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SFO Time Lapse

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Controllers are to be given credit, avoiding an accident waiting to happen. ( Mais...

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Michael Fuquay 2
Was it a half hour, 1 hour, 2 hours? Just curious.
desertratps 1
By calculating it backwards, it appears 5 hours plus. At exactly 5 hours they would take a shot every 5.91 seconds, compressed would result in a 2:07 video
Fred Christensen 1
2:07 duration.
PhotoFinish 2
He means how many hours were recorded to produce the 2 minutes of compressed video.
JJ Johnson 2
Been in and out of SFO many times. This video is cool but the background music SUCKS bad. Very annoying.
sparkie624 3
I enjoyed the music as well... I have a lot of Youtube Videos... I get people who love and hate the same music... Just one of those things... You can't please everyone, so why try.
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Please, please, sparkie624. Allow a guy to dislike some thing. After all what fun will be freedom if not allowed.
;-p ;-) :D
sparkie624 2
Well, I was agreeing and disagreeing with you. Some Like it HOT, Some Like it Cold... All comes back to the 3 bears... LOL.
btweston 3
Hmm. I thought it was great.
sparkie624 2
Very interesting... that is a lot of traffic... Wonder how much the raw video was for the recorded time...
Aaron Donnelly 1
PhotoFinish 1
Great video!
Frank Abernathy 1
Thanks very nice!
Gary Roberts 1
Huh.....I wasn't aware that they (or any major airport) did active takeoffs on the perpendicular runways (1L or 1R?) with all that takeoff/land activity on 28L & 28R.
Or am I all confused? Thanks!
desertratps 2
You only have to listen to SF Tower to get a sense of the action. Afternoons are their busy time
gene kwiecinski 1
They "crisscross" at KLGA, eg, take off on 31 and land on 22 (or v/v).
PhotoFinish 1
SFO is much more complex, with 2 sets of parallel runways intersecting parallel runways near the midpoint of all 4 runways. There are so many more moving parts and more chances to get it wrong.

While at LGA, the 2 runways intersect closer to the ends of each. Depending on direction of operation, many flights either don't ever need to cross the intersecting runway and/or cross it early on takeoff/landing, which opens up the other runway immediately for use. Also, there are only 2 runways to be tracked with one intersection at LGA; instead of 4 runways intersecting at 4 points at SFO.
gene kwiecinski 1
I know. Never said it wasn't (more complex, that is). Gary just commented that he wasn't aware any major AP does takeoffs/landings on perpendicular rwys, and I just pointed out that they *do* at KLGA.

KLGA *is* a rather busy AP, one of the Big Three (KLGA, KJFK, KEWR) in the region, in fact.

All the choreography that keeps all those birds in the air without bonking into each other quite frankly amazes me.
PhotoFinish 1
The video seems to show all 4 runways being used, at various times during the clip, for flight operations. It begins to show the complexity of their system.

This summer, the FAA has begun severely restricted use of intersecting runways at many busy airports that already have parallel main runways. Though can't see how they could ever restrict full use of both runways at LGA. You're right, it's incredible how much traffic they put up with those 2 criss-crossing runways. Not too far behind Newark with 3 runways (including 2 main parallel runways), nor JFK with its' 4 runways.
gene kwiecinski 1
Yep. I was going to add after "bonking into each other", "in the air *or* on the ground", as it's truly amazing how there aren't many "incidents" even though the APs run virtually 24/7/365.

I'm not *that* familiar with the area, but other than KSFO, what's around there besides KSJC and KOAK? I wonder how badly they "interact", traffic-wise.

Anyway, if I wore a hat, it'd be off to the ATCs, TWRs, and pilots, who make it all work so seamlessly, despite the occasional "mishaps". I wasn't kidding when I used the word "choreographed", as that's exactly what's being done, in realtime.

