EcuadorianMD11
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"Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 12:59 pm

For those who know these things please:

I´ve heard about "Captain only" rated airports.
I imagine this means that you need the captain at the helm during both take-off and landing, is this correct? I read somewhere Quito (UIO) is one for instance.

What other airports are "Captain only", and what are the criteria for an airport to get on this list? I am guessing restricted runway length, dangerous surroundings (mountains / active volcanoes) or maybe extreme weather circumstances?

If anybody knows anything about this............enlighten me please.


Ecuadorian MD11
A lot of people need to be offended on a regular basis I always felt, and I�´m the very boy to do it! - Billy Connolly
 
BigSaabowski
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 2:21 pm

KEYW used to be a captain only airport for landings at EV due to the short runway length (4800 ft, 1400 m). That has been changed using the logic that FOs will become captains having never landed at EYW before, except in the sim.
 
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tb727
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 2:52 pm

We only have 1 official "Captains only" and it is DCA. DCA departures and arrivals aren't super tough, but we want the Captains doing them because, well, it's DCA.

Legs are always up to the discretion of the Captain though where I work. Anything from weather to runway length to the performance of the First Officer during his PNF duties determines whether or not the guy next to me is flying or not.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
LHRjc
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 6:28 pm

I believe FNC is.
"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
 
PPVRA
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 6:42 pm

Santos Dumont (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro. Runway is VERY short and I hear the approach is quite challenging.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
dispatchguy
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 7:05 pm

Tegucigalpa - look at it on YouTube...
Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
 
thegreatchecko
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Wed May 13, 2009 8:13 pm

Aspen, CO

High rates of descent, coupled with a landing in a dead end valley that is very susceptible to wind sheer. Landings have to be spot on and stable because a go-around is right at the edge of the single engine performance envelope.

Checko
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zappbrannigan
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 1:33 am

I know Virgin Blue here have a couple of airports that are generally captain-only - generally the airports with narrow (30m) runways, and strip lengths around the 1700-1900m mark (Ballina YBNA and Maroochydore YBMC spring to mind). There are probably others.
 
musang
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 7:51 pm

Gibraltar, due to the possibility of turbulence due southerly winds around the very adjacent rock.

London City, for both the airlines I've flown in there with, due to the steep approach, short runway and the consequences of going off the end.

Dagali/Geilo, Norway, due to the compacted snow covered runway (low braking coefficient, can't see the runway markings).

Our First Officers are allowed to take off at GIB (if turbulence allows). Can't remember whether the same was true at the other two.

Salzburg and Split - if doing the circling approach its strongly recommended (in our company) that the Captain should land, but not actually a rigid rule.

Regards - musang
 
pilotpip
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 8:15 pm

Some airlines might also put more restrictions on FOs based on weather such as crosswind or braking action. Another reason might be Land and Hold Short.

Saabowski mentioned the restriction being changed, and I agree with that mentality. What happens when you upgrade and have to go there, or the captain becomes incapacitated on the approach? Better to gain the experience with the person sitting next to you supervising than never having the chance and suddenly being the supervisor.
DMI
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 8:21 pm



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 9):
Better to gain the experience with the person sitting next to you supervising than never having the chance and suddenly being the supervisor.

I know where you're coming from but everyone starts in the sim for the first time. What if the F/O is new to the jet and isn't as experienced? If it's a touchy approach I've always maintained that if someone screws up it better be me considering I signed for the jet and I'm responsible no matter who lands.
 
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SEPilot
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 9:07 pm



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 10):
I know where you're coming from but everyone starts in the sim for the first time. What if the F/O is new to the jet and isn't as experienced? If it's a touchy approach I've always maintained that if someone screws up it better be me considering I signed for the jet and I'm responsible no matter who lands.

