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hongming
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KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:28 am

Good afternoon,

I have never seen (or heard of) a parallel takeoff from SFO's runway 28L and 28R, and always thought it wasn't a thing (parallel takeoffs on the 01s and landings on 28s are common, I've even seen parallel landings on 19s). But this past weekend I witnessed it for the first time, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVkIM4mX9H0 , and grabbed a video. (sorry for the shake, I don't take videos often)

Why isn't it done more often (especially if the west winds are too strong to use the 01s)?
Image
 
Redbellyguppy
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:31 am

You sure the 28R traffic didn’t go around?
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:26 pm

Redbellyguppy wrote:
You sure the 28R traffic didn’t go around?


Please watch the video, then report back.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:45 am

Could wake turbulence be a factor?
 
Zeke2517
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:55 am

Redbellyguppy wrote:
You sure the 28R traffic didn’t go around?


I’m pretty sure. But I literally took four seconds to watch the video. I know we don’t all have that luxury, given how busy the world can be.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:11 pm

AirKevin wrote:
Could wake turbulence be a factor?


Wake turbulence would be a factor yes, but same issue using 1L/R so no difference.
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:57 pm

I worked at SFO as a tower controller retired 10 years ago. The most common configuration is landing the 28s and departing the 1s. The next is what was called 28/Shoreline, meaning 28L departure would go straight out and the 28R departure would make a right turn on the Shoreline Departure, this can happen simultaneous just like the 1L/R departures. When the weather reaches a certain ceiling then the 28 departure becomes a straight out operation which means one at a time. The next operation would be departing 10 L/R and arriving 19L/R followed by landing and departing the 19s. Landing and departing 10L/R and landing and departing 1L/R is the rarest operations. The least common was the landing 28 but departing 10.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:35 pm

SFOT wrote:
I worked at SFO as a tower controller retired 10 years ago. The most common configuration is landing the 28s and departing the 1s. The next is what was called 28/Shoreline, meaning 28L departure would go straight out and the 28R departure would make a right turn on the Shoreline Departure, this can happen simultaneous just like the 1L/R departures. When the weather reaches a certain ceiling then the 28 departure becomes a straight out operation which means one at a time. The next operation would be departing 10 L/R and arriving 19L/R followed by landing and departing the 19s. Landing and departing 10L/R and landing and departing 1L/R is the rarest operations. The least common was the landing 28 but departing 10.


Great info! : :checkmark:
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:32 pm

SFOT wrote:
I worked at SFO as a tower controller retired 10 years ago. The most common configuration is landing the 28s and departing the 1s. The next is what was called 28/Shoreline, meaning 28L departure would go straight out and the 28R departure would make a right turn on the Shoreline Departure, this can happen simultaneous just like the 1L/R departures. When the weather reaches a certain ceiling then the 28 departure becomes a straight out operation which means one at a time. The next operation would be departing 10 L/R and arriving 19L/R followed by landing and departing the 19s. Landing and departing 10L/R and landing and departing 1L/R is the rarest operations. The least common was the landing 28 but departing 10.



Great info. Welcome to the site. Always wanted to do an 01L/R landing. That is the only landing/takeoff runway/direction I still need from SFO.
 
modesto2
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:21 am

To the OP, great video! I've never seen simultaneous departures on the 28s.
 
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hongming
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:22 am

SFOT wrote:
I worked at SFO as a tower controller retired 10 years ago. The most common configuration is landing the 28s and departing the 1s. The next is what was called 28/Shoreline, meaning 28L departure would go straight out and the 28R departure would make a right turn on the Shoreline Departure, this can happen simultaneous just like the 1L/R departures. When the weather reaches a certain ceiling then the 28 departure becomes a straight out operation which means one at a time. The next operation would be departing 10 L/R and arriving 19L/R followed by landing and departing the 19s. Landing and departing 10L/R and landing and departing 1L/R is the rarest operations. The least common was the landing 28 but departing 10.


Thank you for the insight! And welcome to this site.
My question now is, since simultaneous departures are allowed under 28/Shoreline conditions (I assume good visibility and ceilings, but a strong west wind preventing use of 01s for departure), how come we don't see it that often? Surely regularly using the 28s for parallel takeoffs can help alleviate the delays that happen at SFO often due to the 01s not being used for departures?(As well as give us planespotters a treat!)

modesto2 wrote:
To the OP, great video! I've never seen simultaneous departures on the 28s.


