20th Aug 2002, 15:17
Firstly, apologies if this is on the wrong forum...but...
I am going to be a pax on a flight from EGKK to KPHL next Tuesday and I am interested in getting some information up front on the typical routeing that a flight of this nature follows.
Does the route usually follow a westerly SID out of EGKK and then track out across Strumble and out over the south of Ireland? Or is the departure to the North and then onwards and upwards over central England towards the west of Scotland?
Although the cross Atlantic Ocean tracks vary on the weather (pls correct me if I am wrong) what's the "best" path across the pond that you are looking for?
Where abouts are you looking towards making the entry into North American (US/Canadian) airspace?
Is there anything exciting to look at on the arrival into Phily??
Any information is much appreciated.
20th Aug 2002, 23:56
I am not a long haul pilot, but will try to answer some of your questions.
As for SIDS out of EGKK, there are pretty much standard ones that are used (Kenet comes to mind, these will take you to Strumble), but as you indicated in your post they can vary depending on the weather in the North Atlantic. Since you are departing on a Tuesday morning/early afternoon, parts of Wales is closed due to military activity. Therefore routings will most likely take you towards Strumble, then Shannon or towards Wallasey (near Liverpool) and then further Northwest towards Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. The ideal track between EGKK and KPHL is what is known as a great circle track. A great circle is the shortest distance between two points on a sphere. Unfortuneately, airspace in Europe does not lend itself perfectly to great circle tracks, although routes try to approximate these. Once you come into the Atlantic, it is easier to approximate great circle tracks. However, due to low pressure patterns in the Atlantic, these may not be feasible, i.e. they may be shortest in physical distance, but not shortest in air distance (the distance flown through air taking wind into consideration). Based upon meteorological data, tracks are made across the Atlantic every day, mostly made up of cardinal way points (latitude and longitude). Most flight to the northeast US leave Europe over Ireland somewhere, and re-enter North America near Newfoundland or Nova Scotia. This will also depend on weather patterns. In general though, the further inland you are travelling in the US, the further north you will enter Canada. As for approach into Philly, well this too depends on which runway they are using there. Suppose if the weather is good, you should have a nice view of NYC on your descent (probably on your left side).
Hope some of the info is useful, and hopefully someone else who flies across the Atlantic can fill you in on primary, secondary tracks etc, as well as exit points and entry points. Does US Airways have the inflight following system I wonder? This would probably answer some of your questions as well.
Have a nice flight
21st Aug 2002, 11:38
Cheers DB -
So if the oceanic tracks vary by the day do the FD crew have to turn up in the office a bit earlier than usual to enter the cardinal points of the days routing into the FMS/FMC?? Or can the crew obtain current track info via some kind of datalink and then watch the computer "magically" load itself up? If the tracks are prety much set in stone then I can see how this task would not be necessary as I assume the database will store the available tracks.
I presume all this depends on the a/c type - I think we are going on an A330.
22nd Aug 2002, 07:12
Gatwick transatlantic departures very rarely follow a Kenet SID on departure due to conflictions with Heathrow trafficgoing across the pond.
Initially you will follow a SAM (southamton) SID and route to the South West before turning North West towards the Irish sea to join a NAT, or a LAM (lambourne) SID which will route North bound to the East of London and the track North North Westerly dependant on the exact track across the pod you are taking
22nd Aug 2002, 08:27
Thanks SH. So just what is an ATSA then??
22nd Aug 2002, 09:32
From a pax point of view... I've flown into PHL on with US a couple of times, but from EGCC, and also a couple of times from within the states. I doubt you'll see NYC on the way in - the routing always seems really convoluted - lots of turns, decents, followed by level out, followed by rapid decent etc. I've always assumed this was to avoid the very busy New York airspace. I've never seen it anyway.
They usually seem to use the westerly runways and if this is the case the city of Philadephia will be clearly visible to your right about 3 or 4 mins before touchdown. The city's North East of the airport and not too far away so you get a good view.
The A330's are nice - the entertainment system is one of the best around with on demand video/audio (you can watch the films whenever you want - pause them etc.)
The immigration queues at PHL were the worst I've ever experienced, but that was 12 months ago and there was a large new building under construction for that purpose so it may be better now.
Have a good trip.
22nd Aug 2002, 10:26
Cheers Knobby -
Are the US Airways transfers at KPHL straightforward? I am going on to Vegas so do I need to prepare for a lengthy stroll between terminals?
26th Aug 2002, 15:31
Many aircraft seemed to disembark passangers remotley into huge (200 capacity???) perople mover thingies, which are raised up to the aircraft door, loaded, lowered, driven across the apron and then raised again to arrivals gates. As you can imagine, this takes ages. We arrived about 10 minutes before BA and LH 747's which disembarked at airbridges, so by the time we got to immigration there was a huge queue!
The international arrivals area was linked via travelators to the main terminal and it wasn't too far to walk. It isn't a huge airport. There were 3 or 4 different piers linked to a central retail area and US Airways flights seemed to depart from them all.
It all seemed pretty 'standard' for US arrivals/transfer, but as I say, it was over 12 months ago now, and the new international arrivals building should be operational so it might have all changed. With the new security 'farce' I'd allow at least 2 hours, ideally more (there are some decent bars!!!).
26th Aug 2002, 15:41
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