Bit of an aside, I was pretty much in awe when I'd see the lineups on approach to KLGA (they fly right over me on the "Expressway visual"), how you could have a stream of jets, then a bunch of DH8As, SF34s (Colgan), other turboprops and slower private planes, and then back to more jets. How far in advance that has to be planned to line 'em up like that!! Amazing...
PhotoFinish 1
I'm sure that the San Fran Bay Area is busy air space. Besides the three airports you mention with lots of commercial traffic, there are several other airports nearby. Counterclockwise around the bay, you've got SFO, San Carlos, Palo Alto, Moffett (military), San Jose (KSJC), Hayward, and Oakland (KOAK). On the ocean side of the peninsula not far from SFO is Half Moon Bay, and north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Marin County. There are others inland from Oakland.

But metro NY airspace is the busiest airspace in the world.

Check out the 30 busiest airports in the world by aircraft movements (2011):
20. Newark Liberty International Airport.  KEWR 410,024
22. John F. Kennedy International Airport KJFK  408,730
23. San Francisco International Airport  KSFO  403,564
27. LaGuardia Airport  KLGA  366,597

As you are personally familiar, LaGuardia has become substantially busier in the last 2 years. It is quite possible that all 3 major metro NY airports are busier than SFO, the only bay area airport to make the list. Plus there are numerous airports nearby: Teterboro TEB with substantial executive jet traffic is under Newark's approach, plus Trenton, White Plains, Steward, and Islip are nearby and receive commercial scheduled traffic, plus many secondary airports squeezed in all over the place.
gene kwiecinski 1
Yep, when I'm on the north shore, I can see the stream of S76 commuters (and even a few floatplanes) and such on their way to/from KTEB (usually from/to places like KMVY, etc.), as well as traffic heading to/from KHPN, the already high-up flights from KJFK taking the polar route :D to Asia, and so on.

I could sometimes catch the same pretty CAL B744 that landed at KJFK hours before, make the turnaround and head back home in the afternoon. :D

That, and the purty blue KAL B744s.

Again, just amazing choreography...
James Casey 1
Your not confused, they do allow departures from the perpendicular runways.
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
A dumb Q. If the ATCs can control collinear a'crafts,lots of them, what is so impossible to regulate when they are aligned laterally, in 3D formation? As I understand the flying/landing/take off discipline is strict and clear(ly laid out). Yes, difficulty level will be higher comparatively. But then, so is the difficulty level when collinear traffic is dense!
Right? Wrong?
Peter Steitz 1
Republic Airways had a near miss (I mean a REALLY close call) at SFO a few years ago. On takeoff with intersecting runways, the ERJ-175 pulled up just a few seconds over a landing aircraft crossing the intersection. It was a controller error. The Republic Captain routinely used one additional notch of flaps whenever on a short runway or one with intersections and crossing traffic. She was able to get the aircraft airborne at less than V1 and saved a terrible accident. It was a knee jerk reaction on her part. If I remember, the FO was making the takeoff and she grabbed control at the last second. There is an FAA recreation of it but I can't find it now.
PhotoFinish 2
NTSB Animation Runway Incursion Between Republic Airlines Embraer 170 and SkyWest Embraer 120
SFO 26 May 2007
preacher1 2
Nice that he stopped, but right in the middle of the other runway. LOL. Kudos to the republic pilot for a heads up. If this is the one somebody spoke of earlier, she rotated before V1 and got it up early.
PhotoFinish 1
Yeah, he didn't quite hold short of runway (not that the controller gar him much warning though).

The E-170 captain saved everyone's hides on both planes.

Here's a description:,_San_Francisco_CA,_USA_2007_(RI_HF)
PhotoFinish 1
Yes, probably the same incident mentioned above.

As per NTSB, the most significant runway incursion in over a decade.
preacher1 1
You are obviously still referring to 214 and the aftermath. Even the parallel approaches are not really a deal. ATC will place them where they should be. They cannot control cockpit action/inaction.
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Qua me, you are fixated, definitely.
But I adore you and your expertise !
PhotoFinish 1
The issue is not the difficulty per se, but the safety, or rather increased likelihood of a catastrophic impact because of the increased complexity.

The problem in either case is when everything goes according to plan, but rather when things go wrong. For example on a missed approach
and go around.

