Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.
I use your fine Skyflyer service a lot to carry my son between EDI and LHR/LGW. On a day like today, when Heathrow is obscured by fog, what would your alternate be should you not be able to land at LHR? Would it be LGW?
Whenever our routine is upset by weather conditions I end up having an anxious debate with my ex as to what would happen if Junior were diverted ie where would I have to go to collect him. Appreciate your help with this.
Ryanair dont carry unaccompanied kids. They make it quite clear, thats why I use the Train. Ive had my bags lost by BA, and my son left sitting in an office so in future certainly would never fly my kids with them on their own.
Wheelbarrow, I'm sorry you feel that way about BA Skyflyers. I use the service at least once a month, in fact my son has now accumulated over 25,000 miles with BA doing so, and I find the whole process excellent.
We did try the bmi unaccompanied child service, but it wasn't quite so organised. Sadly, it is of course, no longer available anyway.
when Heathrow is obscured by fog, what would your alternate be should you not be able to land at LHR? Would it be LGW?
Probably not, for a couple of reasons. If the LHR weather is foggy or is forecast to be so then LGW will probably be similar. Also LGW runs at pretty much at full capacity and would struggle to handle extra flights. For that reason if the forecast is bad for LHR then BA would be looking at the likes of Bournemouth (previously mentioned)/Stansted/Luton as realistic shorthaul alternates....provided their weather forecast was good enough.
When fog is predicted, BA usually tactically cancel a lot of the short haul flights especially a large percentage of domestics to try and keep the operation running smoothly. It is likely that if the flight was going to face very long hold times that it would have been cancelled long before it arrived at EDI. That's not to say short hauls don't get diverted. When they do it tends to be in the order of Luton, Gatwick, Bournemouth then Birmingham. Exact order may change depending on operational requirements and the direction the flight is arriving into London.
Long haul's tend to operate even during periods of disruption. They would usually carry enough fuel to hold for an extended period if poor weather was forecast. Diversions tend to go to Cardiff, Birmingham or Manchester. Aircraft from the south may go to Gatwick or even afar afield as Madrid or Nice!
Thinks!! whatever happened to the blind landing capability we had on the Tridents and Tristars of so long ago?
Still there, still used, still works very well. However the problem at places like LHR is that you need more spacing between "blind landing" aircraft in foggy weather than you need on a relatively clear day, which reduces the rate at which aircraft can land. The system used by most current aircraft (ILS) in foggy weather relies on there only being one aircraft flying down the approach at any one time - and if you have ever watched aircraft landing at the likes of LHR on a good day you'll see that isn't normally the case. So on a foggy day rather then a string of aircraft flying down the approach with 3-4 mile spacing the aircraft are backed up into the holds, waiting for a slot for their individual approach. If you haven't got the fuel for very extended holding for whatever reason then you're off somewhere else. The newer technology (Microwave Landing System or "MLS") on some types allows decreased spacing between aircraft, but at LHR at least that doesn't yet seem to have radically improved the landing rate in foggy weather.
What are the rules for category 3 landings ?
Blimey, how long have you got? That's a book in itself. very basically each airline has it's own set of in house rules, each aircraft type will have it's own capability. Typically the rules will allow approaches in visibilities typically down to 100 or 75 metres, but it's subject to lots of caveats.
R all aircraft equipped for such landings ?
Most airliners are these days - which is why part of the reason for the extended holding in foggy weather. Once upon a time when "blind landing" was restricted to a few types and/or a few airlines you didn't get extended holding, because most flights simply couldn't even attempt an approach. They had to divert immediately to somewhere not foggy, leaving the approach clear for the few "blind landing" types. Now that almost everyone's got "blind landing" everybody just joins the queue......
The system used by most current aircraft (ILS) in foggy weather relies on there only being one aircraft flying down the approach at any one time
As far as I'm aware, the main constraint during LVPs is the requirement for the preceding lander to have vacated not just the runway, but the Localiser Sensitive Area (LSA), before landing clearance can be given to the following aircraft.
That clearly increases the approach spacing requirement, but not to the extent that only one aircraft can be on the ILS at any given time. For example on Monday morning, ATC at Heathrow were landing about 28 aircraft per hour on 09L during LVPs, which equates to just under 6nm spacing at 160kts.
Ah well, that's what happens when, as an "end user", you're trying to keep it simple since this is the Spectators Forum, not the Tech Forum.
.................( I'll let you go on to accurately explain "LVPs", "09L", "LSA")....
Location: The Burrow, N53:48:02 W1:48:57, The Tin Tent - EGBS, EGBO
In the days when QANTAS was still flying into Manchester having first deposited a goodly number of passengers at Heathrow we took off again at around 08:00hrs for Manchester. A few minutes into the flight the Captain decided to update us on the conditions in Manchester. "There is some fog at Manchester" quoth he "and at the moment it is outside our landing limits. ATC tell us that it should clear by about 10:00hrs but I'm sure it will be fine by the time we get there". Those of us familiar with some of the vagaries of the weather in the North West looked at each other and giggled. All were of the same opinion that if ATC said 10:00hrs then 10:00hrs it would be and no Aussie Captain would be able to make any difference to the time. Arriving in the area about 30 mins later the Captain cheerfully informed us that the 747 required 250m (if I've got this wrong please forgive me, it was a long time ago but I remember thinking it was a short distance) visibility to land but that it was currently 150m. He was, however certain that it would all alter in a few minutes. (They don't get proper fog in Oz). The aircraft entered the hold and round and round we went with occasional updates on the visibility, seemingly fixed permanently at 150m, and the captain's opinion that it would be only a few minutes before we were able to land (and ours that he hadn't a hope). At 09:30 the visibility improved to 175m, then at 0950 it was the magic 200m and "I'm going in"! The wheels touched the tarmac at precisely 10:00hrs and apparently quite some way down the runway as I noticed the BA cargo sheds being passed very rapidly. Never mind, we were down safely and one of very few aircraft to make it into Manchester that morning which was a real blessing after the long flight from Oz. The arrivals board told its own story "Diverted Prestwick" being the most common destination visible and we were the first of the big aircraft to have made it into Manchester.
Way back when I was a student in Manchester, BEA briefly operated a Sunday Blackpool-Palma rotation with a One-Eleven positioning up from MAN in the morning and back in the evening. They had the idea to sell the positioning legs for £4 return, giving the punters a nice day out by the seaside.
The time a bunch of us did the trip, the flight was full, mostly with people who probably hadnít flown before Ė which was the purpose of the exercise, I guess. On the return into MAN we were thrown all around the sky, and I imagined the pilot stirring the stick a bit to give us a bit of an experience. But as we got closer, it got a hell of a lot bumpier, and there was a lot of concern in the cabin. When we finally made it down, the Captain told us (in a somewhat shaky voice) that we had been right on the crosswind limit, any more and we would have been heading for Birmingham.