ELP flight might use 26L for landing, and 08R to depart back ELP-DAL.

If you're at the right gate (for WN, that's your two gates on the North side of the B concourse), and you push back for an 8R departure at ELP, your taxi distance is only about 800 feet  Wink
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
ABpositive
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:18 am



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 9):
your taxi distance is only about 800 feet

And you don't need to queue up behind all the other aircrafts!
 
KELPkid
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:36 am



Quoting ABpositive (Reply 10):


And you don't need to queue up behind all the other aircrafts!

Conjestion at ELP is when you're #3 for departure...IIRC, there's ~70 scheduled departures daily, and only about 48 of those are passenger ops (the rest are freight)  Smile
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longhauler
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:33 pm

That is quite common at SJO.

There is a big weight penalty for a 07 departure, and sometimes for some (far) destinations, 25 is the only option. However, often you have to wait quite a while, as there can be no arrivals on 07, and the 07 approach/25 departure path has to be clear.

ATC at SJO is very accommodating and sympathetic when you need 25, but one still has to wait their turn.
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icareflies
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:31 pm

Quoting: OPNLguy
-Sometimes, it's to make-up time, assuming you're headed back in the same direction that you just came in from. A good example is ELP, where a DAL-ELP flight might use 26L for landing, and 08R to depart back ELP-DAL.

In my case I would think it is the mean reason because we were the only plane late and the planes after us took off as usual.
I didn't know it was possible. But I guess that day the wind was pretty low so no real impact on take off.

Thank you guys for your help.

PS: Yes Costa Rica was nice especially in February when you live in Chicago
AF777-300ER and 9W737-900 - Love it! Love it
 
ATCGOD
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:52 pm

We get that a lot at Boise too. QX destinations to the west (Seattle, Portland) the pilots will generally early morning or late evening ask for (and most of the time receive) a 28 departure if winds are light and we can approve it. WN does that a lot too. It saves the airline money because taxiing a little longer to the other than active runway is a lot more efficient than departing and climbing back to the direction your destination is.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Thu Feb 28, 2008 8:20 am

Wind direction changed or your Flight crew requested for the same to reduce flight time.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
NBGSkyGod
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:24 pm

Many times pilots will ask for a different runway for departure to better affect taxi times and to make up time. It may also have been that some of the TACA planes were holding for some sort of delay, so rather than have your flight join the queue the controllers moved your flight around them so you could leave.

This happens a lot. A flight taxiies out, and just before departure a Ground Stop or other delay pops up, and the flight is stuck. Sometimes its better to go back to the gate, but sometimes, its best just to stay put and wait it out.
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:59 pm



Quoting KELPkid (Reply 3):
Maybe the tower allowed them to do this to help the crew get back on schedule?

My experience has always been that taking off "against the flow" does not save time in fact it usually is a bigger delay. I've never had ATC show preferential treatment to a flight because they were late, heck we're all late. If going against the flow got me out quicker I'd do it all the time. I've had depts that against the flow was required for perf. and our place in the sequence did not change.
 
flykal
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:46 am



Quote:
Hi!

If the tailwind is less than 10 kts (the FAA jet limit), and you're closer to the departure end of a runway, you always ask for an opposite direction takeoff, if it will help you leave quicker, and it is practical (safety, ATC, etc.).

cliff
KYIP

Have to disagree with you there. I guess if you are flying into small regional airports, that may be possible, but you don't 'always' ask for an opposite direction takeoff at major airports. In fact, I've never heard that being asked once. As for an opposite direction takeoff being safer, I would suggest perhaps the opposite, especially if ATC has to worry about traffic separation.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Question: Why Did We Take Off The Opposite Way?

Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:30 am



Quoting Flykal (Reply 18):
I guess if you are flying into small regional airports, that may be possible, but you don't 'always' ask for an opposite direction takeoff at major airports. In fact, I've never heard that being asked once

Out here it does occur & BOM is a major Airport.
About being granted permission by ATC frequently is another issue.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)

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