paul66022066
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How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:14 am

Dear friends,

I have a question of how to figure out the length of a runway in no time by evidence on a runway,
as I know that it is possible to identify the width of a runway by the white bars printed in the threshold zone of a runway.

Thanks for your answer in advance.
 
gloom
Posts: 391
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:45 am

I guess that's more-or-less what you need.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sh ... rkings.png

Still, checking the number of fixed distance markers is kind of difficult. For a 10000 ft runway, there's plenty of them.

Cheers,
Adam
 
LH707330
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:29 pm

The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.
 
Yikes!
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:42 am

LH707330 wrote:
The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.


Few, other than military fields, have these markers. Simply referring to your company's route manual will give you the information you need.

'
 
rfields5421
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:20 am

paul66022066 wrote:
Dear friends,

I have a question of how to figure out the length of a runway in no time by evidence on a runway,
as I know that it is possible to identify the width of a runway by the white bars printed in the threshold zone of a runway.

Thanks for your answer in advance.


This may not be the answer you are looking for, but in planning a flight, the pilot is supposed to review the information on the intended landing runway/ airport. And the alternates. Visually, I know of nothing that enables a pilot to know the runway length before touchdown. I've landed small GA aircraft on 5,000 ft runways where I cannot see the far end at touchdown due to a hump in the runway, and on a 11,000 ft runway that was a 56 foot down hill slope from the landing end threshold to the opposite end.. And it was not a completely level slope. The number and spacing of taxiways can be an indicator of approximate runway length on approach, but there is no standard.

At some point the pilot flying has to look out the front window and say mentally 'That is where I will touchdown." The PF can become fixated on the touchdown point and ignore other visual clues that it he/she is not looking at the correct airport/ runway. And at times they get it wrong..I'm surprised it happens with professional two pilot aircraft when the PNF should verify the correct runway beyond looking out the front window with navigational aids.

Take a look at a few wrong airport landings in recent years.

In January 2016, Delta had an A-320 land at Ellsworth AFB (KRCA) on Rwy 13/ 13,500 ft long rather than KRAP Rapid City Regional - Rwy 12 / 8.700 ft long. The same thing happened with the two airports.with Northwest Airlines in 2004.

The B-747 Dreamlifter in Wichita,
The C-17 in Tampa,
The SWA B737 near Branson, MO

In those three cases the pilots mis-identified a much smaller airport with a shorter runway than the destination. All three aircraft crews were able to realize quickly that they had touched down on a very short runway and get the aircraft stopped before an overrun. Two - the B747 and the B737 - occurred at night.

The C-17 was in daytime with heavy haze across the bay obscuring the destination airport and its 11,400 ft plus runway - landing on a 3,583 ft runway. The two airports/ runways were in line with each other. Both were Rwy 22. Landing at KMCF on Rwy 22 normally flying over the KTPF runway at 1,600 ft 4.3 nm from the touchdown point.

The Wichita landing was supposed to occur on the 12,000 ft 19R at KIAB. But the ILS was out of service. It was a visual landing at night. The aircraft landed on 6,000 ft Rwy 18 at KAAO, 8 nm north of the destination. If I remember correctly the B747 crew did not realize they were at the wrong airport until they were stopped and did not recognize the buildings and other items where they had landed. Also the tower at KIAB told them that the aircraft was not on the runway at KIAB. That approach into KIAB includes flying close to over Rwy 18 at KAAO at approx. 1,670 ft AGL. Between the two airports is another airport, KBEC, with an 8,000 ft Rwy 19. About 1/2-3/4 miles to the left of the KIAB extended centerline,

In the Branson case the intended runway was 7,000 ft Rwy 14 at KBBG. The actual landing was on 3,700 ft Rwy 12 at KPLK. An approximate distance of 6 nm short and to the left quite a distance of the destination.

When planning a flight, the crew should have looked up the information on the destination airport and alternates, and hopefully any nearby airports. Once in 2008, I was able to ride the jumpseat of a corporate G-200 into KAAO Rwy 18 in the daytime. The visual approach with four airports in view was very interesting. Even though the crew had made several flights into that airport in the past, they still took the time to ensure they had visually identify KAAO, KBEC, KCEA and KIAB in the distance, and verify the position and runway with the flight computer/ glass cockpit.

