- Feb 14, 2004
- Total Time
Not with a 150 kts of headwind, as I'm sure you remember. It happens a lot in the winter. Key word in your statement is depends.
Also, what station you are flying out of makes a big dif. Only OAK comes close.
150 kts is pretty rare. 100+? Sure, frequently. It's also not at all altitudes. If it's 150 kts-ish, flying at FL280-320 (you laugh, but I've heard many flights down that low to get a better ride.) or a different track. Out of OAK it was not unheard of to fly to the "D" track and LAX I frequently flew the "F" track. I've seen some weird filings, but it can happen. Also, depends on time of day.
Out of OAK, it was pretty easy. I flew ATA's -800s with 175 seats, with over 170 pax plus cargo (maybe 1000#s) out of LAX and ONT at a TO weight 100-200 lbs. below max (175K). Our biz class had 162 seats. No problem. We took the cargo bin "bag-belts" out to give us an extra 1500 lbs.
Coming back was tougher. OGG and LIH can be really tough getting out of. Winds, temp, altimeters, flaps 25, bleeds off. And that's with less gas. LIH was always at night to get the lower temp. I think it was 80F max. (It was 3 years ago, almost. <sigh>)
All this, and I'm not trying to sell NG's to HI, but it can be done. The B757 was ideal from the west coast. Haul lots of stuff, a long way, and short runways aren't much of a problem. Big cockpit, too.