zrs70
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Odd patterns into JFK from West Coat (6/29)

Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:56 pm

I’m on DL flight 1258, LAX-JFK. We took a hard right just west of ORD and flew north to MKE. Captain came on and announced traffic holds over JFK.

We then continued east toward Fort Wayne. But we now are in a loop. Noticing other NYC bound flights doing similar.

Is it common to be in a holding pattern so far from the destination? Any insights as to what is going on between here and NY? My weather map doesn’t show anything particularly bad.
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zrs70
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Re: Odd patterns into JFK from West Coat (6/29)

Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:57 pm

zrs70 wrote:
I’m on DL flight 1258, LAX-JFK. We took a hard right just west of ORD and flew north to MKE. Captain came on and announced traffic holds over JFK.

We then continued east toward Fort Wayne. But we now are in a loop. Noticing other NYC bound flights doing similar.

Is it common to be in a holding pattern so far from the destination? Any insights as to what is going on between here and NY? My weather map doesn’t show anything particularly bad.



Edited to add, we are now rerouting to DTW.
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AirKevin
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Re: Odd patterns into JFK from West Coat (6/29)

Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:05 pm

Front page on the Aviation Weather website shows thunderstorms right over Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.
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Re: Odd patterns into JFK from West Coat (6/29)

Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:31 am

There's a convective SIGMET covering basically all of PA and some of OH right now. Probably don't want to fly through that. There is at least one published hold near the Fort Wayne area, but I'm having a hard time understanding exactly where you're holding (I'm not sure how you fly northeast to ORD, make a right and end up at MKE, then turn east and end up in Fort Wayne).

It is maybe a little unusual to hold that far out but not unheard of. I dunno if I should bring this up but when Avianca flight 52 crashed, they had held 3 different times on their way up to JFK, the first of which was about as far away as you are. (Everybody was holding that day; I'm just using it as an example because you probably know about the accident.) So it's annoying but it does happen. In a lot of cases, airlines will just delay takeoff in cases like this, but maybe there was some reason why the pilots or dispatcher of your flight didn't want to do that this time. Maybe the weather was forecast to improve by now, but hasn't.
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AirKevin
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Re: Odd patterns into JFK from West Coat (6/29)

Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:07 am

spacecadet wrote:
In a lot of cases, airlines will just delay takeoff in cases like this, but maybe there was some reason why the pilots or dispatcher of your flight didn't want to do that this time. Maybe the weather was forecast to improve by now, but hasn't.

The flight took off from Los Angeles, so I wonder if it's possible that the weather wasn't there initially when they took off. The convective SIGMET appeared to be in effect between 1855Z and 2055Z according to Aviation Weather, and the flight departed 1458Z. In any event, it looks like they left Detroit about five hours after they diverted there.
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