Bradlee102896
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Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:51 pm

Earlier today I was on a Delta Airlines Airbus A321 flying from St. Louis to Atlanta, GA. When coming in for landing in Atlanta, the pilot made several maneuvers that seemed like S turns right before landing, why would the pilot in command do such actions? I’ve never had that happen before. But we were gear down and full flaps and I could see the Atlanta terminals and runways when we started the maneuvers so we were probably a quarter mile or less from touchdown. Just curious why might he have done this because several people on the plane thought we were going to crash.
 
canyonblue17
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:57 pm

S-turns at the last minute are very common, especially at a busy airport, to create spacing between aircraft, rather than forcing a go-around.
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RJNUT
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:58 pm

coming up too fast on the plane ahead?
 
Scarebus34
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:59 pm

Pretty normal for spacing.
 
Bradlee102896
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:12 pm

canyonblue17 wrote:
S-turns at the last minute are very common, especially at a busy airport, to create spacing between aircraft, rather than forcing a go-around.


That must have been what it was, I didn’t think much of it, seemed pretty cool to me that we were doing it so low to the ground. Makes sense now.

I honestly thought maybe he was lined up with the wrong runway so we made those turns to line up with the correct runway last minute.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:38 pm

Ive been on a plane that did it once. It is cool to feel true hand flying.
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cedarjet
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:41 pm

Why did they think it was going to crash? Don’t we have enough drama in our lives with inventing more?
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Karlsands
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:42 pm

S turns and 360s are common for spacing etc as stated above, aircraft have different approach speeds
 
Bradlee102896
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:51 pm

cedarjet wrote:
Why did they think it was going to crash? Don’t we have enough drama in our lives with inventing more?


I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.
 
777Mech
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:55 pm

I'm not really seeing the S turns on the playback on FR24.
 
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September11
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:57 pm

ATC playback?
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rjsampson
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:00 am

Re: FR24, Me neither.

And to the OP: You most certainly were not banking at 55-60 degrees, or anything even close.

I was going to point out OP mentioned these "S-turns" were close enough to touchdown to see airport buildings (?!) which clearly wouldn't be a spacing issue. Then again: With the OP suggesting 55-60 bank angles, perhaps this first-hand account may not have reflected the actual scenario.
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m007j
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:13 am

70 kt overtake on the Maddog in front of him, coupled by 2309 not responding to calls from the tower for about 30 seconds. Left S turn for spacing.

*all taken from Liveatc

Bradlee102896 wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Why did they think it was going to crash? Don’t we have enough drama in our lives with inventing more?


I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.


I can promise you you weren't doing anywhere near 50-60 degrees of bank, max I believe is 25 degrees. No transport-category aircraft and associated FCOM is going to tell you to do 50-60 degrees of bank.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:19 am

Bradlee102896 wrote:
I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.


Wow! Most airliners never bank more than 25-30 degrees; a 60 degree bank angle is normally only experienced by pilots of acrobatic stunt planes or fighter jets. No wonder the passengers thought you were going to crash. I expect the pilot will have to answer some serious questions if/when the flight data recorder shows a 60 degree bank angle, especially that close to the ground.
 
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EstherLouise
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:36 am

S-turn for spacing. Had to do that in a snowstorm at MSP in NW DC93. I actually lost orientation.
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LAXLHR
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:36 am

Well thankfully this thread is over and put to bed :-)
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CriticalPoint
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:45 am

Bradlee102896 wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Why did they think it was going to crash? Don’t we have enough drama in our lives with inventing more?


I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.



You were no where close to 50-60 degrees! You were 30 degrees at most.
 
jumbojet
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:00 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPxaOGTJow

Delta 737 S turn landing at LGA

If you look close enough you can see an unknown plane taking off moments before the DL 737 completes its last S turn before landing.
Last edited by jumbojet on Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
Bradlee102896
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:00 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
Bradlee102896 wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Why did they think it was going to crash? Don’t we have enough drama in our lives with inventing more?


I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.



You were no where close to 50-60 degrees! You were 30 degrees at most.


I’m honestly just taking a guess on the bank angle, I figured I’d overshoot the angle and let someone correct me
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:33 am

jumbojet wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPxaOGTJow

Delta 737 S turn landing at LGA

If you look close enough you can see an unknown plane taking off moments before the DL 737 completes its last S turn before landing.