The problem with hard and fast rules is that it doesn't allow for individual circumstances, and thus IMHO leads to less effective training. It used to be that copilots were considered apprentices and captains were considered mentors, but this approach had its flaws, which manifested most spectacularly and tragically at Tenerife. CRM was the outcome, and while it has definitely been an improvement, it is not perfect. In the case of these airfields, my suggestion would be that the Captain would be strongly recommended to fly them, but given the flexibility to allow senior copilots that are close to upgrading to fly them; perhaps company training policy should specifically make sure that copilots coming close to being upgraded have experience flying in and out of all of the difficult airfields on the route.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
WestJetForLife
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 9:46 pm

I heard somewhere on a World Air Routes video that somewhere in the Faroe Is. is also Captain-only. It's Atlantic Airways flying up to the Faroes.

Here is the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkDaPblzy2Y

Nik
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pilotpip
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 10:10 pm



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 10):
I know where you're coming from but everyone starts in the sim for the first time. What if the F/O is new to the jet and isn't as experienced? If it's a touchy approach I've always maintained that if someone screws up it better be me considering I signed for the jet and I'm responsible no matter who lands.

I agree whole heartedly. There has been more than one instance where I left my ego at the marker and told the captain I didn't feel comfortable with the conditions. I did it back in Feb when I was coming back on line after a 4 month furlough and doing a circle to land at MDW in high winds.

It also hasn't hurt when a captain elected to land on my leg because of the conditions. I don't sign the release.

That being said, I don't think I have the ego a lot of us up front have.
DMI
 
B6JFKH81
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu May 14, 2009 11:33 pm

Doesn't SAN have a restriction like this? I could have sworn I heard it mentioned during the harbor tour when they were talking about the airport...but I was too busy watchin the planes LOL!
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Fri May 15, 2009 3:33 am



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 11):
my suggestion would be that the Captain would be strongly recommended to fly them, but given the flexibility to allow senior copilots that are close to upgrading to fly them; perhaps company training policy should specifically make sure that copilots coming close to being upgraded have experience flying in and out of all of the difficult airfields on the route.

In theory maybe but in reality there's no such thing as a senior co-pilot about to upgrade. Every pilot has his/her idea of what their goal is and if a co-pilot is senior that doesn't mean his next move is to capt. There's too many possibilities and the capt wouldn't know them anyway. Secondly, if you have a few 1000 pilots then 10% will bend every rule if allowed; now you can have other serious problems allowing such deceisions to be at will. You write as if every one is on the "same page" and good buddies and all have the same mind set but it don't work that way therefore for the more demanding apps the co says let the capt do it. Lastly, if that co-pilot, senior or not, is flying with a check airman then he can make any app the LCA will let him do.
 
AAR90
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Fri May 15, 2009 4:53 am



Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 14):
Doesn't SAN have a restriction like this?

Nope.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
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SEPilot
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Fri May 15, 2009 11:14 am



Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 15):
In theory maybe but in reality there's no such thing as a senior co-pilot about to upgrade.

Well, I am an amateur, not a professional pilot, and have never worked for an airline. But since pilot promotions on every airline in this country that I know of are based on seniority, I find your statement somewhat incredible. Surely every copilot who desires to become captain (which I would think would be about 99% of them, but I could be wrong) would know exactly where they are on the seniority ladder, and most of them will be counting the days until they can upgrade. Similarly, the airline management will be equally aware of the situation. I would expect management to know how many new captains they are going to need in the near future, and to talk to the senior copilots to find out how many of them want to upgrade well before the time comes, and take steps to insure that they are ready for it. But maybe in the real world they do not have such foresight.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Fri May 15, 2009 12:38 pm



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
But since pilot promotions on every airline in this country that I know of are based on seniority, I find your statement somewhat incredible.

Sorry but that's the way it is.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Surely every copilot who desires to become captain (which I would think would be about 99% of them, but I could be wrong) would know exactly where they are on the seniority ladder, and most of them will be counting the days until they can upgrade. Similarly, the airline management will be equally aware of the situation. I would expect management to know how many new captains they are going to need in the near future, and to talk to the senior copilots to find out how many of them want to upgrade well before the time comes, and take steps to insure that they are ready for it.

