PanAm747
Topic Author
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Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:37 am

On Tuesday, July 3rd, I was driving east on I-494 and was heading to MSP airport to return home to San Diego. I had earlier observed (while heading south on I-35W) many red-tailed aircraft taking off from MSP heading northwest, indicating that the runway 30's were in operation.

However, when on I-494, I saw a Northwest 747 take-off in a SOUTHERLY direction (opposite to previous observations) and make a turn to the right and fly directly over me. It's still an impressive sight, no matter how old I get or how many I see...  goodvibes 

Is this a usual practice at MSP for wide-body take-offs? How does this affect incoming traffic to MSP?

Thanks in advance for all replies!  cloudnine 
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IAHFLYR
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RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:43 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
Is this a usual practice at MSP for wide-body take-offs? How does this affect incoming traffic to MSP?

I don't know the first question, sorry, but the arrival traffic landing opposite direction from the heavy jet departure would require 3 minutes after the heavy departed prior to the landing aircraft reaching the runway threshold.
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LawnDart
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RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Fri Jul 06, 2007 12:49 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
Is this a usual practice at MSP for wide-body take-offs? How does this affect incoming traffic to MSP?

Depending on the wind direction, speed and termperature, the B747 may have been too heavy to use the runways in operation by the majority of flights. Those flights may have been taking off with a little tail wind, or the climb-limited weight may have been greatly reduced (due to obstacles) for the 747 to go in the same direction.

If that is the case, coordination between NW and the ATC facility in MSP is made, the 747 taxis to the threshold of the opposite-direction runway...all inbound traffic is either vectored or held over certain fixes...the 747 hauls a$$, is turned out of the pattern as quickly as possible, and then incoming traffic is allowed to resume.
 
N908AW
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RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At

Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:52 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter):
On Tuesday, July 3rd, I was driving east on I-494 and was heading to MSP airport to return home to San Diego. I had earlier observed (while heading south on I-35W) many red-tailed aircraft taking off from MSP heading northwest, indicating that the runway 30's were in operation.

However, when on I-494, I saw a Northwest 747 take-off in a SOUTHERLY direction (opposite to previous observations) and make a turn to the right and fly directly over me. It's still an impressive sight, no matter how old I get or how many I see... goodvibes

Is this a usual practice at MSP for wide-body take-offs? How does this affect incoming traffic to MSP?

In calm wind, the runway configuration in use before 3pm CDT is 30L+30R and 17 (departures only, obviously). This is for noise abatement...it is far better to hit up the MEDOW1 (fly over the mall and businesses until turning over the river) departure, especially in the morning, then to simply send all of the departures over Minneapolis and all over the southern suburbs.

The configuration is also quite useful to the Humphrey terminal and Cargo ramp aircraft.

It's also quite possible to have a 30s + 17 configuration when the winds are somewhere between headings 220 and 260, where the wind lines up with the respective runways.

I guess your question also dealt with heavies...I have seen DC-10s shoot off 22 when 30s are in use as well. It's kinda freaky seeing a DC-10 zip down a crosswind runway in the middle of an otherwise completely 30s operation day.

[Edited 2007-07-06 02:53:41]
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worldtraveler
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RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:57 am

this does happen in other hubs as well... ATC doesn't turn an airport around when winds shift to even a slight tailwind but even a slight tailwind on a full loaded longhaul is enough to keep the flight from being able to make its destination. ATC obliges airline requests for opposite direction takeoffs.
 
n710ps
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RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:03 am

A little food for though. I do not know what the METAR was at MSP but if winds are calm and temps are high and your numbers show that you can get weight on another runway so to speak you can request it for operational purposes. Alot of times it means holding in the penalty box to get your thumbs up to go but it happens. Been there done thatr.
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pilottim747
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RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:09 pm

My guess is that you didnt see simultaneous opposite direction takeoffs, just a crossing runway. In summer, NWA 19 heavy (to NRT) almost always uses Runway 4/22. Runway 4/22 is the crosswind runway at MSP which crosses all other runways and requires traffic to stop (although just briefly) for an operation on that runway. You probably were witnessing arrivals/departures on Runways 30L and 30R (towards the northwest) and the one heavy departure on Runway 4/22 (towards the southwest).

MSP very rarely does opposite direction traffic. MSP just has too much traffic and wouldn't gain anything operationally from this. If the wind starts switching directions at MSP, ATC will switch the runways for all traffic.
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Continental
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: Simultaneous Opposite Direction Take-Off's At MSP?

Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:19 am

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 6):
one heavy departure on Runway 4/22 (towards the southwest).

Tim is correct. The NW NRT summer departure leaves off 22 usually. It's certainly a spectacular sight to see when you're driving on Cedar!

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