On parallel runways the plane's paths do not cross. With enough separation, each plan can land, takeoff or go around without interfering substantially with a plane on a parallel but not intersecting course.

In the case of intersecting runways, you could potentially put planes on a collision course, particularly if one or more planes miss their appoach and go around at the same time.

Theoretically, there should be sufficient time separation between operations that cross intersecting paths. But you definitely don't want them crisscrossing paths simultaneous. Modern airliners do not yet have the ability to pass through other aircraft without contact, and radical interruption of their intended trajectory.

Imagine the nightmare of having to instruct multiple airliners approaching from crossed directions to all go around simultaneously right after the 214 crash, and the airport was closed immediately without any notice whatsoever and with many planes in the air on approach to the very runways being occupied with an emergency response.

If they were all collinear, they can all continue in their trajectory without descending, with little likelihood of encountering another aircraft. OTOH if their projected paths cross, ATC must take special care to insure that their paths cross with separation of either altitude or time. Short of that, there is the distinct possibility of a second catastrophic crash soon after a first.

Listening to a recording of the ATC traffic in the aftermath of the 214 crash, the controller(s) demonstrated expert handling of an unexpected and challenging situation with cool heads in what was clearly a stressful moment.
preacher1 1
Truthfully, I have not really figured why they closed the airport, unless it was just the immediacy of the situation and not having an assessment of what happened. While not totally simple, it sort of looks like the should have just chopped 28 L&R and took everybody around to 19. No emergency vehicles would have crossed that patch and the intersection was a pretty good ways on down. Those 2 runways would have been a tad shorter but anything in the pattern could have landed there.
PhotoFinish 3
SOP It's standard operating procedure to close an airport after an emergency while they assess what's happening.

What I don't understand is why New Haven remained closed all afternoon/ maybe the rest of the day, after a small GA plane fell down outside the bounds on the airport, and long after any smoke would've been an issue.

As far as SFO, I can understand that for at least the first 30 minutes to an hour, while the first responders are busy getting survivors and putting out the fire, they shouldn't have to worry about aircraft movements on the airfield.

On the ATC recording, you can heat the fire apparatus asking for permission to cross each and every runway (as would be normally expected). The controller had to tell then multiple times that they had free reign over the airfield, that they had permission to cross any and all runways, and that no traffic would be landing.

It would be a logistical nightmare to have each piece of emergency response equipment ask for and be given permission to cross each and every runway. Then, in addition, to have the controllers have to manage dozens of arriving aircraft, their movements on the airfield, together with the movements of the many emergency vehicles trying to save as many of the 300 souls as possible.

Closing SFO (or any airport) after a major crash on the runways/ airfield makes a lot of sense. As does reopening the airport as soon as the emergency response period has been completed and safe operation can continue without unduly impeding or being impeded by any investigation of the site.
Dan Langille 1
My understanding, after reading about a similar event: when emergency crews are dealing with an emergency, the airport is closed because said crews are not available should another emergency arise.
Peter Steitz 2
It's SOP to initially stop everything until the situation is under control.
PhotoFinish 1
This video clearly shows they do in fact conduct simultaneous approaches on parallel runways with a centerline separation of only 750' at SFO.
preacher1 3
Nobody ever said they didn't. They just said foreign pilots couldn't make one. Love that time lapse. Never seen a 747 or a 380 move that fast. LOL
PhotoFinish 1
Haven't been to SFO in a while. Didn't think the foreign airlines were giving up much. Don't normally see simultaneous approaches with such small separation, even at much busier airports that could benefit tremendously from the additional capacity.

But there it was, right in the SFO video (even if not too frequent).
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
For collective pleasure
London Heathrow Approach Time-Lapse B747, A340, B777 ...
London Heathrow - Stunning sunset arrivals ! B747 A340-600 B777...
ramavenkatesh 1
Great video. Nice to catch the A380 takeoff on 28R (crossing the camera to the left in order to do that). Was expecting to see the KLM 747 take off towards east on one of the shorter runways. It does most days except for the occasional day when it makes the long way to the 28s.
Bill DiCecca 1
Yes! It really catches one's attention. That thing is HUGE.


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