Thank you! I don't think I have either, which is why I was quick to grab a video (usually I'm more of a photo person than a video person).
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:33 pm

When the winds dictate running a 28 operation, think of runway capacity, each runway can handle about 30 operations per hour. In. Departing 01 Arriving 28, that would be a 120 operations per hour. When the crosswind for runway 1 is greater than twenty knots is when the switch to a 28 operations happens. Two runways operations capacity is reduced because of the departing and arriving from the same runway pairs. You are right about the visibility being the limiting factor, roughly if you can see the top of Mt San Bruno you can make the right hand turn of the Shoreline Departure, when you lose the visibility you have to go to a straight 28 operations which is intrail which also reduces your departure rate to 30 per hour. Also during the 28/28 operations the arrivals come in staggered so that you can depart between the arrivals so the departures usually don’t come out sideby unless of course the finals were empty and you could depart at will.
 
leader1
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:59 am

hongming wrote:

Thank you for the insight! And welcome to this site.
My question now is, since simultaneous departures are allowed under 28/Shoreline conditions (I assume good visibility and ceilings, but a strong west wind preventing use of 01s for departure), how come we don't see it that often? Surely regularly using the 28s for parallel takeoffs can help alleviate the delays that happen at SFO often due to the 01s not being used for departures?(As well as give us planespotters a treat!)


Also, I think the taxiways have a lot to do with it. While you have Taxiway C that leads to Runway 28R, it’s difficult to get planes to that runway from there - you either have to go around the runways or cross them and wait for the departing and arriving traffic. It would increase the taxi time. And don’t forget that to have simultaneous departures, especially on runways that close to each other, the planes need to go in divergent directions. It would be difficult to sequence the flights that way with just one taxiway to both runways. Probably why you don’t see a lot of simultaneous departures off the 10s when they’re used for departures - you essentially have one taxiway that leads to both runways. The 1s have two taxiways that lead to each runway, which it makes it easier to sequence departing flights based on their direction.
 
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hongming
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:31 pm

Thanks again SFOT and leader1, very informative as always.
How strong would the wind have to be from the S or SSW to switch departures to the 28s(due to tailwind component on the 01s)? I was at SFO late May, when the winds were from 200 gusting to 31kts, and was surprised to see a heavy 777-300ER bound for Frankfurt taking off from 01R, with the nearly 30kt tailwind component. Followup question, how much S wind for them to use the 19s for departures? That would be a treat for planespotters.
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:09 pm

In any runway change the winds would either a 20 knot crosswind or a 10 knot tailwind. I can imagine why United would have departed on that runway, in that situation I would have expected departure off of 19L/R, the next option would be 10L/R. The reason you would accept the crosswind or tailwind would be the climb restrictions off of the 19’s. The rare operation of landing 28 departing 10 was Fedex DC10 to heavy for 28 or 01 with no wind early in the morning so it was no problem coordinating with the finals to allow. Since it was a no wind situation the pilot made the request and we could allow it. Back to the departing the 19’s, the preferred operation is arriving 19 departing 10, as the storm cell moves east the wind will change requiring the runway operation to go to land and departing 19 if the wind becomes a factor or more than 20 knot crosswind. Almost always you would like to stay on either a 28 and 1 or 19 and 10. Any operation other than 28 and 1 takes a penalty in operation count per hour.
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:27 pm

In my previous post I meant to say in the second sentence, “I can’t imagine why United would have departed on that runway“ . Sorry, I’m new to this site and should have edited my own post.
 
leader1
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:19 am

hongming wrote:
Thanks again SFOT and leader1, very informative as always.
How strong would the wind have to be from the S or SSW to switch departures to the 28s(due to tailwind component on the 01s)? I was at SFO late May, when the winds were from 200 gusting to 31kts, and was surprised to see a heavy 777-300ER bound for Frankfurt taking off from 01R, with the nearly 30kt tailwind component. Followup question, how much S wind for them to use the 19s for departures? That would be a treat for planespotters.


