why can't planes take off at Ulan Bataar in the wind?

Old Jul 3, 19, 10:54 am
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why can't planes take off at Ulan Bataar in the wind?

Just arrived back into HK after a SEVEN HOUR delay at UB where there were no announcements and if you asked at the gate they just said "wind, wait". The customer service was surely some of the worst I have ever experienced and yet weather is not that hard to forecast and even I could find websites telling me when the wind was going to die down so quite why nobody there could us beyond me.

Having lived in Wellington and see planes take off and land in severe wind, the 50kph gusts did not seem an issue. And since nobody there explained it and. I could not find the answer on Google... Anyone on here know?

FWIW I will avoid MIAt in future. The air China and air Busan flights all indicated a much later departure (correctly) allowing their passengers to plan. MIAT just put the departure back by an hour every hour. Pathetic.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
Just arrived back into HK after a SEVEN HOUR delay at UB where there were no announcements and if you asked at the gate they just said "wind, wait". The customer service was surely some of the worst I have ever experienced and yet weather is not that hard to forecast and even I could find websites telling me when the wind was going to die down so quite why nobody there could us beyond me.

Having lived in Wellington and see planes take off and land in severe wind, the 50kph gusts did not seem an issue. And since nobody there explained it and. I could not find the answer on Google... Anyone on here know?

FWIW I will avoid MIAt in future. The air China and air Busan flights all indicated a much later departure (correctly) allowing their passengers to plan. MIAT just put the departure back by an hour every hour. Pathetic.
It looks like the airport has a single runway that only has taxi access at one end. So if the wind is blowing hard one way, the planes would have to take off with wind completely behind it. Not good.

Most all airports can reverse their runways if the wind direction switches from normal prevailing direction. And many older airports have cross-runways to allow angled takeoffs and landings.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 5:11 pm
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IMHO - it may have something to do with wind shear rather than gust wind.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 4:42 am
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The internet is full of videos of exciting landings in windy conditions so I guess there is plenty of risk operating in strong winds.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
........Having lived in Wellington and see planes take off and land in severe wind, the 50kph gusts did not seem an issue.........
It depends on direction of wind. ULN's main runway is 14/32. It can be a problem if there is strong cross wind from NE or SW. ULN's elevation of 4150 doesn't help either. Many airports have secondary runway built at different orientation for this purpose but ULN doesn't have one.

EDIT: Looks like WLG is also single runway 16/34 but WLG is close to sea level. I don't know how often WLG has strong cross wind.
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Last edited by TerryK; Jul 4, 19 at 10:56 am
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Old Jul 4, 19, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
It depends on direction of wind. ULN's main runway is 14/32. It can be a problem if there is strong cross wind from NE or SW. ULN's elevation of 4150 doesn't help either. Many airports have secondary runway built at different orientation for this purpose but ULN doesn't have one.

EDIT: Looks like WLG is also single runway 16/34 but WLG is close to sea level. I don't know how often WLG has strong cross wind.
Yes single runway at WLG - can be used in either direction as taxi access to both ends. Often strong winds, but rarely closed.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 11:09 pm
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Given there were only three flights waiting over a period of 7 hours, I am wondering why they could not just taxi down the runway and turn around at the end if this is the problem!
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Old Jul 17, 19, 5:18 am
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Iím just putting it out there that if it was that simple of a solution they would have just gone right ahead and done it

the good news is that the new airport will be opening soon

jepps for anyone that is into that kind of thing
http://www.uvairlines.com/admin/resources/ZMUB.pdf
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Old Jul 17, 19, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
Given there were only three flights waiting over a period of 7 hours, I am wondering why they could not just taxi down the runway and turn around at the end if this is the problem!
Doesn't help if there was strong cross wind. Cross wind from left is as bad as cross wind from right.

Last edited by TerryK; Jul 18, 19 at 5:21 am
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Old Jul 17, 19, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by fairhsa View Post
Given there were only three flights waiting over a period of 7 hours, I am wondering why they could not just taxi down the runway and turn around at the end if this is the problem!
Fuel.

The aircrafts will be burning gas...
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Old Jul 22, 19, 3:52 am
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I experienced the same at ULN with MIAT two years ago, also in July. I recalled that airport elevation and hot weather further complicates the strong wind issues. For Air China and Air Busan's flight, since they are originating from Beijing and Busan, they just simply don't depart from home hub until they have good visibility on the weather. But for MIAT, they just want to depart ASAP if weather permits, so they make all pax getting ready at airport.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Fuel.

The aircrafts will be burning gas...
But the flight ex-ULN is hardly likely to be the last flight that plane will ever make. Particularly if it is a non Mongolian airline, they'll be keen to get that plane back to perform the following sectors.

I can't see even the most tightfisted of airline accountants valuing a few hundred kilos of jet fuel over potentially cancelling future flights.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by seanpodge View Post
But the flight ex-ULN is hardly likely to be the last flight that plane will ever make. Particularly if it is a non Mongolian airline, they'll be keen to get that plane back to perform the following sectors.

I can't see even the most tightfisted of airline accountants valuing a few hundred kilos of jet fuel over potentially cancelling future flights.
Planes don't get their tanks fill up to the top for reasons beyond money.
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