Flying a Jet in the Los Angeles Storms, December 12, 2014.

Jethead has some really good stuff about the life of an Airline Captain. Check it out.

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“That’s some catch, that Catch-22.” –Captain Yossarian, Catch-22

Here’s the deal, captain: you’re flying a 65 ton jet into Orange County airport, the famously short 5,700 foot runway. The stopping distance required there is increased drastically if that runway is wet–and yesterday, “wet” was an understatement: Los Angeles was drenched in a ten-year storm dumping inches of rain in a matter of hours.

And here’s the catch: you want to have the least amount of fuel–which is weight–on board for landing to permit stopping on the short, rain-slicked runway, but at the same time, as much as possible for a divert if necessary to Los Angeles International Airport or to Ontario Airport, both of which have long runways.

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But it gets worse. The best bet for a diversion is Ontario, because the inbound air traffic is light compared to always busy LAX. But you’ve been watching on radar two thunderstorms…

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Flying a Jet in the Los Angeles Storms, December 12, 2014.

  1. NaCly Dog

    Thanks for reposting this here. This is a well-told story of good airmanship.

  2. “What am I missing?” the Captain asks his F/O. Excellent!
    Brings the F/O into the decision loop, brings information he may have to the discussion table.
    Many times in my life in the left seat I found it easy to ask The Other Guy first, “What do think we should do?”
    Asking before I announced what I thought we should do left the door wide open for the First Officer to cover the bases he felt most important. This made his contribution pure without having to contradict anything the Captain had already said.
    And added to the Captain’s wisdom quotient…

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