I can only guess that the loads were really light (nobody is traveling these days and May was especially bad for international travel) on that fight and 1R was sufficient for their takeoff needs and they probably wanted a shorter taxi. Although, I can’t imagine them taking off from that runway with that strong a tailwind.

On that note, I have seen a KLM 744 takeoff from 1R. I actually took a video of it a few years ago. I’ve seen several heavies bound for Europe takeoff of 1R, too, but they usually prefer the 28s. Never seen an Asia-bound flight use the 1s.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:09 am

hongming wrote:
Thanks again SFOT and leader1, very informative as always.
How strong would the wind have to be from the S or SSW to switch departures to the 28s(due to tailwind component on the 01s)? I was at SFO late May, when the winds were from 200 gusting to 31kts, and was surprised to see a heavy 777-300ER bound for Frankfurt taking off from 01R, with the nearly 30kt tailwind component. Followup question, how much S wind for them to use the 19s for departures? That would be a treat for planespotters.


It didn’t take off with a 30 mph tailwind. It simply didn’t happen.
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:07 am

In my experience at SFO Tower, the 777-300ER departing to Frankfurt would have been a United Airlines flight, I’ve never seen a United flight to Europe or the far east depart off of 1R. From where they park the 28’s is the same taxi distance as the 1’s. KLM, British Airway, and Air France depart from the A gates so the taxi distance is shorter if they can depart the 1’s. Generally flights to Europe fly with a tailwind so maybe a light fuel load, flights to the far east depart into a headwind and usually a greater distance. Back to the tailwind departure, most of the time a tailwind greater than 10 knots requires and runway change. A pilot can make a request but That would be opposite direction to any landing aircraft. The wind as stated would require the airport to be in a landing and departing 19 L/R. If a pilot had a request of any runway other than advertised we would have offered 10 L/R. The most common configuration is 28/01, 28/28, 19/10, 19/19 and a tie between 01/01 and 10/10. Just remember, 10 knot tailwind and or a 20 knot crosswind requires a runway change.
 
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hongming
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:17 am

Thanks again for your insight, SFOT. Regarding that 77W tailwind takeoff I witnessed, yes you are correct, it was UA2780 on 5/29/2020:

FriscoHeavy wrote:
It didn’t take off with a 30 mph tailwind. It simply didn’t happen.


I couldn't believe when I saw it (we had just landed on the 28s, strong S wind, one of the strongest de-crab upon touchdown I've felt as a pax.). Anyway, I looked up the flight history, as well as the METAR data:
UAL2780 departed RWY01R on May 29, 2020, at around 4PM local (23Z). The METAR was
KSFO 292256Z 20022G28KT 10SM FEW017 SCT090 BKN180 21/12 A2984 RMK AO2 PK WND 20029/2253 SLP106 T02110117=
KSFO 292356Z 19026G33KT 10SM FEW017 SCT090 BKN150 20/12 A2984 RMK AO2 PK WND 20034/2345 SLP104 T02000117 10217 20183 58007=

Link to flight: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL ... /KSFO/EDDF
Link to METAR history: https://www.ogimet.com/display_metars2. ... &send=send

Please note I'm not doubting the decision making of these fine United pilots, I'm sure they looked at the data and followed SOPs, and determined that it was safe. In fact, the plane rotated earlier than a lot of the B738/739 takeoffs I've seen on 01R, just past the 01R-28R intersection, so must've been light.
Image
Image

The south wind was so strong that day, watching 28 arrivals from terminal, I was seeing the right sides of the airplanes, here is a severely heat distorted pic I got:
Image
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:35 pm

I would think, not being a pilot, but that tailwind would have exceeding their landing gear speed. I would have to ask around at the tower why they were not on a 19/19 operations. The only complication would be if OAK were landing on 30 then SFO would be kind of forced into this operations, but still the United flight departure is probably possible because it was freight only, that is not the usual flight number for Europe. With the virus traffic slow down alot of unusual requests are possible.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:56 pm

SFOT wrote:
I would think, not being a pilot, but that tailwind would have exceeding their landing gear speed. I would have to ask around at the tower why they were not on a 19/19 operations. The only complication would be if OAK were landing on 30 then SFO would be kind of forced into this operations, but still the United flight departure is probably possible because it was freight only, that is not the usual flight number for Europe. With the virus traffic slow down alot of unusual requests are possible.