I had left the company by the time of the B747 landing at KAAO. I do remember the chief pilot of that flight telling me that it was a real bear of a landing at night "It would be real easy to set down on the wrong airport here at night."
 
spacecadet
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:31 pm

You theoretically can tell the distance of a runway by its markings, which are supposed to be uniform given the runway type. For example, a precision runway has centerline stripes 120' long with 80' gaps in between, so each stripe is 200'. You could just count these all the way down the runway.

Alternatively, you can look at the other runway markings. A precision runway that has full touchdown zone markings with an aiming point on both ends has to be at least 7,990' long. (If you want to go nuts, you can count the stripes in between too.)

In practice, I don't know any pilot that does this. There are safer, easier and better ways to get distance information that don't involve lots of memorization of different runway types and markings, and counting things while flying and trying to do other stuff at the same time. It's actually a regulatory requirement that you know the runway distance you intend to land at prior to takeoff on an IFR flight plan. If you need to divert, or you're VFR, then you might not always have this info initially, but you should have some way in the cockpit to quickly look up runway distances at nearby airports. Even a paper sectional chart will have this.

However, runway markings and derived distances may be a question on a checkride. That's really the only time it'll come up; it's one of those busywork oral exam questions where they test some piece of trivia that you'll never use. I was asked this on at least one checkride, though at this point I don't remember enough to figure a distance out visually. The more you fly, you start to just intuitively know a distance range a runway probably is by how many markings it has, but an exact measurement? I couldn't tell you that for any runway I haven't spent the 10 seconds it takes to look up.

This is the official guide from which you could derive distance info if you really wanted to do it the hard way: https://www.faa.gov/airports/southern/a ... erence.pdf
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:50 pm

Yikes! wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.


Few, other than military fields, have these markers. Simply referring to your company's route manual will give you the information you need.

'


Actually, I can't think of any commercial airport in the USA that doesn't have them. There may be some at smaller airports, but every major airport has the 'countdown markers' noted above.
Whatever
 
LH707330
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:00 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
Yikes! wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.


Few, other than military fields, have these markers. Simply referring to your company's route manual will give you the information you need.

'


Actually, I can't think of any commercial airport in the USA that doesn't have them. There may be some at smaller airports, but every major airport has the 'countdown markers' noted above.

I was being somewhat flippant anyway. If I'm flying there, it's the "R" in RAW FAT. If I'm eyeballing it for an emergency landing, then I look it up in the A/FD or on my EFB, which takes 15 seconds. If everything is dead and I need to guess, I see how far down the runway the thousand-footers are and count rough segments of that length.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:31 am

What’s RAW FAT?
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:55 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What’s RAW FAT?


As in "it's the '6' in '6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..."
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
Woodreau
Posts: 1842
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:43 am

I guess I just make sure I’m stopped by the time the runway centerline lights go from alternating red white to all red.

Just like the anchor chain going from black chain links to all yellow chain links and god help you if you ever see all red chain links because the last link attaching the anchor chain to the chain locker bulkhead isn’t going to stop a runaway anchor chain. If you see all yellow and you aren’t running away from the forecastle you probably won’t survive seeing all red when the last link comes flying out of the chain locker destroying everything on the forecastle before it goes overboard down the hawsepipe.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
LH707330
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:11 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What’s RAW FAT?

XC planning mnemonic:
Runways: are the long enough
Alternates: 1-2-3 rule and suitability
Weather
Fuel requirements
ATC delays
Takeoff/landing calcs

Woodreau wrote:
I guess I just make sure I’m stopped by the time the runway centerline lights go from alternating red white to all red.

Just like the anchor chain going from black chain links to all yellow chain links and god help you if you ever see all red chain links because the last link attaching the anchor chain to the chain locker bulkhead isn’t going to stop a runaway anchor chain. If you see all yellow and you aren’t running away from the forecastle you probably won’t survive seeing all red when the last link comes flying out of the chain locker destroying everything on the forecastle before it goes overboard down the hawsepipe.


