View Full Version : last minute change of course

12th Jul 2002, 16:51
As a passenger I noticed a last minute change of course of the 737-400 I was on flying to AMS (Schiphol). Actually it was a matter of 10/15 seconds before touch down at an altitude of max 150 ft. The a/c made a banking of 25/30 degrees, like it changed it direction from 27/60 to 90. May be the fact that our gate was at the C Pier made a difference?

I'm used to this on the old Kai Tak Apt, but never experienced this at AMS.

Does this make sense to ya’ll?



12th Jul 2002, 17:06
Obviously don't know the details of your particular flight, but there is a procedure to make an ILS approach to RWY 27, and then when below cloud cover, break off and make a visual approach to RWY 24. As you say, it's usually to expedite the taxiing to stand. Every second counts these days.

13th Jul 2002, 21:28
thanks moley. actually was hoping for more response, but guess I'm just a stupid passenger, you know, those annoying people behind you....

never during my 100's of landings on Schiphol I've experienced this sharp turn at such a late moment, at such low altitude, scared the hell outta me (not only me)... btw it was 22.15 no clouds... (at least not at 100/150 ft altitude)

all I wanted to know is it allowed to change runway at such short notice? and if not why could this have happen?



Frank M
13th Jul 2002, 22:35
From your post I can't quite understand the direction of the turn (....degrees, like it changed it direction from 27/60 to 90....) Like moleslayer said, making a breakoff from ILS 27 to RWY 24 is often used at SPL, for the obvious reasons. In my company we are required to be on final for landing runway at 500 ft.

One of my colleagues told me he did something different a few weeks ago; ILS 19R with a breakoff also to RWY 24, this would include a left turn at approx 1200 ft to get on baseleg for RWY 24, then followed by a rather late turn to final.

Hope this helps.

13th Jul 2002, 22:50
For continental Europe, AMS has THE best ATC in the TMA, bar none IMHO...and Maastricht for high level...cannot be better.
LHR on the other hand has/is headed for the cellar in this regard.

Standing by...tin hat firmly in place....:D :rolleyes:

14th Jul 2002, 15:18
This may not be exactly related to your question (but then again, neither was 411A's post above :cool: -- chill mate, just pulling your chain ;) )

But, in regards to your question: all I wanted to know is it allowed to change runway at such short notice? ....

There's a standard approach at San Juan, Puerto Rico called the "Lagoon Visual", in which you fly a portion of the ILS to Runway 10 until short final, then make a left turn to line up with Runway 8. (This is due to more restrictive terrain conditions on the extended final of Runway 8.) The actual difference in alignment / heading change between the two runways is about 24 degrees, and by the time you complete the turn, you're only a short distance from touchdown. It can look especially sporty from a pax's perspective (especially those on the left side of the aircraft) because it's over water, which of course makes it more difficult to determine height from their side window view.

We often get questions/comments about that "sharp turn over the water just before touchdown" when in reality it's a very controlled, smooth, and extremely safe procedure.

Perhaps others with Schiphol-specific knowledge can say whether a similar approach is in place there?

14th Jul 2002, 15:24

Depending on Wind conditions

AMS approach 27 land 24

Paris Le Bourget approach 27 land 25

Quite normal.......no big deal.

Max Angle
14th Jul 2002, 18:32
It,s OK 411a no tin hat required, anybody who uses both on a regular basis knows who is is best.

15th Jul 2002, 00:03
Max Angle--
Tin hat back in the closet (but not I suspect for long), thanx.

Have landed at AMS (06) when at the same time acft were landing on 27 and 19R...and takeoffs on 19L were in progress.
A few years ago (3) but...hey it worked OK for maximum utilisation.
LHR needs to LEARN a lesson, IMHO.:D :)

Capt Pit Bull
15th Jul 2002, 16:25

Never operated out of LHR, so couldn't comment.

But AMS the best in continental Europe?

Don't get me wrong, there are many places worse, and AMS has come a fair way in recent years, but no, I'm sorry. I just don't see that.


15th Jul 2002, 18:07
Maybe they were shooting the approach on the wrong runway? (ex. 24L vs 24R)...

Next time travel with another airline :-)


15th Jul 2002, 21:44
I seem to remember something similar at Honolulu? Can't recall the specifics, but you make a localiser approach along the shore, then turn left to land on the westerly reef runway?


16th Jul 2002, 14:10
Thanks guys for the feedback, sorry had some cookie problems ;)

My description sof the RWY was incorrect. I should have said, we (KLM) were heading to 09-27 (was expecting to see the McDonalds along the RWY any moment) and made a very late 25 degree LH bank to land on 06-24 and experienced a very heavy braking and reverse thrust when landed. When making the LH turn I could see the rowing track underneath the a/c which is located only 1 mile from the airport.

Well I guess nothing to worry about and thanks anyways for the response :)