Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > Los Angeles
Reload this Page >

LAX Takeoff/Departures Using Runways 06 and 07

LAX Takeoff/Departures Using Runways 06 and 07

Reply

Old Feb 20, 05, 6:40 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Between RIC and IAD
Programs: AA Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 3,908
LAX takeoffs/landings in reverse direction today - why?

I spent a few hours near LAX this afternoon, and noticed that planes were taking off toward the east and landing from the west.

This is the complete opposite of the way LAX normally runs; takeoffs almost always go west toward the ocean (for noise abatement?) and planes make their descent from the east, over the city of Los Angeles, onto the runways.

Could the reversal have something to do with the weather today? It's 55F, overcast with low clouds and rain showers, but not particularly windy.

Check the landings/takeoffs out for yourself at www4.passur.com/lax.html .

I'm sure someone here knows the answer!
wahooflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 05, 7:02 pm
  #2  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 19,161
Wind direction has the final say in runway selection. There was enough wind to require reversing the traffic direction (something they really don't like to do for lots of reasons). Windspeed at altitude may have been higher than on the ground, if you think there was no wind at all.
number_6 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 05, 7:25 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: san diego, ca
Programs: AA 2MM
Posts: 913
It's usually the wind pattern and although the winds don't seem high, the NOAA synopsis has our current weather as unstable. Often with Santa Ana winds (which is not the case now) this will happen.
It's a strange feeling: couple of months ago I was on a flight SJC-LAX and the pilot circled way out to sea to come in over the beach; lots of pax were looking around uneasily, especially when we lost sight of land.
MDSD is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 05, 9:35 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Winnetka, CA
Programs: UA Premier, SPG Gold, HP/US/whatever nothing :-)
Posts: 718
I have flown out of LAX forever and last weekend was the first time I have EVER taken off towards the east. I must say as dorky as this sounds, it was pretty cool (mostly because it was something different). That and it shaved a few minutes off the flight since we didnt have to make that u-turn over the Pacific. And it was a blustery rainy day too that day as well. Oh can can I just say how OVER this rain I am??? But I digress
olympicnut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 12:26 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 704
I've done my fair share of flights into and out of LAX and it all depends on how the wind is blowing that determines the landing pattern. Same goes with ONT. So long as they take off or land from the east or west, I'll be at ease.

But I'll be ******** bricks the minute they think about taking off or landing from the north or south.
Peetah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 2:23 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: London, England.
Programs: BA
Posts: 7,237
Runway direction is determined primarily by wind direction at ground level (wind higher up is not relevant). There is a small tolerance (typically 5 knots) for aircraft to have a tailwind, then you go the opposite way. In some places the weather means it's a 50-50 chance which way you go, others like LAX have weather usually from the same direction.

But the opposite direction certainly gets used at LAX. When you land there in the normal westerly direction, as the aircraft turns off the end of the runway look at all the tyre marks of aircraft landing easterly. They're always there.

If there's anything unusual about an approach which might unnerve regular passengers most professional pilots would make an announcement to the cabin beforehand.
WHBM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 2:47 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Internets
Posts: 8,259
Weather's been totally out of whack lately, which a lot of wind from the East/SE.

On a recent landing from the East Coast, we were in the clouds from the onset of descent until about 300 ft, it felt like we went all the way to Honolulu to start our approach on our 06L landing. People appeared quite nervous not knowing what was going on.
Droneklax is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 4:01 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Programs: AAGld 1MM, UA Slv, MRT/SPG Plat, PCAmb
Posts: 1,222
The reverse pattern has been happening since Friday. In addition to flying out of LAX a lot, my office faces towards the airport and my house is near the Santa Monica airport which follows the same direction, so I am usually in tune with the takeoff/landing directions. I think these are maybe days 7,8, and 9 that I can remember the reverse pattern being used all day long in two years out here.
dbuckho is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 9:31 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Wanting First. Buying First.
Programs: Lifetime Executive Diamond Platinum VIP with Braniff, Eastern, Midway, National & Pan Am
Posts: 4,929
Used to be that late at night at LAX they used a head-on traffic flow for noise abatement - both landings and takeoffs over the ocean. Land on runways 6/7, departures off of 24/25. Do they still do that at LAX in the wee hours of the morning?
Herb687 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 9:58 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Santa Cruz, CA USA
Programs: UA, HH, SPG
Posts: 7,286
Aircraft land and takeoff into the wind to minimize ground speed at touchdown or liftoff. If you land with a 20 mph tailwind, your groundspeed is 40 mph faster than if you had landed into the wind, the landing itself is that much more difficult, and it takes a lot longer to stop. Same argument for takeoff - longer ground roll to reach liftoff airspeed and faster groundspeed at liftoff.
JerryFF is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 11:38 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: BDL/JFK
Programs: UA 2P... just 2P.
Posts: 528
Originally Posted by Herb687
Used to be that late at night at LAX they used a head-on traffic flow for noise abatement - both landings and takeoffs over the ocean. Land on runways 6/7, departures off of 24/25. Do they still do that at LAX in the wee hours of the morning?
Wow - I've never heard of such a thing. ATC better be extra careful....
rufus102 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 11:43 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 27,929
Originally Posted by Peetah
I've done my fair share of flights into and out of LAX and it all depends on how the wind is blowing that determines the landing pattern. Same goes with ONT. So long as they take off or land from the east or west, I'll be at ease.
i believe that ont and lax are alternates (same runway orientation). lgb and sna also have similar runway orientations (1/19?) iirc.
moondog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 11:49 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 22,066
Must be cause of the winds. Landed the reg way on 2/10. Took off Eastward last Thurs 2/17. It was nice to see some parts of the city I usually dont, especially the trails I hike on in the Hollywood Hills eg Runyon canyon.
craz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 11:51 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: London, England.
Programs: BA
Posts: 7,237
Actually the night-time opposing direction operation is, of course, completely safely managed, inbound aircraft are usually landed on the north side runway pair (6L/6R), with a long straight run in over the sea, and departing aircraft leave from the south side runways (25L/25R) with a left turn at the coast to head away and south. There's plenty of separation between the parallel runway groups for this (a mile) and it's more straightforward than, for example, the intersecting runway operations at Chicago O'Hare, Boston or wherever. However airlines will have a tailwind limit which they cannot exceed. LAX has good long runways which helps with any higher landing speed.

Last edited by WHBM; Feb 21, 05 at 11:54 am
WHBM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 21, 05, 5:27 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Between RIC and IAD
Programs: AA Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 3,908
Thanks for all your replies!

As of 2:00 p.m. PST or thereabouts, takeoffs and landings at LAX are back in their usual directions.

The sun's actually shining now (yay!) but it doesn't feel any less windy to me than it did yesterday. Interesting that just a light wind can cause a change in landing and takeoff patterns.
wahooflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread