Saturday, 28 November 2009

Coming in at crazy angles

This morning, at 11:20, Eddie and I saw this WizzAir Airbus A320 (HA-LPX) approaching Runway 33 at a most strange angle. Rather than going out all the way to Czachówek and doing the wing-over there, the pilot took a short cut, making the big turn over Pyry/Dąbrówka. We watched to see whether he'd be able to line up with the approach, or be forced to do a go-around. He managed. In the background is BA Airbus A319 (G-EUPN). The BA pilot flew in po bożemu, by the book, heading out a further 12 miles south before turning in for final approach. He'd be overhead a full six minutes later. Below: The WizzAir A320 makes it.

This manouevre was also observed from Ursynów. Post (from Okęcie spotters' forum) here.

Flying short-cuts into Runway 33 is more often seen from a westerly direction. Planes will fly as close to 3km from the threshold, doing their final turn over ul. Kórnicka even. Typically, these will be Eurolot ATRs, but sometimes also LOT B737s. On 9 May this year, I filmed a LOT 767 turning in way to the north of our house - and succeeding in lining up with the runway! Short cuts are almost always flown by Polish pilots for whom Okęcie is their home airport (we don't see BA, Air France, Lufthansa or EasyJet planes doing this). The pilots based here know all the approaches well, and what they can get away with. I can't help wondering what Warsaw Tower makes of this procedure and indeed whether this is an air safety issue.

Below: not an air miss - the foreshortening effect of the 80-400mm Nikkor at full stretch brings the BA plane much closer than in reality. There was less than two seconds between the first and third exposure.


Anonymous said...

Let me think... nothing?

student SGH said...

nothing, under typical Polish solidarity, air traffic controllers turn a blind eye on it.

Probably it can be a danger for air safety - a pilot who touches down the way he wants to can cut in on another plane and what then - there must be some an exchange of information so that the pilot can find out what they can do.

Anonymous said...

Stop kidding... "There must be some exchange of information so that the pilot can find out what they can do" - guess what, there is, and it's called an ATC clearance. And it's exactly what this Wizzair received, from guess who - the Tower. So don't make a fuss about a standard everyday situation.