Not really. As I said we have just under 5000 pilots and there is no predominate thought that every F/O is "just waiting for the day" to move to the left seat. Maybe at a regional where most guys may be lessor experienced but here all the pilots have had previous lives either in the military or corp. or whatever and for many lifestyle takes presidence over seat position. Some may want to wait until they can make the move and be senior, some may wait until they can hold capt. in another type or domicile. Of course the co. knows but unless the co. declares an "excess" bid they won't MAKE a guy move. Often you'll see the very jr. guys take the first opportunity to move because they were jr. anyway so what's the difference. The co. does not talk to anyone to see what they want to do, there's no point in that. Every pilot has a default bid that says where he would "like" to be but no one can really enforce that will. When seat positions are open there are a number of "practice" bids that let ALL the pilots know where they might be if they bid this seat/a/c but there are still no guarantees. For example I could have held a fairly senior position on the 777 but before the bid closed took my name off and decided to stay where I am. And lastly the co. ensures "when the time comes" that "you are ready for it" by sending you back to school and the sim and IOE flights with LCA. There's no need to worry about until then. The F/o needs to do his job and the capt. his, it works well that way.
 
DashTrash
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sun May 17, 2009 2:46 am



Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 6):
Aspen, CO

High rates of descent, coupled with a landing in a dead end valley that is very susceptible to wind sheer. Landings have to be spot on and stable because a go-around is right at the edge of the single engine performance envelope.

Who restricts Aspen?
 
pilotpip
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sun May 17, 2009 5:00 am



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
Surely every copilot who desires to become captain (which I would think would be about 99% of them, but I could be wrong) would know exactly where they are on the seniority ladder, and most of them will be counting the days until they can upgrade.

I know plenty of guys that prefer to stay in the right seat of their equipment because they have a much more desirable schedule. Having the schedule you want because you're senior enough to hold it in the right seat or lower-paying equipment often trumps sitting in the left seat of the biggest thing on property. Likewise there are a ton of captains at my regional that have no desire to move to the majors. The massive pay cut and commute to sit reserve in somewhere like Newark isn't worth it to them.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):
I would expect management to know how many new captains they are going to need in the near future, and to talk to the senior copilots to find out how many of them want to upgrade well before the time comes, and take steps to insure that they are ready for it. But maybe in the real world they do not have such foresight.

Airline management foresight? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Seriously, they have no idea what they'll need a month from now. If the economy dumps, they might be furloughing and displacing. 6 months later they're short staffed and hiring like mad.

We're not copilots. We're first officers. I hate the term copilot. It infers that we're just along for the ride.
DMI
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sun May 17, 2009 5:54 am



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 20):
I know plenty of guys that prefer to stay in the right seat of their equipment because they have a much more desirable schedule. Having the schedule you want because you're senior enough to hold it in the right seat or lower-paying equipment often trumps sitting in the left seat of the biggest thing on property. Likewise there are a ton of captains at my regional that have no desire to move to the majors. The massive pay cut and commute to sit reserve in somewhere like Newark isn't worth it to them.

 checkmark  My father was quite senior on his type as an FO and help pretty good lines. He then upgraded to Captain about 6 years ago and is in the middle of the pack due to his company seniority.

With ASA, I knew many many guys that were pretty senior Captains on the CR2 but chose to stay there for whatever reason even though they would be near the told of the line anyway for the 70 seater. There was also a guy, in the top ten for overall seniority with the company, flying the ATR as s captain although he would have probably been the most senior CR7 Captain. He loved the routes and scheduling of the type.
What gets measured gets done.
 
DescendVia
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sun May 17, 2009 4:57 pm

EGE (for at least UA) is a captain only airport. The captain has to fly every approach, arrival, and departure. Plus the LOC(FMS) 25 (A319/320 and 757 only) is a SAAAR approach and the airport in general is a special qualification airport. Most of the ski airports for us are either captain only or supervised operation airport with a ton of airline only procedures. For example the Silver ILS16R into RNO lowers the minimums by 1,831 feet over the public use ILS16R.

Quoting LHRjc (Reply 3):
I believe FNC is.

Yes it is and if you read through the airport pages they also require a certain number of approaches in the sim and like one or two jumpseat flights before being signed off.
 
