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D L X
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 3:30 am

Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:52 am

I've noticed recently in the last year or so, a lot more use of runways other than 1-19 for landings and some takeoffs. Is this something new?

In particular, I've noticed a lot more RJs and occasionally bigger jets landing on 33 (especially on windy days), more RJs landing and taking off on 15 and 33, and occasionally, RJs taking off on 22. Dash-8s and Saabs are using 33 and 4 more often for take offs as well.

But I'm also seeing a lot more go arounds and missed approaches.

It seems gone are the days of DCA being a de facto one runway airport. Has something changed to allow (or force) ATC to pack more flights into DCA?
 
bcoz
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:40 am

While I can't answer your question, you did bring to mind one of my favorite landings of all time.

I was on a US DC9 from CHS to DCA in April 1997. We were coming up the river as if we were on a visual to 1 and then at the last minute we circled to 33. I sware on that turn the portside wing was no more than 10 feet above the Potomac (I'm exaggerating, of course). It was really cool! Even cooler to feel that old DC9 slow down in about 3,000 feet.

bcoz
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:49 am

Quoting D L X (Thread starter):
I've noticed recently in the last year or so, a lot more use of runways other than 1-19 for landings and some takeoffs. Is this something new?

In particular, I've noticed a lot more RJs and occasionally bigger jets landing on 33 (especially on windy days), more RJs landing and taking off on 15 and 33, and occasionally, RJs taking off on 22. Dash-8s and Saabs are using 33 and 4 more often for take offs as well.

But I'm also seeing a lot more go arounds and missed approaches.

It seems gone are the days of DCA being a de facto one runway airport. Has something changed to allow (or force) ATC to pack more flights into DCA?

Good question. I've seen 737's land on 33 - not often, but they do. Missed approaches and go-arounds seem to be about the norm, from my vantage point - which is being stuck in 395 traffic morning and evening. Sad

My favorite DCA landing was almost 2 years ago. We were coming in from the north, and all of a sudden, I noticed we weren't flying over Georgetown, but the Pentagon. Sure enough, we landed on 15 - quickly and abruptly. Once we left the runway, the pilot explained that 19 was closed due to an aircraft being stuck on the runway with a gear problem.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
CBERFlyer
Posts: 107
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:04 am

Quoting Bcoz (Reply 1):
I was on a US DC9 from CHS to DCA in April 1997. We were coming up the river as if we were on a visual to 1 and then at the last minute we circled to 33. I sware on that turn the portside wing was no more than 10 feet above the Potomac (I'm exaggerating, of course). It was really cool! Even cooler to feel that old DC9 slow down in about 3,000 feet.

Did the same thing earlier this year on an F9 flight from Denver... Flew up the Potomac, then just north of Old Town Alexandria we swung east over the NRL and Bolling AFB, then turned back to the west in to land on 33. Was a nice change!
 
BN727flyr
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:06 am

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:58 am

Quoting D L X (Thread starter):
I've noticed recently in the last year or so, a lot more use of runways other than 1-19 for landings and some takeoffs. Is this something new?

Nope, this is not new. Happens on a regular basis. Depends on the wind direction, the traffic involved, and the overall throughput.

Quoting Bcoz (Reply 1):
I was on a US DC9 from CHS to DCA in April 1997. We were coming up the river as if we were on a visual to 1 and then at the last minute we circled to 33. I sware on that turn the portside wing was no more than 10 feet above the Potomac (I'm exaggerating, of course). It was really cool! Even cooler to feel that old DC9 slow down in about 3,000 feet.

I was surprised to experience this same circle-to-land approach to RWY 33 in a PA 722 (LGA-DCA) in January 1987. The PA flight crew did an excellent job of landing the airplane on the short runway.
 
n710ps
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:21 am

DCA is a fun airport no matter what runway. I am yet to experince anything but 1/19 but the first time I got to fly the river I swung wide on the last right turn and had to innitiate a missed. Embarresing but the captain Iwas with was pretty cool and at least in announcements blamed it on ATC for improper spaceing.
There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
 
aamr
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:31 am

Something I never thought I'd see at DCA happened a couple weeks ago....a UA 757 taxiing straight out towards the Potomac for what I figured might be some time in the penalty box. Soon after pausing and turning North, it took off for a 33 departure. Our system showed a 11 knot wind from 330*, still must have been a light load.
 
IADCA
Posts: 2255
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:29 am

Quoting Aamr (Reply 6):
Something I never thought I'd see at DCA happened a couple weeks ago....a UA 757 taxiing straight out towards the Potomac for what I figured might be some time in the penalty box. Soon after pausing and turning North, it took off for a 33 departure. Our system showed a 11 knot wind from 330*, still must have been a light load.

I'm sure the NIMBYs jin the middle of Arlington just looooooooooved that one.

Quoting N710PS (Reply 5):
DCA is a fun airport no matter what runway. I am yet to experince anything but 1/19 but the first time I got to fly the river I swung wide on the last right turn and had to innitiate a missed. Embarresing but the captain Iwas with was pretty cool and at least in announcements blamed it on ATC for improper spaceing.

On the plus side, that means your pax on both sides of the plane got to look at the monuments, assuming you didn't make a real big circle on the downwind. I wouldn't be too embarrassed about it, I see several misses every time I chill at Gravelly, often for what appears to be the same reason as yours.
 