I read an interesting anecdote about a captain of the USS New Jersey who had previously been a destroyer skipper: he ordered the anchor dropped when they were still in motion, thinking the ship was going to coast to a stop. Sure enough, they threw the engines in full reverse when the yellow links came out, and they managed to get it stopped.
 
SAAFNAV
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:02 pm

LH707330 wrote:
I read an interesting anecdote about a captain of the USS New Jersey who had previously been a destroyer skipper: he ordered the anchor dropped when they were still in motion, thinking the ship was going to coast to a stop. Sure enough, they threw the engines in full reverse when the yellow links came out, and they managed to get it stopped.



I've just seen this clip sometime before.. It's pretty terrifying the amount of energy going flying around there.
https://gcaptain.com/general-average-de ... room-fire/
L-382 Loadmaster; ex C-130B Navigator
 
meecrob
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:07 pm

Not runway markings per se, but you can fly the length of the runway and time it, then convert to distance.
 
Woodreau
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:10 pm

LH707330 wrote:
I read an interesting anecdote about a captain of the USS New Jersey who had previously been a destroyer skipper: he ordered the anchor dropped when they were still in motion, thinking the ship was going to coast to a stop. Sure enough, they threw the engines in full reverse when the yellow links came out, and they managed to get it stopped.


You don't want to be motionless when dropping the anchor there needs to be some way on. You're trying to get the bullnose over the center of the anchorage and drop, once you get the report that the anchor has bottomed, let out some more and set the brake, and continue backing down to set the flukes in the seabed. You don't want the chain to pile up on itself and onto the anchor, that would be bad. Once the flukes are set release the brake, back down some more, let out more chain to complete the anchorage. After the final scope of chain is out, set the brake and install the stoppers. Once all that's done and navigation has fixed the position of the anchor and has a good set of bearings, you can secure.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
LH707330
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:41 am

Woodreau wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
I read an interesting anecdote about a captain of the USS New Jersey who had previously been a destroyer skipper: he ordered the anchor dropped when they were still in motion, thinking the ship was going to coast to a stop. Sure enough, they threw the engines in full reverse when the yellow links came out, and they managed to get it stopped.


You don't want to be motionless when dropping the anchor there needs to be some way on. You're trying to get the bullnose over the center of the anchorage and drop, once you get the report that the anchor has bottomed, let out some more and set the brake, and continue backing down to set the flukes in the seabed. You don't want the chain to pile up on itself and onto the anchor, that would be bad. Once the flukes are set release the brake, back down some more, let out more chain to complete the anchorage. After the final scope of chain is out, set the brake and install the stoppers. Once all that's done and navigation has fixed the position of the anchor and has a good set of bearings, you can secure.

Not debating that, I've dropped hooks on smaller boats several times. From the story, the skipper came in a bit hot and it almost didn't end well. Can't remember the name of the book, some large one that I read a few decades ago.
 
N1120A
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:10 am

Yikes! wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.


Few, other than military fields, have these markers. Simply referring to your company's route manual will give you the information you need.

'


I'm trying to think of a main runway at an airport that doesn't have feet remaining signs. In fact, there is a NOTAM at my home airport that even mentions an unlit sign.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:37 am

N1120A wrote:
Yikes! wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.


Few, other than military fields, have these markers. Simply referring to your company's route manual will give you the information you need.

'


I'm trying to think of a main runway at an airport that doesn't have feet remaining signs. In fact, there is a NOTAM at my home airport that even mentions an unlit sign.


Look no further than Southeast Asia. At places like Jakarta it is hard enough to find the planned exit at night, let alone feet remaining.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
DALMD80
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:09 pm

Yikes! wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
The little black signs with the thousands of feet remaining should be pretty good.


Few, other than military fields, have these markers. Simply referring to your company's route manual will give you the information you need.

'

Uhh... I've seen them at almost every airport I've been too, none of which are military fields.
SAVE THE MAD DOGS!! Seriously, get a ride on one while you can. They'll be gone by the end of the year.
 
DALMD80
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Re: How to identify the length of a runway?

Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:12 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
What’s RAW FAT?

Runway lengths
Alternates
Weather
Fuel requirements
ATC delays
Takeoff/landing distance data
SAVE THE MAD DOGS!! Seriously, get a ride on one while you can. They'll be gone by the end of the year.

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