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Runway ops after BA777 incident

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Runway ops after BA777 incident

Old 21st Jan 2008, 17:00
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Runway ops after BA777 incident

Has runway 27L just been used for just take offs since the incident?

This may be a stupid question but which way would take offs be going? I have presumed the west away from the incident as i guess its too dangerous heading towards the wreckage. Has this reduced the length of 27L for take offs and has this affected size/weight of planes that can take off?

What if wind direction was from the east?


Can i also ask when you hear 'easterly' or 'westerly' , does it mean to the east/west or from the east/west?
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 17:34
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Easterlies are when the wind blows from the east, all movements will normally take off and land into wind so therefore when easterlies blow the aircraft fly towards the east. Conversely the opposite applies on westerlies.

While 27L has been partially blocked the runway has been used for departures to the west but at reduced lenght. Any heavies requiring full lenght for departures have had to wait for gaps in arriving traffic on 27R.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 17:36
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they have been using around three quarters of the runway for dept to the west since around 4 hours after the crash, its dependant on weight as to which aircraft are using it but it mostly the heavily fueled heavies that have had to slip in between arrivals on 27R everything else has used 27L.

Easterlies are to the East, Westerlies to the West
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 18:25
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Thanks for the answers, however one of you says easterlies is from the east and the other says to the east. Can anyone else help?
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 18:33
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Yes - both are correct: Wind 'Easterlies' mean east wind ie blows from the east but Runway 'Easterly' means taking off to the east (ie easterly wind) - confused yet?
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 18:38
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The posters are both correct.

Pilots and ATC talk about Easterlies when the aircraft is landing towards the East (Runway 09L or 09R in the case of LHR). Aircraft will be landing in this direction when the wind is coming from the East (an Easterly wind).
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 18:43
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Not as much, however years ago when flying to Faro, flight deck came on and said we would be landing on the westerly runway, and we landed on runway 10. So if talking about wind he would be correct i.e from the west, but he was talking about runway so shouldn't he have meant easterly??
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 19:32
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I believe that departing heavies on 27L had 2740m(?) to play with on their takeoffs, joining from intersection N2 (I think).

This is obviously a good deal shorter than the full length runway, but I'd guess they'll be able to use it all again soon - even if it can't be used for arrivals until all the approach lighting and instruments have been replaced and tested.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 22:17
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JonF - that was the 'Faro' effect, also experienced in Spain when more important traffic wishes to use a different runway from the one you have prepared and briefed for and told the pax about. Normally the 'change' happens fairly late in your carefully planned arrival for the other runway and correcting the PA becomes a minor consideration.
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Old 21st Jan 2008, 23:56
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I have presumed the west away from the incident as i guess its too dangerous heading towards the wreckage.
JonF,

There is a proper formula for working out how to arrange for departures towards a temporary obstruction. Normally when Ops Managers run a paper exercise for training purposes such obstructions are given somewhere in the middle of the runway, but this particular accident was interesting as it was right at one end. Basically, one measures the height of the obstruction (this a/c was a bit lower than otherwise due to the undercarriage collapse) and take a 1:60 slope, then add 90M and some other bits and pieces (in basic terms). One then measures from the beginning of the take-off roll to this point and declares it as the Take-Off Distance Available (TODA). With Heathrow's long runways, this distance might have been useful enough for quite a few types. Fortunately the wind continued to favour departures away from the obstruction. The main consideration in this latter case is blast for those working at the scene. Departures were I believe from the intersection of 27L with what used to be 23 (Left if you go back that far) Runway 23 has been closed for a couple of years, now and might have been useful in this case, if the SW wind had picked up a bit more.

If the 1:60 slope is too restricting and you've not the luxury of 2 runways to play with, then you can always reduce the height of the obstruction, i.e. cut the tail off the aeroplane that's in the way. This was done a couple of times at the old Hong Kong aerodrome at Kai Tak.

In Heathrow's case with a wind blowing from the East, the sensible way of dealing with the obstruction would have been to declare a reduced landing distance towards the obstruction (there's another formula for working out what distance to declare)and departed from 09L. However, there is something called the Cranford Agreement (though I'm told that no-one can find the piece of paper it was written on any more) which severely restricts 09L departures due noise over Cranford, which is very close.

Cheers,
TheOddOne
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 07:23
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For the few days after the incident, 27L was being used for departure from N4 and S4, that gives a distance of 2407m. For any old guys out there that's the 23 intersection.
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 11:39
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.... and it was still sufficient remaining for our 747-400's to lift about 350 tonnes from into a 10 kt westerly wind!
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 12:13
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Full length available for 27L departures, NOTAM active for no landings. All landings on 27R, I am led to believe that IF 27R closes, such as tyre burst etc, then 27L is available for visual approaches only, but not an immediate change, due WIP at the threshold and runway edges.
09L/R hold no restrictions.

27L re-opended for departures ( post incident ) about 17:00hrs after distances were declared and checked by BAA and CAA. My ops dept reported flow control at slightly better than cat3 conditions so not too bad after all.
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 13:06
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slingsby - are you saying the 9R ILS is fully 's'?
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 14:07
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My ops dept reported flow control at slightly better than cat3 conditions so not too bad after all
So what happened on Sunday night then? I had a 3hr delay departing for AMS...gate staff at LHR told us it was weather at AMS, Captain told us it was LHR ops up the swanny due to reduced capacity as a result of the BA 777 incident...anyone in a position to clarify the obvious BS that was coming from one or other party?
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 14:36
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Presumably there is still some disruption between 0600 - 0700 when both runways are normally used for landings.
My ops dept reported flow control at slightly better than cat3 conditions so not too bad after all.
Cat 3 usually means 1 hour delays and half the BA domestic programme cancelled.
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 18:54
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<<For any old guys out there that's the 23 intersection>>

Thanks Gonzo.....or even Block 83!!
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 19:09
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Perkin, it was everything you mention, and more!
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Old 22nd Jan 2008, 19:35
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Perkin, it was everything you mention, and more!
Yes, I know! To add insult to injury, just as we approached the runway, 5th in line for take off, about 2.5hrs late by this stage, the captain pipes up to tell us that the runways have just been closed due to some rubbish blowing about...d'oh! Eurostar next time methinks...

Interestingly, I always seem to experience delays at LHR, but have flown to LGW a similar number of times over the last few years and have only once been delayed in the famous fog of Dec 2006. Have I just been lucky, or does LGW tend to be less delay prone than LHR? It always gives the impression of being a somewhat smoother operation.
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