Tankdiver
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United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:38 am

Me and a few buddy were spotting on Imperial Hill at LAX yesterday. We saw a United B787 lined up on final approach to 24R. All of a sudden, the aircraft banked hard left until it was facing almost south. We all thought that he was going to perform a go around. But then suddenly, he banked hard right as he was going by the Sheraton Hotel. He kept banking right until he was facing west again. He pitched his nose down aggressively then straighten out and landed on 24R. I tried to listen to the feed on LiveATC, but I could not find it. Do you guys have any idea what was going on?

Uniited Airlines UA199 PVG to LAX 02/22/2017
Boeing 787-8 Reg. N19951

I don't have video of the landing, but I did took a sequence of photos.

[photoid]ImageUA199 by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199A by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199B by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199C by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199D by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199E by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199F by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199G by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199H by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199I by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

[photoid]ImageUA199J by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]
 
B747forever
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:06 am

I believe that must be a S-turn the UA aircraft performed. There was probably a aircraft that had not cleared the runway yet, and in order to avoid a go around ATC asked for a S-turn, so they extend their approach in order for the other aircraft to have enough time to clear the runway.
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BartSimpson
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:04 am

B747forever wrote:
I believe that must be a S-turn the UA aircraft performed. There was probably a aircraft that had not cleared the runway yet, and in order to avoid a go around ATC asked for a S-turn, so they extend their approach in order for the other aircraft to have enough time to clear the runway.


How much time would they have gained by this manoeuvre?
 
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RRTrent
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:11 am

Its just for spacing, I'm sure it would buy a few seconds, which can be sufficient to avoid a GA. In the below video you can hear ATC give vectors for spacing on finals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P6dAbDzzRc
 
Tankdiver
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:17 am

Is it normal for them to perform a S-Turn so close to the airport? The aircraft was much closer to the airport that what you see on Flight Radar. I believe the flight path drawn on the screenshot of Flightradar is a little off. If you look at the photo of the aircraft just above the Hyaat Regency Hotel, they were still making the right turn to line up with the runway. That area is a remote parking for the airport, and just before Sepulveda Blvd where the airport parameter fence is.

Look at the Google Earth photo, this is what I think their flight path looked like:

[photoid]ImageUA199N by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]
 
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:49 am

Tankdiver wrote:
Is it normal for them to perform a S-Turn so close to the airport? The aircraft was much closer to the airport that what you see on Flight Radar. I believe the flight path drawn on the screenshot of Flightradar is a little off. If you look at the photo of the aircraft just above the Hyaat Regency Hotel, they were still making the right turn to line up with the runway. That area is a remote parking for the airport, and just before Sepulveda Blvd where the airport parameter fence is.

Look at the Google Earth photo, this is what I think their flight path looked like:

[photoid]ImageUA199N by Jimmy Vu, on Flickr[/photoid]

I'm skeptical that's what the flight path would have been, because they would have had to go missed if they were that far off course. On your line, there would have been no time for the aircraft to have reestablished to execute a landing. I'm guessing it was an S turn that possibly looked more dramatic from your vantage point than it was in reality. Is it possible they side stepped him to 24L? When I first read this, my first thought was that he was potentially responding to a TCAS RA, but since the aircraft continued the approach, that would be unlikely. Since it continued, I have to assume it was a planned maneuver for spacing to prevent having to execute a missed approach. I'm not a tower controller, but I know that when a tower controller asks a pilot for a nice big S turn, the pilots usually try their very best to accommodate. Even for a fuel efficient 787, that's thousands of dollars going down the drain if they have to go missed.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:58 am

Tankdiver wrote:
...I believe the flight path drawn on the screenshot of Flightradar is a little off...


It is off anyway because it shows a right-left turn whereas you are talking of (and the pictures seem to prove it) a left-right turn.

Or am I getting something wrong?
 
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blackbox67
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:30 pm

Interesting and never seen in real life.

Preceeding Allegiant A319 (G4 319) apparently came too close and UA 199 was eating up the distance.

a look into ATC conversation resolves the mystery:
ATC: "UA 199 you are overtaking traffic ahead you give me a shallow turn to the north please."

After that he advised a subsequent WN flight the Dreamliner is doing a s-turn for spacing.

from minute 28:45
http://archive-server.liveatc.net/klax/KLAX-Twr-North-Feb-22-2017-2330Z.mp3
 
wn676
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:48 pm

Based on the photos is appears it was making an S-turn to the right, as the FR24 plot shows. The very first photo shows the aircraft already in the first leg of the turn. The final turn has the aircraft in a right bank; if it was flying as you have drawn it would have been in a left bank.