I’m not sure that was an S turn. It looks to me as if they had a strong wind from the south on the expressway visual and they overshot....... Based on the crab angle for the landing.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:43 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
Bradlee102896 wrote:
cedarjet wrote:
Why did they think it was going to crash? Don’t we have enough drama in our lives with inventing more?


I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.



You were no where close to 50-60 degrees! You were 30 degrees at most.


Airbus FBW airplanes won’t even allow you to bank beyond a certain limit.
 
jumbojet
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:07 am

CriticalPoint wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPxaOGTJow

Delta 737 S turn landing at LGA

If you look close enough you can see an unknown plane taking off moments before the DL 737 completes its last S turn before landing.


I’m not sure that was an S turn. It looks to me as if they had a strong wind from the south on the expressway visual and they overshot....... Based on the crab angle for the landing.


you could very well be right. I thought I read somewhere, a credible source, that the pilots were told to slow down its approach due to an aircraft on the runway during its final turn over the old Shea Stadium,
 
spacecadet
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:27 am

jumbojet wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPxaOGTJow

Delta 737 S turn landing at LGA

If you look close enough you can see an unknown plane taking off moments before the DL 737 completes its last S turn before landing.


That's not an S-turn, that's just an overshoot on final. That can happen for a number of reasons.

I listened to the liveatc recording and looked at the track on both FR24 and Flightaware and I don't see or hear any evidence of an S-turn. I did hear tower asking for 2309 to slow, but the flight path is pretty straight in after the turn to final approach course. This is the relevant recording: http://archive-server.liveatc.net/katl/ ... -1530Z.mp3

The conversations with 2309 are at about the 20-23 minute mark.

S-turns need to be pretty noticeable to help more with spacing than just reducing speed would. (There's a little bump to the left on the Flightaware track - though not the FR24 track - but it wouldn't even qualify as an S-turn.) With that, you're altering both heading and glidepath on a published instrument approach procedure. It's not really all that common. I don't think it's the explanation here.

I think the explanation here is probably just a wind gust and corresponding correction. And passengers always misjudge bank angles.
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maverick4002
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:35 am

jumbojet wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNPxaOGTJow

Delta 737 S turn landing at LGA

If you look close enough you can see an unknown plane taking off moments before the DL 737 completes its last S turn before landing.


Is this an S turn? I never heard the term but that looks like the fairly normal approach that parallels the LIE and then turn almost over the US Open tennis site and then on to the runway. They had to do some adjusting at the end, is that considered an S turn?
 
wjcandee
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:14 am

Mav is correct. The video is not showing S turns, just "standard" LGA approach, except perhaps going left of centerline for drift compensation due to apparent breeze; note where the nose is pointing at touchdown.

Remember that many normal landings at LGA would get you a visit to the CP's office and/or a check ride if you did that at almost any other US airport (i.e. not stable on approach at typical altitudes and distance from touchdown).
 
penguins
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:13 am

https://youtu.be/VnFxanonOyI

This video illustrates an S-turn on short final.
 
Eikie
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:43 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:
Bradlee102896 wrote:

I guess because we were very low to the ground and the bank angle was about 50-60 degrees each time.



You were no where close to 50-60 degrees! You were 30 degrees at most.


Airbus FBW airplanes won’t even allow you to bank beyond a certain limit.

That is true, however that limit is 67 degrees. If you do roll that angle and release the stick, it'll roll back to a bank angle of 33 degrees.
 
reltney
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Re: Delta Airlines Flight 2309

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:16 am

Bradlee102896 wrote:
Earlier today I was on a Delta Airlines Airbus A321 flying from St. Louis to Atlanta, GA. When coming in for landing in Atlanta, the pilot made several maneuvers that seemed like S turns right before landing, why would the pilot in command do such actions? I’ve never had that happen before. But we were gear down and full flaps and I could see the Atlanta terminals and runways when we started the maneuvers so we were probably a quarter mile or less from touchdown. Just curious why might he have done this because several people on the plane thought we were going to crash.


It’s Delta Air Lines..........just sayin..... you would think of all the whistle blowers who scream for double posting on this site nwould have caught this....butt.....

NYC approach with overshooting winds. Normal. You right, you are massively exaggerating the bank angle...

FYI, The plane can use an S turn to creat more spacing between the plane ahead of him. Happens all the time..... ATC might have misjudged the closure rate or a pilot ahead slowed down sooner or quicker than anticipated... nothing to see here...
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