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Discounter Gary Kelly Makes Revelation Regarding Tail Wind Landing Policy...

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Freight Dawgs Rule
Dec 17, 2003
Once on the ground, the real battle to control the airplane began.
In slick or icy weather, the braking power on the first several thousand feet of a runway, where planes touch down, is generally the best due to tire compression against the pavement that keeps the surface de-iced and warm.

But stopping power and traction erode quickly by the middle of the runway and diminish even more at the opposite end, which most planes don't reach because they exit onto a taxiway, experts said.

"At that point, it's sort of like being on ice skates," said Gary Boettcher, president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations, a trade group that represents Southwest pilots in Congress.

Boettcher, a 32-year veteran captain at American Airlines, said the FAA issues broad guidelines to airports about closing runways, and each airline has its own policy.

"At American Airlines, if we have a tailwind and braking action is less than good, we are prohibited from landing," he said.

Gary Kelly, chief executive officer at Southwest, said Flight 1248 "was cleared for landing, and all we can assume is that the runway was prepared for it. ... We let our flight crews make a determination as to the braking of the aircraft."
Say what?

That's totally *bass ackwards*.

At high speeds reverse thrust is more effective and at slow speeds the brakes are more effective.

What's this about tire compression and heating and runway deicing? That's total fiction.

If anything, traction in the TDZ is less than rollout because of the compaction of snow and a certain *glazing* effect.

You can actually get pretty good traction on loose snow...

This is only my experience after 10 years of flying in Alaska.
100LL... Again! said:
Don't forget the sloughing off of Type 4 at the 90-100 knot point.
Keep your pants on sailor, there's no "sloughing off" in commerical aviation! Commercial pilots keep busy, even when the boss isn't looking.

Kidding aside, you're right...that fluid has to go somewhere and that's some slick stuff, I never thought about that. But wouldn't that be considered in the BA reports and the MU reports?
This is just my own personal speculation, but consider:

Type 4 is very slimy, and hard to wash away.

For the most part, the majority of jets are going to achieve the shear-off speed of type 4 at about the same general area on the runway.

Ergo, on a longer runway, there will be a slippery area near the middle of the runway. ON a shorter runway, the slippery area will be nearer the end. On A VERY short runway, it will be very close to the end.
I'd say the reverse thrust being used for landings has a great deal to do with keeping the runway braking better in the first 2/3's of it. Blowing hot exhaust on the runway will melt that snow easily, especially on a 737. Where the problem might lie is when there hasn't been a landing in 30 min or so and the melted snow has a chance to freeze again into ice. Hopefully sanding on the runway will help prevent that.

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