This is a fairly common occurrence, though still quite impressive to watch, especially with a heavy.
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avi8tir
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:55 pm

S-Turns are common practice in general aviation. Every student pilot practices them and they usually happen on final approach or even short final. If you are doing pattern work at a busy airport (for example, Long Beach (LGB) on a nice saturday afternoon!) they are VERY VERY common! :) They also happen in commercial aviation although likely not as often as general aviation as the controllers do a good job of spacing. I've been on a few flights where it has happened. Definitely a different experience on a large jet!
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CALTECH
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:58 pm

At MCO, these S turns happened a lot. Very close to the airport. Also, when a thunderstorm is near the runway approach, the maneuvers performed by aircraft coming in to land are a sight to see.
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FlyHossD
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:43 pm

Tankdiver wrote:
Me and a few buddy were spotting on Imperial Hill at LAX yesterday. We saw a United B787 lined up on final approach to 24R. All of a sudden, the aircraft banked hard left until it was facing almost south. We all thought that he was going to perform a go around. But then suddenly, he banked hard right as he was going by the Sheraton Hotel. He kept banking right until he was facing west again. He pitched his nose down aggressively then straighten out and landed on 24R. I tried to listen to the feed on LiveATC, but I could not find it. Do you guys have any idea what was going on?


Thanks for the photos.

I don't see any aggressive maneuvers at all, rather that appears to be a S-turn for spacing. S-turns happen every day.
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socalatc
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:54 pm

They performed an S turn for spacing. I was on duty when they did it, very common
 
afcjets
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:59 pm

Tankdiver wrote:
Me and a few buddy were spotting on Imperial Hill at LAX yesterday. We saw a United B787 lined up on final approach to 24R. All of a sudden, the aircraft banked hard left until it was facing almost south. We all thought that he was going to perform a go around. But then suddenly, he banked hard right as he was going by the Sheraton Hotel. He kept banking right until he was facing west again. He pitched his nose down aggressively then straighten out and landed on 24R.


The flight path shows the opposite of what you say. It first banked right or north and then banked left or south right before touchdown.

I have never seen the air so clear in LA must be all the rain, DTLA looks a lot closer than it is, and I can't believe how much detail on the skyscrapers you can see. You also appear to be closer to the jet than Imperial Hwy, does the zoom lens make downtown appear closer to the airport than it is too?
 
gzm
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:53 pm

Let's stretch it a little and see it from another angle: that of an airplane that has just touched down and is equally pressed to free the runway as soon as possible due to incoming traffic.On 18 November 1999 I happened to be on board an Olympic 747 (SX-OAD) which flew the last service of the type to New York.The captain announced we were sixth in line for landing and when we finally touched down, I was amazed by the intensity and persistence of the reverse applied.We were able to exit the runway shortly and certainly it didn't feel like those leisurely and majestic landings at ATH! Many years ago (1977) I was watching the landings under the path of the airplanes when a CP Air DC-8 passed directly over my head.It banked hard to the left momentarily with the use of the ailerons.A last-moment correction for the center line. It gives you a little jolt watcing it.Feels like you are participating. That's the beauty of aviation.
 
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:39 pm

afcjets wrote:
Tankdiver wrote:
Me and a few buddy were spotting on Imperial Hill at LAX yesterday. We saw a United B787 lined up on final approach to 24R. All of a sudden, the aircraft banked hard left until it was facing almost south. We all thought that he was going to perform a go around. But then suddenly, he banked hard right as he was going by the Sheraton Hotel. He kept banking right until he was facing west again. He pitched his nose down aggressively then straighten out and landed on 24R.


The flight path shows the opposite of what you say. It first banked right or north and then banked left or south right before touchdown.

I have never seen the air so clear in LA must be all the rain, DTLA looks a lot closer than it is, and I can't believe how much detail on the skyscrapers you can see. You also appear to be closer to the jet than Imperial Hwy, does the zoom lens make downtown appear closer to the airport than it is too?


It was a very cold and windy day, with only a few clouds. When you have these elements together, you can see all the way to DTLA. I was using a 400mm lens.
 
mcdu
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:52 pm

And it is titles like the one headlining this thread that create huge frustration for pilots, controllers and probably airline management. A meanuver that is normal and part of every day life in the flying world is called "unusual". Just because you aren't familiar with something doesn't mean it is unusual it is just something you haven't seen previously. Yet the pics,ground track estimation is immediately put forth as a hazardous maneuver when in effect it is just flying the plane. This Monday morning QB'ing has reached record levels by the ill informed. Maybe it is the sensationalist news media that has created this trend?
 
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m0ssy
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:10 pm

mcdu wrote:
And it is titles like the one headlining this thread that create huge frustration for pilots, controllers and probably airline management. A meanuver that is normal and part of every day life in the flying world is called "unusual". Just because you aren't familiar with something doesn't mean it is unusual it is just something you haven't seen previously. Yet the pics,ground track estimation is immediately put forth as a hazardous maneuver when in effect it is just flying the plane. This Monday morning QB'ing has reached record levels by the ill informed. Maybe it is the sensationalist news media that has created this trend?