Mastropiero
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Mon May 18, 2009 9:26 am



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 13):
I agree whole heartedly. There has been more than one instance where I left my ego at the marker and told the captain I didn't feel comfortable with the conditions. I did it back in Feb when I was coming back on line after a 4 month furlough and doing a circle to land at MDW in high winds.

Sorry for going a bit off-topic, but what would be the procedure for handing the aircraft to the captain? I know that if he wants to take over he´d say "My aircraft", or similar. Is it the same if, as you say, you don´t feel comfortable and would rather have him/her carry on flying?
 
pilotpip
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Mon May 18, 2009 10:52 am

"Hey Bob/Sally, It's been a while since I've been here and don't really feel comfortable with the wind/conditions. Do you mind taking this one?"
DMI
 
Mastropiero
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Mon May 18, 2009 11:01 am



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 24):
"Hey Bob/Sally, It's been a while since I've been here and don't really feel comfortable with the wind/conditions. Do you mind taking this one?"

Lol... thank you for that, I thought it would be something a bit more formal.  Smile
 
EcuadorianMD11
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:53 am

Big version: Width: 1504 Height: 1000 File size: 421kb
Santos Dumont


Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
Santos Dumont (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro. Runway is VERY short and I hear the approach is quite challenging.

Yep, the pic shows you all.............
I had the pleasure of landing there in a chopper, but I saw (and heard) the 737´s and the A32X´s giving it the balls to the wall to get out of there.
Beautiful terminal though.........and what an amazing city at a stone throw away!

Ecuadorian MD11
A lot of people need to be offended on a regular basis I always felt, and I�´m the very boy to do it! - Billy Connolly
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:09 am

Being a Captain only airport is not a regulation.... it is only an airline operation specific deal.

Someone listed DCA and UIO on here... I'm sure SNA will make it up here as well. At my carrier, those are all airports where, as long as the FO has more than 100 hours in type, it is at the CA's discretion who does the landing.

I believe our only "CA only" airport is TGU, for obvious reasons. Even on top of that, the first two landings for any CA into TGU has to be observed by a line check airman.... and that qualification is only good for 6 months if you don't return.

Different training programs have different stipulations for many different reasons.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
FlyingColours
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:36 am

The Greek Islands have a great many of challenging airfields but I believe Samos (LGSM/SMI) is the toughest one that sees any jet action. I'm not too sure on the facts since I've only been in twice but on both occasions we did the infamous circle approach, the first time we had two training captains with the L/H being "checked in" to the airport, the following week I did the same route with the same L/H but this time he had a Second Officer in the R/H, the Captain landed but the S/O took the departure (because apparently he needed to do a flap 25 takeoff for his training and SMI was the only place on our route network that warranted one).

* Incidentally that was my last ever flight, XL Airways ceased ops a few hours after I got back to LGW... (But that's another story).

As mentioned FNC is a captain only approach at some UK Airlines, and does have some very funny stories relating to it, like the BY 767 though that was before the runway was extended...

Phil
FlyingColours

EDIT: Corrected ICAO Code

[Edited 2009-07-12 04:37:21]
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
dxing
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:10 am

There are a number of airports designated "special airports" due to a variety of reasons. Most are no big deal. A small number of airports have such unique approach and/or departures that a check ride is necessary prior to allowing a captain fly there. Most are high altitude airports that are surrounded by even higher terrain.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
dispatchguy
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RE: "Captain Only" Rated Airports? Which And Why?

Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:04 pm

Here is one airlines list of when a new-hire F/O may not perform a landing:

At airports designated as “Special Airports” in the Jeppesen Route Manual.
Prevailing visibility is at or below 3/4 mile.
Runway has water, snow, slush, or similar conditions that may adversely affect aircraft performance.
Braking action reported as less than GOOD.
Crosswind is greater than 15 knots.
Windshear reported in the vicinity of the airport.
Any other condition that makes it necessary for the Captain to conduct the takeoff or landing.

Captains are REQUIRED to land under the following conditions:

An engine is shutdown.
Visibility is below 3/4 mile or 4000 RVR.
Required by new hire pilot landing restrictions.
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