So you guys at SFO let the "tail wag the dog" so to speak? :rotfl:

When I was working IAH there were a few configurations such as us landing 8's/9 and HOU landing 12's where the finals would not leave room for IAH westbound departures to get out to the west so we'd chop off the HOU final airspace in order to make room for our westies to go west off the runway rather than to the southeast initially. The TMC's would simply cut the rate back for HOU since IAH ran the show and we never ever let HOU dictate what IAH was doing.

I still find it hard to believe that any airplane would depart any runway with a tailwind as that. As you mentioned, I would have thought overspeed of the wheels would have happened, but I'm not tossing the BS flag on the OP just yet!! :stirthepot:
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:38 pm

hongming wrote:
Thanks again for your insight, SFOT. Regarding that 77W tailwind takeoff I witnessed, yes you are correct, it was UA2780 on 5/29/2020:

FriscoHeavy wrote:
It didn’t take off with a 30 mph tailwind. It simply didn’t happen.


I couldn't believe when I saw it (we had just landed on the 28s, strong S wind, one of the strongest de-crab upon touchdown I've felt as a pax.). Anyway, I looked up the flight history, as well as the METAR data:
UAL2780 departed RWY01R on May 29, 2020, at around 4PM local (23Z). The METAR was
KSFO 292256Z 20022G28KT 10SM FEW017 SCT090 BKN180 21/12 A2984 RMK AO2 PK WND 20029/2253 SLP106 T02110117=
KSFO 292356Z 19026G33KT 10SM FEW017 SCT090 BKN150 20/12 A2984 RMK AO2 PK WND 20034/2345 SLP104 T02000117 10217 20183 58007=

Link to flight: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL ... /KSFO/EDDF
Link to METAR history: https://www.ogimet.com/display_metars2. ... &send=send

Please note I'm not doubting the decision making of these fine United pilots, I'm sure they looked at the data and followed SOPs, and determined that it was safe. In fact, the plane rotated earlier than a lot of the B738/739 takeoffs I've seen on 01R, just past the 01R-28R intersection, so must've been light.
Image
Image

The south wind was so strong that day, watching 28 arrivals from terminal, I was seeing the right sides of the airplanes, here is a severely heat distorted pic I got:
Image


There s NO way they departed on the 01 runways with that wind—3 times the limiting tailwind component.
 
SFOT
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:39 pm

SFO was a big United hub, OAK was a big Southwest hub. We had TMCs at the tower, tracon and center plus headquarters so conference calls would go on forever. In the bay area the winds can be different in nearby airports that could force the other airport into a configuration change. Usually what would happen is SFO is on a 28/01 and OAK is landing and departing 30, this is no problem but if OAK has to land and depart 12 that would force SFO to a 28/28. However if SFO had to go to 19/19 that would force OAK to a 12 no matter the wind is. Just to add alittle more information around the bay area airports, SJC could be on any runway configuration and if would not bother either SFO or OAK.
 
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hongming
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Re: KSFO Parallel Departures from 28s

Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:45 am

SFOT wrote:
I would think, not being a pilot, but that tailwind would have exceeding their landing gear speed.


I did quick Google search of the 777's max tire speed, found 204KT, according to this source from Boeing: https://www.boeing.com/commercial/aerom ... O_Q209.pdf (Page 18)
On this FR24 screenshot, they were at 205kts groundspeed climbing through 700AGL, so they would've very likely rotated well below that speed, I'd assume.
Image

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There s NO way they departed on the 01 runways with that wind—3 times the limiting tailwind component.

I was thinking perhaps there was a temporary dip in windspeed when they departed, that was not reflected in the METAR? But looking at the METAR (see reply #20), the peak gust of 29 occurred at 2253Z ("PK WND 20029/2253"), just 1-2 mins after they departed (the above screenshot is at 2252Z - here's the full flight you can playback: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flig ... 0#249780cb ). I agree with you on the tailwind component, IIRC, most jetliners have it at 10-15KT, with some operators being more conservative than the manufacture. In a GA plane I wouldn't depart with a 10kt tailwind (that being said, the largest plane I've flown weigh less than the engines on a 77W, so I'm not in a position to judge these much more experienced pilots, and assume they knew what they were doing.)

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