Frustrating in what way? Did someone force you to read or reply? Looked to me like someone noticed something interesting and asked a question.

Good grief, the sensitivity of this board is astounding at times. I have to say I enjoyed the pictures and perspective. But the more I read this board, the more I wonder if a real life pilot will shoot me on site for asking a question. :roll:
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mcdu
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:10 pm

m0ssy wrote:
mcdu wrote:
And it is titles like the one headlining this thread that create huge frustration for pilots, controllers and probably airline management. A meanuver that is normal and part of every day life in the flying world is called "unusual". Just because you aren't familiar with something doesn't mean it is unusual it is just something you haven't seen previously. Yet the pics,ground track estimation is immediately put forth as a hazardous maneuver when in effect it is just flying the plane. This Monday morning QB'ing has reached record levels by the ill informed. Maybe it is the sensationalist news media that has created this trend?


Frustrating in what way? Did someone force you to read or reply? Looked to me like someone noticed something interesting and asked a question.

Good grief, the sensitivity of this board is astounding at times. I have to say I enjoyed the pictures and perspective. But the more I read this board, the more I wonder if a real life pilot will shoot me on site for asking a question. :roll:


It's fine to ask a question. It's the forensic analysis of the safety of the maneuver. Not much different than the tanks visual at LGA or the river visual at DCA but all the armchair experts want to pronounce this as unusual and unsafe.
 
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:53 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
B747forever wrote:
I believe that must be a S-turn the UA aircraft performed. There was probably a aircraft that had not cleared the runway yet, and in order to avoid a go around ATC asked for a S-turn, so they extend their approach in order for the other aircraft to have enough time to clear the runway.


How much time would they have gained by this manoeuvre?


You can easily fly an extra half mile or mile with S-turns which is all it usually takes to give the preceding aircraft space and/or time to vacate the runway.
 
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FlyingJhawk
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:05 am

mcdu wrote:
m0ssy wrote:
mcdu wrote:
And it is titles like the one headlining this thread that create huge frustration for pilots, controllers and probably airline management. A meanuver that is normal and part of every day life in the flying world is called "unusual". Just because you aren't familiar with something doesn't mean it is unusual it is just something you haven't seen previously. Yet the pics,ground track estimation is immediately put forth as a hazardous maneuver when in effect it is just flying the plane. This Monday morning QB'ing has reached record levels by the ill informed. Maybe it is the sensationalist news media that has created this trend?


Frustrating in what way? Did someone force you to read or reply? Looked to me like someone noticed something interesting and asked a question.

Good grief, the sensitivity of this board is astounding at times. I have to say I enjoyed the pictures and perspective. But the more I read this board, the more I wonder if a real life pilot will shoot me on site for asking a question. :roll:


It's fine to ask a question. It's the forensic analysis of the safety of the maneuver. Not much different than the tanks visual at LGA or the river visual at DCA but all the armchair experts want to pronounce this as unusual and unsafe.


It may not be unusual for you, but for many it would indeed seem unusual. It's subjective This is a public forum and which means one doesn't need any particular qualifications to post. The original poster seemed to be interested in learning more about something he/she hadn't either seen, or at the very least hadn't know about l, so this is probably the best place to get an educated answer from knowledgeable posters. For the record, I seriously doubt this caused any huge frustration for anyone but perhaps you.
 
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:43 am

Do pilots make announcements before they do this? In the post 911 era, I would think some passengers might be uneasy if their plane starting swerving like this right before touchdown in perfect weather, especially in a target like NYC or LA.
 
doug_or
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:55 am

afcjets wrote:
Do pilots make announcements before they do this? In the post 911 era, I would think some passengers might be uneasy if their plane starting swerving like this right before touchdown in perfect weather, especially in a target like NYC or LA.


Absolutely not. They fly the airplane. Keeping passengers informed is important in the grand scheme of things, but not worth compromising safety. PAs should made at the gate, in cruise, or when the parking brake is set. Not in critical phases of flight.
Last edited by doug_or on Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:59 am

afcjets wrote:
Do pilots make announcements before they do this? In the post 911 era, I would think some passengers might be uneasy if their plane starting swerving like this right before touchdown in perfect weather, especially in a target like NYC or LA.


I'm going to guess that the majority of passengers had absolutely no idea of what was happening.

Last year I flew into LHR, when my partner showed me the route on FR24 later, we had done a grand tour of south-east England. As a passenger on the flight, I had no sensation of the turns etc.
 