Flighty
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:49 am

Quoting IADCA (Reply 7):
I wouldn't be too embarrassed about it, I see several misses every time I chill at Gravelly, often for what appears to be the same reason as yours.

They use that runway to the absolute max. Some real aggressive ATC'ing there.
 
c680
Posts: 428
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RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:54 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 8):
Some real aggressive ATC'ing there.

Yeah, but I swear that some of the best ATC folk in the nation work DCA. I've seen them do miraculous things - like ORD without the attitude. Those boys and girls put 10 pounds of potatos in a 5 pound sack every day of the week - even more back pre 9/11 when there was an additional 40 GA Ops a day at DCA...
My happy place is FL470 - what's yours?
 
Mike89406
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:59 pm

Speaking of DCA I get to fly DL SLC-DCA on a 752 on Tuesday. I was wondering since I'm not familiar with the area what is the pattern of approach? My guess would be heading 180 down the Potomic by the river somewhere and sharp turn to a 360 heading downwind to approach. Of course I realize there is very strict FAA guidlines especially since 9/11.

The last time I flew in to DCA was a month after 9/11 when I lived in Brooklyn, NY me and my wife flew a shuttle out of LGA to DCA and I dont remember specifics.

Mike
 
IADCA
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 1:42 pm

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 10):
Speaking of DCA I get to fly DL SLC-DCA on a 752 on Tuesday. I was wondering since I'm not familiar with the area what is the pattern of approach? My guess would be heading 180 down the Potomic by the river somewhere and sharp turn to a 360 heading downwind to approach. Of course I realize there is very strict FAA guidlines especially since 9/11.

Looks like DL 1208 came down the river today. I've never seen a 180 on approach to DCA. In a 752 you'll almost certainly be landing on 1-19, which is the longest and sits in a bend in the river. If the winds are from the S and the day is clear you'll get a gorgeous view of the entire city as you fly directly over the Potomac from a good distance out (including a straight-line shot down the Mall of the Lincoln, Washington, Capitol, and RFK Stadium) if you are on the left side of the plane. Right side gets Arlington and the awe-inspiring cemetery. If the winds are the other way you'll be landing up the river, in which case the usual approach on flights coming in from the west is to cut to the south to avoid clutter around IAD and come up roughly on the track of I-95 from the south before coming up the river. Maryland suburbs out the right hand side, Virginia out the left. It's 50-50, really depends on the winds, but you'll never get a 180 turn.
 
Mike89406
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:10 pm

Quoting IADCA (Reply 11):
Looks like DL 1208 came down the river today. I've never seen a 180 on approach to DCA. In a 752 you'll almost certainly be landing on 1-19, which is the longest and sits in a bend in the river. If the winds are from the S and the day is clear you'll get a gorgeous view of the entire city as you fly directly over the Potomac from a good distance out (including a straight-line shot down the Mall of the Lincoln, Washington, Capitol, and RFK Stadium) if you are on the left side of the plane. Right side gets Arlington and the awe-inspiring cemetery. It's 50-50, really depends on the winds, but you'll never get a 180 turn.

I see thats pretty cool as I will be on the left side.

Quoting IADCA (Reply 11):
If the winds are the other way you'll be landing up the river, in which case the usual approach on flights coming in from the west is to cut to the south to avoid clutter around IAD and come up roughly on the track of I-95 from the south before coming up the river. Maryland suburbs out the right hand side, Virginia out the left.

So if the winds are cutting the other way you're saying that we will head south down the river and turn around to head north up the Potmac? So they would land on 1 then?

Also looking at the AirNav that runway must just be long enough for the 752 makes sense why they might adjust the approach pattern depending on the wind. http://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/0707/00443AD.PDF

Maybe this is the route they take http://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/0707/00443I1.PDF http://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/0707/00443ROSSLYNLDA19.PDF

[Edited 2007-07-14 07:20:38]
 
IADCA
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:24 am

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:37 pm

Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 12):
So if the winds are cutting the other way you're saying that we will head south down the river and turn around to head north up the Potmac? So they would land on 1 then?

No, you'll come in from the west a bit south of the DC metro area and then follow I-95 northward from about Quantico, followed by a landing heading upriver on 1. You won't see any of the river anywhere to the north or west of DCA this way. That avoids the issue of having to do 180s on the edge of restricted airspace that would happen if everyone came down the river.
 
Mike89406
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:47 pm

Quoting IADCA (Reply 13):
No, you'll come in from the west a bit south of the DC metro area and then follow I-95 northward from about Quantico, followed by a landing heading upriver on 1

Thanks makes sense now.
 
n710ps
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:09 am

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:55 am

When you land on 1 and your coming in from the north and on occasion depending on the layout of IAD that day you might even get to cross west of Andrews if you came from the west or south. It depends on what ATC does with you in that regard.
There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
 
Mike89406
Posts: 1425
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:05 pm

RE: Q About DCA Traffic - New Runway Patterns?

Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:14 am

Quoting IADCA (Reply 11):
Looks like DL 1208 came dow
[quote=N710PS,reply=15]When you land on 1 and your coming in from the north and on occasion depending on the layout of IAD that day you might even get to cross west of Andrews if you came from the west or south. It depends on what ATC does with you in that regard.

Interesting, I use to live in Southern MD up til a year and a half ago and never seen that part of the city from the air which is where I would drive up from MD-4 by Andrews/Temple Hills, MD area quite often.

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