Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Where's The Donald?

It was a beautiful January morning in New York City today. The contrails were already in view just after sunrise. Apparently someone was already airborne before us!

It was unusually warm so I volunteered to do the preflight walk-around duties on our plane today. I mentioned the LGA control tower in an earlier post....I've always thought it was an eye catching design. They light it up with bright white lights at night and for St Patrick's day they use green lights.

One of our gate agents was telling me the supposed history of the tower. She said that it was built to look like a champagne glass and that the windows were made to look like the bubbles. Now I don't know if that's a true story or not but it sure sounded credible.

Check out the old photo with the AA 727 AstroJets and the Douglas DC-6's. Must have been in the early 60's.

Our flight times out of LGA are calculated with plenty of taxi time built in. Our flight plan today called for a 25 minute taxi time. We called for taxi and were told to wait for our
sequence. Ten minutes later they called back and we were given our taxi instructions with an expected number of 12 for takeoff. Pretty typical day.

Every time I go to LGA, I look for Donald
Trump's plane. It's usually parked on the general aviation ramp. Sure enough, there it was. It's a very nice looking Boeing 727-100. I'll bet it's nice inside.

We launched right after a Dash-8 on runway 13. With the engines run up to max power and the air conditioning off, liftoff was at 145 knots with only about 1500 feet of concrete remaining.....Whew!.....An abort would have put us in the bay for sure. Three and a half hours later we were on final to a north landing at DFW. Brakes parked at the gate and we're ten minutes early.

Only one leg today....not too bad.

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple


Teller said...

It was always interesting taxiing behind you guys at LGA - we'd always get stopped short of 22 or short of the merge right behind a Mad Dog and get absolutely rocked when you'd power up to move. Your engines are basically at eye level from the pointy end of the 1900...nothing like staring down the business end of a jet pipe that I think is bigger than my car.

Never the less, your takeoff roll is ALWAYS exciting. The deep roar that vibrates your chest as the water in the harbor ripples in the wake; then that uneasy curiosity as to whether or not we're going to get to see EMAS at work. Do you guys use balanced field\de-rated takeoff thrust, or does it just work out that you bring it within a 1000 feet of the far end before clawing your way into the air? The white Mad Dogs always seemed to take it farther than you guys, but it's always fun to watch.

Len (Barfbag) said...


Sometimes we use de-rated takeoff power at LGA when conditions permit. But we have to be pretty light...probably not going very far. Supposedly all of our takeoffs are balanced field but we both know that a high speed abort would be disastrous. I'd say 90% of our departures there are at max power. In the summer it's not uncommon for us to be weight restricted out of there. Kind of tough on the non-revs!

Otto said...

sounds like excitment! Ive always wanted to fly into LGA..looks like sporty ops from the way you guys describe it. I guess it will be awhile before I get to experience it first hand. I heard that the expressway visual is a fun one!

eight double said...

i have always been curious about why the 80 seems to be the aircraft with the least likely chance of landing 4 and holding short of 31/13 or landing 31 short of 4/22. maybe it's just me, but those are the aircraft that i see going through the intersections more than any other.

of course, these aren't really LAHSO ops, but tower sure can make it a pain to cross back over sometimes.

Len (Barfbag) said...

It may be that when we land, we can't use reverse thrust until the nose is firmly planted on the runway. The reason is that when the reverser buckets are deployed, they can contact the runway if the nose is still airborne. (It's been done many times).
Therefore the deceleration rate is slightly reduced and getting stopped before the intersection is less likely.

That's about the only reason that I can think of.
Thanks for reading....Len