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m0ssy
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:12 am

mcdu wrote:
m0ssy wrote:
mcdu wrote:
And it is titles like the one headlining this thread that create huge frustration for pilots, controllers and probably airline management. A meanuver that is normal and part of every day life in the flying world is called "unusual". Just because you aren't familiar with something doesn't mean it is unusual it is just something you haven't seen previously. Yet the pics,ground track estimation is immediately put forth as a hazardous maneuver when in effect it is just flying the plane. This Monday morning QB'ing has reached record levels by the ill informed. Maybe it is the sensationalist news media that has created this trend?


Frustrating in what way? Did someone force you to read or reply? Looked to me like someone noticed something interesting and asked a question.

Good grief, the sensitivity of this board is astounding at times. I have to say I enjoyed the pictures and perspective. But the more I read this board, the more I wonder if a real life pilot will shoot me on site for asking a question. :roll:


It's fine to ask a question. It's the forensic analysis of the safety of the maneuver. Not much different than the tanks visual at LGA or the river visual at DCA but all the armchair experts want to pronounce this as unusual and unsafe.


Sorry, I now see my initial reply was a bit harsher than necessary. Apologies. :wave:

I will say I don't believe the OP was trying to question the judgement of the flight crew, and just looking for some explanation of something many of us probably don't see on an every day basis. I for example have spent hundreds of hours spotting, listening to ATC, and haven't heard or seen this happen in commercial aviation. I realize that doesn't mean anything as I could have missed all the signs not looking for them. I had read about the S turn and how pilots will sometimes use them not just for spacing but losing extra elevation if too high on approach, but assumed it was mainly in general aviation.

Cheers.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:33 am

This thread and the many redesigns of the B757 are why the pros say, "friends don't let friends read airliners.net". A non-event is turned into headline-worthy story.

GF
 
Q
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:08 am

It's normal I have seen a few times in Chicago OHare making s turn approach to avoid too close and save time not need to go around.

Q
 
spacecadet
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:13 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
This thread and the many redesigns of the B757 are why the pros say, "friends don't let friends read airliners.net". A non-event is turned into headline-worthy story.


I wouldn't say "headline-worthy", it's a guy asking a question. That's what forums are for. He described what he saw, showed it in pics and then asked if we knew what was going on.

When people stop asking questions here, we may as well shut it down because then it really truly *will* just be people shouting at each other back and forth. When everybody thinks they know the answers to everything, *that's* when you have a problem.

I'll just say that I live just a couple miles from JFK and S-turns like this are very common here. Sometimes it can be disconcerting because I am not on any sort of approach course (22R is the closest but it's about 40 degrees off and only 2 miles away) and every so often I'll get a large airliner flying directly over my house at about 200 feet.
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Tankdiver
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:39 am

mcdu wrote:
And it is titles like the one headlining this thread that create huge frustration for pilots, controllers and probably airline management. A meanuver that is normal and part of every day life in the flying world is called "unusual". Just because you aren't familiar with something doesn't mean it is unusual it is just something you haven't seen previously. Yet the pics,ground track estimation is immediately put forth as a hazardous maneuver when in effect it is just flying the plane. This Monday morning QB'ing has reached record levels by the ill informed. Maybe it is the sensationalist news media that has created this trend?


Sorry to upset you...but I was asking a question about a maneuver that I've never seen before. "Strange" means unusual or out of the ordinary for someone who have never seen it. I have heard of S-Turn before, but never witness one performed by a heavy so close to the airport. In fact, there were more than 10 photographers on Imperial Hill that day who are pros, and even they had no idea what that aircraft was doing. Everyone were "Ohhing" and "Ahhing". Some even thought he was landing on the wrong runway and trying maneuver to the correct runway. Like I mentioned in my post, I tried to listen to the LiveATC feed, but couldn't find it. Therefore I can here to ask a question. Now if I had titled this thread " United Airlines aircraft performed a dangerous maneuver", then sure flame me all you want. If you are a "pilots, controllers and probably airline management", then don't be frustrated, but lend us your expertise and fill us in on the info! I could have Google "aircraft makes a strange maneuver on approach to LAX", but I doubt Google would have a clear answer. So how would you have titled this thread better? Please informed the ill informed.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:54 am

Is it common for controllers to refer to the B787 as a "Dreamliner" like this instead of as a 787?
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astaz
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Re: United Airlines UA199 strange maneuver during approach to LAX

Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:46 am

EA CO AS wrote:
Is it common for controllers to refer to the B787 as a "Dreamliner" like this instead of as a 787?


Aircraft that have common names, yes. For example the Cessna line, controllers often refer to as Skyhawk or Skylane.... In this case, FAA Order 7360.1, refers to the 787, as the Boeing 787, Dreamliner. Either name works for type identification.

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